What can you expect if you're buying a short sale?

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Redwood 35104

What to expect in a short sale? I suppose I could wear out my keyboard posting all that could happen and then still miss some.


I'm currently working with a buyer client buying his first home. We put in a successful bid on a condo and the process began. Let me interject that the listing agent has been very communicative and great to work with. Unfortunately I can't say the same for the lenders. Only one other condo has sold in that development since Jan. 1. That unit was also a short sale. It was a mirror image of the subject property except the recent sold had a fireplace. The contract price was slightly higher than the comp but I wasn't too concerned since the market here is on the increase in that price range. All seemed to be going well. One of the lenders accepted the contract as written. Lender number two just came back with a counter of 140K. That's 13K over the highest comparable. I don't know where this will end up but the listing agent and I put together some similar sales to send to the lender. Fortunately the seller is also taking an active role in trying to get this lender to come back to this planet. It's sad to me that people with no knowledge of the local market are making decisions that hurt their customers. It's one thing to try to negotiate to protect yourself but the numbers don't lie.

Don't get me wrong, I've certainly been involved in short sales where the negotiators did act in a reasonable manner but the industry is also filled with just as many horror stories. Frankly the trend I'm seeing is that fewer and fewer buyers want to even bother with looking at short sales. Lenders...STOP SHOOTING YOURSELVES IN THE FOOT!


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Elva Branson-Lee
Solid Source Realty GA - Atlanta, GA
CDPE - Atlanta Real Estate & Short Sale Agent

Larry, I specialize in short sale listings and fully understand your frustration. Far too many short sales still fail to close for reasons such as this. I cannot believe that lenders actually WOULD shoot themselves in the foot, so I can only surmise that there are advantages to the lenders in slowing the short sale process that we agents are just not privy to.

What do you thnk?

Jun 23, 2013 07:10 AM #1
Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor

Larry, kudos to you and Elva for keeping us informed about short sales.  Each short sale seems to have its own twists and turns.  Good luck.

Aug 14, 2013 08:40 AM #2
Shanna Hall
Real Estate Solutions - Kirkwood, MO
I love selling houses!!!St. Louis, MO 314-703-1311

Larry- I stopped doing short sales because of the banking practices of pricing higher than they would ever even appriase.  It is unbelieveable to me that this still continues to happen!

Jan 08, 2014 11:58 PM #3
Larry Riggs
Century 21 Redwood - Frederick, MD
GRI, SRS Your Frederick County Specialist

Shanna, unfortunately when you're dealing with someone working on salary who has no "skin in the game" it's exactly that to them, a game. If they close it they get paid, if they don't they still get paid. I've heard some have some incentive to close the deals but I suspect none of them have any real experience in understanding home market values. 

Jan 09, 2014 12:04 AM #4
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Larry Riggs

GRI, SRS Your Frederick County Specialist
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