To short sale, or not to short sale? That is the question.

First – What is a short sale? Many people know, but not everyone.

When a person owes more on a property than it is worth, and they ask the bank to accept less than is owed on the property so that they can sell it, this is known as a short sale. Like when you owed your friend $50, but you only had $30 of it and you said, “sorry Mike, I’m a little short” and Mike said, “don’t worry about it”.

Why not buy short sales?

There are a variety of reasons why short sales do not go through. Here are 4;

1. The process of dealing with the banks on a short sale requires skill, effort and knowledge on the part of the listing agent (the person the seller hired to sell the house). Many do not possess this trifecta of assets.

2. There must be a hardship. Many sellers just want to sell short because their neighbor did, but their neighbor lost their job, or was never earning enough money to afford the home in the first place. Just because you want to, doesn’t mean you can.

3. If they buyer does have a legitimate hardship, then, that buyer, who is already (typically) despondent over their current financial situation, is required by the bank to go through their finances with a fine tooth comb to prove that hardship. Many people just don’t have the stomach for it.

4. Patience (or lack thereof). Short sales often take a very long time to get accepted. I’ve seen them take more than 4 months just to get approved. Many buyers just aren’t that patient.

In the month of April, 2009 in Las Vegas, 36% of the properties listed for sale were short sales. Only 6% of the closings were. This shows that short sales can work, but often (1 in 6 times that month) they don’t.

The prices on Las Vegas bank owned homes are mind-boggling.  Don’t wait for the bottom.  You can’t predict it.  You won’t know where the bottom was until it’s gone.  Really.  What are you waiting for?  If you would like information about buying a home to live in or an investment property in Las Vegas, with no cost or obligation, please contact me.

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Author: The Jeff Howard Group powered by Keller Williams Realty Las Vegas

I moved to Las Vegas in 1993 and I have been investing in Real Estate since 2003. I believe in creating win-win scenarios whenever I buy or sell any real estate. I have owned over 50 properties in Idaho, Ohio, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Nevada. Whether you're ready to invest in the Las Vegas valley, or if you want to buy or sell a home here, as your Realtor, I will help you make great decisions and add to your bottom line. Call me today to talk about your next real estate move. 702 SELL NOW (702-735-5669). To see what my past clients have said about my, be sure to visit

One thought on “To short sale, or not to short sale? That is the question.”

  1. Reblogged this on Jeff Howard's Real Estate blog and commented:

    About a year after I posted this originally, the Las Vegas Market became so inundated by short sales (more than 1/3 of available inventory – and not much total supply), you had to consider buying them. Now that we have returned to reasonable inventory levels again (over 4 months) and short sales are just 13.4% of the homes on the market today, I would suggest that most people looking for a home, avoid them. Let the investors wait for 3-8 months (or more) to get a short sale approval.

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