Is Buying a Short Sale in Florida a Good Idea?

If you are a patient and disciplined buyer, then the short answer is YES!

If you’re interested in buying a Florida property at a lower than usual price, then you may be considering a short sale. These types of transactions are appealing because they are normally priced substantially less than comparable homes in the same area. While the process is never simple, and often times be very frustrating, the end result for buyers can be a huge savings that is felt for years to come.

What is a Short Sale?

In simple terms, a short sale is created when the current owner wants or needs to sell the property at a price that is lower than the current mortgage amount that is still owed and the lender agrees to the short sale transaction. Short sales represent a small percentage of real estate sales, 5% on average, but come to the market on a fairly consistent basis regardless of market conditions. So even though Florida’s real estate market has been strong during and post-pandemic, and the future is uncertain with rising inflation and mortgage rates, short sale opportunities will still exist for prudent buyers.

As a buyer, this can be a fantastic chance to buy a home well below market value. Sometimes the buyer is treated to a somewhat smooth transaction (depending on the bank!), but often, while the savings is great, buying short sales in Florida can be a daunting task.

Short Sales Require Time and Patience

Unfortunately, the term “short sale” doesn’t have anything to do with time and could be a lengthy process requiring patience. The first step is to make an offer which needs to be accepted by the owner. The owner then MUST present the offer to the current lien holder and wait for a “bank approval.” Unfortunately, there is no strict timeline here, and it often takes many months to receive a response from the bank. Furthermore, when you finally do hear back from the bank, they may reject the offer! And, since you are technically under contract with the seller, it is very risky to make offers on other properties during this waiting period. As a result, when you make an offer on a short sale, you have basically taken yourself out of the game until the bank responds.

On the other hand, for those who have the patience to wait for the banks to respond, buying short sales in Florida can really be a great opportunity for families shopping for their home or investors looking for a great opportunity.

The assistance of a qualified and experienced real estate attorney can be a great asset for buyers and sellers in a short sale transaction. At our office, we have expedited 100s of short sales and have succeeded in preserving all of the buyer’s benefits while alleviating most of the frustrations. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have or for more information regarding South Florida short sales.

The Law Office of Donna Hearne-Gousse
(561) 582-5670

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