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Different Types of Real Estate Sales: A Comprehensive Guide

Posted by ranarealestate on May 21, 2024

Real estate is a dynamic and diverse industry, encompassing various types of property sales. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, an investor, or someone looking to sell property, understanding the different types of real estate sales can help you navigate the market more effectively. In this blog, we’ll explore the primary types of real estate sales, breaking down the complexities into simple, easy-to-understand terms.

1. Traditional Home Sales

Traditional home sales are the most common type of real estate transactions. These occur when a homeowner lists their property for sale on the open market, usually with the help of a real estate agent. Here’s how it typically works:

  • Listing the Property: The homeowner works with a real estate agent to determine the property’s value and sets a listing price. The agent markets the property through various channels such as online listings, open houses, and print advertisements.
  • Showings and Offers: Potential buyers view the property and, if interested, submit offers. The seller reviews these offers, often negotiating terms and price.
  • Acceptance and Closing: Once an offer is accepted, the buyer secures financing, and the deal goes through the closing process, including inspections and appraisals, culminating in the transfer of ownership.

Traditional home sales are straightforward and are typically used for owner-occupied homes.

2. Short Sales

A short sale happens when a homeowner needs to sell their property but owes more on the mortgage than the property is worth. In this case, the lender must agree to accept less than the amount owed on the mortgage.

  • Financial Hardship: The homeowner must demonstrate financial hardship to the lender, such as loss of income or medical bills, which makes it impossible to keep up with mortgage payments.
  • Approval Process: The lender reviews the short sale application, including a hardship letter and financial documents. If approved, the property is listed for sale.
  • Offer and Negotiation: Once an offer is received, it must be approved by the lender. This can take longer than traditional sales because of the additional approval process.

Short sales can be beneficial for homeowners facing foreclosure but require patience and negotiation skills.

3. Foreclosure Sales

Foreclosure sales occur when a homeowner fails to make mortgage payments, and the lender repossesses the property. The lender then sells the property to recover the outstanding loan balance.

  • Pre-Foreclosure: Before foreclosure, the homeowner receives a notice of default, allowing them a period to rectify the situation.
  • Auction: If the homeowner cannot pay the overdue amount, the property is auctioned. Auctions can be risky for buyers as they often require full payment upfront and may not allow for property inspections.
  • REO (Real Estate Owned): If the property does not sell at auction, it becomes REO, meaning the lender owns it. These properties are listed for sale through traditional real estate channels.

Foreclosure sales can offer opportunities to purchase properties at a lower price, but they often come with risks such as property condition and potential legal issues.

4. Real Estate Auctions

Real estate auctions are a method of selling property quickly through competitive bidding. Auctions can be used for various types of properties, including residential, commercial, and land.

  • Auction Types: There are absolute auctions, where the property is sold to the highest bidder regardless of price, and reserve auctions, where the seller sets a minimum acceptable price.
  • Bidding Process: Interested buyers register for the auction, conduct due diligence, and place bids. Auctions can be live, online, or a combination of both.
  • Winning Bid: The highest bidder wins the property, usually needing to pay a deposit immediately, with the balance due within a specified period.

Auctions can be an efficient way to buy and sell properties but require buyers to be well-prepared and financially ready.

5. For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

For Sale By Owner (FSBO) refers to homeowners who sell their property without the assistance of a real estate agent. This approach can save on commission fees but requires more effort from the seller.

  • Setting the Price: Homeowners must research the market to set a competitive price.
  • Marketing: Sellers need to market their property through online listings, social media, yard signs, and open houses.
  • Negotiations and Paperwork: The homeowner handles all negotiations and paperwork, often requiring some knowledge of real estate transactions and legal requirements.

FSBO sales can be rewarding but are best suited for sellers comfortable with handling the complexities of a real estate transaction.

6. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) offer a way to invest in real estate without directly buying property. REITs are companies that own, operate, or finance income-producing real estate.

  • Types of REITs: There are equity REITs, which own and operate properties, mortgage REITs, which provide financing for income-producing properties, and hybrid REITs, which combine both.
  • Investment: Investors buy shares in a REIT, similar to buying stocks. REITs are required to distribute at least 90% of taxable income to shareholders, providing regular income.
  • Diversification: Investing in REITs allows for diversification across various real estate sectors, such as residential, commercial, healthcare, and industrial.

REITs are a popular choice for those looking to invest in real estate with lower capital and without the responsibilities of property management.

7. New Construction Sales

New construction sales involve purchasing properties directly from builders or developers. This type of sale is common in newly developed communities or for custom-built homes.

  • Pre-Construction Sales: Buyers purchase a property before it is built, often based on floor plans and renderings.
  • Customization: Buyers may have the option to customize certain aspects of the home, such as finishes, fixtures, and layouts.
  • Warranties: New homes often come with warranties covering workmanship and materials for a specified period.

New construction sales provide the opportunity to own a brand-new home tailored to personal preferences but may come with longer waiting periods for completion.

8. Commercial Real Estate Sales

Commercial real estate sales involve the buying and selling of properties used for business purposes, such as office buildings, retail spaces, industrial properties, and multi-family apartment buildings.

  • Income Potential: Commercial properties generate income through leasing to businesses and can offer higher returns compared to residential properties.
  • Complexity: These transactions are often more complex, involving longer due diligence periods, lease agreements, and zoning regulations.
  • Investment Strategies: Investors may focus on different strategies, such as buying to hold for long-term income, flipping properties for profit, or developing new commercial spaces.

Commercial real estate sales require a deeper understanding of market dynamics and business operations but can be highly lucrative.

9. Land Sales

Land sales involve the purchase and sale of vacant land, which can be used for various purposes, including residential development, agriculture, commercial use, or as an investment.

  • Due Diligence: Buyers need to conduct thorough due diligence, including zoning regulations, land use restrictions, and environmental assessments.
  • Development Potential: Land can be developed immediately or held for future appreciation.
  • Financing: Financing land purchases can be more challenging than developed properties, often requiring larger down payments and shorter loan terms.

Land sales offer flexibility and potential for future development, making them attractive for investors and developers.


Understanding the different types of real estate sales is crucial for anyone involved in the property market. Each type of sale has its own processes, benefits, and challenges. Whether you’re buying your first home, investing in commercial properties, or considering a short sale, being informed will help you make better decisions and achieve your real estate goals. As the real estate market continues to evolve, staying educated and adaptable is key to success.

Rana Real Estate Group is a trusted name in real estate, offering expert assistance for all your property needs. Whether you’re buying, selling, or investing, their experienced team provides tailored solutions and personalized service to help you achieve your goals. With a focus on integrity and transparency, they guide you through every step of the process, ensuring a smooth and successful transaction. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned in real estate, Rana Real Estate Group is here to support you every step of the way.

Rana Khanjani, MBA 

Specializing in Commercial, Residential & Land

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