Say the word "Short Sale" around any group of real estate agents in Jacksonville, FL or any where else in the country, and you should just sit down and get ready for a lengthy debate.

Some agents absolutely despise working with short sales and simply won't work with them as a seller's agent or a buyer's agent.  A few real estate agents specialize in short sales regardless of their feelings towards the often difficult process.  Home buyers and sellers are frustrated too.  

What's the issue with Short Sales?

  1. Banks' inefficiencies: The banks are a complete mess.  Most have little to no processes set up for doing short sales.  This is the root problem for most complaints.
  2. Paperwork mess: Unless the homeowner and real estate agent are very organized, the amount of paperwork required can be scary.
  3. Time: Short Sales have traditionally taken a long time to get an accepted contract from the bank.  The original bank must do their own appraisals for the home, agree the offer is acceptable based on the current market value, agree the seller qualifies for relief of the debt, and at the end of the day -  just agree to sell the home.

Enter the Feds to help SPEED up short sales:

With the economy lagging and the housing market being a core factor in the rebound, the feds have been trying to push buyers into one of the best buyer's markets on record.  Is it working?  Yes.

One hiccup:  Short Sales. With First time home buyers out in force, they are met with the looming end of November deadline to purchase and close on a home if they intend to receive the $8000 tax credit.  Several reports estimate that half the buyers this year are first time buyers.

Take the number of 1st time buyers who are pushing to find a home, close on the home before December, and get the tax credit.  Add the number of homes that are classified as "Distressed" that are on the market, and you find a very big train wreck.  Mostly due to the lengthy short sale process.

The Feds have realized this bottle neck and  now incentivize the lenders to help speed up short sales. They are actually paying them for completing a short sale.  It's odd to me that the banks don't have some level of urgency to liquidate these properties sooner than later, but it hasn't been happening thus far.

Will this government push work? I hope so!  As a real estate agent who takes on many short sales in Jacksonville, FL, I think all the help we can get the better.  I know the sellers will appreciate knowing the banks have accepted the contract and the buyer's will be happy to know they've got their house.

Posted by Brad Officer on
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