Online brokerage ZipRealty has launched a microsite that explains short sales from the perspective of either a homeowner or a homebuyer, the brokerage company announced this week.

"While nearly 13 percent of home listings across our markets nationwide are currently short-sale properties, many clients are confused about how these sales differ from standard sales, and we want to help eliminate this confusion through education," said Patrick Lashinsky, ZipRealty’s president and CEO, in a statement.

Online brokerage ZipRealty has launched a microsite that explains short sales from the perspective of either a homeowner or a homebuyer, the brokerage company announced this week.

"While nearly 13 percent of home listings across our markets nationwide are currently short-sale properties, many clients are confused about how these sales differ from standard sales, and we want to help eliminate this confusion through education," said Patrick Lashinsky, ZipRealty’s president and CEO, in a statement.

The brokerage anticipates government programs such as Home Affordability Modification Program (HAMP) and Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program will trigger a jump in short sales.

Homeowners visiting the microsite will see information about the HAMP and HAFA programs as well as the steps required to qualify for a short sale, some credit and tax consequences of short sales, and the role of a real estate agent during the process. The site includes a how-to video to explain the process of short-selling.

The site also recommends short-sellers employ one of the brokerage’s more than 290 "short sale certified" agents and provides a drop-down menu to find such an agent in ZipRealty’s 35 market areas nationwide.

Homebuyers will see information about the steps and potential pitfalls of buying a short-sale home, as well as seven key questions to ask their real estate agent. A video also walks homebuyers through the process.

In addition, ZipRealty has released a map of pending home sales that shows homes — regardless of brokerage — that have just come under contract in the past one or two days in the markets that ZipRealty serves.

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