Since lending rules have loosened I am seeing contractors, investors, and first time buyers snapping the foreclosures up quickly, something that didn't happen a year ago. The ease of purchasing foreclosures, especially the Fannie Mae Homepath properties that offer great terms and renovation loans have made it far easier to acquire these properties.
Before deciding to make an offer on a short sale here's what you want to consider:
1. Find a buyer's agent that is savvy about short sales and has represented buyer's on short sales - this is your most viable ally. This is because they will know what questions to ask the listing agent. The listing agent is the key to a successful short sale transaction. If the listing agent has never done one, and doesn't have the motivation or knowledge to do one, then that should be a red flag to stay away.
2. Make sure your buyer's agent knows all the questions to ask the listing agent with the short sale before making an offer.
Examples of a good question to ask are, who is the bank? is their a first and a second? are they with the same bank or different banks, how close to foreclosure is this property? Any offers that fell through already? WHY?? etc etc
3. A good buyer's agent is essential with the amount of questions they need to ask, it will take a huge burden off the buyer to procure this information.
I have done a few short sales this year. They can close fast BUT you must know how to approach them or you could get in an ugly situation, that won't go away.
Good luck! and don't hesitate if I answer any other questions.
Susan is correct - short sales are happening here as well as foreclosures. Of course, as with any short sale transaction, the buyers must be patient because the banks are not always responding as quickly as the buyers may like! And in some cases, you will find that the banks may not even respond, but may allow the property to go to foreclosure. But it is a case by case basis. If a seller has a home that they can no longer keep up the payments on, it is always best to try to get the lenders to allow the short sale and then to have a Realtor who is experienced in short sales help that seller. If a buyer is thinking of purchasing a property that potentially could be a short sale, then it is also advisable to have an experienced Realtor assist them, since the process can be somewhat overwhelming.
Please feel free to let me know if I can help you with anything. Good luck to you.
I am happy to answer any specific questions about either of these topics if you would like to email me.
Coldwell Banker Johnson & Thomas