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Residential real estate bargains found in short sales

House hunting can be an exciting adventure, and sometimes a gem can drop right into the buyer's lap. If the deal goes smoothly, the new homeowners may be able to move in less than two months. However, some Illinois shoppers may be looking for a real bargain, and one option they may consider is a short sale. Short sales are often a complex and frustrating aspect of residential real estate, but if successful, buyers can land a sweet deal at a rock-bottom price.

A short sale typically occurs when the homeowners want to sell their home to avoid foreclosure. They often owe more on the house than the house is worth, and they need to sell the property quickly to avoid going deeper into debt. The problem with purchasing a short sale is that, in addition to being accepted by the homeowners, the buyer's offer must have approval from a series of individuals associated with the lender. This takes considerably longer than a regular sale, sometimes as long as four months.

Another drawback to short sales is that the seller is likely in no position to negotiate contingencies, such as making repairs or covering closing costs. Additionally, the lender may not approve any further adjustments to an offer that is already lower than what the seller owes. Real estate advisors recommend that buyers looking at short sales have their financing preapproved or even offer cash to speed up the process and make themselves attractive to the seller's lender.

Because of the complexities and uncertainties of a short sale, residential real estate advisors recommend that buyers have legal counsel to assist them. An Illinois attorney who has experience dealing with short sales will be a strong advocate to help throughout the process. Buyers who successfully complete a short sale purchase may find they have gained a priceless home for a bargain price.

Source: realtor.com, "Buying a Short Sale: 5 Tips to Make Yours the Winning Offer", Tara Mastroeni, Aug. 9, 2017

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