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Whatcom County Short Sales & REO Properties

Bellingham, WA - The following Whatcom County short sale properties are for sale and available on the market. Some of the Whatcom County property listings below also include bank owned REO "real estate owned" properties and are also available to purchase. Feel free to call us at 360-739-7779 if you would like to view any of these short sale properties. Save our Bellingham short sale pages to your favorites and check back often. Rely on knowledgeable Whatcom County short sale and bank owned real estate agent Jerry Campbell for area short sale properties. Thanks for visiting

The Whatcom County Short Sale & REO Market

Whatcom County has hundreds of Short Sale and REO (also known as "Real Estate Owned" or "Bank Owned") listings on the market at any given time - these range from starter homes in newly developed communities to custom homes priced well into the millions. Buyers can find short sale homes for sale and REO listings in Bellingham, Blaine, Birch Bay, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, Nooksack Valley, Sudden Valley and even near Lake Whatcom & Lake Samish areas of Bellingham as well. Whatcom County has seen a 25% increase in short sale properties come on the market in the last year, so there are opportunities for home buyers that have the patience of a longer closing time.

Buyers and investors who approach each Whatcom County short sale and REO listing on its own merits will find the best deals faster. REO and short sale homes are commonly lumped together because they relate to foreclosures, but they are quite distinct from one another. Short sales happen before a property goes to foreclosure, while REO/Bank Owned properties are sold after the home is foreclosed and the bank or lender takes control of the property. Short sales also typically involve the homeowner and/or their agent getting lender approval to sell below what is owned to the bank(s), while REO sales are usually direct negotiations with the lender and the real estate agent for the investor or potential buyer.

What is a short sale?
A short sale is a purchase and sale in which the lender, or lenders, agree to accept less than the mortgage amount owed by the current homeowner. In some cases, the difference is forgiven by the lender, and in others the homeowner must make arrangements with the lender to settle the remainder of the debt.
The reason a lot of homeowners find themselves in these situations to begin with is because most real estate markets climbed to high and very fast during the boom years between 2003 to 2007. Many mortgages with very little money down were the norm and when prices began to fall and homeowners couldn't afford their homes anymore, short sales were the result.

Are the number of short sales rising and why?

Due to the recent economic crisis, including rising unemployment, and drops in home prices in communities across the united States, the number of short sales is steadily increasing. Short sales generally cost less for a lender than a typical foreclosure, for that reason it can be a viable way for a lender to minimize its losses.

A short sale can also be the best option for homeowners who are upside down on mortgages because a short sale may not hurt their credit history as much as a foreclosure. As a result, homeowners may qualify for another mortgage sooner once they get back on their feet financially.

What difficulties have short sales been for real estate agents?

The rapid increase in the number of short sales, and the short sales process itself present a number of challenges for real estate agents. It is truly one of the most challenging real estate experiences I have ever faced in the past 17 years of being a Realtor. Major short sale challenges include:

  1. Limited experience
    Many real estate agents are new to the short sales process, a difficulty which is compounded by many lenders' lack of sufficient and experienced staff to process short sales. Even if the agent is experienced, most servicers are under-staffed and still not adequately trained, making negotiating a short sale particularly difficult.
  2. Absence of a uniform process and application
    Until HAFA Home (Affordable Foreclosure Alternative Program) guidelines were established, both short-sales documents and processes were lender-specific, making it very difficult and time-consuming for real estate agents to become knowledgeable and efficient in facilitating these transactions.
  3. Multiple lenders
    When more than one lender is involved, the negotiations are much more difficult. Second lien holders often hold up the transaction to exert the largest possible payment, in exchange for releasing their lien, even though in foreclosure they will get nothing.
As a result of these challenges there are many difficulties faced with short sales for instance: unresponsive lenders; lost documents that require multiple submissions, inaccurate or unrealistic home value assessments, and long processing delays, which cause buyers to walk away. HAFA is designed to address many of the challenges presented by short sales.
Call Jerry Campbell 360-739-7779 if your considering selling your home by way of the short sale process or if your looking to buy one of the available short sale opportunities.

Jerry Campbell, CRS, e-PRO, GRI
Full Time Professional REALTOR®
The Muljat Group - Main Office
510 Lakeway Drive, Bellingham, Washington 98225
Business: (360) 739-7779  Fax: 671-4124
Email: Contact Jerry

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