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Old 03-19-2009, 12:18 PM
12 posts, read 43,784 times
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Has anyone else noticed the tremendous amout of short sales in these neighborhoods. We have been house hunting for a few months and it appears that this is all there is ( or mostly). Some of which are so dirty it is unbelievable.

Can anyone provide any advise on how low you can offer on a short sale vs bank owned?

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Old 03-19-2009, 12:27 PM
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This isn't surprising to me at all. South Riding was rapidly developing around 2004 (when our townhouse was built), and I'm sure many folks fell for the alternative mortgages being offered around that time. I know that when our townhouse was built, it was valued at over $400k - now it's down to about $280k. People who took out ARMs for $400k, and are now having to adjust their rates on top of losing so much equity in their homes, are foreclosing.

I probably wouldn't want the hassle of dealing with a short sale or foreclosure, but if I were putting in an offer I would offer the bank close to what their asking. Banks are going to hold out for the absolute best deal they can - it doesn't matter to them how long the house sits as long as they get as much as possible. Unless you're prepared to enter into a long and drawn out bidding process, I'd say take the already low price and just offer that.

That's what I would do, anyways...
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:12 PM
Location: Loudoun Cty, Virginia
738 posts, read 2,617,651 times
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I bought a foreclosure townhouse in Ashburn over New years. After making offers and having them fall through on a lot of houses, we just went in full asking price with this one; Often times the banks would haggle next to nothing off the price; usually by the time you finally got them to bargain, someone else would drop a full price offer that they accepted. Ours was a good price and in excellent shape, only needed a good cleaning since it sat for a couple months. Most of the nice foreclosure deals sell quickly, ours was on the market for 24 hours and already had multiple offers. But the price was fair for a foreclosure, and we feel like we got a good price.

The process can be aggravating with them. The banks are slow to respond to paperwork, and generally unwilling to do anything proactive in the sales process. Many wont start utilities, and I had to jump through hoops with the utility companies to have the utilities started in my name (while not being the legal owner) just to have our appraisal and inspection done. Ours also had issues with how the bank filed the foreclosure paperwork initially, and it delayed our closing and took a lot of phone calls and prodding to get things done. The houses are usually sold as-is, so make sure to get a good home inspection to know what you'll have to fix after you buy it. Luckily, all I had to replace was a cracked garbage disposal.

During our search, which was sept-dec last year, most of the homes were foreclosure houses. We didn't even bother with short sales since we didn't have the patience to deal with how long it would take for one to maybe go through. There were a number of foreclosures that were dumps, but just as many that were in great shape inside. Just be patient in the process, it takes a bit longer with banks and you may have to go out of the way for some things, and make sure you have a realtor that's familiar with handling REO homes. The foreclosure was worth it to me, since after a coat of paint on the whole house, it was as nice/nicer as the normal sale houses for quite a bit less money. Good luck!

Last edited by GoHokiesGo; 03-19-2009 at 01:23 PM..
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:10 PM
280 posts, read 911,195 times
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My sense is that short sales are pretty inflexible on price. Even with a full price offer they often won't go through. (I've had a full-price offer on one out since November!)

Bank owned are easier to negotiate with because they are sole owners and therefore it's a faster process to go back and forth, but none that I have tried have been flexible on price. I've had several come back with counters that were way above the list price and I had to walk away. None willing to sell at or below list yet. But I do hear of such sales all the time, so it probably depends on the bank's situation and the condition of the house.
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