1. People trying to refinance their home after having it listed for sale are about to run into a big road block. Refinancing a home after being listed is one of the biggest underwriting guidelines that has to be passed. This is not about you, its about the mortgage company.
2. Most mortgage companies like Quicken Loans for instance have very particular guidelines when it comes to this. With all of the homes listed for sale around the country this is one that can become a real deal breaker. Depending on the company, many have a 12 month delisting period. Some will have a 6 month but for the most part its 12.
3. What does this mean? You need to be able to show the mortgage company that you have taken your house off of the market. You can do this by getting a de-listing ticket from your realtor. On the “De-Listing Ticket” it will show how long the home was listed for sale and the exact date it was taken off of the market. The mortgage company needs this information and must follow all of the guidelines set forth by Fannie Mae. This is one of them.
4. So why does the mortgage lender care when your home was listed and de-listed? It really comes down to you, the home owner. The mortgage companies know that you are just trying to consolidate all of your debts to give you some breathing room while you try to sell the home. The mortgage company wants you to stay in that home and pay them the interest on that loan.
5. You are probably going to find this out the hard way first. I remember being a mortgage banker and getting that phone call from people desperate to refinance their home. I would go through all of the normal application questions and ask them if their home was listed for sale. For the most part people would tell me whether or not it was. If they did not we would find out. Unfortunately, it would be when the appraisal gets back. The appraiser has a database of all of the homes that were listed for sale. The home owner is the one that is affected the most because they just spent $350 on a appraisal and are not going to be able to close the home loan.
6. So what are you to do? The best bet would be to call the mortgage company who holds the note, i.e, Countrywide, Chase, Bank Of America. Ask them if there is anything that they can do. More than likely all that they will do for you now is a “rate/term refinance.” This is for people who are in a adjustable rate mortgage. The mortgage company will not let you do a “cash out refinance” because they do not want you rolling more debt into the equity of the home. You will have to wait the time needed to refinance. Its probably not worth your time to call up a mortgage broker. They have to follow the guidelines set forth by the lender who actually funds the loan.
7. No need to call the original mortgage company that did the loan for you if its different than the one who holds you mortgage note now. You probably noticed after your loan closed your mortgage was sold to another company. The deal is the first company gets paid by the next company a premium for your loan. They keep this money as long as you do not refinance or sell the home within 120 days. The 120 days is known in the mortgage business as the “recapture period.” Its more like 140 days because its not from the day the loan was closed, its from when the mortgage was bought the first time. So you have to look at this from the lenders point of view. Here is somebody who is trying to sell their home, then can’t, and now is trying to roll more debt in to the equity of the home. The company knows you are going to put that house right back up for sale the second after the loan closes. So why waste time on somebody who is going to stick it back to them within 4 months if they can? No need to do that. Move onto the next client.
8. A real big reason why mortgage companies are not letting people refinance after the home was listed for sale was now it gives you the chance to foreclose on the property with all of your debts in the new loan (that is if you are rolling in debts). Now the loan to value (LTV) is way high. You are not going to be able to sell the home now because any wiggle room in the equity of the home is gone. Now the bank is stuck with a mortgage note on a property that is not going to sell for what is needed to cover the mortgage note. The bank will have to write off some of the balance and take a loss just to move the property off their books. You in the mean time have all of your debts paid by the new mortgage and those are included in the house you just foreclosed on. Your credit cards, car loans, past collections, everything. Who cares if you need to rent for two years. At least all of your bills are paid so you can start fresh with just a minor (big) blemish on your credit report.
9. So how can you not get caught? There is only one way to get around this underwriting guideline. It is to list your home “For Sale By Owner.” When you do a “FSBO” (fancy term for “For Sale By Owner) your property never goes in the database called “Multiple Listing Service” or “MLS”. Wikipedia has a great definiton of what it does. As long as you do not contact a Real Estate Agent than you are in the clear. When people told me their house was “FSBO” I told them to walk out into the front yard and take down the sign. Then after we closed the loan they could put it back up if they wanted. Does that sound shady?
10. The most common response I heard from people that I denied on a mortgage was that “you get the house if I foreclose.” Mortgage companies do not want you to foreclose. They do not want your house. They want you in the house paying a mortgage note they earn interest on. The scenario of why mortgage companies will not refinance a home that has been listed for sale is really a lose – lose one. The mortgage company cannot make new loans. The home owner cannot get into a better loan or even roll in some bills to help them keep the house. If you are thinking about putting your house up for sale I suggest you do it “FSBO.”