Buying A Home

Should I be worried? - Short Sale Related

We put in an offer on a short sale a few weeks ago.  The sellers signed and it's at the bank.  We've been told not to expect to hear anything for 6-8 weeks minimum (maybe longer but our agent expects it to move relatively quickly--for a short sale--because there is only one loan).  So no surprise there, but of course it is making us anxious anyway.

There have been a few other fishy things however.  We asked to see it a few days before we put in our offer.  We were denied on account of an emergency surgery.  Said they wouldn't be showing it for at least 2 weeks, but were planning on getting serious about lower the price.  Okay.  The short sale offer isn't binding, so on the advice of our agent, we went ahead and put in a lowish offer without seeing it again (we saw it a several months ago when the price was higher, but the price has come down to the point where we think we could afford to fix the things that are obviously wrong with it).  We'll want to see it again before truly committing to it, and of course we will get an inspection, but I do think we want it at this price and this way our offer is first in line at the bank... it's in the contract that they don't submit anything else to the negotiator at the bank unless we walk away.

Anyway, a day after being told about not being able to see the house because the female owner was having emergency surgery, I walked by the house (it's near where I live now and on my normal walking route around the neighborhood), and a woman was having a garage sale.  Healthy enough to have a garage sale but not to show the house apparently.  Seems odd, but I guess it doesn't really matter.

Today I walked by again and a guy was in the side yard disassembling the large wooden tool shed.  Also, portions of the wooden fence were down (perhaps permanently, perhaps just to get access to the construction site).  I guess they are planning to sell the shed and maybe the fence.  As it happens, we wanted to see the shed go anyway, but I'm a worried about what else might be missing from the house if/when our offer goes through.  Our agent said that we are supposed to get everything that is nailed down (including curtain rods, and the built-in appliances), and I had kind of assumed that would include things like the tool shed and fence.

They also repaired the broken window into the garage, which I wasn't expecting.  Maybe they figure it would create a problem with us getting a mortgage, and did it so the transaction will go through, but I was under the impression that short sale owners normally won't fix anything at all.  I guess this is a good thing, but there's also part of me that is afraid they aren't really planning to sell it after all.  

Should this stuff worry me?  Does anyone have experience with this?   

Re: Should I be worried? - Short Sale Related

  • lolclolc member

    I too am going through the process of buying a short sale. So while I don't have any past experience with this... going through it now has helped me understand things a little better.

    My first question (that I would ask your realtor) is does he know WHY it is a short sale? There is a big difference (at least in my opinion) between someone being relocated and needing to take the hit due to market conditions, versus someone who is being threatened with foreclosure and who doesn't really want to leave their house.

    If the person doesn't really want to leave but feels forced... they are going to do whatever they can to make the process as long and drawn out as possible and will do things like take out anything they think they can get away with taking. They will do things to complicate/delay things with the bank.

    I would call your realtor right away about the tool shed and the fence - especially the fence! That is something nailed down, yes? What an odd thing to remove - unless there was something so horribly wrong with it that it would never pass inspection. I can't imagine someone buying a used fence? Is it wood? That would be fishy to me as well. Although if there are certain things included in the contract (for instance, appliances are checked off as being included) they can't just take those things. I would be worried about things that fall into a gray area (like shower rods, curtains, etc).

    I would be concerned that they may already know the price will not be approved by the bank... or that the short sale will not be approved by the bank... but that they are letting the bank take a look just to see what they say (which bides them time before foreclosure proceedings start). That would be my guess.

     

     

     

     

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  • image lolc:


    I would call your realtor right away about the tool shed and the fence - especially the fence! That is something nailed down, yes? What an odd thing to remove - unless there was something so horribly wrong with it that it would never pass inspection. I can't imagine someone buying a used fence? Is it wood? That would be fishy to me as well. Although if there are certain things included in the contract (for instance, appliances are checked off as being included) they can't just take those things. I would be worried about things that fall into a gray area (like shower rods, curtains, etc).

    I would be concerned that they may already know the price will not be approved by the bank... or that the short sale will not be approved by the bank... but that they are letting the bank take a look just to see what they say (which bides them time before foreclosure proceedings start). That would be my guess.

     

    Be very careful with the bolded. I have never bought a short sale but we looked at a couple houses that were short sales when we were house hunting. So my advice could be off but I just want you to be aware of some things.

    The bank does not own the things inside the house, appliances, curtains etc. so be very careful in the wording of your contract. When the bank agrees to the sale they do not care about the condition of the house or anything inside the house so they will try and get you to sign a contract that may be not as inclusive as it normally would be if it was the seller selling you the house.

    The reason that I mention this is that the house beside my parents was a short sale and the old owner took everything, and I mean everything when he left. (All appliances and many upgrades that he had done to the house.) The new owners were shocked, they went back to their lawyers and there was nothing specific about the appliances and such in the contract so there was nothing that could be done about it. Just make sure that you have a good lawyer. (not one like my parents neighbors!)

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  • MNVegasMNVegas
    Fourth Anniversary
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    People will take out anything they can out of a house if they can get money for it or use it in another house. I have seen people take everything out of SS/foreclosed homes INCLUDING the kitchen sink. Lighting fixtures, interior doors, kitchen cabinets and countertops, someone even took a toilet out!

    If you are asking for appliances be sure you are specific. Don't just say appliances or fridge, stove, etc. Make sure you state brand name, color etc. For instance, state Whirlpool stainless steel side/side otherwise if you just say appliances the owner could swap out a stainless steel fridge for a cheap used piece of crap.  

  • We toured a couple of short sales it was SO OBVIOUS that the sellers were merely delaying foreclosure as long as possible. I would not trust these sellers-they clearly are trying to get every penny they can from their stuff. I would make sure there is a very good contract if you move forward. But be warned-even if there is a contract, you might want to think about how easy (and by easy I mean hard) it would be to actually go after them for what they did. If they disappear or have no money, a judgment isn't going to be worth much.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic *This is not legal advice*
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