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Bill Joyce starts every short-sale journey with "The Speech."

In a what's-ahead warning to homebuyers, the Roseville real estate broker promises something resembling burning deserts, howling winds and crops destroyed by hail. Buyers will be tested and tortured, he tells them. They will endure privations beyond all expectations.

And then they might fail.

"All the things you normally expect are suspended," Joyce says of changes sweeping across Sacramento's distressed housing market.

"There's a new set of rules that apply here."

That's because short sales are back – and bigger even than during the troubled 1990s.

A phenomenon that reappears like clockwork when real estate sours, short sales now make up almost one in four home sales across ailing segments of the Sacramento market. They account for more than half of for-sale signs regionally, and most of those in harder-hit neighborhoods. Alongside repo listings, short sales are defining a new reality where banks sell most area real estate, not your mom and dad moving to San Diego.

Even this far into the housing crisis, many real estate agents barely understand short sales.
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Posted 11:42 AM

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