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Can You Sell a House With a Mortgage? Here’s What Happens

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Single-family home with Home For Sale Sign in front of it

If you’re a homeowner, the idea of selling your home is both exciting and scary. You know how much time and energy went into buying your first home. You’ve likely lived in it for years and grown attached to it.

But as you know a house is more than that. It’s a financial asset. So you may wonder what happens to your mortgage when you sell your house 

This guide will help you understand what happens when you sell a house with a mortgage. This way , you can make an informed decision about whether this is the right time for you.

Let’s dive in. 

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What happens to your mortgage when you sell your house?

The biggest point to remember when considering what happens to your mortgage when you sell your house is that the debt doesn’t disappear when you sell the home. You’ll still owe the money, even if you’re planning on using the proceeds from the sale of your home to pay off the mortgage.

The biggest point to remember is that the debt remains when you sell the home. You’ll still owe the money, even if you’re planning on using the proceeds from the sale of your home to pay off the mortgage.

If you sell your existing property and buy a new one with its sales proceeds, it will be the same as if you had used cash or a line of credit instead: The debt doesn’t go away.

Instead, it’s transferred over so that it’s attached to your new property; this is called refinancing or re-mortgaging. If all goes well (and there aren’t complications), this can result in lower monthly payments on both properties. This is because there’s more equity in each one now thanks to appreciation over time, and interest rate decreases during shorter periods since initial mortgages were taken out but beware!

Mortgages in the era of inflation in 2022

In the years following 2022, inflation will likely wreak havoc on the economy and financial institutions.

The dollar value is likely to drop, so paying off your mortgage as soon as possible is advisable if you want to avoid accumulating more debt.

If you’re a homeowner and haven’t paid off your mortgage yet, now is the time to do so. You can save a lot of money by using your savings or taking out an equity loan instead of paying interest on a mortgage.

See your house with a mortgage

Think about it this way: two mortgages are happening here. The mortgage on your current home is paid off by selling it and using the proceeds to pay down a new mortgage on your next home.

The mortgage on your current home is paid off by selling it and using the proceeds to pay down a new mortgage on your next home. The old mortgage will still be there, but you’ll have paid down that debt with the money from selling your old home.

You can also consider taking out a cash-out refinance to have some extra cash in hand after closing. This way, if you need a big repair or other unexpected expense before moving into your new house (or even during), it won’t be a problem because you have cash reserves available!

Contact your lender

Try contacting your lender directly. They may have further information about the status of the loan.

Remember they can help you get things sorted out. If they don’t give you the information, you need be persistent. 

What is equity? 

Equity is a financial term that describes the difference between the value of something (like a house or a car) and what it costs to buy. Your equity in your home is the difference between how much you owe on your mortgage and how much your home would sell for.

If you can’t make your regular mortgage payments, you may be able to give up part of your home equity by refinancing or taking out a home equity loan. Generally speaking, owning equity in a home provides some protection from financial hardship.

Can you sell a home with negative equity?

You can sell a home with negative equity, but you might have to do a little more work. More so than an owner whose home is valued at more than what’s owed on it.

If a bank forecloses on your home and the total debt (mortgage, taxes, and other fees) exceeds the value of your home, you’ll have negative equity. If you’re underwater, putting your house up for sale will be an uphill battle because fewer buyers are interested in homes they can’t afford.

What if you don’t have enough equity?

Many banks are hesitant to lend money to homeowners who don’t have positive equity and will likely never be able to repay a new mortgage.

Homeowners who don’t qualify for a mortgage because they do not have enough money to put down on the home are considered “cash-strapped.” This might be the case if you were in financial hardship, inherited the house and have no equity, or had your home foreclosed in the past.

What happens to equity when you sell your home?

When you sell your home, there are two categories of equity. These are seller’s equity and buyer’s equity.

Seller’s equity is the money the seller keeps from the sale, while buyer’s equity is how much the buyer owes on the property after closing.

You have two options. First, take the money you get from the equity of your old home and invest it in a new product. For example, if you have already paid off 80% of your mortgage, you’ll get 80% back. You then take out a new mortgage when you purchase a new home. 

Alternatively, you can have the equity from your old home roll over into your new mortgage. If you’re downsizing, you could have a smaller mortgage on your new home that you’ll pay off quicker. 

How much is left on your mortgage?

A basic rule of thumb is that you want to try to sell your home when you have at least 20% equity in your home. That means you’ve built up at least 20% of its value through paying down your mortgage and/or through market appreciation.

So there is 80% left on your mortgage. When selling a home with little or no equity, there are some options for the seller, but your choices are much more limited. 

Understanding how deficiency works

If there’s any remaining balance owed after the sale, it’s called a “deficiency.” This might happen if you owe more than your home is worth after repairs, and other costs are deducted from the sale price.

The IRS says that if you don’t pay off your mortgage before selling, you’ll be taxed on any remaining balance. 

If your lender forgives part or all of what is owed (called “canceling” or “forgiving” the mortgage), then this may be considered taxable income. For example, if you have $100,000 left on your 30-year fixed-rate $200,000 mortgage when it gets foreclosed, and your bank cancels half of it, you owe only $100K.

Then they will send you a 1099-C form indicating how much they canceled ($50K).

That amount would be reported as income on Line 21 Other Income section on Form 1040 (or Form 1040A), where anyone can see how much profit comes from cashing in their house!

Sell your house with a mortgage

The traditional way to sell your home is to list it with an agent, and wait for a buyer to come forward. But there’s a faster and easier way to sell your home with a mortgage. When you take out a new mortgage loan and use your home as collateral, you have just given yourself more flexibility.

An alternative option to selling your house with a mortgage is to rent it out until the next owner moves in the only risk here is that you might need more money back on rent.

Find the estimated value of your home

When selling your home, there is no better way to find its estimated value than with a home inspection. A professional home inspection is a high-quality, detailed inspection by a local member of the real estate industry who will meticulously evaluate every aspect of the house and property.

This will give you the knowledge needed to determine if your house is worth more or if it needs some extra work done.

Find the selling solution that fits your needs

If you’re looking for a solution to selling your home, consider iBuyer.com. We can help you sell your house fast.

Their process is done entirely online. This can be a lot more efficient than hiring a real estate agent. You’d also be surprised at the prices on offer as they are competitive. Closing costs are also minimal compared to traditional real estate agents.

Pay off the mortgage 

If you’re wondering what happens to your mortgage when you sell your home, the best solution is to pay off the mortgage before you sell your home. 

If you already have 80% equity in your home, it can be worth trying to find a way to raise funds to pay down the last 20%. To do this, consider taking a second job for a short period of time or tightening your monthly expenses to make bigger mortgage payments to get over that line. 


Hopefully, now you know what happens to your mortgage when you sell your house, you feel more prepared to go through the selling process.

If you’re looking for more information on how selling your home works and what steps need to happen before you can move on with life after moving out of your current house, we can help. Start by finding out how much your house is worth and getting a no-obligation offer.

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