What is the benefit for buying a short sale from the buyer's stand point?

Asked by Home Seeker, 90068 Sat Jun 4, 2011

It seems that short sales have a lot of benenfits for the seller but not so much the buyers. Short sales take months and the asking value is the market value so there is no bargain. So what are the benefits for the buyers?

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Ronald Shaffery’s answer
Ronald Shaff…, Agent, Toms River, NJ
Thu Jul 7, 2011
The hope is that the price will be lower than homes that have sellers that are not as motivated to sell quickly. I advise home buyers and investors to look at homes that are priced right. Short sales do not necessarily sell for less money. A good full time agent will market homes correctly and they will all compete for the Buyer's dollar. The market determines a home's value, short sale, REO or otherwise.
0 votes
John McQuilk…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Wed Feb 11, 2015
The benefit is possibly getting the home at a better price. Buying short sales come with risks so please be advised.
1 vote
Sarah Klamm, Agent, Wellsville, KS
Sun Jun 5, 2011
The timelines involved with many short sales are a detriment to all parties. However, I feel that a short sale has many benefits over a bank owned home. If the homeowner is living in the property and trying to hellp with the process, their home will have maintained a farily constant temperature, should have properly working electrical and plumbing, etc. When a home is vacant, it deteriorates much more quickly. Gutters are often missing or clogged. Homes are often not winterized right away and pipes could have been frozen. Homes that have been vacant for more than a year may have hardened ruber gaskets in stools, hoses, DW, etc.

Always get a professional inspection!
1 vote
Emily Knell, Agent, Huntington Beach, CA
Sat Jun 4, 2011
Short sales are rarely "market value" they're well under market value. In my opinion pricing low to high are Short Sales, then REOs, then standard equity sales.

The standard equity sales ARE the Market Value. REOs sell for less than Standard Sales & Short sales have typically been selling for less than REOs. I can show you proof of this in most any area.

From a buyer perspective it is very difficult to tell which listing agents DO have experience Closing short sales & which agents don't. So many advertise that they are "Certified Short Sale Specialists" , I've come across agents who flat out lie to the seller & say "I've closed 30 short sales", when they've closed none at all. I lost a listing to an agent like this last Sept & guess what? She's still trying to negotiate with the bank after 8mos.

A good short sale listing agent from the time the buyer gets the offer accepted by the seller & the package is submitted to the bank will get short sale approval in Under 90 days, (90 days is reserved for PITA banks like Indymac or Chase) while a Wells Fargo or BofA short sale averages 55-60 days to approval. Or you get a Wachovia short sale & it may only take 3wks.

Again, in my opinion other than buying the house on the courthouse steps at an auction with All cash & a lot of risk, the Short sale is the next best bargain. I always tell buyers, it's You & Me Vs. the Big Bad Bank!

If you would like any more information about short sales or need some help finding a good one, please email me or call me directly, I don't check back on here for more postings.

562-430-3053 cell
Realtor Since 1996
Short Sale Expert
1 vote
Shel-lee Dav…, Agent, Rolling Hills Estates, CA
Sat Jun 4, 2011
I list a lot of short sales. Buyers often ask me why they should buy the short sale over another property. Here are a few reasons:

1. Most short sales sell at a 5-10% discount from the full market value of a standard sale.
2. Most short sales are occupied by sellers, who are still taking care of them (to some extent). They may not have the money to make major upgrades and repairs, but they are keeping the yard watered and making sure that the toilets work.
3. Many short sales are well loved homes. They sellers would prefer not to sell, but cannot keep up with the mortgage payments.
4. A good listing agent will only submit one offer to the lender for consideration. So, if your offer is accepted by the seller, then your offer is the only offer being seen by the short sale lender. At this stage you have NO competition, if you have patience.
5. You will get full disclosures about the property and the neighborhood from the seller. They have lived in the property and can provide you with this information.
6. The listing will tell you what you will get with the house and what the seller is taking. With my listings, I tell the seller that they cannot remove anything that is attached. So if you see a nice ceiling fan, that will be in the house when you move in, as well as the kitchen cabinets, granite counter tops, etc.

In contrast, bank owned properties:
1. Are often stripped of anything and everything - I have seen properties where the entire kitchen is just blank walls and plumbing stub outs.
2. The lender has no knowledge about the propert and is, in fact, exempt from many of the disclosure requirements that a seller must provide.
3. Banks will continue to collect offers until upper management has signed off on your offer. Until you have a fully executed contract back in your hand, you may not have a deal. (I have seen buyers do inspections, appraisals, etc. because the REO agent told them that the signatures are on the way from the bank, but don't worry, your offer was accepted. Then 30 days into the deal they are told they did not get the property because a higher offer or an all cash offer was submitted and the lender decided to take that offer, which according to the terms of their contract, they are allowed to do.)

So, if you are in the price range where distressed properties abound, then short sales are a good deal. Wishing you all the luck you need to find your new home. Dare to Dream.

Shel-lee Davis, QSC®
Certified Distressed Property Expert – CDPE®
Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource – SFR®
Certified HAFA Specialist – CHS®
SSG Pro®
Your Real Estate Consultant for Life
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
424-2HELP12 (424-243-5712)
1 vote
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Thu Jul 7, 2011
Price? In my area there are property listed for short sale that are very low compared to their market value. If you can get one for the listed price...you will have a great bargain!
0 votes
David Cooper, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Tue Jun 14, 2011
A short sale is from a very highly motivated seller, both the owner behind in their payments and the bank who doesn't need another REO. That should produce a very favorable bargain for the buyer.

DAVID COOPER Foreclosure and Bank REO's Specialist-Las Vegas.35 years experience For freee list
Call +1-7024997037 or check website
0 votes
Dp2, , Virginia
Fri Jun 10, 2011
The benefit(s) depend upon the needs of the buyer. Retail buyers (like you) and investors (like me) typically have a different set of needs/desires.

Some retail buyers are willing to wait as long as necessary to get the home of their dreams. Although I don't get that line of thinking, it appears to work for them.

Some investors can afford to wait one of these deals to close provided they're able to profit from that transaction. Although I've participated in some short-sales, I tend to prefer to focus on other transactions with more concrete timelines.

Short-sales aren't for everyone.
0 votes
Stephanie To…, Agent, Upland, CA
Thu Jun 9, 2011

the benefit is that if it is a home that you have fallen in love with then it is worth waiting for, you will soon forget the pain and misery of waiting for the lender to say yes after living in that home for a while. what you can do is look for a short sale where the listing price is already bank approved , or look solely for reos and standard sales. the reos and standard sales are currently priced in line with the foreclosure prices since the foreclosures dominate the market.
0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Sun Jun 5, 2011
Hi, The one benefir is there are many that go for a great price, that's about it. Otherwise it is a time consuming emotional roller coatsre that I neverrecommend to first time home buyers.

Christopher Pagli
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
GREEN Designated Agent
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
Web Reference:  http://raveis.com/chrispagli
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sun Jun 5, 2011
Simply stated, the buyer of a "short sale" takes ownership of a home that is hopefully a good value as well as one that is proced at or below the current local market level.

Unfortunately, if we listen to the experts, the market is going to continue to slip in the near future, which will have a definite impact on your purchase. All buyers today, regardless of whether or not short sale, foreclosure, or a regular transaction should base their approach on buying a home as a long term commitment...not a short term investment.

Good luck,

0 votes
Doug & Bud Z…, Agent, Placerville, CA
Sat Jun 4, 2011
Short sales are not always the "Best Buys" as your agent should and lender should help you understand.
0 votes
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Sat Jun 4, 2011
Bottom line? We haven't reached it yet. There's still more downward to go before we reach bottom. At least in Cali. I'd be sitting on the sidelines right now along with the other two trillion dollars that are waiting to figure out where the bottom really is.

The reason short sales are taking so long is because the banks still can't figure it all out. Put your money in a safe place, go to Cabo or Hawaii, do some surfing, snorkeling, fishing or anything else you like to do and relax for awhile. It's still a way big buyers market.
0 votes
Daniel Rangel, , Marina del Rey, CA
Sat Jun 4, 2011
If you are in market where the majority of listings are short sales, just having more options is a benefit. In certain markets short sale are going to be in better conditions than Bank owned properties. You might want to pursue a short sale if you really like it. Typicaly there will be less offers on short sale, but no always the case. Be ready to wait about 4monts for bank approval. Be ready to be flexible with changing terms. You might not necesarily get a good deal but you will get the property you want.
0 votes
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