From condos to mansions, no one’s immune to short sales, not even doctors, lawyers, teachers, executives, Realtors, your neighbor(s), the list goes on and on.

After the crash of the real estate market, I listed a house which sold as a short sale in 2012.  I had no idea what was involved, but I knew it wasn't right to let the house go into foreclosure and ruin the family’s credit forever. It takes a lot of compassion, understanding, patience, knowledge, cooperation and TIME!

No one says, “Hey! I’m going to buy a Home and lose it!”  Those who are faced with the possibility of losing their home may have stopped answering the phone or opening the mail and fear a knock on the door from the Sheriff ready to pad lock the door. PS – Sheriffs don’t do that, exactly.

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These are all real fears.  When I meet sellers who are faced with losing their home, we spend time discussing the “next chapter” and what needs to be done to move on.

When buyers want to purchase a short sale, the thought is that they’ll get a “great deal.”  Not always. The short sale bank sends an appraiser to the property to develop an opinion of value and compares it with the offer. Oh, and did I mention? It takes TIME!

Although my focus is NOT on short sales and short sales are becoming less and less, it is always a topic of discussion among friends and clients alike, so here are a few Q & A of the most common.

“What is a real estate short sale?”

A property is worth less than what’s owed on the mortgage and all parties agree to sell it for less than what’s owed on the loan(s), which avoids foreclosure.

“So, if I owe more on my mortgage than my house is worth, then I can sell short too?”

Not always. The bank wants you to keep your house and tries to modify your loan. Loan modifications typically involve a reduction in the interest rate on the loan, an extension of the length of the term of the loan, a different type of loan or any combination of the three.

“How is the sale of a property eligible for a short sale?”

There must be a hardship, such as a change in income, medical condition, change in household, such as separation, divorce or death which explains why the seller is unable to maintain the payments.

“How long does a short sale take to close?”

It depends. It could be quick, but usually it’s not and I advise about six months or so.  It’s been as quick as a few months to up to two years in some cases, and in others we never made it to the closing table where the property foreclosed, due to unforeseen circumstances.

Real Estate is a tough gig and you need a passion for it to be successful.  It’s easy when you work with good people in the real estate office and work with great clients. Here’s a copy of a seller’s recommendation on Zillow.

“Jenifer was a welcome relief from other realtors we had interviewed. She is smart, energetic and a very good listener. She knows the market and is eager to help you have a great buying/selling experience. No reservations in recommending her.”

For Real Estate assistance in Union County, Middlesex County and Somerset County on buying, selling, investing, renting or becoming a Realtor, contact Jeni DiVirgilio on 908477-4907, email or visit