What is up with this so-called stabilized market in real estate?  The number of houses sold has been increasing recently, although the gross dollars has decreased.  That says very clearly that prices are still moving downwards.  A large component of this in the marketplace is the short sale, or pre-foreclosure.  Many people believe that when a property is in a short sale situation that it is a firesale.  Not true.  The banks are looking to get as close to fair market value as possible.  The better the price a house sells for at short sale, the less money the bank loses when they "forgive" the debt to the homeowner.

Real estate agents who have earned the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation have received rigorous training in the short sale process to come to as good a conclusion as possible for all parties involved.  The homeowner is out from under what is often a crushing debt obligation, the bank can take the non-performing asset off the books and lend money again, and the new buyer is getting a home at a good bargain, often at a price at or just below market value.  Certainly they are buying a home that a couple years ago may have sold for a much as 40% more.

If you are in a short sale or pre-foreclosure situation, or know anyone who may be, find a realtor who has earned the CDPE.  This level of expertise will guide you through the short sale process.  According to the Distressed Property Institute, CDPE agents close 85-90% of the short sales they take.