Salt Lake City homes and condos: Are residential Short Sales harder to buy than non-short sale homes and condos in Salt Lake County?

It seems like every buyer I meet wants to know about short sales and for good reason, they are a big part of the inventory of homes and condos in Salt Lake.  Most people think short sales are a great deal and some short sales are, but most are a challenge to buy.


Over the last few months, short sales on homes and condos in Salt Lake County have been harder to buy than homes and condos that are not short sales.  The table below compares homes and condos in Salt Lake County that are listed on the Wasatch Front Multiple Listing Service.  It shows the number of homes and condos that are Active, Under Contract and Sold in the last 90 days and compares short sales vs. non-short sales.


                                                Short Sales                     Non-Short Sales

Listing Status              Volume / % vs. Actives        Vol / % vs. Actives

Active Listings for sale           1,410                                       6,238  

Under Contract                          254 / 18%                             1,408 / 23%

Sold in the last 90 days             329 / 23%                             2,868 / 46%

*Data taken from Wasatch Front regional Multiple Listing Service on 8/18/09 for Salt Lake County homes and condos.


As you can see, a much lower percentage of short sales have been successfully sold over the last few months.  There are many reasons for this.


One is the length of time that the buyer must wait to buy most short sales.  The Buyer makes an offer to the Seller, a deal is struck and it is submitted to the bank.  A “short sale addendum” is used in the negotiation between Buyer and Seller which gives the lender third party approval.  This is used because the lender and mortgage insurance company have to agree to take a loss.  This is where the process typically slows down.  It can take weeks, months, and sometimes it never happens.  And it can get more complicated if there is a second mortgage.


So the Buyer is waiting for a response from the lender.  During this time there is the risk that other offers will be made on the property because it’s a long process. 


Some Buyer’s have a time frame in which they hope to move into their new home due to a lease expiring, a new job starting or some other reason.  With a short sale, it’s hard to know how soon you’ll be able to accomplish your move.


Finding a home you like is a challenge on its own.  Short sales frequently add to this challenge.  This is something to consider when buying Salt Lake City homes and condos.


If you need help with the purchase of a Salt Lake City home, condo or duplex, please contact me.  I’m an experienced Salt Lake City realtor and the majority of my clients are buyers of Salt Lake City homes and condos.


Kevin Coyle

Associate Broker, MBA

Stonebrook Real Estate

Mobile: 801-243-0699

Office: 801-466-8977



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