Banks agree to take a less than is owed on the mortgage due to a financial hardship on the Seller.  To do this, banks go through a valuation process to determine the market value of the real estate being sold.  In my professional opinion, the valuation process is flawed, but that's an article for another day.

Banks will not take low ball offers on a Short Sale in Jacksonville

It just won't happen unless there is a reason for the property to be sold for much less than the market value.  Examples that could cause low ball offers to be accepted:

  • House has had a fire
  • House has no kitchen, bath, carpet, doors, etc.
  • Mold has overtaken house
  • Major foundation problems
  • Flooded recently
  • Roof leaks causing destruction

For your normal house in Jacksonville with the normal amount of deferred maintenance, no luck with a low ball offer.  The banks just won't take it.

Here is a typical Short Sale scenario in Jacksonville:

- Subject House for sale is in normal condition and needs some maintenance / updates.  Price $150,000.

- Similar homes have sold in the last 6 months for $140,000 to $160,000.

In the above scenario, I get verbal offers from other agents for $90,000.

Will Bank of America, or any other bank,  take $90,000 for the house? No.They will value the house somewhere in the market value of $140-$160k.  They may take a little less....but not 40% less.

Will I recommend to the sellers that they accept the contract? No. If the sellers accepted, the house goes into "Pending" which means it is off the market, not for sale.  Short Sale offers need to be realistic for the bank to approve.  This situation would cause 60-120 days of wasting our time....getting the sellers further into default and closer to Foreclosure.

Will the attorney submit the offer to the bank? No.  The attorney's office will also look at the comparable sales.  They will most likely recommend that the seller not accept the offer as they do not want to waste their time either.

As the Listing Agent for Short Sales, I want to make sure the home gets sold the fastest with the highest price and the best terms.  This benefits the seller, this benefits the buyer, this benefits the real estate market.  The banks should take less when the market is pointing that way, but I just don't see the banks taking half of the current day market value.

If you absolutely must low ball: Look for major fixer uppers via short sale or foreclosure sale.  You have less competition, the banks are very realistic about the value, and the transaction will be much faster.

Posted by Brad Officer on
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