Orlando Short Sale Expert Q & A
In this post, we address the most common questions among consumers about short sales and how they differ from traditional sales. In the hot seat, today will be our very own Orlando short sale expert Jenny Zamora. She’s been successfully doing short sales since 2004 way before most people even knew what a short sale was.
Question: What’s the difference between a short sale and a traditional sale in a real estate transaction?
Jenny Zamora: In a short sale scenario, the home is sold for less than what’s owed on the mortgage. Short sales usually take much longer to complete because they need to be approved by the lender/mortgage holder. Sometimes there is more than one mortgage on the home which can sometimes complicate things if both lenders don’t agree.
Once the lender [s] have agreed to the short sale amount then it becomes a normal transaction with a contract signed by both the seller and buyer.
Question: How is a foreclosure different from a short sale?
Jenny Zamora: A foreclosure is when the lender files a lawsuit against the homeowner because they’ve failed to make several mortgage payments and haven’t pursued any other options such as a short sale, loan modification, or paying off the loan. As a result, the property is either sold at a public auction or taken back by the bank if the reserve hasn’t been met.
With a short sale, the homeowner is usually between 60 to 180 days behind on their mortgage payments because of some kind of personal or financial hardship. The property also must be worth less than what’s owed on the note for the short sale to be approved. Although a seller can’t profit from a short sale, many lenders often provide the sellers with relocation costs [usually around $3000] so they have money to help them move into another home.
A short sale however isn’t nearly as bad nor does it stay on your credit report as long as a foreclosure will.
Question: How long does it take to complete a short sale in today’s market?
Jenny Zamora: Short sales used to take 3 to 4 months and even longer to complete even if you followed up with the banks several times per week. As a result, many buyers were getting frustrated and walking away. This happened mostly because lenders just weren’t equipped to handle that many short sales at once and they had no systems in place to help streamline the process. These days, lenders have systems in place and more staff to help move the short sale processing along much faster resulting in much faster responses, typically within 2 to 3 weeks.
Question: Do you have any advice for someone wanting to purchase a short sale?
Jenny Zamora: 1st and foremost to make sure they’re dealing with a short sale specialist. If the agent isn’t familiar with short sales and how they work you could end up being disappointed and not getting your offer approved. Even though I’ve been doing short sales in Orlando since 2004, I’m constantly keeping up to date on the latest information when it comes to short sales, bank procedures, and guidelines.
An experienced short-sale Realtor knows how important it is to stay up to date. Just like there are specialists in the medical field, the same holds in Orlando real estate. We specialize in foreclosure prevention and short sales which is why our company is so proactive in staying educated and informed.
Question: What are the things that can most likely go wrong with a short sale transaction?
Jenny Zamora: Some things can happen with a short sale that is sometimes beyond our control. The most important thing to realize is that it’s ultimately up to the lender to approve or deny a short sale offer. This is another reason to work with a short sales specialist. If the bank comes back with a value that’s way too high, we have to do everything we can to dispute their valuation. Sometimes that means providing contractor’s estimates for repairs as well as a CMA on the home.
A traditional listing agent may not even be aware that you can dispute the bank’s valuation of a property and just let the deal fall apart.
Do you need a Realtor to short sale?
Question: Do you need a Realtor to short sell a home or buy a short sale?
Jenny Zamora: Yes and Yes… and I can’t stress enough to hire a Realtor with a lot of experience in short sales. On the seller’s side, the home needs to be listed by an agent as a requirement by the lender. You also want a strong negotiator in your corner.
As a buyer, it isn’t required to hire your own buyer’s agent. However, if you don’t then you’ll end up using the listing agent as your agent… I strongly recommend you hire your agent that way you have someone looking out solely for your best interests, especially when it comes to negotiating.