A short sale means the seller is attempting to sell the property for less (or short) of what is owed on the mortgage. In order to do so, most banks require the seller to provide them with tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, a hardship letter, etc. In other words proof that the seller can no longer afford to keep the home and not that the seller is just looking to ditch the property because the value has gone down. The bank is not going to take the "hit" because the seller made a bad purchase decision. Short sales have exceeded the number of foreclosure sales. It costs banks more money to foreclosure on the property because they have to incurr legal costs and go through the court system. Then, once the bank owns the property, they have to pay for insurance, association fees, utilities and run the risk that the property is vacant and could be vandalized. Short sales can be a waste of time if the seller isn't honest with the bank or the agent is not experienced in the process. Short sales also get complicated if the property has a first and second mortgage against it. I am certified in short sales and foreclosures. 75% of the real estate agents in Florida are not certified. As a buyer, you may find that some short sales are a better alternative to foreclosures as, unlke most foreclosures, on a short sale the seller may still occupy the property, the appliances and other systems and fixtures are stil in place, the electric/air-conditioning is still on, etc. I can show and sell you any short sale property regardless of the listing agent or firm. I can also do a custom search in your desired area and price range. I also work with local attorneys who specialize in short sales and can protect you and your best interest. Please feel free to contact me anytime at (239) 280-6341 or email me at Mike@MikeGehring.com. My firm, Downing-Frye Realty is the largest real estate company in Naples with 550 agents. We are locally owned and operated and have been serving the Naples area for over 50 years. In addition we have been the #1 selling real estate company in Naples every year since 1999.