Financial hardships can happen to just about anyone. In these trying times, uncertainty sometimes seems like a normal part of life. One of the worst outcomes of money troubles is when a family’s home is at risk. However, failure to pay the mortgage doesn’t always have to spell foreclosure. Several alternatives are available to offset costs or even release the burden of a home without damaging credit as deeply as with a foreclosure. One of the more accessible and common alternatives is to utilize a short sale, if possible.

Few people are aware of this practical step and fail to take advantage before it’s too late. It’s important to note that a short sale is a significant event, and it requires skill and expertise to settle one in the most advantageous terms possible. As such, many families choose to work hand-in-hand with a dedicated short sale negotiator. To ensure all possible options are available in case of a crisis, everyone must ask, what is a short sale negotiator and how to choose one?


What Is a Short Sale?

Before anyone can decide to act on a short sale opportunity, it’s crucial to understand what this option means. Often, a short sale is the last option before foreclosure. In general, it only becomes available after meeting specific requirements. Overall, these requirements reflect the seriousness of a person’s hardship and prove that failure to afford a home is not due to any possible negligence. More specifically, situations such as a major natural event, a job relocation, reduced wages, and similar extreme cases are required for a person to file for a short sale.

When a family does meet the expectations of circumstances out of their control, it’s important to notify the bank quickly. One can do this in a brief and formal letter explaining the situation and reasoning that a short sale is the best option. If approved, a buyer purchases the home and relieves the family of the mortgage burden. Banks typically lose the difference in value between what a family paid so far and the payment still owed. As such, it’s up to the bank to accept a short sale, making negotiators so beneficial.


How Professional Negotiators Help

One of the most direct ways negotiators help is by bringing their experience with lenders and knowledge of the process to the table. For most homeowners, any short sale is likely their first. Also, it’s naturally difficult for anyone to make a logical case when there is so much emotion and stress involved with the topic. Negotiators understand the delicacy and difficulty of the situation. Many homeowners choose to work with a negotiator for the same reason anyone would work with an attorney on a legal case.

Short sale negotiators have plenty to offer when sorting out fine details, building a presentable case, and accomplishing the complex task of getting the short sale approved by the lender. Unless the homeowner has extensive knowledge of mortgages, lending, and real estate, a negotiator will almost always add a professional element to the discussion. The result of bringing on a talented negotiator ultimately improves the chances of a bank accepting a short sale. Since banks often lose money in the process, acquiring any additional help is advisable.


Different Types of Negotiators

Families may choose from a few different types of short sale negotiators. If a family has a real estate agent they regularly interact with, these professionals can offer essential assistance. As professionals in the real estate field, agents understand what a short sale is, and some may be able to help with the process. But homeowners will want to keep in mind that many real estate agents not only do not specialize in listing short sales, but they might not have ever dealt with one before. It's important to have experience on your side, so homeowners will want to make sure their agent knows the process inside and out.

In the same vein are real estate attorneys. Attorneys can be adept at making a convincing case out of just about any scenario or difficult situation. Having a legal expert to back up an argument for a short sale is unquestionably advantageous. However, many people may find that attaining an attorney’s service is difficult during an already trying financial situation.

The last variety of short sale experts are third-party dedicated businesses specializing in negotiating on behalf of clients. Often, these businesses work in an array of real estate-related tasks and have a wide range of expertise. As such, these agencies can give accurate and useful advice to homeowners on whether a short sale is the best option and how to begin the process. In addition, professional short sale negotiators work hard to understand the entire situation before helping build a compelling case. Finally, they interact on behalf of the individual to ensure the process is a success. Many agencies charge after approval of the short sale to avoid adding stress to the already difficult circumstance. Here at Short Sale Cooperative, we never charge a fee to the homeowner.


Choosing a Negotiator That’s Right for You

It’s essential to completely understand what a short sale negotiator is and how to choose one before moving forward with a short sale. A lender will almost always lose money upon completion of a short sale. As such, it’s not an easy task for an inexperienced individual to make a good case. Having a short sale negotiator gives families the power to speak to lenders on their terms. Short sales are also often the last action a homeowner can take before foreclosure occurs. Therefore, it’s essential to know the time sensitivity involved once financial difficulty potentially puts a home at risk.

Finding a negotiator will save time otherwise spent struggling to grasp the fundamentals of short sales and proper negotiation. Which one a family chooses depends on availability and funds. Attorneys may expect an upfront payment, and real estate agents are often not very experienced with short sales. For many, third-party negotiators are the most affordable and readily available options to act toward a successful short sale.