A distressed sale in real estate is defined as the urgent need to sell property when the owner can no longer make the mortgage payments. He/she must sell the property immediately to pay off the mortgage, even if it involves losing money on the property. There are two primary types of distressed sales:
Foreclosure: A situation in which a mortgage lender takes possession of the property because the borrower has not made payments on interest or principal for a certain period of time.
Short Sale: An agreement between a mortgage borrower in distress and the lender that allows the borrower to sell the house and remit the proceeds to the lender. A short sale is an alternative to foreclosure or a deed in lieu of foreclosure.
Foreclosure-related sales are on the decline but distressed sales continue to claim a “disproportionately high portion” of total home sales across the country, according to RealtyTrac’s most recent foreclosure and short sales report. The firm also found increases in prices for distressed properties in 2012.
Distressed property sales made up 43 percent of all home sales nationwide in 2012, according to RealtyTrac. Foreclosure-related sales made up 21 percent of all sales, while non-foreclosure short sales made up 22 percent of sales. Together, foreclosure and REO sales decreased 6 percent from 2011 with a total of 947,995 sales over the year in 2012.
Here in Mammoth Lakes, in 2012 distressed property sales made up 41 percent of all home sales. Foreclosure sales made up 15 percent of all sales and short sales were 26 percent.
A qualified licensed real estate agent can provide information on available distressed sales. Often the lender has special requirements for buyers and although there are some “good deals,” patience is a virtue when dealing with distressed sales.
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