If your home is worth less than the amount you owe on your mortgage and you are struggling to pay your bills, you may be tempted to short sell your home. That can actually be a viable option to foreclosure in many cases. It does less damage to your credit and often lets you walk away with no outstanding mortgage debt. Plenty of folks will express an interest in helping you with that process. But they don’t all have what it takes to get the job done.

Don’t Be Fooled by Debt Negotiators

There are lots of people out there claiming to get you debt forgiveness on your mortgage loan via a short sale. They go by many names such as “debt resolution experts”, “short sale coordinators”, and “foreclosure rescue negotiators”. These people will be happy to take your money, but they can’t lawfully represent parties to a short sale. The fact is that when liens on real property are involved, the California DRE regulations require that a professional with a valid real estate broker license do the negotiating. The only exceptions to the law are:

· If a licensed attorney takes on that role (which doesn’t make sense unless they specialize in residential real estate)

· If you short sell your home with no outside help (again, that’s only wise if you have LOTS of experience)

You Need a Real Estate Specialist

If you are trying to save money by forgoing a real estate specialist for your short sale, you’ll be relieved to know that the specialist actually gets paid by the lender in this situation. You still get zero dollars from selling the home since the bank keeps the money from the sale to defray the outstanding mortgage balance. But at least you aren’t paying out of pocket for the privilege of being represented by someone who knows what they are doing.

Since experience matters, it’s not a good idea to simply pick a realtor out of the phone book to handle your short sale. What you need is a specialist. That means someone with more than a certificate from an online seminar under their belt. You should find an specialist with actual experience handling short sales. Negotiating terms with a lender to take a loss on a home mortgage is a lot more complicated than just negotiating a price with a home buyer. Plus, each bank has its own set of rules and different hoops for homeowners to jump through before they will approve a deal. A local short sales expert who knows the ropes can help you avoid the mistakes that could leave you with no house, no credit, no money for moving expenses, and no way out but foreclosure.