There have been a lot of questions about short sales, foreclosures, REO properties, pre-foreclosures, Repos and other such distressed sales in our Idaho Real Estate market.  In Idaho, we have our share. Lenders may entertain the idea of a short sale in this market, more than before, to avoid the costly foreclosure process.

While a short sale may be the last resort for many homeowners facing foreclosure, it also represents a great opportunity for potential home buyers and Idaho real estate investors. This article is designed to help answer a few basic questions about the substantial risk and reward involved in this extremely complex and often drawn out process for both buyers and sellers.  For more information on the short sale process, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Click here to search Boise Idaho Real estate.


What is a Short Sale?

Short Sale
A short sale is a legally-binding agreement to allow a home to be sold for less than the amount that is owed. And, while short sales are not by any means common or easy, because of increasing inventory levels and foreclosures in some parts of the country, lenders are much more eager to negotiate with borrowers who are having trouble paying their mortgages. For potential home buyers and real estate investors, a short sale also offers a great opportunity to purchase property at a significant discount.

However, don't expect a lot of help from the lender without first providing a sales contract from a qualified buyer and all the information required by the lender's loss mitigation department.  This paperwork can be almost as taxing as applying for a loan to begin with.

Of course, lenders are not looking to bail out "flippers" or other borrowers who simply overextended themselves. In most cases, a borrower must have suffered a serious financial hardship that directly caused him or her to default on the mortgage: the loss of a job, a serious illness, or the death of a loved one.

A written declaration and supporting documentation demonstrating financial hardship will definitely be required by the lender. This may include pay stubs, tax returns, and liquid asset statements, among other documentation.  Additionally, the lender will require a letter of authorization, allowing them to speak to your real estate agent. I have worked with many lenders and sellers, negotiating short sale acceptances.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

Short Sale Time Line

Key Considerations to Keep in Mind

It's important to note that the difference between what is owed on a mortgage and the final amount the lender collects after the costs of the sale, including real estate commissions and possibly other charges don't simply disappear in a short sale. In the past, this deficiency or "canceled mortgage debt" was considered taxable income to the borrower. However, thanks to the Mortgage Forgiveness Act of 2007, the tax burden for canceled mortgage debt (as high as 35%) for primary residences only has been temporarily waived until the end of 2009.

Remember, the "pay-off" amount may be different than your "principle balance".

If there are multiple liens against the property, all lien holders will have to be involved in the negotiation process, not just the first lien holder. Therefore, communication and patience are essential components of any short sale. This is why an experienced real estate agent and mortgage professional become so valuable to this process.

As a seller, you must cooperate with the requirements of the lender and provide them information they request. Losing your home is certainly not a fun experience, but being patient during the short sale process will be worth avoiding foreclosure!

As a buyer, be patient!  You may wait several weeks before hearing back from the seller's lender and even then, it may not be good news.  Make sure your Idaho Realtor has the proper verbiage in the contract to protect your best interest as well as your earnest money.

Most mortgage holders will conduct their own due diligence on Idaho Real Estate, including acquiring an appraisal or market price opinion. Once they receive this evaluation, they are hesitant to take more than a 10%-15% discount from this value.  If you can somehow find out what the appraised value is, this will certainly assist in bringing the deal together!

A large percentage of homes that are going into foreclosure are sub-prime loans or variable rate mortgages. Click here to find out the new, HIGHER loan limits for Government Loans: New FHA Loan Limits.

Whenever searching for a list of short sale properties in the Boise real estate market, contact me & I will e-mail you a list of Boise Homes for sale or homes for sale in Nampa or surrounding areas

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