I know you've heard the term short-sale before, I mean, after 2008, who hasn't? Yet many of you who have heard the term, don't know what it means or how it works. Basically, a short-sale “is when a bank agrees to accept less than the total amount owed on a mortgage to avoid having to foreclose on the property. This is not a new practice; banks have been doing short sales for years. Only recently, due to the current state of the housing market and economy, has this process become a part of the public consciousness.”
Voila, that is all you need to know about short-sales... End of article here...
The description above sounds like a no brainer (you already knew that!). However, understanding the elements needed to obtain a short-sale isn't quite like takin' a walk in the park . Although short-sales these days are a common practice, many homeowners are given information that is kinda sorta not true (misunderstandings, myths, fallacies, whatever you want to call it) about short-sales. Now, don't freak out because I've come up with a plan to clear some of those common misconceptions for you, so look below and feast your eyes on what you thought you already knew....But was really just wrong.
I'm going to call this segment... the modern day short-sale fallacies.
“The homeowner must fall behind mortgage payments before they can qualify for a short-sale.”
Yeah, maybe during the renaissance, not so much these days. But, there are other requirements that a homeowner needs to meet in order to qualify (even though falling behind on mortgage payments isn't necessary, it doesn't mean it's automatically a free for all , bummer, I know). You need :
a financial hardship ( and by financial hardship I'm not talking about not having enough money to buy those designer shoes or that boat you've always wanted. I'm talking about a reduction in monthly cash-flow, as in, you lost your job and are having trouble affording LIFE. Get it?)
health or medical issues (a real illness, you hypochondriacs!)
and/or extraordinary loss in home value (pretty self explanatory, your house is worth substantially less than what you paid for).
“Banks would rather foreclose a property than approve a short-sale.”
This has got to be the most common fallacy of them all. Listen people, I don't think you're aware of how much money the bank loses while trying to foreclose a property, the loses are in the ball park of 50-70k, and banks HATE to lose money (I mean, no one likes to lose money, but that's beside the point). Anyway, since banks lose way less money by short-selling properties, then I'm pretty sure they would much rather approve a short sale than foreclose (it's only logical right!)
"Short sales never close."
Now that's just plain dumb. Obviously short-sales close, I'm sure you or someone you know has likely bought a short-sale property.
“There is not enough time to negotiate a short-sale before my foreclosure.”
As you know, foreclosure is a process, and a long one at that. In some states it takes up to 3 years to fully foreclose properties (not exaggerating). So with this, comes the ability to sit down, take a deep breath, and decide what will be the ultimate fate for your property. Plus, you know, with all that extra money from not paying your mortgage, maybe take a vacation or two, who knows! (wishful thinking, can't blame me).
“Buyers don't want short-sale properties.”
Are you flipping kidding me!? Some buyers go as far as requesting only short-sale listings from their realtors. Apparently, short-sales are sweet deals, and everyone loves to score a sweet deal. Safe to say that there are definitely buyers for short-sale properties.
Ta-Da! Well this segment was easier done that said, if I say so myself. I'm sure most of you reading this have come across one or two of these statements and probably thought that's how short-sales worked, not gonna blame you, they sound pretty realistic! I hope this segment helped clear up some of your doubts and gets you on the right track, be it, wanting to negotiate a short-sale, go through with foreclosure, or just whatever your little heart desires.