For metro Atlanta homeowners who owe more on their mortgages than their houses are worth, short sales can offer an escape. Though the short sale process is neither quick nor stress-free, it is a way to get out of a difficult mortgage situation and avoid foreclosure. Unfortunately, many Atlanta homeowners make mistakes during the short sale process.
Learn from the experiences of other sellers, and avoid these common short sale missteps.
Choosing an inexperienced agent
Short sales differ in a number of respects from regular listings. They can drag on for months, and it is best to hire an Atlanta real estate agent with extensive short sale experience who will stay on top of the process. Certification in selling distressed properties and completion of short-sale courses do not compare with actual experience. Ask a prospective agent how many short sales he or she has successfully closed. Tina and her staff of agents have successfully represented both sellers and buyers in completing short sale transactions. Our short sale experience includes working with large national banks as well as local banks and mortgage companies.
Though important, price alone will not sell a short sale. A short sale deserves the same level of marketing given to a regular listing. Short sales should be exposed to a large audience of potential buyers utilizing an established online marketing strategy in order to locate a buyer in time. Online listings should present several photographs showing that the home is in good condition.
Uncut grass, peeling paint, dirty carpets and unmade beds turn off prospective buyers. Even a lower price will not compensate for lack of maintenance. Patch up holes, clean carpets, repaint and keep up with the yard work to appeal to buyers. The house should be kept pristine until the sale goes through. Don't give prospective buyers any reason to fear the house will be trashed upon vacating.
Lack of availability
Even if you are unhappy at the prospect of selling your house, refusing to make it available for showings will only put you in a more difficult situation when you don't get an offer. Most people want to avoid the stress of foreclosure. Cooperate with your agent, and make your home available for showings on evenings and weekends. You will gain an advantage over less flexible short sellers.
Failing to keep up with dues
Don't stop paying homeowner association (HOA) dues once you have decided on a short sale. Missed HOA payments can present formidable difficulties when you move toward closing. Neglecting to pay dues may result in the HOA putting a lien on the property, and someone will have to pay off that lien before the sale can go forward. Keep in mind that your dues help the association maintain common areas, and you have an obligation to other homeowners in the community to live up to your financial responsibility.
Working hard to sell your home as a short sale will pay off in the long run. Remember that a successful short sale will help you reduce or eliminate your mortgage debt. By avoiding foreclosure, you can begin rebuilding your credit sooner and shorten the time needed to qualify for a mortgage to purchase another home.