HORSHAM, Pa. (CBS) – If you’re in the market to buy a house now, there are some terms you need to learn.

Foreclosure: that’s when the bank repossesses a property.  A “foreclosure sale” is when you purchase the foreclosed property from the bank.

A “short sale” is when a distressed owner wants out of the house before it’s foreclosed on and you work out an arrangement to buy it — an arrangement that the bank must agree to.

But in foreclosure sales, short sales, and similar transactions, you could be getting some problems you didn’t count on.

shaw arlene side durham1 Part 4:  The Changing Real Estate Market

Arlene Shaw (right) — a realtor at Keller Williams Real Estate in Horsham, Pa. and vice president at title company Plymouth Rock Search and Abstract — says buying and selling isn’t what it used to be.

“It seems to me that 60 to 70 percent of what is out on the market is purchasing it directly from the bank — from a foreclosure, from a sheriff’s sale, or you are buying it directly from the sellers who are now going to their bank and begging them to give a short sale to you as the buyer,” she says.  “Both are very complicated and very different from anything than we have ever dealt with in the last ten to 15 years.”

Shaw says that even though buyers can pick up a bargain now, they have to work for it.

“It is much less money — the value is there — but the bank could care less about the house, and so I end up doing a lot more of the work and my buyers are doing more of the work that typically would have fallen on a seller.”

And she warns that short sales are not for buyers in a hurry.

“The time of a short sale… the smallest amount is six months.  The longest could be two to three years — or it never happens.  If they want to be in a house by a certain date, a short sale is not something for them.”

Reported by Michelle Durham, KYW Newsradio 1060

Listen to the KYW Regional Affairs Council series, “Buying Your First Home”…

Part 1: The Excitement of a First-Time Home Purchase, by KYW’s Brad Segall:

Part 2: Understanding Your Credit Rating, by KYW’s Brad Segall:

Part 3: Can You Afford Your Own Home?, by KYW’s Michelle Durham:

Part 4: The Changing Real Estate Market, by KYW’s Michelle Durham:

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