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Why would a buyer want a short sale?

You're looking to buy a home, and you are considering short sales. Whenever you tell anyone, they mention the potential downsides: You may need to do work on the house, the process can take a long time and you may not save as much as you hope.

Slightly deterred, you decide you want to look into the positive reasons to pursue a short sale. What are the advantages for you? Why would you want to use this option?

First and foremost, you may get a good deal. The bank doesn't want to go into foreclosure, but the homeowner owes more than the value of the house, which has fallen. The two sides agree to sell it for less just to sell it at all -- thus avoiding foreclosure. This can set you up for a price you won't find anywhere else.

Plus, these homeowners have often encountered some very serious financial issues. They want to sell. They need to sell. They're motivated, and that always plays in your favor.

On top of that, many buyers ignore short sales. They worry about the process taking too long. They want to buy a house and move in quickly. This means that you do not have as much competition as you would on the open market. That can make it easier to get the house that you want, and it means the price may stay low.

If you do decide to use a short sale, be warned that it's a potentially complicated process. You need to make sure you understand your legal rights and what steps to take.

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