Short Sales & Foreclosures
Buying a Short Sale or Foreclosure Home
Purchasing short sales and foreclosures in Hawaii can be an excellent way to build your real estate portfolio. On the flip side of this type of purchase, foreclosures and short sales can help homeowners get out from under burdensome mortgages. But this type of transaction requires specific knowledge and diligence.
Buying a foreclosure or short-sale property involves a different process than does a traditional home purchase. Buyers and sellers can expect distinct systems for:
- Listing the Property
- Securing Funding
- Writing the Offer
- Managing the Inspection
- Establishing the Closing Timeline
It’s crucial that you work with a real estate agent who has experience and training in this type of transaction. I’m honored to be a certified Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR) agent.
My certification through the Center for Specialized REALTOR® Education and National Association of REALTORS® allows me to provide the guidance my clients deserve. I take this role seriously to help clients navigate the path to selling or purchasing a foreclosure or short sale.
How does a Short Sale work?
A short sale happens when a homeowner sells their property for less than they owe on it.
When a homeowner falls behind on mortgage payments, the amount they owe on a property can exceed its market value quickly. If the owner is unwilling or unable to pay what they owe, they may choose to sell the property.
The homeowner needs approval from the mortgage company and any other lienholders before listing the house. The lienholder may choose to forgive any remaining debt, or they may file a judgment against the seller for the outstanding amount.
When you make an offer on a short sale, the seller and their lender must both accept the offer. Lenders can be very slow to respond to offers, so be prepared to wait weeks or even months for a response.
How Does a Foreclosure Sale Work?
When a homeowner defaults on their mortgage, their lender takes possession of the property, putting it into foreclosure. The lender then sells the property at auction to satisfy some or all of the defaulted mortgage debt.
Homes sold through the foreclosure process usually don’t allow extensive viewing or inspections before the auction. The auctioneer may provide an open house shortly before or on the day of the auction. This isn’t always the case, and you may need to make your decision without seeing the interior first.
If you place the winning bid at auction, you will have to place a deposit, around 10% of the sale price. The remainder will be due about thirty days later. You’ll need to have your funding and home inspections ready to go as soon as your bid is accepted.
Often, a foreclosed property doesn’t sell at auction, and it becomes a real estate-owned home (REO). That’s a pretty confusing term since the bank is actually the property owner at that point. When this happens, the price may drop even lower.