Short sales are negotiated transactions between an investor and a bank in which an investor will purchase a property that the bank is about to foreclose on. Banks are often willing to take a financial hit and sell a property for less than the mortgage owing rather than go through the process of foreclosure. A home owner who is about to be foreclosed on benefits from a short sale because a short sale does not count as a foreclosure on their credit score; occasionally they can get a cash payment also. The investor can pick up a property for much less then what it’s worth. The bank, while taking a hit on the sale itself, can save considerable time, money and effort by not having to go through a lengthy and expensive foreclosure process. This has been an especially viable investment strategy in recent years as the banks have had large and problematic inventories of delinquent loans and foreclosed properties. That being said, with foreclosures drying up and more investors adopting this strategy, deals are not as plentiful as they once were.