How To Buy Short Sale Property

There has been much chatter about the deals to be had in purchasing shortsale properties.

First, let me explain what a short sale is:

A short sale is when a seller places their home on the market subject to their banks approval to take less than what they owe.

For an example: Mary owns a property she is in danger of losing to foreclosure. The home has a mortgage note in the amount of $300,000. Fair market value is $250,000. The seller will need to obtain approval from their bank to take a lesser amount than what is owed. They would need to show hardship. 20% of short sales will be approved by the sellers bank.

All buyers need to know this information prior to making an offer on a property. The buyer also must know that the sellers lender may not accept the offer. When a buyer places an offer on a property, a good agent will give you a Short sale disclosure to sign.

Short sales can also take months to complete. Buyers must be patient when they decide to make an offer on a short sale property.

Other pitfalls:

1. Sellers usually aren't motivated to keep the property in perfect condition, so the buyer can be left with debris, garbage, and some of the sellers possessions.

2. The sellers bank usually wants what they want when they want it. The sellers bank is control, and the property must be bought "as is".

3. Beware of signing on with a buyers agent that doesn't know the every detail of short sale procedure.

Unless you prepare yourself emotionally for the short sale experience, don't even look at them. This could be the roller coaster ride of your life.

If you are a patient and flexible person, the BIG benefit of buying a short sale is usually instant equity.

I hope that I explained the basic process well enough for you to understand. If you have questions on short sales, foreclosures or anything real estate related, please call me at 508-878-0917.

You can also email me at

My website is

Lori Lincoln is a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty and services buyers and sellers in Taunton, Rehoboth, Somerset, Swansea and All of Bristol County MA and surrounding areas.

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Comment balloon 3 commentsLori Lincoln Team • April 27 2008 02:07PM
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