Buying a Short Sale property is a great way to score a good deal, however, there are a few things you should know before submitting an offer.
What is a Short Sale?
A short sale is when the seller's lender will accept less than what's owed in order to sell the property and cut their losses. A short sale will be much cheaper to the bank than a foreclosure.
When a seller is selling their home subject to a short sale it is the bank that will make the deciding factor on what price they will sell the property.
Check the Public Records/Assessor's Site
Do your research before making an offer to purchase. Your Bellingham Real estate agent pull comprables from the MLS (similar properties that recently sold in the vicinity). This is important because it will help you to determine how much to offer on your Bellingham Short Sale Properties.
Hire an Agent with Short Sale Experience
It can make for a timely and difficult transaction if your listing agent has never handled a short sale, but it's even worse if the buyer's agent has no experience in that arena. You need an experienced short sale agent on both sides of the transaction.
An agent with short sale experience will help ensure that all the necessary documentation has been gathered and submitted to the bank. The bank will need this paperwork before they even consider a short sale. You don't want to miss any important detail due to inexperience or find out your transaction is not going to close on time because no one has followed up in a timely manner.
Submit Documentation & Purchase Offer to Lender
Any offer that you submit to the bank will be on a "AS IS" basis, however, you can still obtain an inspection and complete any/all your due diligence as with any transaction.
Once the seller has accepted your offer, the listing agent will send it to the lender for approval along with your earnest money deposit and Pre-approval letter.
Write your offer contingent upon the lender's acceptance, giving the lender a deadline. This will allow you to cancel after a certain amount of time and will also expedite the process.