Q: I represent a seller in a short sale. What should I be aware of on the new Form 22SS?
Karen in Seattle, WA
A: Form 22SS is the Short Sale Addendum to the Purchase & Sale Agreement. The NWMLS made revisions to the form in August of this year. Among the changes is that the new form presumes the seller has the right to consider other offers after mutual acceptance (Paragraph #3), and the option to have timelines in the agreement begin on mutual acceptance rather than the notice of lender consent (Paragraph #5).
Ultimately, the changes allow the listing broker more flexibility in negotiating the sale based on the property and the situation. However, by opening up a greater number of options, it has also made this short sale form a bit more complicated.
Since every transaction is unique, there are no universal guidelines for which boxes to check or how you may want to alter the language of the addendum. The factors that will help you decide which course of action is in the best interest of your seller include:
- The profile of the buyer
- How committed the buyer is to the transaction
- Who the lenders are
- The price point of the property
Here’s an example: You have what you’ve qualified as a strong offer. The buyer would like to close the sale as quickly as possible. You negotiate an agreement to deposit earnest money and do an inspection on Mutual Acceptance, rather than Lender Consent. The buyer’s willingness to make a financial investment let’s you know that they’re really interested in the house. If they hesitate, you may have a less committed buyer.
Second, an inspection at Mutual Acceptance will help everyone in the transaction get their needs met. Most short sale sellers don’t have the money to pay for the repairs that may be outlined in the inspection report. And the bank has set an “as is” value for the house. You’re familiar with this particular lender’s short sale process, so you know that if you submit a lower offer with an inspection report and contractor bid attached that explains the difference, your chances of getting a price reduction accepted by them is much greater. If you wait until Lender Consent to do the inspection and subsequently lower the offer price the chances that the bank changes its mind are very low.
Since there are so many variables in a short sale, from the timeline of individual lenders to laws surrounding liability, determining the best course of action can be confusing. If you need assistance with your transaction, we’re happy to help. We pay a 30% referral fee. Call Richard Eastern at (206) 612-5541 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.