Short sales and bank-owned real estate in Lake Tahoe | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Short sales and bank-owned real estate in Lake Tahoe

Wally Johnson
Submitted to the Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – There is much interest, these days, in short sale and bank owned properties. Why do you feel that is the case? The quick answer is because everyone is looking for a bargain in price. When we’re purchasing anything, from toilet paper, or cars, to real estate, we all want the best for the lowest price, don’t we? So let’s examine what these short sale and bank owned properties are all about.

A short sale, where the owner of the property owes more than the current value, is one type of transaction that typically people can offer for less than the listing price. In a short sale you are actually dealing with not only the seller of the property, but also the short sale bank, which has the last word on many parts of the transaction. When the offer is initially made and the seller accepts, after counters or what have you, the bank must approve and that approval may literally take months and months. The bank may also decide that the offer the seller accepted is unacceptable to the bank and raise the price or they may decide to reject it completely.

Bank owned properties are similar to short sales, except that there’s just one party to deal with in the purchase a bank or financial institution. Since banks now own hundreds of thousands of these foreclosed properties all over the country, many problems arise in the transaction mostly to do with time. And many times brokers, as well as their agents, don’t know that the bank they thought they were representing possibly can be a completely different bank in another part of the world.

The average time for a short sale to close right now in Lake Tahoe real estate is four months and some have gone on for more than a year. So these transactions are filled with many frustrations and require a lot of patience and nerves of steel.

Here are a few suggestions when it comes to purchasing real estate in Lake Tahoe in this current market and environment.

If you’re focusing on only purchasing a short sale or bank owned property, because of the length of time these almost always take and that the banks have the ultimate say, don’t give up on looking for another choice and have a back-up plan.

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Make sure that both your agent and the seller’s agent are well informed about these transactions and keep you informed as well. Additionally, well informed agents know the right questions to ask of the other party.

Sadly, banks are flooded with these properties all across the nation and are very understaffed. Often, the banks will change negotiators and even move files across the country. If that happens, then the process starts all over again which will add to the length of the procedure. You may even hear that a bank is going to do something in a specific time frame, only to see that time frame disappear.

Another suggestion, in this current real estate market in Lake Tahoe many sellers with “normal” transactions are very willing to negotiate. Finding a real estate agent with excellent negotiation skills and is a better listener than a talker will help you greatly in securing your jewel in the pines.