Questions About Nevada's Shadow Inventory

LAS VEGAS -- Southern Nevada is ground zero for the foreclosure crisis and there is a debate raging about the so-called shadow inventory.

The term refers to the number of bank owned homes that haven't been put up for sale yet. Real estate agents and home buyers are anxious to find out if the banks are holding back, and when the market could be flooded with a new wave of foreclosed homes.

The National Association of Hispanic real estate professionals discussed the topic of shadow inventory in an effort to find out if the banks are just sitting on foreclosed properties.

"There's a lot of talk that we're holding off, that the banks are holding off on properties in order for them to sell them, and we wanted to clarify those points," said Omar Lopez, president of the Las Vegas Chapter and National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals.

Real estate agents and lenders pressed for answers about a possible foreclosure tidal wave.

"Right now, Wells Fargo has 134 properties in the state of Nevada. Our job is to rehab those properties, get them ready, and put them out as quickly as possible, " said Joel Sarmiento, regional servicing director of Wells Fargo.

The recession has been crippling to the Las Vegas markets and some fear more homes will go into foreclosure.

"The myth is actually there are tens of thousands of homes on the shadow inventory and they're all coming to the market, so we're hearing the numbers in terms of tens of thousands, but we haven't seen that," said Paul Murad of the Nevada Real Estate Commission.

Wells Fargo officials say its their goal to work with their customers so more homeowners don't face foreclosure.

It is currently a seller's market with homes getting multiple offers and selling faster.


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