Thursday, January 31, 2013

Faster Short Sales Benefit Fountain Hills Home Sellers

Fountain Hills home values gained ground during 2012, and there is reason for optimism during 2013!

Recent updates to the short sale process, along with an extension of the Mortgage Debt Relief Act, will enable distressed homeowners to sell their homes with less red tape and a quicker turnaround. This will help property values across the board! Here's what you need to know!

First, as part of the Federal "fiscal cliff" budget compromise signed January 1, 2013, the Mortgage Debt Relief Act has been extended! Without the extension, short sellers would have been on the hook with the IRS for any forgiven mortgage debt. The MDRA allows an exception to this tax rule through 2013.

Next, there is good news from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The new short sale guidelines that were put in place November 1, 2012, have reportedly cut down on short sale processing time by 50% to 75%! There are other advantages to the new rules, and here are a few of them:

1. Up to $3,000 in relocation assistance is available to distressed homeowners who successfully complete a short sale through Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.

2. Mortgage servicers can directly approve qualifying short sales without going to Freddie or Fannie for another layer of approval.

3. Mortgage servicers must acknowledge receipt of a short sale request within 3 days.

4. Short sales must be approved or denied within 30 days. In more complex cases involving a second mortgage or some other issue, the review process cannot exceed 60 days.

The above guidelines pertain to mortgages backed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Click on the respective links to verify if your mortgage loan is associated with one of them.

Please keep in mind that short sales are meant to help home sellers who are unable to keep their homes due to a personal hardship. However, you do not need to be behind on your mortgage to be eligible for a short sale. This is another rule change that became effective in November 2012.

Short sales are preferable to foreclosures because they are based on current market values, whereas foreclosures can be heavily discounted when they hit the market. Short sales prevent home abandonment and blight. And because home sellers have incentive to complete a short sale, they are more likely to maintain the condition of their home. All this adds up to healthier home values for everyone concerned!

Fountain Hills real estate has many positives going for it, and good housing polices like these should help improve home values throughout 2013!

Do you have questions about home values in your Fountain Hills neighborhood? When you are  selling a Fountain Hills home, put your trust in my 33 years of local real estate experienceContact me today for expert, reliable help!

Tina Nabers


  1. Every advantage to a short sale seems to apply to the seller. Are there any advantages for the buyer, especially for a buyer with a bankruptcy and/or a foreclosure in their past?

    1. Hello Frank, thank you for reading! There are no advantages in buying a short sale in most situations. Short Sales are based on current market prices, unlike foreclosures. In a short sale, the bank basically agrees to allow the home sale to proceed even though the sale will not be enough to cover the entire mortgage balance. The bank forgives the unpaid balance and the home seller can move on.

      If you have a foreclosure or bankruptcy in your past, your best bet would be an FHA mortgage. If your credit score has recovered enough, you could qualify for a new FHA mortgae in as little as 2 or 3 years. Please let me know if I can help you - I would be happy to refer you to trustworthy local lenders.