If you are a buyers agent and have a large short sale market as we do here in Melbourne Florida, you are waiting much to long when dealing with short sales. Yes, they are a major part of our market. However, if you can show your buyer the benefit of buying a resale or foreclosure over a short sale, you will enjoy commissions sooner than later.
One of the main problems I see with short sales is that we may be giving the buyer false hope without realizing it. For instance, how many of you say, "It's going to take 4 - 6 months before we have approval"? Even though that doesn't sad bad, it's really giving the buyer false hope. We are currently averaging 25% approval rate on short sales. The reality is, most of these do not go through because either the bank rejects the offer, the buyer ends up not wanting to wait (and blames you) or the bank wants the seller to hold a note and the seller refuses.
When talking to a prospective buyer this should be your conversation.
"I understand that you have heard that short sales can be a great deal. In reality, they are not any better deals than foreclosures and resales. In the end, the bank is going to require you pay market value or they will not move forward with the short sale. Here is the problem, you are going to wait 4-6 months and have a 75% chance that the offer will not be approved or that the seller is required to hold a note in which they won't.
I have pulled these homes, which are similar to the short sales you have inquired about both in price, size and condition and based on my experience, buying one of these homes will save you a ton of stress and frustration."
In the end you can say this however you want. But, if you accent the positive, that is what they are going to hear. If nothing else, just say "You are going to wait 6 months to not get approved or the seller walking away because they are asked to hold a note. Whether buying a short sale, foreclosure or resale, you are going to pay market value."
This should help some of you convert your short sale customers to buyers today! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Remember, it's all in the meaning we give things. Change the meaning and you can change the outcome!