Short sales have penetrated the Alexandria VA real estate market, and are now common place.  Our local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) has recently made short sales and foreclosures required fields when inputting a new listing.  Now, agents have the ability to include and exclude short sale listings when searching for homes for buyers.

Until recently, buyers were usually strung along after submitting an offer on a short sale property.  Months would go by, and nothing would happen.  The home would either go into foreclosure, or the deal would just die.

Now, short sales are becoming more palatable to both buyers and buyer agents in Alexandria VA, and with good reason.  Extensive short sale information and training is now available to agents, and banks have increased their short sale labor force to service the mounting volume.

But many Alexandria VA buyers are still confused as to how to approach these types of properties.  As a CDPE agent, when assisting a seller with a short sale, my goal is to obtain the highest possible price the market will bear.  This means analyzing the most recent sales, and suggesting a list price that is in line with what has most recently sold in the neighborhood that is NOT a distressed sale.

A short sale listing is not an open invitation to a low ball offer.  As an Alexandria VA short sale listing agent, I encourage my sellers to counter low-ball offers so that we can show the bank that we are making a good faith effort to obtain market value for the home.

Contrary to popular belief, you're not doing the seller or the bank any favors with a low ball offer on a short sale.  What many buyers don't realize is that once the bank has received the purchase offer with the complete short sale package, the bank will order an appraisal for the home.  If the purchase offer is lower than the appraised value, then the bank will counter the offer to the appraised value.

I've seen many Alexandria VA home buyers get discouraged when their initial low offer is countered, or rejected by the listing agent.  But it is in the seller's best interest to present a purchase offer of fair market value to the bank, to increase the chances of their application for an Alexandria VA short sale to be approved.