Bank Pricing for Short Sales and Foreclosures

Sacramento home listingSome real estate agents wrongly believe that the price doesn’t matter in a short sale. Buyers might have adopted that attitude from their agents or perhaps they just plucked it out of thin air, but I doubt it. They tend to confuse short sales with foreclosures and bank-owned homes. My favorite is when I hear that all banks are desperate. Maybe it’s the get-rich-quick-schemes they read about that makes them so eager to believe something so wrong.

You think those guys bidding on the courthouse steps at trustee’s auctions are picking up tons of property way under market value? Market value means what the market will bear — the price a seller is willing to sell for and a buyer is willing to pay, which is generally substantiated by comparable sales. Flippers get a little bit of a discount for buying the home without guarantees and sometimes without inspections, because there is an inherent risk. They feel it’s a calculated risk. Some homes they flip for higher profit margins than others. Some require less work. But it’s not as easy as buying a home one day and turning around the next to make $100K on the deal. They generally must improve the home.

Your best deals are probably made behind closed doors at the bank. These are the bank-owned homes that the banks bundle in a bulk package and sell the entire package at one lump sum to investors. But they’re not going to make the same deal on one little house just for you and just because you asked. Not gonna happen.

Moreover, it’s not gonna happen on a short sale because the bank doesn’t own the home. The bank is simply considering allowing the home to sell at market value because they would get the same amount if it went to foreclosure. There is not a lot of incentive for a bank to authorize a short sale if the price isn’t right.

Sellers know this. Especially Sacramento short sale sellers who work with Elizabeth Weintraub, because I tell them. Every Sacramento short sale agent knows this. The bank wants market value. End of story. There is no point in submitting a lowball offer, working through 2 to 3 months of paperwork submissions only to be denied at the end because the buyer won’t move on price. Just say no to start with and get on with the short sale.

Some buyer’s agents get upset and accuse me of not working for the buyer. That’s right. When I am the listing agent, I don’t work for the buyer. I work for the seller.

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