December 1, 2009

REO and short-sale properties can be money pits when offers take forever to close and vacant properties are trashed.

Here are some suggestions for expediting the deals:

  • The best short-sale deals are those where the bank has pre-approved the sale price. The property may still take a long time to close, but not as long as it would otherwise.
  • Buyers of a short-sale should be prepared for multiple offers. If the short-sale property is an attractive one, the lender will continue to market the property even after signing a sales contract. And if it gets a better offer, it may sell the property without giving the original buyers a chance to negotiate.
  • Seek out houses protected by the Cash for Keys program, which gives short-sale and foreclosed owners money to prevent them from trashing the place on the way out.
  • Inspections are important. If a home has been vacant, get the property re-inspected prior to closing.
  • Buyers shouldn’t focus on price alone. Homes that are in poor neighborhoods, have serious maintenance issues, or have terrible floor plans aren’t bargains despite the price.
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