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Buying Short Sale Properties: The Importance of Preparation

What are short sale properties? They are properties that will soon be in foreclosure. The mortgage borrower cannot make their payments. Foreclosure is right around the corner. Homeowners want to avoid foreclosure at all costs. You may be surprised to hear that lenders feel the same.

Foreclosure proceedings are stressful, lengthy, and costly. In some instances, a short sale is opted for. The home is sold before foreclosure. It is sold for less than the outstanding mortgage amount due. Typically, this means a good deal for the buyer.

short sale properties

Whether you want to use short sales to make money or save money, preparation is vital to your success. So, what do you need to be prepared for as a first-time short sale buyer?

To get the run around from mortgage lenders. A previously stated, lenders consider short sales a foreclosure alternative. It is their last attempt to avoid it. Unfortunately, short sales aren’t much better. Lenders can require delinquent borrower to pay the difference through unsecured, standalone loans, but many simply take the loss. No one wants to lose money, so you may have to wait and wait. During this time, the lender is hoping they receive more short sale purchase offers or that the delinquent borrowers come into money.

The possibility of losing money. As previously stated, short sales present good money-saving and moneymaking possibilities for buyers. Typically. Unfortunately, many properties are financed with two or even three mortgages. There are also underwater homes, where the borrower owes more than the home is worth. Short sales mean a loss for lenders, but in these situations the loss is greater. Always have a property professionally inspected and appraised before the final closing. To make or save money, only pay less than fair market value.

Constant contact with the mortgage lender or selling real estate agent. As mentioned above, many lenders give short sale buyers the run around. In the event that happens, don’t sit back and wait. Instead, make contact with the representing real estate agent, lender, or both. If you find yourself waiting after two months, be firm in your stance. Demand an answer to your purchase offer in two weeks or state you will withdraw your offer.

More waiting. If your purchase offer is accepted, you may have to wait a few days or even a month to gain access to the property. One of the reasons why homeowners prefer short sales is because they stay in the property. As previously stated, short sales can take time. Some mortgage lenders give a response and start the sale process within a few days, but others wait months on end. Since there are no guarantees, current home occupants rarely know ahead of time when they need to be out. The mortgage lender processing the sale may give them a week or more.

Right about now, you may think that short sales are more trouble than they are worth. They are not, especially when compared to foreclosures. You deal directly with a professional real estate agent or lender, as opposed to bidding in a fast-paced auction. You get a property where the current occupants are prepared to leave; they don’t have to be forced from the home. Yes, buying short sales may be a long and bumpy road, but it is worth the ride for most.

short sale properties
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