The verbiage alone makes it sound simple and easy. I assure you that they are labor intensive transactions. Many people ask, when searching for a home and come across the listing that say’s “Short-Sale” what exactly it is. In the simplest terms in just means the sellers are going to sell the home for less than they owe to the lender. This sounds like a great buy for the presumed buyers of these homes, but here some things you should know about them from my personal experience as well as questions that should be answered before you dive into purchasing a short-sale home.
Has the short-sale been approved?
In our area of Ascension Parish we don’t see too many short-sales any longer since the housing bubble fizzled a bit in 2008-2009. Many agents who are not experienced with a short sale get a surprising education pretty quickly. If your sellers have to “short-sale” their home the sellers agent must fill out the proper paperwork with the sellers approval to speak with the lender about short selling the home. Comparable homes in the area must show the home is worth less than what is owed and the lender must “approve” the asking price for the home in its current condition. This can take weeks, even months.
If you find a “short-sale” make sure to ask if the home was “approved” for the asking price on the MLS.
You got an accepted offer from the sellers? Not a time to relax, not just yet….
Even though you have negotiated a price with the sellers, it still needs to be accepted by the lender. The seller’s agent has to put together a settlement statement to the lender that is then “approved” or “declined” by the bank. (I have even seen a lender turn down a full asking price short-sale). This approval can take weeks even months to come through. The agents working on this call, fax, email, and use sites to upload documents to make the sale go through.
Got acceptance from the sellers and lender, what now?
This is the time you want to do your inspections, and I STRONGLY suggest you hire a professional inspector. You are going to want to keep a running total of cost of repairs. In many cases the sellers are not in the position to make costly repairs or even minor ones so this is on you, the buyer. You really need to weigh out how much these things will cost you to do. Is the amount more than the reduction you got on the home? Then you may want to find another home.
Hurry up and wait!
You have sent everything 4 times to your agent that’s been required. The sellers have too but 10 times. What could possibly be taking so long? Nobody really knows why these take so long to get approved. The theory is that only one person at each lending institute is doing these short-sale approvals, and they get a 3 hour lunch and several paid days off. (sarcasm). Kidding aside, this can take several months to get the rubber stamp that its cleared to close.
The patient will prevail.
The process can be long and exhausting but you can really get a great home for way less than the comparable’s in the neighborhood. If you have patience you can win out. It’s important you have an agent that is informed of the process and can explain the up and downs as they come along during purchasing a short-sale. There are many other things that can happen during the waiting period for approvals. I just touched on a few of the big ones. I’d love to be the one to help you with your short-sale purchase, Why?
“Because YOU Matter”
Your Real Estate Whisperer