If I Start a Short Sale Today Can I Stay Through The Holidays?

Real Estate Agent with Dave Halpern Real Estate Agent, Inc., Louisville, KY (502) 664-7827

Many homeowners are struggling with mortgage payments and foreclosure and are worried they’ll be kicked out before the holidays.

Louisville homeowners call me in November and December to ask how long a short sale takes. The question behind the question is often: Can I stay in my home for Christmas and New Year’s Day?

The answer is: Yes, you can stay in your home through the holidays

The short sale process takes several months, at least.

And here’s why

  1. Banks need to know how much a buyer is willing to pay before they consider a short sale. It takes some time to get a buyer under contract.
  2. The banks usually take 2 to 4 months to process a short sale. Yup, that’s a long time but it works in the seller’s favor because they get to stay in the house while the banks slow-play the short sale.
  3. Once the short sale is approved, your Realtor gives the buyer the green light to proceed to closing. The buyer usually needs another 3 to 4 weeks to finalize their loan.
  4. Only after all these steps does the house go to a real estate closing and where the house transfers ownership. The seller can stay in the house until right before closing.

If a seller lists their house as a short sale in November, it could easily take until February or March until the sale closes. In the meanwhile, the seller can stay in the house.

Please call me at (502) 664-7827 for more information about avoiding foreclosure. You have options. I can help.

Posted by



Dave Halpern, Realtor

The Dave Halpern Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty Louisville East

Website David.DavidHalpernRealtor.com

(502) 664-7827



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Comments (8)

Phil Leng
Retired - Kirkland, WA
Phil Leng - Retired

Hi Dave,

I never thought of the short sale as a strategy to stay longer, but you are right, as long as there is a contract before the auction date the bank (usually) will put in a stay until they resolve the short sale issue.

Good post


Nov 19, 2010 01:56 AM
Scott Petersen
Client First, Realtors - Canton, MI - Canton, MI

I have had many of the same conversations with many former owners of Bank Owned homes as I go and negotiate cash for keys with them. Sadly, the answer for these folks is no.

Nov 19, 2010 01:59 AM
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

Dave: You always have great ideas for consumer blog posts! This is another good one!

Nov 19, 2010 05:07 AM
Dave Halpern
Dave Halpern Real Estate Agent, Inc., Louisville, KY (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

Phil - I agree, and the sellers should start the short sale as soon as possible so not to run up too late against the auction date.

Scott - There's a key distinction here that isn't always understood. REO's are different than short sales. In an REO the sellers already lost the house and they are getting pushed out. In a short sale there is still time to stay in house for months until the short sale is resolved.

Nov 19, 2010 07:03 AM
Dave Halpern
Dave Halpern Real Estate Agent, Inc., Louisville, KY (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert


Thanks so much! Sometimes I consider myself a correspondent reporting from the front lines. Every day I encounter questions and situations that must be of interest to thousands of sellers and Realtors working in the trenches of short sales.

Blogging enables me to help the next person who is trying to solve the same problem.

Nov 19, 2010 07:09 AM
Matt Grohe
RE/MAX Concepts - Des Moines, IA
Serving the metro since 2003

Sad to think that so many will have this issue hanging over them this holiday season.

Nov 19, 2010 03:59 PM
Harrison K. Long
HomeSmart, Evergreen Realty - Irvine, CA
REALTOR , GRI, Broker associate, Attorney

Dave ... I like that homeowners should never give up, should try and make their payments, and if unable to do that, go after a short sale, which makes the best sense.

Nov 20, 2010 04:00 AM
Teresa Cooper
Home Solution Real Estate Services - North Charleston, SC
SC Lowcountry - Charleston, Dorchester, Berkeley

Dave, dealing with this same issue, with the added twist of "auction date" having been set for December if no offers are received prior.  It's a tough time!  Makes me appreciate more every day that I have roof over my head!

Nov 22, 2010 04:54 PM