When you’re behind on your mortgage payments and on the brink of losing your home, the best option may be a short sale to avoid foreclosure. By definition, a short sale is when the selling price of a home comes short of being enough to pay off the balance of the loan.
In this situation, you’ll need the bank’s permission to sell your home for less money than you owe. Read on to find out how to convince your lender to agree to a short sale, so you can get out of your house without suffering the consequences of foreclosure.
Deal With the Right Person
Since mortgages are sold frequently, you’ll first need to determine which company is currently servicing your mortgage. Once you know you have the right lender, you’ll want to make sure you’re talking to their short sale negotiator. If they tentatively agree to a short sale, they’re going to start asking for paperwork.
Start Compiling a Short Sale Package
Because a short sale presents some risk to the lender, they’ll need extensive documentation. Keep in mind that putting together a short sale package is your one opportunity to convince the lender that allowing a short sale would be in their best interest.
The following video goes over some of the documents that may need to be included in your short sale package:
As you can see, there’s a ton of paperwork—probably more than what was required to buy your house in the first place. Any problems with that paperwork can prevent you from closing the deal, so it’s important that you get everything right.
Most homeowners will need help from a real estate agent or attorney to compile and fill everything out correctly. If you choose to go it alone, be forewarned that short sale closings often fall through due to documentation issues.
Get the Help You Need
A foreclosure attorney or a real estate agent who is an experienced short-sale specialist can help you with everything from negotiating with the bank to closing the deal. Things can get sticky when it comes to what will happen with the deficiency, which is the difference between the selling price and the amount owed on the note.
Ideally, the bank will discharge part of or all of the debt, but they could also sue you for it in some states, which is why you need someone who knows the law and understands the fine print.