In its Q3 2012 report, RealtyTrac says that 193,059 homes in some stage of foreclosure were sold, accounting for 19% of all residential home sales. In addition, pre-foreclosure sales — also known as “short sales” — climbed 22% on a year-over-year basis.
For the first time since 2007, the number of short sales outnumbered the number of homes sold in foreclosure over three consecutive quarters.
The average price of a short sale home fell by 5 percent as compared to a year ago which may reflect an eagerness on the part of mortgage lenders to dispose of distressed properties before they fall into foreclosure. Foreclosures can increase a lender’s losses, and foreclosed properties be expensive to manage.
Compare the average Q3 2012 sale price of a home in short sale versus one in foreclosure :
- Average sale price of a residential property in short sale : $191,025
- Average sale price of a residential property in foreclosure : $161,954
It’s not just the higher home sale prices that have pushing banks to settle on short sales, either. Short sales are less costly, too. Foreclosing on a home requires banks to pay court costs, among other fees, and which positions the short sale outcome as a clear winner for many banks.
For homebuyers in Colorado , the banking industry’s shift toward short sales is welcome news.
Buying a short sale has been a notoriously slow process with a lack of defined timeline. As banks improve their distressed sales division, they’re getting faster and more efficient. This makes it “easier” for a buyer to buy a home in short sale.
However, don’t buy a short sale without the help of an experienced, licensed real estate professional.
The negotiation process is different for a short sale than with a “traditional” home purchase. Time lines are different, responsibilities are different, and purchase contract language may be different, too. The same is true for buying a foreclosure.