#1 Agent For The #1 RE/MAX in Chicago in Sales Volume and Completed Short Sale Transactions since 2009!

Looking To Short Sell ? >> Start Here


Michael Sorensen Group

Licensed Real Estate Broker

Certified Short Sale Specialist (CDPE)

Work with The Best!

What is a Short Sale? A Short Sale is a Real Estate Sales Transaction contingent upon the successful negotiations with Seller's lender(s), lienholders and/or other third parties to accept a payoff of less than the total amount owed. There can be no assurance or guarantees such approvals will be obtained.

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90% Short Sale Approval Rate

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TEL (773) 987-8224

TEL (847) 696-1664

email me: sorensenhomes@yahoo.com

** You don't need your lender's pre-approval to list the property For Sale as a Short Sale, as long as you are in legitimate and verifiable financial hardship, you can list the property now and we will obtain the short sale approvals later.


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Serving Chicago & Suburbs

REMAX CITY - Top Chicago Real Estate Agents and Brokers specializing in Short Sale Home, Short Selling Properties, Foreclosure Help in Chicago & Suburbs in Northern Illinois.


"if you're in some kind of financial hardship, you qualify for the Short Sale"

Do a Short Sale!

Stop Foreclosure!

List For Free!

+ Get a Free Thank You Gift from me after closing.

Michael Sorensen - BROKER ASC, ABR, RE/MAX Executive Club Member

Short Sale Expert - Foreclosure Prevention Specialist 

#1 Agent For The Largest and The #1 Best Selling RE/MAX Realty Office in Chicago - RE/MAX CITY

Michael Sorensen - Agent Credentials/ Rankings/ Sales Record (2009):

>> NUMBER 1 Agent in in sales volume and completed short sale transactions!

>> NUMBER 1 RE/MAX Office in Sales volume in Chicago Illinois.

>> TOP 1% Real Estate Agent in Illinois (out of ~50,000)

>> TOP 1% RE/MAX Agent in Illinois (out of ~3,000)

Short Sale is a real estate sales transaction where the seller's lender(s) agree, per owner's request, to reduce the loan balance, so that the property can be sold. The lender usually cancels the difference (the shortfall amount) if the seller is in legitimate financial hardship. The purpose of a short sale is to get the property sold before it's auctioned off, avoid the foreclosure and minimize damages both to the lender and the property owner.

Short Sale allows the property owner to settle the mortgage with the lender by selling the property for less than is owed on the mortgage.

Short Sale Example: If the loan amount on your property is $220,000 and the property can only be sold for $180,000 (less $15,000 in closing costs), you will only have $165,000 left to pay to the bank. In a short sale, the bank will have to reduce the outstanding loan balance to $165,000 in order to allow the short sale to proceed. The seller's closing costs are paid from the bank proceeds.

Why Banks agree to take such a huge loss? Banks know that should the property go into foreclosure, by the time they fully repossess it, the property's condition will most likely  deteriorate, consequently resulting in a lower sales price. In addition the bank avoids expensive costs of foreclosure and a burden of owning and maintaining the foreclosed property which will have to be sold eventually, anyway. In other words, short sales generate more money to lenders than foreclosed properties.

Short Sales are often called Pre Foreclosure Sales - the idea is to get the property sold before it goes to auction.

- Do not abandon your property!

- Don't let it go into foreclosure!

- Let us negotiate a short sale for you! 

There are no out-of-pocket expenses to my short sale clients for any of our short sale service (we are paid by the bank)!

Who Qualifies for a Short Sale?

Anyone can ask their lender to consider a Short Sale. However, it's easier to get the short sale approvals if the seller is in some kind of financial hardship. 

Looking To Short Sell? >> Click Here >> Request Short Sale Listing Packet

Short Sale should be your last option before foreclosure, and you should only use it if you don't want to keep the property.

Please let us know if you are considering the following: Loan Modification, Forbearance, Deed in Lieu or Bankruptcy, as these may delay the short sale approval process or even make it impossible while they are pending.

If you apply for a loan modification, for example, your bank will most likely not consider a short sale request at the same time. You will have to wait until the loan modification review is completed or withdraw your request, in order to proceed with the short sale. 

Options To Consider Before a Short Sale.

Refinancing. Short Sale should be your last resort in order to avoid foreclosure. Try to refinance your mortgage loan first.

Sell The Property. Contact me and I will run the numbers to see if it's still possible to get the property sold a regular sale, without doing a Short Sale.

Loan Modification. Notify your lender of your financial  hardship, explain why you can't afford to make mortgage payments and ask if they could offer you any assistance to modify or re-structure your existing loan into something that you could live with (reduced mortgage payments, lower interest rate, etc..). 

Where do you see yourself in 6 months?
- if you want to keep the property and think you might be able to get back on track with your mortgage payments but need some assistance from the bank, you should contact your lender and ask for a Loan Modification (i.e. interest rate adjustment) or a Forbearance Plan to temporarily reduce, delay or even freeze payments.
A borrower who is willing but unable to make payments, may request forbearance from the lender. Forbearance allows payments to stop temporarily or decrease in amount for a specific length of time. Some lenders might be willing to temporarily reduce or even freeze your mortgage payments, to help you get back on your feet, financially. The lender may grant forbearance of principal, interest or both. The borrower is responsible for repayment of accrued interest charges.
Deed in lieu of foreclosure.
A deed in lieu of foreclosure occurs when the borrower voluntarily conveys all interest in a real property to the lender to satisfy a loan that is in default and avoid foreclosure proceedings. Deed in lieu requires bank approval and is rarely exercised in Illinois, most lenders don't want to own and maintain properties that will have to be sold eventually anyway. Short Sales make more financial sense to lenders.
Contact me only when you decide that you don't want to keep the property.
If you would like to keep your property, then try the options above first. If you are unable to keep the property or your loan modification or forbearance application have been declined by your lender, then a short sale should be the option in order to avoid foreclosure.

Short Sale Process Overview.

Looking To Short Sell? >> Click Here >> Request Short Sale Listing Packet

To start, we will need the following:

1.) LISTING AGREEMENT - sellers signs a listing agreement, short sale addendum & authorization form.

2.) HARDSHIP LETTER - a brief, written explanation of your financial hardship signed and dated by each borrower (examples available)

3.) FINANCIAL WORKSHEET - disclosure of income, assets, expenses and liabilities (form available).

Your lender will also request the following from you:

4.) TWO MOST RECENT BANK STATEMENTS - checking, savings, money market accounts, etc...

5.) TWO MOST RECENT PAYSTUBS - or letter of explanation if not available: "I don't get payroll stubs because I'm self employed."


**or letter of explanation if not available: "I don't get pay stubs, I don't have bank accounts, I'm unemployed, etc..."

Most important..

7.) PURCHASE OFFERS. - A Short Sale can not be completed without a purchase offer. My job as your listing agent is the marketing of your property in order to bring as many offers as possible. My short sale negotiators will then submit and get one of the offers approved by the bank. The offer should be justifiable by recently closed comparable properties in the same neighborhood. The highest and best offer received is accepted by the seller and sent to bank for consideration while the property is being marketed for back up offers. The bank has the right to accept, decline or make a counter-offer to any offer received. If the first offer is not acceptable to bank we will submit another one. The idea is to keep sending offers to bank until one of them comes back approved so we can close the deal.

Tips For Short Sale Sellers.

1.) Aggressively price the property.

2.) Allow at least 2 weeks marketing time.

- do not accept any offers until the property has been on the market for 2 weeks minimum, then select the highest and best offer from a qualified buyer that is willing to wait and able to close the deal.

3.) Continue showing the property. It's very important that the short sale seller continues showing the property to other buyers while the 1st offer is pending bank approval. You should have at least one back up offer lined up in case something goes wrong with the first buyer. The first buyer rarely ends up closing the deal, many times it takes me 2, 3 or even 4 contracts to sell one short sale property. Why? The buyers often get tired of waiting for bank approval, change their mind, withdraw their offers, lose their jobs, offers get rejected by the bank (too low) or the lender simply make a counter-offer to buyer (Yes, banks have the right to counter any offer received) and the buyer is not willing to accept it and walks away.

Typical Short Sale Process & Timeframe

- Bank assigns a short sale negotiator (1 to 4 weeks). Usually after a purchase offer is submitted.

- Bank orders the property appraisal (1 to 4 weeks). 

- Banks will not respond to any offers until they have the appraisal or a BPO (Broker Price Opinion) that will determine a fair market value for the property. Bank negotiator then compares the appraised value to the offer received and responds. Bank can approve, reject or counter any offer received. If one of the offers gets approved by the bank, the closing is scheduled. Foreclosure gets dismissed.

Short Sale must be an "arms-length" transaction. The property may not be sold to the sellers family members.

*The seller (or tenants) must also agree to cooperate with the listing broker and make the property available for showings to potential buyers.

*The seller must be willing to move out prior to closing, usually 4-6 weeks after the purchase offer is approved by the bank. *Most Short Sale approvals are good for 30 days.

How long does it take to do a Short Sale in Illinois?  It usually takes 60 days on average to get the short sale approval from the first lender only. It depends how many lenders/ lien holders, and who they are. Is there an investor or Private Mortgage Insurance involved? Is this an FHA/ Fannie Mae/ Government backed loan?... Different lenders have different guidelines. For example, Bank of America (Countrywide) and Aurora Loans are the worst lenders to do short sales with, it takes 5 months to get any kind of response from them. What liens are attached to the property?  - most lenders will not pay the IRS/ Federal Tax liens attached to property. Location of property, condition of property, demand for specific type of property (it's 4 times more difficult to sell a condo than a single family house). What kind of offer was sent to bank? is the offer in line with the property's appraised value, experience of the short sale agent, easy access to property, cooperation from the seller/ tenants, how much time is left before the auction date, etc...

As you can see, short sales can be vey complex.

Why choose Michael Sorensen Team for your Short Sale service?

Experience. 100 properties listed in the last 12 months, 60+ Homes SOLD or Pending Contract in 2009! Only 4 properties lost to foreclosure! 

List and Short Sell with me for Free! There is no charge to our seller clients for any of our short sale service. You will never be asked to pay us any money, regardless if the deal closes or not. We negotiate our fees directly with your lender and are paid by the lender from the proceeds, at closing.

We are short sale and pre foreclosure experts. We can help you sell the house for less than you owe on the mortgage and walk away. The foreclosure gets dismissed. No deficiency judgement. No Bankruptcy. Credit report typically reflects a short sale as "settled debt", some lenders don't even report short sales to credit bureaus.

- we can negotiate a short sale even if the seller is in advanced foreclosure and the auction is already scheduled.

- we have partnered with the largest short sale negotiation firms and real estate attorneys specializing in short sale and foreclosure law, who close more short sale transactions than anyone else in Illinois.

- we have established relationships with virtually every lender, so we are able to properly 'package' the short sale and get it to the right person in the right format for an immediate response.

- your bank could let you sell your property for less than you owe in mortgages if you are in financial hardship or must relocate.

- we don't charge any upfront fees and you will not be asked to bring any money to the closing. 

SELLERS BEWARE!  Illinois Association of REALTORS recently issued a warning of numerous mortgage rescue scams and foreclosure rescue scams. Companies and individuals operating in the Chicago Metropolitan area, who claim to save your home and your credit from foreclosure.

Remember, only do business with reputable companies and look for a brand name you can trust.. look to RE/MAX.

What is a Short Sale? Definition: Short Sale is a Real Estate Sales Transaction where the proceeds of the sale are lower than the property owner's outstanding real estate debt obligations (mortgage loans, real estate taxes, commmissions, etc..). 

A Lender may agree to adjust the amount owed, and accept less than a full payment, by allowing the sale to a third party for less than is owed on the mortgage, and forgive the balance, in order to get the property sold and avoid foreclosure, if the seller is in a financial hardship or is forced to relocate (i.e. due to a job transfer or a family emergency).

Why is it called a Short Sale? The proceeds of the sale fall short of what the seller owes on the mortgage(s). Example: Bank agrees to sell a property for $200,000 on which $240,000 is owed in mortgages and back taxes. Short Sale transactions require a third party approval (seller's bank and lien holders approval).

Don't pay any upfront fees to anyone! We offer a Professional Short Sale Representation and we are paid by the lender.

- experienced RE/MAX agent specializing in short sales.

- experienced real estate attorneys specializing in short sale transactions and short sale negotiations.   

I have partnered with the best real estate attorneys and short sale negotiators in the business who specialize in the field, to ensure successful transactions for my clients.

Who should consider a Short Sale? If you owe more than the property could sell for in today's real estate market, missed mortgage payments and facing foreclosure or are forced to sell due to financial or economic hardship, family emergency, divorce, death of spouse, illness, loss of income, job transfer, etc.. you may qualify for a 'Short Sale'. 

Many lenders agree to short sell a property and take less than what is owed on the mortgage, forgiving the balance, if it makes more financial sense to them than foreclosure, and the seller demonstrates a true financial hardship. If approved, the lender will also pay your back taxes, association fees, real estate broker commissions, real estate lawyer and other fees. We can even get the IRS liens to go away, too. By accepting a short sale, the lender can avoid a lengthy and costly foreclosure, and the owner is able to pay off the loan for less than what he owes, and avoid a foreclosure on his record. A bank often chooses a short sale if it results in smaller financial loss than foreclosure. 


Seller signs a listing agreement with a Realtor along with authorization form (giving us permision to talk to your bank). The property is put up for sale on the market, just as you would normally do with any broker, with the exception that real estate commissions will be paid by the lender and the offers are contingent upon bank approval. Short Sale properties are almost always sold "AS-IS" and the buyer is responsible for any required inspections, repairs or escrows. 
Offers received from the interested buyers are then sent to your lender(s) for a short sale consideration. The lender may accept, reject or counteroffer any offer received. If the lender approves the offer, then we can close, the difference between the contract's purchase price and the amount owed by the seller is usually forgiven and considered settled debt, paid in full.
The key elements to a successful short sale transaction are: the seller is able to prove his financial hardship, and the purchase offers are attractive enough to obtain a shortsale approval and dismiss the foreclosure. 
When you choose Michael Sorensen Team to represent you in your Short Sale Transaction, you can expect the best! Your team will include a Top Producing RE/MAX Broker, Top Lawyer specializing in Short Sales, and a team of experienced short sale negotiators.
The seller does not have to pay us any money for our short sale service, regardless if the deal closes or not., we negotiate our fees directly with you lender.
Short Sale vs. Foreclosure. 
The purpose of a 'Short Sale' is to avoid and dismiss Foreclosure.

FORECLOSURE. Definition: Repossession of real property. A legal process by which the lender forces a sale of a mortgaged property because the borrower has not met the terms of the mortgage.

Illinois is a Judicial Foreclosure state, which means the lender has to go to court and file a complaint (Lis Pendens) in order to repossess the property. After you miss 3 mortgage payments, on average, your lender will initiate a foreclosure.

The foreclosure processing period is 7 months. If court agrees with the lender, it issues a judgment for the total amount owed, plus the costs of the foreclosure process. The foreclosure sale is conducted by the sheriff or any judge in the county where the property is located. If the property does not sell at the auction, it goes back to the lender and becomes a bank or corporate owned property (REO).

Benefits of Short Sale vs. Foreclosure. 

If the Short Sale is approved, the difference between the sales price and the amount owed is usually forgiven and reported as 'Settled' or 'Paid in Full'.

EXAMPLE: If you owe $300,000, and the property is foreclosed upon, but the lender could only get $200,000 at the auction, the lender may be able to sue you for the remaining $100,000. If you don't do anything during foreclosure redemtion period, and end up losing your property to foreclosure, your lender could file deficiency judgments against you, seize your assets, place liens on your other properties, garnish your wages, force you into bancruptcy.

Short Sale prevents Foreclosure! Call 773-987-8224 ..before it's too late.

Frequently Asked Short Sale Questions

Q: Who do you represent in a Short Sale, the Seller or the Bank?

A: We represent the property seller (the legal owner of record), not the bank.

Q: Who pays the seller's closing costs, real estate broker commissions, attorney fees, back taxes, title insurance, unpaid assessments and other closing costs?

A: The Bank.

Q: Do I have to pay taxes on the cancelled mortgage debt?

Principal Residence (owner occupied property). Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act (Bill HR 3648) was signed by President Bush on December 20, 2007. 

Bill HR 3648 eliminates the homeowner's liability for paying taxes on the cancelled/ forgiven debt. This Act ensures that any deficiency written off as part of the Short Sale will not be treated as taxable income. If your lender submits a form 1099 to the IRS after the short sale is completed. You should report the disposition of your property to the IRS as well, use form I-982 and attach a copy of the closing statement (HUD-1) showing that you did not make any profit on the sale. The closing statement should reflect net proceeds to seller equals: $0.00.

"When your home is losing value and your family is under financial stress, the last thing you need is to be hit with more taxes. So I'm working with members of both parties to pass a bill that will protect homeowners from having to pay taxes on cancelled mortgage debt." - President George W. Bush.

Option 2. Sellers who do not qualify for HR 3648 exemption (e.g. investors) may consider Insolvency. Basically, you are insolvent when your total debts exceed the market value of your total assets. When the debt is cancelled, some or all of the cancelled debt may not be taxable to you.

*Assistance of a tax professional is highly recommended.

Q: Will a Short Sale affect my credit history/ score?

A: Yes, but not as much as a foreclosure would. You should be able to rebuild your credit within 1 year. Short Sales are not reported on a Credit History, Foreclosures are reported on Credit History (~300 point loss). Foreclosure is one of the most credit devastating items one could have on their credit report. A ‘short sale’ settles your mortgage debt on the credit report. The loan is typically reported as 'paid in full', 'legally settled' or 'paid as agreed‘. There is no specific reporting item for 'short sale'. The negative points on your credit are from missed or late mortgage payments and not from the short sale itself.

SHORT SALE vs. FORECLOSURE - Seller Benefits

Credit History. Short Sales are not reported. Foreclosures are reported. 

Public Records. Short Sale is not a Public Record item. Foreclosure is a Public Record forever. You will be asked and obligated to disclose a foreclosure on various applications for the rest of your life. 

Employment. A Short Sale is not reported on a credit report therefore is not a challenge to employment. Foreclosure in many cases is ground for immediate reassignment or termination in sensitive positions.

Security Clearance. Short Sale on its own does not challenge most security clearances. Foreclosure is the most challenging issue against a security clearance. If you are a police officer, in the military, Security, or any other position that requires a security clearance, in almost all cases clearance will be revoked and position will be terminated.

Q: Can I do a Short Sale if I have a Conventional Loan and a Home Equity Line of Credit or the 2nd mortgage?  

A: Yes. If the property can not be sold for the amount that would pay off the 1st mortgage in full, you will need both lenders short sale approvals. The first mortgage will offer some money to the home equity lender (or the 2nd mortgage) to obtain a release. The second mortgage may ask for additional funds, that we will negotiate at a substantial discount for the seller. We may also attach the contract addendum and ask the buyer to pay part of the seller's closing costs that the 1st lender does not agree to pay. This is necessary because the Foreclosing Lender (1st lender) is usually not willing to pay more than $3,000 to the 2nd lender to release subordinate liens.

Q: What forms do I have to sign?

A: You will be asked to sign a listing agreement with RE/MAX CITY (so we can start marketing your property right away), sign authorization forms, write a hardship letter to your lender explaining your situation (samples available), provide some financial information to justify your hardship: savings bank statements, pay roll stubs, income tax returns, etc..

Q: What are my odds for the short sale approval?

A: There is a 90% chance your short sale will be approved, or 9 out of 10, when you choose me and my team of attorneys and negotiatiators. I have listed over 100 short sale properties and so far only 4 have been lost to foreclosure.

Q: Can the seller live in the property during the Short Sale?

A: Yes, a homeowner can continue to live in the property until the short sale is completed.

Q: Can the Seller profit from a Short Sale?

A: No. Lenders will not allow the seller to profit from the short sale while they are losing money at the same time. The closing settlement (HUD-1) must state: Proceeds to Seller: $0.00.

Q: Can I short sell my property to a family member?

A: No. A short sale must be an "arms-length" transaction. The property may not be sold to anyone the seller has a  relationship with.

Q: Can I do a Short Sale myself (For Sale By Owner)?

A: Sometimes you can. Some Banks (HUD, FHA and others) require the property to be listed with a licensed real estate agent. Banks prefer to work with reputable professional REALTORS specializing in Short Sales to ensure the property receives necessary marketing and exposure, instead of dealing directly with unlicensed individuals.

- Many agents (including myself) will not even mention properties listed FSBO to their potential buyers.

- Properties that are listed with Realtors generate more interest and offers and tend to sell close to the current market value.

- I'm a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) trained to execute Short Sales, and we have already established business connections with virtually all lenders out there.

Q: "I'm not selling this house for under $400,000"

A: Don’t get too hung up about the price. If an experienced short sale agent wants to set a low price, let him/ her do it, there is a reason behind that. All you should care about is getting the short sale approved with a full release from any future liabilities.

The listing price of your home should be based on comparable closed transactions in your area in the last 90-120 days, not based on what you owe to the bank or what your neighbors are asking for their home. The listing price should be adjusted every 1-2 weeks or so, until interest and offers are generated. Offers must be sent to bank prior to foreclosure sale date (auction). You don't want to run out of time with no offers and the bank to foreclose on the property. Sometimes, a low offer is better than no offer, at all. 

Q: I owe $600,000 but the house will probably sell for $300,000. Will the bank accept such a huge loss?

A: It typically has nothing to do with the loan payoff. It is about the value of the real estate today, which is based upon bank appraisal of the property.

Q: Bank said they are going to start the foreclosure, can I still do a Short Sale?

A: Yes. You are the legal owner of record and can try to do a short sale until the actual foreclosure sale (auction) takes place, then your redemption period usually ends but you still have 30 days to vacate. In Illinois, you would have to have missed at least 3 mortgage payments before the bank can initiate foreclosure proceedings which will take 7 months to complete before the property can be auctioned off. Don't wait. You should plan ahead and list the property as soon as possible in order to generate offers, and continue showing the property until one of the offers is approved by the bank. It's possible to get the last minute short sale approval from the lender just before the property goes to the auction.

Q: Bank changed the locks on my property, what should I do?

A: Change them back. You own the property until the actual foreclosure sale date (auction) takes place. Many banks try to preserve properties that appear to be abandoned by changing locks, boarding up windows or winterizing the pipes to prevent damage. Contact us and we will check on the foreclosure status to determone if you still own the property or not..

Q: Can I do a Short Sale if I applied for a Loan Modification, Forebearance or filed for Bancruptcy?

A: You need to decide whether you want to keep the property or not. You should apply for a Short Sale only if you don't intend to keep the property. If you want to keep the property but need assistance from your lender, you should request a Loan Modification or a Forebearance Plan. Short Sale process will be stalled and can not be completed if you apply for a Loan Modification or file for Bancruptcy at the same time. You may want to wait until the short sale or foreclosure is completed and then file for Bancruptcy.

Q: Do I have to pay my utility bills if the property is vacant?

A: The homeowner (not the bank) is responsible for maintaining, securing and preserving the property's condition. If your heating gas or electric bills are not getting paid, your property could get severely damaged/ flooded due to frozen and burst pipes in the winter months. We can provide you with referrals to companies that will help you get the property secured and properly winterized in order to prevent damage.

Q: Where will my closing take place?

A: We have 150 closing locations throughout the state of Illinois.

Q: Do I have to go to the closing?

A: The seller is not required to attend the closing. Closing documents can be mailed to the seller to pre sign, pre-paid Fedex return envelope will be provided with detail instructions included.

Q:  Why some Banks don't do Short Sales?

A:  Foreclosures are sometimes more profitable to Banks than Short Sales or Loan Modifications. 

It depends on which bank holds the note and what kind of loss protection or guarantees they have in place. Many mortgages were backed by the government, Private Mortgage Insurance company (PMI), etc. If the bank you are dealing with has some kind of insurance or the loan was guaranteed against loss by the government, it may be next to impossible to get the short sale approved. Basically, "the loss protection agreement" may state that for any residential mortgage where the bank experiences a loss via a foreclosure, the government will step in and cover up to 95% of the bank loss. Example: If a seller owes $600,000 to bank and the property can only be sold for max. $400,000 as a short sale, the bank may choose to deny all short sale offers and foreclose on the property even if the property later sells for only $250,000 as a REO (bank owned). Why? The $250,000 foreclosure sale price may be more beneficial to them than the short sale price of $400,000. The bank will later file a claim with the company that insured or guaranteed the mortgage to recover the loss plus the cost of foreclosure.
Related articles:

Q: How much does it cost to do a Short Sale with Michael Sorensen Team?

A: Nothing. You will never be asked to pay us any money regardless if the deal closes or not. Michael Sorensen Team will spend countless hours working for you, without any out of pocket expenses to seller. We negotiate our fees directly with your lender and are paid by the lender, at closing.

Most common mistakes.

- Don't walk away. Do not abandon your property.

- Do not deed the property to any one else. Consult with your attorney before you transfer the ownership or give somebody else control over your property. Deeding the property to a third party does not necessarily release you from your mortgage obligations.

- Do not give any money upfront to anyone.

- Do not do business with any unlicensed individuals or investors promising to save your house from foreclosure: "Cash offer on your house today" or "We'll buy your house regardless of the condition". Those people have their best interest and maximum profit in mind, not yours! 

- Do not accept any offers that are substantially below the property's fair market value. Banks are not stupid, they may take 10 to 20% less than the appraised value, but they will not take 50 cents on the Dollar. These offers will only tie you up for several months and most likely will be rejected by bank,  consequently you will end up being foreclosed on, as there will not be enough time left to find another buyer. Investors place 100's of low ball offers on 100's of properties daily, hoping that 1% or 2% will come back approved. They don't care that 99% of them are rejected. You don't want to be a victim of their scheme.

- Hire a reputable real estate broker specializing in short sales, to represent you with your best interest in mind, that will guide you through the short sale process.

- Remember, we don't want to buy your property so we can flip it and make a huge profit, we just want to help you sell it.

BUYING A SHORT SALE PROPERTY. Short Sale approval process depends on the bank's response timeframe and what has been already done prior to the buyer coming in with an offer. It could take 1 day or several months for the bank to respond. The buyer must demonstrate ability to close the deal (provide mortgage pre-approval letter or proof of funds if a cash buyer) and be patient and willing to wait. Short Sales are definitely NOT a good option for buyers that have a specific deadline to move into the property, as there is no specific time frame for the short sale approval nor guarantee that the short sale offer will be ever approved at all. Once the short sale transaction is approved, the closing is scheduled.
Short Sale buyer receives a clean, marketable title at closing and is not responsible for any part of the seller's debt. 

SHORT SALE OFFERS. The higher the offer the better your chances of the short sale approval. From my experience, offers within 90% or more of the property's estimated market value, have the highest chance of getting approved by the bank. The lender will order an appraisal or a BPO (broker price opinion) to establish the property's current market value and will compare the offers received to the appraisal. 

If you submit a very low offer with no supporting data available to justify it with recently closed comparable properties in the same neighborhood, chances are somebody else will outbid you or your offer will get rejected by the bank.

Tip: Many short sales and bank owned properties are listed at "teaser prices". The purpose is to generate multiple offers in the shortest amount of time possible, create bidding wars among buyers, consequently many of those properties sell substantially above asking prices.

Multiple Offers. The buyer should always assume they will be in multiple offer situation, even if the listing agent will tell you there are no other offers today.

The buyer can make any offer they feel comfortable with, however, if you think it's a good deal, chances are there are other buyers that think so, too, and will be bidding against you. If you want to increase your chances of getting the property, submit an offer slightly above the asking price (most buyers will be bidding below the asking price).

How do I know if it's a good deal? Ask yourself this question: can you find comparable or better properties offered for less in the same area?

Can the bank reject all offers?

Yes. If a short sale listing does not generate acceptable offers, the lender may decide to decline all offers and foreclose on the property, and later sell the property at auction or as a bank owned property (REO). Bank chooses a short sale only if it results in smaller financial loss than foreclosure.

'AS-IS' Condition.

In most cases, Short Sales and Bank foreclosed properties are offered in their current as-is condition. The buyer is responsible for any/ all inspections and repairs if needed. The buyer has a right to inspect the property at the buyer's expense, but the seller is not obligated to fix any problems or give the buyer any money for the repairs.

Condo Foreclosure. Public Act 94-1049 clarifies who must pay the unpaid common expenses of a unit involved in a judicial foreclosure sale.

(1) It requires the purchaser to pay the unit's proportionate share of the unpaid common expenses that became due for the six months before legal action was filed to collect them. It does not apply to mortgagees or any accelerated assessments.

(2) It also requires the notice of sale in the judicial foreclosure to state that the purchaser must pay for these unpaid assessments and legal fees.

(3) It requires that the "statement of assessment account" and the disclosure statement to a prospective purchaser also state the amount of these assessments and legal fees. Effective Jan. 1, 2007.

For more information on short sales/ foreclosures/ bank owned properties, schedule showings or request a list of available properties, please contact our Top Buyer's Agent:

Karoll Haley - Tel 708-288-8383 (Buyer Specialist)

 Warning from the Illinois Association of REALTORS

Avoid "Mortgage Rescue" and "Foreclosure Rescue" Scams. 

Illinois Association of REALTORS cautions homeowners facing possible foreclosure to be careful of scams, particularly in Illinois’ larger metropolitan areas.

For a homeowner facing the frightening threat of possible foreclosure, the offer seems too good to be true. A “mortgage rescue” company steps forward, claiming to be able to help you save your credit and your home.

In some cases, the “mortgage rescue” company provides phantom help offering to work as an intermediary with lenders, collecting an up-front fee for services it never provides or that homeowners easily could have done on their own for free.

In other scams, the “mortgage rescuer” may offer to pay off the delinquent loan and allow homeowners to stay on as renters, with the possibility of buying the home back later. But the scam artist doesn’t make the payments and the homeowners, who have signed over their deed, end up losing the home and any equity they had in it.

Call me for more information or a free short sale consultation - I work closely with experienced real estate attorneys and I offer free service to buyers and sellers interested in pre foreclosure or short sale representation (our fees are paid by the lender).

'Short Sale' can be a very stressful and complicated experience both to property owners and real estate agents, especially if they don't know what they are doing.

Leave it to professionals.


Michael Sorensen - BROKER ASC, ABR - RE/MAX CITY

CMA - Estimated Market Value of Your Property

Illinois Property Search by Map

*Information and links contained on this site are provided for informational purposes only and should not be treated as legal advice. Consult an attorney or tax professional for advice regarding your own situation.

Michael Sorensen, Remax City Realtors Norwood Park Chicago, Short Sale Chicago, Illinois, Short Sell Chicago CDPE - Certified Distressed Property Expert, short sale homes in Chicago, Short Sale en Espanol, Spanish, Venta de Casas en Chicago, Domy w Chicago, nieruchomosci, pre foreclosure houses, deed in lieu of foreclosure, chicago, illinois, short sales in real estate, short sale in chicago, chicago short sales brokers, reo agents in illinois, short sale in illinois, search short sale mls listings, find short sale homes for sale, short sale information, what is a short sale, how to do a short sale, real estate agents specializing in short sales, short sell, selling short, short sale realtor, short sales realty, top short sale real estate agents, remax realty short sale specialists, real estate agents specializing in short sales, chicago, suburbs, illinois. 

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