Finding the Elusive Deal in Phoenix Real Estate

Mention the phrases “bank owned” or “short sale” and most potential home buyers act like shoppers storming the ramparts for Nordstrom’s semi-annual sale. But are these really sources of deals? And are they the only sources?

Gentlemen, bear with me – I’m sure you’ll get the gist.

Let’s say you find a great blouse marked 50% off and fight off everyone else to get it to the counter. The cashier scans the blouse and asks you to go wait on a bench over in the shoe department while you wait for an approval of the sale price; that approval could take from six weeks to several months to receive, by the way. Oh, and it’s just as likely you’ll either never receive an answer or be told the blouse only is available at a 5% discount to what the price was back the day before the sale.

There’s your short sale option in a nutshell.

Shorten the waiting period to a day or two and be safe in the knowledge the 50 percent discount is set, assuming others don’t come to buy the blouse and offer to settle for only 40 percent off, and you have a bank owned home. Oh, and that small tear on the sleeve? It’s going to be there when the sale’s complete and you can’t return the blouse – this is an as is sale, what you see is what you get. If you’re able to sew it up yourself, you’ll be in good shape.

Now … what happens if you want that same discount and don’t want the wait and want the ability to have some repairs done if needed. What if you want to go to the register, scan the damn blouse and go home?

Here is where two sets of folks come in – the fix-n-flippers and the traditional sellers. In the haste to search only for bank owned homes, many buyers are walking right past other homes being offered at similar prices. The logic is lenders are anxious to offload these homes and will accept deep discounts to the list price; the reality is decidedly different.

In fact, I’m not going out on too long a limb to tell you the odds are in favor of getting a larger discount to the list price with a traditional owner than a lender in most cases.

This isn’t to say you ought to abandon your search for bank owned homes. Instead, what I am advocating is keeping your mind open to the multiple options out there so you don’t miss the deals that may be waiting where you’re not looking.

[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