Shadow Inventory in the DC Metro Area

Real Estate Agent with Remax Excellence - Silver Spring, MD Maryland #318884

Home values in the DC metro area have been moderately suppressed this year due to “shadow inventory.”  Shadow inventory is the foreclosure and REO inventory that banks are holding in their pipeline.  Many consumers, and some real estate professionals, fear that the real estate market will be flooded with these properties, causing the value of homes in the DC area to decrease.

There are a few reasons why this issue does not pose as great a risk as some think.  While recent federal guidelines placed on major banks have caused the foreclosure process to be sped up, the process is still quite involved – especially in judicial foreclosure states such as Virginia and Maryland.

In a judicial foreclosure the lender has to prove that the borrower is in default, and that the lender has exhausted all attempts to resolve this debt with the borrower.  Only after documented evidence is provided can a lender file a pending lawsuit and receive court approval to initiate foreclosure proceedings.

This obviously addresses the processing time for new foreclosures, so let’s address the issue of foreclosures in the DC area that are already being processed in the system. 

Banks are anxious to unload these properties, but it is still in their best interest to collect as much money as possible from the sale.  Obviously, inundating the market with a sudden supply of REO’s and foreclosures will affect the value of all homes presently on the market.  However, it will also affect the value of properties being newly introduced to the market.  Despite what is owed on the property, a property’s value is defined by what a buyer is willing to pay.  Therefore, it is in the bank’s best interest to release these properties steadily – perhaps speeding up the pace, but certainly not “flooding.”

If you are a struggling homeowner in DC, MD, or VA who is facing the risk of foreclosure, short selling may be your best option.  Currently, home values in the DC metro area are strong, giving sellers an edge on the market.  Contact me, Emcee Arah, for a complimentary and confidential consultation regarding your situation.

To learn more about foreclosure solutions and receive a free report entitled “Escape Your Unmanageable Mortgage,” visit or call 301.452.5252.  As a real estate professional who has earned the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation, I have made it my mission to know the best possible options available to distressed homeowners for both their present AND their future. 




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Emcee M. Arah

Realtor w/Architectural Dimension, CRS, CDPE, CIAS
Need help buying or selling real estate in Silver Spring MD?
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