Some positive news about the housing market is starting to trickle in lately: Marketwatch reports that the rate of existing home sales is up 5.1% on the national level, boosted by price discounting. As a true sign of the times, the article states that 45% of the transactions recorded in February came from "Short" or distressed property sales, which have been averaging a 20% discount off current market values. See the entire article here.
If you are contemplating a short sale purchase, be aware of some of the myths and trends around these sales. You may need more time to close the transaction, and the bank may not necessarily "give" the house away. However, if you have the patience to get through the process, you may benefit by acquiring an excellent, under-valued property which will enhance your equity position, once you become the new owner. Hire an informed agent to help you identify potential properties, and present your offer in the best way possible. And be sure to have your attorney available for a thorough review of the contract. There are many opportunities out there - it IS a great time to buy!