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Want To Buy a Home On Short Sale? What You Need to Know

Thu Mar 8, 2012 on Blog & Florida Real Estate

Short SaleI’ve spent much of my time on my sister site South Florida Law Blog espousing the benefits of a short sale for sellers.

As I’ve said countless times before, banks are more willing than ever to accept a short sale and let a borrower walk away from their home legally.

But what if you’re looking to buy a home? Are there benefits to to seeking out a home to buy via a short sale?

Of course! If you’re looking to buy a house on the cheap, then a home that’s available on a short sale could be a great deal for you.

Emphasis on the could.

The good news? If a homeowner wants to sell their home on a short sale, you the buyer have the chance to get a home at a size-able discount. Considering that home prices are already as low as they have been in sometime, there’s a real chance for a bargain.

According to RealtyTrac, the price of a home sold at short sale during the first quarter of 2011 was on average about 10 percent less than the market price of a comparable house.

Do Your Research

But buying a house on short sale is a lot like buying clothes at a second-hand store or getting something on Craig’s List.

There’s plenty of gems available, but you’ve got to do your homework. Getting a great house on a short sale won’t be easy but it can be worth it if you put in the time.

For one thing, you might come across a home in need of repairs, and sometimes they won’t be obvious.   So make sure you go over the property with a fine tooth comb. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a fix-er-upper and see your saving wiped out with an expensive repair.

Get a thorough inspection done, before you even think of making an offer. Remember when you’re buying a distressed property you’re getting it AS IS.

Patience is a Virtue

Want that bargain? It’s going to take time. A short sale is contingent on the bank accepting the selling price, since they are one’s taking the financial hit.

So don’t expect a quick acceptance on your offer. Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to short sales.

Unlike a regular home purchase, it might take 30 to 60 days for a bank to accept your offer and in some cases it could take longer. So you must be flexible on your time frame.

Get Help!

Before you even think about buying a home on a short sale find knowledgeable professionals to help you.

Contact a Realtor, one who’s well versed in the art of a short sale. And make sure you get yourself an experienced real estate attorney. (I know a few) 

There are a lot if issues to address when buying a home this way. There will be obstacles that you, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer, just won’t think of!

That’s why a good real estate attorney is an essential tool. Going over the fine print can be a daunting challenge.

There may be liens on a property. You might be dealing with more than one lender (Usually not a good sign)

Don’t expect a bank to be completely upfront with you. You need someone looking out for your interests.

But you can get a great home at a great price, IF you have all the necessary tools at your disposal.