The eighth-most viewed home for sale
The photos don't make it look prepossessing -- mismatched paint job, random items on the floor, a small hole in the wall -- but this Maryland property was one of the most viewed homes for sale nationwide on Realtor.com last week. It's eighth among homes listed within about $45,000 of the U.S. median price (roughly $220,000).
I'm guessing that it's price racking up the hits for this five-bedroom brick rambler in the Prince George's County community of Clinton. It's a short sale listed for $180,000, half of what the owner paid two years ago. (You can see larger photos here.)
This got me thinking about short sales, because some of you have said they are definitely not for the faint-hearted buyer. Or, for that matter, a buyer with any sort of deadline.
Short sales are the question mark of the housing market. You could offer the asking price, be the only interested buyer and still not end up with the property. Though the homeowner sets the asking price, it's up to the lender to decide whether to accept. That's because the homeowner is hoping the lender will let the property sell for less than the mortgage amount and forgive the difference.
With short sales, the asking price might be reflecting the home's true value. Or -- some real estate agents are warning -- it might be set waaaay low to grab attention.
"There’s a reason that short sale listings have the statement 'lender approval required,'" writes real estate agent Cindy Bowers of Arizona in this blog post.
On the other hand, as Wonk reader terp05 pointed out last month, you just might end up with a good deal. After a frustrating six-month wait, terp05 said, "in the end I [got] the home with the features I was looking for and some perks that I wouldn't have been able to afford otherwise."