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Short Sales - An Alternative To Foreclosure

Feb 9, 2008
For those of you who now find yourselves upside down in your mortgage, facing foreclosure and sometimes even bankruptcy here are a few facts to know.

A short sale is something that the lending market has recently come to terms with as a alternative solution for foreclosure. With the alarming rate of foreclosures coming into the real estate market this step seems to ward off the inevitable and save the seller's credit.

Most sellers are now finding themselves in the horrible situation of losing their American Dream. When they first purchased their house it was explained to them that when the adjustable rate mortgage kicked in that they could easily refinance the house to a 30 year fixed note with their equity in place. However, the market has turned and now these homeowners are finding themselves with a mortgage that is far in excess of what their homes are worth and lenders are not readily available to refinance. In most instances their loan has been sold and they are stuck with a mortgage that continues to escalate.

A short sale is a process in which you list your house with a Realtor familiar with the process. They garnish an offer and submit it to your lender for review. All fees are paid by your lender and in most cases the loan is reported as satisfied. It's important to remember a few things about the short sales.

1. Sometimes your second mortgage will require you to sign an unsecured note for the balance of the loan. Be prepared for this. Not all lenders do it and I sometimes suggest that the borrower go back at a later date to renegotiate the note.

2. Do not ignore your HOA fees. Your homeowner's association can and will put another lien on your home and that lien will have to be cleared before the short sale is accepted. You lender will not be willing to pay these fees and in most instances neither will an interested buyer.

3. Most lenders request a financial worksheet, 2 most recent copies of pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements and a hardship letter.

4. Ensure your Realtor is familiar with the process and let them know your home is in distress.

5. Short sales take time. Be patient and ready and willing to show your home on a moments notice. Your showing records are very important.

6. Don't give up! Short sales typically take 60-90 days while the loss mitigation department reviews your short sale.

Be aware, Short Sales take time. Don't get frustrated. This is a very good alternative to getting your house sold and saving your credit. Buyer's get impatient but you must keep a positive attitude and be ready with your paperwork and available for showing and signing of documentation. Have an email address this will help to expedite the process.

For more information on the process you can visit my website www.fortbendland.com or contact me directly at Linda@fortbendland.com.
About the Author
Linda Landman is a real estate agent in Fort Bend County Texas that specializes in the short sale process for the Houston and surrounding areas. She has been very successful at it. You can learn more about Linda at http://www.fortbendland.com.
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