Short Sales | Real Estate Buyers Tampa Bay

As your real estate agent I will provide you with a high level of experience in the short sale process as a real estate buyer, closing numerous short sale contracts each year for buyers and sellers. I will bring a familiarity to the process and an understanding for what it takes to close the deal.

What are Short Sales?

Short Sales are situations in the real estate industry where there is more debt owed against the property than the property is valued at.  In essence a short sale is when the owner cannot sell the property unless the creditors come to an agreement to accept a payment that is under the amount owed to the creditor.  The creditors are typically mortgage companies, bankruptcy trustees or federal, local and state taxing authorities (such as State Tax commissions, the IRS).

How do Short Sales work?

Written approval is required from the creditor for the short sale to take place.  As a result the property owner and the buyer of interest are advised that if an agreement between both parties is reached for the purchase and sale of the property that an agreement is not binding until the creditor owed approves the terms of the sale.

How long do Short Sales take to complete?

Getting approval from the creditor can be as little as a few weeks or could take months.  As of now the average time of completing a short sale is 90 days.

Why should I buy a Short Sale home / property?

Most of the time short sale properties are a great chance to buy a property for below the market value of the property.  Sometimes it can be the only way to purchase your dream home, depending on when the home was built or the number of investors involved in the purchase of the property.  Quite often the short sale properties are “Fixer uppers” before they are owned by banks.

What are points to watch for on a Short Sale?

Before you consider purchasing a short sale property, give me a call and I will advise you in the short sale process.  I will research the listing and assist you in evaluating the value in the short sale opportunity. The price that a short sale property is listed for is not always an indication of the actual sale price due to the required lender approval prior to the completion of the short sale.  This is where I can help in the process by providing you with the adequate research first.

  • Comparable Property Sales – I will pull similar property sales from the area and evaluate if the listing prices makes sense from a buyers standpoint.
  • Check the prior mortgage history of the short sale Property – In an ideal world one mortgage is all you would want the property to have.  If there are more liens against the property there is less of a chance that all of the involved parties will be able to come to an agreement on forgiving the sellers debts.
  • Checking the Short Sale listings status – I will check to see if the seller has correctly submitted all of the necessary paperwork required for the listing.  There will also be a check to see if other offers have been submitted on the property and if there has been a BPO or appraisal scheduled and how far along it is in the process.
  • The condition of the short sale property – A requirement of short sale properties is that they are sold as-is, due to this a thorough inspection of the condition of the property must be conducted before purchasing the short sale property.

Your prospective property looks great; and you are ready to present an offer. What are the next steps?

  1. I will assist you in writing an offer; pending third lender approval, based on the properties current condition.
  2. The seller may provide a counter offer. Keep in mind; this is a contract between you and the seller, not you and the seller’s bank. The seller’s goal is not to send an offer to the bank knowing it could be rejected and/or counter-offered because it is too low. However, this is uncommon.
  3. When the contract has been agreed upon and signed, the next step will be to send the contract to the seller’s bank(s). Forms submitted with the contract include: an estimated net sheet, the buyer’s approval or proof of funds letter, the listing agreement, seller’s financial worksheet, recent paystubs, recent bank statements, last year’s tax returns and a hardship letter.
  4. Next the seller’s bank will request a Broker Price Opinion (BPO) and or appraisal.
  5. When the appraisal and or BPO are completed; the seller’s bank will then either accept the offer or counteroffer with the value that it was appraised at.
  6. Your next step will be to either accept or counteroffer. It is possible your offer may be rejected if it isn’t at least 83% of the appraised value. This differs by each lender. Also, the lender(s) may request that the seller make a cash contribution or promissory note. If the seller cannot meet these terms, you may be asked for an additional amount to make up a portion of the difference. If you feel the property is a good investment, you may want to consider this an option.
  7. . Keep in mind, the time line for initial response from the lender can be as long as eight to twelve weeks. Lenders can have an overwhelming number of sellers requesting Short Sales. The lender negotiators can have hundreds of files at a time. Usually lenders focus on the files facing imminent foreclosure sale dates first. I stay in frequent contact with these lenders in order to keep you as updated on possible on the offer status.
  8. When the final approval by the lender is complete, a “demand” or “approval” letter is sent to the seller. The letter usually stipulates that closing must occur by the date stated in the contract, or there will be a per diem penalty for not closing on time. Therefore, it is in your best interest to have your insurance, mortgage and property inspections completed as quickly as possible.
  9. For accuracy, the lender will request a copy of the settlement statement; a minimum two days prior to closing; to verify it matches what was stated in the net sheet submitted with both the offer and approval letter.
  10. You have just made a great investment! Congratulations!
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