A short-sale in Florida occurs when a lender permits the homeowner to sell their home for less than the amount they owe. Short-sales are typically reserved for those struggling financially who need a way to avoid foreclosure. Many people rush to buy a short-sale or foreclosure home, thinking that they are getting the deal of a lifetime. However, those in real estate law know that this is not necessarily the case. Many short-sale homes require extensive renovations, which can cost buyers an arm and a leg.
Experts suggest that Florida homebuyers protect themselves by avoiding certain mistakes. First, property buyers should be aware of any problems with the property. In some cases, homeowners who are forced to give up their homes are not happy with the situation and will damage their homes out of anger. As a result, the new buyers will be faced with a multitude of issues from termites to squatters. For this reason it is important for buyers to attend the home inspection and ask for repair estimates. Buyers should also make sure that the inspector is highly rated and that they use the time given for inspection wisely.
Buyers may want to speed up the sale process to get in to their new homes as soon as possible. However, short-sales and foreclosure sales take a little bit longer than the sale of a traditional home. The lender must grant approval and you may not be able to get a loan from the bank with a mortgage on the short sale home you are purchasing. Make sure to leave yourself enough time for everything.
Homebuyers should also make sure to pay attention to any insurance and legal information available. Bank-owned properties do not always come with a disclosure statement, so you may have to do additional research before making the purchase. When all is said and done, you should be willing to give up on the home if it is not a good investment. Consider the condition of the house, results of the inspection, value and price when making your final decision.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "5 common errors when buying a short-sale house," Lora Shinn, Oct. 20, 2016