February 22, 2010

Short Sales Aren't Short When it Comes to Closing Them!

Short Sale Buyers Face Difficulty Closing Deals Quickly That's the headline of a recent RISMedia article.  At first, this seemed like a very strange article to publish.  Of course buyers have difficulty closing short sale deals quickly!  There is nothing quick or short about a short sale deal.

But as I read through the article I realized that this isn't some "Oh I just found out this information" from the higher powers that always somehow seem to be one step out of the loop of real world events or even a "slow news day" editorial.  Though the article doesn't say it, it's all about agents not fully informing the buyers about how a short sale works.

The premise of the article is that many buyers may miss out on the $8000 tax credit because they are in contract on a short sale and the process is looking like it's not going to the closing table in time.  Well, I may be reading a bit more into it than most, but if the buyer wasn't fully briefed by their agent on how long a short sale could possibly take, then it's clearly a fault of the agent.

Now, I'm assuming that the buyer is utilizing the services of a buyer's agent.  If you're planning on buying a potential short sale, I don't recommend going in unrepresented.  It's not for the faint of heart.  And as this article clearly shows, it matters WHO is representing you, too.

Now, I'm sure that if these buyers had an agent, if they WEREN'T told about what to expect when dealing with a short sale property, it was because the agent themselves probably didn't know what to expect.  Trust me, most agents try to avoid short sales, be it as a listing agent or a selling (buyers) agent, simply because of the time-frame and work involved with them compared to a "normal" sale.

State laws vary greatly on how short sale transactions are handled.  There are even different rules and procedures on them between the different MLS'es within the state.  So, if you are even considering looking at short sale listings as a possible buy for your new home, then you need to find an agent that has experience dealing with them.  And if you're a first time home buyer and you're not already in a contract, you may want to reconsider any offers on properties that are potential short sales because even the fastest short sale often takes months before it gets to the closing table.


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