Posts Tagged ‘short sale listing’

Oakland County MI Seller- When Foreclosure May Be Your Best Option

If you need to move, and you’re upside down on your mortgage, short selling your house isn’t always the best option. Sometimes bringing the difference to closing is best. Sometimes renting your house out instead of selling is your best option.

And sometimes letting the house foreclose is your best option.

I had a call from someone yesterday who wanted me to find him a house to lease. He had a “short sale specialist” lined up to list his current home. After talking a bit he told me his house had already sold at sheriff’s sale this past December, so while we were on the phone I looked it up in the public records. The bank had bought it back for $130,000. I asked what he owed- less than $120,000.

THERE IS NO DEFICIENCY!! Nothing for the bank to come after him for over the next 10 years. Foreclosure or short sale– both screw your credit and either way he’s looking at 2 or 3 years before he can get a mortgage. So why would he want to go through the headache of a short sale? Why not live out the next 5+ months rent free and save his money, THEN find a rental? Why didn’t the “short sale specialist” give him his options? That last question will be the topic of a future post.

Other times a person may want to consider allowing their house to go into foreclosure instead of going through the hell of a short sale is when you are planning in filing bankruptcy. If bankruptcy is possibly in your future, you need to talk to a bankruptcy attorney before signing a listing.

In Michigan you have possession of the house for 6+ months after the sheriff’s sale and if you are on 3+ acres you have 12+ months rent free.

Everybody’s situation is different and there is no one size fits all solution. If you have any questions about possibly selling your house- short sale or regular sale, please feel free to contact me for a confidential consultation.

Jackie Hawley
Keller Williams Realty
cell: 248-736-6407


Seller Blog

For Sellers

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Oakland County MI Home Seller- The Short Sale is Subject to YOUR Approval Too

houseWhen you sell your home via short sale in Oakland County MI or Lapeer County MI one of the contingencies in both your listing agreement and purchase agreement will be (should be) “subject to seller and lien holder approval of short sale.”

The bank or banks can approve the short sale, but if you aren’t happy with the terms under which the bank approved the short sale, you don’t have to close. Sometimes foreclosure is a better alternative than a short sale. To be fair to both your agent and potential buyer,  you should discuss the alternatives with you agent, an attorney familiar with bankruptcy, and your accountant if you have one, prior to listing your house. Once you make that informed decision to list, you need to be prepared for what may happen. Some basics you should know about short sale:


  • You’re not just walking away from the deficiency without consequences unless it is negotiated with the bank or banks
  • You may have to bring money to the closing or sign a note for a portion of the deficiency in order to get the lien holder(s) to release you from liability for any deficiency
  • In Michigan the bank(s) has up to 10 years to come after you for the deficiency if it isn’t taken care of when you sell
  • If the house is sold at sheriff’s sale for the same or more than you owe there is no deficiency to hold you liable for (providing you have only 1 mortgage)

My job as a listing agent, when representing a short sale seller, is to price the home in a manner to obtain an qualified buyer at a price and terms the bank(s) holding your note will take. It is also my job to negotiate terms that are acceptable to you the seller- mainly dealing with the deficiency so you don’t get sued later. Sometimes the banks will just release you of responsibility because of my sunny personality! Sometimes they will want you to bring money to the closing. Sometimes they will want you to sign a note. Sometimes they may require money and a note.

When we meet the first time, I need you to be totally forth coming. I will not judge you. I need to know broke homeownerthe reasons you’re selling, your debts, your income, I’ll take a DNA swab- not really regarding the DNA but you get the idea. I need you to be totally honest. And I will be honest with you. I will let you know what I think you should expect. I will discuss various negotiating techniques I have found to be quite successful in bringing the short sale to a conclusion that is favorable to everybody. And I will tell you if I think you would be better off meeting with a bankruptcy attorney. Bankruptcy is NOT a dirty word! Foreclosure is NOT a dirty word!

This is the second in a series of posts about selling a short sale listing. I will be writing posts in the near future that will discuss negotiating techniques, pricing strategies, what to look for in a buyer, and post on when foreclosure may be the best option for you.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions about selling your North Oakland County or Lapeer County MI home.

Jackie Hawley
Keller Williams Realty
cell: (248)736-6407

Is a Short Sale the Right Course of Action for You?

For Sellers

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