It’s been over a year since we first discussed the subject of short sales; I think now’s a good time for a refresher.
Although short sales can be likened to the troubled teen in the real estate world (splotchy acne and all), the fact remains: they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. If anything they’re moving back home, dirty laundry and all.
First off, an explanation for the problem-child metaphor to describe short sales in real estate:
- Short sale homes sometimes have hidden issues caused by neglect (read: termite damage, roof leaks, etc.)
- Short sales can be a lot of work (read: short sales can take a long time and involve a number of individuals: the seller, the agent, the buyer, the lender)
- Short sales can attract members of the less-than-desirable “wrong crowd” (read: fraudulent agents)
Be assured, these issues are not guaranteed to occur; a short sale done well, executed with integrity can be a boon to desperate owners and buyers on a budget. In fact, a short sale can be a blessing in disguise—both for the seller and the buyer.
From a buyer’s perspective:
In order to execute a successful short sale, your real estate agent should ask the following questions:
- Has the selling agent approached their bank with a “short sale package” prior to listing?
- Has the seller stopped paying the loan?
- Has the seller received a “default” notice? (If not, their lender may be reluctant to approve a short sale).
- Has the short sale already been approved by the seller’s bank?
- Does the listing agent have any experience with successful short sales?
- Has a foreclosure date been set? If so, when?
From a seller’s perspective, a short sale may not be what you envisioned for your housing investment. You may even consider it that problem child you wish would slink off into the corner. However, with rising unemployment and the rising cost of living, a short sale can offer some peace of mind and relief from the burden of debt.
My name is Joni Kerley, real estate agent in Snohomish County. If you have questions about buying or selling a home through a short sale, give me a call at 425-343-4545.
Photo credit: Phanlop88, used courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net