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Bank of America’s Seelenbinder said sales are quicker when the distressed homeowner goes to the mortgage servicer first and gets approval for the short sale, as well as a minimum price that will be accepted for the property. The process is slower when the homeowner puts the house on the market, gets an offer and then tries to get the mortgage servicer’s approval.
In Hennessy’s case, her purchase was complicated by the presence of a tenant in the house, and the need to take care of some matters that the seller usually pays for. Because the house was sold “as is,” she had to deal with mold in the garage, water damage in the kitchen and uninsulated pipes that froze during recent frigid weather. With all the necessary renovations, she joked, “Home Depot is my home away from home now.”
But she’s happy with her choice. She got to stay in Ramsey, where she had been renting and her 7-year-old was in school, and got the space and back yard she wanted. Going with a short sale, she said, was a hassle for a few months, but it gave her the home she wanted for the long term. “I’m glad I didn’t have to settle,” she said.