What Happens After a Short Sale Is Approved by the Bank

What Happens After a Short Sale Is Approved by the Bank

A short sale occurs when a homeowner sells their property for less than the amount owed on their mortgage. It is an alternative to foreclosure that allows the homeowner to avoid the negative consequences of a foreclosure on their credit score. Once a short sale is approved by the bank, there are several steps that need to be taken before the sale is finalized. In this article, we will explore what happens after a short sale is approved by the bank and answer some frequently asked questions about the process.

1. Acceptance of the Offer:
After the bank approves the short sale, they will send an approval letter to the homeowner and their real estate agent. This letter will outline the terms and conditions of the sale, including the approved sale price and any contingencies.

2. Buyer’s Financing:
Once the short sale is approved, the buyer will need to secure financing to purchase the property. They may need to provide proof of funds or a pre-approval letter from their lender. It is crucial for the buyer to move quickly and finalize their financing to avoid any delays in the closing process.

3. Title Search and Escrow:
A title search is conducted to ensure that there are no liens or other encumbrances on the property. The buyer’s lender will require a clear title before approving the loan. Additionally, an escrow account will be set up to hold the funds until all the necessary paperwork and conditions are met.

4. Inspection and Appraisal:
The buyer will typically schedule a home inspection to assess the condition of the property. If any issues are discovered, negotiations may take place to determine who will be responsible for repairs. Additionally, an appraisal will be conducted to determine the fair market value of the property.

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5. Negotiating with Junior Lienholders:
In some cases, there may be additional liens or loans on the property that need to be satisfied. The short sale approval letter will outline how these liens will be addressed. Negotiations with junior lienholders may be necessary to release their claims on the property.

6. Closing Process:
Once all the necessary steps are completed, the closing can take place. At the closing, the buyer will sign the loan documents, and the seller will sign the necessary paperwork to transfer ownership. The seller may also be required to bring funds to the closing to satisfy any remaining debts or liens.

7. Post-Closing Responsibilities:
After the sale is finalized, the seller will need to vacate the property by the agreed-upon date. It is important to ensure that the property is left in good condition, free of personal belongings. The seller should also notify utility companies and change their address with the post office.


Q1: How long does it take for a short sale to be approved by the bank?
A1: The timeframe for short sale approval can vary depending on the bank and the complexity of the case. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

Q2: Can the homeowner make a profit from a short sale?
A2: No, the purpose of a short sale is to sell the property for less than the mortgage amount owed. The homeowner cannot profit from the sale.

Q3: Will the homeowner be responsible for the remaining debt after a short sale?
A3: In some cases, the bank may forgive the remaining debt, but it is essential to consult with a real estate attorney or tax professional to understand the potential tax implications.

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Q4: Can the homeowner stay in the property after the short sale is approved?
A4: No, once the short sale is approved and finalized, the homeowner must vacate the property.

Q5: Can the homeowner qualify for another mortgage after a short sale?
A5: It may be challenging to qualify for another mortgage immediately after a short sale. However, with time and rebuilding credit, homeowners can become eligible for a mortgage again.

Q6: Will the short sale affect the homeowner’s credit score?
A6: While a short sale will have a negative impact on the homeowner’s credit score, it is generally less severe than a foreclosure.

Q7: Can a short sale be denied by the bank?
A7: Yes, the bank has the right to deny a short sale if they believe it is not in their best interest or if the homeowner does not meet their criteria.

In conclusion, once a short sale is approved by the bank, there are several steps that need to be taken to finalize the sale. It is crucial for both the buyer and seller to remain proactive and responsive throughout the process to ensure a smooth transaction. Seeking professional advice from real estate agents, attorneys, and tax professionals can help navigate the complexities of a short sale and ensure a successful outcome for all parties involved.

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