Be very careful when signing up with one of these short sale companies

Some important items you will need to file for a short sale. 1. When submitting an application to your bank you will have to write a handwritten hardship letter. 2. If they ask you to sign a contract have it reviewed by an attorney.

3. 2 recent bank statements 4. 2 recent pay stubs 5.

Copy of last years tax bill 6. HOA Bill 7. The most recent listing agreement if the house was listed to sell.

Let me try and simplify what these companies try and do. They will have you make up a hand written hardship letter even if there is no hardship. They will tell you to make it very personal and emotional. They also will tell you that they have a cash buyer for your property. What they wont tell you is that, what they are really going to do is take your house, list it at a reduced price and try and find a buyer while the paper work is submitted to the bank.

On the contract they will list their company as the purchasing buyer and they will ask you to sign a contract with no price and say that they will negotiate the price with the bank. They will try and do a double close. What this means is that if they locate a buyer, the price that they have negotiated with the bank will be less than the buyer will pay therefore they profit the difference. For arguments sake, say they have negotiated with the bank a price $100 that the bank will accept as the selling price. They will sell the house for as much as they can above the $100 price.

This will all take place as soon as you sign the listing agreement with one of these short sales company. They get to profit the difference of what they have negotiated with the bank and what the buyer will pay. What you need to understand that it is quite possible that the bank will give u a 1099 for the balance that they lose from a short sale and this will increase taxes you owe to the IRS. So these slick companies who you are led to believe are helping you are really not. Usually the first offer they make to the bank is around 50-60% of what you owe.

Some banks who are overweight in real estate may accept those numbers leaving a hefty balance owed the bank. You must insist if you are going to do one of these is to include in your contract that the bank NOT HOLD YOU responsible or give u a 1099 for the difference. For you to get the most value out of your home, list your house with an experienced short sale Realtor who will get you the maximized amount and negotiate with the banks for your benefit not to maximize profit for his company. The higher amount the Realtor could get from an interested buyer will help you in the long run if you are upside down on the loan. If the bank issues you a 1099 you want to make it for the least amount as possible.

This decision is a very important decision. If you decide to use one of these companies find out how much money they will be making off the sale of your house at closing. Don't sign a listing agreement with them and watch they wont buy your house.

Why should one of these companies make money off of you and than you will owe the bank more when the house sells if he bank does not release you. Make sure they put a purchase price in the contract and don't leave it blank. Don't mislead the banks with phony hardship letters. If you cant make the payments than thats what you use. As always be very careful when giving out your personal information like social security numbers, bank statements, pay stubs, date of birth. Know the person or company and research and check to see if they are a legitimate company.

F. Lanni is a Top Producin Realtor in the Million Dollar Club

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