The act of selling a property which is lower than its actual price is called short selling. This has become increasingly popular especially during the burst of the housing market bubble where values of homes plummeted to incredibly low levels. Many property owners had no choice but to put their properties in a short sale which seemed then to be the most sensible thing to do rather than lose their homes to foreclosure.
If you wish to sell a rental property, it is important that you understand how a short sale works, what could it do to your mortgage and to your taxes. Before you proceed with selling it, you need to verify its actual value. And if you are planning to get the services of realtor in selling the property, let him or her calculate it for you. If ever you can’t afford their services then you can always do an estimate its value on your own. You may do this by checking on the prices of real estate properties within the area which has been sold in the past few months and get the median or the average value.
The next thing to do is calculate the possible closing costs which is a combination of all fees and charges that you need to pay at the end of the sale. If you have a broker then he or she needs to calculate it or you may consult with a real estate lawyer or a local title company to help you figure out just how much you need to spend to have the process done. After the property’s value is determined and the closing costs are calculated, you may then put up the rental property for sale and be sure to make it clear that you are putting it in a short sale.
When you find the potential buyer, inform the lender and ask for permission to go on with the sale. In a short sale, the lender loses money thus they become reluctant to put it in a short sale unless you can show proof that you will be unable to pay the loan in full. In getting hold of your lender, you must check for the person who handles the short sales department to be able to acquire all the necessary requirements and details about it.
Usually, the documents you will need are the letter of authorization which authorizes the lender to disclose the information about your loan to real estate professionals who are involved in the sale and it should also include the name and address of the property, together with you reference number, the agent and the contact information. Then the preliminary sheet which is a statement that includes the price of the property, estimated closing costs, outstanding balance and the late fees. You will also have to provide the hardship letter which explains the reasons and why your financial situation has let you decide to put your property in a short sale, don’t forget to include that your resources is not enough to pay for the loan in full. Sales document should also be attached, and this includes the copy of the buyer’s offer and the listing agreement.
When all of the documents are in, the short sale supervisor will then decide if he or she will allow the short sale. But the agreement may be conditional, and since it requires the permission of the lender then they have the right to alter the terms and the conditions of the sale, whatever they think will be beneficial to their business and sadly there is nothing you can do about it. However, what you can do is you can deduct capital losses, this could be loss of profit from the rental property from the past tax year but you cannot deduct any expenses incurred in processing the short sale including the difference between the price of the purchase and the price of the sale. Lastly, you will have to pay a depreciation recapture tax of 25% if you owned the property for more than eleven years.