A short sale is when a seller owes more on his home than the asking price of the listing. Contrary to many people's understanding, you do not assume any debt. If you purchase a short sale or any property in Florida, you will have the property researched by a title insurance company and you will be issued a clean title and a title insurance policy. If the title insurance company finds problems with the title and will not issue a policy, you should not purchase the property.
A short sale is often difficult to buy because banks are reluctant to let the seller "off the hook". If the seller has other assets, the bank wants them to liquidate. This can complicate any closing and often short sale offers are rejected by the banks. Sometimes short sale sellers have no real intention to sell but are looking for offers for ammunition to get the banks to renegotiate their loan.
Foreclosures (often noted as "Corporate Owned") are somewhat easier to close. You will deal directly with the bank rather than a "third party approval".
Northport has seen a lot of speculation during this real estate bubble. Consequently, there are many neglected or abandoned homes. While this might sound like an opportunity to cash in, one must be VERY cautious. I have seen many homes that will not bring a positive return on investment EVER. It is important to evaluate a property carefully. Find a real estate pro who can perform a comparative market analysis of a property and help you determine repair costs. You may find that it is better to pay a little more and get a home that is in better shape.
Finally, if you are financing, you will need a preapproval letter from your lender. If you are making an offer on a foreclosure or short sale, the offer will not even be considered without proof of available funds. Even in a private purchase, an offer holds more weight with a pre-approval letter.
Jim Mulligan, Broker
Free MLS access: http://www.searchsuncoast.com