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Sell a House with a Mortgage

Can You Sell a House with a Mortgage?

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Selling a house with a mortgage – is it possible?

If you find yourself in a position where you need to sell your house but still have a mortgage, you may be wondering if it’s even possible. The good news is that selling a house with a mortgage is indeed possible, and it happens more often than you might think. In this article, we will explore the process of selling a house with a mortgage, what happens to your mortgage when you sell, and address common misconceptions surrounding this topic. By understanding the ins and outs of selling a house with a mortgage, you can make informed decisions and navigate the process with confidence.

selling a house with a mortgage and its process

Selling A House With A Mortgage

When you decide to sell your house while still having a mortgage, there are a few important steps to keep in mind. First and foremost, you’ll need to determine the current market value of your home. This can be done by engaging the services of a real estate agent or conducting your own research. Once you have a clear understanding of your home’s value, you can begin the process of finding a buyer.

Once you find a buyer and agree on a purchase price, you’ll need to inform your lender about your intent to sell. At this stage, your lender may request certain documents such as a sales contract or a payoff statement. It’s important to work closely with your lender throughout the process to ensure a smooth transition. Additionally, it’s crucial to factor in any outstanding mortgage balance, as this will need to be paid off when you sell your house.

Can you sell your house if you have a mortgage?

Absolutely! You can sell your house even if you have a mortgage. Having a mortgage doesn’t mean you’re stuck in your home forever. Selling a house with a mortgage is a common thing, and many people do it. However, it’s important to understand that selling a house with a mortgage is a bit more complex than selling a home that is fully paid off. When you have a mortgage, there are certain considerations and steps that need to be taken to ensure a successful sale.

One of the primary concerns when selling a house with a mortgage is the outstanding balance. The proceeds from the sale of your home will need to be used to pay off your mortgage. If your home sells for more than the outstanding balance on your mortgage, you will have additional funds that can be used as desired. On the other hand, if your home sells for less than what you owe on your mortgage, you may be responsible for paying the remaining balance.

What Happens When You Sell Your House with a Mortgage?

Selling your house with a mortgage involves a series of events that impact both you as the seller and the buyer. Here’s a closer look at what happens from the seller’s perspective:

What Happens When You Sell Your House with a Mortgage
  1. Paying Off Your Mortgage: The primary concern when selling a house with a mortgage is paying off the outstanding loan. The proceeds from the sale are used to settle the mortgage balance, ensuring that the lender is compensated for the loan amount.
  2. Covering Closing Costs: In addition to paying off the mortgage, the seller is responsible for covering closing costs. These costs may include real estate agent commissions, title insurance, transfer taxes, and other fees associated with the sale. It’s important to be aware of these expenses and factor them into your financial planning.
  3. Receiving Equity: Once the mortgage and closing costs are settled, any remaining funds from the sale constitute your equity in the property. This equity represents the financial gain you’ve achieved through homeownership and is often used towards purchasing a new home or other financial goals.
  4. Coordinating with the Lender: Throughout the process, effective communication with your mortgage lender is crucial. Inform them of your intention to sell and inquire about any specific procedures or requirements they may have. Timely communication helps prevent complications and ensures a smooth transaction.

What happens to your mortgage when you sell your house?

One of the first questions that may pop into your mind is, “What happens to my mortgage when I sell my house?” It’s a good question! When you sell your house, the mortgage on the property does not simply disappear. The money from the sale goes towards paying off your mortgage. Imagine your mortgage as a big puzzle piece, and when you sell your house, that piece fits perfectly into completing the puzzle. This is typically done through the closing process, where the buyer’s funds are used to pay off your mortgage and any other applicable closing costs.

It’s important to note that your mortgage lender will have a lien on your property, which gives them the right to be paid first from the proceeds of the sale. Once the mortgage is paid off, any remaining funds from the sale will go to you as the homeowner. These funds can be used as a down payment on your next home, to pay off other debts, or for any other purpose you see fit.

The role of the lender in selling a house with a mortgage

Selling A House With Mortgage

Your mortgage lender plays an essential role in the process of selling a house with a mortgage. They will need to be informed of your intent to sell and will require certain documentation to facilitate the sale. This may include a sales contract, a payoff statement, and other relevant paperwork.

During the closing process, your lender will work closely with the title company or attorney to ensure that the mortgage is paid off and released from the property’s title. This step is crucial for transferring ownership to the buyer and ensuring a clear title. It’s important to maintain open lines of communication with your lender throughout the selling process to avoid any delays or complications.

Common misconceptions about selling a house with a mortgage

There are several common misconceptions when it comes to selling a house with a mortgage.

  • Misconception: Waiting Until Full Mortgage Payment
    Clarification: Some believe that selling a house is only possible after the mortgage is fully paid off. However, this is a misconception. While paying off the mortgage before selling can simplify the process, it is not a strict requirement. As long as you have a willing buyer and the necessary funds to settle your mortgage, you can proceed with the sale without waiting for the full repayment.
  • Misconception: Complexity in Mortgage Transfer
    Clarification: Some may fear that the process of transferring the mortgage to a new owner is complex and cumbersome. However, the involvement of legal and financial professionals ensures that the mortgage transfer is a standardized and well-documented procedure. Your mortgage lender and the buyer’s financial institution work together to facilitate a seamless transition.
  • Misconception: Negative Impact on Credit Score
    Clarification: Concerns about a potential negative impact on the seller’s credit score due to an outstanding mortgage are often misconstrued. When handled correctly, selling a house with a mortgage should not significantly impact your credit. The sale proceeds are used to settle the mortgage, and as long as the process is managed responsibly, your credit should remain relatively unaffected.
  • Misconception: Limited Buyer Interest
    Clarification: Some sellers worry that having a mortgage might deter potential buyers. However, in a typical real estate transaction, buyers understand and expect that many homes are sold with existing mortgages. As long as the terms are transparent and the sale is executed following legal procedures, buyer interest remains strong.
  • Misconception: Inability to Negotiate with Lenders
    Clarification: Sellers may wrongly believe that negotiating with their mortgage lender is impossible when selling their home. In reality, lenders are often open to discussions, especially when it comes to settling the mortgage through the proceeds of the sale. Open communication can lead to mutually beneficial agreements.
  • Misconception: Lengthy Selling Process
    Clarification: Selling a house with a mortgage does not inherently prolong the selling process. With efficient coordination between the seller, buyer, lenders, and other involved parties, the selling timeline can be as smooth and timely as any other real estate transaction.

When do you stop paying your mortgage when selling a house?

When do you stop paying your mortgage when selling a house

You may be wondering when exactly you should stop paying your mortgage when selling a house. The answer to this question depends on various factors, including the timing of the sale and your agreement with the buyer.

In most cases, you will continue making your regular mortgage payments until the closing of the sale. This ensures that your mortgage remains current and avoids any potential complications. However, it’s crucial to consult with your lender and review your specific situation to determine the best course of action.

Paying off your mortgage when selling a house

As mentioned earlier, when you sell your house, the proceeds from the sale are typically used to pay off the remaining balance on your mortgage. This is done through the closing process, where the buyer’s funds are used to settle any outstanding mortgage debt.

It’s important to note that there may be additional fees and costs associated with paying off your mortgage. These can include prepayment penalties, early termination fees, or other charges outlined in your mortgage agreement. It’s essential to review your loan documents and discuss any potential fees with your lender to avoid surprises during the selling process.

Potential challenges when selling a house with a mortgage

While it is possible to sell a house with a mortgage, there can be potential challenges along the way. One common challenge is selling your house for less than what you owe on your mortgage. This is known as a “short sale” and may require approval from your lender. It’s important to communicate openly with your lender and explore all available options if you find yourself in this situation.

Another potential challenge is timing. Selling a house with a mortgage can take longer than selling a home without one. The additional steps involved, such as coordinating with your lender and ensuring a smooth closing process, can add time to the overall selling timeline. It’s important to plan accordingly and be prepared for potential delays.

Sell a house with mortgage

Tips for selling a house with a mortgage

Selling a house with a mortgage can be a complex process, but with careful planning and preparation, it can be done successfully. Here are some tips to help you navigate the process:

  • Work with a real estate agent: A knowledgeable real estate agent can guide you through the process and provide valuable insights.
  • Communicate with your lender: Keep your lender informed and provide any requested documentation promptly to avoid delays.
  • Price your home correctly: Understanding the market value of your home is crucial for attracting potential buyers and ensuring a successful sale.
  • Consider prepaying your mortgage: If financially feasible, paying off your mortgage before selling can simplify the process and potentially save you money.
  • Be prepared for potential delays: Selling a house with a mortgage can take longer than expected, so be patient and flexible throughout the process.

By following these tips and staying informed, you can sell your house with a mortgage and achieve a successful outcome.

selling house on mortgage

Steps to selling a house with a mortgage

Now that we’ve discussed the considerations and challenges of selling a house with a mortgage, let’s outline the steps involved in the process:

  1. Determine the market value of your home.
  2. Find a buyer and negotiate a purchase price.
  3. Inform your lender about your intent to sell and provide any requested documentation.
  4. Coordinate with your lender and the buyer’s agent to ensure a smooth closing process.
  5. Use the proceeds from the sale to pay off your mortgage and any other applicable fees.
  6. Transfer ownership to the buyer and complete the necessary paperwork.

By following these steps and seeking guidance from professionals, you can navigate the process of selling a house with a mortgage successfully.


Selling a house with a mortgage is indeed possible, and it can be a smooth and successful process with proper planning and understanding. By familiarizing yourself with the steps involved, communicating with your lender, and seeking guidance from professionals, you can navigate the complexities and make informed decisions.

sell house with mortgage balance

Remember, your mortgage does not prevent you from selling your house. Instead, it’s a factor that needs to be considered and managed throughout the selling process. With the right approach, you can sell your house with a mortgage and move forward with your plans, whether it’s purchasing a new home, downsizing, or pursuing other opportunities.

Now that you have a clearer understanding of selling a house with a mortgage, it’s time to take action. Reach out to a real estate professional, consult with your lender, and start the process with confidence. Selling your house with a mortgage may be a puzzle, but with the right pieces in place, you can solve it and achieve your goals.

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