Margo McIntyre

Short Sale Basics

Margo McIntyre, your Certified Short Sale and Foreclosure Resources.

The Basics: Short Sales

Due to current economic conditions, the number of short sale properties on the market is rising. The increasing number of short sales on the market presents challenges for REALTORS®. Below you'll find more information on: short sales and their challenges, the government's efforts to address these challenges, and tools to help you navigate the short sale process. 

To check on the status of a particular short sale you should contact the lender. For a Freddie Mac loan, email

Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA)

To help homeowners who are unable to keep their homes under the Home Affordable Modification Program, the HAFA program may make a short sale or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure a viable option to help them avoid foreclosure. The HAFA Program, which took effect April 5, 2010, provides servicer, seller and junior lien holder incentives for these transactions and is designed to simplify and streamline use of short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure.

Realtors who would like to raise questions or concerns related to the program, can email them to

REALTORS® continue to raise issues with NAR about shorts sales and the HAFA process. NAR has created an online mailbox for REALTORS® to share their experiences and provide specific examples of the problems they are facing with lenders. These e-mails will be collected and used by NAR in its ongoing discussions with lenders and the Treasury Department.

Please note, this mailbox is for data collection purposes only and not all submissions will receive a response. Send an e-mail detailing your experiences to

HAFA Forms Updated

The HAFA forms and guidelines (Supplemental Directive 09-09) have been updated as of March 26, 2010.

Read more about HAFA>

Latest news:

Treasury Department Amends HAFA Program to Increase Borrower Eligibility (Dec. 28)

Wells Fargo Allows Foreclosure Postponements for Short Sales in Certain Situations (Nov. 19)

New for Clients: Worries About Foreclosure? HAFA May Be Able to Help (Nov. 19)

Session from 2010 NAR Conference & Expo: Q&A Forum on HAFA (Nov. 7)

Session from 2010 NAR Conference & Expo — Short Sales: Is HAFA the Answer? (Nov. 7)

Report on NAR's Meetings with Large Lenders to Discuss Originations and Servicing Issues (Oct 7)

Short Sales Commissions Policies

HAFA Commissions Policies (PDF 319K) (Sept. 10)

Freddie Mac Short Sales Commission Policy (PDF 128K) (Oct. 27)

Fannie Mae Short Sales Commissions Policy and Appeals Process (PDF 299K) (Oct. 27)

What is a short sale?

A short sale is a transaction in which the lender, or lenders, agree to accept less than the mortgage amount owed by the current homeowner. In some cases, the difference is forgiven by the lender, and in others the homeowner must make arrangements with the lender to settle the remainder of the debt.

Why is the number of short sales rising?

Due to the recent economic crisis, including rising unemployment, and drops in home prices in communities across the nation, the number of short sales is increasing. Since a short sale generally costs the lender less than a foreclosure, it can be a viable way for a lender to minimize its losses.

A short sale can also be the best option for a homeowners who are “upside down” on mortgages because a short sale may not hurt their credit history as much as a foreclosure. As a result, homeowners may qualify for another mortgage sooner once they get back on their feet financially.