Thursday, March 27, 2008

Differences Between Short Sales and Bank REOs or Repos

As you know, it is a great time to be a "buyer" in our Las Vegas real estate market. Pricing on homes is almost back to the 2005 level, with many of them reduced to be "moved" by the banks. REOs and short sales currently make up almost 40% of the Las Vegas homes for sale.

Bank repos, also known as REOs (real estate owned), are properties that have already been foreclosed upon by the bank. They may be in pretty rough condition, and it is very common for the landscaping to be completely dead and have to be replaced. They are sold "as is, where is" with no warranties. But in some cases you can make your offer contingent upon an inspection to see if any major repair work may be required. (Some banks won't allow the due diligence period for an inspection, so you may have to have one done prior to making an offer.)

Having said all that, you can get a "good deal" with a bank owned property as long as you allow for these extra costs and buy the home for the right price to begin with. Just because it is a foreclosure, it may or may not be a great deal.

Short sales are a different creature. The homeowner is behind on their payments, and, in most cases, is hoping that the lender(s) involved will let them sell "short" of what is owed. This means the bank(s) has to approve the sale. Again, in some cases, the house will be listed at an extremely low price designed to entice offers. These offers are brought to the lender (s) for approval and if there is more than one offer, the bank(s) will negotiate the prices up, if possible, to reduce their losses. Some banks may take 30-45 days to even respond to an offer, perhaps hoping to get more than one. And the bank usually does not sign off on the offer until just prior to closing, which means they may also accept a new offer up to that point. So even though you have verbal acceptance, until it is actually signed, a short sale can be revoked at any time.

Don't overlook regular owner occupied "turn-key" homes in this market either. Lately, most homes are priced to compete with the foreclosures: they come with home warranties and they don't need out-of-pocket cash dropped into them like most of the Las Vegas foreclosures do.

If you think you are interested in a foreclosure or short sale, send us the general parameters of what you are looking for: price range, number of bedrooms, pool, location etc. We will be happy to place you on our automatic email update system that will immediately send you any new listing that comes on the market with your foreclosure criteria. (The best ones go fast, so be prepared to act quickly!) Or call us at 702-985-7654 to discuss doing a customized search for you.

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