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7 Best Banks for (Short) Short Sale Bargains

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Pre-foreclosure sales (typically short sales) increased to a three-year high in the first quarter of 2012 even as the average pre-foreclosure sales price reached a record low — making 2012 a prime time to purchase a short sale.

But the process of buying a short sale and the discounts available can vary widely based on the lender/servicer/investor involved in approving the sale. Some banks are approving short sales more often, more quickly and at lower prices than others.

In light of that RealtyTrac has ranked the best major banks to work with when buying short sale homes. These rankings are based on a combination of three factors: year-over-year increase in pre-foreclosure sales for the first quarter; biggest discount on pre-foreclosure sales (compared to the average price of non-foreclosure homes in the first quarter; and the average number of days to sell a short sale (from foreclosure start to sale date).

Find short sale bargains in your neighborhood.

1. PNC Financial Group
Avg. Pre-Foreclosure Sales Price: $133,015
Avg. Percent Discount: 40%
Avg. Days to Sell: 151

2. Government Entities (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and HUD)
Avg. Pre-Foreclosure Sales Price: $127,618
Avg. Percent Discount: 42%
Avg. Days to Sell: 154

3. Ally Financial (Formerly GMAC)
Avg. Pre-Foreclosure Sales Price: $143,410
Avg. Percent Discount: 35%
Avg. Days to Sell: 188

4. Ocwen Financial
Avg. Pre-Foreclosure Sales Price: $126,071
Avg. Percent Discount: 43%
Avg. Days to Sell: 168

5. Sun Trust Banks
Avg. Pre-Foreclosure Sales Price: $151,308
Avg. Percent Discount: 32%       
Avg. Days to Sell: 207

6. Bank of New York Mellon
Avg. Pre-Foreclosure Sales Price: $155,488
Avg. Percent Discount: 30%
Avg. Days to Sell: 283

7. Bank of America
Avg. Pre-Foreclosure Sales Price:  $166,389
Avg. Percent Discount:  25%
Avg. Days to Sell:  223

Video: Search Short Sales by Lender Name

Shifting From REOs to Short Sales
Agents and other local experts are noticing that banks are shifting away from sales of foreclosed (REO) homes in favor of pre-foreclosure short sales.

“We’re seeing a shift in the market. I closed 10 short sales last year. This year, I’m on track to do 100 short sales,” said Ben Hirsh, broker/owner of Hirsh Real Estate Specialists in the affluent Buckhead district in Atlanta.

Banks are speeding up short sales after settling the robo-signing debacle, said Hirsh, noting that lenders are offering distressed sellers monetary incentives for short sales. He added that lenders make more money selling short sales rather than REO sales.

In Miami, former hedge fund manager turned real estate investor Carlos A. Guajardo of Maynada Capital Advisors, also is seeing the shift.

“The big change here in Miami is that we are moving out of REO and into short sales,” said Guajardo, who said he owns a portfolio of 130 rental properties in south Miami, many purchased as foreclosures.

Advice for Short Sale Buyers and Investors
Short sale specialist David Dufresne, broker and CEO at Solutions For Short Sales, Inc., in San Ramon, Calif., cautioned that not all lenders in every situation are opting for short sales if they don’t think it’s in their best interest.

"Second lien holders like PNC/Etrade/Greentree are forcing homes to foreclosure regardless if they are purchase money or not by asking for large cash contributions often unattainable,” he said, noting that purchase money loans are non-recourse in California, meaning lenders cannot go after the borrower for any amount of the loan not recouped by the foreclosure.

In addition, Dufresne warned that entities such as Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and the California Housing Finance Agency (CALHFA) are “clamping down on hardships,” and allowing properties to go to foreclosure rather than approving a short sale if the borrower cannot show what they consider a valid hardship situation.

“Buyers and investors should interview the selling agent before writing an offer on any short sale to make sure that the agent understands how to structure a short sale offer for approval,” Dufresne said. “Agents that are un-knowledgeable or inflexible in the structuring of offers often fail their clients.”

Short sales increased 25 percent in the first quarter of 2012, with average discounts of 21 percent. Sign up for a free trial for full access to short sale bargains nationwide.

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Very informative article i will visit it regularly keep it up. <a href="">Diamond Jewelry</a> Posted: April 22, 2013 by: PawnZone
RHW, Thanks for sharing. I think stories like you are unfortunately all to common, and many feel they way you do. RealtyTrac data shows that properties repossessed by WellsFargo take an average of 234 days (or nearly 8 months) to sell. There are some practical reasons that lenders, servicers and government entities may not be able or willing to list a property for sale after they foreclose. I address these reasons in the following article, titled "Why Lenders Don't List REOs": Posted: July 29, 2012 by: darenb
I can verify that the banks and FNMA are not doing anything to speed up the process. A house I was interested in, listed Wells Fargo as the contact, but when I called, they said the house had already gone back to FNMA. I called FNMA to ask if I could see the house or speak with someone about it. Their only response was to wait for a realty sign to go up in the front yard, and that was 3 months ago. Meanwhile the house sits empty and people who might be interested have to move on to other houses. It has to be costing them more money, and I don't see the logic. Posted: July 29, 2012 by: RHW
We to are trying to contact B of A on some property that has been empty since last year. They have come and inspected the property, and we have left notes, called the numbers and still no response, anyone have any more ideas???? Linda Posted: July 12, 2012 by: Linda
And what about PNC???? I went to purchase a house through sheriff sale that was handled with PNC. The lawyer that was handling the case and I went back and forth in bids. Finally I let the bank have it because it wasn't worth it. This was in Febuary. The property is now in PNCs name and has been for over 3 months and is not on the market yet. But when you try to talk to someone about purchasing the property I get the run around. I have contacted every PNC branch in the state of Ohio and Pennsylvania and they all refer me to a telephone number for the main office of PNC Mortgage in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When I call that number it is a voicemail that says it is full or if you do get the chance to leave a message they never return your call. And I has also tried emails but that don't work either. PNC is one of the WORST banks I have ever dealt with for this type of thing. Any suggestions????? Posted: July 10, 2012 by: Delia
I am renting a home that is going into fire closure . When ?????who knows. I do know the landlord has not paid the 2 mortgages or taxes in over 2 years exactly 2 years. 1 st mortgage is with citi bank 2 nd is with Bank of America. The person comes every month for Citi and takes pictures. We have not seen anyone from B of A.. When and how do we acquire property. We r interested. Needs allot of work. It is a mess. But we want to make an offer. The owner has no interest in a Short Sale. Bad Divorce. The mortgage is ex wife's name and feed is in husbands. He is very shrewd. She cheated on him. So he is just pocketing our rent. Ex wife has no clue. 1. How do we get in touch with banks without owners help or cooperation. We were told he needs to sign a letter of compliance. He will not... 2. Can we get a short sale without his cooperation? 3. Is he legally collecting rent from us? 4. Is there a way to get the banks to foreclose on owner/s and sell us delapidated property. That is getting worse by the day. We have Carpentzr ants. He does not care. We have tainted water. Does not care. Trim ripping off gutters falling off. Pipes leaking. Out buildings falling down. Old vehicles leaking MUCHO Oil and anti freeze. He does not care. We like it here. But he does not care. Vito Bank and Bank of America . Contact us Posted: July 10, 2012 by:
The key to successfully negotiating any short sale regardless of who has the loan is to work with an agent who has experience with the negotiations. Short sales can be complicated and can take a great deal of time to complete. It is a must to know what you are doing. If you are in Arizona I would suggest that you contact Rocky at (602) 206-0517 or check out today. Posted: July 10, 2012 by:
Cindy, Citi Mortgage did not make the top 7 primarily because we showed their number of completed short sales decreased from the first quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of 2012 and also because of an above-average days to sell a short sale in the first quarter of 2012. Citi did rank fairly high in terms of the average discount on a short sale, at 33 percent. Posted: July 10, 2012 by: darenb
That is quite a story about Bank of America. Couple things to keep in mind about these rankings: 1) the rankings were based on short sales where the lender held the first position lien; 2) we started with a universe of the 20 of the nation's largest lenders, so not every single lender or servicer nationwide is included in these rankings. Bank of America squeaked in primarily because of a substantial increase in the number of pre-foreclosure (short) sales in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the first quarter of 2011. Posted: July 10, 2012 by: darenb
Bank of America are you Joking? The dont respond, the y put a lein on the house Im buying for 5 months over 10,000 bucks while CT housing forgave the 100,000 the people owed so the sale could go through. Now the house sits empty for months while we wait for a court date so BoFA can fight for thier louse 10 grand. Oh by the way, they want me to pay it back in a personal loan! Posted: July 10, 2012 by: Lois

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