With short sale’s becoming increasingly dominant in today’s market, short sale fraud has also been on the rise according to experts who spoke at the California Association of Realtors Conference in Anaheim this year.
A short sale is the sale of a home for less than what is owed on the mortgage. Agents are finding ways to get the lowest possible price approved for their short sales. Instead of staging a home to show and look its best, they seem to be taking the route of making it look worse. Instead of marketing to potential buyers, they list it on the MLS miles from the property.
Once the lender has approved to sell at the artificially low price – frequently as part of a sale to a friend, a relative or an LLC – they flip the house at its true value and pocket thousands of dollars in ill-gotten gains. Among the schemes are scamming the price, selling to a relative to regain ownership of the home, side agreements for pay offs and false information to bury any fees and costs. Homeowners and agents cannot bury their head and pretend this is not occurring.
Many agents are trained at short sale seminars to learn how to run an “easy” transaction. Short sale and easy cannot be in the same sentence; it’s just not possible. Unfortunately, the schemers make the rest of the agents out there look bad.
There’s hope! The good agents do exist and are here at JohnHart, the short sale experts, to help you run an honest and smooth transaction.