A Short Sale occurs when a homeowner who is unable to meet their debt obligations, sells their home for less than the amount owed the lien holders; and the lien holders agree to release their lien on the property and accept less than the full amount owed on the loan.
Successfully managing a short sale involves properly preparing and submitting the proposal, consistent follow-up with all parties involved, managing the expectations of all parties, and knowing how to manage the ever changing requirements of the lending institutions.
The attorneys at C.M. O’Neal & Company, PC have over 7 years experience negotiating successful short sales. There are several reasons why you should use an attorney when trying to negotiate a short sale:
- Unlike non-attorney organizations that provide short sale services, an attorney has a fiduciary duty to act on your behalf, and is regulated by rules of professional conduct that apply to all attorneys. These rules require attorneys to maintain strict confidentiality and to avoid conflicts of interest.
- Attorneys generally have more training and experience in negotiations – particularly negotiating settlements in adversarial or semi-adversarial situations. Remember, a short sale is, in effect, a settlement agreement with your lender. Important negotiation points are (1) whether the bank will release you from further liability after the sale; (2) what the bank will report to the credit agencies; and (3) whether the bank will permit you to pay some or all of your expenses (such as realtor commissions and attorneys’ fees) from the proceeds of the closing.
- Lenders often will be more likely to take your matter seriously and devote more attention to it if they know you have hired an attorney.
The team at C.M. O’Neal & Company is committed to the following:
- Securing an Owners & Encumbrances Report or Title Search to ascertain liens and judgments on title before submission to the lender,
- Monitoring the banks progress on a weekly basis,
- Negotiating Counter Offers,
- Negotiating settlements with subordinate lien holders,
- Negotiating and securing releases for State and Federal Tax Liens,
- Updating all parties on a weekly basis, and
- Assisting with closing/settlement.
Our approach for homeowners/sellers, buyers and real estate professionals makes the short sale transaction occur in a timely and proficient manner.
C.M. O’Neal & Company, PC (“CMO”)
Short Sale Negotiation Process
- CMO will conduct an in-person, in-office Short Sale Consultation with Seller/Homeowner,
- CMO will contact lender during consultation to ascertain whether or not Seller qualifies for a Pre-Approved Price/Pre-Listing Short Sale,
- CMO will give Seller instructions to download Short Sale Package and upload documentation onto website,
- Once documentation is received, CMO will submit Third Party Authorization to the lender(s),
- Listing Agent will upload their required documentation onto website,
- Milestone Title, LLC will prepare an Owner’s & Encumbrances Report to ascertain any liens or judgments that may be attached to the property, or
- CMO will collect $250 from Seller and order a Preliminary Title Search to ascertain any liens or judgments that may be attached to the property (See Title Search & Lien Search Disclosure),
- CMO will collect Mandatory Lien Certificate Fee (required – See Title Search & Lien Search Disclosure),
- Once the sales contract is received and reviewed, Milestone Title will prepare the Preliminary HUD-1 Settlement Statement,
- Seller(s) will upload updated Bank Statements & Paystubs onto website every 30 days,
- CMO will submit the Short Sale Proposal to the lender and check back two (2) days later to ensure receipt,
- The file will then be in the document review phase with the lender while the negotiator is being assigned and the BPO or Appraisal is being ordered. This takes about 30 days.
- All files are monitored on a weekly basis by CMO throughout the entire process and weekly email updates are sent to both real estate professionals. Communication is the KEY to Short Sale Success!
- Once the BPO or Appraisal is received back by the lender(s) (takes about 15 days) and the lender further reviews the file, the lender submit the terms of its Counter Offer based on the Investor Guidelines.
- Keep in mind that the time it takes to receive the Counter Offer varies with each lender depending on the number of investors involved that back the loan and whether or not there is mortgage insurance on the loan.
- Once the Counter Offer is received the following happens:
- the terms are discussed with all parties,
- the terms & HUD-1 are then adjusted until accepted by all parties, and
- the possible negotiation of multiple counter offers.
- After all the terms have been accepted it takes about 5-10 days to receive a formal written Approval letter from the lender.
- Buyers are expected to close 30-45 days after written sort sale approval or from the settlement date written in the Sales Contract.