The landscape of short sales has changed DRAMATICALLY in the past 6 to 18 months. While all of the complaints you have heard, both from your agent and below, may have at one time been true, things are different now.
Why? There are several factors that have impacted the short sale market.
1. Lenders are now fully staffed. Loss mitigation departments that were overwhelmed when this market changed now have trained staff in place to handle the number of files they are accommodating. Lenders are also better able to predict what properties will become short sales, based on offerings of loan modifications and better market information.
2. Training is at a much higher level, both with lenders and with agents. One caveat: there are still agents who refuse to acknowledge this segment of the market, bury their heads in the sand, and WON'T SELL SHORT SALES, or even get information and training for short sales.
3. Most lenders now have STREAMLINED SHORT SALE PROCEDURES, meaning that files which used to take 6 months are approved in 45 days. I had a short sale with Wells Fargo approved in 19 days last month. In addition, lenders such as Wachovia are now giving incentives such as $5000 moving bonus to the seller and 30 day approvals. Gone are the days of months and months with no answer.
4. Second and third trust deeds are willing to take much less on their liens, allowing short sales that were held up in the past to proceed.
I would suggest the following for you.
1. Watch this video:
A video with a young couple, Jen and Matt, two first time home buyers who HAD NO OPTION but to buy a short sale, because EVERYTHING IN THEIR PRICE RANGE was a short sale. (Sound familiar?!) They dispel myths and tell you what to watch for. Very helpful.
2. Get an agent TRAINED AND CERTIFIED in short sales, with experience in closing short sales. Ask how many short sales they have done, how many they have closed, what certifications they have, and what advanced training they have. Ask about the lenders they have worked with, and what their lender database includes. Also, what is their closing ratio? If you need a referral in your area, let me know. My agent database of REO and Short Sale Realtors is extensive. (The best of us all work together)
3. Please feel free to contact me with any questions directly. I can explain the process in more detail for you, and answer any specific questions you may have.
Hope this helps.
Deborah Bremner, SFR, CSP
Certified Short Sale Professional
Certified Short Sale Foreclosure Resource
Certified Home Retention Specialist
Blogging at: http://TheBremnerGroup.com/blog