Foreclosure in Twinsburg>Question Details

Tony, Home Buyer in Twinsburg, OH

Are bank owned homes easier to buy than short sales?

Asked by Tony, Twinsburg, OH Sun Apr 3, 2011

We have secured our pre-approval and are ready to make an offer. Our Realtor can not give us much direction here. She is telling us that its mainly the same process only now the bank owns the home and the owner has no say. We have heard that short sales can take a long time and are trying to find out if bank owned sales are any faster.

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Because Short sales are such a "crap shoot" (as Timothy wisely stated) I will give you some more info.... But, the list could go on ALL Night! So I'll only go a very short version...

If it is a Bank owned (Foreclosure) we can all respectably agree on a very reasonable time frame for "Acceptance". i.e. plus or minus 30 days... (Normally within 14 days!)

"Acceptance" on a Short must 1st be by the Home owner and then by the Bank. (or Banks!) Yes, there can be multible Banks involved!

Short sales are like the Wild, WILD west! They may have several Liens on the property. (multible Banks, mechanics liens, HOA assesments, etc...) A short sale cannot precede w/o ABSOLUTE participation and ACCEPTANCE of all Lien holders. -ALL Accepting an offer that is LESS then the actual amt(S) that is owed on the property or against it...

Because of complecations like this, most short sales will NEVER be successful and will eventually become a foreclosure anyway. The Foreclosure procedure removes most of the problems and Title Baggage that hinders the Short sale and further streamlines the sales process...

As stated below S/S's can take 4-6 months and even then fall through w/o ever getting BANK acceptance...

Most short sale "List Prices" are simply teaser amounts on the MLS and they will also state "Subject to Bank approval". No Bank will lift one finger trying to assess a property or it's potential value until the Listing agent brings them their 1st offer! (that was 1ST accepted by the Hm. owner) "IF" the Bank is even agreeable to a S/S, then and only then will they order a BPO to assess the property.

***People who are in financial distress often incur many more Liens and/or assessments, judgements etc... on the Title the longer the Hm. sits in default. This can and will change the value of the property to the Bank(S) at ANYTIME! So, unfortunately even if the bank (IF THERE'S ONLY 1 BANK) finally accepts an offer, they normally hold the contractual ability to back out before closing if they need to. It's their contract and it's THEIR rules!

WTS, the Bank cannot factor the actual amount needed for acceptance and then stick to it like they can (and do) with a simple Foreclosure...

Minimally, S/S's consist of 2 R/E agents, a Negotiator, Bank personal and the investers for the Bank on the lien. (even more if it's multible Banks, liens, assessments, etc...) There are simply far too many people involved with short sales to make them a practical and worthy investment OF TIME for MOST PEOPLE...

Seriously, Short sales -the longest 4 letter word in real estate!

Please take a moment and read some of these links and you will understand a little more about the time frame and unpredictability of ALL Short Sales!…………

Best of Luck to you!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 3, 2011
Bank owned properties are definitely an easier purchase process. I have sold many that only required coesmetic repairs.

To avoid closing delays your agent should werify the property title has transferred to the bank (county records). Out of 14 transactions in the past 48 months I've only had 1 property with such an issue.

Short sales are a crap shoot when it comes to determining closing period. Some banks, which I will not mention here, are very difficult to deal with.

Much success to you!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 3, 2011
I would say yes, every time. The bank is dealing with inventory they have in selling a bank owned home. There are set processes in place for this, and there is a guarantee the home can be sold. In a short sale even with seller acceptance there is no guarantee the bank is interested. Even if the bank will consider it, you don't find out for at least a month.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 3, 2011

As a realtor, I have lots of experience with both and you have heard correct. Short sales usually take a very long time for the process where as bank owned homes are usually pretty quick or shall I say the process is approx the same time as working with your average seller.

Best regards,
Denise Franklin
Howard Hanna Real Estate
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 3, 2011

YES! and YES! ABSOLUTELY! POSSITIVELY EASIER AND FASTER 9,999,999 Times out of 10,000,000!

Stay away from short sales if you want to close on a property anytime soon. A foreclosure can get done with a good sellers agent usually in 30-60 days. A short sale can take up 3-6 months of your time and then find out that the bank(s) can not work out an agreeable deal and then they foreclose on the property!

I've seen them go up to a yr. and not get worked out!

They're hardly the same beyond the offer/counter stage...

Bank owed is much easier to work with then a Short sale. (They are NOT the same) But, contractually usually less advantageous then owner/seller for a Buyer...

Advantage over buying from a Home owner "May" be the sales price. But, the banks will seldom lift a finger in repairs. (even necessary FHA repairs needed for any FHA loan) Most Banks will NOT even let you make the needed repairs prior to close with your own $$$ to be FHA compliant. "AS IS" -is just that many times... Thorough Home inspection by a Professional is a MUST!

Banks can mandate who will do the repairs that YOU are paying for! Banks can mandate the Title and the Closing Company!

The WORST part imo, is working with the Listing agents on most of the REO's out there. Many times, the Listing agents are Horrible to work with. They have little accountability, as they have No clients to take care of. So, they don't care about their reputation or referal Bus. and they can make life very Stressful thoughout the entire process!

A Good Buyers Agent can help you find the "Best deal" for you and your personal circumstances... -there are tons of great deals out there and Bank owed or Short Sales are not always the best way to go...

Check this out:…


Good Luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 3, 2011
Bank Owned Homes close quicker than short sales, but you may not get as good of a "deal" on them.
Short Sales you do have to play the waiting game, but they do not have to be a difficult transaction.

We have a Buyer's Planning and Strategy Consultation for our clients. This is to save you Time & Money when purchase a home. Sometimes looking for a home where someone is being relocated or a divorce situation can give you as good of a "deal". If that is what you are really looking for.

Not all Short Sales or Bank Sales are a "good deal"!!

Call us for your Buyer Planning and Strategy Consultation and we can show you how to Save Time & Money. Going through the process does not have to be hard at all. When you are well informed, you can make the right choices.

Call Kim Marie Kapustik of Keller Williams Realty Grtr. Cleve Southeast. We will show you the ins and outs of purchasing a property. Visit:
330-425-2947 or 330-998-4679
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 14, 2012

Overall I would say bank owned are easier but if you are working with a buyers agent have them speak to the selling agent and get current information on the SS property. Some SS's can sell just as fast if the bank has approved the selling price. Alot of times a buyer has put in an offer, the bank has all the paperwork done but the buyer has backed out of the deal. They want to sell it. I have closed SS's in a week or two and I have had others close in 6 months. I had 3 banks that wanted to close in the same week I put the offer in but I needed to get the title work complete so I had to wait a week to close, I was surprised when they told me they wanted to close that fast

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 3, 2011
More often than not short-sales take longer, but a business partner and I had a deal on a REO in Cleveland which rotted in escrow for nearly 6 months before the bank killed the deal (last month). So your mileage will vary.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 3, 2011
Bank owned homes have already been processed. They take 30-45 days to close. A short sale can take anywhere from 30 days to 6 months or more. The only way a short sale does not take a long time is if the price has been previously approved. Both require a pre-approval letter. In a short sale the seller approves the sale first, then you have to wait for the bank to respond. In a bank owned, you get an answer usually with 24-48 hours. Either way bank owned or short sale you are typically getting the home at below market value.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 3, 2011

Buying a bank owned home is usually a less time consuming transaction, but there are other considerations to determine which is easier! Some short sales are further along in the process than others, some already have lender approval which would allow for a typical 30-45 day close.
When considering bank owned or HUD homes, it is usually the buyers responsibility to have utilities turned on for inspections, if the home is in good enough condition to get them turned on. As IS means AS IS and no repairs can be made before close so it's important to consider the condition of the property when determining which type of financing will be needed to finance the home.
Both bank owned and short sales have pros & cons, working with an agent experienced in these types of sales will ensure the smoothest transaction.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 3, 2011

The information you have provided is "on the mark." Purchasing a foreclosed home is essentially the same as doing a normal purchase with the bank participating as the owner. They are definitely much faster and easier transactions, having far greater appeal than short sales that unless you have a "bank approved price" can take an eternity.

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 3, 2011
Hi Tony,

Once the bank authorizes a REALTOR to place a property in the MLS, they want to rid themselves of a "non-performing asset" So very often, yes, bank foreclosures can be pretty good to work when buying a property. The banks will very often even offer incentives such as home warranties and special financing to buyers in order to make the transaction happen. Of course the very inexpensive properties can be a headache for buyers and mortgage loan originaltors and REALTORS alike.

Short sales can be nightmares! Often times a collection department personnel will tell a property owner that if they are behind and can no longer make their payments, maybe they should pursue a short sale. But by no means does that give the homeowner authority to actually pursue a short sale, as there are other persons "behind the screen" that will ultimately make the decisions. As earlier responders have stated, you can tie up a lot of time and money trying to purchase a property listed as a short sale and have the entire transaction derailed for a multitiude of reasons too numerous to even attempt to list here.

*BUT* surprise of all surprises, some short sales can go very smoothly and be a dream to work! So there are no rules here, it all depends on way too many factors, and there are no guidelines. Anything can happen and often does. The main thing is make sure your buyers agent or listing agent is skilled in short sales.\, and have plenty of patience.

Jim Dvorovy, REALTOR
Cutler Real Estate
203 Appelgrove NW
N. Canton, Oh 44720
Cell 330-685-4615
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 3, 2011
Good Evening Tony

Thank you for your inquiry! This is a great question!
I am a Twinsburg area realtor and I'd be glad to attempt to answer your question, tho I don't feel that there is going to be a right or wrong answer to this question...
As I feel this is a situational answer and depends on where they are in those process,ect.
But In my opionion and from many closed bank owned transactions....I feel bank owneds can close a bit faster that a short sale. Reason being is at that time the bank (owner) has allready decided and planned how much of a loss they are able to take on the property and have the figures all ready prepared. Usually they have priced the homes ready o sell. But again with that being said it really all depends on the situtation, conditon of the property and the type of financing that the buyer is planning to use.

And on a short sale we as agents are trying to explain/sell/prove to the bank why they should take a lessor amount on house and sometimes it can take a long time to do that as there are also many different deciding factors that will go into the banks equations. As I said I feel that they are all situtational.

If you'd like to know more information on these processes please feel free to contact me at or (330)687-1200
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 3, 2011

Buying bank owned properties are very similar to a traditional transaction in time frame. It can take longer to have a response on your offer however the acceptance time to closing is typically 30-45 days just like a traditional transaction. I have had experience in helping buyers purchase these as well as homes owned by HUD (government entity).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 3, 2011
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