I’m sure you have read my previous columns about short sales, but I feel the need to address them again because they are all over SW Florida. It seems like every other property on the market is a short sale! Basically a short sale is when the lender, to whom the seller owes money, is willing to allow the property to be sold for less than the amount owed.
This is important because for a long time buyers have felt that short sales are a waste of time and a lot of Realtors have also thought that short sales are a waste of time. In the past it has taken six months or more to close on a short sale – that has discouraged buyers and many Realtors. Why get all excited to buy your dream home, then wait six months to find out that it may or may not close, how frustrating!
So, is a short sale worth the wait?
I say absolutely! Here’s why. The banks have realized that every sector of the housing market has been affected throughout the United States; especially Florida. The banks are finally putting some systems in place to approve these short sales and get a new homebuyer into the home. You must always remember that the bank does NOT want to take a property back, kicking the current homeowners out of the house through the foreclosure process. This makes short sales a good solution for homeowners and banks.
Since the banks are getting better about approving short sales, it has made the process more tolerable and quicker closings are taking place. I have had short sales that I’ve listed close in as little as one month; that is often the exception, but thankfully it is happening.
Some very interesting facts from Sunshine MLS are that in all of Naples (Collier County) there were 63 short sales closed between 1/1/09 and 3/1/09. If you jump forward one year to short sales that closed between 1/1/10 and 3/1/10, there were 199 that closed! That’s over a 300% increase in homes that actually closed the first two months of 2010, compared to 2009. That alone tells you that more people are buying short sales, more banks are approving short sales, and they are closing!
This is great news for homeowners going through this situation and buyers looking to purchase one of these distressed properties. Don’t be afraid to jump into the game; you may just be surprised that buying a short sale isn’t as bad as you think!