In a December press release from Trendgraphix, a Sacramento real estate reporting company, it’s reported that Short Sales are the dominate trend in our marketplace. There was another slight increase in the number of overall closed sales in the four county area of Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado and Yolo counties. Sales were up 8% from last year indicating improved activity.

The real news however, was the dramatic shift in the number of closed Short Sales versus closed REO’s. Short Sale closings rose sharply; showing a 38% increase over last year, while REO closings were down 13% over the same time period. “This trend is indicative of a shift in how many banks are approaching distressed property inventory”, said Larry Knapp, CEO, Lyon Real Estate. “Since distressed properties represent the majority of sales right now, banks have hired more highly-trained staff to expedite the process. There also seems to be a general consensus in the bank community that negotiating a short sale can minimize the bank’s costs and properties are better maintained than with a foreclosure.”

Overall, the percentage of distressed sales (Short Sales and REO’s) represented nearly 70% of all closings. More than two out of three closings were in the distressed category; the highest percentage this year. And while short sales are not for the faint of heart, agents with the proper tools and training can make a difference for both buyers and sellers. Look for an agent with the Short Sale Foreclosure Resource designation or advanced training through the Lyon Short Sale Certification – like me.