How To Buy a "Short Sale" House

A short sale house is a property that is being sold at a very low price. A house is up for a short sale when the owner’s mortgage debts are more than the actual value of the house. A short sale house seems to be a good buy, but the mortgage lender will have to consider many factors before selling the house to you. And in many cases, buying a short sale house is a complicated procedure. To make it less taxing on your part, here is a general guideline on how to purchase a short sale house.

  • Find a realtor. Remember to hire a realtor who has extensive experience in closing on a short sale home. What you want is someone who can expedite the process, uphold your interests, and make sure you are getting the best deal. If you get an inexperienced realtor, not only are you wasting your money, you might also lose a chance of having a good transaction.
  • Make sure you are pre-approved. Lenders transact only with pre-approved potential buyers. So if you do not have your own lender yet, you better find one before making an offer. Pre-approval usually takes up to two months. Therefore, schedule your loan application wisely so that you can readily make an offer whenever you need to and close the transaction within your time frame.
  • Agree on a price. Price is usually the reason buyers don’t get the short sale house. Oftentimes, their offer is way too low, prompting the lenders to drop the offer altogether. The key here is to offer a price that is close to the appraised value of the house. If the lender finds your offer agreeable, the transaction will be closed in a month’s time, provided that the requirements are duly submitted. If not, the lender might consider other buyers. Remember that even if the seller agrees on your price, the lender makes the final approval. So in case your first offer is rejected, try to increase your offer the next time, only make sure you don’t increase the offer only by a thousand dollar because the lender will most likely reject the offer again.
  • Inspect the house. As in the case of any other property on sale, a short sale house must be carefully inspected. Remember that this is for your best interest. You have to know if there are repairs to be made, if the house is in generally good condition, and if it accommodates your needs.
  • Have a backup plan. Short sale transactions usually take around three to six months to complete. Some may even take longer than that, since banks are generally flooded with short sale transactions, keeping them from quickly responding to each buyer. So it is advisable to eye other properties. This is especially necessary if you are intending to move as soon as possible.

Buying a short sale house is a particularly upsetting and slow procedure. There would be a lot of waiting to do, but if you push through until the transaction closes, the house of your dreams will be yours for an amazingly small price.


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