Is this your primary home? Short sales on investment properties or second homes are much harder to obtain approvals, particularly if you have equity in other properties or assets. If you have assets, a lender is unlikely to simply "forgive" all of the debt in a short sale. In the alternative, you may be able to work out an arrangement to pay some, all, or most of the deficiency after the sale. You will need to propose a solution to the lender which makes sense for the lender. The lender will simply not walk away if there is an oppty to recoup their asset (the outstanding loan.)
Look for a boutique real estate firm that handles short sales, or look for an agent or agent team within a larger brokerage that markets themselves as specialists in this area. Attorneys who specialize in foreclosure defense often know Realtors who have expertise in this area. You can also look for agents who have the designations CDPE or SFR, both of which indicate some education in the field of distressed properties and short sales. I do hold the SFR, and have considered pursuing the CDPE. While I do hold the SFR, I wouldn't recommend making a hiring decision solely upon this merit. The SFR is rather basic, and experience in this field will go a long way further than simply having taken this class.
Deborah "Deb" Madey
Peninsula Realty Group
732 530 7755 Office
732 530 6350 Direct