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October 26, 2010

Nancy Braun Attends REOMAC Fall Summit

Nancy Braun just returned from the REOMAC Fall Summit in Hollywood, Florida. Not only was she an attendee of this very informative conference, but she was also asked to speak during one of the “Breakout Sessions”. The session she presented during was titled, “Raising the Ante: How to Take Your REO Shop to the Next Level” giving help to those Realtors who are following in her footsteps and looking to grow their business to the next plateau. Nancy and three of her colleagues helped inform their audience by answering the following questions: how to maximize and grow office operations, how to manage and minimize reimbursement losses, how to maximize office space and/or equipment, how to monitor and discern market trends, and more. By presenting during this session, Nancy and her colleagues spread information they’ve learned from their own experiences and are helping new REO agents grow.
Nancy Braun has a wealth of knowledge in this arena because of her more than 14 years experience in the real estate market and because she has owned her own REO Shop since 2008, Showcase Realty, LLC. She is always looking for opportunities to help other agents just starting out as well as anyone dealing with distressed properties in any form. If you or anyone you may know is in need of help with foreclosures, short sales or distressed properties, Showcase Realty would be more than happy to help. Take the first step towards getting answers by clicking here and contacting us.

Below is a picture Nancy took at the REOMAC Fall Summit of Christopher Thornberg, Ph.D. of Beacon Economics, while presenting during the Town Hall Session. This Session included representatives of the mortgage industry dicussing the economy, loss mitigation efforts, class action lawsuits, legislation and more. The other presenters of this session were Michael Gutierrez of Standard and Poor’s and Rick Sharga of Realty Trac.


Christopher Thornberg, Ph.D., of Beacon Economics

“Owners Seek to Sell at Loss as Banks Push Foreclosures” (Excerpt)

Bank of America and GMAC are firing up their formidable foreclosure machines again today, after a brief pause.

But hard-pressed homeowners like Lydia Sweetland are asking why lenders often balk at a less disruptive solution: short sales, which allow owners to sell deeply devalued homes for less than what remains on their mortgage.

Ms. Sweetland, 47, tried such a sale this summer out of desperation. She had lost her high-paying job and drained her once-flush retirement savings, and her bank, GMAC, wouldn’t modify her mortgage. After seven months of being unable to pay her mortgage, she decided that a short sale would give her more time to move out of her Phoenix home and damage her credit rating less than a foreclosure.

She owes $206,000 and found a buyer who would pay $200,000. Last Friday, GMAC rejected that offer and said it would foreclose in seven days, even though, according to Ms. Sweetland’s broker, the bank estimates it will make $19,000 less on a foreclosure than on a short sale.

“I guess I could salute and say, ‘O.K., I’m walking, here’s the keys,’ ” says Ms. Sweetland, as she sits in a plastic Adirondack chair on her patio. “But I need a little time, and I don’t want to just leave the house vacant. I loved this neighborhood.”

GMAC declined to be interviewed about Ms. Sweetland’s case.

The halt in most foreclosures the last few weeks gave a hint of hope to homeowners like Ms. Sweetland, who found breathing room to pursue alternatives. Consumer advocates took the view that this might pressure banks to offer mortgage modifications on better terms and perhaps drive interest in short sales, which are rising sharply in many corners of the nation.

But some major lenders took a quick inventory of their foreclosure practices and insisted their processes were sound. They now seem intent on resuming foreclosures. And that could have a profound effect on many homeowners.

In Arizona, thousands of homeowners have turned to short sales to avoid foreclosures, and many end up running a daunting procedural gantlet. Several of the largest lenders have set up complicated and balky application systems.

Concerns about fraud are one of the reasons lenders are so careful about short sales. Sometimes well-off homeowners want to portray their finances as dire and cut their losses on a property. In other instances, distressed homeowners try to make a short sale to a relative, who would then sell it back to them (a practice that is illegal). A recent industry report estimates that short sale fraud occurs in at least 2 percent of sales and costs banks about $300 million annually.

Short sales are also hindered when homeowners fail to forward the proper papers, have tax liens or cannot find a buyer.

Because of such concerns, homeowners often are instructed that they must be delinquent and they must apply for a modification first, even if chances of approval are slim. The aversion to short sales also leads banks to take many months to process applications, and some lenders set unrealistically high sales prices — known as broker price opinions — and hire workers who say they are poorly trained.

As a result, quite a few homeowners seeking short sales — banks will not provide precise numbers — topple into foreclosure, sometimes, critics say, for reasons that are hard to understand. Ms. Sweetland and her broker say they are confounded by her foreclosure, because in Arizona’s depressed real estate market, foreclosed homes often sit vacant for many months before banks are able to resell them.

Excerpt from article on CNBC.com, written by Michael Powell for The New York Times. For the full article, click here.
For more information regarding short sales or foreclosures, speak with a Realtor who specializes in these subjects here.

What You Need to Know About HUD Homes -AND- Why They Are So Affordable

Showcase Realty has recently acquired the honor of being one of the few brokerages able to list HUD Homes in the Charlotte, NC Metro and surrounding areas. The following is a quick helpful explanation of HUD Homes from the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development:

What is a HUD Home?
A HUD Home may be a single-family house, a townhome, condominium or other type of residence. The properties were deeded to HUD/FHA by mortgage companies who had foreclosed on FHA-insured mortgage loans. Now HUD must sell these homes – as quickly as possible at market value – in order to obtain the maximum financial return on its mortgage insurance funds.

Who can buy a HUD Home?
Anyone who has the money or can qualify for the necessary amount of mortgage financing can purchase a HUD Home. You do not have to be low-incomeor meet any other auch limitations.

Can I get a HUD Home for free, or for one dollar?
No. HUD acquires its properties through the foreclosure of FHA insured mortgages. One of HUD’s many missions is to maximize return to the FHA insurance fund, which it does by selling the properties at fair market value.

How do I buy a HUD Home?
HUD’s policy is to market acquired properties on a competitive basis with offers being submitted through any participating licensed real estate broker. Local brokers will assist you in the transaction. They can show the property to prospective buyers, as well as answer questions and provide information on the location of parks, schools, shopping and employment centers.

Are HUD Homes meant for low income people?
HUD Homes come in a variety of price ranges, though most are affordably priced, making them accessible to low and moderate income Americans.

What are the income requirements?
If you make a cash purchase, there are no income requirements. Otherwise, you must be able to qualify for a particular type of mortgage financing based on established mortgage lending criteria.

How does HUD decide how much to charge for a HUD Home?
THe listing price of a HUD property is a price based on the appraised value.

Can investors purchase HUD Homes?
Yes. However, HUD offers its properties to owner/occupants for a period before making them available to investors.

What happens if I can’t close the sale within the time permitted by HUD?
You’ll probably have to pay fees for an extension of time, usually in increments of 15 days.

Is there any way for me to get advanced notice about homes that will be coming up for sale?
No. HUD Homes are listed for sale in the local multilple listing service (MLS), the Internet at www.hud.gov or ask your broker.

Since the partnership is still very new, Showcase Realty’s HUD Homes have not become available on MLS yet – but will be very soon. Keep checking back to see when they will be listed or keep an eye on our website.

Open House Sunday! Beautiful Bank-Owned Home in Steele Creek Landing!

Come see us this Sunday, October 24th
1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
14414 Winged Teal Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28278

This beautiful 5 bedroom, 2.5 bath REO (real estate owned) home is over $25,000 below tax value!
• 2 story home with open floor plan
• Eat-in kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.
• Living room with fireplace
• All bedrooms and laundry room on 2nd story.

**Seller will credit buyer up to a maximum 3% of sales price towards closing costs if negotiated in final signed counter offer!

For more information about this property or any of our other REO listings: click here

7 Myths About Short Sales

Short Sale Myths
A short sale can be an excellent solution for homeowners who must sell and owe more on their homes than they are worth. Unfortunately, a number of myths about short sales have developed, and it is important to understand the reality of this process should you find it meets your current needs.

Myth #1 – The Bank Would Rather Foreclose than Bother with a Short Sale
This is one of the most common misconceptions. The reality is that banks do not want to foreclose on your property because the foreclosure process is incredibly costly. Banks, investors, and even the federal government have all publicly stated that if a person is qualified for a short sale, the deal needs to be considered. Overwhelmingly, banks receive more on their investment through a short sale than a foreclosure.
The qualifications for a short sale include:
Financial Hardship – There is a situation causing you to have trouble affording your mortgage.
Monthly Income Shortfall – “You have more month than money.” A lender will want to see that you cannot afford, or soon will not be able to afford your mortgage.
Insolvency – The lender will want to see that you do not have significant liquid assets that would allow you to pay down your mortgage.

Myth #2 – You Must Be Behind on Your Mortgage to Negotiate a Short Sale
While this may have previously been the case, today lenders are looking for verifiable hardship, monthly cash flow shortfall, or pending shortfall and insolvency.
If you meet these three requirements and believe that you soon may be unable to afford your mortgage, act immediately. Any delay could limit your options. Do not wait until the countdown clock to foreclosure has started and you have even less time left.

Myth #3 – There is Not Enough Time to Negotiate a Short Sale Before My Foreclosure
This is a myth that probably hurts homeowners the most. Many do not realize that foreclosure is a process, and that there is time to make decisions that may result in better outcomes.
The foreclosing party—in most cases a lender—can stall a foreclosure up to the final day of the process. Today, many lenders will stall a foreclosure with as little as a phone call from you explaining that you are trying to sell, and almost all lenders will stall a foreclosure with a legitimate contract. For real estate professionals who understand foreclosures and short sales, there is time available until the foreclosure process is complete.

Myth #4 – Listing My Home as a Short Sale is an Embarrassment
It is understandable to have reservations about letting the world know that you owe more on your home than it is worth. However, according to recent estimates, more than one out of eight homeowners in the U.S. is in the same situation. You are to be congratulated for admitting you need help, taking action, and finding a professional who can work with you toward a solution.
With recent estimates showing 40-60% of U.S. sales will be short sales or foreclosures, you are not alone.

Myth #5 – Short Sales are Impossible and Never Get Approved
This is a complete falsehood. Are short sales more difficult to execute? Yes. Do you, as a homeowner, need to learn about a new process? Yes. Are they impossible? Absolutely not.
For example, agents with the Certified Distressed Property Expert® (CDPE) Designation receive thousands of short sale approvals on a monthly basis. These professionals have undergone extensive training in methods to help homeowners in distress and process short sales. While there are no guarantees in any transaction, more and more short sales are being approved regularly. This is far from an impossible process.

Myth #6 – Banks are Waiting on a Bailout and Not Accepting Short Sales
You may have heard this, but the reality is that banks (and the U.S. government) are trying to do anything they can, within reason, to avoid foreclosing on properties. It is preposterous to believe they would deny a short sale in hopes that some future legislation would pass and pay them for losses.
Today, more banks are aggressively pursuing short sales and working with agents who understand how to process them. Freddie Mac recently hosted a national training Webinar for real estate agents where they expressly stated the organizational goal of “eliminating distressed assets through modification or short sale.”

Myth #7 – Buyers are Not Interested in Short Sale Properties
This is a myth that potential sellers hear all the time. Thankfully, this is just not true. In fact, many agents are getting calls from buyers who say they only want to look at foreclosure and short sales.
For buyers, short sales and foreclosures have become synonymous with “good deals.” More specifically, international buyers are targeting these properties. Listing with an experienced agent who is educated in the short sale process will provide you with a great chance of quickly seeing a contract on your property.

In conclusion, Agents with the CDPE Designation have been trained in all aspects of the short sale process, and know how to deal with the parties involved in foreclosures. Finding a CDPE can explain what options you have, and get you on the path to recovery.

Article published by www.CDPE.com
For more information regarding Short Sales or to speak with a Certified Distressed Property Expert, please contact Showcase Realty