Five Valuable Steps That Will Get You Through the Short Sale Buying Process

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Most of the time short sales are a seller-centric phenomena that comes up as an option one step better than a foreclosure. But not too much attention is often paid to the other end of the transaction – the buying end. When a buyer is interested in a short sale property, there is much to be aware of a lot that they must consider, heading into it. Literally, the process of buying a short sale property can be a long, drawn out journey. By keeping in mind these five key aspects, the process will be smoother and easier throughout.

Put Your Strongest Virtue Into Play: Patience

Short sales run on anything but a short time frame. The single most valuable trait you can have as a buyer of a short sale property is patience. The level of ups and downs experienced in a typical short sale journey can be harrowing for anyone but the patience required can make all the difference. From start to finish, the entire process can take several months and sometimes even longer. Agents often expect homebuyers to commit to 120 days for the entire negotiation and deal process. The opportunity is an incredible one and if you’re one of the lucky ones, the deal you will secure will be worth all the extra time and frustration that ensues.

Expectations And Predictability; Strangers In A Short Sale

A very normal expectation would be to know each and every stage of a home buying process. To understand exactly what is going on at what time and to be able to get regular updates. With short sales, things are so unpredictable that often none of these normal expectations are fulfilled. Repeated calls to your agent will prove counterproductive and end up in frustration on all sides. Keep in mind that at any given time a loss mitigation officer or loan negotiator will have up to several hundred applications on their desk at one time. In a nutshell, things take time.

Knowledge Is More Than Power; It’s Leverage

A listing agent often represents sellers and it is essential that the agent understands the short sale process entirely. With the plethora of applications on the negotiator’s desks, the need for sellers’ listing agents to be fully aware of all that is entailed in the transaction is very important. When something is needed to be submitted, it is the listing agent’s job to make sure the sellers provide that information on time and in its entirety. Having a listing agent who does not have enough experience can be detrimental to your experience.

There Are No Guarantees, But Often Worth The Wait

Yes, short sales can be a great opportunity to pick up a property for less than the market value. But this is not a simple feat. You must remain patient and willing to accept that it is not a surefire guarantee that the price you end up getting is the best deal possible. Keep in mind that the very nature of this process is volatile. One day a price might be agreed on with the seller, but the next day you both are unable to see it through after the lender reviews it and comes back with a different answer. The way it works is that the application is made to the lender, after which they have an appraisal done and depending on what the Broker’s Price Opinion (BPO) is they come back with an answer. The frustrating part is how long this can take. It has happened that a buyer is let down at the last minute after hearing back from the lender that the price is unacceptable.

Lenders Have Their Own Way Of Thinking

In this time of many homes risking going under, and after a period of many foreclosures, banks are very cautious. Now, more than ever, they have very stringent and careful loan approval processes. The thing that remains most challenging for buyers and sellers in a short sale transaction is that lenders do not operate in a way that makes logical and practical sense to the rest of us. In looking out for their own interests, they often appear removed from the human and emotional aspects of the deal. The best way to handle this is to fulfill all requirements as quickly as possible, including lending inspections, securing funds for the deposit, etc. As soon as the lender issues an approval, they want the money fast – anywhere from two weeks to one month from the approval date.
All in all, you stand to get a great deal! Just be sure to follow our guidelines and keep your eye on the prize. Be prepared for blips in the system and if things don’t turn out the way you’d expected them to, know in advance that there is a chance for that to happen. No one more than your trusted real estate agent knows how frustrating this process can be, that’s why it’s important to maintain a solid relationship with.

Why Real Estate Professionals Are An Essential Component to Buying Transactions

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When you think about it, a home is probably the largest financial transaction most people will ever go through in their lifetime. And when you have any transaction that large the last thing you want to happen is for something to go wrong.

Now, many people believe that the only part of real estate where an agent is necessary is on the selling side of things. The truth is that real estate agents are pivotal to a successful transaction on all sides of the equation. But today, I want to discuss why buyers should have the protection and guidance of a Realtor when venturing out into the property market.

Finding the Right Home

Even with the advent of the Internet and other real-time technology, most people do not have access to the homes that Realtors do. At least for the initial stages of a home’s listing. An MLS is a cooperative agreement between all agents in an area where they share homes that are available and work collaboratively to match the correct seller with the perfect buyer. When agents first begin the process of listing a home, they often invite their peers to view the home at an agent-only open house.

Additionally, with my profession being a full-time one, I can devote a lot more time to helping buyers find the right home with all the bells and whistles they are looking for – leaving them to focus on other important things in life. We scour the area and find the best properties. Not to mention that we know the area very well – particularly useful in cases where someone is relocating from a different area.

Sharing Insider Information About Financing

Though our expertise does not lie within the financial scope of buying real estate, we are in tune with the latest programs and incentives out there available to all types of buyers. For instance, the government has a few grant programs that will pay up to $5,000 for first time buyers and access to $10,000 for secondary buyers. Also, depending on your particular needs I can share with you details about other products that are out there that many buyers may not even be aware of such as the government-backed FHA 203K loan. This is a loan that provides funds to renovate a home and that reno loan is rolled right into the mortgage. Many buyers find the perfect home that needs a little work but they can’t afford to pay for rehabilitation of the property. The knowledge of products like the FHA 203K would typically come through an experienced Realtor.

Keeping Within Regulations

If you are buying a condominium or considering new construction in a subdivision there are lots of rules, regulations and bylaws that could easily impact your decision to purchase. My job as your agent is to know and understand these nuances and to share them with you in advance so you can make informed decisions about your property purchase. We provide in-depth information about a neighborhood, help you to figure out what your real estate taxes might be and provide resources for other specific needs you may have.

Negotiating Your Best Price

Probably the most significant thing in any deal for a buyer is the purchase price and as your Realtor it is my job to negotiate on your behalf. After years of dealing in at times difficult situations, we are trained to understand the other side and carefully work out a deal that works for our clients’ best interests. The paperwork alone can be daunting and unless you are have lots of time and are confident with lengthy legal contracts and stipulations that must be met with, it can be a challenge.
At the end of the day, our goal is to make the entire home buying process for you enjoyable and easy. So whether you are interested in buying, selling or investing or even if you just want to explore your options, contact me today!  I’d be happy to help!