Here is a short list of questions you should ask the listing agent prior to making a contract offer on a bank short sale. Asking the right questions to the listing agent can go a long way to greatly increasing your chances of getting an accepted offer and saving you a lot of hopeless time waiting on a reply from the bank. These questions will help you decide what homes are truly a waste of your time as a Home Buyer.
(1) How far behind is the Seller on the mortgage payments? Most mortgage companies will not get serious about an offer unless the seller is at least 4 months behind in the mortgage and the bank has already started the process for foreclosure proceedings.
(2) Has the Seller submitted all the required documents to the Lender? The lender will not even give the Listing Agent a reply with out all the sellers required documents. Some banks want the seller required documents and your offer submitted or all at one time. Just knowing the listing agent has all the documents in their file ready will speed up the process.
(3) What kind of discussions have you had with the Lender ? This question puts the listing agent on the spot and opens up discussions. Your Realtor should be able to tell if the listing agent is in tune with the file and the bank. If the listing agent is without a direct line to the assigned Loss Mitigation Officer to the file would in most cases result in a longer then normal reply on your offer.
(4) Dose the Seller have a First and a Second Mortgage ? Is the second it with the same Lender? It takes more time to close a bank short sale with two mortgages and is even more difficult if it involves two different Lenders, the the chances of the deal are greatly reduced, yet some do close but expect a longer wait.
(5) Dose the Seller have PMI ( Private Mortgage Insurance ) on this property? Many times this comes out in the very end of settling the short sale , So your Realtor should ask it up front before making the offer. More often then not, the Investor that bought the insurance, will require a promissory note for the balance on his investment, before accepting to close the deal. Most of the time they will not remove their portion of the debt on the property, if the seller can not come to so terms on a cash or a payment plan, the mortgage will not be able to be released from the mortgage regardless of the contract price.
There are some very good deals on homes that are listed as a bank short sales. They normally do not receive as many multi contract offers like bank owned property. Which currently is happening here in Southwest Florida.
I would suggest you don't shy away from the bank short sales! Find a BUYERS AGENT that has experience in purchasing and closing bank short sales. Your Realtor just needs to start these simply discussions with the listing agent and the answers to these questions, this will give a your Realtor and YOU a better understanding on the direction you should take on making an offer or going to look at more property.
Always here to help ! "The Joe Kendall Team"