Their are a lot of short sales in our market but I try to avoid them. It takes 3 to 4 times more work and time and your chance of closing is slim. There are a lot of sugsessful realtors that focus on short sales but I am not one that does.
I noted that you are an Appraiser located in the Kentwood MI area. Like Kentwood, Grand Rapids has been impacted by the large number of distress sales in West Michigan. After a brief period of decline during the first portion of 2009, we continued to see the number of Short Sales in particular increase and last month reached up to 61% of the Closed Transactions.
The good news is that Short Sales are closing! It used to take several months to get a response from the lender, but many lenders have improved their systems and are being pro-active in responding and processing. It may also help to note that Short Sales tend to conserve property values at a higher rate than the drastic plummeting we observe with Foreclosed homes.
They are driving the listings, many of the homes listed are in a Short Sale situation. The main problem with taking the listings into account are what everyone knows, they are hard to close. For the most part it is because banks don't have specific guidelines to follow for short sales, but some of the blame has to fall on the homeowners that don't actively participate in the process. A bank is not going to take a short on the mortgage if the homeowner doesn't actively pursue the bank to help them. I mean weekly, the homeowner and the person authorized to negotiate on their behalf should be contacting the correct department of each bank to help clear any problems that arise. It is a major source of real estate business in the area, but in my experience over the last year, I have written 24 short sale offers, that were at or above list price, and have had 3 close. The percentages are tough, so in response to the driving of the real estate market, they are keeping us busy!!