Short sales have been the thing over the last few years.
When I first became a real estate agent in 2003 I knew nothing about short sales. Short sales were not even on the market because homebuyers were out in droves and there were escalation clauses and bidding wars so there was no need for a short sale. Sellers could easily sell their property within a week if not within a day or two. They were not underwater and had no need for a short sale. Lenders were loaning money like it was water and unfortunately that's what bit them in the butt. Too many of these lenders loaned to people that should not ever have purchased a home.
I remember working with one family that paid $500 in rent and was currently looking at buying a home with a $2500 month mortgage. I found a lender that actually would do it in spite of my feelings against it. I told the family that going from $500 a month to $2500 a month was a huge jump but the wife loved the home so much she was willing to sell their cars and practically her firstborn child just to get in the home. I can almost bet money that they did not last in that home with that large of a jump in monthly expenses.
Because of these subprime mortgage practices and people buying homes that they can't afford they eventually found themselves underwater, meaning they now owed more on the homes than the home was currently worth on the market. If anything should happen, and it did, the people could no longer afford the mortgage payment and they can no longer sell the property for what they owe on it and therefore must short sale that property.
If these people didn't simply want to walk away because of foreclosure, they had to contact their lender in order to get the home sold for less than what they owed on it. This is where the short sale comes into play.
When I first started working with real estate agents and marketing for them I really didn't know much about the short sale process. Now, in my research and every thing I know about it, it really pays to use an agent that is well-versed in the short sale process.
If you're considering a short sale I urge you not to go with an agent that does not know the short sale process. It will be confusing, frustrating, and you won't get things done on time.
Many agents try to stay completely away from short sales and that's probably a good thing. If they don't feel comfortable with the process or don't understand it completely, I certainly wouldn't want than handling my short sale.
This is why I love people that have a passion for short sales. I've dealt with several different agents over the past two years that have a passion for short sales. They love helping people move on with their lives and get out from under the burden of a mortgage payment they can no longer afford. One of my friends is a short sale agent in Columbus Ohio and consistently posts information, blogs and tips on his Facebook Page, Google Place Page and on his website on how to help short sale sellers understand the process and move on with their lives.
I cannot stress to you enough the importance of using an agent that specializes and knows short sales inside and out. They are dealing directly with large banks and lenders that don't back down. You need an aggressive agent that is on the ball, stays on top of the process and gets things done. If you're over a year in your short sale process it's time to possibly think about a new agent or get a hold of them and find out what's going on. This should not take this long and with a qualified agent that knows the process and knows how to communicate with lenders, you can get the job done quicker.