Another part of the problem, is that many (in my experience) real estate agents -- especially in states where attorneys are not regularly involved in real estate transactions -- do more harm than good because they don't really know the law (they're rarely attorneys in those states), and are too reluctant to refer a client to a real estate (or bankruptcy) lawyer when it would make sense. Sometimes, sadly, the most well-meaning are the most dangerous because they want to give good advice, but the advice is either wrong, or incomplete.
You’re right. I’ve worked with Realtors that are dumb as a box of rocks and will say/do anything while keeping an eye on only their ‘fee’ ‘commission’.
The first thing I have done (not too active at the moment) regarding a short sale is to prepare the client(s)mentally and tell them that I am neither an attorney nor a CPA and that they should seek the advice of those professions. However, there are some things that Realtors can do and should do (imo).
The real estate industry is just as responsible for the current condition of the market as the lenders, banks and mortgage brokers (particularly the mortgage brokers). It’s a dirty, corrupt business and still is, with prices still being inflated over current value just to get the deal done.