Here in the Columbia, SC real estate market, our market is not dominated by short sales nor forclosures. We didn't see the huge impact of bank owned properties that many other parts of the nation unfortunately did encounter. That's not to say that we don't have them, because we do, it's just to say that they do not take up the majority of our homes for sale they are just a part of them.
However, I will say one thing that I have run into with the short sales that are on the market here. I have seen many homes for sale that say in the agent remarks on the MLS that they are attemting a short sale. I do not like to see words like attemting or trying when it comes to these matters, I like to see that it is or is not a short sale. What I have found through speaking with the listing agents on a few of these properties is that they have done no negotiating with the bank what so ever. They are just putting a price on the home for sale, and then saying that they are "trying" a short sale.
Now since I do not really deal with a lot of short sales and I have never been the listing agent on one, I will not pretend to be an expert because I'm not. But I'll tell you something that I do know. You don't just get together with a Realtor and a home owner and make the decision that you will do a short sale just because you feel like it. You have to actually negotiate with the bank that holds the mortgage in order to have an approved short sale.
The other day while showing homes for sale to a client, we got to one of the particular properties that had showing instructions that read vacant, lockbox, and sign. Well, when my client and I got there it was pouring down rain and when we made it to the porch, there was no lockbox on the door. I told my client to stay put and I would run around back to see if I could find the lockbox. Of course there was none there either, so I called the listing agent to see what was going on. Of course I did not get an answer, so I left a message and we moved on to the next home on the tour.
Fast forward to two days later when my phones rings and when I answer there was a lady on the other end of the line asking what can she help me with. There were children screaming in the background and so much noise I could barely tell what she was attempting to say to me. I asked who she was, and she explained that I had called her about one of her listings and then it dawned on me that she was the listing agent from the home I tried to show two days ago and she was just now returning my call. I told her that I had been on the porch with a client at the time and there was no lockbox.
She then informed me that she had removed the lockbox a few days before, because the bank wanted too much money for the home. They wanted $120,000 and she had it listed for $111,000 and of course in the agent remarks on the MLS was the phrase, we are trying a short sale. I asked if she had negotiated the short sale with the bank and she replied no. I asked her why she had not just listed the house at $120,000, and she said, "because we were doing a short sale."
Well, no they were not doing a short sale, they were just throwing a price out there and "trying" to do a short sale. So far as I know, that's not really how it works. You don't just make it up in your head that you are going to sell a home for less than you owe, and call that a short sale because you feel like it. Now of course the home is off the market and I would assume that the bank is about to foreclose on it. The whole thing seems to be a bit unnecessary to me, but what would I know.
JL Boney, III - Columbia, SC Realtor - Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
I specialize in Columbia, SC real estate and the surrounding areas, including Blythewood, SC, Kershaw County, Fairfield County, and Lexington, SC. If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in Columbia, SC or any of the surrounding areas, I would love the opportunity to speak with to see how I can help. Thanks for reading and feel free to contact me if I can be of service to you.
Office- 803-788-1450 Cell- 803-730-9601 Email- James_Boney@Yahoo.com