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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Real estate short sale" is a popular phrase

By Rem

The term 'real estate short sale' is being bandied about more and more as of late. Real estate short sales serve as an alternative to foreclosures in an increasingly declining real estate market. The time it takes to sell a property is extremely high, and the prices on real estate have reached a considerable low. Throughout the country the crisis is so bad that many places are experiencing what is fair to call a market meltdown. It is because the market is so inhospitable that the need for short sale real estate has gone up so dramatically.

A real estate short sale happens when a bank lets a property be sold for less than the amount owed on it. Banks typically want two qualifiers to be met before they agree to the sale. Foremost, you will need to have a market value that is in such bad shape that the sale price of the property cannot cover the balance on the mortgage. A further condition is that the owners of the property must not be able to continue making mortgage payments on the property.

For instance, an owner might have used an adjustable rate mortgage to buy a home for the price of 217,000 dollars five years ago. Two years after purchasing their property, the owners also took an additional mortgage out, to the price of 10,000 dollars. In five years, the percent that the mortgages have actually been paid off is likely to be an insignificant amount. Let's also believe that the property is in a part of the country where the market values have fallen to 215,000 dollars for similar properties, and that the adjustable mortgage interest rate has risen from seven to eleven percent. Finally, add the fact that one of the owners has just lost her job and the makings of a real estate short sale situation become apparent.

For example, a property that was purchased five years ago with an adjustable rate mortgage for 217,000 dollars. Let's say that two years after purchasing the property the owners took out an additional 10,000 dollars second mortgage, which means that today the owners owe 227,000 dollars on the property. In a five year time span, the amount the mortgages would have been paid is negligible. Let's also believe that the property is in a part of the country where the market values have fallen to 215,000 dollars for similar properties, and that the adjustable mortgage interest rate has risen from seven to eleven percent. Additionally, we end up with a real estate short sale situation once one of the owners has lost their job.

The bank may decide to save expenses and time delays that a foreclosure would cost by simply allowing a short sale. The reason is that it is far better to have a definite amount of money know and the property off the bank's books than waiting on an unknown amount of money at some unknown point in the future. If the lenders and owners do not agree on the terms of the sale, complications can result, but in general, that is how the real estate short sale works.

Admittedly, many owners may find the real estate short sale a very painful experience, but things could be much worse for them. A foreclosure, for example, would be far worse to have on your credit report. On the other hand, a truly savvy investor can take advantage of these short sales for excellent buying opportunities.

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