In the current Michigan real estate market almost half of the homes that are being sold are being sold as short sales or property foreclosures. For this very reason, more and more homeowners in the Grand Rapids, West Michigan area are facing the hard facts that selling their home through the short sale process may be their only option if they wish to avoid going through the foreclosure process in Michigan.
With the economy being what it is, falling home prices, which may have bottomed out for now, and the predatory sub prime mortgage lending that had been going on for years, its no secret that there is a lot of pain being suffered by homeowners not only in the Grand Rapids area, but through out the entire country. So, if you’re a West Michigan homeowner who is upside down on your mortgage, meaning you owe more on your mortgage loan than your current home’s worth; you’re not alone in your struggle. There are millions of other hardworking homeowners in the exact same situation. In some extreme cases, homeowners are finding themselves owing 150% more on their mortgage, then their homes current worth.
Unfortunately, being upside down on their home loan is forcing many homeowners who need or wish to sell their home to subsidize the sale of their home, meaning they are making up the difference between the selling price and their mortgage balance themselves, by paying thousands of dollars out of their pockets at the home closing to make up the difference owed to their mortgage lender.
So, what is a homeowner to do that doesn’t happen to have thousands of dollars burning a hole in their pocket, sitting in the bank or in a retirement account waiting to be paid to their mortgage lender; but still needs to sell their home?
You should seek the assistance of a good short sale realtor in Grand Rapids.
Selling your home through the short sale process is a complex real estate transaction; a transaction that has a lot of moving parts and the potential for many things to go wrong that may prevent your home from selling in the first place. So it’s very important that you have a short sale realtor that has plenty of experience with the negotiating and selling of short sale properties in Michigan.
Any of the licensed realtors in Grand Rapids can list a short sale property, so you’ll want to make sure your realtor has actually successfully negotiated and closed plenty of short sale transactions before you sign a contract with them.
Here is a list of some of the qualifications and questions you should ask of any real estate agent before you select the one you want to work with.
1. How many short sale transactions have they successfully negotiated and more importantly successfully closed?
2. Do they have experience working with your current mortgage lender?
3. Do they work with an attorney and or CPA should the need arise?
4. Are they familiar with the tax consequences of a short sale transaction?
5. What is their marketing strategy for selling your home?
6. Do they have any references from previous short sale clients?
Banks and mortgage lenders don’t want to own the real estate they make loans on, however, they can often become non-cooperative in situations where they know they won’t get paid in full on a mortgage loan.
The good news is, these lenders also realize that they were part of the home mortgage problem in the first place, and understand they must cooperate to a degree to complete a sale; and avoid a possible costly foreclosure process.
That’s where the experience of a good short sale real estate agent comes in, an agent that understands the short sale process in Michigan.
It is your short sale realtor who will make your case to the mortgage lender about your intentions to negotiate a short sale transaction. They will explain the specifics of your current situation and your intentions to pay your mortgage balance to the best of your ability.
To begin the short sale process your realtor will need to understand your economic situation, which will include your household income and any money you may have in any savings or retirement accounts. Also any circumstances which may have impacted your situation, such as, divorce, health issues or loss of employment. This information will be used during their negotiation with your mortgage lender.
Next, your home will need to have a professional appraisal done to document your home’s loss in value; this appraisal information will be forwarded to the loss mitigation officer at your mortgage lender. The appraiser will determine the value by comparing your home to other like properties in the area, also accounting for the home’s physical condition.
Once this is done, your short sale realtor will place your home on the market for sale at a price range they believe your home will sell for in its current condition and the current condition of the local real estate market.
From there, nothing will really happen until a buyer comes in with a written offer. Once a written offer has been tendered, the real hard work of the short sale process begins.
Your real estate agent will take this offer to the loss mitigation officer of your mortgage lender and begin the negotiating process.
If you are working with one of the realtors in Grand Rapids that has plenty of short sale experience, your mortgage lender will already be expecting an offer for them that is for less than what you owe on your mortgage loan.
The beauty of working with an experienced short sale realtor, especially one that already has a working relationship established with your mortgage lender, is that they will already be familiar with the procedures and people they must work with within your lenders office to get the short sale through their process. Sometimes, just getting someone from your mortgage company to return calls can seem like forever, simply because these mortgage lenders are working with hundreds of short sale transactions at the same time.
To sums things up, we know that any of the realtors in Grand Rapids can list a short sale property, however, we now know how important it is to use a short sale realtor that has plenty of experience with the foreclosure process in Michigan, a working relationship with your mortgage lender, excellent negotiating abilities, and good communication skills to keep you and your potential buyer up to date with the progress of your transaction.
Working with the right short sale realtor in Grand Rapids, makes all the difference in the world when it comes to successfully negotiating your short sale transaction.