Short Sales represent around a third of the total property inventory on the market here on the Emerald Coast. A real estate short sale occurs when a seller sells a property for less than what is owed to the lender on the property. In the short sale negotiations, the lender agrees to accept the sales price as payment in full or in part for the loan and release the property to be sold.
A short sale is an option for an owner who is facing some type of verifiable hardship which makes it impossible for that owner to continue to pay for the property. Short sales are an agreement between the debtor and the lender, not a court ordered seizing of the asset like a foreclosure.
Luxury property owners do experience hardship (loss of business, death of spouse, change in income/expenses, etc.) and luxury property owners do qualify for short sales. Particularly in Northwest Florida where over one-half of all luxury homes are second homes, the luxury market is being hit hard by owners who have experienced a dramatic change in life circumstances since these homes were purchased.
Short sales are not the only alternative for distressed property sellers who cannot pay for their homes and cannot bring cash to closing. Foreclosure and refinancing (in some cases) are alternatives. Short sales may however help sellers avoid the negative effects of a foreclosure on credit scores, security clearances, certain licenses and current or future employment. In some cases, short sales may also help a seller avoid a deficiency judgment.
For those facing foreclosure or even for those who can predict an inability to continue to pay for a home in the future, a short sale presents an opportunity to avoid the negative financial and emotional impact of foreclosure. It is important to begin with an experienced real estate agent and to include legal counsel in the short sale process
For purchasers, short sales are becoming easier and quicker. They present an exceptional opportunity to acquire property at highly competitive prices. A buyer should look for an agent who has worked successfully through several short sale transactions and who remains up to date on short sales as they become available for sale.
Cindy Cole is a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and has assisted many luxury property buyers and sellers through the short sale process. If you are a seller who is having difficulty paying for your home, please contact Cindy Cole for a confidential consultation. If you are a buyer considering a short sale purchase, contact Cindy for current short sale opportunities.