Today Buyers and Sellers of Central Oregon homes are hearing these terms more and more which bring more questions than answers most of the time. There are many misunderstandings of what these terms mean and what the process is or can be. The current real estate market is one that even veterans of 40 plus years have never seen before. Let’s explore what these mean here locally and have a glimpse of what they may mean in other areas.
The Short Sale – A seller is attempting to sell their home for less than they owe the bank. That is the simple answer to what a short sale is. As we tread on you will see that the answer is not all that simple. How can the seller do this is one of the most common questions followed by how can I buy this home for less. The seller of a short sale is usually behind at least one payment and can not keep up with the current mortgage. The banks do not want to have to take the home (Foreclosure). Some of the reasons are, banks are not in business to be home owners and the average cost to the bank for a foreclosure is in excess of $30,000 according to some experts.
Ashley Drake Gephart, Associate Broker, REALTOR® a good friend in Albuquerque explains in more detail what a short sale is
A short sale of a residential property is still owned by the owner, but the owner is usually behind in their payments and the price listed is short of what is needed to pay off the mortgage and closing costs. There is no guarantee that the bank will accept a short sale even if the owner offers the full list price, and the response time from a bank on an offer can take up to six months.
A Short Sale is always subject to the lender approval this process is far more complicated that it sounds. Some homes currently listed as a short sale have a first and a second mortgage. In these cases approval by both lenders is necessary. Most short sales will be sold as is, with few if any warranties. Everything about the contract depends on the bank agreeing to it. A short sale can take weeks to months to get bank approval.
Joshua Jarvis REALTOR® in Georgia also explains short sales;
Pre-Foreclosures are also called Short Sales in some cases. Most of these will be listed as well. Short sales can be a great deal and opportunity but do require patience and a easy living arrangement in case the deal falls through. Not all pre-foreclosures are short sales, but most will be.
The process is not as simple as it sounds. There are specific documents the seller will need to provide sometimes multiple times, the listing agent will need to have extensive communication with multiple parties to keep the ball rolling and be familiar with the process and the specific situation.
As a buyer you can have the best agent out there and if the listing agent is un-aware of the process your offer can be a total waste of time. Sellers if you are working with an agent and trying to short sale your home, make sure your agent knows the process. More than one buyer can tell you that they had an offer with a short sale only to find that it went to foreclosure anyway. Reasons for this can vary from the bank would not accept the offer to the listing agent did not ask for the sale date to be delayed while the offer was negotiated.
Some banks will not discuss a short sale or price until you have an offer, others will work with you on price and terms right from the start. More often than not you will need an offer before the bank will talk about price and so on. Part of the process of a short sale is that once that offer comes in – the bank will ask other brokers for their opinion of the value of the property, this is referred to as a BPO.
The Bank Owned Home, also called an REO or REPO – These are homes that have already been taken back by the bank. These homes can be pristine or they can be real fixer up type properties. Once the bank owns the home you are dealing with one person generally. Although responses can be a little delayed because the decision maker is generally has a ton of files on their desk. Acceptance of these properties generally only takes a couple days and things move a long much like a standard real estate transaction, if you agent knows what to expect that is. There are a few quirky items that your agent needs to know to protect you.