How Does a Short Sale Work and Legal Issues in FL

Selling your home isn’t always easy. You could have emotions attached to the house even though you know it’s time to move on. You might also worry about what you need to do to get your home sold based on your current situation. A short sale may be the right move for you and your family, but there can be a lot of legal red tape that surrounds this type of sale. It’s time to get familiar with the legal issues that may arise during the short sale of a Florida home to help you prepare. Understanding a short sale can be hard because it’s complex. There can be issues with buyers, property inspections and legality issues as well as dealing with liens and promissory notes.

how does a short sale workWhat Is a Short Sale?

A short sale is different from traditional real estate transactions in that the amount of money that the buyer is going to pay for the home is less than all of the debts the seller has on the home. These debts are in the form of liens, such as mortgages or tax debts. In this type of sale, not only does the buyer and seller have to agree to the terms that are set, but the lien holders also have to agree to this sale since the amount will be less than the amount that is actually owed to them. This is an oversimplification of the process of a short sale, which helps to illustrate how complicated this process can be. That being said, it can still be a viable choice for some people who need to sell their home.

Property Inspection

During a short sale, the buyers of the property have the right to have the property inspected. This means that the buyer can have an inspector create an estimate of the amount of money needed for repairs on the house. If you’ve been unable to keep up with repairs or regular maintenance, there’s the chance that buyers may be put off by what may be necessary to bring the house up to selling condition.

Liens and Promissory Notes

In a short sale, any liens and promissory note holders must be willing to agree to the transaction. Often, you may find that the lien holders are either unwilling to agree to the short sale, or that they are willing to do so but plan on seeking a personal judgment against you to make up for the difference. This may be different in the case of situations where you may be facing foreclosure or other circumstances.

Seller Beware

As the short sale process is different from traditional home sales, there’s another point of worry in that sellers need to be aware of their buyers. Some buyers may not be qualified to purchase the home through the short sale, and might end up wasting time which leads to nothing but frustration.

Seller Expectations

You may also fall into an issue with your own expectations. You may think that you’ll be able to sell your home much more quickly in this fashion, but that’s not necessarily the case. A short sale can still take weeks or months depending on your circumstances, and this may not fit with your timeline.

Verifying Legalities

Bank-owned short sales often not disclose issues with a home that may come to light during a normal sale. Since you’re selling your home yourself, the disclosure process in your short sale might feel like it’s up in the air. Do you disclose or do you follow the bank’s lead with the as-is policy? What are the repercussions of selling your home in either fashion? This is an area that leads us to the next point: getting expert help.

Importance of Hiring Your Own Attorney

Real estate is not an easy industry to understand with all the ins and outs for people that aren’t familiar with it. There are some people that are able to handle buying and selling their property on their own in a traditional sales setting.

Complexity of Short Sales

That being said, the very nature of short sales makes them a different situation entirely. They can be very complex to maneuver through and are best navigated when using an expert attorney that has gone through this process with other clients in the past. Issues that come up can seem insurmountable when going through a short sale on your own, but with an attorney’s guidance you’ll be able to find the right options while making the best choices.

Short sales are a real estate option that is necessary for some homeowners who want to sell their home quickly. Knowing that the ins and outs of this process can be complicated. There’s the inspection process, getting lien holders to agree, dealing with buyers, and so much more that make this harder than the traditional route. That’s why it’s always best to have an expert in your corner to walk you through all the bumps in the road.

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Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from Ansley Law Firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter.