Here is the scenario, you see a great home available for sale. The price seems a little high, but it still looks like a good value. You think buying would be an easy way to turn a profit or buy a cheap first home. After a little bit of research, you see or hear that the home is nearing foreclosure. What do you do?
The first thing you should do is contact the real estate agent selling the home. If the home is being sold by the owner, schedule a meeting. See the home and inspect it for your own eyes. If satisfied with what you see, ask to do a professional inspection. If you are truly getting a good deal, make an offer. If you feel the asking prices is too high, make a lower offer. If the home is entering into foreclosure soon, the homeowner may be willing to work with you.
After all, they are selling their home to avoid foreclosure. But, you may run into a problem. The homeowner may be unable to lower their selling price, due to the outstanding mortgage due. So, what do you do? You ask about a short sale.
Not all borrowers, even those nearing foreclosure, are familiar with short sales. Unfortunately, many believe their only two options are to sell the home or enter into foreclosure. Borrowers actually have many options, starting with refinancing, reconditioned loans, and short sales. If a homeowner plainly states they cannot lower their selling price due to their mortgage, ask if they have considered a short sale. If they are unfamiliar with the process, they may ask you for more information.
A short sale is when the borrower and mortgage lender agree to sell a property for less than the outstanding mortgage due. Borrowers who suggest short sales want to avoid foreclosure. They want their credit to suffer little damage. Mortgage lenders also want to avoid foreclosure. Proceedings are long, full of hassle, and costly. The worst that can happen is the borrower or lender will say no. You have nothing to lose, so why not offer the suggestion to the borrower and current seller.
For. a mortgage lender to accept a short sale, the borrower needs to prove they cannot afford their payments. They do this by submitting proof of income, assets, and a hardship letter. This hardship letter details the reason they are in debt. It may be due to health complications, job loss, reduction in pay, or an adjustable rate mortgage. If a mortgage lender is open to a short sale, these documents will be sent to the borrower.
When suggesting short sales to soon-to-be foreclosed persons, it is important to not give them false home. Lenders reserve the right to say no. Also, depending on the lender in question, they may be required to pay back the difference. For example, if the outstanding mortgage is $75,000 and if you buy the home for $65,000, they may have to pay back the $10,000 difference. Some lenders do forgive this debt and others will set up affordable payment plans. Your best takers for short sales are borrowers who don’t want to damage their credit or declare bankruptcy.
If you are prepared to buy the home if a short sale is accepted, work with the borrower. When they submit their documents for approval, submit a purchase offer. When all documents are submitted together, mortgage lenders are more likely to approve. There are no guarantees that short sale properties sell. Mortgage lenders not only take a loss, but they take a risk. A purchase offer can sway them to a yes.