Short Sale vs. Foreclosure vs. Traditional

Traditional Seller

A traditional seller is a home that is owned by a person (or people) that are trying to sell their home. This is the typical seller, such as John and Jane Doe on Main Street. When making an offer to a traditional seller, the response time is usually within a few hours, and negotiations concluded within a day, sometimes two. Inspection period is typically 5 days. The results of the inspection can reopen negotiations if there are major problems.

The buyer closing costs can be incorporated into the offer with the seller paying the buyers closing costs. Some sellers look very down on this common practice and don’t like the idea of paying for someone else’s closing costs.

Closing can typically take place in 4 to 8 weeks, with 6 weeks being very normal.

Foreclosed Home

A foreclosed home is a home that has underwent the foreclosure process. Read more about it here. This process is usually finalized on the redemption date with the bank taking posesstion of the property. The bank will usually put the home on the market within a few weeks. Bank response to offers on foreclosed homes usually happens within 2-5 business days. The inspection timeline is usually 10 calendar days. The results of the inspection are usually for the buyers information only. Many banks will not negotiate after an inspection, leaving the buyer with the option of walking away. Some banks will allow negotiations after an inspection.

Having the Bank pay Buyers closing costs are usually not an issue.

Closing can typically take place in 4 to 8 weeks with 6 weeks being very normal. But if the buyer is using a FHA 203k loan product, closings can take somewhat longer, 8-10 weeks. This is due to the FHA 203k process, not the Bank selling the property.

Short Sale

A short sale is where the owner still owns the home, but is trying to sell the home, and the amount of the sale will be less than what they owe on the property. You can read more about that here. Offers on a short sale can usually be responded to by the seller within a few hours. This is because the bottom line does not affect their position. However, once the documents are submitted to the bank (sellers lender), the process can take a while. The bank is supposed to respond within 30 days, but typically has been more like 8-12 weeks. Some are happening within the 30 day timeframe, but not all of them. Once the bank has reviewed the offer, they may counter back at a different price, or they may accept the offer, or they may not allow the short sale to happen. Once they agree, the remaining timeline follows either of the two situations above, 5 days or so for inspections, 4-8 weeks to close.

Inspections are purely for the buyers information. The seller usually doesn’t have the cash to pay for fixes or updates, hence why they are in a short sale position.

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