I work with a lot of short sale clients as their attorney in Springfield, MA. I give a lot of credit to the Realtors that I work with on these short sales because they can take a long time and require a great deal more handholding, etc. . . These days I find myself in the same position that many of you may find yourselves in with regard to the short sales that just don't go through: "What re-assurances can we really give these Sellers?"
The fact is we can only give so much. We can give ourselves and the best of our ability, but that is all. Short sales are a gamble. What we are gambling with is our Sellers' credit for the next 7 to 10 years and whether they will ever be able to purchase a home again in the foreseeable future. We cannot make the bank(s) accept the short sale if they want to proceed to auction. The stakes are high for our Sellers so if things fall apart we need to provide a back-up plan.
What we can do is prepare our clients for the worst case scenario. As an attorney I am risk averse. I offer short sale services and require a hold harmless with regard to foreclosure, tax consequences, damage to credit or any other losses should we succeed or fail with the short sale. (So much for reassurance, right?) The point is, like any one else, I am concerned about the worst case scenario coming back to haunt me. I do the same for my clients. At the first meeting I refer my clients to a bankruptcy attorney and an accountant. Many of my clients who have met with a bankruptcy attorney and myself (real estate attorney) at the same time feel that no matter what happens they will be OK. We have a back-up plan that will leave them with an apartment, some spending money and with no more debt and no more worries.
I want my short sales to succeed, but I want my clients to be prepared if we do not succeed. I leave my clients in a position where they are in control because they no what will happen and can make their own decisions with the information that we provide. Many of my clients have felt out of control for a long time. That all changes after we meet. We plan a bankruptcy if we fail at the short sale. We can save as much money as the bankruptcy court will allow and we can set aside our clients' first, last and security deposit if the short sale fails so that they can move in to an apartment. My clients are ready to make the next move before filing bankruptcy.My clients are ready to move on if the short sale does not succeed.
Once the back-up plan is in place it is a lot easier for me and my staff to try our best - there is not as much pressure because our clients are assured that their lives will go on. . . Good Luck with all of your short sales and don't forget to pack your parachutes!. . . .