Short Sale Or Foreclosure? How To Choose

Longtime resident and member of the Indian Wells Country Club, Realtor Anne Alexander is a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) who offers the following tips to homeowners considering a Short Sale vs. a Foreclosure.

Most homeowners are not aware that a Short Sale has less serious consequences for the homeowner than a foreclosure.

For example, a homeowner who loses a home to Foreclosure is ineligible for a Fannie Mae backed mortgage for a period of 5 years as opposed to a Short Sale which makes them ineligible for only 2 years. Investors are ineligible for 7 years compared to 2 years.

In addition, a Foreclosure will typically lower your credit score anywhere from 250 to over 300 points and will affect your credit score for over 3 years. A Short Sale will typically lower your credit score as little as 50 points if all other payments are being made and will affect the homeowner for as little as 12 to 18 months.

Foreclosure remain as a public record on a person’s credit history for 10 years or more. A Short Sale is not reported on a credit history. The loan is typically reported “paid in full, settled.”

Homeowners (and many Realtors) do not understand Short Sales and are mainly interested in the consequences to their credit and their life.

We advise them to do a Short Sale … IF THEY QUALIFY. It’s not a “get out of my mortgage free card,” though. A homeowner must be able to demonstrate a verifiable hardship such as a job loss, death in the family, mortgage rate adjusting to the point they cannot afford it, illness etc. But, there is no point in listing a home as a Short Sale if the bank will not agree to it. The homeowner CANNOT have assets that could be used to pay the mortgage.

Most problems with Short Sales stem from Realtors who are not familiar with them. For example, a smart Realtor will only present ONE offer to the bank – the highest and the best. You must present all the rest of the offers to the Seller but you present only ONE offer to the bank. You also need to present a COMPLETE package to the bank.

For additional information, you can contact Anne at or email:

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