Sunday, October 17, 2010

You have an offer on your house that is listed as a short sale..
Now What?

Having an offer is where it all begins. Now your Short Sale Certified Realtor submits the offer to the bank and the process of getting your house sold really begins. Since the bank has all the documents such as your tax returns, bank statements, hardship letter, etc they now look at the offer and decide if it makes sense for them to accept the offer or to deny it. Banks are stating that they are accepting approximately 96% of all short sale offers that are presented to them. Still it is a slow process and can be very frustrating to you the seller or the buyer.
Here are some things you can do to make the time seem less frustrating.
1)  Call your short sale certified Realtor weekly and ask for updates if they are not contacting you. Ask them if they called/emailed the short sale department at the bank that week and if any news at all. Don't be surprised if there is no news but you want to hear that your agent did in fact contact the bank. If you are buying a short sale property make sure your agent is calling the listing agent and getting you updates as to where you are in the process.
2)  Find out if a short sale negotiator has been assigned to your file yet. If so great because now the answer is closer. If not then find out if all your documents have been accepted at the bank and if a BPO has been scheduled. A BPO is when the bank sends out an appraiser to make sure the price your Realtor listed the house at is reasonable based on similiar sales in the area. Once the documents are accepted and BPO is ordered then the short sale negotiator will be assigned.
3)  Ok so now a short sale negotiator has been assigned. On average an approval of the short sale doesn't come for about 90-120 days. Once you have the approval you will need to go to the assigned closing attorney that the bank is paying for and sign over the deed so the new owners can have the house deeded in their names once they close. Start packing and moving as it will close within 30 days maximum and the new owners will be moving in.

So what about all the horror stories you have heard regarding short sales? Just like your national news at 6pm the bad or shocking stories are what make the news. Very little of the good news ever gets told. I can tell you that the more short sale experience your Realtor has the more likely the sale is to close. If your Realtor is a certified short sale agent then they have had training on how to work with and respond to the bank so that the results are as positive and prompt as possible. So far all my short sales have closed and my clients have moved on to more affordable housing but some have been easier than others and have closed quicker than others. There are so many variables like who the bank is, the Realtors training, the offer and the price of the house and all of these and more can make a difference. Short sale closing have happened for folks who have lost their jobs and those who still have their jobs, some have been FHA loans and some were conventional, some were fixed rates and some were interest only loans, some were townhouses and some were single family homes, sometimes the offers were only a few thousand short of payoff and some were over $100,000 + of paying off the mortgage. As you can see the reasons for short sales are many and the conditions can vary so don't assume you can't qualify. Call an experienced Short Sale Realtor and take advantage of this limited time to start you life again.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My Vacation without Alice

Recently I was invited to spend a few days at a friend's place on the ocean in South Carolina. Typical working vacation, every morning the kitchen table was filled with laptops and we were all working til after breakfast was served which was usually eaten on the deck overlooking the water. Afternoons were spent on the beach with chair surfing optional. Then back to the house to watch the sunset. After showering and getting dressed dinner was either out to the local stops or we ate in.
As you may know the low country is rather famous for such things as moss hanging from the trees and it's local ghost stories. Well one evening the plan was for us to all go out to dinner and then to visit Alice's Grave. The story (http://www.angelfire.com/sc3/mytrip/alice.html) goes that Alice fell in love with a man that her Mother and brother did not approve of. The young man gave Alice a ring and in order to hide it she wore it around her neck on a ribbon. Eventually the ring was lost and Alice became very sick and died. The story goes that Alice is still looking for her ring and if you go there and Alice wants your ring it will fly off your finger. Or something like that ... just click the link and read the story for yourself.
Now back to my vacation. After dinner one night the girls decided that we would go visit Alice's grave at All Saints Church. I said nothing because I thought this idea would be forgotten once dinner and a few drinks were had. Well I was wrong. After drinks and dinner off to Alice's grave we went. Once the car was parked all got out except for me. Yes they teased me but I wasn't going to walk through a grave site in the dark of night. Sorry but I think somethings should be left alone and the dead is one of them. Off they go across the street and through the iron gate in the stone fence. I proceeded to call my husband on the cell and explain that if the girls didn't come back soon I was going to be the owner of a Volvo station wagon and 3 additional purses. He laughed of course but I was not kidding and was trying to decide what was a respectable time to wait before I left with the car. No sooner had my husband stopped laughing when here came the girls at a rather fast pace back across the street. They jump in the car and took off while beginning to tell me what caused their fast retreat. Seems All Saints Church has put up motion detector lights so as my friends were walking in the dark suddenly the lights come on and they claim all they heard was a continuous clicking sound. That's all it took for my brave friends to retreat back to the car. I got the last laugh!
My vacation was truly wonderful and I hope my host knows how grateful we were for her invitation. She freely gave us the comfort of her wonderful beach home and hospitality. Emma, thanks again for all the fun and laughter. All our batteries are recharged and we will have memories that will last a lifetime!