Short sales have become the only way out for some sellers who owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth. For struggling borrowers, it’s a chance to avoid foreclosure. Here are five tips you must know when short selling your home.
1. Choose an agent experienced in short sales. Hire a real estate agent who is experienced in short sales. A short sale is a time-consuming transaction and can take months to close. You want an agent who will stay on top of the game until the deal is closed.
2. Understand potential consequences. Laws vary by state, but many states allow lenders to go after that balance once a short sale or foreclosure is completed.
3. You can negotiate your way out of deficiency. When negotiating a short sale, many lenders don’t offer to release you of liability on the remaining loan balance — at least not for free. But you can ask to negotiate a waiver.
4. Talk to a lawyer. Real estate agents who are experienced in short sales can coordinate the transaction with the bank and tell you what to expect in the process. But remember: they are not lawyers. If you don’t understand the contract you are signing, or the potential consequences of a short sale, consult a lawyer.
5. Keep up with HOA payments. If you are thinking about short selling your home, don’t stop paying your homeowners association dues. The fees can snowball and kill the sale, even if the buyer is willing to pay for the delinquent dues at closing.
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