Thursday, April 17, 2008

Short Sales Are Not A Slam Dunk

Back at the end of January I wrote a brief e-Newsletter editorial about the ‘Short Sale’ phenomena, how it works and how the Urban Housing Corp. in Roxbury, MA was working to help suffering homeowners to work out their situations before losing everything. I also talked about how difficult and frustrating it could be when the mortgagor owed significantly more money than the current market value, I mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases. I ended by saying “The good news is that Martha’s Vineyard is not one of these distress markets flooded with upside-down investors. Most attorneys here know very little about how the short sale process works, and personally I want no part of it.” Well, here we are at nearing the end of April and I still want no part of short sale negotiations, not that I will not engage if a buyer client insists, but now we have an increasing number of home owners here who are facing foreclosure and are offering their properties as short sales.

At the end of 2007 and the beginning of 2008, lenders were more willing to accept significant short sale losses and move on, but I believe that is not the case any longer --- especially here on Martha’s Vineyard. I believe we are walking in the valley of this down market and the turnaround is clearly in sight. That means lenders are going to be stubborn and if they cannot sell closer to their investment, they will take back the properties and wait it out. Here is an article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal today that further addresses Why Lenders Are Leery Of Short Sales.