How To Buy A Short Sale
By Jeremy Hart, NRVLiving.com and Coldwell Banker Townside, Realtors Blacksburg, VA
When a house is on the market and it’s worth less than what’s owed on the mortgage, you’re likely to see it sold as a
“short sale”. Short sales are a part of the real estate environment right now, and they’re not as easy to buy as you might
think. Here’s how to buy one.
Reprinted from http://www.nrvliving.com/2010/02/02/how-to-buy-a-short-sale/
Last week I talked about having a short sale right down help you write as tight an oﬀer as possible,
the street from an upcoming listing. It’s not the greatest but when push comes to shove the banks
deal in the world, to have a house just steps away that’s only care about the bottom dollar. You WILL
being sold for less than what is owed on it, but it is what lose a short sale from time to time … the key
it is. My sellers are realistic, they’ve got a house that’ll be is to lose as few as possible.
priced right and will show great, and we’ll continue on. 3. Hope you’re not in a hurry. I thought about
writing this point ﬁrst, but saving it for last
One of the emails I received over the weekend asked, “Is seemed more appropriate since we’re not in
buying a short sale something you recommend?“. a hurry. And I hope you aren’t, either,
Kristina, if you’re ready for an interesting experience, then because buying a short sale will take time.
yes, buying a short sale here in the New River Valley is There’s no sitting down at the kitchen table
something I recommend. Three things: and presenting an oﬀer when it comes to a
short sale – the oﬀer is agreed upon the
1. Hard work is required. The bank has agreed to let seller and THEN it’s submitted to an
the borrower – in this case, the homeowner – sell overworked “specialist” who reviews and
the house for less than it’s worth. In all approves everything. Since this specialist is
likelihood, you’re not going to get the belle of the working on who knows how many hundreds
ball. The house is likely going to be in some state of other ﬁles at the same time, it could sit
of disrepair (I’m not suggesting all homeowners for quite a while. If you don’t have the time
who sell short do this, just suggesting that to wait, don’t – and if you do, I hope you’re
sometimes you’ll need a little more than elbow patient. Honey can cure a lot of troubles,
grease), and since the borrower has already shown but it’s not guaranteed when dealing with a
they have no money to make the payments, short sale.
they’re not likely to make any repairs, either. I’m sure I’m not the ﬁrst to repeat this to their
2. Losing the deal will happen. When your oﬀer goes clients, but I constantly remind my clients that one
to the bank for approval, it could very well be one of the greatest strengths of a good agent is their
of several oﬀers on the same property. And the ability to be an unemotional facilitator in the
bank will continue to accept oﬀers until it makes transaction. When it comes to short sales, both the
a decision. Don’t be surprised if, while waiting for homeowner selling the home, and the buyer trying
a response from the bank, you learn that you’ve to buy the home, need to ratchet up their ability to
lost out to another oﬀer. Your agent should be unemotional, as well. It’ll take time, and it might
be ugly at times, but if you’ve got the patience you can buy a short sale.
Updated 2/2/10 2:10pm – Danilo Bogdanovic just posted a good addition to this post, entitled “How Long Do Short Sales
Take?“. If anyone would know it’d be an agent in the 51st state, Northern Virginia.
Jeremy Hart a licensed real estate agent at Coldwell Banker Townside Realtors in Blacksburg, Virginia, and founding member of NRVLiving Real
Estate. If interested, his license number is #0225077937, and he’s been a licensee in good standing of the New River Valley Association, the Virginia
Association, and the National Association of Realtors since January 2004. You can contact him at jeremy at nrvliving dot com.
Disclaimer: I’m just a real estate agent and while I’m one piece of the puzzle, don’t forget to consult your attorney, tax professional and librarian
before making a ﬁnancial or real estate decision. It should be noted that the articles in this blog are solely my opinion, and likewise those who leave
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