At the beginning of 2008, I wrote a few articles about short sales and foreclosures in our local areas here in Santa Barbara, Goleta and Carpinteria. At that point, we had only seen a handful of foreclosures in our areas and most of these were in the entry level condo market from the $300,000 to $650,000 price point as well as track homes from the $590,000 to $800,000 price point. Short sales were also just starting to creep up in our local areas within the same market and price points.
Now in the last several weeks, we have started to see a definite increase in short sales with many sellers looking at short sales as a great opportunity to attempt to sell their home and many buyers looking at short sales as a great opportunity to get into the market here in the Santa Barbara area.
Here is the Catch: Not all short sales are actually going to be sold…in fact most won’t from what we are seeing. Ruth Simon and James Hagerty have written a very informative article in the Wall Street Journal talking about this fact.
I myself have now represented both buyers and sellers with short sales here in that last few months and here is what I can recommend:
1) You have to be patient. Start to finish can take 3-4 months or more and offer many headaches.
2) Look at what the seller currently owes on the property. If they currently owe a lot more than the asking price (for example $650,000 and they are trying to sell if for $550,000 and you write an offer for $500,000), most likely the investor that buys up the loan from the lender will not accept your offer.
3) There is a definite difference if the seller has only a 1st or a 1st and a 2nd on the property or has refinanced the property or owns the property as a second home / investment.
4) If you are currently an active buyer, continue to look at properties for sale and don’t just count on the one property that you have an offer in on if it is a short sale. You don’t want to pass up 6-10 weeks of properties coming on the market to then learn that your offer is not going to be accepted.
If you have any questions…I would be happy to talk and share what I know.
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For information on Real Estate here in Santa Barbara, Montecito and/or our surrounding areas, as well as any other aspects of life in our area, please don’t hesitate to contact Kevin Schmidtchen at Sotheby’s Int’l Realty.
Thank you for reading. I hope you find Santa Barbara Real Estate Voice informative. Please feel free to contact me or comment below with any thoughts.
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