The number of short sale listings and bank-owned (previously foreclosed listings) have become so prevalent that the NW MLS has created a search function to identify and let agents specifically search for these types of properties.
While a few years ago nobody knew what a short sale was (most people thought it referred to a transaction that closed quickly), at this point almost 10% of all active listings in Thurston County are now short sales.
For those of you who still aren't familiar with the term, it means the sale of a home is expected to net less than the amount owed to the bank.
Bank owned real estate, the homes that could not be sold "short" and the banks have foreclosed on, make up just over 5% of all active Thurston County listings.
Homes in either of these categories are deemed distressed properties and make up almost 15% of all active Thurston County listings.
Distressed properties (s and f sales) are the foul words in the real estate industry. These sales are part of the market and as such lower the market values of the surrounding homes in a community. Buyers who hope to pick up a bargain should be forewarned. Less than 1 out of 4 short sales actually closes. All short sales are subject to the approval of the underlying lien holders, so the process is lengthy (short sale is such a misnomer) and often non-transparent.
Foreclosed properties are a better way to go, as these listings are already cleared by the bank, however, they are often in a less than desirable state. By that I mean holes in the walls, no power, personal belongings of the previous owner strewn about, dirty... you get the picture. As a buyer you'll need perseverance to find your diamond in the rough.
I suspect short sales and foreclosures will remain a big part of the housing inventory for some time to come. For sellers, a short sale offers the opportunity to get out of a mortgage without having a foreclosure on the record. For buyers with the luxury of time and patience, short sales, as well as foreclosures may allow them to pick up a bargain.
If these type of listings are what you're interested in, let me know and I can start a specific MLS search for these types of homes.
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