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Navigating the intricacies, benefits of a short sale transaction

As numerous reports have demonstrated, distressed homeowners have found the advantages of proceeding with a short sale before their lender moves forward with foreclosure. Not only does this real estate transaction allow homeowners to discharge their underwater mortgage and minimize the financial health side-effects, it can also present a great opportunity for those looking to buy a home.

Certainly, buying a house at a reasonable price is something to get excited about, yet there are practical considerations that should be taken under consideration when entering into a short sale transaction.

When agreeing to purchase a home sold on a short sale, the buyer is typically responsible for any unpaid bills relating to the house, including utilities and property taxes. This is because these houses are essentially sold in an "as is" state, meaning that the new homeowner may assume an additional share of responsibility. Even with some added costs, short sales often present a great opportunity for interested homebuyers.

Additionally, short sales are processed through banks in a different way than "traditional" real estate transactions. The amount of time necessary to close the transaction may be longer than other home purchases, as banks decide whether or not to accept prospective buyers' offers.

While banks decide to accept an offer and process a transaction, they may take an unnecessarily lengthy amount of time to do so. This is where prospective homeowners can be proactive in order to streamline the transaction. An attorney with knowledge of short sales and residential real estate transactions may be able to work with banks to make sure the transaction proceeds efficiently and the terms are beneficial for the buyer.

As the national real estate market begins to recover, buying a piece of residential property could stand to benefit many South Carolina families. By preparing effectively, a homebuyer can move through their transaction without major surprises and into a new home.

Source: ABC News Tampa, "Why 'short sale' homes are tough to buy," John Matarese, July 17, 2012

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