A short sale is when you try to get your house sold for an amount that is lower than what you currently owe the lender. It is an option if you need to move for work, are trying to downsize and get a less expensive home, or if you are trying to avoid foreclosure when you can't pay the mortgage payments. For a short sale, you might want to get legal help from a lawyer specializing in real estate.
Are you at risk of foreclosure?
While not all short sales require legal assistance, if you are at risk of foreclosure, it is highly recommended. The lawyer will be able to contact your lender for you and try to put a stop to the foreclosure while you list your home for sale. Since you need to have the lender's approval for a short sale, this can help expedite the process. Lawyers know how to handle foreclosures and short sales, and how to avoid the foreclosure from taking place when you are trying to collect offers for your home and choose one. Even if the foreclosure process has already been filed, still get a lawyer's assistance as they might be ale to at least pause it for a while to see if your house sells.
Are you prepared to pay the difference?
If you are attempting to escape foreclosure, you may be required by your lender to pay the difference between what your house sells for and what you still owe the lender. In order to escape this responsibility, you may need to file for financial hardship with the bank. While this is something you can do on your own, you have a better chance at having it approved with legal assistance. Your lawyer can work with you to file for hardship and hopefully convince the lawyer to not make you responsible for the remainder of the loan you owe. If you attempt to file for hardship and it is denied, contact a lawyer to see if an appeal is possible.
Are you concerned about personal liability?
Another issue with going through a short sale is the problem of personal liability. The bank might have let you get out of the loan agreement by not paying the difference and avoiding a foreclosure, but what about personal liability? You also need the lender to release personal liability so they can't attempting to garnish your bank accounts and wages in order to get what is owed to them. This is another good reason to have a lawyer.