Are short sales still a viable option? Many may think that reports of the market “improving” would mean that shorts sales are on their way out – but in reality, there’s never been a better time to short sell your home.

It all comes down to semantics. The real estate industry and the government are desperate to be able to report that the housing market is recovering, but the way stats are reported can be tweaked. For example:

The phrase “New home sales are up” could be based off of reports that a higher percentage of new homes on the market are selling, even though with slowed construction the total number of new homes being built and sold is actually down.

The phrase “All home sales are up” could be taking into account the short sales and the sales at auction of foreclosed homes, as well as the bulk purchase of homes by fly by night businesses that purchase homes and flip them, resulting in the same listing counting for several “sales” per year.

The phrase “Real estate market recovering” could be taking into account the boom in certain parts of the country for commercial real estate, which affects the home real estate market not at all and skews the numbers.

In reality, the short sale market for the average home is still booming. The real estate situation is far from over – in fact, it is still so dire that as of August, half the home sales in 2013 were reported to have been cash sales, with no financing involved at all!

This means that banks are more likely than every to accept short sale deals as a way to keep their finger in the pie and recoup at least some of the interest they have in homes.

Don’t be fooled by slanted reports and biased statistics. Short sales are still thriving, and this could be your chance to get out from under an upside down mortgage before you fall too far behind on your mortgage and crash your credit. A short sale undertaken as soon as a homeowner knows there is trouble ahead is much more likely to be successful, and to leave the seller with at least some of their hard-won credit rating intact – in any case, it is better than a foreclosure!