Maybe you’ve heard someone talk about short sales, the transaction involving negotiating the purchase of a home with a lending institution, typically below market value and less than the mortgage owed for the property. These types of transactions are difficult to execute for a number of reasons including the time it takes negotiate with the lender, the ability to close quickly once the lender agrees to sell and often the requirement to pay with cash. If you’re considering buying a home via short sale, consider the following tips:
- Be selective: Not all borrowers—or loans—are good short sales candidates. If your prospective seller has a second mortgage, a home equity line, multiple liens or other financial complications, steer clear. While it’s possible to satisfy all parties in these types of deals, it’s not likely, and you’ll wind up wasting a lot of time and energy.
- Be thorough: When you submit an offer, or are delivering the materials the lender requires, include everything. Nothing is more frustrating for a loss mitigation manager than reviewing incomplete documentation and having to start over again. You will be equally frustrated by the ensuing delays.
- Be persuasive: Why should the borrower qualify for a short sale? Job loss? An exploding ARM? And why isn’t the home worth as much as what’s owed on the mortgage? Include all the relevant information—comps, foreclosure activity, days on market, current listings, property condition, etc. Is the offer realistic? Prove it. And make sure that you are a qualified, pre-approved buyer.
- Be persistent: While there’s a fine line between being persistent and being annoying, call and/or e-mail regularly—but respectfully—and ask if there’s anything you can do to help expedite the process.
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