Home Buying in San Anselmo>Question Details

Scott, Other/Just Looking in San Anselmo, CA

How does a short sale work for the buyer?

Asked by Scott, San Anselmo, CA Wed Jun 2, 2010

Help the community by answering this question:



Emily Murphy has a good answer for you. I've done some short sales and some of them take a while to close and some are not much longer than a so called "normal" transaction.

The big question in my opinion along with Emily's position, is if the listing agent has a full "short sale" package that either has been submitted or is going to be submitted with your offer. If not... it might take a little longer to complete your sale. The Seller has to cooperate with the Listing Agent and provide those required documents she described or it never happens and you wind up waiting for nothing.

As for 2nd liens...? it depends on who the 2nd lien holder is as to how fast they allow a deal to close.

One thing I would suggest is that you have your agent run comparable sales prior to writing your offer and assuming you don't have any competition for the house, make an offer based upon recent sales... no older than say 3 months.

Since the Seller will not receive any $$ at the close of escrow, most of the time they don't care how much the house sells for as long as they can walk away cleanly. So you might find a bargain if you just make an offer that otherwise might not work in a "normal" market.

I hope this helps.

Make it a great day...
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 3, 2010
Good question! It really depends on the circumstances, it can vary from bank to bank, and depends on how many liens/ loans are on the property a buyer is looking to purchase.

Basically, you don't have to do anything different when negotiating the sale with the seller, it is the same as a standard sale. Once you agree on a price, etc. the seller signs the contract and it goes on over to the bank pending their approval.

A good question to ask the seller when putting together a short sale is if they have a short sale package put together, (all their financial documents, hardship letter, etc.), have your agent ask theirs if they are submitting multiple offers to the bank for their approval, or if your offer is the only one being submitted. Also check how many liens are on the property, it can be more difficult to approve if there is a second mortgage, or if they owe HOA dues.
Basically, I would highly recommend using a Realtor as a buyer agent who is familiar with the short sale process, they can explain the steps involved, and give you an idea of the likelihood of the sale closing.

Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 3, 2010
Well - simply put - you make an offer & negotiate just iike with any home.................when the seller accepts the offer, you sign a contract which will kick in PENDING the bank's approval..............then you wait for that approval......and wait......and wait............and wait..........and wait.........if you're lucky, it will close at some point - or, the short sale may be denied, and it will never close.
it will wind up as a foreclosure.

If you need to buy a home within a specific period of time - a short sale may NOT be for you.

Best wishes............
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 3, 2010
Scott, in order to give you a meaningful answer to your question, you will have to be more specific. Until then, when a buyer makes an offer on a short sale it is more or less the same as a traditional sale except that the bank that holds the existing notes on the property makes ALL the decisions, NOT the seller. At first, the seller will either "accept", "counter" or reject your offer. But all final decisions are up to the bank.

Typically, this takes a very long time. Unlke a traditional sale, which usually close in 30 days or so. Short sales can take several months, some times a year or more.

If there is something specific that you were curious about, let me know.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 3, 2010
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