What is a Short Sale? Short Sales Explained

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Shore

A Client of mind just emailed me and asked me to explain a short sale.  I thought I would explain it here on the blog.

Basically the seller of a home owes more than what the house is worth.  Maybe they bought the home recently at the height of the market or refinanced too many times and no longer have equity.  Then the seller has a financial hardship, perhaps a job loss or illness, and can no longer keep the home.  The short sale is a way to avoid foreclosure and sell their house without damaging their credit as badly as going though a foreclosure.  The seller negotiates with the bank for the bank to take less money than what they owe.

The problem with the short sale is that so many people are in this situation and the banks are overwhelmed.  It takes an average of 90 to 120 days to hear back if you offer is accepted.  Plus the short sales are usually sold in as-is condition so even if the bank approves the sale you may run into a problem with the home inspection.  Also many banks are now doing a loan modification instead of a short sale.  So as a buyer you could be waiting for months only to find out that the bank will not approve the sale.

For my buyer clients I usually recommend avoiding Short Sales unless you are willing to wait a very long time and face disappointment if the deal does not go through.

Best wishes,


P.S. If you have any questions about short sales or any other real estate question please contact me or call me at 609-484-9890 ext. 132.

Posted by

Matthew Haviland ~ matthew@HavilandGroup.net  ~ 609-484-9890 ext. 132

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Show All Comments
Melissa Polce
ERA, Wilkinson Real Estate Charlotte - Huntersville, NC
Lake to Land, I've Got It Covered!

Great Article, but they really aren't too bad, but I agree "you have to wait for a while, but sometimes it is worth the wait for a steal!" good luck!

Aug 11, 2009 01:01 AM #1
Jennifer Mackay
Counts Real Estate Group, Inc. - Panama City, FL
Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582

I agree, while short sales may not be the easiest sale to make, it can be worth while to all.

best wishes

Aug 23, 2009 02:53 AM #2
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