Friday, June 11, 2010

Short sale can be a battle... watch out for landmines!

A Smooth Transaction is everyone's goal.

You may not know this, but your REALTOR® is working very diligently behind the scenes to get your bank to approve your short sale. They are faxing and re-faxing the same documents to the same departments because the bank has lost the paperwork. They are waiting 40 minutes on the phone just to speak to a representative that is now answering questions about foreclosure dates and HAFA guidelines that last week was processing insurance payments for the Auto Division. They are keeping all these plates spinning and here’s a little checklist of things that you can be doing to minimize problems when your approval letter comes in.

Open your mail and read it.

The bank may have something important to say and they may be do that by mail. If you receive anything that is time sensitive or refers to a court action, please get that to your REALTOR® right away.

Be cautious on the phone

When the bank calls and you answer refer them back to your listing agent. They may ask you questions about terms that you may not understand and a wrong answer can stop your transaction dead in the tracks.

Please dont take your appliances or other attached items.

Remember you are handing your home over to a buyer that is excited about your home and loves it just the way they saw it. You aren't giving it to the bank. Be kind. If you didnt exclude it from your listing agreement it stays. Dont try to get money for those window shutters, door knobs, plumbing and light fixtures and most of all your appliances. You will have to replace anything that you sold, or find another buyer.

Pay your Home Owners Association Dues

Some banks are refusing to pay past HOA bills. If you don’t pay your bill as it comes, you may have to pay past due payments, late charges and attorney fees or court costs if they file a lien for non-payment. Your bill could end up being substantially higher for non-payment.

Pay your Home Owners Insurance

You still own your home. You are still liable if somebody gets hurt on your property. There is still the risk of fires, etc…

Resist the urge to spend your money.

You are probably not financially able to pay your entire mortgage but now have “extra” money each month. Resist, resist, resist buying those things that you have wanted or planning that dream vacation until after your home has closed. Save, save, save your extra money. Banks are frequently asking for cash contributions or owners to share the loss and contribute $5,000 to $20,000 to the transaction. Of course your Agent will try to negotiate that away or reduced, but you may need to bring in those funds. If they get it waived great, you will need a vacation. If they don’t it could kill your deal and instead of having a short sale on your credit report you may have a foreclosure. Instead of purchasing again in an estimated 2-3 years it could be 5-7 years.

Keep the Utilities on, especially if your home is vacant.

Turn down your thermostat for your furnace and hot water heater. Turn off the water valve that enters your house. Invest in an automatic timed light switch like your grandmother had to keep a light on at night. There are people that want to live in your vacant home at night. The banks are less likely to postpone foreclosures on vacant properties. They don’t want to risk the property being vandalized.

Landscaping…Just Do It or pay a teen ager.

Your neighbors and your agent will appreciate that. If you live in a community that has rules about upkeep they will fine you and call your agent over and over and over. Be kind and mow.

Swimming Pools

Put a lock on your backyard gate. Mosquitoes and Algae are big problems. Both are hazardous to kids and pets. If a pet or child falls into a dirty pool nobody may notice. Make sure you run your filter and add chlorine. You don’t want to have any harm come to anyone.

Thanks for listening. Thanks for being responsible. Now when the approval comes in you can be ready for that 30 day closing.

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