With so many homeowners delinquent on their mortgages, the number of short sales hitting the market has increased dramatically, particularly over the last year. Many buyers see this as a prime opportunity to get a great deal on a luxury Rancho Santa Fe home, but the process of purchasing a short sale can at times be more trouble than it's worth.

Many real estate analysts see the lengthy process of closing on a short sale as greatly affecting the housing market recovery in many parts of the country. Short sales are essentially tying up the real estate market. The problem seems to be that banks are simply taking too long to respond to offers, if they respond at all. With the banks trying to keep up with the soaring number of loan modifications, short sales and REO's inhibit them from responding in a timely manner. In short, lenders are simply unable to efficiently process the number of request going through their institutions on any given day. To put the short sale situation into perspective, according to Bank of America, the number of short sale requests had doubled on a national level during 2009. So, the question is: should you make an offer on a short sale? Perhaps.

If you are in a rush to move and have any time restraints then a short sale property probably isn't your best bet. However, if you have the time and patience to wait out the short sale process, then it may work for you. Make sure to contact a trusted Rancho Santa Fe real estate agent with any questions.