Banks offer more cash incentives for short sales

ATLANTA – Feb. 15, 2012 – More banks are offering homeowners incentives to sell their houses in a short sale to avoid costly foreclosure expenses for the bank. In fact, some banks are offering struggling homeowners as much as $35,000 to do a short sale, according to CNNMoney.

Many homeowners have been surprised at banks’ recent willingness to approve short sales.

“Initially, the homeowners are skeptical,” says Elizabeth Weintraub, a real estate professional in Sacramento, Calif. “The bank may have already turned down their request for a modification. Then, one day, they call and say, ‘Let us give you some cash.’”

For banks, the incentives have proven to be a smarter move than letting a property fall into foreclosure.

“The first choice is a modification, but if that’s impossible, then a short sale is a faster, more efficient solution,” says Tom Kelly, a spokesman for Chase Mortgage.

With a foreclosure, homeowners stop making their mortgage payments and usually property taxes as well. They also often put off maintenance issues, which can cause the home to lose value even more. Foreclosed homes sold, on average, for 22 percent less than homes not in foreclosure in December, according to National Association of Realtors®’ data. For comparison, discounts for short sales were about 14 percent.

“I’ve seen a lot of foreclosures for sale where it would cost a lot more than $20,000 to get them into condition to sell again,” says John Hayton, a short sale specialist in Orlando, Fla.

Source: “Banks Pay Delinquent Borrowers $35,000 to Sell Their Homes,” CNNMoney (Feb. 10, 2012)

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