Until recently, it’s been nearly impossible to make a short sale work (at least in Silicon Valley), but that’s about to change. Your chances of success are improving.
The first thing you need is a professional advocate, an experienced negotiator with an impressive track record of successful short sales. Of course you have to do your homework before selecting an advocate, because there are a lot of imposters and scams lurking. But with all the resources on the internet, you can do all the research you need.
We recommend hiring an experienced attorney who specializes in short sales and loan modifications. They have established relationships with the banks, can negotiate favorable terms, speed up the process and keep your costs down. It’s a lot more affordable than you think. Obviously, if you’re in this situation you don’t have a lot of money. A good short sale attorney knows that, and will be willing to put a little of their own skin in the game. Again, do your homework. You can find a seasoned pro that will keep your fee reasonable and negotiate the rest of their compensation directly from the bank.
Lenders are looking for ways to cut their losses, and a short sale is much less costly than foreclosure. Still, they have simply been unable to process the overwhelming amount of short sale applications in a timely enough manner.
However, indications are that there is a massive effort by lenders to reorganize and hire more staff to better expedite short sale processing. If this works (rather, when this works), there will be a lot more timely and successful short sales, and significantly fewer foreclosures.
Again, do your homework, but get an advocate.