I've been helping First Time Buyers for 23 years as a mortgage professional and I will tell you what I have always told my clients here in New York: If you are a First Time Buyer, steer clear of foreclosures and short sales.
Foreclosures are someone else's headache. The home probably has not been well-maintained and you're a First Time Buyer adjusting to paying a mortgage. Do you really want to walk in the door to someone else's deferred maintenance that YOU will have to pay for? Also, if you're thinking there are deals to be had in terms of lower prices, mostly those "deals" go to professional investors who can pay cash, negotiate hard with a Lender, and close fast.
For Short Sales, my attitude of late is that First Time Buyers should steer clear. Short Sales tend to be a better deal for the homeowner than for the Buyer. You'll wait MONTHS for the homeowner's Lender to approve the short sale; maybe as long as Six or Seven Months. Meanwhile, you're stuck in a contract to buy that home. I closed a short sale recently with a Buyer who, after seven months said this at the closing table, "I don't even want this house anymore."
And he didn't even get the "deal" on price he thought he was getting! The house appraised for only slightly more than he paid for it at the short sale price. He walked into this deal thinking he was buying a home for $100,000 less than it's value. In the end that wasn't the case.
There are plenty of motivated Sellers with their homes listed on your local MLS. Go find a good Local Mortgage Banker, get prequalified, then find a great, experienced Realtor, and buy the home you want at the price you're willing to pay.
PowerHouse Solutions, Inc.
1010 Northern Blvd. Suite 234
Great Neck NY 11021
Licensed Mortgage Banker â€“ NYS Dept. of Financial Services
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John A. Weber IV, Associate Broker
Bayview Estates Realty
The answer is yes. To list and sell in the foreclosure market (Short Sales and REO's) get all the training you can. A good place to start is the NAR's SFR (Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource Certification). This 6 hour training provides a good foundation. It can be taken online or live. Your local Board of Realtors probably offers it live periodically. Go to http://www.realtorsfr.org/ for information. The NAR's Short Sale information section of their website has some good resources to read as well as webinars to further enhance your understanding of Short Sales. Go to http://www.realtor.org/realtors/short_sales_tips_tools. Check out The Certifiied Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation people for more advanced practical training at
http://www.cdpe.com/. Finally, there is very good resource information including some training materials at The Short Sales Superstars website and Blog at http://www.shortsalesuperstars.com/. There is money to be made dealing with foreclosure, but you really need to know what you are doing. Soak up the knowledge wherever you can.