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Buying a Short Sale Home…Five Buyer Tips

If you are thinking about buying a short sale home, but are worried it might be a complicated process, just know that the right agent makes all the difference. Today short sale houses are very popular, but not every agent knows the ins and outs of a mortgage short sale process. So what should you know when it comes to buying a short sale home?

Short Sale Home Tip # 1

Research the history of the short sale home before you make an offer. Find out if there are multiple loans, any foreclosure filings, how much is owed, number of owners, how long it has been on the market, and if there are currently any offers on the property, etc. These details are important because they help you determine your offer price.

Short Sale Home Tip # 2

Make sure your agent has experience with distressed properties and mortgage short sale situations. Buying a short sale home requires extra attention to details. If your agent is inexperienced and unfamiliar with how to short sell houses, they might miss important details that result in your sale not closing in time, or losing the sale to another bidder.

Short Sale Home Tip # 3

Once the seller accepts your offer, the seller’s lender should be provided with a COMPLETED short sale packet with your proposal. Included in this packet there should be a comparison of other homes sold in the area to justify your offer price, a pre-approval from your financial institution, a hardship letter from the seller and a financial statement from the seller. At this point, the lender will expect you to be pre-approved for your loan amount and might ask for more of an earnest money deposit than what you initially provide.

Short Sale Home Tip # 4

As with any real estate transaction, don’t forget the important things. These can include an offer contingent upon a home inspection, or giving the lender a timeframe in which to respond.

Short Sale Home Tip # 5

In regards to the time frame, keep in mind there is often a committee, rather than one person, at the bank that makes the short sale decision. It is important to note that depending on the seller's bank, the process may take anywhere from 60 days to 6 months to close.

Because buying a short sale home is such a complicated process, it is important to have the right agent working for you. Choosing a real estate firm like ours – one that has experience in short sales, and thoroughness when it comes to short sales – you’ll maximize the chances for success in purchasing great home at a fantastic price. Contact us today to learn more about the short sale houses we have access to county wide, or see us about a short sale home you already have in mind.