Bank Owned, Short Sale or a Regular Owner

avatarthumbnail.jpgLet’s say for the sake of argument (or a blog post) that you’re looking at three homes in the same area, all roughly comparable and all priced for about the same amount. One is a short sale, one is a bank owned and one is owned by a regular owner – could be owner occupied, could be an investor.

Which one of these presents the better opportunity?

Nothing is black and white, of course, but here’s roughly how everything falls:

The short sale: Sure, you can offer less on a short sale. But more often than not the listing agent already has priced the home below market. And, most importantly, the bank hasn’t agreed to sell the home at any price – including the list price, much less below list.

Throw in the uncertainty … it’s not so much the idea of waiting months for an answer, but the idea that you can wait months and the answer turns out to be no … and this appears to be the least appetizing option.

The bank owned: Presumably the bank has priced this home well, though some banks are getting more adventurous in their pricing. (Freddie Mac also seems to be a on a repair kick – one of my office’s listings that was missing a microwave now has one.) Given this is where the most buyer interest is, though, multiple offers are likely. And as multiple offers appear, the odds of a below-list (or even list price) offer being accepted disappear.

Which leaves …

The regular sale: The listing prices aren’t as sexy as short sales but short sales, much like the characters on True Blood, always aren’t what they they appear to be. Multiple offers still are possible if the price is right, though not quite as automatic as on bank owned homes. In fact, of the three, this is the one situation where negotiating the price down is an option if the home’s been on the market a little while.

So which way would you go? Battle the uncertain or the mob or look for the choice where you can negotiate and know you’re closing within 45 days?

[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at


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