Beaufort SC Short Sales Can Be Easier Than You Think

Posted by Todd Covington on Sunday, October 30th, 2011 at 11:24pm.

Coffin Point Plantation Beach - Beaufort CountyI was reminded yesterday about the first time I heard the term "short sale," back in late 2007. We all know what a short sale is now -- it's when a seller accepts an offer on his property that is less than that owner owes on the mortgage. So, the bank needs to agree to take a loss on the property, before the owner is allowed to sell.  

I received an email yesterday from a friend who asked me about a property I had sold a few years ago on McTeer Drive in Coffin Point, a spectacular, wooded neighborhood overlooking St. Helena Sound, on St. Helena Island. This home was a 1960s rancher, with unbelievable views of St. Helena Sound, and even better azalea bushes that exploded and crackled in the spring time. Coffin Point may be only 25 minutes away from Historic Downtown Beaufort, but it's like being in a different state.

During the listing period, my seller informed me he had not made a mortgage payment in several months, and was ready to let the property go into foreclosure, which was a surprise to me, to say the least. But during our conversation, my seller also told me the bank said it would consider a "short sale" if we could bring some type of offer on the property. Short what, I asked.

Now, I have been selling real estate since 1998, but a short sale was something I had just never come across, until that conversation with my seller. That was the moment the short sale entered my consciousness. This was late 2007, before people started walking away from their homes in droves, and before a short sale was just another type of rel estate transaction.

Now, to be sure, short sales can still be very challenging. But the process in 2011 is downright streamlined compared to 2007, when the idea of a bank taking a $big loss so that an owner could unburden himself of property was just about unheard of. This transaction still remains among my top five most difficult real estate closings ever. And, believe me, after 13 years of selling real estate, I've seen some doozies.

There were two banks involved, the bank with the first mortgage, and the bank with the second. Communication was slow-moving, to say the least. The seller was uncooperative in gathering the mountains of documents required by the bank. It was an absolute mess. But we made it through. My seller divested himself of this property, and the buyer got himself a wooded paradise, less than 30 minutes from downtown Beaufort.

If you have any questions about short sales, Coffin Point, or the Beaufort, SC real estate market in general, don't hesitate to let us know.

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