This is by far one of the most interesting times we've ever experienced in Orange County California real estate. It's like the wild, wild west! Lenders are inundated with short sales and foreclosures to process. Each lender has their own system or quasi-system for handling the deluge of paperwork.
When you make an offer on one of these short sale properties you actually have to get acceptance from two parties:
- You make an offer that is accepted by the Seller (the owner of record)
- The accepted offer (Purchase Agreement-signed by both buyer and seller) then needs to be packaged by the Listing Agent and sent to the Lender. The package includes your offer, your pre-approval letter, proof that you have enough money for the down payment and closing costs, and an estimated closing statement. The estimated closing statement will tell the Lender how much of a loss they will be taking against what is currently owed on the loan.
Step 2 above is where it gets tricky. The Lenders employ people called Loss Mitigators or Short Sale Negotiators who are trying to get the highest possible amount of money they can for their employers. It can take some time for them to even review your offer. It can take lots of time for them to review your offer. This is where you need to be patient. Your real estate agent should be in communication with the listing real estate agent. The listing agent is responsible for checking with the Lender and updating your agent and complying with any requests from the Lender.
If you find a property that is listed as a short sale and it you find out that it already has an offer on it, don't be afraid to submit a back-up offer. Many times, the offer that is in first position will drop out because they had offers on other properties and they may decide to go with first property that got bank approval for the short sale. I spoke with a local REALTOR® this morning who told me that one of his buyers just heard this week that his back-up offer that he submitted on February 10th was accepted---today is March 30th!
So hang in there, the bargains are out there. You need to be patient and you need to have a competent REALTOR® to guide you. You need an agent who works full time not part-time and is focusing all their efforts in real estate. This complex market is simply too time-consuming and filled with new twists and turns every day for anyone to be able to service their clients on a part-time basis.
If you are thinking you are ready to begin your home search and need a professional REALTOR® to guide you in searching for homes and making offers that will get accepted, I'm here to help. It's my pleasure to provide my clients with information to assist them in making informed decisions when contemplating buying and selling homes in Orange County, California. If you have questions and would like some honest answers or need more resources, please give me a call, text me or email me.
Marlene Bridges, REALTOR®
800 777-1775 - Toll Free ~ or ~ Text Me 714 745-2592
SRES - Seniors Real Estate Specialist®
CRS-Certified Residential Specialist®
President - Laguna Hills/Laguna Woods Chamber of Commerce 2007-2009
President Elect - Southern California Chapter Certified Residential Specialists® 2008 - 2009
Marlene is a highly experienced and respected South Orange County CA REALTOR® specializing in residential Real Estate and the sale of Homes and Condos in South Orange County, California and Saddleback Valley cities of: Laguna Woods, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Beach, Rancho Santa Margarita, Lake Forest, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo.