Pros and Cons to leaving or staying in a home during a short sale in Minneapolis

January 24, 2012

Although the Minneapolis real estate market has held prices a bit better than the rest of the country, we are still seeing our fare share of foreclosures and short sales hitting the market. Realtors are being asked all of the time about distressed sales, REO’s and bank owned properties.  Not only are we being asked about properties in distress but we are also being asked about short sales and when the best time to walk away from a home is.  This tends to be a heated debate among realtors and consumers especially short sales experts as there are pros and cons for each side.  There are a few different ways to look at what may be the best option for you if you are  in this situation.

Advantages to staying in your home while selling your house short:

•    An occupied home tends to show better than an empty home.  When home shoppers enter a home that is fully furnished they feel a sense of homeliness.  Minneapolis home buyers can visualize themselves living at the home in question which tends to produce quicker sales, higher prices and more serious buyers.
•    If you are behind on your payments, living at the home while the short sale is negotiated can relieve some of the financial burden you would have if you moved out and rented or bought a house somewhere else
•    If the bank realizes that your home is vacant, they may winterize the home, change locks or make the property hard to get access to which can delay the process.

Advantages to leave the home while in the short sale process

•    If you are behind on your mortgage payments, the longer you hold out in finding a rental property, the harder it will become.
•    The length your Realtor will have to work with your bank to approve the sale of your house short of what you owe can vary.  Typically it is a longer amount of time than one would expect as an offer on a house that is less than what you owe has to go through  a lot red tape in the banking system for approval.  Once the approval to sell the home is received, you are typically looking at about 30 days to leave the property.
•    Sometimes it can be stressful to live in the home both emotionally and physically as you are attached to the home.
Since there really is not a right or a wrong answer as to whether you should continue to occupy your home during a shortsale, we tell our buyers that they need to way the pros and the cons and make a decision for themselves.
If you have any other questions about short sales or questions about the Minneapolis real estate market, please don’t hesitate to contact Jan Worthen 952-215-5266