Buying a Short Sale A Lot Like Prospecting For Gold

Real Estate Agent with The English Team

Buying a short sale and prospecting for gold have a lot in common.  If you prospect for gold you know rich veins of golden ore exist just below the surface and to find them you have to constantly be on the lookout for signs of the underground wealth.  It takes experience and talent to identify the tell tale signs of a rich vein of gold.  Little things like quartz crystal or other companion minerals may be evidence of a richer vein of gold nearby.  Most of the "luck" of prospecting for gold lies in the preparation, education and experience of the miner.

gold in short salesWhen buying a short sale, it is usually the experienced, educated and savvy real estate agent that recognizes the built in equity or "value" in a short sale listing.  The best short sale listings go under contract within 24 hours of hitting the market.  Savvy agents have set up systems to alert them to new short sale listings hitting the market.  They have counseled their buyers to get pre qualified for the mortgage long before a house comes along that might be of interest to them.  And these agents have educated themselves as to what is and what is not a real deal in the neighborhoods they regularly work. 



Finding a vein of gold underground and locating a high value short sale are both the result of careful planning, education, and hard work versus dumb luck.


gold in short sales


Panning for gold is another way to strike it rich.  A miner uses a wide and shallow pan to separate the sand and rocks at the bottom of a stream bed from the gold nuggets and flakes that are mixed in.  Panning for gold is back breaking work that takes constant attention to the contents of the pan.  It takes an experienced and seasoned miner to recognize "color" or gold in the pan. 

Finding a short sale that has been on the market a while is a lot like panning for gold.  Some short sales don't occur until after a property has been on the market for months.  Sellers, hoping to avoid a short sale, often price their homes far above the market and hope an uneducated buyer will come along and make them an offer on it.  This technique usually doesn't work.  The buyer finally capitulates and lowers the price to reflect the actual market value of the house.  The problem is, this market value means the seller can no longer pay off his mortgage at the bank.  Thus the short sale.



Not all price reductions bring the asking price within the actual market value of the home.  And not all price reductions mean a seller has to do a short sale.  But like panning for gold, the experienced and seasoned real estate agents are constantly looking for gold in their market.  They have systems set up where they are immediately alerted to price changes in the neighborhoods they work.  Once a price creates a buying opportunity for one of their clients, they seize the gold from the pan and get an offer in to the seller.

Short sales are no place for the weak hearted.  Short sales with built in "equity" are hard to find.  They take a lot of tough negotiation to get approved and require months to close.  And some short sales never close for reasons that are neither the fault of the parties involved or the intentions of the buyer and seller.  But, if you want to pocket some gold in this market, take a look at short sales. 

Find a seasoned guide who can point you to likely places to find gold in this market and knows the techniques for mining the best opportunities.  Oh yeah, find a guide that knows the difference between gold and fools gold in the short sale marketplace.

Sally English and The English Team are experienced short sale "miners".  Give us a call if you want to put some real estate GOLD in your pocket.  770-939-3174

We specialize in neighborhoods convenient to Emory University and The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta Georgia.  The ENGLISH TEAM WEBSITE has a wealth of information about our neighborhoods.

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Sally English

Atlanta real estate agent

 Realty Associates of Atlanta LLC; 3350 Northlake Parkway Atlanta, Georgia 30345 |404-229-2995


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All content copyright © 2009-2013 by Sarah Bryant English DBA Sally English and The English Team, Atlanta Georgia. This sale offering is made subject to errors, ommissions, change of price, prior sale and withdrawal without notice.  Potential purchasers should make a physical inspection to verify all features independently.  EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY.  Sally English is not an attorney or CPA and ALL legal or tax advice should be rendered by a professional. Sally English is an Atlanta real estate agent specializing in homes and neighborhoods convenient to Emory University and The CDC. Thanks for visiting my BLOG! 


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Peggy James
EXIT Realty Associates - Woodbridge, VA
Woodbridge Virginia Area Real Estate Specialist

short sale


Sally you are so right finding a wonderful short sale opportunity is just like mining for gold. So many Short Sale listings especially in our Prince William County Virginia MLS  only have one photo. ( the main exterior photo) A seasoned Realtor who knows the area can spot the best buys and knows whether that home is a fools gold or the real deal!

This is a perfect example of what someone almost missed seeing.

Sep 16, 2010 02:19 AM #1
Sally English
The English Team - Atlanta, GA
Sally English Atlanta Real Estate Agent


Spounds  like you have located a gold nugget or two in your lifetime.  Good luck with the prospecting.

Sep 16, 2010 07:21 AM #2
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