What Should You Expect As A Seller During A Short Sale

If you have read our previous posts, you now know what a short sale is and what your 10 options are (to do a short sale or something else). You have also considered whether or not you qualify for a short sale and why a short sale is preferable to foreclosure. And lastly, you now understand the importance of having a Distressed Property Exper working for and with you.

So now let’s highlight what you should expect during the process of the short sale all the way to your successful closing. Keep in mind during the short sale process; we are experienced in short sales and have systems in place to make sure all the necessary “to do” items are taken care of. It is imperative during the short sale that you follow our direction, keep the lines of communication open with us, remain patient as we work thru the short sale approval process. And try to keep as positive an attitude as possible; remember, better times are ahead.

  • You will be treated with professionally and with respect at all times by our team. We understand that it is uncomfortable discussing your financial situation but remember this: you are taking the right steps to extract yourself from this bad situation and we admire you for doing so and are here to help.
  • During our initial consultation with you, we’ll want to tour your home with you and we will also give you basic suggestions (primarily de-clutter and clean) as needed and as time permits to prepare your home for sale. We will also give you a document checklist to show you what information you need to gather to submit to the lender. Remember, time is of the essence, so it important that you make your home prep and document gathering your top priority for your entire family.
  • At this first meeting, we will also have you sign a form authorizing our team to begin communications with your mortgage holder/lender (MHL).
  • While you are taking care of home prep and document gathering, we will begin working on our Red Hot Marketing Plan to get your home sold. Among other things, we will be taking photos, creating a virtual tour and home flyer and writing our marketing materials for your home. Yes, you are a distressed seller but you still get of the benefit our full marketing plan; and remember the MHL pays the commission to us and the buyer’s agent, there is no cost to you.
  • Speaking of seller expenses, do not spend money to make repairs to your home unless they affect the safety of you or others; your MHL will not want to see this type of spending.
  • Before we put your home on the market for sale, we will prepare an aggressive pricing strategy that includes a series of price reductions every two weeks until your home sells. As you review the strategy, keep in mind that your MHL will want a strategy for a quick, but fair sales price.
  • Okay, now your home is on the market. We will handle all agent calls for appointments to make the showing process as easy as possible both for you and agents. Doing so also gives us the chance to pre-qualify buyers that will see your home.
  • Next, we will review any offers with you that we receive on your home. A critical part of this process will be our review of the contract and advise you in negotiations to make sure that the offer to purchase is written in accordance with guidelines that the MHL will likely accept or counter.
  • Once the offer is negotiated, agreed upon, and signed off on by all parties, it then becomes a contract to sell your home contingent upon approval by your MHL.

At this point, we enter into the contract to Short Sale Approval phase of the short sale process:

  • Once we have a contract, we will immediately prepare the Short Sale Package to submit to the MHL. While this package is time intensive in putting together, we pride ourselves in submitting a complete package to facilitate the quickest response possible.
  • After the Short Sale Package is received by the MHL, they will generally order a Broker’s Price Opinion (BPO), an informal appraisal to determine a fair market value of your home. The MHL will use the BPO as a factor in whether to accept or counter the contract.
  • Now it is critical that all parties – you the seller, the buyer and the buyer’s agent – understand the general timelines involved in getting to closing. Generally you can expect that it will take 30 – 60 days for the MHL to respond with counter or approval. Once the offer is approved, the buyer will need to be ready to close within 30 days.
  • We will continue to market your home until we have MHL approval; we will not submit multiple offers but we will actively solicit backup offers during this period.
  • If the MHL counters the contract, we will need to negotiate with the buyer once again. Sometimes buyers will not negotiate or may even lose patience and walk away from the contract because of the time lapse before approval, both reasons to have a backup offer in place if possible.

Okay, take a deep breath here and don’t panic. We were detailed in describing the process and all the possible twists and turns that can occur along the way. However, MHLs are improving their programs all the time and shortening the approval process as we speak. Heck, some of the MHLs are even paying you upon a successful closing as an incentive to enter into a short sale. As we’ve stated before, a foreclosure means more loss for the MHL and they just want your smaller loss off their books.

So if you are in North Metro Atlanta and ready now to get started on the road to a better future, we are just a call, Kathy and Ben – 404-314-8129 – or email away, and we are here to help. Our market areas include Woodstock, Alpharetta, Milton, Johns Creek, Roswell, Marietta,  East Cobb, and surrounding cities.





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