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11300 Pinehurst Way NE Seattle, WA 98125 (425) 518-1176
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A short sale is when a homeowner is selling his or her property short of the amount owed to the lender. Homeowners must get permission from their lender in order to do a short sale.

To qualify for a short sale, the current mortgage on a property must be behind in payments or the homeowner must demonstrate that he or she will be unable to pay the mortgage because of illness, job loss, or some other financial hardship. The homeowner must also have no other assets that can be used to pay the outstanding balance on the loan amount. Generally a seller’s retirement assets are left out of this equation.

The short sale process is initiated by a homeowner or a real estate agent working on their behalf. The first step is for the seller to receive an offer from a buyer. This offer is submitted to the bank, along with extensive documentation from the seller documenting why the seller is unwilling or unable to pay. Next the home is appraised. When the short sale lender receives the appraisal they evaluate the offer compared to the appraisal. Then the bank can do one of three things: reject the offer, accept the offer, or present a counteroffer. This process generally takes quite a bit of time depending on the lender—usually 90-120 days but in some cases it can take longer.

Why would a bank agree to a short sale? Banks are not in the real estate business; they are in the money-lending business. Foreclosure proceedings are expensive and often times accepting less money from a seller than what is owed will net the bank more money than if they foreclosed on the home. Any money lost on a short sale becomes a tax write-off to offset bank earnings. Also, dead assets on the books can mean lending restrictions for that bank from the FDIC. The entire process of the short sale is cleaner and helps balance the books.

For homeowners, there are advantages and disadvantages to a short sale. Homeowners may offer the short sale of their home to someone else and move on freely, without the burden of a foreclosure on their credit report. The bank will accept the sale without requiring the homeowner to pay the difference in what is owed. The disadvantage is the homeowner will have a negative mark on the their credit. Also, they may owe taxes on the difference. Lastly, in some cases banks might pursue the homeowner for the deficiency at a later date.

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Carrie Pierce - Your Personal Real Estate Agent


Carrie achieved the status of
Coldwell Banker Danforth’s #1 Broker in 2013, 2014 & 2015 for Gross Sales Volume. She also earned the honor to be the #1 Coldwell Banker broker in our 5 state region, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska and Utah and qualified for Coldwell Banker’s International President’s Premier for 2014 to which only 1% of all associates internationally qualified for this award. The award she is most proud of achieving is receiving Seattle Magazine’s “Best in Client Satisfaction” award for 7 years running. Providing exceptional service and care to her clients continue to be her top priority and focus.

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Clients Jen and Clint Nelson

Home Buyers Bethany and Ryan Suess