Why would you like to skip regular sales (from the owner)? You will be able to find a good deal there as well, because they have to list their properties at market value (to be able to sell)... and market value is ruled by bank owned, short sales properties. I definitely would recommend you to keep an eye on all three types of sales for a good deal.
How long - usually bank owned houses close in regular terms (within 6 weeks), but only if foreclosure was done and recorded. Short sales can take months if not approved yet.
Best of success in house hunting!
Thank you for your question. Because you are asking about 2 separate transactions, I will answer that way.
First, a post-foreclosure home or REO/bank-owned property. These are homes that have been foreclosed on and are now being listed in the MLS by local agents. The homes will be sold 'as is' but the transaction time is similar to a regular purchase. You will put an offer on the home and if it becomes an accepted offer, you will do your home inspection, go to Purchase and Sale, and close normally between 45 and 60 days from the offer depending on a few factors (are you a cash buyer? Do you need to get a mortgage? etc.).
Second, short sales. A short sale occurs when a homeowner owes the bank or banks more than the market value of the home in today's market. They put the home on the market normally after asking the bank to consider them a short sale candidate by submitting lots of financial information. In this scenario, you again would put an offer on the property and the seller can choose to accept or deny. Once you have an accepted offer, again you would do your home inspection and then go to Purchase and Sale. At this time, the offer is submitted to the bank. The bank then has to respond to your offer with either an accept, deny or a counter offer. This process is where the timeline is VERY drawn out. The average time to hear back from a bank is about 6 weeks, sometimes longer depending on the bank and the negotiator working for the seller. So, from offer to close the timeline is normally a minimum of 8-10 weeks, but sometimes much longer.
Please let me know if you have further questions - I work in Falmouth a lot and I am Loss Mitigation Certified so I am very familiar with the short sale and foreclosure process.
Good luck in your home search!
Success Real Estate
You will find all in the MLS, a good Buyer Agent Realtor can arrange for you to see all that are available in th areas you choose. Bank owneds can go very quickly... as quick as you can close, excluding title issues that often arise last second but can often be cleared up. Short Sales are many months longer than a market transaction at a minimum. Depending on the bank, the offer, the BPO and the owner's financial situation they may or may not eventually happen. You will certainly get a better deal on either than a market deal, but they each have their own drawbacks. Contact a local MA buyer agent to assist you.
Success! Real Estate
Find yourself a top notch agent in your area and let them help guide you through the home buying process--not only will they help you find the short sales and foreclosures in the area but also some comparable deals on resales.
Best of Luck!
http://www.realtytrac.com is the onlt real authority site that tracks foreclosure data nationally.
The time frames for settlement on a foreclosed or short saled home will usually depend on the lender(s) involved. You should work with a real estate agent who is experienced in these types of transactions as he or she will be best able to to help you through the purchasing process.
Log into http://www.todayrealestate.com choose me as your preferred agent and begin searching for foreclosures. You can also contact me directly and let me know what you're looking for and I would be happy to do the looking for you and send you listings matching your needs. Let me know I'd be happy to help.
Lisa Cannata, Realtor