Let's face it, every buyer is hoping to get "a deal" when looking to buy real estate. These days, one might find that deal of a century in a "short sale." Sounds like a good idea, but...there are pit falls. In brief, a "short sale" is a property that is on the market where the home owner, or seller, is not the party that is able to respond to your offer to purchase, but rather is the job of the sellers lender. In this situation, the property is "selling" for LESS than what the seller owes on it. You may see these words on such a listing..."subject to third party approval."
On its face, this does not seem like it would be a problem, for you the buyer, but rather would seem like a great opportunity to purchase a home at a good price. Generally, these listing are priced aggressively, so that they sell quickly. Most times, a buyer, or many buyers are sought quickly, but the problem is...the lender takes FOREVER to respond to these offers. I am currently representing a seller, where since January I have had multiple offers, but still have not received a response from the lender. Some buyers have withdrawn their offers because they simply could not wait. They missed out on other homes, and in some instances, they have sold a home, and need to buy something within a certain time frame, and simply could not wait it out.
If you have the ability and the patience to wait, the end result could be a VERY GOOD buy for you. I am also representing a buyer right now who is renting, and can wait. They have put an offer on a property that if accepted, will be the buy of a lifetime...it might just work out for them. It could work out for you too if you are in the right position, and know what you are getting into.
The thing that amazes me in all of this, is that you would think that the lenders would respond fast in this situation. Here they have a seller who has not made a mortgage payment in months, and the more time that goes by, the more they are losing. Isn't 3/4 of a pie better than no pie? They could get their money, and put it to work for them in another way to help cut their loss.
I have a lot of respect for folks who find themselves in this difficult position...some people just pack up and move, and let a house go to foreclosure. It takes a lot of time, pride, and stress to pull off a "short sale." These sellers leave with ZERO money, but they have their pride and dignity for having done all that they can do during this difficult time. Most times, it is not even their fault...the banks in many cases gave them WAY more money than the house was ever worth, making it impossible for them to ever re-pay the loan...C'mon lenders, everyone is putting their best foot forward, you should too. We are dealing with people, not just papers and money.
If you would like more information on "short sales," please contact me, and I will be happy to discuss it with you. You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.