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Short Sale Frequently Asked Questions


What is a short sale?

  • A short sale is the sale of a property for less than what the owner still owes on the mortgage. A short sale is an alternative to foreclosure when a homeowner needs to sell or maybe they can no longer afford to make their mortgage payments.


Can any real estate agent effectively handle my short sale?


  • No. A short sale is a very complicated real estate transaction and one that has very important implications for you. More than any other type of residential real estate transaction, a short sale should be handled only by a real estate agent who has experience with the short sale process and a strong track-record of success in negotiating short sales for their clients.


Why should I choose a short sale over foreclosure?


  • While doing a short sale will negatively affect your credit, there are many benefits to choosing a short sale over foreclosure. With a short sale, you are in control of the sale, not the bank. You may sleep better at night knowing who is buying your home and you can spare yourself the social stigma of foreclosure. Every homeowner’s situation is different, so we always recommended that you speak with a real estate attorney that can advise you on the legal and tax implications for your circumstances.


How long does a short sale take?


  • The short sale process is complicated and time-consuming. It can take several months or even years to get a short sale approved. Many mortgage companies have several layers of management, insurers, and investors that will have to be satisfied before a short sale is approved.


What is a Release?


  • A lender may offer to “release” its security interest against the property in exchange for less than the total amount of the note. A release will allow the property to be sold without paying off the obligations of the note. However, the note is not satisfied. The advantage of the release is it allows the property to be sold and helps you avoid a foreclosure.


What is Satisfaction?


  • A lender may agree to accept less than it is owed as complete and total satisfaction of the debt and release its lien against the property. Your note and obligation to the lender are satisfied for less than you owe. When the property is sold, the debt is paid off.

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