It was the best of times; it was the worst of times …

In many parts of the country the economy is stalled. One indication of this condition is the many short-sales and foreclosures on the market.  But that means opportunity for savvy buyers.  This is a tale of two buyers, Amy and Edwin. Both are buyers. Both have short-sales under contract. Both have been waiting months to go forward.


It was the age of wisdom; it was the age of foolishness

Short-sales often advertise ridiculously low prices.  In Northern Virginia, it’s not difficult to find short-sales selling for $10,000, $20,000 even $50,000 or more less than than comparable homes available for sale.  This is the time of bargains, and lenders in up-side down loans are hurting. But that doesn’t mean they’re giving away free money in America.

It was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of light …

Here’s a tip from one who knows: when you find a home for sale for much less than all of the comparables, you probably have not found a bargain; you’ve probably found a waste of time.  Oh sure, you should check it out, but don’t get your hopes too high. Ask your realtor for the inside story.  If he or she tells you to walk away … walk away.

It was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope …

Short sales are not. (Short.) Homes that sell for far less than any comparable homes don’t. (Sell.) Now is a great time to buy.  But now more than ever, buyers need experienced realtors who will get a home … not a contract and a hope.

it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had
nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Amy and Edwin both put in contracts for short sales.  Amy is closing today on the home of her dreams.  She paid more than the asking price and less than the market value.  Months later, Edwin is still waiting for a decision.  He has contracted at a price much lower than the assessed value.  But that does not a bit of good if the bank will not sell the home.  Maybe Edwin will one day buy the home of his dreams.

He lowered the window, and looked out at the rising sun. There was a ridge of ploughed land, with a plough upon it where it had been left last night when the horses were unyoked; beyond, a quiet coppice-wood, in which many leaves of burning red and golden yellow still remained upon the trees. Though the earth was cold and wet, the sky was clear, and the sun rose bright, placid, and beautiful.


Real Estate Buying Tips