Successfully Buying a Short Sale Home is a bit more complex than buying a traditional home listing. It’s important to not only work with an experienced and skilled Buyer’s agent, but to also consider the experience and skill of the agent representing the Seller.
In any home buying purchase, the buyer should carefully evaluate a home based at least on these criterion:
- Price vs Fair Market Value of the House
- Potential Closing/Settlement Date
When considering the purchase of a short sale listing, however, a savvy short sale buyer should also consider the answers to these important questions:
- What’s the skill and experience of the short sale listing agent?
- What type of hardship is the seller experiencing?
- What type of loan does the seller have (FHA, VA, Conventional, Freddie, Fannie, private funding?)
- How many mortgages are involved?
- Who are the servicer(s) for the seller’s mortgage(s)?
- Are there other liens against the house in addition to the mortgage(s) such as unpaid HOA dues, property taxes, utilities, etc?
- What type of short sale is being pursued? HAFA, Traditional?
- What’s the status of the short sale approval process?
- Has a complete short sale package already been presented to the seller’s lienholders?
- Have offers from other buyers been previously presented to the seller’s lienholders?
- Is an auction date imminent?
- Has an auction date already been postponed? How many times?
- Has the Seller’s lienholder(s) completed their price evaluation of the house (BPO)?
- Who’s negotiating the short sale — the listing agent? Someone else from the listing office? A Third-Party?
- Are there any additional short sale negotiation fees? If so, who’s paying them?
- Will the listing agent stay in contact with you? How often? Weekly?
- Will the final utilities be paid by the Seller?
- Will the Seller continue to live in the house and maintain it until the date of closing?
- Will the Seller leave the house in the same condition (or better) than when you viewed it? (i.e., will all that trash in the back yard be removed???)
Working with a skilled Buyer’s agent that thoroughly understands the short sale listing and closing process — one who knows the right questions to ask and understands the answers — will greatly increase a Buyer’s chances of Successfully Buying a Short Sale Home.