A recent survey conducted by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) showed that some agents are finding the process of short sales has improved, and that is it easier to negotiate with lenders and close deals. 22% fewer respondents characterized short sales as “extremely difficult” to close in 2012 than in 2011, a significant decrease. 13% fewer respondents thought short sales were difficult in 2012 than in 2011. That number of C.A.R. agents who expressed difficulty in closing short deals had peaked in 2011, and is lower now than in 2010 and 2011.This could be a result of more agents gaining experience in short sales, that the process is becoming easier, and that many lenders are also hoping to avoid foreclosure and streamline the process as well.The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae’s policies will be simplified and aligned in order to help more homeowners who are underwater to qualify for short sales, helping to simplify the process, close deals, and help people out of financial trouble.
According to C.A.R. President, LeFrancis Arnold, these figures represent an improvement, but still leaves room for more. For example, at 23 in 2012, the Lender Performance Index is still well below the median of 50, indicating that lender communications and negotiation processes could be more effective. Arnold is optimistic, however, and notes that “C.A.R. has long advocated for a standardized short sale process, and agreeing to a more standardized process may be the best way for banks, servicers, REALTORS®, and homeowners to facilitate the sale of homes that qualify.”
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