Steps in a Bank Short Sale After an Appraisal Is Ordered

After the appraisal is ordered, you are just steps away from closing the short sale deal.
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Campbell Communication's study of 1,300 real estate agents found that only 23 percent of short-sale offers actually result in closing a house. Short sales provide benefits to both buyers and sellers: buyers can get a significant bargain and sellers can be freed from a house with an underwater mortgage. Short sales typically take longer than traditional sales. Once the appraisal is ordered, the buyer and seller have made it through much of the waiting process, but a few key components remain.

Broker's Price Opinion

A lender may order a broker's price opinion in conjunction with an appraisal to ascertain the value of the property in the current market. The opinion is based on the value of similar properties in the same neighborhood, the general neighborhood condition and the condition of the property compared to the condition of neighboring properties.

Settlement Statement

The buyer prepares a settlement statement that outlines the key details of the transaction, including the purchase price, any costs associated with the closing and the bank's potential net loss at closing. This statement is submitted with the buyer's proposed offer for the property. The lender will scrutinize the statement for key terms of the agreement, such as financing, payments for outstanding liens or taxes owed on the property and the potential date for closing.


The bank may decide to reject your offer or counteroffer at a higher price point. You can decide to accept the counteroffer, in which case you will be moving toward closing, or counter with a different proposed price. Guidelines by the Federal Housing Finance Agency require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to give potential home buyers a final decision within 60 days. The seller may also have to negotiate with all creditors that have an interest in the property.

Home Inspection

A home inspection is often completed before closing. Although many short sale houses are sold as-is, the potential buyer can still walk away from the deal if problems are found with the property.


The closing involves signing all forms to legally transfer title to the property and to complete the deal, including the HUD-1 form, loan papers and documents to release the seller from the existing debt on the property. Pay any closing expenses that you have not paid yet, such as title fees, bank fees, accumulated interest and mortgage taxes. The title company records the new deed and the buyer receives the keys to the property.

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