Make no mistake about it, a short sale can be a great investment – saving you money and putting you into a home of your own. However, one answer to the headline question is this: “How much time do you have?”
If you are looking for a speedy transaction, in general you should look away from the short sale listings. Eager beavers who want to get the keys to their new home tomorrow won’t be happy with the hurry-up-and-wait-for-the-bank game associated with short sales.
However, if you have some time on your hands – say you are starting your home search early and can wait to move for several months, you can get a great deal on a short sale.
The bottom line is this: short sales are not named that because they are quick to process. The house in question is being sold at an amount less than the owner owes to the bank. Therefore, a buyer needs to make an offer and wait for the bank to consider it before the transaction will proceed.
A Waiting Game
You can wait months for the bank to approve your offer on the property and still come up short. Buyers can get locked in a holding pattern and, in the meantime spend thousands more dollars on rent and other expenses. If you don’t really have time to wait, you will probably need to keep looking and consider a more traditional route to home ownership.
Then Why Do It At All?
One of the main reasons people pursue short sales is because of the potential to get the property for significantly cheaper than the original value. Banks are often more interested in getting rid of these properties than just sitting on them. If your offer is fair, the bank may want to unload the bad debt and accept your offer.
If you do decide to go after a short sale, you will need an experienced and knowledgeable real estate attorney to help through the negotiation and purchase process. There are a number of variables in this process with which you will need qualified legal assistance.
It’s also important to remember that even if the short sale bid falls through, as many of them do, it’s not the end of the world and your dream home may be lying in wait just around the corner.
Joel R. Spivack Esq. has been helping clients with the purchase and sale of their homes for years. If you’re thinking about starting the process of buying or selling your property, contact us today so we can help.