Home Buying in 98077>Question Details

James Helsing, Both Buyer and Seller in Seattle, WA

How hard is it to buy a "short sale" home? We are brand new into this. We will be selling our home and buying new.

Asked by James Helsing, Seattle, WA Mon Apr 11, 2011

Selling agent said its a terrible process and not to even consider it. We need a buyer realtor for our new home.

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7
Jim Olive’s answer
Okay, first of all, be VERY WARY of any answer that includes "absolutes" (ie: "short sales are great deals" or "short sales take at least 6 months") because no two deals are exactly alike. Short sales can be really great deals. They can also be really bad deals. They can also go RELATIVELY quickly or very, very painfully slow. I've experienced them from both the viewpoint of the buyer and the viewpoint of the Real Estate Agent. Check out my blog for the story of my short sale: http://www.trulia.com/blog/jim_olive/2012/05/short_sales_in_…

Best of luck with your purchase...
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 8, 2012
It can be a bigger headache than it is worth. We had an offer on a short sale for 5 months before we found out that the house was not approved to be a short sale. Another 3 months later and we got confirmation that the bank would let it be a short sale. We finally walked away.
If you are really wanting a short sale, confirm that it has been approved, by the BANK, to be sold as a short sale or you could be waiting a long time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 8, 2012
A lot of patience is needed to buy a short sale. Is it hard? Not really. It’s the same as putting in an offer on any home but seeing it through to the end is definitely the hard part. There is no guarantee that the offer you submit will be accepted by the lender/investor and you will wait a minimum of 3 months to find out. I negotiate short sales and have helped buyers to purchase them and I do a lot of research before to advise my buyer if I think it is worth the wait. 51% of all short sales fail. On the other hand, that is what is on the market and will be in the future until we get more sellers with equity to sell or home prices to come up substantially. If a short sale is the way you choose to go make sure the agent you use researches to make sure the seller is 100% committed to completing the short sale and has not just "given up" I advise my sellers to not see this as a "bad" situation because it is not and 9 times out of 10 not their fault but they need to commit to getting all the paperwork done, submitted and working with all involved so there are as little delays as possible.
Good Luck!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 4, 2012
In Portland Short Sales take a minimum of three months on average to close and only about 30% of offers statistically are accepted. My numbers are better than the averages for my area, but I can tell you, no matter who you are, it is the most difficult way to buy a house (but not impossible). You need an agent who knows their stuff!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 16, 2012
If you are working with a Realtor that is familiar with the process they can generally weed out the bad short sales for you, as well as educating you on the process. Buying a short sale may take longer to process but are definitely worth the time if you can find a great deal on the home of your dreams. That said, dont rule out Regular sales and Bank owned as there are MANY terrific deals on the market right now!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 16, 2012
Short sales can be tricky, but you can also get a great deal. make sure the agent you are working with is familiar with short sales and asks the listing agent the right questions since it is a short sale. if you have the time to wait, and patience, you can get a great house for a great price. make sure the agent you are working with has a great leve of knowledge to guide you through this process. It can be a long process, but it can also be worth it in the end
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 11, 2011
If you want to buy a short sale, you must be willing to wait for the seller's lender to review and approve the deal. Ideally, the process takes no more than 45 to 60 days. But there are instances where it takes 3 months or more. You've got to be patient and prepared to wait it out.

Having said that, if you make an offer on a short sale, be sure that your offer contains the appropriate contingencies that give you the right to back out if it is taking too long and to get your earnest money back.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 11, 2011
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