A short sale is a workout program that allows a borrower to sell the property, even if the proceeds are less than the loan payoff, due to low property value. When lenders agree to do a short sale in real estate, it means the lender is accepting less than the total amount due. Not all lenders will accept short sales or discounted payoffs, especially if it would make more financial sense to foreclose; moreover, not all sellers nor all properties qualify for short sales.
The average home buyer will not be a good fit for a short sale purchase. It is a time consuming process, that at times can be frustrating, and a little maddening. If you have the patience and time, you can find a deal though. The word bank is indeed a four letter word, but it won't be the only one you'll end up using by the end of the process.
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