What Should I Expect When I Buy?

Short sales often look like other listings in the MLS, except they may have a lower asking price than comparable properties.

The term "short sale" is a bit of a misnomer, though, as this type of transaction can take much longer to complete than a standard home sale.

The buying process is similar to a standard purchase. You still apply for financing the same way, and order inspections the same way, for instance. But complications in the selling process aren't uncommon, and you'll need patience.

The good news, though, is that times have changed. Many banks have streamlined their processes for short sales, making it much simpler and less time consuming for buyers and sellers. Market data shows that the time it takes to close a short sale has steadily decreased over the past few years.

Possible short sale hurdles I can help you navigate:


Second mortgages: These can pose problems because a second lender may not agree to the terms set between the primary lender and the seller.

Mortgage insurance: If the seller has mortgage insurance on their loan, the mortgage insurance company will need to approve the short sale.

Other liens on the property: A lien is a claim by an outside person or company on a property for money owed. Liens pose hurdles whether the transaction is a short sale or not, and will have to be addressed before the property can be transferred to a new owner.

Government-backed loans: If the home seller's loan was a government-backed loan, such as an FHA loan, this can cause delays and hurdles because the government will need to be involved in approvals.

HOAs: HOAs can present complications because the lender might not pay fees associated with the HOA transfer from the seller to the new owner.


The Short Sale Buyer's Checklist


  •   Get prequalified for a mortgage.
  •  Get a home inspection, but understand that most lenders will sell only "as is." The inspection can help you decide whether the short sale price is reasonable, given the cost of repairs needed.
  •  Understand who is paying the agent's commission and whether you have to make up any differences to your agent.
  •  Submit documentation to the lender.
  •  Have plenty of patience, but balance it with persistence. Keep in mind that banks have grown much better at processing short sales, which is good news for you.

Get In Touch

Local Expert Updates

Aaron Jones

Cell: 712.320.9442

Will Kretsinger

Cell: 712.301.4040

Community Updates

Emerald Hills

Emerald Hills in Arnolds Park

Emerald Hills Golf Course is one of the premier golf courses in the Iowa Great Lakes. Golfers throughout Okoboji will tell you that compared to the rest of the golf courses around, Emerald Hills is probably the most challenging. When I grew up as a kid, we lived just a half block from the back side of the course. We would sneak on with a couple short little clubs and balls we found walking the course and sometimes spent more time being chased by the sprinklers than trying to hit golf balls. Emerald Hills was owned by Gordy and Bette Benit many years ago and they can be credited with growing this course into the masterpiece it has become. Later purchased by Randy Rohlfsen and a few others, Emerald has flourished as one of the best courses around. If memory serves me right, Randy has been there since the early 1990's and has always had a strong conviction to help young golfers. He has taught and coached numerous high school teams, and they also put on a 5 day junior camp every year which has been a tremendous hit. I grew up on this course and can honestly say, you better be hitting the ball straight!

Real Estate and MLS Homes For Sale in Arnolds Park

Dixon Family Chiropractic

Dixon Family Chiropractic in Spirit Lake

Dixon Family Chiropractic is a clinic located on Hwy 9, east of Walmart, next to Pizza Ranch and has convenient hours.....open 6 days a week at 7:30 am, evenings and Saturdays. Formerly in the convenient health care building south of the 4 way stop in Spirit Lake, Wade and Adalee offer a friendly staff and professional services.

Real Estate and MLS Homes For Sale in Spirit Lake

Boji Doors

Boji Doors in Spirit Lake

A family owned and operated garage door installation and general maintenance and repair company. They have competitive pricing, their service is prompt and reliable, free design estimates are available and they cover a wide service area. Whether you’re wanting to transform your space, repair your existing door, or explore and design a new commercial or residential garage door option, Boji Doors of Spirit Lake has you covered! Call Josh today 712.330.9806 for sales, service and installation!

Real Estate and MLS Homes For Sale in Spirit Lake

Subscribe To Our Newsletter