Buyers sometimes see foreclosures and short sales as being the same thing. While it is true both types are considered distressed properties a short sale and a foreclosure are two completely different animals!
In the case of a short sale the owners are attempting to sell the house or condo for less than the mortgage owed. The lender must approve any accepted offer. The difference between the selling price and monies owed will have to be dealt with by the lender and borrower before any sale is completed. It is in the seller's best interest to maintain the property and get as much as possible.
On the other hand foreclosures have already been repossessed by the lender. The foreclosure process takes a long time from the initial default and some have occurred during the short sale process. [If considering selling as a short sale, price competitively to get an offer on the table.]
The general condition of a foreclosure is usually worse than that of a short sale. Some of these properties have been vacant for a long time. Some may have been vandalized. Some, although newer construction, have been stripped of the appliances, cabinets, sinks, ac units. Thus the discounted price!
In a foreclosure, even if the bones are good, bring a suitcase full of cash! Not all buyers are suitable prospects for foreclosures or short sales. Discuss your needs with your real estate professional to determine if one of these distressed properties is a consideration.
Gary L. Waters, PLLC, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida. Email me if I can help you with your real estate needs.