Fannie Mae introduced a tool Wednesday that will help real estate professionals streamline the short-sale process.

In order to provide greater transparency, listing agents are now encouraged to register accepted short sale offers with Fannie Mae, allowing the entity to proactively work with the mortgage servicer during the final steps of the sales transaction. 

This is yet another step on behalf of Fannie Mae in its efforts to work more directly with real estate agents on short sales. 

"Fannie Mae recognizes the very important role real estate professionals play in the short sale process and we want to work closely with them to get short sales done," said Jay Ryan, vice president for real estate sales at Fannie Mae.  

According to Ryan, Fannie Mae’s objective is to help stabilize neighborhoods by completing short sales as close to fair market value as possible.  

He added, "We believe this new process will help ensure all parties are in communication early on and are able to come to an agreeable and appropriate sales price. At the end of the day, Fannie Mae wants to get short sales done so that we can prevent foreclosures and help neighborhoods recover."

Moving forward, real estate agents will be asked to enter into Fannie Mae’s website information such as the short sale property’s address, the MLS listing information, details about the offer and the subordinate lien information. 

Scanned copies of the sales contract, estimated net sheet, HUD-1 settlement statement and borrower authorization forms should also be uploaded. 

Fannie Mae encourages Realtors to proactively reach out to Fannie Mae during the beginning stages of the short sale process to request list price guidance to aid in marketing efforts. 

Realtors that face challenges such as valuation disputes, delays by servicers or uncooperative subordinate-lien holders should also use the short sale escalation process on the website to request assistance.  

After a case is escalated, Fannie Mae will work directly with the agent or servicer to address the challenges. Since the escalation tool was announced in February 2013, more than 10,000 short sale cases have been submitted and successfully closed.  

In 2012, Fannie Mae completed 73,528 short sales.