California Law Helps Protect Distressed Homeowners doing Short Sales

Effective January 1, 2011, California first trust deed mortgage holders who consent to a short sale of residential property (up to 4 units) are prohibited from seeking a deficiency judgment for the difference between the mortgage balance and proceeds realized through the sale. 

Senate Bill931 was passed by legistature in August and approved by the Governor on 9/30/10 to help strapped homeowners.

See the complete article at Realty Times 

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House Bill would force Lenders to decide on Short Sales in 45 days

There is a new bill introduced in the U.S. House which would give lenders a 45 day deadline to respond to short sale requests to the borrower. 

This is a bipartisan bill (H.R. 6133) – Prompt Decision for Qualification of Short Sale Act of 2010 which is sponsored by Reps. Robert Andrews (D-New Jersey) and Tom Rooney (R-Florida).

The length of time it has been taking lenders to process the short sales has caused buyer’s to walk away.  Many lenders are taking from 90 days to several months without a decision made on the short sale.    The following states have the highest number of short sales:  California – 28%, Nevada 32%, Arizona 24%, and Florida 27%. 

Realtors across the country strongly support this bill and are urging Congress to pass the legislation quickly.  The National Association “NAR” of Realtor President Vicki Cox believes that quicker attention to the short sales process is vital to help homeowners who are underwater and their communities, as well as the nation’s economy.

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We have received questions from many concerned sellers on what is required of them when preparing their home for prospective buyers.  Due to the current economy we are seeing a large increase in the number of short sale homes available for sale.   Sellers in a short sale situation are concerned about the costs to prepare their home for sale so that it doesn’t sit on the market for a long time.  They also ask what needs to be done in order to fix their home up for sale for the least amount of money.

Here are a few inexpensive tips that will help you stage and sell your home more quickly:

  • Wipe down all of the walls and outlets of dirty fingerprints
  • Shampoo Carpeting
  • Wash the Windows and Screens
  • Vacuum and Dust often
  • Remove all books from bookcases
  • Pack up the knickknacks
  • Clean off everything on kitchen counters
  • Put items used daily in a small box that can be stored away when not in use
  • Re-Organize Closets and Pantry
  • Make Minor Repairs – Touch up any holes, scratches or damage to the walls and if you have touch up paint laying around, touch up these areas
  • Keep Lawns Mown and Watered
  • Trim Shrubs & Plant Colorful Flowers
  • Air out House of Musty or Pet Odors
  • De-Personalize – Pack up personal photos and heirlooms.  Buyers can’t see past personal artifacts and you want them to see the home.
  • De-Clutter – If you don’t need it, sell it, donate it or throw it away
  • Get a head start on packing, you will eventually need to do it anyway
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With the Sacramento Real Estate market full of Short Sale Properties for Sale it is taking longer to close on the purchase of your new home.  Due to the vast number of short sale properties available, the banks are starting to back up again on the approval of short sale properties.

If you are unwilling to wait a minimum of 60-90 days for an approval of your offer then a short sale is NOT for you.   With the decrease of inventory available for sale in the Sacramento area, we are seeing an increase of multiple offers on our listings for sale.   We are also seeing quite a few buyers who are unwilling to wait for short sale approval.   This is the main reason we take BACKUP offers on our listings and ask that our buyers be held in backup position.  We have seen countless buyers who are in 1st, 2nd and even 3rd backup position get their home.  Patience is the name of the game in the short sale process.  

If you are making an offer on a Short Sale Property, be prepared for a lengthy process.   Updates are sometimes hard to come by, but working with a diligent agent who is well versed in Short Sales will help make the process quite a bit smoother and sometimes quite a bit faster.

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