If you’re like the 40 million American homeowners struggling to avoid foreclosure, you understand the need to find a reliable solution to avoid foreclosure. For many homeowners, the most appealing option is a short sale. Instead of dealing with modifications, those who owe more than their home is worth find a short sale to be an alluring option. While it’s a mighty challenge to persuade your lender to let the property sell for less than the mortgage balance, this isn’t the only consideration that homeowners need to remember.
How to Ensure Short Sale Success
To avoid foreclosure, you want to ensure that you’re completing the short sale process as thoroughly and effectively as possible. After all, you wouldn’t want to pursue a short sale only to have to foreclose the home a few months later. To increase your chances of short sale success, be sure to:
1. Seek an agent who is experienced in short sales. Not all real estate agents are created equal, and just because an agent claims to be a short-sale specialist doesn’t mean that it’s true. While many real estate agents will have certifications, it’s better to find an agent who has extensive experience in short sales. Feel free to ask upfront how many short sales they’ve closed throughout their career. Short sales are a tedious and time-consuming process, so you want an agent who will fight for you throughout the whole transaction.
2. Understand what’s next. Homeowners are so caught up with the short sale transaction that they don’t think about what comes next. Months or years after the sale, they may receive a collection letter stating that they owe the difference between what the house sold for and what is owed. This is why it’s crucial to be on clear terms with the lender as to what will happen with the remaining balance. Don’t just discuss it verbally. Have it documented.
3. Keep making payments. Whether it’s your mortgage payments or homeowners association dues, keep making your payments even throughout the short sale process. If you stop before the transaction is completed, you can actually kill the sale, since delinquent dues can snowball.