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Action Realty: We Produce & Direct Your Next Move

Short $ale

 A Guide To Understanding The Process

1. What Is A Short Sale?


It’s a transaction where two unique events must occur together.

  1. Net Proceeds Sale Loss

    A short sale occurs when your net proceeds from the sale
    is insufficient to cover your note balance(s).

  2. Lender Agreement

    The lender(s) agrees to release its mortgage lien(s) and note obligations on the home in exchange for payment less than the full loan balance.



2. Why Would A Lender Agree To A Short Sale?

  1. Lender Loses Less As Compared To A Foreclosure

    The discounted payoff of the short sale must be less than the lender’s cost to foreclose.

    • Legal fees on foreclosure
    • Title closing of property
    • Holding of property until a successful resale
    • Maintenance of property until a successful resale
    • Commission & marketing cost of resale

  2. Seller Distress

    The lender will agree to a short sale if the seller can prove distress.

    • Seller is in default on mortgage
    • Seller can document financial distress
    • Seller has a firm sale which generates insufficient proceeds
    • Seller sale provides no net to seller
    • Seller proves current market comparables support sale price


3. Why Would A Seller Agree To A Short Sale?


Potential Seller Benefits

  1. It may have less impact on your credit rating as compared to a Deed-In-Lieu of foreclosure.
  2. Your lender may stop reporting missed payments to credit agencies.
  3. Provides more time for you to act in this difficult situation.
  4. You may buy another home sooner as compared to a foreclosure.


4. What Must A Seller Do To Prepare For A Short Sale?


The following is a checklist of what you may need to gather to gain permission from your lender to authorize a Short Sale.

  • Hardship letter
  • Appraisal
  • Deed
  • Financial information worksheet
  • Statement of Assets & Liabilities
  • Net worth summary
  • Copy of property tax bill
  • Copy of 2 recent bank statements
  • Copy of 2 recent pay stubs
  • Copy of 2 recent IRS tax returns
  • Late bills summary
  • Medical bills
  • Divorce decree
  • Child support payments
  • Unemployment benefits
  • SSI income
  • Power of Attorney
  • Authorization to sell
  • Homeowner association information
  • Other to be determined by lender


5. What Is The Short Sale Selling Process?

  1. Seller signs listing agreement with real estate agent subject to selling as a short sale with third-part approval.
  2. Agent finds buyer who offers less than note owing.
  3. Seller accepts buyer’s offer.
  4. Seller’s lender accepts buyer’s offer.
  5. Transaction closes when the buyer delivers the funds, the lender releases the lien, and the seller delivers the deed.


6. What Are The Qualifications For A Short Sale?


If you cannot answer yes to all four questions, you may not qualify for a short sale.

  1. Has The Home’s Market Value Has Dropped?

    Appraisal validates and substantiates home is worth less than the unpaid balance due on the note to the lender.

  2. Is The Mortgage In or Near Default Status?

    Many lenders are will help homeowners even though there are not actually in default. You will need to consult your lender to determine their position on short sales.

  3. Is The Seller In Hardship?

    You must submit a letter of hardship explaining why you cannot pay the difference due upon sale, including why you have or will stop making the monthly payments.

  4. Does The Seller Have No Assets?

    The lender will want to see a copy of your tax returns and a financial statement. If the lender discovers assets, the lender may grant the short sale but could require seller to pay back all or part of the deficiency.


7. What Does Not Constitute Hardship?

  1. Bad Purchase Decisions.

    Blowing your paycheck on a car stereo system with surround sound does not qualify as a hardship.

  2. Unhappy With The Neighbors

    This does not qualify as a hardship.

  3. Buying Another Home.

    The lender will not care if you have decided the home is no longer suitable for you or your family.


8. How Is A Short Sale Different From A Normal Sale?

  1. Marketing

    There is no difference. We’ll utilize our extensive marketing program.

  2. Buyers

    There is a big difference. Short sale buyers are price sensitive and driven.

  3. Home Pricing

    There is a big difference. Appraisal is based upon other short sales comparing apples to apples.

  4. Other MLS Agents

    They will know you are in short sale and will inform their buyers. The appraisal is included in MLS Confidential.

  5. Sale Impact

    Having buyers and agents fully aware of the short sale status increases the likelihood of a fast sale.

    This is exactly what we want given your financial situation and the decreasing property value trend now prevalent in the market.


9. What Are The Consequences of a Short Sale?

  1. Potential IRS Tax Consequences

    If the lender agrees to the short sale, the lender may possess the right to issue you a 1099 for the shorted difference due to a provision in the IRS code about debt forgiveness.

    • Many situations are exempt from debt forgiveness, according to the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007.

      You should speak to a real estate lawyer and a tax accountant to determine the amount, if any, of short sale tax consequences.

  2. Deficiency Judgment

    The lender has the right to pursue a summary Judgment for the deficiency.


    The bank was owed $300,000 and sold short for $210,000. The deficiency is $90,000. The lender sues the seller for the deficiency.

    Without the help of a good attorney, or loss mitigation company, this is far more likely to happen. Therefore you must act in advance in efforts to prevent this issue from happening on your short sale. 

  3. Blemished Credit Record

    Short sales will show up on credit reports as a pre-foreclosure in redemption status. Depending on your lender, it may or may or have the same impact as compared to a foreclosure. The typical short sale will affect credit up to 2 years, while a foreclosure 5-7 years.

    Seek Specific Relief

    However most creditors may not make the distinction when reporting unless you seek specific relief. This is why a good attorney, or loss mitigation company, who specializes in the short sale process is well advised. 


10. Which Is Better, Foreclosure or Short Sale?

  1. Both Hurt But A Short Sale May Be Better

    Fannie Mae: August 2008

    Due to the increased incidence of preforeclosure [short] sales, Fannie Mae is establishing a 2-year elapsed time period for reestablishing credit following completion of the action.

    A foreclosure client must wait 5 to 7 years, maintain at least a 680 credit score in the sixth and seventh year, and pay a minimum 10 percent down on future home purchase.


11. What Are The First Steps To A Short Sale?

  1. My Role

    As a Realtor I cannot give you legal or financial advice as both fall outside my area of expertise and the scope of my license. It is for this reason I strongly recommend hiring an attorney and a loss mitigation company before you make a final selling decision. The 3 keys to successful short sale are: disclose-disclose-disclose!

  2. Lender Requirement

    You must prepare and submit a Short Sale Approval Application Kit with your lender before you can begin selling as a short sale.

Our Office Location

  • Action Realty
  • 305 Martha Lee Dr.
  • Hampton, VA 23666

Contact Information

  • Office: 757-249-1400
  • Direct: 800-446-1137

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  • Weddy carter and Action Realty were incredible in assisting us in locating and purchasing our first home. Weddy was extremely accessible and helpful, always more than willing to meet with us and answer our questions in a timely and professional manner. She was instrumental in ensuring that we found a home appropriately priced, was within our budget and more than meet our needs. Weddy went above and beyond her responsibilities to ensure our experience was fun, exciting, and successful! Weddy is an awesome person and I would highly recommend both her and Action Realty to anyone!

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