Santa Maria Real Estate: Tips to Buying Santa Maria Short Sales
1) Be prepared for an "as-is" purchase. Many times there is deferred maintenance on short sale listings. Often owners in financial distress stop performing maintenance on the home either willfully and because they lack the funds. You can ask a short sale seller to make repairs, but often they are unable or unwilling to do so since they are losing their home. You can also approach the short sale lender and ask that they allow the cost of the repairs to be deducted from their "net" but often the answer will be no, even if the repairsare required by your lender in order to originate your new loan. This can make purchasing a short sale difficult if you are using VA financing which prohibits the buyer form paying for VA required repairs.
2) Be prepared to wait for approval. Short sale approval timelines have notably improved, especially with Bank of America where the time period could be 6 months or more to now around six weeks (in my experience) with the use of the Equator processing system. However overall, banks just can't seem to act that quickly, and if the property has two lien holders it can take additional time to align the two approvals so you can actually close the transaction.
3) Be prepared for negotiations from the bank. Just because the seller agreed to a purchase price doesn't mean the bank will. If you think waiting 5 months for a response is aggravating, try waiting five months and then having a negotiator try to increase the purchase price. Yes, banks will try to do this. It is aggravating especially when the offer is a fair one.
Short sales can be exceptional bargains, but they have their pitfalls for buyers. Make sure your agent knows the right questions to ask before getting you involved with a short sale.
Check out current Santa Maria short sale listings here:
List of Santa Maria short sales $100,000 - $200,000
List of Santa Maria short sales $200,000 - $300,000
List of Santa Maria short sales $300,000 - $400,000
List of Santa Maria short sales $400,000 and up