With distressed properties accounting for 32 percent of sales in December, according to National Association of Realtors statistics, banks are taking steps to quicken the short sale process. Among other strategies, they are devoting more resources to short sales and implementing third-party processors. For example, the use of a third-party software company to handle short sale applications has enabled Wells Fargo to speed up the process to about 90 days from 7.5 months, says Gia Arvin, a Realtor with Matchmaker Realty of Alachua County, Fla. Experts say fewer contracts are cancelled by impatient buyers when short sales are closed quickly, which helps to reduce distressed inventory and enable prices to stabilize. With overall prices still trending downward, short sale prices are nearing market values, says Gainesville-Alachua County Association of Realtors President Craig Wilburn. | Read More