Banks are dragging their feet when considering so-called short sales, an increasingly prevalent type of real estate transaction in which lenders allow homes to be sold for less than what is owed on them, according to a survey of California real estate agents.
Nearly two-thirds of the 2,150 respondents to the California Assn. of Realtors’ survey of member agents said banks took longer than 60 days to respond to short sale offers and that fewer than three out of every five offers ultimately resulted in a sale.
The response times are much longer than those specified in government guidelines for banks who agreed to participate in programs that help troubled borrowers when they accepted a share of the $700-billion Wall Street rescue.
“The survey results show that the short sale system is clearly flawed,” CAR president Beth L. Peerce said. “Increasing the number of successful short sale transactions is one important way we can help California families and move our economy closer to recovery.”
Although the survey only covered agents in California, National Assn. of Realtors spokesman Walter Molony said similar complaints had come from across the country, especially from states with hard-hit housing markets such as Nevada, Florida and Arizona, states the Los Angeles Times.