Last month, the number of new foreclosures listed nationally barely crept upward -- even as average sale prices leapt dramatically. Bank-owned property listings have certainly declined in our area, as well. According to RealtyTrac, however, they show a sizeable 10%+ jump in foreclosure sales prices from July to August. Of course, homes listed as foreclosures and short sales still close at prices markedly lower than homes sold in traditional transactions, but that rise in price seems to say that more buyers are feeling confident that a home purchased now will look like a wise move in the future.
If you have been looking at the distressed property market in and around the San Gabriel Valley, these numbers suggest that the short sale and foreclosure possibilities, while much fewer, are still being created -- and that the value they represent is getting a boost of market verification. But before anyone rushes out to take advantage of that market, it’s a good idea to consider enlisting the help of a buyer’s agent. It’s no exaggeration to say that a great buyer’s agent can help make or break a short sale.
Helping you find a price that works is one of the most valuable services a buyer’s agent will supply. Banks will turn down a short sale if they determine it is possible to sell a home at a price closer to its market value. In many instances, these properties generate multiple offers, so the buyer with the most attractive offer usually ends up in escrow. Nobody wants to overpay -- but you won’t get a house by overplaying your hand, either. A knowledgeable buyer’s agent with a local market track record can be invaluable when it comes to determining how the price you are contemplating is likely to be received at the bank.
As RealtyTrac’s report suggest, it’s a fast-moving market. Anyone who has fallen in love with a house only to learn that theirs was the least attractive offer knows the sting of underestimating the market. An experienced buyer’s agent can help you determine if it is likely that there are multiple offers on a home -- and whether a bidding war is likely to ensue. If you want that house, a savvy buyer’s agent can be your secret weapon.
In the larger picture, stepping back from the sometimes emotional side of the process, a well-versed buyer’s agent can help you determine if a home offered as a short sale is a good buy overall. Even when a home is priced well below market value, some wind up needing costly repairs that consume the cash saved on the purchase price. You need to compare apples to apples -- a great buyer’s agent can help you compare the potential real cost of buying a home that initially might have appeared to be available at an irresistible discount.