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How attorneys can help navigate short sales

The good news is that the housing market, nationally, has recently made positive strides. The bad news is that many South Carolina homeowners still owe more on their homes than they are worth and the state is one of the highest in the nation in foreclosures.

One option may be to consider a short sale. A short sale is a sale that occurs on a home before foreclosure occurs. In this situation, the sale is for less than is listed on the mortgage. The lender must agree to the sale, however, but it can be beneficial to all parties in some cases. A short sale is less damaging on a credit report than a foreclosure, for one thing. And a short sale will still greatly reduce or eliminate mortgage debt.

A real estate attorney experienced with short sales can help by determining the value of the home to ensure that it is eligible for the short sale. The attorney will also complete all formwork that needs to be done in order for the home and the seller to become qualified for a short sale. Just as importantly, an attorney can negotiate with the bank on the seller's behalf, which can possibly speed up negotiations and leaves the stress of negotiation on a professional.

Foreclosure is sometimes necessary. However, if possible, a short sale is a great way for a seller to get out of an underwater home with the least amount of impact on their credit score. If you are a homeowner facing foreclosure or behind on your payments, contact an experienced real estate attorney in South Carolina to discuss your options.

Source: Forbes, "How Real Estate Professionals Can Help Clients Navigate Short Sales and Foreclosures," Jean Folger, July 15, 2013

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