Short Sale Homeowner Trashed My Home, Now What?

What happens when you buy a short sale and just before closing you find the home has been trashed? This is a very big concern to home buyers and while we find homes aren’t always “trashed”, the damage either intentional or due to lack of maintenance is a fairly common issue. What can you do if you find yourself in this situation?

The easiest solution is to cancel the contract, get your earnest money back and start looking for a new home. Fortunately the Arizona Association of Realtors (AAR) contract is buyer friendly and cancelling the contract in a situation like this isn’t all that difficult.

If you are like the home buyers we work with, you have been waiting a long time for the home to be approved and you aren’t willing to just give up. After all someone at some point in time and for a (lower) price will be buying the home, so why can’t it be you?

Our advice is to take a lot of photos of the home and document the home’s condition from top to bottom. We’re talking at least 100 photos.

Do this as soon as you go under contract on the home. I’d also consider doing it as soon as you get the approval notice during the home inspection. You’re looking to grab as much documentation as possible to show the banks the condition the home was in at the time you wrote the contract and at the time they issued their approval notice.

With those photos have 2-3 contractors or sub-contractors come out and give you estimates on what it will take to bring the home back to its previous condition. Avoid being nit picky and asking for the nail holes to be covered and repainted. Stick to the large ticket items.

Once you have your bids compiled, have your agent put together a proposal and submit it to the listing agent who will pass it on to the banks.  The banks know they have a strong buyer ready and willing to buy the home. Their choices are to either work with you and close this quickly or put the home back on the market and wait for another buyer to come in and buy the home at a reduced price.

Don’t expect the banks to respond quickly, instead be patient and try to work with them.

Keep in mind, if you can’t make this deal work you’re back to square one looking for another home. Spend a few moments and ask yourself, “how much is it worth to avoid spending all that time, stress, and anxiety looking for another home?”

Here is a video clip from last week’s class on Buying Short Sales, if you are interested in hearing more, RSVP for our upcoming class.

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If you have questions or comments just leave them below or get in touch.

Marcus Fleming
Serving East Valley, Cave Creek and Scottsdale
Homes Closed: 70+