If you are working with a Realtor, than they will show you a list of homes that have recently sold,and the prices they sold for. Those are the homes that you should look at to get an idea of your home price. A lot of home owners see there home through rose colored glasses. There are a lot of Realtors that will take any listing. Even one that won't sell because it is over priced. Be carefull, and don't fall into the trap of keeping up with the highest asking price. It's better to sell your home.
In the market that we are in now, three things sell your home. The first is location. The second is price. If the home is not in a prefered location for any reason, the price should reflect that. The third reason is condition of the property. The inventory is so high in most markets, if you are not in a home that is in good shape, there are pleanty that are. Price can be used to balance the scale for all of these problems. You must look at your home through buyers eyes and not owners eyes.
If you go on the HUD.GOV website, you will find a lot about first time home buyer programs. There is also help on how to qualify for these programs. Check it out. Good luck.
I am happy to see that you know how hard agents work to look for the home you want. That being said, an agent does much more than just that. We write the contract, negotiate for you, schedule home inspections, advise you of the process of buying a home, and work with you till the end of the sale.I would not let the homeowners lack of knowledge be your problem. You want to have an educated real estate agent on your side. Talk to your agent and let them try to talk to the homeowner. The homeowner must know unless the price for the home is low, there might not be another for a while. If that doesn't work, consider paying a commission to the agent. It will be well worth the price.
In Illinois, all offers must be presented to clients unless expressly instructed not to by the client. Check with your agent to see what the rules are where you are. If you can't get the broker to send the seller the offer, talk to your agent about reporting the offense to the agency in charge of enforcement. An agent should deliver your offer and if they think there is a problem with it, then they can tell their client their concerns with it.
There has never been a better time to purchase a home then now. The interest rates are historically low. The prices of homes are as low as they could be. There are many homes to look at and find the perfect one. There are a lot of first time home buyer loans and programs out there.You should talk to an agent today and a loan officer as soon as possible. Both of these things will cost you no money and will let you know what is available to you and what you can afford.
One major thing to consider is, will the houses value be high enough for the appraisal? If it wont, then this deal is not going anywhere anyway. If your clients are serious about buying, some title companies will do a preliminary title search for free. Some title companies charge a small fee.
In my state, either party can get out of dual agency with written notice to the agent, agents broker. Ask an attorney to make sure that this will work where you are before you do anything.An agent also has to submit all offers by law, unless conscent not to is expressed by the seller. Once again ask your real estate attorney. You should have one if you are making offers on Short Sales and a good agent with experience in short sales.
When representing two clients in the same transaction,even a seasoned agent should not reveal any privately gained knowledge to either party. That being said, once something is said to an agent, for example, "I need to sell now",how does the agent not use this information. The fact that another agent would not cost you anything, should be an incentive for you to get one. They will be able to negotiate for you instead of using a person who represents both clients.At that point the agent then becomes nothing more than a messenger for the parties. If you are sure of the deal you have, and have a good real estate attorney, you can negotiate the commission down if the agent and agents broker are willing. If you have not been through the home buying process in a while, I do not recomend it.
I am not sure if there is anything you can do to stay in your house. If there is no money to pay the second note and no way else, then maybe you should start thinking about a Short Sale. If you could do this and not go bankrupt it would be very benificial. You could be in a new home within three years if you could keep the rest of your credit in good standing. If you had to go bankrupt anyway, maybe you should let the bank have the home. That would be my very last choice, but if there is no way out, why prolong the agony and keep throwing good money after bad. I know it is hard to deal with guilt and other emotions, but it is happening to many good people just like yourself. Some times you have to remove the emotion and just think logicaly about what your real options are. Pick the best one for yourself. You will sleep better.You should talk to an attorney and find out what options would be best for your situation. I hope this helps and good luck.