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Dee Nofziger | Toledo Real Estate Resource

By Dee Nofziger | Toledo Homes | Agent in Toledo, OH

Short Sale and Foreclosure Buyer Expectation Checklist

I am currently working on a "Short Sale and/or Foreclosed Property Buyer Expectation Checklist" to help smooth the process more than is customary with short sale and foreclosure transactions.

My thought is that perhaps I can waylay some of the emotional baggage associated with the buyer side of one of these transactions. I normally go through these items verbally, but in the heat of "battle" oftentimes the parties involved completely forget what was discussed at the beginning of the process.

Short Sale and Foreclosure
Buyer Expectations Acknowledgment


In an effort to facilitate a smooth transaction, below is a list of items that may transpire during the viewing, offer, negotiation, inspection and/or closing process for a short sale or foreclosure property that is listed with myself or another realtor, in addition to information in general.

1.   Short sale and foreclosure purchases are not for the faint of heart.

2.   A short sale and/or foreclosure purchase will not be easy. If it turns out to be relatively stress free, then count your blessings.

3.   You and/I are not in charge in any way, shape, or form. Oftentimes I am simply the messenger.

4.   The listing agent for a short sale and/or foreclosure property is not in charge. They are simply the messenger.

5.   The bank (or the bank’s asset management company) is the one with all the cards.

6.   Appointments for showings should be during daylight hours due to the lack of electricity in most of these homes. Short Sales may be the exception in some cases.

7.   Many times during an offer negotiation for a foreclosed property there will be “multiple offers.” This will usually mean a listing agent will tell all offer bearers that the bank is asking for “highest and best offer” within a short period of time, usually less than 24 hours.

8.   “Highest and best offer” does NOT mean if you offer the most, then the bank will accept your offer above all others that are lower. The bank will base their decision on many factors, only one of which is price offered. Terms of sale and type of loan are also important factors.

9.   Earnest money deposit is typically deposited with the listing agent for a foreclosure, but typically with a short sale it will be deposited with your buyer agent’s broker trust account.

10.  An offer is negotiated with the current owner if it is a short sale. Once your offer is accepted by a short sale homeowner, then it will be forwarded to the homeowners’ mortgage holder (there may even be more than one mortgage holder.) It must then be approved by those mortgage holders.

11.  Most properties go to “contingent” status during the short sale approval process. This means the owner may still allow showings and also submit any and all additional offers to their short sale bank.

12.  If there are other liens against the property, those liens must also be negotiated by the homeowner with the lien-holder(s). This can take a lot of time.

13.  It can take up to (or more than) 6 months for the lender to give their approval to a short sale. This time length depends on many things, none in a buyer or buyer agent’s control.

14.  Not all short sales and or foreclosed properties take months and months to get approval. Sometimes it is only a day or two. But that is the exception, not the norm. (see #25.)

15.  Contract dates are not very flexible and the bank will want everything on a fast track.

16.  Be prepared for banks and asset management companies to lose documents or say they never received them.

17.  Be prepared for bank or asset management employees to change frequently throughout the process, often times delaying the process (see #17.)

18.  Usually utilities will be OFF, especially with a foreclosure. Standard current practice is for the BUYER to be the one who pays for the utilities to be turned on for inspections and appraisals.

19.  Most banks will not purchase home warranties for buyers.

20.  Most banks will reduce a real estate agent’s commission and you may or may not, depending on your contract with your agent, be required to make up the difference.

21.  Expect to pay a per diem if you do not close by the contracted closing date if it is you or your lender’s fault for the delay.

22.  When your lender asks for documents and other financial items or underwriting requests, give them to your lender as quickly as possible. (See #21.)

23.  Most often a bank will not do any repairs discovered in an inspection on a foreclosed home. Standard language is “as is purchase.” But it’s okay to ask. Just don’t expect them to say “yes.”

24.  Most often a short sale homeowner will not do repairs. But it’s okay to ask, too. Sometimes they will, sometimes they won’t.

25.  Calling and emailing a lender or asset management company constantly is usually not productive. This may get your paperwork shuffled to the bottom of the pile.

26.  Be prepared for delays … and more delays.

27.  Be prepared for surprises.

28.  Patience is the operative word.

29.  I will not tolerate being bullied for things I have no control over.

The undersigned acknowledge that they have been given a copy of the above list of short sale and/or foreclosure expectations during the buying process.

Purchaser_______________________________________________ date__________________
Purchaser_______________________________________________ date__________________
Buyer’s Agent____________________________________________ date__________________


Communication is the cornerstone to all successful real estate transactions.

So I think this list may be making my buyer files SOON!


Dee Nofziger is a full time, residential real estate agent in the North Coast of Ohio, more commonly known as Toledo and Northwest Ohio.  She serves the real estate needs of home owners and home buyers in Lucas, Wood, Fulton, and Ottawa Counties, among others. With over 63,000 hours of experience in Ohio real estate, Dee Nofziger is proudly licensed with Danberry Company Realtors, Northwest Ohio’s largest independent real estate company.  With professional relationships all over the country, Dee Nofziger is able to refer you to real estate professionals in your area who will make your home buying or selling experience the best you can imagine!

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