There are a lot of home buyers looking for bargains in the Foreclosure market right now, and Foreclosures are getting a lot of attention in the national media. But for many buyers, Foreclosures are not the right type of property, usually because the homes need too many repairs and the buyers don’t have the resources to do the repairs, or simply are unable to get financing on them .
A good alternative for bargain hunters may be found in Short Sales. As a reminder, Short Sales occur when the owner of the home has to sell for less than he owes on the property when he is unable to come up with the shortfall from other means. The reason Short Sales may be a better alternative than Foreclosures for many buyers, is that Short Sale properties (at least in our market) are typically in much better condition than Foreclosure properties, and there is usually no problem getting financing on them. The downside of buying a short sale is that it can be a time consuming process, and the certainty of the outcome is less clear.
Mainly as a result of the time involved in completing a Short Sale, they are a much smaller portion of our real estate market on Whidbey Island than are Foreclosures. In 2010, only 36 of the 684 homes sold on Whidbey Island were Short Sales. That makes Short Sales barely 5% of the Sold homes on Whidbey Island in 2010. By comparison, just under 8% of the homes actively For Sale last year were Short Sales. This indicates that Short Sales are selling at a slower rate than other homes on the market, and this is reinforced by the fact that the average Days-on-Market for Short Sale homes was 179 days in 2010, compared to 139 days for non-distressed properties, and only 72 days for Foreclosures.
But for the buyer willing to stick through the process, the value is clear: the median price for Short Sales in 2010 on Whidbey Island was $227,100, compared to the median price for non-distressed properties of $265,000. In addition to being value-priced, the median Short Sale house in 2010 was also 8% larger, so the buyer is getting a larger house for considerably less money, in exchange for the trouble of waiting a few months longer to get his house! Unlike Foreclosures, Short Sale homes are often in excellent condition, and very few Short Sale homes are not in move-in ready condition. To get more information about Whidbey Island Short Sales, please visit the: Whidbey Short Sale Blog .