You may have determined that you wouldn’t be able to sell your house for a high enough price to pay off the existing mortgage(s), and you’re now considering a short sale. You know you will not be able to stay in the home and you need to get out from under the debt.
Doing a short sale will take some work and cooperation on your part, even if you use a professional to assist you. However, the benefits of a successful short sale compared to foreclosure are significant enough that it should be well worth the effort.
Here are some questions to ask yourself (and be honest):
- Do you have a hardship that prevents you (or will soon prevent you) from being able to pay your mortgage or otherwise stay in your home? Some valid hardships include out-of-area job relocation, job loss, pay cut or other income reduction, divorce, significant home repairs needed that you can’t afford, increase in family size, and sudden increase in monthly expenses. There are other acceptable hardships as well, but in most cases you will need to be able to demonstrate to the bank that you cannot keep the house.
- Is your hardship short-term or long-term? If your hardship is short-term (maybe you lost your job, but you were able to regain similar employment a few months later), the bank may solicit other options such as a loan modification or other workout plan. However, you are not required to attempt a loan modification before attempting a short sale. If you would prefer to stay, you should exhaust all of your other options for keeping your property before starting the short sale process.
- Can you produce two months of bank statements, two years of tax returns, two months of pay stubs, a personal financial statement (a list of what you own, what you owe, your income and expenses), and write a hardship letter before you put your house on the market? This could take a couple hours or more depending on how organized you are.
- Are you willing to review and accept a reasonable offer on your property within 24-48 hours of receiving it?
- If you’re still occupying the house, are you willing to allow the property to be shown at all reasonable times?
- Are you willing to do some basic things to help your house sell, like clean the house, de-clutter, and clean up the yard? If a buyer expects a significant discount just because the house is a mess, the bank may think they can better mitigate their losses by foreclosing, cleaning up the property, and selling it at a higher price as a bank-owned property.
- Have you filed bankruptcy? If so, you’ll need to ask your bankruptcy attorney if it would be helpful sell the house in a short sale.
If your hardship is caused by you moving out of the area, some banks may not consider it a hardship until after you have actually moved. However, this shouldn't stop you from putting your house on the market now.
Are you ready to get started? If your property is in the Puget Sound Region (Seattle / Bellevue / Kirkland / Everett / Tacoma), just fill out and send the short form below, and we'll contact you to answer any questions you may have and explain how to start the process. If you are located outside King or Snohomish County, we may refer you to one of our preferred short sale specialists in your area. You may also want to download our Short Sale Pre-Qualification Form to help determine your chances of a successful short sale. Everything will be kept strictly confidential. But don't wait until the last minute!