And while we were recommending you to avoid short sales only 3-4 months ago, the majority of inventory is short sales. Lenders had placed a moratorium on releasing bank owned homes in late 2008 and we have yet to see the release in any great amounts to the market.
Ten houses is a good start to get you into the market and understand values and amenities that would help you find the home that best meets your needs. The challenge beyond that is to make sure you're 'in the game', or under consideration with your offer, when you find a house that you like.
I consider this market like being on the side of a roller skating rink. You're standing on the side, watching skaters whiz by you: some fast, some slow, some doing turns and dances. You need to slowly enter on the side and work your way up to skating up to their speed before you can move into the traffic of the skaters, or dare to enter the middle of the rink to do all of those fancy turns and spins. Well, that's the Real Estate Market right now!
Find a good buyer's agent who can help you understand the market. Get on a client portal, save ones that (online) meet your criteria. Drive by the neighborhoods, or have your realtor take you to the homes to see what they look like in person. It's very different than from the pictures posted online. (To get on a client portal you can use my website, or many of the other realtors here online that are from the Sacramento area)
I normally show my clients the bank owned properties first, but then quickly move to the short sale listings. The difference in showing is that the short sale listings may still be occupied and require an appointment. In either case, the pricing of the property may or may not be accurate for the market. You'll learn that as you see more homes. The same sharp tipped negotiation is required and your experienced realtor can help
I personally like those that are 'back on market' listings. Many of these are 'ready to go', from a seller's perspective, but the buyer is no longer qualified, or interested. But there's always a need for patience in this market anyway. Sellers are often delayed in getting responses to buyers, buyers are losing out in multiple bid situations, or are waiting for the lender approval on a short sale, lenders are taking FOREVER in funding loans for transactions. In any case, patience will pay off on a good deal.
I think there are a great many homes that you're missing right now Jack. But most are short sales, and will possibly be better choices than the bank owned properties. Many of these already have the lender approval!
Either go to my website to set up a client portal (or that of another Sacramento realtor) or have a realtor set one up for you. You need to look 'under the covers' to see what short sale properties you should also be considering.
1) Approved short sales - the Back on Market that Sue mentioned. First buyer walked, but price lender will
accept is known. This can shave months off a short sale escrow.
2) Short sales with only one lender. Much easier to get one lender to agree to less than owed than it is to get the first and the second lender to agree. Usually the second lender gets pennies on the dollar to what is owed them (the amount originally determined by the first lender). They'll be the more disgruntled and harder to convince to take less.
3) An agent that knows how to work the short sales and negotiate with the lenders. Or an agent that utilizes a negotiating company or team.
Short sales are not for the faint of heart. That goes for both buyers and agents.
Well, the truth is, there are multiple offers on homes in the market today because there is only a two to three month supply of homes for sale. That would indicate a seller's market which is what I am seeing today. So, get yourself connected with a Realtor who knows the Elk Grove market. I could recommend one of the best agents in Elk Grove to you if you call me.
Have fun on your roller coaster ride.