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Hat tip to SM for sending this article from the Arizona Republic – here’s an excerpt:

“Flopping is the opposite of flipping,” said Amy Swaney, regional Arizona sales managers for Citywide Home Loans and a past president of the Arizona Mortgage Lenders Association. “It is the art of profiting off the devaluation of property rather than an increase in value of a property.”

It is impossible to know how many homes have been “flopped” since short sales began to be widely accepted by lenders in the past year.

But a key indicator is how quickly short-sale homes are resold. An owner who buys in a short sale and sells the home again within a few days most likely had the second buyer lined up in advance.

In the past year, nearly 20,000 short sales closed in metro Phoenix. Of those, at least 1,000 were flops, according to an analysis by Tom Ruff of the real-estate research firm Information Market. A few examples: a Tolleson home sold for $90,000 through a short sale and then was flopped within 20 days for $106,000; a northwest Phoenix home was purchased first through a short sale for $28,500 and then resold through a flop within two weeks for $50,000; and a Scottsdale house sold via short sale for $90,000 and then for $122,000 through a subsequent flop less than a month later.

The Arizona Department of Real Estate, mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the FBI are all investigating flopping deals.

“Short-sale flopping is one of our real-estate industry’s biggest issues right now,” said Judy Lowe, Arizona Department of Real Estate commissioner. “We are all looking at the legality and ethics of these deals. And it varies by flop because it appears every deal is done a little differently.”

The full article here:

http://www.azcentral.com/business/realestate/articles/2010/11/14/20101114phoenix-real-estate-short-sale-flopping.html

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