Short Sales & Short Sales Assistance

Short Sales & Short Sales Assistance

There has been a lot in the news about Short Sales & Foreclosures and some scams out there. I just wanted to write this bit of information regarding its uses, common misconceptions & cautions.

1. Be careful of unsolicited short sale/ foreclosure advice. Not to say they may not be able to deliver, but you need to exercise caution, if the deal sounds too good to be true, it just might be.

2. Your first contact should be with an attorney to assist you in your efforts. Massachusetts has a great website with a lot of official information on it specific to special plans & authorized companies to assist homeowners. http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=ocasubtopic&L=4&L0=Home&L1=Consumer&L2=Housing+Information&L3=Foreclosure+Resources&sid=Eoca
3. A short sale or foreclosure has certain legal requirements and can create tax concerns. Only a CPA and/or attorney can give you the professional guidance needed. There are a lot of well intentioned real estate agents/brokers out there that would be glad to assist you but it should be in conjunction with your own attorney to make sure all of your interests are protected. Different real estate groups offer training and/or certification in Loss Prevention or some other similar designation. This is a good start in an agents/brokers education but it really takes a lot of successful transactions to be able to offer this assistance as a professional level. It’s really a highly specialized niche of real estate. You should look for an agent/broker that has already done a lot of these transactions. Someone who has an established track record with lenders (especially the one you are dealing with). This is where the experience of handling a lot of these transactions comes in. It takes a lot to learn the requirements of the different lenders and their policies they operate by. This isn’t to say some newly certified agent/broker can’t be of assistance but they should be overseen/mentored by a more experienced agent/broker familiar with the process.

4. Get your documentation together. Get the correct phone #’s, email addresses, postal mail locations, copies of your bank statements, tax documents and any correspondences between you and your lender. Remember, don’t simply ignore the situation, lenders are more willing to work things out if you maintain a dialogue with them.

5. If you don’t have an attorney your familiar with and trust, even though it’s difficult, ask friends, family, colleagues for a referral to an attorney they use and trust. You can even call the local Bar Association for a referral to an attorney local to you who specializes in these types of situations. Your lender will be using an attorney and I highly recommend you do as well.

6. The attorney may be able to recommend an agent/brokerage they use for these types of situations. Interview them to see if they can work with you and you feel comfortable with their level of experience & their ability to assist you.

7. Have any contract you sign reviewed by your attorney before you sign so you understand everything completely. These types of listing agreements often have non-standard language and you need to fully comprehend what it is you are contracting to do and have done.

TO BE CONTINUED: NEXT – GETTING THE PROPERTY READY


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