Some advertised short sales seem like bargains, but most are priced just a little under market — low enough to generate interest from buyers, but not too low to raise objections from lenders.Short sales, however, are not for the faint-hearted. While there is a possibility for a good price, there is also a good chance that the deal will not go through. Many cooks are involved in this stew. The buyer must negotiate the price with both the seller and the seller’s lender. At the same time, the seller must negotiate with the lender on the terms for forgiving the amount still owed on the mortgage. Meanwhile the bank is negotiating fees for lawyers and brokers. The process can take six to nine months.

WITH property values down by as much as 30 percent in New York City, some homeowners who bought at the height of the market are finding themselves underwater and are being forced to sell their homes in short sales.“Short sales are happening and they’re all over the map,” said Melissa Cohn, the president of the Manhattan Mortgage Company. “We’re seeing multimillion-dollar foreclosures and short sales that no one ever anticipated in New York City.”Jonathan J. Miller, the president of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel and a market analyst, said that 2010 might well be dubbed the Year of the Short Sale nationally. “A short sale is going to be the only way for many people who bought at the peak and who are now underwater to move on with their lives if they have to relocate or downsize,” he said.
By Vivian S. Toy, July 23, 2010 NYT

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