Short Sales are the latest "Buzz"! Well, this may take some "buzz" out of it, despite all the Books, articles and Seminars, etc!!!!!
It is very very time consuming, distracting and hopelessly difficult to get a Bank/Mortgage Company to agree to your request through a Contract of Sale! We have had a Contract of Sale with a Buyer (obviously a GREAT Buyer!!) since JUNE 4th, 2008 (now Sept 3). We still do NOT have an agreement with the Bank.
The Bank even countered with a price that was $20,000 HIGHER than neighbor same homes that had just SETTLED!!!! Wow... that should really appraise!!!!!
As a Listing Agent, you still need to promote and advertise and market a Short Sale home (and Disclose that it is!!). This takes time and MONEY... only to be turned down by some impartial Lender that has no idea what to accept or reject.
We are using a Short Sale Attorney to handle the process for our Seller - he only gets paid when the Bank says Yes to the Contract so it is in his best interest also to get it approved!! He also trys to get the Personal Liability removed for the Sellers!! Beware of that if you don't get that for your Sellers!! That will haunt YOU later!!!
Short Sales are a very real part of business in 2008 and I'm sure in 2009! Just be very aware of the TIME and energy it will take and the frustration for all parties - especially a Buyer that has so many homes to pick from today. If the approval isn't gotten pretty quickly, you stand a very real chance of redoing another Contract with another Buyer.
We did have a Buyer that wanted to purchase a Short sale home also. We were very fortunate in that one! The Seller had lost 2 previous deals from delays and walking Buyers so we knew the Short Sale accepting price and our Buyer was able to get the house she wanted!
As a Buyer, try to find out if the Lister has already obtained a price or range from the bank from a previous lost Buyer - that's the best way to be a Buyer!!!
As a Lister, be prepared for a lot of time, energy, expense and frustration trying to put together a "House of Cards"!!