Short Sale Documents: What You Need for a Successful Sale

Remember all of the paperwork that was needed when you first bought your house? You may have provided tax returns, credit reports, loan applications, and many other documents required by your lender to have your mortgage approved. If you are now planning to sell your home in a short sale to avoid foreclosure, you likely will have to compile just as much paperwork. The good news is, that should be the only thing you have to do.

When you arrange a short sale for your home, your realtor does the heavy lifting. It is the realtor’s responsibility to find a buyer, negotiate the short sale with your lender, and manage the various steps of the transaction through closing. Your job is simply to provide the needed short sale documents requested by your realtor and the bank. These generally include the following:

  • Two months of pay stubs for both the homeowner and spouse (if the spouse is employed)
  • Two months of checking account statements
  • Two most recent federal tax returns that were filed
  • A copy of the survey for the house (generally included in the folder you received from the title company when you purchased the home)

You will also need to provide your realtor with a spare key, so that he or she can show the house to prospective buyers and to the appraiser, if necessary.

If you are divorced, you may need to provide documentation proving that you were awarded the house as part of the divorce decree. Similarly, if your spouse has died, you will need to provide a copy of the death certificate.

The short sale process generally takes 3 to 4 months, during which time your lender may want to see updated financials. Any time you receive a new pay stub or checking account statement, you should provide a copy to the realtor who is processing your short sale, so that he or she can forward it to the bank.

Finally, in addition to providing the required financial documentation and the spare key, you are responsible for keeping the house looking clean and presentable for showings. Do not bother to make any major repairs to the house, as you will not recoup your money in the short sale. However, you can clean the carpets, touch up chipped paint, and pack away any unnecessary items so that your home looks more inviting to prospective buyers. Keep your house as tidy as possible, and it will probably sell much faster.

If your realtor is asking you to do anything more than gather the necessary paperwork for the short sale, you should look for another realtor. As the area’s leading short sale realtor, we have extensive experience in managing successful short sales for hundreds of clients. If we can be of any assistance, please give us a call.

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