If you have been following Sarasota real estate in the past couple years, you are probably no stranger to the term “short sale”. A Short sale occurs when the seller of a property is attempting to sell the property for a purchase price that is lower than the amount of their mortgage. If the seller receives an offer from a buyer, the seller will ask the bank to accept the contract price and “forgive” or write off the remaining balance owed to the bank. A short sale is different from a foreclosure in the fact that in a short sale, the seller still owns his property. IN a foreclosure, the bank has taken over the sellers property and is now in control of the property.
A bank foreclosure is typically a much timelier transaction, as the banks usually will respond to a buyer’s offer in the matter of a couple days. In a short sale, banks are much less timely, and I have personally witnessed offers sitting for over 4 months without a response from the bank. This is very frustrating for the buyer who is awaiting a response, as it is to the agent.
It has just been announced that our Mid-Florida Regional MLS has been selected by Fannie Mae to launch a Pilot Program designed to speed up short-sale transaction times. Fannie Mae has pre-approved the purchase price they are willing to accept on more than 300 properties located within the MFR service area. The pilot program launched in mid-December is already showing improvement to short-sale transaction times.
This does not mean that all short sales are on this program. There are thousands of short sales currently, and 300 are on the pilot so far, however this is very positive news for our local market. The quicker we can plow through short sale inventory and get it off the books, the quicker our market will experience a recovery.
There have been many positive pieces of news for our local Sarasota real estate market lately. Our supply of single family homes in December was 19 months worth of supply, where December 2007 was 31 months of supply. Inventory is dropping! Interest rates are fantastic, sellers are motivated to sell, and now we will be part of a program to liquidate shoart sales quicker.
If you are on the fence about buying, you should take advantage of these times! There will probably never been a better time to buy a home!
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