Posts Tagged ‘short sale listings in Oakland County MI’

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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Tired of calling your agent with homes you find on Realtor.com or on your agent’s IDX site (consumer MLS) only to be told that many of those homes are pending? And many of those same homes are still showing as active a month or two or six later? I would be frustrated and start to wonder if MY agent was lying to me. I would start to wonder if MY agent had another reason for not wanting to even SHOW me those homes.


Your agent isn’t lying. The CCS status is an ACTIVE status and is highly misused. CCS was originally for homes that had an accepted offer subject to the sale of another house. We called that a 72 hour contingency clause, and basically the seller would keep their home on the market and if another acceptable offer came in the first buyer had 72 hours to remove their contingency and go through with the sale (prove sale of their own home or buy without selling) OR back out and the seller would proceed with the second offer.

Fast forward to the day of the short sale!Short sale” is simply another contingency in an offer to purchase. It is a seller contingency and is no different than a buyer contingency of mortgage approval or satisfactory home inspection. It IS a contingency that normally takes longer to satisfy than other “normal” contingencies. The sale is contingent on the seller obtaining a reduced mortgage payoff from their lien holder(s)- reduced enough to accommodate the offer price in the offer to purchase.


At this point a listing agent often changes the listing status to CCS – contingent continue to show. Let me be absolutely clear at this point:

  • The buyer and seller have a fully executed purchase agreement.
  • That purchase agreement contains contingencies just like every other fully executed purchase agreement
  • One of those contingencies is a short sale contingency which can take several months to satisfy

I don’t know why a listing agent would still leave the listing with an active status (CCS is an active status). Does that agent REALLY think buyers will be lining up to place back up offers on a pending home? Are the current buyers so flighty they may walk and lose their earnest money? Or is the original offer so poorly written that the buyer IS ABLE to walk without consequences? Or possibly the listing agent wants to keep the listing with an active status to pick up buyer leads? CCS in the MLS still sends our listings to Realtor.com, MoveInMichigan.com, etc. Or maybe this is just becoming such a common practice that most agents don’t even think and automatically mark their pending short sale listings CCS.

Whatever the reasons:


Search the MLS (skip over the CCS listings!)

What Makes a Good Short Sale Agent

The Short Sale Approval is Also Subject to the Seller’s Approval of the Short Sale Terms

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