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How to Buy a Short Sale


A short sale property can be a great deal, but buying one is different than buying a conventional property and can often take longer to close than the typical 30 days most expect. Many homebuyers engaged in purchasing a short sale have experienced a 4-6 month wait time for closing. This additional time is certainly a factor to bear in mind when purchasing a short sale. Several other factors make a short sale different to consider as well.

How is a Short Sale different from a standard sale?

In essence, a short sale is when the lender accepts an amount less than the existing mortgage to pay off a property. If a seller attempting to short sell their property accepts your price, the lender still may not. This is something that again adds to that closing time. Not all sellers in this situation are in default. Lenders will consider short sales for their customers if the value of their property has fallen below the value of the mortgage.

Conducting Proper Research

When considering a short sale make sure to thoroughly research the property involved. A real estate agent can assist in checking public records to determine if a foreclosure notice has been filed and what may be owed to the lender. This knowledge is instrumental in making a decision on how much to offer.

This process will also reveal how many loans the property is under. If two loans exist, matters can become more difficult as the first lender is secured by the second lender, further complicating negotiations and, as a result, further extending the closing date.

Hire an Expert Agent

Some agents make short sales their specialty, and securing one of these is an invaluable resource in locating the proper short sale. Agents with experience in this regard will make the process faster, easier, and more streamlined due to having dealt with the common problems that can arise many times before.

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