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Harmon recently worked with a couple in their 60s who bought a new home with a Department of Veterans Affairs loan two years after selling their previous house in a short sale. "They weren't proud of it, but they're picking themselves up again," she says, adding that younger homeowners often have a harder time bouncing back from a short sale because of the impact on their kids and the desire to keep up with the Joneses.
While buying a house seemed nearly impossible for the couple thanks to the competitive local market and the longer closing time for a VA loan, Harmon says building a relationship with the seller and the seller's agent helped the deal close. "We strategized our offer in a way to give the seller everything we possibly could give him because we were bound by the terms of the VA," she says.
Corrected on 05/06/2013: A previous version of this story misspelled Heather Harmon’s name.