Short selling a property in today’s market is a whole different ball game than what it used to be a year go or so. For the better. A combination of a dried-up-inventory-market and quicker negotiation turn-around is making short sales (aka: underwater homes) that much more attractive.
Back in the day it was normal to work with a buyer’s offer without collecting earnest money upon execution of contract. The bad part about this old way to handling a short sale was that 6 months down the road, once a short sale was approved, most buyers would go MIA (missing in action). This created a mess in terms of having to re-approve the short sale with a new buyer’s name often delaying the process another two or three months.
Now that inventory is dried up and short sale departments are on the ball about getting short sales approved, they are a commodity. Considering all the bidding wars and multiple offer situations that exist in well priced properties, it can be somewhat emotionally complicated to buy an REO making short sales a good option to go after assuming a buyer does not need a home within the next 6 months to a year. Because of this, demanding (as part of the negotiation process) buyer-earnest money upon execution of a contract is a must…and buyers will wait.
If a buyer does not want to put money up front, move on to the next. And the next. And the next. Until a buyer is found that will stick with you until the short sale is approved. It’s a seller’s market out there, even if your upside down.