Is Buying a Short Sale Right for You?

If you understand what you’re in for, buying a short sale home in a competitive market can be a great option. Below are a few things to keep in mind as you consider whether or not this type of housing is right for you.

First, what is a short sale?
Short sale properties are ones that are sold for less than what’s owed on the mortgage loan. It’s an option for homeowners who can’t afford their mortgage payment to help them avoid foreclosure. Short sales can actually be a win-win for owners and lenders, as foreclosure proceedings are costly for mortgage lenders, and although a short sale damages a borrower’s credit score, the damage isn’t as severe as a foreclosure.

Keep these things in mind when you’re considering purchasing a short sale:

  1. Short sales are often fixer-uppers
    Short sales are sold as-is, and in many cases, these homes need a lot of work. Because the previous owner had financial hardships, he or she probably didn’t have resources to keep up with home maintenance and repairs.
  2. Not every home qualifies for a short sale
    Some home sellers don’t fully understand how short sales work, and they might list the house as a short sale before getting permission from the bank. Before bidding on a short sale, speak with your real estate agent so he or she can confirm that the seller’s bank is aware of the situation.
  3. Short sales can have a lengthy approval time
    Even if you’re pre-approved for a mortgage and ready to purchase, you’ll need to be patient. Since there’s a lot of back-and-forth with short sales, it can take as long as 90 days to purchase these homes—that’s if the bank approves the sale. At the end of the day, you need the lender’s approval, and the bank can decide at the last minute not to approve a short sale, putting you back at square one.

While the buying process for a short sale is a bit different than traditional sales, these types of homes can be a fantastic investment. If you’re considering buying a short sale, contact Metrowest today – we’d love to help you start the process.


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