A Short Sale was fairly common during the Great Recession. Although there are fewer short sales on the market today, it is still one strategy for selling a home. If you’re buying or selling a home in San Antonio, then you may be wondering if this is an avenue you should explore. Real Estate Muses answers frequently asked questions about short sales.

What is a short sale?

In short, a short sale happens when the lender allows the mortgage to be paid off for less than what is owed on the home. The lender then forgives the remaining amount of the loan. It can only happen with the lender’s permission and when the property value has declined and the owner is financially distressed, resulting in negative equity. It often happens as a way to try to avoid foreclosure.

How is a short sale different from a foreclosure?

In a short sale, the owner voluntarily initiates the sale process. However, in a foreclosure, the bank assumes ownership of the home after the owner fails to make payments. The lender then forces the sale process in order to recoup as much of the loan as possible.

Do I even qualify?

Whether or not you should sell your home in San Antonio through a short sale depends on many factors. If you can’t make your mortgage payments and your home is worth less than what you bought it for, then it may be the best choice. It can help you avoid foreclosure and somewhat preserve your credit.

How long does it take to close on a short sale?

Short sales are complicated transactions. They can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to complete. While the process is initiated by the seller, the lender must review everything about the agreement, and ultimately they are responsible for deciding whether or not the sale will go through.

What should I know about short sales as a buyer?

It’s important to understand that there are many variables when buying a short sale. While you could score a great deal on a home, you should be aware that these transactions fall through pretty regularly. Much depends on the seller and their financial situation. The lender will also weigh whether or not they’d recoup more of their money through a short sale or a foreclosure. Short sales are sold “as-is” so don’t expect a price reduction if your home inspection uncovers any major problems. While some buyers will purchase short sales for their primary residence, most are flippers or developers.

Does a seller make any money on short sales?

When a lender agrees to a short sale, they will take a loss on the loan. For this reason, unless it is federally sanctioned through a program like HAFA, the seller will not make any money from the sale of the home.

How should I proceed with buying or selling a short sale in San Antonio?

If you think buying or selling a short sale is right for you, talk with one of our Realtors at Real Estate Muses who have experience with short sales in the San Antonio area. While this process is typically complex, our experts can help guide you through the process.

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If you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell a house in San Antonio, contact Melissa Muse Wiggans, Broker and Owner of Real Estate Muses. Her team of top San Antonio Realtors specialize in residential real estate for those buying and selling homes as well as military families and others moving or relocating to San Antonio, TX. Visit realestatemuses.com or call 210-485-9913 today.

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