Short sales are a different animal than foreclosures. Where you might be able to buy a foreclosure at a bargain basement price, lenders are more particular about short sales. They get appraisals or broker opinions to determine market value and then stick pretty hard and fast to that price. This is how they operate whether the property is in the MLS or whether you are trying to work a deal with a homeowner before it hits the market. Oftentimes you will see this type of sale priced really low. This is done in order to get offers to present to the lender. So, please, don't get too excited if you see a short sale at an incredibly low price, because that is exactly what it is - not a credible offering! This is why you might see such properties listed on the market for months on end! This practice is partially necessary to determine at what price a lender will accept to short sale a property.
Can you buy a short sale below asking? Of course you can; but it is not uncommon to pay more than asking! Once an acceptable listing price has been approved by the lender(s) - sometimes there are two lenders involved if the homeowner took out a home equity loan - the asking price becomes just as negotiable as any other listing the longer the house sits on the market. For this reason, the quickest and easiest short sale property to buy is one where the lender(s) has/have approved the list price.
Unlike foreclosures where homeowners have let their properties go back to the lender, sellers who are asking a lender to release their mortgage for less than what is owed have to prove that they cannot afford to continue making payments and that the property will end up in foreclosure if the seller cannot sell it before that happens. The application for a short sale, then, basically means that the seller is required to submit a new "reverse" loan application proving "lack of income" as well as "hardship" to get their lender(s) to support a short sale. Depending upon a homeowner's co-operation and ability to provide all the lender's necessary required documentation, a short sale can be approved within 30 days... or never! You cannot automatically rely on listing agents to be experienced in dealing with short sales. For this reason, you should hire a broker like Jim who is experienced in dealing with short sales.
Until public search criteria will specifically include just short sales or just REOs, these entail custom searches which need to be created by a licensed broker. This custom page only includes Eastern Massachusetts short sales in order to keep the number of results for you to view manageable. If you are interested in a widened search to see the entire state's offering of short sales or narrowed down to specific towns, zip codes, counties, etc., please contact us and we will create a custom search tailored to your preferences.
Each of the town's and Boston neighborhoods listed in the sidebar includes all single family, condos, multi-families, and land listings, regardless of whether they are foreclosures, short sales, REOs, or just regular listings. This and the foreclosure page is simply a way to filter out the foreclosures and short sales for those not interested in non-bank owned listings.
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