Facing Foreclosure? Sell Your Home First!

Facing ForeclosureLow inventory has always been a key component of a seller’s market in Florida. Unfortunately, the pandemic has had a detrimental impact here, and demand for new homes has far outstripped supply.

This factor, along other market challenges, hints at an upcoming wave of foreclosures. Moratoriums ended months ago and, last September, foreclosures increased by 17 percent in the Orlando area. 

If financial challenges have caused you to fall behind in your mortgage payments, foreclosure can transition quickly from a worry to a very real possibility. Few things are more alarming than receiving a Notice of Default from your lender, as it is the first step in the potential loss of your home.

When this happens, it is important to not panic. You have rights when it comes to foreclosure and understanding them can help you keep your home if that’s your intention. However, given current market conditions in and around Fort Lauderdale, it isn’t likely that house prices are going to dramatically change any time soon. Selling now can avert foreclosure and provide you with the funds you need to make beneficial changes in your circumstances.

Prepare Your Home Immediately

Sellers facing foreclosure should never wait until the last minute. Otherwise, you may have to resort to more aggressive strategies, such as a short sale, which usually leaves money on the table.

The pre-foreclosure (the time when you receive the Notice of Default) is actually the best time to sell a home. If you still have months before the bank initiates foreclosure, you can prepare your home for sale, so that it shows well and sells for the highest possible price. If you list too late in the foreclosure process, you’ll have no time to prepare the house, and you’ll need to sell it at a price below market value to beat the foreclosure deadline.

Step One: Determine Roughly How Much Your Home is Worth

Get your home professionally appraised. Factors that go into a home valuation include: value of comparable properties in the neighborhood; proximity to schools, employment, and shopping; property size, age, and condition, and of course, the local market.

Step Two: Confirm What You Owe on Your Mortgage

If you receive a notice of foreclosure, you probably missed several months of mortgage payments, and you are likely to be charged late fees, which are typically charged 10-15 days after the first missed payment. Your bank’s most recent foreclosure communications should tell you what’s owed, including all outstanding principal and interest, so you can subtract this amount from the estimated sale price.

Step Three: Total Your Reasonably Anticipated Selling Fees 

Selling a house costs money. You will also have to factor in any staging and preparation fees, closing fees, seller concessions, and moving costs. What you’re trying to do is determine whether, after you sell your home, you have enough to pay off your mortgage plus regular selling and closing costs. 

Step Four: Hire a Qualified Real Estate Agent

Rather than dealing with it alone, seek out a real estate agent who specializes in pre-foreclosure home sales. A real estate agent can help you confirm your proceeds calculations with a seller’s net sheet and will help you prepare, stage, list, and market your home for a quick sale.

Step Five: Engage an Experienced Florida Real Estate Lawyer

There is no requirement that Florida residents retain an attorney for real estate closings. However, legal representation from Salas Law Firm could help save you a lot of money in the long run. One of the most important responsibilities of a real estate attorney is making sure you have a clear title upon the purchase of property, and we can use our experience with the title search process to give you peace of mind in this area. We can also defend you in the Foreclosure process so that your home is not sold at auction from under you. 

Do You Have Questions for a Florida Real Estate Attorney?

Don’t let any stigma hold you back from making informed financial decisions when it comes to selling your home. If you are facing foreclosure, you are not alone. At Salas Law Firm, we can represent your interests during closing, so that you can proceed to the next stage in your life with peace of mind. To schedule your initial consultation, call (954) 315-1155. We are currently offering discounts on our closing services for nurses, veterans, and first responders until the end of the year.


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John Salas