Are foreclosure homes easier to purchase then a short sell home?

Asked by Kory, Indio, CA Sat Jan 31, 2009

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Sheri Dettman, , La Quinta, CA
Tue Feb 24, 2009

Yes is the answer depending on what you mean by easier. A bank owned home (REO) is sold as is, whereas you might be able to get the seller of a short sale to do some repairs. You usually get an answer from the bank very quickly on a REO whereas it could take months for a short sale unless it's already approved or the lender is being very easy to work with. On the other hand if an REO is priced right you might be in a multiple offer situation. The whole key is to have an agent that knows the right questions to ask on your side.

Take a look at my website when you get a chance as I have articles about both REOs and short sales.


Sheri Dettman
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William Lopez, , Riverside, CA
Thu Feb 5, 2009
Hello Kory,

Carolyn gave you some great information.
I would like to add that location, location, location can still come into play. For example, I've seen some well sought after neighborhoods put foreclosures on the MLS and within a few days they already have multiple offers. Then other neighborhoods have stagnant markets that fill up with more and more bank owned homes each week. If you are searching in one of those fast selling areas, I would suggest that you get your financing ready. That includes your deposit, down payment, credit scores ready to go, and most importantly, your pre-approval letter from a direct lender (as opposed to a mortgage broker). The reason that I mention a direct lender is because that’s what most banks/sellers are asking for.
I’ve seen too many cases where someone really wants to buy a house that is a great deal and the buyer misses it. By the time all the paper work is ready to send to the seller, multiple offers have been submitted to the bank.

I usually see bank owned homes taking between 3-10 days to get an answer from the bank if they accepted your offer.

But now you must be thinking, why do people still submit offers on Short Sales… here are a couple of reasons to consider:
- Some buyers will submit offers to 2, 3 or more homes and will wait to see who accepts first.
- While you’re waiting for an acceptance, you can still shop around just in case you are seeing more homes coming on the market. This comes in handy if you think that you might find something better. If your original offer is still your best option, you got to shop around for a couple of months to confirm that there aren’t any better choices
- Another benefit of short sale offers... I've seen offers submitted and get approved just to find out that the buyer already found something else, or are nowhere to be found. Fortunately, someone else that is interested in that house won't have to wait for the approval process again since it's already there. As long as the new buyers offer the same amount or more then they should be in escrow in a matter of days instead of months.

Sorry about the book, but bank owned and short sales are some of my favorite subjects...

William Lopez
click on my picture to the right to contact me if you have any more questions... thanks again...
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Carolyn Voet, Agent, PALM DESERT, CA
Sat Jan 31, 2009
Hi Kory:

You generally get a quicker response from the bank when you make an offer on a bank owned home. Short sales take much longer and prices on REO's are usually lower than short sales. So, if you can wait out, REO's are a better way to go.

Carolyn Voet, ePRO
Committed to Excellence
Windermere Real Estate
Indian Wells
760/774-6510 (cell)
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