Seems like a bizarre question doesn't it? Well guess what, it is not. If you are selling your home as short sale the bank may have the right to send a property preservation company to the house and "secure it" if they feel the house is vacant and abandoned. But it is still my house, right?
Yes, it is still your house, even if you have stopped making payments, but here is the catch. Many loans contain clauses that say if you abandon your home the bank has a right to secure the property to preserve their interest in the home while they are waiting to re-posses it.
So here is the typical situation. Owner has a home that they need to short sell. They have already left the home, often to take a job somewhere else, but maybe for some other reason. The short sale is initiated and the bank finds out the property is vacant. They do not want any damage to the property so they send out a property preservation company to secure the house. The company changes the locks and may even board up windows. There are even some instances where the property preservation company employees help themselves to some things that were "abandoned" in the home that do not belong to them. The realtor listing the property may not be given the key and other agents may not be able to get in until the mess is straightened out.
What is the solution? There is no fool proof solution but there are some things you can try. If you are selling an empty home for what ever reason the best thing to do is to hire a realtor who can stage it for you. (I do this for all my listings) Once the home is staged, or even if that is not possible, take pictures. Show the bank the house is being cared for by the realtor, that the windows are not broken, and that there are locks on the door. Take pictures of all the fixtures to show what is in the house. Send these pictures to the bank along with the initial short sale authorization and then again with the short sale package to show that the home is not abandoned and in case there is any question about things going missing.
This may not stop the the bank every time from "securing" an un-abandoned house, but it should help.
If you have any questions about short sales in San Mateo or Santa Clara counties please feel free to contact me.
Keller Williams Realty