How to Compete in the Short Sale Market

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For any homeowner who is looking to sell his or her home in this current market, then they already know how difficult that challenge can be. With property values having plunged in the past couple of years, it can be troublesome to consider letting go of the investment made. It is also sometimes painful to consider what might have been if they had sold at an earlier date, or what could be if they could only hold on for a little while longer.

But if the homeowner is ready to sell now, then there's a good reason and they most likely don't have a choice. Maybe they're relocating and can't afford to hang onto the home that they have, or perhaps one or more of the breadwinners lost his or her job and have to downsize. There are a hundred different reasons to sell a home during this volatile housing market and ultimately, the reason doesn't matter; getting the house sold does.

Short sales and bank owned driving the market

Short sales on homes, as we all know, are an instant way to drive home prices down in the immediate neighborhood. Bank owned houses can have the same effect as financial institutions are looking to offload the massive inventory of homes and real estate holdings rather than worrying about maximizing their profits. This double-strike against current home sellers can make it difficult to sell their home.

So what can the average modern homeowner do if they need to sell their home in a reasonable timeframe? For instance, what can someone do if they are relocating for a job and absolutely must sell their current home before they can consider purchasing a new one, or even renting in their new hometown?

Competing with the short sales means sacrifice

First, tell them to check on their current, immediate market. In other words, what are the available homes within their neighborhood like? What percentage are bank owned or short sale homes as opposed to traditional homeowner listed? If a homeowner's neighborhood has seen a spike in short sales of bank owned properties, then they will need to list their asking price accordingly.

Short sales drive the price of homes currently on the market down, and if a homeowner wants to compete and sell their home rather quickly, then they will need to set an asking price that will likely be a bit less than they would otherwise desire.

Condition, condition, condition

Have them take an afternoon cruise throughout the neighborhood, and even other localities. It will be apparent, rather quickly, that bank owned homes aren't maintained to their best appearance. Even short sales will have appearance problems, such as overgrown or poorly maintained lawns, siding that is dirty and rundown, cobwebs and cracks in the driveway or sidewalk, and other issues.

Inside will offer an even greater insight as to the current condition of these types of homes. A homeowner looking to maximize their asking price and being able to quickly sell their home against these short sales and bank owned properties should be prepared to spend a bit of time and effort (and not much money, since many of these issues are readily handled with some elbow grease) to make their property more attractive.


Most short sales or bank owned properties are sold 'as-is.' A motivated seller should have their property inspected prior to listing, so that potential buyers will know and be assured that everything is ready to move into. This will make their home much more attractive on the local market. Certain buyers are interested in getting a home, in any condition, for the cheapest price possible. Generally, these individuals are looking to flip them and not interested in moving in.

To grab the attention of the homebuyer who wants to move in, have your client take these simple steps to increase the speed with which they sell their home.


David Reinholtz is a professional Mortgage expert in Real Estate Industry. David is also a sales and marketing expert and trains professionals in every career field. David has personally trained tens of thousands of loan officers, mortgage brokers, real estate agents and individuals through The Close More University Seminar Series, Classes, Correspondence and On Line Learning, and countless private engagements and training events throughout the country.

David is the Founder and CEO of, an approved education provider for The Conference of State Bank Supervisors and The National Mortgage Licensing Systems' (NMLS) required pre-licensing education and continuing education.

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