Short sales can offer really great deals on homes, but the process of buying a short sale property can be difficult and drawn out. If you’re willing to be patient and put in a little extra work, you could get a lot more house for your budget.
Be Prepared To Be Patient
Buying a short sale property isn’t as quick as a standard sale. Because the owners are attempting to sell the property for less than they owe, the sale must be approved by the bank—and in many cases there is more than one bank involved. Waiting for the full approval to come in can take months, and can fall through if one bank’s approval expires while you wait on the other.
If you want to buy quickly and are looking to move as soon as possible, short sales may not be the right choice for you.
Look Past The Cosmetic
Many homes that are being offered as short sales have been neglected for a long time. In some cases, this is because the owner knows that there will be no profit made from the sale and has stopped caring; in others it is because the reason for the short sale is that the owner is in financial trouble and can’t afford to fix things.
When you walk into a short sale property, be prepared to look past damage and maintenance issues. Remember that you are able to purchase the home at such a low price in part because it needs work. The key is to be aware of what needs to be done and how much you can expect it to cost, and add that into your anticipated purchase price.
Even if you have your sights set on a particular house, it’s a good idea to keep shopping while your offer is under review. Short sale offers frequently fall through, so spend the time looking at other homes while you wait. If your offer is declined or the sale falls through for any other reason, it’s good to have other options lined up.
Hire A Good REALTOR®
The paperwork involved in a short sale is complex, as is navigating the process. An experienced real estate agent can make sure that things go more smoothly and take less time.
Look for a REALTOR® with a history of handling short sales. They’ll be able to offer you clear advice and help you to know when a short sale is a great deal or more work than it’s worth.