Today, I pulled up the expired listings for all Los Angeles County dating from 11/26-11/28. I came up with 63 expired listings, homes that failed to sell, or the contract expired and was cancelled by the listing agent. In the past year, that would have been between 100-120 listings on any given Monday. It took me a minute to get my head around this, but lenders are, finally, moving these assets/homes off their books. Make no mistake, distressed properties are still coming to market, either through short sale or REO transaction, but they are being sold at a rate that allows the bank to eliminate some of their shadow inventory-just to take on more inventory. Most lenders are taking 70 cents on the dollar. Some buyers are not patient enough to see the process through and walk away before the approval is granted my the bank. Some people are discouraged by the stigma attached to the short sale process, created by inexperienced agents and the reluctance by the banks to budge on the price offered. Eventually lenders came to understand that if the home didn’t sell at either an auction or a short sale, they would be forced take the home back and assign it to an asset management company. This process requires the bank to continue to pay the property taxes, keep the utilities on, pay contractors to renovate the property, protect the home against vandalism ect. -just to gamble that they would recover all these additional costs at the point of sale. It’s a big gamble that the lenders are no longer willing to take in this declining economy. I keep seeing multiple offers on homes that are priced for quick sale. There are plenty of buyers in the market and still many sitting on the sidelines just waiting of the market to “bottom out”. Where’s the bottom? Have we seen it? Mid Summer 2012? But you can’t go wrong when you see homes at prices dating back to the beginning of the last decade. I will be going to an inspection tomorrow for a condo, that my buyer offered below asking, which will close in under 30 days. She’s extremely happy to get into her dream home in her price range, regardless what happens to the market. No one can predict the future. We live in the now. The now is 3% mortgage rates and home prices dating back to 2003, or as low as when the housing boom started 10 years ago. Call us for a free consolation about buying or selling a short sale property.