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"Ask Jackie"

"Ask Jackie" is a forum for having your questions answered as it relates to real estate in the Dallas area. Questions range from all aspects of the real estate industry such as preparing your home for sale, buying investment properties, what's a title policy and why do I need one, and the list goes on. Answers to some questions may require the expertise of a title company representative, real estate attorney, accountant, inspector, mortgage lender or insurance agent. Each of these professions are part of our team of partners to provide simple answers to questions that you may pose. More in depth questions will be deferred to your own financial or legal representative to answer.

Questions and answers will be hosted on a weekly basis. For an archive of questions, please email us and we would be happy to provide those for you. Send your questions and requests to

Dear Ask Jackie,

“We had purchased our home a few years ago and are now faced with needing to sell.  Our problems are two fold:  1. We have very little to no equity in our home and cannot afford to pay the costs that we would have to pay in order to sell our home and,  2. My company is going through a reorganization and I have had to take a reduction in pay, and there is no guarantee that I will even be able to keep my job. This has really put us in a financial bind.  We’ve already missed two house payments, and it is going to be difficult to catch up.  We have tried to sell our house on our own, but had no luck at all. Truth be known,  I really wasn’t comfortable having my wife at home alone during the day to open the door to strangers who wanted to see the house.  We understand that if we can’t continue to make our house payments, the bank will foreclose on us.  We’ve always had good credit and this is very distressing to us.  Is there anything that we can do? 

Distressed Dan


Dear Distressed,

I know that right now you feel very much alone in your financial situation, but know that there are hundreds of families in the area that are in the same predicament.  I thank you for writing, as you do have some options available to you.  First, and foremost, communicate with your lender.  Some will make arrangements for your note to be refinanced at a lower rate which could help with your monthly payments.  A second option is the forbearance program, whereby your lender will either stop your payments or have minimal payments made for a specific period of time in order to help you get caught up.  Please have this conversation with your lender for their requirements. 

A third option, is the Short Sale. If you find that you will not be in a position to get caught up and will need to give up your home this may be the best option for you.  In short there are typically 3 qualifying guidelines: 1. Currently in default on your mortgage; 2. Some type of financial or personal hardship and 3. You have little or no equity in your home to be able to sell it.

Most lenders are willing to consider a Short Sale.  This means that the lender is willing to take less than what is currently owed on the property in order to avoid foreclosure. It’s less costly to the mortgage company than taking it through the foreclosure process and it does get the home sold quickly.

Each lender has its own short sale guidelines.  Most do require that the home be listed with a Realtor in order to provide exposure to the marketplace and facilitate a sale as quickly as possible unless you already have a buyer ready willing and able to purchase.  There are a number of documents which you must be provide, and once approved any offer is subject to the seller’s lender approval.  The importance of working with a Realtor is the knowledge of the market in determining the best value to get your home sold quickly, and to work not only with you, the seller, but also in negotiations with your lender/mortgage company and taking you through this process.  For more information check out our website page:  Not everyone is familiar with this process, therefore it’s important to have a knowledgeable, skilled Realtor working with you. 

The end result, should you qualify for the Short Sale, is that potentially all of your closing costs are paid by your lender/mortgage company which includes the real estate fee, and title policy.   Each lender has their policy as to closing costs coverage and the treatment of the deficiency, so you will need to check with them as to what will happen when the home closes.  Some can issue a deficiency judgment, some totally forgive the loan, and others may issue a 1099 to you for the loss.  In short, as the seller, you will net nothing on your home’s sale, but you are able to walk away without a foreclosure on your credit records.

Hope is not lost.  Call us for more information on how we can help you possibly avoid foreclosure.  Too many families don’t know this is available to them. As always we encourage you to speak with your financial planners, accountants, or attorney as well for their guidance and advice.  We can be reached at 214.440.3606 or email us at

Address: 3308 Preston Rd, Suite 350, Box 265

Phone: 214.842.8599

Plano, TX 75093

Fax: 214.447.9150

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