Buying short sales might seem like a good deal for the buyer, but that's not always the case. Here are three major conflicts buyers and sellers face when a short sale, pre-foreclosed home is on the market:
- Time: Don't let the name fool you. Buying short sales takes a very long time. There's a whole gambit of scenarios of why a short sale might be delayed, but many of the hurdles buyers have to overcome have to deal with secondary financing on the homeowner's original mortgage, bank processing delays and private mortgage insurance policy breakdowns. Buying short sales is a very complex process, which can leave the short sell buyer in housing limbo for up to six months.
- Condition: Short sale homes often need additional maintenance and repairs. When the current property owner is unable to pay the mortgage on the home, more often than not the condition of the property diminishes over time. Additionally, short sale homebuyers should take into account that the property will have had more than one previous owner, which adds to the wear and tear.
- Lender Restrictions: Banks can renegotiate a short sale at the last second. If a new law passes, the market begins to change or the bank finds out more information about the property, they reserve the right to change the terms of the contract at any point in the process. Banks will also refuse to pay for extra services like seller closing costs or inspections. If you want something specific inspected on the property, you're probably going to pay for it yourself.
Short sale homes are the real estate market's diamond in the rough. It's true that buying short sales can be a very tricky process, but for the flexible and patient homebuyer, the short sale home can be the dream house they've been searching for.