Short Sale FAQ’s

Q. What is a short sale?

A.  A short sale is when a mortgage lender agrees to accept a mortgage payoff amount less than what is owed in order to facilitate a sale of the property by a financially distressed owner. The lender forgives the remaining balance of the loan.

Q. How long does a short sale take?

A.  A short sale can take as little as a few weeks or as long as several months. Because short sales are complicated transactions, they tend to be more time-consuming. Plus, the original lender needs to review the short sale offer to determine whether they will accept it. If the lender believes they can make more money by going through the foreclosure process, they might not accept the short sale proposal.

You can reduce the time it takes by working with a real estate agent that has experience with short-sale transactions. A short sale is a real estate deal where you really need to get help from an experienced agent or attorney. Not all real estate agents know how to handle a short sale, so make sure you consult with one who can demonstrate special training and a good track record. Having a real estate agent on your side who knows how short sales work — and who has negotiated others — will increase the chances of closing the deal.

Q. How often does short sale fall through?

A. Short sales are complex, which means they fall through on a regular basis. To reduce the odds that your short sale falls through, have the following on hand:

  1. A hardship letter
  2. Proof of Income & Assets
  3. CMA Comparative Market Analysis
  4. A list of liens.

Q. How to buy a short sale home?

A. The lender must agree.

  1. The seller must prove they have no other option
  2. A home must be in line with market value
  3. The seller must prove they have no other option.

Q. What are alternatives to short sale?


  1. Foreclosure
  2. Loan modification

Q. What are the steps to buy a short sale home?


  1. Identify potential short sales
  2. View the property
  3. Do your research
  4. Find all liens and mortgages
  5. Figure out the financing
  6. Contact the lender
  7. Complete the lender short sale application if required
  8. Assemble the proposal
  9. Negotiate the terms
  10. Seal the deal.