Short sales are a fairly simple process. An owner does not want to let his or her home go to foreclosure, so instead he or she sells it in a short sale to a buyer. The buyer pays the total sum of what is still owed on the property and then the owner transfers the property to the buyer. Sometimes the owner is left paying a small portion of money still owed on the property as part of the agreement to sell it to the buyer. Although many people could probably navigate a short sale on their own, here are some very good reasons why you should involve a lawyer in all of your short sales.
Resolve Arguments with the Owner’s Lender
Some lenders are tough negotiators. When a buyer does not have legal representation, he or she might have quite a time of it trying to negotiate a fair and mitigable price for the property in question. Despite the fact that the current owner can accept almost any offer, it is ultimately up to the lender and the amount of money they want to recover from the property’s original borrower. If you get a real estate lawyer involved, these arguments fall to your lawyer to resolve, and you are free to negotiate with the property owner regarding how much the owner is willing to “short-sell” his or her property for.
Act as a Legal Witness/ Notary Public When You Sign Documents
As is the case with any purchase of property, you will have to sign several legally binding documents. The documents may even require a notary public, depending on the governing laws in your state. Not only can your lawyer read the documents ahead of your signature and spell out in simplified language what they state, but he or she can also be the witness you need to the document signing and transfer of property.
File a Lawsuit When the Terms of a Short Sale Are Breached
Once a property owner commits to a short sale, it is very difficult to back out of it legally. It is much more likely that you will encounter breaches in your contract with the previous owner — breaches that involve the terms of the sale. One such example is requesting that the previous owner vacate the property by a certain date and the previous owner is still squatting on the property after a few weeks. This may require more extreme action, including filing a lawsuit against the previous owner for the breach. This is another area of expertise where your lawyer’s knowledge and services will come in very handy. Click here for more info about short sales.