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Short Sale

Short Sale


In the world of real estate, a short sale is one of the most popular ways to avoid foreclosure. It is a process whereby a homeowner can sell their property for less than the amount of the outstanding mortgage. The lender agrees to the sale and forgives the remaining balance on the mortgage. A short sale is not a simple process, but it can be an excellent option for those who are underwater on their mortgage. In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of the short sale process, including the benefits and drawbacks, the current state of the industry, and how you can navigate through it all.

What is a Short Sale?

A short sale is a real estate transaction that occurs when a homeowner sells their home for less than the outstanding amount owed on their mortgage. The process requires the lender’s approval and typically involves a real estate agent, an attorney, and a financial advisor. After the sale is complete, the lender forgives the remaining balance on the mortgage.

The short sale process can be a viable alternative to foreclosure, which can negatively impact a homeowner’s credit score for years. When a homeowner is unable to make their monthly mortgage payments, they may default on their loan, leading to foreclosure. The foreclosure process can be lengthy and costly and can result in the lender taking possession of the property and selling it for less than its value.

Short Sale Benefits and Drawbacks

The short sale process has several benefits, including:

Avoiding Foreclosure: A short sale allows a homeowner to avoid foreclosure, which can negatively affect their credit score.

Debt Forgiveness: With a short sale, the lender may forgive the remaining balance on the mortgage after the sale is complete.

Selling the Property: A short sale allows a homeowner to sell their property and move on with their life without going through a foreclosure process.

However, there are also drawbacks to the short sale process, including:

Lengthy Process: A short sale can take months to complete, which can be frustrating for homeowners who are anxious to move on.

Credit Impact: While a short sale is better than foreclosure, it can still negatively impact a homeowner’s credit score.

Hardship Requirement: A homeowner must demonstrate that they are experiencing financial hardship to qualify for a short sale.

The Current State of the Short Sale Industry

The short sale industry has gone through some changes over the last few years, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The government has implemented several programs to help homeowners stay in their homes and avoid foreclosure. The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program was created to help homeowners who are struggling to make their mortgage payments.

The HAFA program provides financial incentives to lenders to approve short sales and makes it easier for homeowners to qualify for a short sale. The program also offers relocation assistance to homeowners after the sale is complete.

In addition to the HAFA program, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 provided financial relief to homeowners impacted by the pandemic. The act offered mortgage payment forbearance for up to 12 months, meaning that homeowners could defer their mortgage payments without facing late fees or foreclosure during the forbearance period.

Navigating the Short Sale Process

Now that we’ve discussed the benefits and drawbacks of a short sale and how the industry has changed, let’s explore how to navigate the short sale process.

1. Hire an Experienced Professional

One of the most important steps in the short sale process is hiring an experienced professional to guide you through the process. A real estate agent who specializes in short sales can help you prepare the necessary paperwork, price your property correctly, and negotiate with the lender. An attorney can help protect your legal rights and ensure that the lender is not taking advantage of you. A financial advisor can help you understand the tax implications of a short sale and develop a plan for your financial future.

2. Prepare the Necessary Paperwork

To begin the short sale process, you will need to prepare the necessary paperwork. This includes a hardship letter detailing why you are unable to make your mortgage payments and a financial statement outlining your income, expenses, and assets. You will also need to provide the lender with a copy of your listing agreement with a real estate agent.

3. Price the Property Correctly

Pricing your property correctly is critical to a successful short sale. You will need to work with your real estate agent to determine the fair market value of your property and price it accordingly. The lender will want to see that the property has been priced reasonably and that you have not purposely undervalued it to get out of your mortgage.

4. Negotiate with the Lender

Once you have received an offer on your property, your lender will review it and either approve or deny it. If the offer is not sufficient to cover the outstanding mortgage, the lender may ask for additional funds or negotiate a lower payoff amount. Your real estate agent and attorney will work with the lender to negotiate the best deal possible.

5. Sign the Sale Agreement

Once the lender has approved the sale, you will sign a sale agreement with the buyer. The buyer will need to provide a deposit, which will be held in escrow until the sale is complete. You will also need to provide the lender with any other requested documentation, such as the buyer’s preapproval letter.

6. Complete the Sale

After the sale agreement is signed, you will work with the buyer to complete any necessary inspections and repairs. Once the sale is complete, the lender will forgive the remaining balance on the mortgage, and you can move on with your life.


A short sale can be a viable alternative to foreclosure for homeowners who are struggling to make their mortgage payments. The process can be lengthy and complicated, but with the right professionals on your team, you can navigate through it successfully. While the short sale industry has gone through some changes over the last few years, there are still programs available to help homeowners stay in their homes and avoid foreclosure. If you are considering a short sale, talk to an experienced professional to determine if it is the right option for you.

What Is a Short Sale?
What Is a Short Sale: Introduction
A short sale usually refers to the sale of a stock that the seller does not own. An investor can take part in short sales by selling a stock that he does not actually own. This often happens when an investor is under the impression that a stock will do poorly and the price will fall. By completely a short sale, the investor can pick up the stock at a lower price and make a profit of the difference. On the other hand, if the price goes up, the investor has a loss of the difference.
What is a Short Sale: Who Owns the Stock?
The stock in a short sell does not actually belong to the investor but rather is loaned out by a brokerage firm. This can be either from a margin account of another client of the firm, the firm’s inventory, or another brokerage firm. When dealing with short sales, there are often charges and fees that are applicable. For example, if the borrowed stocks pay a dividend, the investor will have to pay the dividend to whomever the stocks came from, whether it was the firm making the load of the person.
What is a Short Sale: Example
An example of a short sale would be selling shares of a stock at $50 a share after borrowing them from a brokerage firm. If the price declined to $30 a share, the investor would then proceed to purchase the shares back on the market in order to replace the original shares. In this situation, the investor would make the difference, or $20 a share. After taking out any fees such as transaction costs and commissions, he would be left with his profit.
What is a Short Sale: The Legal Lines of Short Sales
While short sales are legal, there are certain manipulative practices that are not allowed. Specifically, short sales cannot be used to change the price of the stock. This would entail performing a series of short cells in order to feign trading activity or to lower the price of the stock in order to suggest the sale of the stock to others.
A slightly less clear aspect of what is a short sale the legality of short sales deals with “naked” Short Sales. In this situation, the seller is unable to make the delivery of stocks to the buyer with three days period and can result in either a short or long sale. This is not considered illegal if there is a legitimate reason to failure. However, doing this with the intention of not having located a stock to replace the initial ones or in hopes to lower a stock’s price is illegal.
What is a Short Sale: Short Sale Positions
More information on what is a short sale and its positions can be found through monthly statistical publications by the SROs relating to the shares found on their market. Furthermore there are certain newspapers and commercial websites that offer the same information.