Greater Atlanta Real Estate

What Is A Short Sale?

A short sale is when a property is being sold for less than it is worth. The lender must agree to the short sale and a process must be followed.
  1. The homeowner must be in a distressed state, which means they are behind in payments and the property is usually facing foreclosure.

  2. A set of documents must be completed to prove the homeowner cannot continue mortgage payments. A hardship letter explaining the cause of the financial distress is usually required as well.

  3. Effort must have been made to put the home on the market at its full market value with a detailed report of the sales activity.

  4. If the lender approves the short sale, a buyer is found and a set price is agreed upon, the sales process would then continue as a normal sale would.
Much of the time the lender will pay almost all of the seller’s required fees and commissions. The homeowner may walk away owing nothing, but they cannot walk away with any proceeds from the sale. The entire process can usually take between 3-12 months and the help of a knowledgeable Greater Atlanta area real estate expert, such as The Safford Group is invaluable.

The Short Sale Process

After the homeowner begins working with The Safford Group there are some steps we will guide the homeowner through to initiate the short sale.

The Preparation Steps:

• The Safford Group of REALTORS will visit the property for an initial appointment where they will answer any questions on any of the documents involved in the short sale process.
• We will prepare a virtual tour and take photos to use in marketing the property.
• A damage and repairs review will be prepared in order to state any issues with the property that need to be used in negotiations with the lender.

The Marketing Steps:

• The property will be listed for sale in the MLS.
• The Safford Group will begin our marketing strategy.
• A line of communication will begin between the lender and the homeowner and their real estate professional.
• The property will be shown as much as possible and the asking price will be lowered every 15 days (on the 1st and 15th) until a viable offer is received.
• Offers are received and given to the homeowner for review and signature and then are submitted to the lender.

The Lender Negotiation:

• If the offer is accepted, it will be signed and a contract begins.
• The lender needs current copies of bank statements and paycheck stubs.
• Any additional documentation is completed and returned in a quick manner.
• The real estate professionals will submit the Short Sale package and all required documentation to the lender.

After the offer, the lender either accepts or doesn’t accept. If the offer is accepted, the buyer will be informed that the closing can begin. The closing will be scheduled with a title company and the buyer can make any final inspections. Homeowner will vacate the property and leave broom swept and completely empty, unless otherwise specified. The buyer and homeowner both meet at the title company to sign final paperwork and turn over all keys and remotes. The title is transferred and new owner takes over the property and the lender issues a mortgage satisfaction and the document is recorded in public records. If the offer is not accepted, the lender may make a counter offer and if it is accepted by buyer, the process with continue on. If buyer does not accept and no amount can be agreed upon, then the property goes back on the market to await a suitable buyer.

To make the process easier to understand and undertake the property owner would benefit by contacting a real estate professional, such as The Safford Group REALTORS.

We at The Safford Group, REALTORS do our best to provide you with current and accurate information.  However, we are not attorneys or accountants.   Please consult with your attorney or CPA for further information and how this information may affect you personally.

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