Buying a Los Angeles Foreclosure or Short Sale, Hold on, it Could be a Bumpy Ride

If you are thinking of buying a Los Angeles foreclosure or short sale you are going to have to have a lot of patience and put a great deal of trust in your real estate agent.

Buying a Los Angeles Foreclosure

When you are buying a foreclosure the human touch is basically removed from the process.  You are dealing with a lending machine.  There are no warm and fuzzy letters to write to the “seller” telling them how much you love the house, and how you have made your best offer and hope that they will consider you because, as you said, you really love the house.

Money talks when buying a foreclosure. Unless you are an all cash buyer with few contingencies you are probably going to have to come very close to the asking price, and often go over asking.

What should you ask for? As little as possible because as little or possible, or nothing, is what you will get.  You will most likely not get a home warranty and very little if no repairs.  Remember, the bank is already losing money and they are not happy about losing more.  And you can be pretty sure that you are going to find that the home needs repairs, especially when the people foreclosed on were probably not too particular about the condition in which they left it.  Most foreclosures are not a bargain.

Your timelines mean very little to the bank.  Their timelines mean everything.  You could sit and wait for a response from the bank forever, but once they respond then you are on the clock to perform.

Buying a Los Angeles Short Sale

Now this is definitely not a project for everyone.  This takes a lot more patience and fortitude than buying a Los Angeles foreclosure.

A short sale is a property where the sellers owe more than the property is worth and rather than walking away they are attempting to sell it.  You the buyer will be negotiating with the seller. Once the seller accepts your offer is when the fun begins.

Understand that a Los Angeles short sale property is most probably not going to be a bargain, because the seller still has to convince the bank to take a loss on the property rather than be stuck with yet another foreclosure.  This is where you hope that the listing agent knows what they are doing.  A good Los Angeles short sale agent can make the sale go far smoother than an agent who does not know how to navigate the short sale process.  Sometimes you might not hear anything for weeks at a time just because the agent does not know anything.

To get a Los Angeles short sale approval through can take many months, so patience and stick-with-it-ness is required.  You have to be prepared to sit, wait, and possibly never get the property.  One good thing in a short sale is that the sellers are usually still living in the property and in most cases taking care of it, unlike the sellers being foreclosed on.

Either way, if you are purchasing a Los Angeles foreclosure or short sale, sit back and be prepared for the long haul.

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2 thoughts on “Buying a Los Angeles Foreclosure or Short Sale, Hold on, it Could be a Bumpy Ride”

  1. Jane – You are right on regarding the realities of buying both a Los Angeles foreclosure and short sale. They can both be frustrating and are at the mercy of the banks unlike an equity sale.

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