Tim gives a very good explanation regarding the term "foreclosure" which is a process and REOs or Bank Owned properties which is the end of the process when the bank has actually taken back the property and is able to sell it. Any Sale prior to the foreclosure process would have to be a"Short Sale" if the owner qualifies. Short Sales are anything but short...and if their is more than one lender or lien holder the chances of closing are greatly reduced. It is important to understand that Florida is a recourse state-DEBT does NOT Disappear! In a short sale an attorney or Mortgage broker are the only ones legally licensed to negotiate debt down. If the debt cannot be negotiated down, the Seller may pull out of a short sale at the last minute and you may have wasted 6 months to a year waiting.
Interview full time professional realtors and find one you are comfortable with. Have them go over the pros and cons of each type of sale and see what really fits your situation. If you have any type of a time frame that you need to be moved by....then short sales are not for you. There are no quarantees it will close.
I feel an informed client makes the best decisions regarding their real estate needs. Let me know if I can be of assistance.
Broker Associate, GRI, SFR, NHS
Real Estate Consulting, Marketing & Sales
Prudential Tropical Realty
2539 Countryside Blvd #3 Clearwater, FL 33761