Short Sale or Bank Owned: Which is Better to Buy?

If you’re looking to buy a home right now from a distressed seller, be careful what you offer on!

75 days.  That is how long a buyer and I have been waiting for a response from the banks on an offer we submitted for a property in the process of foreclosure, but still owned by the seller.  To get this offer to work, both banks have to agree to a “short pay” or “short sale” since the seller has no cash and our offer is less than what is owed to the banks after selling expenses.  In this case it is two banks (1st mortgage and 2nd mortgage) that we need to agree to the short sale.  By the way- we’re still waiting today…

30 days.  That is how long this same buyer and I waited for a response from another bank on a short sale situation on a different property before we found out they rejected the offer.  I’ve had this happen several times this year with different houses & clients.

1-2 weeks max.  That is how long I’ve waited for an acceptance or rejection on offers I’ve submitted on bank owned properties.  While this is still a frustratingly long time for a buyer, it is at least dramatically less than my experience with short sales.

If you’re willing to wait a(for) month(s) for an answer, short sale properties may be an interesting option.  If you want to move into a house yet this year, maybe stick with bank owned properties or an owner occupied residence.  I’m only half kidding about moving this year… :-)


  1. Jennifer says

    Thank you I am in florida I put a bid on a short sale accepted by the homeowners who I then found out have 2 mortgages and behind on thier association dues..what I dont understand why would the banks want to sit on the property for months so it can decay look bad for the neighborhood and not get any more money then they would have if they let me close on it right away they are loosing more money by it sitting empty and no one paying for it …and they say now is the best time to buy..I offered what the house is really worth, not a low offer and i again was told it will take a few months, no if it is logical.