Negotiating a Short Sale with Success

Negotiating a successful short sale with a bank on a home or other real estate may be a grueling task that could take months to achieve. But as foreclosures increase bankers seem more willing to negotiate to make a deal work – in some cases.

Short Sale

There are a series of pitfalls along the way that could find the buyer at a loss to understand why the process takes so long to get an answer from the bank at all—sometimes 3 to six months. An estimated 8 to 12% of all bank assisted short sales work, but government incentives may make it viable for more short sales to work in the future.

On April 5th the Obama administration is rolling out its Short Sale assistance program. Mortgage servicing companies will be paid $1,000 to handle successful short sales and mortgage holders will get $1,500 for signing over their property.

Critics say the fees fall short of incentivizing bankers and mortgage holders to produce more short sale transactions, but many homeowners at risk of foreclosure look to short sales for a better avenue to sell their property. Short sales are, however, only marginally better for the mortgage holder’s FICO score, according to industry analysts.

Short sales only happen when a lender agrees to accept less than what is owed on the mortgage. Some lenders will negotiate short sales, and others won’t at all. As a mortgage holder, it’s best to contact the lender’s loss mitigation department to find out first.

As a buyer trying to purchase a short sale property you may find yourself in an entirely different situation than a traditional sale. Most buyers offer less than the listed price, but in short sales it’s best to review the comparable properties and determine just how much to offer. Some short sales sell for more than the asking price, and it often takes weeks even months for lenders to respond, if they do at all.

So if you are considering making an offer to purchase a short sale your first and usually only offer should be realistic. Consider the condition of the home and the amount of money and time it will take you to bring it up to your living standards for repairs and other work.

Consider other properties that have sold in the area seriously and try to emotionally take yourself out of the equation. After all you’re dealing with the bank and they want the most they can get for the property. If most of the recent sales in an area were foreclosures you’ll typically have to offer more to get the banks attention at all.