Now that our attempt to purchase a short sale property has come to a disappointing conclusion (see this item from Monday for full details), the catharsis of sharing a few parting thoughts on the subject seemed to be in order so as to, perhaps, help others who might be in the middle of trying to buy a short sale property or thinking about doing so.
In contrast to the plight of underwater sellers, there appears to be little positive to relate from the buyer’s end of the transaction which consists of varying degrees of uncertainty, frustration, delays, and disappointment in what is an emotional roller coaster ride that no one deserves but, as was the case for the two of us, people are all too willing to give a shot because the house that they really want became available as a short sale at a reasonable asking price.
But, there is good news for short sale sellers – those who borrowed and spent way more than they should have – in that you can probably live there in your own house rent free for quite some time while the banks, real estate agents, and doe-eyed buyers stumble through this process that only seems to serve one purpose – “extend and pretend” for the banks, delaying the realization of losses for as long as possible.
Sellers can play the “extend and pretend” game too. Ideally, you’ll want to try to get your mortgage modified for about a year and, after that fails, then see if you can keep your home listed as a short sale for another year, bolstering your personal finances by tens of thousands of dollars during that time since you’re not making any mortgage payments.
If you think I’m bitter, you’d be absolutely correct.
Here are a few thoughts from an unsuccessful buyer’s perspective that might be helpful to anyone involved in or interested in trying to buy a short sale property.