Selling to Avoid Foreclosure in a Buyer's Market

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I need help to stop foreclosure on my home. I need to sell quickly? I am a couple months behind on my payments and want to sell now. I am not looking to make a profit just need to get what i owe.

Boy, did the sharks swarm over that one! There were at least a dozen offers to purchase before I saw it.

Anybody will buy your house for half the market value.

Contact an agent about selling at quick sale prices. Offer 2% listing agent, 3% buyers agent. Even a quick sale price should get you at least 80% of value. Yes, that will cost you 5%. But you'll come out with 75% of value, net instead of 50. If your loan balance is anywhere under 75% of the value, this puts more money in your pocket. If your loan balance is more than that, it means you'll owe less in taxes when the lender hits you with a 1099. Not to mention that trying to sell a short payoff without a good agent is an exercise in futility.

Now this is not to say that you should list it for 80% of your most fevered imagination of what it is worth. You need to sell, as in have someone offer a price that they can actually pay you. You need offers. Ideally, you want multiple offers fast. You do this by underpricing the market value of your property, so that you will attract people who want to look, and they think it's a good price so they make an offer. The offer will not be full asking price, and don't waste your time hoping that you will get such an offer. Once that Notice of Default hits, everybody knows that you need to sell. To use one example I'm going through with a buyer client right now, if your property is a two bedroom place that basically looks like wild animals have been living there, and your list price is 99% of the three bedroom down the street, you are not going to get it, and you have a deadline, while your prospective buyers do not. You need to figure out what it is really worth by sales of comparable property happening right now, and then you need to discount that price by enough to make a difference. How much? Depends upon what your local market is like. That's part of what good agents get paid for.

Toss any concept of "negotiating room" or "getting what the property is worth" out of your head. Get your attitude out of the seller's market of a few years ago. Especially in the current buyer's market, all of the power is in the hands of the prospective buyers. If you won't sell for what they offer, the one down the street who is a little bit smarter, or a little bit more desperate, will. Sellers have little enough power right now without the deadline of foreclosure. People who need to sell have only the power to say no, and what happens if they don't say yes to someone? I'll tell you what happens: You get nothing. The chances are better of flying to the moon by flapping your arms than of getting some of your equity back out of a foreclosed property. Since your best alternative is lose everything you have in the property, that's not a strong negotiating position. This buyer does not have to have your property. With very high inventory in my local market, they can go find a more attractive property, cheaper, from someone else. Their best alternative in negotiations is that they go find some other seller who will sell for what they want to offer. Negotiating position: Very strong. Net result, the buyer offers what the property is worth to them. If you won't take it, they only need a bit of patience to find something else that will. If you didn't need to sell, you could just hold on to the property, of course, but we've already determined that you don't have that option, and time is not your friend. A very large proportion of agents still have their heads in seller's market mode. Indeed, most of the major chains are still telling their agents to think like it's a seller's market. This kind of thinking is of no use in the present market, as roughly 46,000 residential property owners discovered in San Diego County in 2006. Considering that only 31,000 transactions successfully closed in the same time period, that is a warning. Only about 40% of property owners who listed their properties sold at all, on any terms. When you consider the time constraints of selling under pending foreclosure, it behooves you to understand your position.

Caveat Emptor

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This page contains a single entry by Dan Melson published on May 17, 2008 7:00 AM.

Why Buyers and Refinancers Should Consider a 5/1 ARM Again was the previous entry in this blog.

You Only Need Negative Amortization Disclosures on Negative Amortization Loans is the next entry in this blog.

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