This weekend I talked to 4 agents with properties on the market with short sales. Two of those listings were to be shown "by appointment only" and one refused to let us come, even with 24 hours notice. Both of the homes had been on the market for over 150 days and both were priced above comps for homes in the neighborhood.
If you are getting ready to list your home as a short sale these 5 tips are important for you to consider as you move forward.
Top 5 Mistakes Short Sale Sellers Make
As a Santa Maria Short Sale Agent, I see short sale sellers make critical mistakes time and time again. Here is my list of the top 5 mistakes I see:
1) They wait too long to put the home on the market.Many times sellers believe that they will work out terms with the bank and their loan modification will be approved. However, if your back up plan is a short sale, you need to leave enough time for an agent to get an offer and present it to the bank. Less than a week is generally not enough time to get a lender to stop a foreclosure sale -- it can be done -- but you are taking a big risk. If you want a short sale, you need to give your agent enough time to present a short sale application to the bank. There are routine delays with short sales; banks lose documents and packages have to be re-faxed. Don't wait until it is down to the wire.
2) They let the house fall apart. You should do all you can to make sure that your home does not fall into disrepair. A house with uncut grass and full of deferred maintenance is generally not appealing to buyers. And you still have to sell your home to a buyer. You can lower the price to compensate and attract a bargain hunting buyer, but ultimately the lender has to approve that price. And in my experience, a short sale lender’s estimation of value tends to assume that your home is in above average condition. Indeed, one of the most common reasons a short sale will fail is “the bank wants too much for it.” Now there could be other reasons that the bank wants too much (including the existence of mortgage insurance) but often the short sale lender will not want to take a hit on the price just because you decided not to repair that roof leak.
3) They make the home difficult to be shown. Many short sale home sellers are not happy about selling their home. Some are angry because efforts at a loan modification with the lender have failed. However, making the home difficult to be shown will not help the situation -- in fact, if you don’t have an offer on your home, it could put you in a jam down the road. If the bank determines that you are deliberately delaying the short sale, and you have not been making payments, often they will simply continue the path toward foreclosure. Also a listing that is difficult to be shown gains a reputation among agents, so don’t assume that agents will begin eagerly showing your home again after you’ve spent months running them around about showing appointments.
4) They take too long to present the short sale application to the bank. Short sale sellers must remember that the buyer is waiting for the short sale to be approved as well. They have to put much of their personal life and their entire financial life on hold to buy a home in today’s lending environment They have concerns on their end as well, including when they are going to move, interest rate fluctuations, and the cheaper short sale next door that just hit the market. As a short sale seller, you should do your part and have your hardship letter and financial documents ready. Ideally, you should have all material for the short sale application ready to go when you put the home on the market.
5) They select the wrong short sale agent. Short sales are different than regular listings. They generally take twice as long, present unique issues, and require a specialized skill and approach. Some agents have never successfully closed a short sale, or they simply hate them. That is understandable because short sales require a certain level of experience, determination and tenacity. They are not easy listings to close and I believe you must be passionate about short sales to be successful at them. Accordingly, it is important to select an experienced short sale agent that can make it through the long haul, and is prepared to fight it out with the bank for you.
Before deciding whether to short sell your home, it is essential that you obtain legal and tax advice, and consult with an experienced local short sale agent. If you are considering a short sale of your Santa Maria, Orcutt, or Nipomo home and would like a short sale consultation, please call my office to schedule a meeting or a telephone consultation at (805) 938-9950.
Tni LeBlanc is an independent Real Estate Broker, Attorney, and Short Sale Agent. She is a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and Certified HAFA Specialist (CHS) serving the Santa Maria, Orcutt and Five Cities area of the Central Coast of California.
* Nothing in this article is intended to solicit listings currently under contract with another broker. This article offers no legal or tax advice. Those considering a short sale are advised to consult with their own attorney for legal advice, and their tax professional for tax advice prior to entering into a short sale listing agreement. Mint Properties is not associated with the government, and our service is not approved by the government or your lender. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan. If you stop paying your mortgage, you could lose your home and damage your credit rating.
Copyright© 2011 Tni LeBlanc *Top 5 Mistakes Short Sale Sellers Make*
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