The "S" word and the "F" word in real estate- short sales and foreclosures

Managing Real Estate Broker with Riley Jackson Real Estate Inc.

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.

Sandy Nelson
Olympia Realtor®, GRI, ASP, Built Green


All the real estate information on the Internet can not compare to the real time, on-the-ground expertise of a local, skilled Realtor ®. Among all the South Sound real estate resources available, the most powerful tool is my phone number.
Planning a home purchase or the sale of your home will be much more enjoyable when you work with a friendly and knowledgeable professional. I'm dedicated to helping you make informed decisions and providing you with exceptional skill and service.



Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Washington Thurston County
short sales
thurston county
olympia realtor
sandy nelson
distressed properties
homes for sale

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Lori Liveston
Virtual Homes, Real Estate - Waltham, MA

Great post Sandy - Your graph is great!

Mar 08, 2010 11:51 AM #1
Sandy Nelson
Riley Jackson Real Estate Inc. - Olympia, WA
your Olympia area Realtor

Thanks Lori.

Mar 09, 2010 06:16 AM #2
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Sandy Nelson

your Olympia area Realtor
Let's start a conversation

Additional Information