Short-Sales Vs. Foreclosures

What is the difference between a short-sale and a foreclosure?



The difference between a short sale and a foreclosure are significant and worthwhile to know.  A short-sale happens when a seller sells his home but owes more money on the mortgage to the bank than the selling price.  If the homeowner selling the home cannot afford to pay the bank all of the mortgage back then he must seek a "short-sale". 

The short-sale must be approved by the bank and they have to accept less money than what is owed on the mortgage.  Short-sales take a lot of time for bank approval therefore if you plan to purchase a short-sale prepare for a long wait (90 days+).  Short-sales do not work for everyone but if you fall in love with a home, have plenty of patience and time, then it could work for you.



Foreclosures in North Carolina are also referred to as bank-owned properties or REO's (Real-Estate Owned).  Foreclosures occur by virtue of state law, the homeowner's and bank's mortgage contract, and the homeowner's failure to make timely payments after a set period of time.  Once the foreclosure sale is complete the bank takes back the property and lists the home for sale with a REALTOR.

Foreclosures can be purchased at the courthouse foreclosure sale but these require skill, cash, and confidence in the condition of the home.  It is best to wait until the bank has completed the foreclosure sale and puts it on the market.  Most times you cannot tell whether a home is indeed a bank-owned foreclosure because they appear like any other property on a real estate website.

On buyers can actually select "foreclosure" as a criteria of their home search.  This makes it easy to see if a home is a bank-owned foreclosure and potentially a good home to purchase. 


Buying a Foreclosure in the Raleigh Real Estate Market

For help buying a foreclosure in the Raleigh real estate market to live in or for an investment, send me an email at  Or, call Ryan at 919-724-7010.

To search all Raleigh foreclosures for sale click here.