Anyone Actually Buy/Try to buy a Short Sale?

12 years ago

....How long did it take? Sorry for the ramble...

We (finally) sold our home. Everything is on track to close in a week. When we listed our home 9 months ago, our intentions were to buy a new construction home and have it customized to our specs. That fell through when after 6 months, we were still unsold. In hindsight, I am actually happy it fell through since prices are lower now, so are interest rates and the new construction site is currently not selling anything, making me wonder what will become of it.

While looking at a string of homes one evening, we saw one that we really, really like. Of course, it's a short sale. We've looked at a few SS's before and we'd decided unless it was something we really wanted, we didnt want to mess with the whole process just to get "a good deal" My agent talked of disappointed clients and our lender did the same.

Nonetheless, it's (so far) the only thing we've really loved. It's not even perfect for our situation (layout wise, but do-able)... and not what we expected we would buy, but we LOVE it! It's still owner-occupied and the place is in immaculate shape. (they aren't taking out their frustration on the house as is the case with some places we've looked at) We decided to offer anyway since our agent checked and was told by the LA that the bank is taking 30-45 to respond.. We figured we can wait a month or so.... The house was on the market for only a day when we looked, and 3 days when we made an offer.

Then came figuring out what to offer. We don't expect to steal it, but certainly don't want to overpay! We know the listing prices can be tricky.... After a little research, We got the impression the listing price was CLOSE to covering the loans, but not the other costs involved in selling. It was built in 2002 and sold for 350K then. They bought the home in 2005 for 462K, putting 20% down. Of course this was the time when prices were peaking. At some point they took out a HE loan for about 100K. Our best guess is they owe in the 455-460 range. The house was listed for 450. Tax assessed value is 458K. That is USUALLY a little lower than market value. For example, Our tax assessed value for our current home is 262K and we sold for 305K. For what it's worth, Zillow lists it's zestimate @ 400K, & Cyberhomes 392K. I don't trust these figures. It's an nice upscale neighborhood, a former "Parade of Homes" home with nice details, making it harder to gauge than just price per sq foot. It has a partial view and very nice landscape with a water feature and built-in fire pit. My agent thought if we were able to buy the home for 425-430 range, it would be a good price. We initally offered 415 asking for 7k in closing costs. They countered with 437, with the 7K. We countered back a final 425K with 7k in closing, making our true offer, 418K. THEY accepted and even opened escrow. Now it goes to the bank. They can accept more offers, and we can back out at anytime until accepted. We continue to look in case we see something else, without the hassle of short sale. It's been about 2 weeks now, the agent emailed an update that he expects a min. of 30 days to hear anything, that there are no other offers on the table as of now and to "hang in there, it will go through" Does he know something we don't or is it positive thinking?

We continue to look, even considering another one in the same neighborhood last night, it's has a good layout for our needs (better actually than the other) is larger overall, has an AMAZING view (we went at sunset and I was in a trance staring at it) but we didn't LOVE it the minute we walked through it like we did the other one, & is quite a bit more expensive. We would have to make an offer quite a bit below asking price, then probably change out the tile I hated and paint the whole place inside since the current color remind me of a cross between salmon and peach and change the island out from a multi-level (with the tallest part ALMOST as tall as me)to a one level. Other than that, I think a lot of it was decor, it seems an older lady owns it, and our taste differ and I KNOW I have a hard time seeing past that and it may be clouding my judgement.

Bottom line, we don't know if we will really know in 30 days, or if someone will swoop in and take it from us while we wait... after years of planning for a new place, and months of the hassle and disappointments of offers that never came, losing a house we planned...I don't know if I am up for more disappointment. This is the time that we are in the buyers seat in the buyers market and it is supposed to be exciting and fun! Not a waiting game.

Did anyone buy one of these in a realitively short time? Any agents with their experience?

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