By Marcie Geffner - Bankrate
If anything is certain about the foreclosure crisis, it's that it isn't over. That fact has important implications, not only for people losing their homes, but also for those planning to sell or buy a home this year.
As of October 2011, some 3 million properties were in foreclosure, headed that way or already owned by banks, according to CoreLogic, an information, analytics and business services company in Santa Ana, Calif.
Approximately 1.6 million of those homes were believed to be within the so-called shadow inventory, a supply of foreclosure properties not yet listed for sale. It's a major stumbling block to a housing recovery, says Mark Fleming, chief economist of CoreLogic.
"It puts downward pressure on home prices, which hurts home sales and building activity," Fleming said in a statement.
Given that prelude, here's what sellers and buyers can expect.