Can You Sell a House in Foreclosure Washington State?

Yes, you can still sell your house when it’s in foreclosure in Washington. While it may be tempting to undersell your home to get it done drastically, you should know plenty of information before you rush in to take just any offer. In addition to knowing what steps to take and the timeline you’re working within, you’ll want to know other options in your county of residence. If you decide that selling your house in Washington is the best option, you can request a free quote to get a cash offer without obligation.

Selling Your House During Foreclosure in Washington

When you’re behind in your mortgage payments, it can be stressful whether you have a tough time making ends meet because of a loss of income or employment, divorce, the death of a loved one, or unexpected medical bills. No matter your situation, there’s a chance that your home could end up in foreclosure if your mortgage goes into default.

If this happens, you can sell your house in foreclosure in Washington, but you need to do so before the lender or bank takes it to auction for sale. As long as you get a written cash offer on your home and notify your lender, you may be able to slow the foreclosure process. Additionally, selling your house before it goes to auction at your county court can be advantageous.

Buy My House In Foreclosure For Cash Washington

Table Of Contents

1. Can You Sell A House In Foreclosure In Washington?

2. Selling Your House During Foreclosure.

3. What Is Foreclosure?

4. The Process Of Selling A House In Foreclosure In Washington State.

5. Obstacles When Selling A Washington Home In Foreclosure.

6. Washington Foreclosure Resources.

7. Selling A House In Foreclosure Common Questions.

8. Easiest Way To Sell A House In Foreclosure In Washington.

What Is Foreclosure?

When you can’t make payments on your mortgage for your Washington home for a certain period, your bank or lender can legally take possession of your house in a process called foreclosure. This gives your lender the right to sell your home at an auction to get back some or all of the money you owe them.

Although it may sound like a foreclosure can help you to get out from under a mortgage that you can no longer afford, there are additional consequences that you need to understand about the foreclosure process before letting the bank sell your house.

How Does Foreclosure Work in Washington State?

There are three types of foreclosure. A judicial foreclosure can occur when you owe back taxes. The government will take possession of your Washington house and get their money through a sheriff’s sale, but a judge has to approve the request before a sale can proceed. In most cases, foreclosures will fall under the non-judicial designation. With this type, the lien holder doesn’t have to go through the court for a judge’s order; the process can generally be completed through the bank’s attorney. If your mortgage or loan is a home equity loan or was provided through a property owner’s association, you may face an expedited foreclosure. This can proceed like a non-judicial foreclosure after receiving an order from a judge.

As a homeowner, you have rights, and the bank must follow certain laws when taking possession of your Washingtonhouse before putting it up for auction. These include following specific steps before the lender can foreclose on your estate.

  • First notice – This first certified letter provides you notice of default and an attempt to accelerate your payments, giving you 20 days to get caught up.
  • Second notice – If you aren’t current with your payments or haven’t made alternate arrangements through negotiation with your bank, you’ll receive a second letter of a notice of sale and acceleration of debt that will tell you the date, time and place of the impending sale of your house as well as the name of the trustee who will be in charge of the sale.
  • Foreclosure sale – The auction will occur at your county courthouse. Contact your county clerk’s office for additional information regarding the auction.
  • Distribution of proceeds – The money made at the auction will be used to pay fees, the balance of your principal and interest, and all lien holders. If there is money left, this goes to you.
  • Eviction – Once your house is sold, you’ll receive a notice that you’re being evicted, giving you three days to leave. If you don’t, the new homeowner can file suit through the court, which will give you five days to vacate the premises, after which time you could be removed by law enforcement.
  • Deficiency action – If the sale of your Washington house wasn’t enough to cover your debts, the bank has two years to file suit against you for the remainder of the money owed. However, you may reduce this debt if you can prove to the court that your house is worth more than the winning bid.

The Process of Selling a House in Foreclosure in Washington State

You can stop foreclosure if you get a legitimate offer on your Washington house. Because you’ll only have a certain amount of time, you’ll want to start as soon as possible after you receive notice from lenders that your house will be put up for sale.

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  • Determine your home’s value and set an asking price – Hiring an appraiser can take time and cost extra money. If you find a real estate agent or a cash home buyer in Washington, they can help you set a price to prevent a deficiency action.
  • Notify your lender of your intent to sell – Selling may require approval from your lender, so call your bank and tell them of your intent to sell the house. In most cases, they’ll allow you to sell because it saves them the time and effort of setting up and completing an auction.
  • Get offers – Whether you use a real estate agent, Washington cash home buyers, or go it on your own, get offers on your asking price as quickly as possible, then choose the best one.
  • Notify your lender that you have a buyer – As long as you get an offer covering the debts you owe them, including any assessed fees, your bank should accept the offer and stop foreclosure.
  • Close the deal – Complete the selling process, then notify and pay your bank. You may even be able to secure an offer that leaves you some money after paying your debt, especially if you give yourself more time by beginning the sales process as soon as possible.

Obstacles When Selling a Home in Foreclosure in Washington State

While the selling process can go smoothly, there are a few cases where you may have some challenges if you don’t have assistance from a real estate agent, a lawyer, or a cash home buyer in Washington. If a home you’re inheriting is being foreclosed on, you’ll have to deal with probate on the estate, making a knowledgeable estate lawyer a valuable asset in helping you through the situation. Additionally, litigation involving the estate, such as a lien or bankruptcy, could slow sales. Finally, if you’re selling the home yourself, you can experience the additional hassle of fixing any damage to the estate to increase the asking price, as well as follow certain steps and regulations. For this reason, it’s typically in your best interest to find a good real estate agent or a cash home buyer in Washington.

Options Other Than Selling a Home in Foreclosure

While selling your home in Washington may make sense, there are alternatives that you can consider before making your final decision. However, you may need to provide a statement of your intention to your lender. Any agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties to be valid and avoid potential issues that allow foreclosure on your estate to continue. By starting the process before your house is listed for auction, you give yourself a chance for a better outcome.

Forbearance Agreement

If you’re behind on your mortgage due to a temporary financial hardship, you could contact your bank to see if they’d be willing to set up a forbearance. This temporary suspension or payment lowering is generally considered for three to six months. It is a good choice if you expect your financial situation to improve during that period. Once the forbearance period is over, you may have to pay extra each month or a lump sum for funds owed from the missed or reduced payments. Alternatively, your lender may agree to extend your mortgage without changing the number of your payments.

Loan Modification

You can negotiate with your bank about modifying the terms of your loan, such as the number of payments, interest rates, and length of the mortgage. This option can be viable if you can afford lower payments before an auction happens.

Refinance Before Foreclosure

Ask your lender if you qualify to refinance your mortgage. Although unlikely by this point, you may be able to get better terms than your current loan provides, making it easier for you to keep up on payments so that you can prevent foreclosure in Washington. Make sure you ask about this well before the sale of your house is set to occur.

Get a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure

While losing your estate is undoubtedly stressful, you can simply hand over your house to the lender with a foreclosure deed. This will ensure your debts to the bank are covered in full, and you won’t have to wait for your Washington house to sell and hope that you get enough from the sale to cover the amount you still owe fully.

Short Sale

You might consider selling your house for less than the amount remaining on the loan. This can be a good option if your bank agrees and the value of your home is less than what you still owe. With this option, you’re still giving up the title of your Washington house, but a short sale can be considerably quicker than finding the right buyers for a better price. Although this can impact your credit score less than a foreclosure, you may want to consult a lawyer to see if this is a good alternative for your situation.


Filing for bankruptcy should be considered only as a last resort. Once you file the petition, it will stop the foreclosure, but you’ll still have to make a repayment plan with your bank. Consequently, the lender can also file a petition with the court and may be granted the right to continue with the foreclosure.

Washington State Foreclosure Resources

Before you rush into a decision, take some time to learn about any assistance available to you in Washington. This information can help guide you to prevent any legal or policy issues, locate a qualified attorney, have any questions answered, learn more about the rights of buyers and sellers, and help to find a solution that best fits your circumstances. has many free resources for Washington State residents, including foreclosure information.

NOLO offers state-specific information on foreclosure laws and can assist you in finding an attorney in your county.

The Law Office of Robert C. Hahn, III, P.S.
Dickson Frohlich
Morgan Hill Law Office

Selling a House in Foreclosure in Washington State – Common Questions

If you have questions that need to be answered after going through the FAQs, please consult a qualified real estate lawyer in Washington before proceeding.

How long does it take to foreclose on a house in Washington State?

You’ll typically have 120 days following your last payment before the foreclosure begins. This is called the pre-foreclosure period, when you should seriously consider if you can make up payments or look for other options. After this, you’ll have 20 days after the first letter is sent and 20 days before the actual sale of your home, for a total of 160 days on average. Depending on your loan terms and your bank, the process may take six months to a year. However, if you can make alternate arrangements with your bank, you may be able to lengthen the amount of time you have or prevent the loss of your Washington house altogether.

How do I stop a foreclosure auction immediately in Washington State?

In addition to selling your home or choosing one of the alternatives already mentioned, you can file a suit against the lender for wrongful foreclosure. While this will stop the process, it might only be a temporary solution, and you should talk with a lawyer to be sure you have a valid case.

Does Washington State have the right of redemption after foreclosure?

It’s important to note that Washington State has no right of redemption after a non-judicial foreclosure. This means that you won’t have a certain amount of time to buy back your home unless the government takes ownership of back taxes owed.

Can I sell my home if I’m behind on my mortgage?

If your lender hasn’t yet begun foreclosure but is behind on your mortgage, this is the pre-forclosure stage. While selling your Washington home now gives you more time to get a better offer, you may want to wait if your loss of income is only temporary. If you expect to have regular income in the near future, you may be able to keep your property if you make alternate arrangements with your lender.

Easiest Way to Sell a House in Foreclosure in Washington State

Perhaps the fastest and easiest way to sell your home while it’s in foreclosure is to consult with cash home buyers in Washington. You’ll get an offer quickly, and you can compare offers from multiple agents. No repairs or appraisals are needed, and you can sell in as-is condition. While you may not get as high of a price as through an agent, you can get out from under your mortgage more quickly.

Cash For Your House in Foreclosure Washington

For more information, contact a dependable professional at Kind House Buyers with experience buying foreclosure properties. Consider the pros and cons of choosing a company that purchases homes for cash.


  • Fast turnaround
  • No hassle
  • Protect your credit score
  • Sell as is


  • The final price may be lower
  • Possible deficiency

These findings apply across all of Washington State, including areas in and around Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, Wenatchee, Spokane, and Kennewick.

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