Thinking of Buying a Short Sale Property in Riverside, CA? Get Some Expert Assistance!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Melanie Serrato, Rawlings Realty ~Corona, Norco, Eastvale Ca 01205902

Thinking of Buying a Short Sale Property in Riverside, CA?  Get Some Expert Assistance!

I'm working with a client right now that has very specific parameters for their investment home purchase in Riverside, CA.  We've met for a buyer consultation, evaluated several opportunities on paper to see how they line up with investment goals, and toured a few houses to see how reality matches up with the numbers on paper.   Bottom line ... the property this person is looking for won't come along every day, but we'll be able to meet the parameters with a little patience and a plan to be ready when the right property comes along.  

Today, this client contacted me about a short sale property he found online.  I looked up the property information on the MLS, checked out the tax records to see what the loan situation was on the property, then called the listing agent to discuss the status of the short sale.  

This home had been on the market for about 6 months.  This is fairly common with short sale properties, but the listing didn't really indicate what the status of the short sale is.  The agent notes indicated that a minimum of 24 hours was required to make an appointment to show the home, but  then stated to make an offer "subject to interior inspection".  This means you may not be able to see the home, just make an offer and then you can inspect the home at a later time to see if you really want it (I'm not a fan, but in certain situations, it can make sense).  The offer subject to interior inspection is often a signal from the listing agent that they don't expect the offer to actually go anywhere, they just need something to submit to the bank to get the ball rolling.  After 6 months on the market, it usually means that an offer has been submitted to the bank already, and they are collecting "back up " offers to have on hand in case the current buyer walks away because the short sale process is taking too long (this is also VERY common).  The listing appeared to have been recently updated by the listing agent, so I was hoping that although he didn't say so in the comments, maybe the short sale was recently approved and they had some idea of what price the bank might accept.  Nope...

In speaking with the listing agent, he indicated that this is a divorce situation, and he's having difficulty in getting the seller to provide the documents requested by the bank.  Even after asking the question several different ways, I am unsure whether he has ever had a complete package to submit to the bank, or if they are just asking for updated documents because of the amount of time that has passed.  Either way, this is not a situation that most people would want to sign on for, and a good agent will not only get the information for you, but let you know the different ways this scenario could play out, and also advise you not to get involved in this transaction unless you are not really invested in the outcome (you're planning to buy eventually, but have no immediate need to purchase now, and you're ok with waiting to see if you can get a deal on this one without being impacted if the transaction never closes at all).  

Some buyers think that they are better off working directly with the listing agent, and there may be a very few times that is best, but can you imagine as a buyer, contacting this listing agent and not knowing to ask these questions, and thinking that your offer is actually being considered, while it sits waiting for the seller to finally come up with the paper work?  I'm guessing that the seller is in no hurry to leave this home, and that the transaction could drag out for some time.  It might end up a good deal for someone eventually, but it also could end up a failed transaction that becomes an REO property.  You want to work with someone who will give you the details you need to make an informed decision.  Give me a call to discuss your plans for your home purchase in Riverside, Norco, Corona or Eastvale.  I'm here to provide the information you need to make decisions that are in line with your goal for your purchase.  
Posted by




Mel Signature

Melanie Serrato, Broker

Rawlings Realty

(951) 515-5308

CA DRE License #01205902

Your Realtor serving Corona, Norco, Eastvale, Riverside, Mira Loma,

Chino and surrounding areas in Riverside County



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Comments (5)

Elite Home Sales Team
Elite Home Sales Team OC - Corona del Mar, CA
A Tenacious and Skilled Real Estate Team

If the listing agent is not able to get all the info to the bank nothing will happen.

Sep 29, 2011 07:08 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Short Sales do need lots of documents - and I repeat, lots of! So..not sure where this would end up, Melanie.

Sep 29, 2011 07:19 PM
Ronald DiLalla
Century 21 Discovery DRE 01813824 - Anaheim, CA
No. Orange Cty Real Estate

Hi Melanie,   I don't like the sounds of this  transaction at all..I think your correct in your assessment that this will probably end up as an REO

Sep 29, 2011 08:08 PM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

This short sale sounds like a perfect time waster.  A serious buyer should steer clear of situations like this where the odds are stacked against the deal getting to closing. 

Sep 30, 2011 03:58 AM
Melanie Serrato
Melanie Serrato, Rawlings Realty ~Corona, Norco, Eastvale Ca - Norco, CA
CA Realtor - Corona-Norco-Eastvale Homes

Mark & Tim ~ Yep - no paperwork, NOTHING going on! This agent was trying to tell me how good he is with short sales, but I was definitely not impressed.

Praful ~ I believe that it would not go anywhere until the bank begins the foreclosure process, then maybe the documents would finally be provided. Or, the bank forecloses.  Like I said, I believe this seller is in no hurry to go anywhere, and will take the free ride as far as they can.

Ronald ~ Yes, it is very likely the home will end up an REO, but every now and then a property like this can end up a great deal for someone willing and able to wait it out.  Has to be the right type of buyer.  

Chris Ann ~ For the majority of my buyers, this is not the right property to pursue. But for the investor who plans to buy multiple properties and is not in a hurry to close just this one, leaving an offer parked while they work things out on the other end could just pay off in a great deal.  Many agents working with a buyer are looking for an earlier payday, so would guide a client toward something with a higher percentage close, but as long as the buyer understands the issues with this deal and is ok with the fact that it is likely it won't go anywhere, I'd write the offer and follow up with the agent on a regular basis to see if we couldn't get it going.  Nothing to lose for the buyer who doesn't need to close by a certain time or have their life riding on this deal. 

Thanks all for your comments!  Bottom line is that not all short sales are created equal, and a buyer needs an experienced agent who can help them sort out the best opportunities.

~ Melanie

Sep 30, 2011 05:33 AM