What’s Happening in the Short Sale Market

Information courtesy of David Winter

(TUCSON, AZ.) One of the most asked questions by sellers investigating their alternatives to foreclosure is “Are creditors approving short sales? I have heard they are impossible to accomplish.” A short sale is certainly more difficult to bring to a successful conclusion than a traditional real estate transaction. However, with the combination of an experienced, knowledgeable real estate professional listing and marketing the property, a cooperative seller, and a willing, able, and committed buyer, they can be accomplished.

Through October 14, there have been 1,135 successfully closed short sale transactions recorded in the Tucson Multiple Listing Service in 2011. This constitutes just over 10% of all closed sale transactions reported for 2011. As of the same date, there were 832 active properties listed as short sales and 1004 properties with a purchase agreement accepted by sellers awaiting either lender approval or final closing of the transaction. Clearly, short sales can be accomplished.

During the months of January through May of this year, short sale closings were fairly consistent with a low of 102 closings in March and a high of 111 closings in April. June closings jumped to 124 closed sales and have risen every month since, with September recording 163 closed sales. The average sale price of a short sale this year is $153,249 and the median price $124,000, both consistent with the overall market sales numbers. The lowest price recorded this year is $20,000 and the highest $1,255,000. Days on market (from listing until offer received) are 118, which is approximately 50% longer than the market average.

What conclusion can be drawn from this information? First, short sales are being completed in our market. Second, the prices that short sales get are in line with the market average and, if presented properly, should be looked upon favorably by a creditor willing to work with a seller attempting to prevent foreclosure. Third, the short sale alternative to foreclosure is prevalent in all pricing segments of our market.

If you or someone you know is investigating alternatives to foreclosure, it would be worthwhile to include the short sale option as an avenue to investigate. Be sure that you choose a real estate professional experienced and knowledgeable in the short sale process to give you the best advice and represent you if you pursue this option.

For more information on short sales visit www.longrealty.com/shortsales.

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