Short sales can be a good way to buy if you're not on a particular time-frame. A lot of buyers say they are not in a hurry, but you can't make plans when you have no idea when or if your offer will be considered, and you may miss out on other opportunities in the meantime. Also most lenders will only lock a rate for 30 or 60 days; rates could change by the time you get an answer.
Also, keep in mind that often when a seller has to sell for less than they owe, there's a strong possibility that they've not been able to afford to properly maintain the house or they may not have cared. So, you may "save" a lot, but it could end up costing a lot more than you think.
Short sales can be good for investors, but may not be so great for someone looking for a home to live in.
Hope that helps. Marilyn
A short sale process, while requiring a LOT of patience, is not for the faint of heart. Much better to deal with an agent who has a team who is skilled in negotiating these things. The first thing to find out is what the seller owes on a property. Doing a title search will clear this up, because many times a seller will have a Home Equity loan on a property also.
Michael is correct, but I just wanted to elaborate a little for you...
The home at 22 Laurel Circle is currently listed at $749K which is $200K less than the current owners paid for it in 2003. While we do not know what the current owners owe for the home, we do know that they need to sell it for LESS THAN THE OWE....this is where the term "SHORT SALE" comes in.
Since it is the lender that is being "shorted," they have final approval on all offers. The lenders are requiring borrowers to provide detailed personal and financial information and they are receiving an average of 16,000 short sale packages A DAY!!!! That is why the approval process is so long.
If the listing agent on the property your are inquiring about requests 90 days for approval, that is (in my professional opinion) a QUICK turn around.
If you are in no hurry to hear a response, and have the patients of a saint, you just might get a heck of a deal! I'm glad to answer any more questions you may have!