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The real estate market in the Silicon Valley is very heated up this days, but there are still plenty of short sales being offered. Many of these short sales are in higher price ranges that have previously not seen a lot of short sale activity. What that means is that agents who do not have a lot of experience with short sales are making offers. Because the inventory is so low, most of these short sales are getting multiple offers. So if you are an experienced agent but not with short sales, or a buyer here are some things you need to know:
1. Don't low ball. The bank won't accept it and you will have plenty of competition from buyers wanting to pay market value.
2. Follow all of the instructions the agent gives on the MLS. If they say email instead of call, SEND AN EMAIL. Do not pester the agent with multiple calls a day. Your pre offer behavior is a sign of how you will act during the long short sale process.
3. Fill out the short sale addendum carefully. The addendum allows for the deposit and contingency period to start after bank acceptance unless you change it. CHANGE IT!!!! At a minimum you should put the deposit in escrow immediately. If you really want the home I would also recommend offering to do the inspections right away instead of waiting for bank approval. It is a risk to the buyer in case the bank does not approve, but it is better than waiting 1-3 months for an approval and then finding out the home has more repairs needed than the buyer is willing to make.
4. The home is being sold "As-Is" Don't ask for repairs.
5. Don't ask for buyer credits unless it is an FHA loan. Banks are most likely going to reject the request for credit and if your buyer needs to have it or they walk it does not put you in a good position.
6. Don't change the title and escrtow company. The seller's company has already done a lot of work and has a relationship with the listing agent.
7. Give at least 90 days for approval on the short sale addendum.
8. Present a great case on why your client is able to wait for short sale approval.
If you have any questions about short sales in San Mateo or Santa Clara Counties please feel free to contact me.