Short sales – Don’t Always Believe The List Price

While getting a great deal on a short sale in Playa Vista is enticing, it there is always someone on the other end of that trade, who might not be.  With very little besides a “marketing savvy” listing agent and an already underwater seller who may be facing foreclosure determining the list price for their Playa Vista short sale property, it is important to remember the all important lender or investor who owns the note and who is ultimately forgiving the seller’s debt gets the final say.

Recently, there have been several short sale listings in Playa Vista that that did not pass the sniff test from this agent.  One in particular was a listing from an out of area brokerage that was listed for $360,000, over $100,000 less than a nearly identical (albeit slightly more upgraded) property in the same building that I sold several months earlier.   Of course, this elicited a tremendous response from prospective Playa Vista buyers and rightfully so.  The one thing the seller and listing agent forgot to account for was the bank has to appraise the property or have a BPO (broker price opinion) to determine value and will only sell within a certain percentage of that number.

In the end the first lender came back with $410,000 value and there would still be a payoff to the second lender and/or delinquent HOA dues the buyer would be responsible for.  Not a bad deal at around $420K, but this is market value for a not-too-upgraded, small and somewhat dark, 2 bedroom unit without a balcony in a building with litigation in Playa Vista.  When looking at list prices for non-approved short sales, remember what your parents told you, when something seems too good to be true, it probably is.