If your house has been on the market for a while, you need to move quickly, or you have a motivated buyer who can't gather enough cash to buy but can put down a non-refundable deposit on a future buy, you might consider a Lease-to-Buy Option.
Your Realtor (or your collection of real estate books) can walk you through the details, but the overall picture is this: You and your
agree to a set price (great for the
/buyer if the market goes up and great for you if the market goes down) and time frame to make an offer with a non-refundable "earnest money" deposit (often called a "consideration" in lease-buy options) from your
may offer to buy at any time during your term, often putting their rent and earnest money against the agreed-upon price. If they decide not to buy, you keep the earnest money and put the house on the market again (you hope at a higher price than the year before), continue your lease-to-buy, or simply switch to a standard rental agreement with your tenant.
A short sale occurs when a property is sold for less than what is owed on the mortgage with the lender's approval. Learn the advantages and disadvantages of this type of transaction for the seller and the buyer.