Short sale is the term for the sale of a property when the seller owes more on their mortgage than the listing price. The extra regulations that apply to a short sale typically apply to the seller, but that doesn’t mean the buyer doesn’t need to do their research as well. Much of the homework that goes into buying a short sale property is best done ahead of time, so these types of transactions work most smoothly when the buyer is specifically looking for short sale properties.
If you know you’re looking for a short sale property to buy, make sure to find an agent that specializes in short sales, or at least has a large amount of experience with them. Expert short sale agents will have the best idea of a reasonable purchase price and what types of offers will be most attractive to the seller. You may have heard the common advice to get a pre-approval for your mortgage. In the case of a short sale, it’s best to go a step further and get a full approval. Nearly everyone who offers on a short sale will be pre-approved, so that alone won’t make you stand out, but a full approval will. And whether you’ve planned on purchasing a short sale property ahead of time or not, it’s important to be patient. Short sales typically take longer than traditional home sales. In fact, buyers often drop out of short sale negotiations because they simply don’t have the time, leaving you with less competition if you’re patient.