Beginner's Guide to Buying a Short Sale Property

List: Posted: 09/30/11

A short sale is a type of sale of a home or other piece of real estate that may be in line for foreclosure.  In a situation in which a property owner cannot pay his or her mortgage, he may request that the lender accept an offer on a home that is less than what is owed, if he can find a buyer that will make such an offer. 


When this is the case, the homeowner is able to avoid a foreclosure, get out of the loan and the property buyer may be able to save a significant amount of money by purchasing the home.

If you plan to benefit from buying a short sale, you will need to know a few important things about the process before you move forward.  Realize this can be a long process and you may not end up getting the home.  It is up to the lender to determine if it will accept your offer and some just do not do so.  Here are a few more things to take into consideration.

Why Buying a Foreclosure Home Takes Times

* Most of the time, to buy a property like this, you will need time.  The lender can take 30 to 60 days to accept an offer and during that time, they may continue with foreclosure proceedings.

* To find a property that may be possible to buy through a short sale, contact your real estate agent or turn to homeowners who may be advertising this need.  In some cases, a home will be on the MLS being sold as is and may be a potential sale.

* If you plan to make money from this transaction, you will need to ensure that you purchase the property for less than what the property is worth, but lenders will not take just anything.  They expect to get back as much as possible from the sale, at least to cover the initial investment.  Therefore, make a fair offer with a competitive price point based on the home's actual worth.

* Realize that a short sale is still a legal process.  It is best to work with a real estate agent or a sales attorney during the process.  This will help ensure that you get the property for the best price possible and that all of your rights are met during the process.  Most of these homes are sold 'as is,' meaning the lender is unwilling or unable to make repairs.

Do it the Right Way

Buying a short sale can prove profitable, but only if you buy a property that is in good condition and you get a good price for it.  Buy a property that you plan to live in long-term, to ensure that you can get your full return on your investment.  Be ready to buy, too, since the lender may require the sale to process as quickly as possible to avoid the foreclosure process. 


A short sale may be your way of saving money on your next home purchase, but if you are not careful, it could cost you more than you expected in the long run.

Realtors & Real Estate

    Ashburn VA Real Estate & Homes for Sale

    • 44075 Pipeline Plz Ste 225
    • Ashburn, VA 20147
    • (703) 858-5676

      Jack Lawlor Realty Co. is a family owned and operated business that specializes in residential real estate in Northern VA. 4.5% Total Commission since 1984

      • 20800 Ashburn Rd #100
      • Ashburn, VA 20147
      • (703) 726-9444

        The Homes Paige Group has 25+ years of experience in all facades of Real Estate. Residential, Commercial, Land Development, Custom Homes and Investments. With our DC Metro area native employees, we have an extensive knowledge of the area and future growth of all communities. Our strong Financial and Marketing backgrounds assure you that we will keep you informed from start to CLOSING and that we will give you the highest level of attention. An agent can put your home up for sale or email you listings for purchase, but it takes a High Caliber REALTOR to get you the results you want! We look forward to meeting you!!

        • Ashburn, VA 20147
        • (703) 858-5071

          Mindy Louis, Realtor and resident of Belmont Country Club provides expert representation to those either purchasing or selling a townhome in Belmont Country Club located in Ashburn, Virginia. Call today to find out more information on purchasing a home in this premier community or for a free listing appointment to find out how you can sell your home quickly and for top dollar in the current real estate market.

          • 20937 Ashburn Rd Ste 200
          • Ashburn, VA 20147
          • (571) 214-8650

          The material in this article is for informational purposes only. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of See Additional Information

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