Buying a Short Sale in New York or New Jersey

In the past couple of years foreclosures have hit a record high and short sales became more popular for homeowners trying to avoid a mortgage default going on their credit report.  Prior to short sales becoming more popular most people did not even know what a short sale is.  A short sale is when a seller can no longer afford their mortgage payments and are risking a mortgage default and the lender agrees to accept funds less than what the mortgage is worth.  Short sales can be a great thing for both the seller and the buyer but it may not be an easy road getting there.

Here is a brief description of the process of a short sale:

  1. Purchaser will want to have an engineers inspection or a home inspection done
  2. Contract of Sale must be signed by the purchaser and the seller
  3. Short sale documents requested by the lender must be submitted by the seller
  4. Lender has to approve the short sale and the price the house is being sold to the buyer for – if the bank does not agree on the price they may request that the sales price be raised or they may not approve the short sale.
  5. Purchaser, as with any other real estate transaction, must get approved for a mortgage if they do not plan on paying cash for the house.
  6. Title must be cleared of any violations and liens.
  7. Closing of title must take place at which time the deed is signed over to the purchaser.

Short sales are great for the seller because they do not have to have a foreclosure listed on their credit report; they are great for the lender because it allows them to not lose as much money on the loan as they would if the house was to be foreclosed on; and they are very attractive to the prospective purchaser because they sell for less than a regular sale would be listed for but they have to opportunity to treat the process as more of a home purchase rather than a foreclosure purchase.  Although this may sound appealing to the potential homebuyer, and may turn out to be a great and well worth experience, there are a few things that the buyer should be aware of regarding the short sale process such as the length of time it may take to get the short sale approved, the risk of putting money out for legal fees, appraisal fees, mortgage application fees and the cost of an engineers inspection report.

A recent announcement by the Treasury Department said that they are looking to approve a widened incentive program for short sales that would entice lenders to be more likely to consider the approval of a short sale instead of allowing the property to be foreclosed on.  If approved, the program, which is part of the Obama Administrations Home Affordable Modification Program, would offer $1,000 to the lender for going through with the short sale, up to $1,000 if there is a second lien holder and would offer the borrow $1,500 towards closing costs.

Here are a few things you may want to consider before purchasing a short sale in New York or New Jersey:

  • Hire an experienced real estate agent.  Hiring an experienced real estate broker for your purchase will help
  • Check public records. You can check the public records for the property to see if there was a foreclosure notice filed yet and to see how many loans the seller has open.
  • Be aware and open minded. If you decide that you are willing to take the chance associated with a short sale purchase be aware that the seller is awaiting bank approval keep and open mind to the fact that the seller may not end up getting approved for the short sale and if they do you could possibly be asked to pay an additional amount of money for the purchase price.
  • Be sure to have a home inspection done. When you are purchasing a short sale you are purchasing the home as is so it is important to have a home inspection (engineers inspection) done to determine if there are any major property defects in the home.
  • Hire a knowledgeable and experienced New Jersey or New York real estate attorney.  Hiring a knowledgeable and experienced real estate attorney is a critical asset to your home buying process, especially if you are purchasing a short sale.  Whether you are purchasing a short sale in Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, New York or New Jersey you will want to make sure you select a lawyer who has experience in short sales.

 

Steven T. Decker is an experienced real estate lawyer, author and speaker. With over 20 years of experience, Steven represents individuals and investors in the purchase of residential and commercial real property. Steven is the author of "The Five Myths that can Ruin the Purchase of Your Home" and he is the publisher of the "New York Real Estate Law Blog". If you are buying or selling a home or commercial property in Staten Island, New York City or New Jersey contact Steven T. Decker, Esq. to discuss the services that he offers and how his legal representation will assist you.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this website is provided for general educational purposes only, should not be relied on as legal advice and does not serve to create an attorney client relationship. In utilizing this website you acknowledge that there is no attorney client relationship between you and Steven T. Decker, Esq. and that the information contained on this site does not and cannot serve as a replacement for the competent legal advice of a licensed attorney in your state. The content of this website is subject to the Copyright of its author, Steven T. Decker, Esq.
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