- What is a short sale?
A- A short sale occurs when the balance of the loan(s) is greater than what the property can be sold for. Short sales are a way for home owners to avoid foreclosure on their homes and still be able to pay off their loan by settling with their lender.
- Do I qualify for a short sale?
A- Lenders vary in their requirements. Most lenders require a qualifying hardship, no other major assets, and delinquent payments. Contact us to go over your options and financial situation.
- Do I have to be delinquent to do a short sale?
A- No, but lenders have various requirements. Unfortunately, most lenders are less willing to setlle without a cash contribution or promissory note if the loan is current.
- How long does it take to do a short sale?
A- There are several stages to the Short Sale process which can be lengthy. The typical sale takes 3-7 months from start to finish. Here are the stages of a short sale:
1. Step 1 requires the home owner to gather all the documentation that your bank will require. We can assist you with the short sale package and any specific documents your lender may require.
2. Step 2 is our team completing a valuation for your home, complete the listing, and place your home for sale.
3. Step 3 involves aggressively marketing your home and producing a ready, willing, and able buyer. This stage can take as little as a few days or as long as a few months.
4. Step 4 is the actual submission of the offer to your bank. This is where our expertise and experience in negotiating Short Sales takes place. The negotiation and approval process can take anywhere from 30 to 120 days. Numerous phone calls, emails, and faxes are required between the lenders and our team (on average 60-90 days).
5. Step 5 is the amount of time it takes from the day we receive short sale approval to when escrow closes.
- How much does a short sale cost?
A In a Short Sale transaction you, as the seller, do not have to pay the Realtor commissions or the closing costs. The bank covers these costs. Please note there is a possible exception - the banks may not pay for any unpaid HOA fees, tax liens/judgements, and outstanding utilities
- Do you charge an upfront fee for taking my short sale?
- Do I have to pay my HOA fees?
A- We strongly recommend that you do. HOA fees are an owners personal obligation. If they are not paid, it can result in credit damage, lawsuits, or other collection efforts. Also, many lenders will not pay for unpaid HOA fees on a short sale.
-What are the tax ramifications of a Short Sale?
A- When you complete a short sale, you will receive a 1099-C which stands for Cancellation of debt. On a foreclosure you will receive a 1099 A which stands for Abandonment of secured property .The Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 generally allows taxpayers to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their principal residence for their original mortgage amount. Debt forgiven through short selling as well as mortgage debt forgiven in connection with a foreclosure, qualifies for the relief. This provision applies to debt forgiven in calendar years 2007 through 2012. Up to $2 million of forgiven debt is eligible for this exclusion ($1 million if married filing separately). For more information go directly to the IRS website at IRS.gov and do a keyword search of Mortgage Debt Relief Act to view their FAQ on the subject.
Investors need to be aware that this Act covers principal residences only. However, whether foreclosing or short selling the tax issue will need to be addressed by the investor. Generally you should try to minimize the loss to the lender in order to minimize the taxable amount. That is best accomplished by a short sale. As always, we recommend that you seek professional tax advice before any decision to begin a short sale or before foreclosure.
- Why do banks agree to a Short Sale?
A- It is generally more cost effective for a lender to agree to a short sale in lieu of foreclosure. This I largely due to the cost incurred by the lender during the “holding process” of owning property and legal fees.