When most people are notified by their lender that their house will soon go into foreclosure, they think all is lost. While it's a difficult time, the good news is you do still have options that will not hurt you as much financially, such as a short sale. This will allow you to sell your home prior to foreclosure, with the bank getting all the proceeds from the sale. While it may not equal the entire amount of what's owed, it will generally be enough to satisfy the bank, since it doesn't want to spend time trying to sell the property and possibly receiving less money in the process. But if you've decided it's time to sell your house quickly, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
If you have a home going into foreclosure due to a divorce, illness, relocation, inheritance, or other life event, always be sure to get your lender's permission before going ahead with a short sale. By discussing your situation with them ahead of time, you'll be able to show you're not being irresponsible in repaying the loan, but rather have had extenuating circumstances occur that led to the current situation.
In these situations, don't go it alone. Instead, hire a real estate professional to assist you. By doing so, they can help set a reasonable price for the property, answer any questions you may have, and even act as a buffer between you and your lender if necessary. This will be especially important if the current housing market is weak, since it may take a bit more work to find a buyer.
Once you've got a buyer willing to pay your asking price, meet with your lender. Since you'll already have a buyer ready to take the property, chances are the bank will accept the bid, so long as it's reasonable. As added insurance, be sure to inform the lender that if they reject the bid, foreclosure is inevitable, since this will give them extra incentive to give you their approval.
When you decide it's time to sell your house quickly due to such factors as divorce or illness, make sure you get a promise in writing from your lender that they will not pursue a deficiency judgement against you once your home is sold. This would be the difference between what the property sells for and the remaining balance on the mortgage, if any. By knowing no legal action will be taken against you, it will be much less stressful to sell your home during what is already a difficult time in your life.