FAQs 2017-08-03T01:20:27+00:00
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I can’t make my house payments, but I do have the ability to pay back all or part of the negative equity. Also, I want to preserve my credit score, is a short sale right for me? 2017-08-03T15:00:05+00:00

Probably not. In cases where the seller can pay back all or part of the negative equity (usually to the 2nd lien holder), it makes sense for them to work out a repayment plan. The lender will then release the lien and allow the home to close.

If I pay mortgage insurance and default on my home, why wouldn’t that cover the deficiency amount? 2017-08-03T14:58:22+00:00

The mortgage insurance is not there for your protection, just the mortgage lenders.

Do I have to have my home ‘Approved’ by the lender, before offering it for sale as a short sale? I called them, but they wouldn’t talk to me about it. 2017-08-03T14:56:50+00:00

Technically speaking there is no such thing as being ‘Short Sale Approved’. The actual approval only happens with an accepted offer.

I just missed a payment and I know I will miss more. How long does the foreclosure process take, and is there time to make a short sale? 2017-08-03T14:55:37+00:00

In the Midwest, a foreclosure can take over a year. Generally speaking, a well priced short sale being processed by an educated short sale listing agent will sell and close in less than 120 days.

Will I still have to pay property taxes if I do a short sale? 2017-08-03T14:54:23+00:00

Property taxes will always have to be paid as part of any accepted short sale. Whether it is you or the lender depends on their policies and the specific agreement you reach while negotiating the short sale.

I owe more than my home is worth and I can’t make the payment, does this make me qualified for a short sale? 2017-08-03T14:53:36+00:00

The simple answer is NO. If someone can’t make their payment and they are otherwise insolvent, they qualify for a short sale. Note: insolvent simply means their total debts are greater than their assets.

Do I have to pay incomes taxes? I heard I will receive a 1099. Will the loss the banks takes be treated as a gain for me, the seller? 2017-08-03T15:03:21+00:00

No. Consult your Tax Attorney or Qualified CPA. Recently, the tax law was modified and now most people who do a short sale will have no taxes due.

How does my listing agent get paid? Who pays the commission? 2017-08-03T14:51:16+00:00

The bank will pay the commission along with other closing costs.

Do I have to miss a payment to do a short sale? 2017-08-03T14:50:44+00:00

No. Most major lenders started accepting short sale offers from sellers who have never missed a payment.

I want to do a short sale but have a 2nd mortgage, does this make me ineligible? 2017-08-03T14:50:15+00:00

No. Both of your lenders will need to be satisfied in some way to complete the short sale. If your first lender is paid off by the sale then you negotiate the terms with the second lender. Most short sales do involve 1st and 2nd lien holders.

Be wary of scams 2017-08-03T14:49:02+00:00

Consumer groups have learned that advertisements that say “Cash for Houses/Any Situation” or “We Buy Houses for Cash” bait homeowners with the promise of rescuing them from imminent foreclosure. Unfortunately, the “rescue” often involves the borrower signing over the title of the house to a different person or entity—thus the family ends up being evicted from their home.

What is the importance of working with a real estate agent during a short sale? 2017-08-03T14:48:35+00:00

It is important that sellers work with a licensed Illinois REALTOR® to sell their home. REALTORS® are in the business of helping homeowners and have the expertise to guide them through a tough situation. A REALTOR® has the expertise to develop a reliable Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) to determine the current fair market value of the home. These CMA reports help influence the lender’s decision to approve the short sale. It is the current market value that will determine the approval of a short sale, not what the homeowner paid for the home.

Why do I need a real estate agent to help me sell my house? 2017-08-03T14:47:39+00:00

An agent ensures that you are presenting a competitive asking price for your property. The goal is to sell at the highest price in the shortest amount of time. Additional benefits include having the aid from experts in the industry create a marketing strategy, schedule showings for potential buyers, negotiate offers, and understand the complex paperwork and legal documents that are associated with the closing.

What do I need to do to prepare my home for sale? 2017-08-03T14:47:00+00:00

This process will include decluttering, cleaning, and whatever your agent’s advice is on what to adjust in order to make your home presentable.

Should I hire a home inspector? 2017-08-03T14:46:23+00:00

Yes. A qualified home inspector is highly recommended to verify any major repairs that will need to be addressed during the attorney review/inspection period. An inspection report will be delivered to the potential buyer and his attorney for review. Together they will decide which items they want either repaired, fixed or replaced by the seller. The buyer may elect to accept a credit from the seller at closing in lieu of repairs. The credit will allow the buyer to hire their own contractor to make the repairs after closing.

How would I know what the asking price should be for my house? 2017-08-03T14:45:04+00:00

Pricing should be determined by current market trends and a comparative market analysis.

Should I be at all the showings when buyers view my house? 2017-08-03T14:44:22+00:00

No. Your real estate agent will interact with potential buyers along with scheduling tours of the house.

Do I need to hire a real estate attorney? 2017-08-03T14:43:35+00:00

Yes. An attorney can review and explain documents along with giving legal advice to his client. The attorney can modify legal verbiage in the transaction documents to protect their clients, especially if a cancellation of the contract is decided.

 Your real estate attorney will guide you through the paperwork and explain the documents in detail at the closing before you sign. All fees and closing costs are transparent and disclosed prior to closing on a closing disclosure statement.

 Some states don’t require an attorney to represent each side. These states close in escrow and are assigned a closing agent to handle the closing.  In the state of Illinois, the use of an attorney is always recommended.

What happens at closing? 2017-08-03T14:42:54+00:00

Both the buyer and seller along with their respective attorneys will be present at the closing. The closing will usually take place at a title company or one of the attorney’s offices. Both sides will be signing legal documents regarding the agreements made in the sales contract and the terms of transferring ownership of the real property. There are fees associated with transferring the ownership of property and closing costs all of which will be given to you on a closing disclosure form prior to closing.

What is the timeframe for closing? 2017-08-03T14:42:26+00:00

Typically a financed purchase will take 45 to 60 days to close. A cash buyer can close in 30 days or less in some circumstances.

What is REO? 2017-08-03T14:41:54+00:00

Otherwise known as, Real Estate Owned. This is usually property owned by a bank or government agency after an unsuccessful sale at a foreclosure auction.

Where can I find REO properties? 2017-08-03T14:41:31+00:00

Some real estate agents have access to these properties prior to being listed on the MLS. Otherwise, lender’s websites will display the properties they have for sale.

What are advantages for buying REO properties? 2017-08-03T14:41:00+00:00

REO properties historically come without liens or other constraints, with the exception of buying a condo. In the State of Illinois, a buyer may be responsible for up to 6 months of unpaid HOA dues. REO properties are sold below market value because they are usually sold “AS IS”.

Are foreclosures and REO the same thing? 2017-08-03T14:40:15+00:00

There is no difference between the two of them, “REO” which stands for “Real Estate Owned” and/or “Bank Owned” are pretty much the same thing. These are properties which were foreclosed on, went to auction and the bank or the lender bought them back. The banks are now the new owners of these properties.

What does a realtor do for me? 2017-08-03T14:39:33+00:00

Realtors are not only hired to find your perfect home but to act as your consultant throughout the entire buying process. Some tasks include negotiate offers, creating contracts, and understanding the complex paperwork and legal documents that are associated with the closing.

How much do I pay a realtor? 2017-08-03T14:39:04+00:00

In many cases, you do not have to pay your agent anything to help you purchase a home. The sellers pay their agent a fee and then that listing agent pays the buyers agent for bringing the buyer and facilitating the transaction.

What is the difference between pre-qualified and pre-approved? 2017-08-03T14:38:29+00:00

The difference between being pre-qualified for a loan is an estimation of what you can expect to receive for a loan, whereas getting pre-approved is knowing that your lender is ready to give you a loan that you are approved to receive.

What kind of credit score do I need in order to buy a house? 2017-08-03T14:37:43+00:00

As loan requirements are constantly changing, your loan representative will be the best source to give you an answer for today’s lending requirements.

How much money do I need for a down payment? 2017-08-03T14:37:02+00:00

Depending on the type of loan you are receiving, the most common answer is 3% to 5% of the purchase price.

How long does it take to close on a house? 2017-08-03T14:36:19+00:00

The timeframe for closing could take 45-60 days or 30 days if you are paying cash.