Home Buying in Las Vegas>Question Details

Terri S., Home Buyer in Las Vegas, NV

what percentage of short sales are actually finalized?

Asked by Terri S., Las Vegas, NV Thu Apr 29, 2010

and do you think that number is increasing?

Help the community by answering this question:


Terri - I'm not a statistician and I'm sure there are some agents out there who could tell you exactly, however here are some numbers for you:
Currently there are 10,232 properties that show available, and 43% are short sales
Currently there are 16,538 properties under contract (in escrow) and 70% are short sales
Over the last 30 days, 3,532 properties closed escrow and 26% of those were short sales

The numbers get skewed quite a bit because of how long short sales are or have typically been in escrow, but it used to be a paltry 20% closed, now its closer to 50% or higher. With the new programs in place, we expect to see that percentage go up considerably. The banks have finally figured out a better way to communicate, get the steps and info they need to decide, and we're having a much higher rate of approval.

Some short sales will never close because of a variety of factors including too many liens (lien holders can't agree on what they'll take), seller's won't agree to their lender terms (won't take back a note for the deficiency), or seller's file bankruptcy, etc.

If you're looking for a great deal, a short sale is going to be your opportunity. They are going to dominate the market for the next few years. But better yet, with the new program for sellers, they can get their short sale approved and know what the bank will take before they even list the property. This will help short sale deals happen much faster with much less wait time.

If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to contact me.

Heather Peck, SFR
SellState NRES
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 29, 2010

Short sales are a great way to get into the home of your dreams! However, the nightmare is the wait! Bill is right in his answer, the guesstimate is the best gage we have. It can feel like you are in a layaway situation rather than a Real Estate transaction, although many lenders are finally starting to see the urgency in getting this deals through and the toxic mortgages off their books. A great Realtor is your best asset in getting you through this. A seller and buyer should be well informed on the time line, and after doing a few of these you start to get a feel for the lenders and how long they may take.
There is a system put in place called equator. At the very least, if a short sale is entered in this system, it allows the Realtor a little more control, and the claim is that it cuts down on time.
In short.......it is really anyones guess, as the data set that would be used to find this information would be outdated the moment it was used to paint the picture.

To answer the second part of the question, yes I feel the number of successful short sales are going to increase due to the incentives being put in place by the federal government.

If you choose to buy a short sale, patience will be the best thing you can bring to the table!

Good luck, if you need more information, feel free to contact me.

Chris Fikkert
Web Reference: http://www.lasredrock.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 29, 2010
I can't provide you with a specific number either but I can tell you that many fall out because buyers get tired of waiting. I'm batting 1.000 on short sales since 2002, but a buyer of mine recently needed to meet a deadline that the lender couldn't meet. We did get an approval though shortly after they moved on.
If you elect to purchase a house that is a short sale property I have two recommendations. 1) Be patient, it can take many long months with little or no word before things finally start to happen. My longest took 18 months, my most recent closes today after 9 months. Most are 6-9 months.
My second recommendation is keep looking. If a property that meets your needs comes available while you are waiting, (and it's not also a short sale), secure that one and move on from the short sale.
Make certain you discuss this strategy with your agent and that your contract gives you an out while waiting for the lender to finally respond.
As to whether more are getting finalized, I think things are improving as agents are figuring out the banks processes and banks are getting this figured out, I believe it’s bound to improve, but that's just my opinion.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 29, 2010
Hey, Terri. I think it would be tough to get an accurate national picture on what percentage of short sales are actually finalized. Best to hear what agents around the country are telling you and go with those numbers. I would agree with the other posters that we expect not only short sales to continue and increase in number, but also for the banks to start catching up and closing more short sales. We deal with them all the time and are finding that some banks have instituted new programs for initiating short sales that are processing them a lot faster. The fastest we've ever heard of is 26 days!

You also need a solid team in place. One of the posters said that banks will not accept anything less than 100%. We have found differently. We are consistently able to get banks to accept 88% - 82% of the value of the property. With the right package, the right timing, the right demeanor, and consistency, short sales can very easily be passed through.

I wish you all the best in your search for a home--at least it sounds like your question comes from that perspective. I hope all the information you get from this site is helpful!

1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 10, 2010
I've had very good success closing short sales - 100% on about 25 so far. The key is understanding the bank process, properly preparing your package, constant follow up, and most importantly, submitting a realistic price to the bank. Banks will NOT accept 95% of value - they want 100% of value or more. If you are submitting low balls you will waste your time.

Richard Schulman
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 2, 2010
Hello Terri,

The national average percentage of short sales getting closed is about 15-20%, which is a pretty sad number. This means that most agents don't even care if it looks like a true short sale situation, they just take the listing. It also means that most agents don't know how to negotiate properly with the banks. All of this comes from experience in the short sale business.

I handle many short sales and that is the main focus of my busines. My closing ratio average is right around 95%, which is excellent. One factor that has contributed to this figure is that I am very a aggressive negotiator with the banks.

I do believe that once most of these banks have perfected their short sale departments to take on larger volumes of workload, the national averages should increase. I also think that it will increase due to many agents now learning the short sale business as well.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 2, 2010

This is a great question....one that I'm not certain there is enough accurate information on which to provide an solid answer but a guesstimate on our part would be less than 10%.

It'll be interesting to see how other Pros weigh in on this one......

Thank you for the post.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 29, 2010
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