The answers below are all good..and what buyers do not realize is that banks negotiate commissions with
The other issue is that you need an active, aggressive agent who is willing to do what it takes to find the home you are looking to purchase. An active agent is one who will get the list of NOD'S in the area, find the homes not on the market, knock on their doors, try and get their # and do what it takes for you. If you are interested in someone who will do that...call me.
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Park Place Services
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Both Karen and Bob have given great answers and of course, I'll add my few cents to it !
Since 100% of my business is short sales, a "heavily discounted" short sale is not always likely - sometimes, but not always. The bank or banks who hold the mortgage(s) have to approve the sale at a price they are willing to accept (and write off the rest). Banks do not allow properties to be sold at ridiculously low prices. As Bob said, the bank(s) will send multiple brokers and on higher value proprtiesm, an appraiser, to the property to determine the true market value. If the property is worth say $800,000 in this depressed market, it won't be sold for $500,000 ! Also, the second mortgage holder may approve a sale, but the first may not and vice-versa.
There's no "magic" to short sales from the buyer's side. From the Listing Side, it's the same process as a traditional sale, except a lot more work. Offers come in, they are presented to the seller, the seller and the broker determine the best value and "most likely to close" and they accept it. That offer gets sent to the bank along with the short sale package. Depending on the lender who holds the mortgage, it could be quick (3 months or less) or not - I've had some go on more than 14 months to get an approval.
There are properties to be purchased at prices better than a few years ago, but banks are not going to approve giving-away properties.
Best of luck,
Broker & REALTOR
Orange County, CA
There have been some short sales in Moulton Ranch....I'd have to check and see what's available now. Something to remember is that listing prices are not always what you are going to end up paying. So as you start to look through listings you need to realize that short sale and REOs are being priced artificially low so as to generate some quick offers.
As far as getting in before other buyers by using listing agents.....sometimes. Really what you are asking about is a pocket listing, they are very rare these days. Banks do look at how long a home has been on the market...and REO listings normally require that the home be listed for 7 days (depending on the lender). You might be able to get in quickly on a short sale....but there is no real benefit to you to use the listing agent.
A qualified Realtor can help you get your offer accepted, and short sales have so many unexpected turns....each one is different....I really think you are safer having your OWN agent to watch out for you. Not to say a listing agent is unethical....but why don't have someone who is dicated to your wellbeing. And with your own agent, you can also watch for new opportunities. Moulton Ranch is a unique area and a listing agent who will "earn a commission from both ends" might not have incentive to show you new listings that come up.
I'd be happy to email you a few active listings to start out with....just shoot me an email and I'll get those over to you. We can see what's available now, and develop a plan to watch that area for new listings.
Most people buy a house based on it meeting a variety of features that they're searching for - especially if it is to be their primary residence. You shouldn't be restricting your search hoping to find a listing agent who just happens to list such a property.
For your information, a listing agent of a potential short sale property has to anticipate the value of the property they're going to list, some time in the future - about 6 months from now. Of course they could slash that price - or to use your words, heavily discount it. The problem with that theory is this.
The lender, or Heaven forbid, multiple lenders, is going to have other agents - probably at least 3 of them over the course of that 6 months - do a BPO ( Broker's price opinion.) of the property, and if those are higher than the "heavily discounted" list price, the lender is probably going to counter-offer any offers with a price closer to actual recent sales - market value, in other words.
Most of an original swarm of potential buyers - attracted to the "heavily discounted" price - then withdraw, and the house comes back on the market at a new higher list price - the lender "approved" price, with that information provided in the Realtor's version of an MLS printout, for the benefit of future agents who will compose offers.
If someone thinks they're going to "steal" a property before the lender "get's wiser" it isn't likely to happen. This is one big reason most successful short sale listing agents rarely price a property more than 5% lower than recent sales. The lender is going to know what those sales are, and they're not likely to pony up for even more drastic reductions - in most cases the lenders are already losing a substantial amount of their original investment.
It also sounds like you have an opinion that it's better to deal with the listing agent because that agent stands to earn more commission and thus, do a better job for you - that couldn't be a more incorrect theory, for two important reasons. First, lenders discount the commission - heavily - if there's only one agent involved, and second, the listing agent's PRIMARY allegiance is to the lender - not to the buyer, who might flitter from house to house, and listing agent to listing agent, before finally getting a short sale approved and into escrow.
It sounds like you're looking for a property in the $700-1mm price range, and that IS one of the most negotiable price ranges. ( Thank your stars you're not in the highly competitive under $600k market, where most listings draw 15-20 offers.) There are excellent opportunities which will come up periodically - both short sales and REOs. ( bank owned.) ANY experienced Realtor can act as your advocate, as a buyer's Realtor - and that's the type of agent you should be seeking - one who can represent you on multiple properties - not just one that happens to come onto the market. MOST successful distressed property buyers have made offers on more than one property, before eventually achieving success.
Good luck to you in your search for an agent, and for your new home.