How much lower can a buyer typically offer the seller on the price of a short sale property? Is there a good rule of thumb?

Asked by Sean, Manistee, MI Sat Aug 25, 2012

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Jim Foley, Agent, Ludington, MI
Mon Aug 4, 2014
A "good rule of thumb" is to talk to an experienced broker/agent and discuss with them. It often depends on many variables they can help you with and may include such things as how many days has it been on the market, is it a local bank who may have a better understanding of the value in certain areas vs. a large out of town bank, has the home been "gutted/damaged" by previous owners, etc.. I've seen some come on the market with multiple offers the first day and selling for higher than list price and I've seen them stay on the market for months.... It depends on many factors.
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Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Sat Aug 25, 2012
Step one is to find out if the house is currently priced right. For many experienced short sale agents, when they first put a home on the market, they might price it competitive to other non-short sale homes. Typically the home won't sell right away and they may start to do a series of price drops. Lenders won't approve a short sale if the price is too low or the offer came in too soon way below the list price.
If you want to be successful, you need a great agent in your court. An experienced buyer's agent knows the in's & out's of getting short sale offer signed by the seller and approved by the bank. I encourage you to work with an experienced buyer's agent who can do the research and help you get the house you want at a great price.
One last thought, short sales can take weeks or even several months of uncertainty before they may get approved. Don't go down this road unless you have the time and patience. You won't like it.
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Alain Picard, Agent, Puyallup, WA
Sat Aug 25, 2012
It really depends on each situation. The lender will be the one to have the final say and they will most likely either approve the price or raise it. Once the current owner accepts your offer and sends it to their lender they will most likely hire a real estate agent to go out to the house and take a look at it and they will also look around the neighborhood and see what similar houses are selling for and that will usually be the price that they will want for the home. So I would look at what similar homes in the area are listed for and are selling for around there and make your offer somewhere around those amounts. If the seller is willing to send a really low offer to their lender to see what they say then you can do that but I would have your agent talk to the sellers agent and see what they are willing to accept.
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