September 9, 2017

Short sellers often have different needs than sellers in a “regular sale”. Some buyers mistakenly believe that all that matters is how much they offer. While the amount of your offer is  important, it is not the single most important determining factor, nor do the sellers have any obligation to accept any offer simply based on its dollar amount. Here are a few tips to make your offer the strongest if you end up against competing buyers for the same short sale home:
  • Have patience. Short sales take time. The more flexible you are willing to be, the better your offer looks to the seller. It will usually take a minimum of 60 days to get a short sale approved, sometimes longer. As a CT short sale listing agent, I frequently recommend the most patient buyer over the highest paying buyer.
  • Be ready to move quickly. This may sound like a contradiction to the previous point, but after all the waiting is done and the approval arrives, everyone will need to hustle. Short selling lenders don’t give long for the parties to close. 30 days from approval is expected. Being able to close quickly gives you an advantage.
  • Have the most desirable method of financing. Cash is always king, but certain financing is preferable to others. Given two identical offers on a short sale – one with conventional financing and one with FHA, the conventional will trump almost every time especially when the condition of the property is questionable and the sellers lack the funds to make repairs. Level of pre-approval also weighs heavily here. The further you’ve gotten with your financing, the better your offer looks.
  • Have the right buyer’s agent. When my short sellers receive multiple offers on their properties, I always measure the level of the buyer agents short sale expertise when making my recommendation. Its easy for me to tell with a few choice question whether your buyers agent is experienced in short sales. I will frequently also pull the mls statistics of your agent to see how many short sales they have been involved in. Why? Because I know this person will be advising you through the process. If they don’t know what they’re doing, I know the sale will likely fall apart at some point and I dont want my sellers to end up having to start all over. Choose your agent carefully if you plan to pursue buying short sales.
As a short sale listing agent advising my short seller clients, my goal is not to get my sellers lender the most money, but to give my sellers the best resolution. Keep that in mind when writing your offer.

Last Updated on February 21, 2019 by Minna Reid

About the author 

Minna Reid

Minna Reid is The Broker - Owner of Reid Real Estate Group. Reid Real Estate Group is a full-service Connecticut residential real estate brokerage, specializing in helping homeowners with legal and financial challenges including short sales, probate sales and tax lien complications.

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