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House Hunters- Fact or Fiction? Are Realtors Scared of Short Sales?

by Charlie Allred

The other day I was watching HGTV.  I know that is a huge shock, I watch it all the time!  I was watching House Hunters, I generally prefer House Hunters International, but regular House Hunters was on after an episode about Nicaragua (which was amazing! 4,000sf on the water for $700k).

Moving on, this particular episode featured a young couple in Utah, who had saved for several years, living in a studio apartment (yes, they must have really liked each other).  Their Realtor, the agent showing them homes, showed them 3 homes.  This is the premise of show, 3 homes, they choose one and buy it.

Well the Realtor showed the couple two short sales and one regular sale.  The short sales were clearly larger, nicer homes at a fair price.  Much better priced than the regular resale home.  However, she kept saying to the buyers “this one is a short sale, they are a bit complicated and scary.” NO joke!

As a real estate broker, I believe it’s my job to help home buyers purchase their perfect home.  I believe it’s my job to advise the client on the process, to manage their expectations and to help them purchase the best home for them!

This Realtor did not mention once, the process of a short sale.  The fact that the lenders are streamlining the process and the advantage of a short sale.  The advantage is the buyer gets a nicer home for a value, the homes are generally not trashed, like a foreclosure.  Yes, it takes approximately 60-90 days to purchase a short sale, but it is well worth the wait for the value obtained!

I was absolutely astonished that the Realtor only touched on the downside of a short sale.  So I started thinking, why would she not talk about the benefits of purchasing a short sale?  My husband, who doesn’t work in real estate, stated “maybe she wants her commission sooner.”  TRUE!  I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of this.  In order to persuade her client to buy a home more quickly, she kept stating “short sales are scary.”

Do not allow yourself to be “scared of a short sale”.  Find a competent agent to help you navigate through the process.  I would say there are about 5 basic terms I require my clients include in their offers on a short sale.  Again, the goal of a short sale is to help the buyer find a good home for a good value, while helping the seller out of a financial situation they cannot afford.

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