Short Sales: Stacking the Deck in Your Favor
A short sale is a sale in which the lenders allows the sale of a property for an amount less than the existing loan balance. Short sales have the potential for large profits because you, as the real estate investor, are gaining control of the property for a better than expected price.
The properties and situations that will ultimately be approved for a short sale by the lender usually fit a certain profile. When you’re investigating properties and scouting for leads, keep these different factors in mind to improve your chances of getting permission for a short sale agreement. Likely short sale candidates fit a profile that includes factors about the property, the borrower and the lender.
Short Sale Positive Factors for Properties
First of all, certain properties end up being more attractive for the short sale option than others. This includes houses that were purchased or refinanced at a high comparative price, but have since dropped in value due to the real estate market or the condition of the house. This could also include houses that were refinanced at more than their market value based on a high appraisal. Sometimes economic conditions can cause the values of certain areas to spiral downward. Properties located in these affected areas may fit the profile for likely short sales.
Sometimes the property’s value drops below the loan balance for reasons not under control by the owner. Local or even national economic conditions can be at fault. In some cases, the owner’s failure to maintain the property causes it to deteriorate and dramatically lose value. If the lender judges that it’s not financially sound to put things right, they may be more willing to consider a short sale. If the price you propose in your short sale agreement is more than the lender believes they can net after the foreclosure auction, they may favorably consider your short sale proposal.
Short Sale Positive Factors for Borrowers
Lenders are going to take a long, hard look at the borrower and his financial condition before they approve any sort of short sale agreement. In particular, they will want to know if the borrower or someone in their immediate family has experienced a catastrophic illness that has reduced the household to near bankruptcy. The death of a spouse or a divorce could have similar financial consequences on the remaining partner. Forced relocation of the borrower by his employer may be viewed favorably by the lender in a short sale decision, especially if the owner is unable to rent or sell the property. Other significant changes in the borrower’s working situation, including permanent disability, active military service, unemployment or incarceration will also be considered.
Short Sale Positive Factors for Lenders
Finally, even the lender’s own situation may affect their willingness to approve a short sale application package. The lender’s general financial condition plus the status of other loans in their portfolio will bear on the decision making process. This also goes for any third party investor who may actually own the loan. If a government agency insures the loan, then their policies and procedures will need to be met.
To sum up, if the lender believes that the borrower is truly in a hardship situation, then it’s pretty much a comparison of the short sale price compared to what the lender believes they can net after the public foreclosure auction. By essentially “pre-qualifying” the homeowner, the market and the home itself, you can improve your chances of putting together a successful short sale agreement.