Short sales – like all kinds of distressed properties – can be a fantastic deal for buyers. In fact, they’re fast becoming a popular choice in areas where home prices are high and inventory isn’t keeping up with demand. While short sale purchases can take a bit longer than tradition sales, it’s really not all that different than traditional sales. That is, if you avoid the pitfalls. Below are a few things you’ll want to steer clear of as you’re searching for a short sale that meets your needs.
Overlooking property problems
Short sales are often lived in – as opposed to foreclosures, which are typically vacant – but if a homeowner can no longer afford mortgage payments, they likely could not afford to address necessary repairs that popped up over the years. If you see or suspect problems, don’t ignore them. It’s important to be realistic and know that if a home has too many problems that will be too costly to fix, it’s probably not the right choice for you.
Skipping the inspection
Cosmetic problems are easy to identify and fix; however, there may be unseen problems in the short sale you’re considering. You’ll want to hire an experienced inspector to check out the property before you sign on the dotted line. Sure, you’ll have to pay for the inspection, but it’s a pretty small price to pay when you consider the costly problems that may be lurking below the surface.
Needing to move quickly
Despite their name, short sales can and do typically take a bit longer than traditional sales. It may be a few extra days, weeks or month, depending on the property and lender. What’s the hold-up? The short seller’s lender has to grant approval of either foreclosure terms or a short sale price that is less than the seller owes. This can take a bit of time, so you’ll need to be a bit patient.
Even though they can take a little longer, because of their lower price points, short sales can be an ideal choice for many buyers. If you’re interested in seeing short sale properties available in the metro area, give Metrowest a shout – we’d love help start the process!