What Is A Short Sale?

Short sale
Homeowners in a financial hardship should be familiar with a short sale.

If you’re underwater on your mortgage (owing more than your home is worth), navigating your options can feel overwhelming. Foreclosure might seem like the only way out, but it comes with a severe blow to your credit score and can haunt you for years. There’s a better solution: a short sale.

A short sale allows you to sell your home for less than what you owe on your mortgage, with your lender agreeing to forgive the remaining debt. It might sound daunting, but a short sale offers a surprising number of benefits compared to foreclosure. Let’s dive into why a short sale could be the answer you’ve been looking for.

Benefits of a short sale

Foreclosure can be devastating. It wreaks havoc on your credit score, making it nearly impossible to get another loan for years. A short sale, while not ideal, offers several advantages:

  • Save Your Credit: Foreclosure can tank your credit score for up to seven years, making it difficult to secure loans for things like cars or another home. A short sale, while still impacting your credit, has a less severe consequence, typically lasting around three years.
  • Faster Recovery: You’ll be able to qualify for a new mortgage sooner after a short sale than after a foreclosure. This can significantly reduce the disruption to your life.
  • Maintain Control: With a short sale, you have more control over the selling process. You’ll work with a realtor to price and show the house, giving you some say in the timeline.
  • Avoid the Eviction Hassle: Foreclosure can lead to a forced eviction, a stressful and humiliating experience. With a short sale, you can often negotiate a timeline to move out on your own terms.
  • Reduced Fees: In many cases, the lender will cover some of the closing costs associated with selling the house, easing the financial burden.


Although not ideal, a short sale may be the lesser of two evils for homeowners facing a financial hardship and unable to keep up with their mortgage. Although we discussed a few benefits of a short sale above, it is important to remember the following:

  • Short Sales Take Time: Getting lender approval for a short sale can be a lengthy process, so patience is key.
  • Not Guaranteed: There’s no guarantee your lender will approve a short sale. However, if you can demonstrate financial hardship and a good reason for selling, your chances are higher.

Consult with a qualified real estate agent and a lawyer specializing in foreclosure alternatives to discuss your options and create a plan to navigate the process effectively. Remember, the sooner you address the situation, the better your chances of navigating this challenging time.

Are you thinking about buying or selling real estate in South Florida? We can help! Contact Natasha at Live South Florida Realty, Inc. today! Also, be sure to download the free Florida Home Search app for your smartphone or tablet.

By natasha moore

REALTOR® with Live South Florida Realty, Inc.