Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Short Sales in Sullivan County

Two of my four deals currently going on are short sales, and two deals already completed this year have been short sales. It seems the inevitable changes that life brings continues, but now as more people are upside down on their mortgages than ever before, being able to pick up and move is not so easy.

So more and more people are going the short sale route. What was once the root canal of the real estate world is really not that painful anymore. The last one I did was forty-five days from offer to full acceptance. Soup to nuts as my Dad would say.

Some sellers may consider letting a property go into foreclosure rather than a short sale. With a foreclosure, especially with the backlog that still exists with big banks, a seller could stay in the property, essentially rent free, for well over year before being forced to evacuate. But that fact alone does not mean a foreclosure is better. With a short sale, yes the home will be listed, added to the MLS, people will tromp through, break appointments and invade your privacy. All the inconvenience of selling a home will be present. And what are you left with? A clean slate.

Basics of a Short Sale

Short sales happen when a lender agrees to accept less than the amount owed against the home because there is not enough equity to sell and pay all costs of sale.

How is the Seller’s Credit Affected?

According to Allan Franks, division manager at Citi Mortgage, sellers will take a bigger hit on their credit report by going through foreclosure or giving the lender a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. Franks says the points lost on a FICO score are as follows:

Foreclosure or Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure--Both of these solutions affect credit the same. Sellers will take a hit of 250 to 280 points. This means if a seller’s FICO score before foreclosure was 680, it could dip as low as 400.

Short Sale--The affect of a short sale on a seller’s credit report is much less damaging. The ding on credit will show up as a pre-foreclosure in redemption status, Franks says, which will result in a loss of 80 to 100 points. This means a short sale with a previous FICO of 680 will see it fall to 580 to 600.

Waiting Period Before Buying Another Home

Foreclosure or Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure--Franks says a seller who wants to buy another home after foreclosure will end up waiting about 36 months before a lender will offer any kind of interest rate that makes sense.

Short Sale--The good news for short sale sellers is the wait is much shorter before buying another home. “They can buy again in about 18 months at a good interest rate,” says Franks.

Short Sale / Foreclosure Deficiency Judgments

The bad news is a seller could be subject to a deficiency judgment for the difference between the loan amount and the amount paid. In New York, purchase money loans are not subject to deficiency judgments; however, hard money loans, equity loans and refinances are. Other states have laws regarding personal guarantees, which could also result in a deficiency judgment if the home owner is personally liable for loan repayment.

The lender has sole discretion whether to pursue a deficiency judgment in those instances when the judgment is permitted. To determine whether a pending foreclosure or short sale is subject to a deficiency judgment, talk to a real estate lawyer. At no point should you move forward with a short sale if a deficiency judgment is a possibility.

If you’re a seller trying to decide whether to let a home go through foreclosure versus attempting a short sale, salvaging your credit is the main advantage to doing a short sale. But seek legal and tax advice before making that decision.

I haven't done a "pick of the week" in a while but this piece in Callicoon Center is a steal. 50 acres with a stream and a pond for 99K Land Piece

There were nine single family homes listed as sold in the Sullivan County MLS in the last ten days. Click Here for Listings

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