Short Sale Tip of The Week 6-10-09

Posted on 09. Jun, 2009 by ctlms in Short Sale, foreclosure

What are the consequences of a short sale?

There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding the positive and negative effects of a short sale.

Over the next few weeks we are going to discuss the 3 areas of concern when a seller short sales their house; Credit, Taxes and the Deficiency.

Before we proceed I should make it clear that I am not an attorney, CPA or counselor of any kind.  As a real estate agent your clients often expect you to know EVERYTHING about EVERTHING.  But in this case a good general knowledge is good, though you should always refer your client to the correct licensed person to answer their specific question such as an attorney, CPA or credit expert.  But without a general knowledge you would probably look like a deer in the headlights when asked about these subjects so let’s get into them.

This week we will touch on the credit implications to a seller that sells their home through a short sale.

The impact on the seller’s credit is not something that can be negotiated.  The banks are required to accurately report the status of the account to the credit bureaus.  A short sale will most often show up on the seller’s credit as “Settled for less than full payoff” or something very similar.  This WILL cause an immediate point reduction to their credit score.  However unlike foreclosure or bankruptcy, that are reported alongside other judgments and court actions against the seller, this will only be reported for the accounts that are settled with the short sale.

Bankruptcy and foreclosure stigmatize your credit for 7-10 years.  However short sales have a one time score reduction from which the sellers can begin to increase their score once again.  If they did not miss any payments their account would be shown as “paid as agreed” all the way until it was “settled for less than full payoff”.  However if they missed payments and possibly had foreclosure initiated against them; well then their credit is going to be crap for a while and a short sales effect on their score will probably not be top priority to them.

The take away here is that a short sale has less of a negative impact on the sellers score than bankruptcy or foreclosure, but there will be an effect.

Next week we will discuss the Tax consequences of a short sale.  The often feared and misunderstood “1099”.

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Short Sale Tip of The Week 6-3-09

Posted on 02. Jun, 2009 by ctlms in Short Sale, foreclosure

What price should I list my short sale at?

This is where many agents shoot themselves in the foot.

So here is the situation;  The seller owes $200,000.  Your CMA says it won't sell for more than $175,000.  Where do you list it?

The correct answer is...It depends.  Sorry, but as is the norm in life, there are no perfect answers.  Here's the deal.  If your seller is a couple weeks or a month from foreclosure you need an offer now and you need to list it where it will sell now.  Period.

For all the other listings where the seller has some time, even if already facing foreclosure, you need to use some strategy.

What do you think the bank will say if you listed the above mentioned property for $175,000 and had a full price offer in a week? Most likely they would say, "Why did you list it so low?  You could have received a higher offer if you listed it higher."  And they will most likley counter the buyer with a higher offer, higher even than the listed price.  And that buyer will probably bail.

Now how about if you had listed it at $200,000 and lowered it $10,000 after the first 2 weeks of no showings or offers and then lowered it $5,000 a week till an offer came in?  Do you think you would get the same question from the bank?  Is there any better evidence of what a property is worth, or at least what it is not worth, than having it on the MLS?

This strategy is perfect for showing the lender that the offer on the table is the best they are going to get.  It is the best evidence to show a BPO agent or appraiser to justify the short sale offer.

A little bit of strategy can go a long way.  And there are numerous areas of a short sale offer that require strategic planning to set your transaction up for the highest probability of leading to a successful closing.

Well that's it for this week.

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As always Visit the Ask The Expert Page to leave your questions or contact me directly if you need immediate assistance at