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First-time buyers take advantage of short sales

First-time home buyers are taking advantage of the real estate market through short sales.

First-time home buyers are taking advantage of the real estate market through short sales.

Potential first-time homeowners are looking at short sales, which are homes sold for less than the mortgage balance, as a beneficial method of securing a house.

First-time buyers are encouraged to be patient with shorts sales that may be complicated and take an extended period of time before the final price is approved by the home seller and the seller's lender.

"In general, first-time homebuyers should definitely consider short sales because they offer a terrific opportunity to get a great house at a discounted price," said Paul McDonough, a real estate agent with Weichert Realtors in Randolph, New Jersey. "The only drawback is timing, because some banks are still notoriously slow at approving an offer. Buyers who need to move within a specific timeline because their lease is expiring or a school schedule may not want to make an offer on a short sale."

CoreLogic recently reported that short sales were only 8 percent of all home sales in 2011, which proves Coldwell Banker sales associate Christina Griffin's opinion that first-time buyers are often less patient than move-up buyers. Short sales purchased by first-time buyers dropped to 40 percent in August after peaking at 54 percent in November 2009.

The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors recently reported that short sales represented 26.6 percent of home sales in 2011.

First-time homeowners might be encouraged to have more patience and delay receiving a moving quote in preparation of moving.