Short sale marketing strategy raise concerns

From Zillow.com

According to the Corelogic Insights blog, the volume of distressed home sales is declining. Consider that during the peak of distressed sales, which occurred in January 2009, the volume of distressed sales nationally comprised 32.4% of total home sales. Compare those figures to Corelogic’s December 2nd report, which indicated that nationwide distressed sales volume accounted for about 10% of all home sales during September 2015. However, distressed sales volume varies from state to state; Maryland recorded the highest volume of distressed sales (20.7%) among all states during September.

distressed home saleDistressed home sales include bank owned properties (REO) and short sales. It’s important to note that prior to the housing bust in 2007, nationwide REO sales were below 6.2% of all sales. September nationwide REO’s accounted for 6.4% of all sales; while short sales accounted for 3.3% of all sales, and have maintained below the 4% level for over a year.

The plateau of short sales may be due the many home owners who remain underwater. In a June 11th press release, Zillow announced that the slow pace of increasing home prices are leaving many home owners underwater. The nationwide rate of negative equity among mortgaged home owners was 15.4% during the first quarter of 2015 (which is down from 18.8% a year ago); the negative equity rate in the D.C. metro area was reported to be 17.2%. For about half of all underwater home owners, home prices would need to increase 20% or more for them to break even (zillow.com/research).

If you are underwater on your mortgage, check with your lender, they may have some options to help you. However, if you are planning a move, a short sale may also be an option. Simply put, a short sale is asking your lender to take a lower payoff and “forgive” the difference.

If you decide to go through the short sale process, you should know that your sale will be subject to your lender’s approval. The lender will decide if they will accept the buyer’s offer based on the home’s “fair market value.” Many lenders use broker price opinions to assist them in determining a sale price; however some lenders may use other avenues.

You should be aware of a recent trend used by some lenders, which is bypassing the short sale process and forcing home sellers to list short sales on auction websites – even if there is an existing contract of sale! The given rationale is that the internet auction process provides a fair market value for the short sale. However, this stance by some lenders may lead some home sellers to breach of contract. In a recent conversation with several local (Maryland) state regulators, the present consensus is that “…they are aware of the situation, but there is nothing they can do about it;” however, they welcome consumer complaints: MD Commissioner of Financial Regualtion and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Even though the concept is straightforward and the government has provided lenders guidance on short sales, the process can still be lengthy and full of surprises. The process does not guarantee a sale, and the lender could still foreclose if you stopped paying the mortgage. Additionally, the short sale may negatively affect your credit; and there may be legal liabilities to consider. So, before you embark on a short sale, you should consult an attorney about all of your options (which may include and is not limited to a loan modification, deed-in-lieu, or bankruptcy).

Google+
Copyright © Dan Krell

If you like this post, do not copy; instead please:
reference the article,
like it at facebook
or re-tweet.

Protected by Copyscape Web Plagiarism Detector
Disclaimer. This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Readers should not rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or render specific advice. Readers should consult with an attorney regarding local real estate laws and customs as they vary by state and jurisdiction. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Boomerang buyers return – qualifying after foreclosure or short sale

HomesThere is homeownership after a foreclosure or short sale. Home owners, who lost their homes to foreclosure or short sale during the housing downturn and recession, are apparently returning to the housing market in increasing numbers, such that their home buying activity is attracting economists’ attention.

Ken Fears, the National Association of Realtors® Director of Regional Economics and Housing Finance, wrote for the NAR Economist’s Outlook Blog (Return Buyers Prefer Safe, Affordable Financing; economistsoutlook.blogs.realtor.org; June 25, 2015) about the research and numbers associated with home buyers who previously lost a home. These “boomerang buyers” accounted for about 8% of home sales during 2014. Considering that there were about 9.3 million home owners who lost their homes between 2006 and 2014, the estimated 350,000 boomerang home buyer sales during 2014 may be just the beginning of the “homecoming.”

If you are a boomerang buyer, there may be a home in your future. Conventional, FHA, and VA mortgage underwriting guidelines have typically allowed for foreclosure, short sale, or bankruptcy with re-established credit and a waiting period. However, easing mortgage requirements may make it easier for you to qualify for a mortgage.

Fannie Mae underwritting guidelines (fanniemae.com) require you to wait at least seven years after a foreclosure, which is typically measured from the reported foreclosure completion date. If you had a short sale, the waiting period is four years. However, if you had a bankruptcy, you’ll have to wait four years after a chapter 7 bankruptcy is discharged; and two years after a chapter 13 is discharged (but four years if the chapter 13 is dismissed). However, if you had multiple bankruptcies within a seven year period, a five year waiting period from the most recent discharge or dismissal date is required.

FHA (hud.gov) has changed significantly in recent years. Besides reducing waiting periods due to extenuating circumstances, there are various caveats that may further reduce your waiting period. Nevertheless, the typical waiting periods include: three years after a foreclosure, two years after a chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge, and one year if you are current on a chapter 13 payment plan. The waiting period after a short sale is differentiated depending if the loan was in default: if the loan was not in default at the time of the short sale and your previous 12 months payments were timely, you may be eligible for a FHA mortgage without waiting; however if the loan was in default prior to short sale, you will have to wait three years.

If you are eligible for VA financing (benefits.va.gov), you will have to wait two years after a foreclosure, short sale, and chapter 7 bankruptcy (one year into a chapter 13 payment plan with court approval). However, if your foreclosure or short sale was on a VA mortgage, then your eligibility amount may be reduced.

Waiting periods may be significantly reduced if you can document that your foreclosure, bankruptcy, or short sale resulted from extenuating circumstances. However, such applications are subject to underwriter discretion; and not all lenders grant such exemptions.

If you are a boomerang home buyer, it is crucial that you consult with a lender before embarking on the home buying process. Besides guidance on mortgage eligibility, your lender can help you determine the appropriate mortgage for your circumstances. And as your lender will tell you, timelines and qualifying requirements are subject to change.

Google+
Copyright © Dan Krell

If you like this post, do not copy; you can:
reference the article,
like it at facebook
or re-tweet.

Protected by Copyscape Web Plagiarism Detector
Disclaimer. This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Readers should not rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or render specific advice. Readers should consult with an attorney regarding local real estate laws and customs as they vary by state and jurisdiction. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Relief and uncertainty for short sellers

real estateAlthough we’ve come a long way, the housing market is still feeling the effects of the financial and foreclosure crises. Consider that the CoreLogic’s October National Foreclosure Report (corelogic.com/about-us/news.aspx) indicated that there were 41,000 “completed foreclosures” (the total number of homes lost to foreclosure) during October, which is a 26.4% reduction of the 55,000 recorded during the same time last year; and about 65% lower than that of the peak during September 2010. Although moving in the right direction, the 41,000 completed foreclosures is a far cry from the 21,000 average monthly recorded completed foreclosures before the housing downturn (2000 and 2006).

Also seen as progress is the increasing number of home owners who are paying their mortgages; which is observable from the decrease of mortgage defaults since 2010. The November 2014 S&P/Experian First Mortgage Default Index, was 0.97%; and although this is slightly higher than the 3 months prior, there has been a -3.72% change from the November 2010 index of 4.69% (us.spindices.com).

Negative equity mortgages are making headway too. CoreLogic reported on September 25th (CoreLogic Reports 946,000 Residential Properties Regained 1 Trillion Dollars in Total Equity in Q2 2014) that “950,000 homes returned to positive equity” during the second quarter of 2014. The number of underwater borrowers dropped to 5.3 million (compared to 6.3 underwater borrowers reported in the previous quarter). However, as of Q2 there were 3.2 million underwater borrowers with first mortgages, and an additional 2.1 million underwater borrowers with first and second mortgages.

The number of home owners that continue to be underwater may have been the impetus for Congress to pass the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act before adjourning for break; the legislation was subsequently signed by the President. A December 17th National Association of Realtors® press release (realtor.org) praises the passage of the legislation meant to help “distressed home owners and commercial property investors with transactions made during 2014.” NAR President Chris Polychron stated, “Realtors® strongly supported the bipartisan Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act, which was included in the package to prevent underwater borrowers from paying taxes on any mortgage debt forgiven or cancelled by a lender in a workout or after their home was sold for less money than was owed.

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 was initially passed and signed into law December 20th 2007; which, if you remember, was a time when the housing market was in a sharp downturn. Any debt forgiveness from lenders (either from a mortgage refinance/ modification or a short sale) typically resulted in a huge tax liability (debt forgiveness is usually considered income). The legislation provided tax relief through 2009 to qualified underwater home owners and sellers seeking to avoid foreclosure. The legislation was extended several times thereafter.

Since the last extension expired December 31st 2013, the recent passage of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act was received as a reprieve by many underwater home owners expecting tax relief from debt forgiveness of short sales that closed during 2014. However, since the recent extension only covers mortgage debt forgiveness during 2014, those who have a short sale planned to close during 2015 find themselves in a tentative situation.

Current politics and economics have many pundits believing that any further extensions of the legislation may not be forthcoming. If you have a short sale planned for 2015, you should consult with your tax preparer about any potential tax liability you may incur.

© Dan Krell
Google+

Protected by Copyscape Web Plagiarism Detector
Disclaimer. This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Readers should not rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or render specific advice. Readers should consult with an attorney regarding local real estate laws and customs as they vary by state and jurisdiction. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Debunking myths about foreclosures, timing the housing market, and hiring the “big name” agent

by Dan Krell ©2012
DanKrell.com

Debunking common real estate myths.

real estate myths debunkingAs a real estate agent, I often encounter people who talk about common and persistent real estate myths.  In recent years, these few seem to be among the top myths:

Myth #1: “If you wait until the market bottoms out, you’ll get the best deal”
Counter point: “People trying to time the market may find in hindsight that they will have reacted either too soon or too late.”

Anderson & Harris, in their reveling study Timing the market: You don’t have to be perfect (Real Estate Issues 35, (3) (10): 42-42-50) indicated that you don’t have to be perfect when timing your purchase and sale of a home.  They suggested that you could do just as well to aim your sale during market peaks and your purchase during market lows; however, they conceded that you would most likely know in hindsight when the market is at a peak or low.

Their results demonstrated that the typical “buy and hold strategy” over a thirty year period results in an annualized return of 8.18%; however, buying when a recession has ended with a predetermined sale period yields a wide range of return that ranged from 13.38% to 1.42% annualized total return.

Myth #2: “Buying a distressed home will result in a good purchase.”
Counter point: “There is inherent risk when purchasing distressed homes.”

There is inherent risk when purchasing distressed homes, regardless if they are foreclosures, bank owned homes, or even short sales.  Although short sales are often occupied, foreclosures and bank owned homes are often vacant for many months; these homes are often sold “as-is; where is” meaning you are purchasing the home regardless of the condition of the home.

Besides the purchase and anticipated fix up costs, unanticipated repairs and expenses are often encountered.  However without risk, there is no reward; due diligence, conducting inspections, and hiring the proper representation may reduce the risk and make your purchase a positive experience.

Myth #3: “The ‘big name’ agent with the most home buyers will sell my home quickest and for top dollar.”
Counter point: “Home buyers typically search for homes by characteristics and location, rather than searching for homes sold by individual agents or brokers.”

real estate myths debunkingI have never had a home buyer tell me they want to see (or buy) a home because it is listed by a particular agent or broker.  Rather, home buyers typically search homes by price, physical characteristics, amenities, and/or location.  Home buyers will view your home if it matches their search criteria, regardless of who listed your home.

When interviewing listing agents, look beyond the sales pitch to list your home, and ask for real data and sources to back up claims.  Agents will often not discuss the homes they could not sell; asking about the homes that did not sell as well as the reasons behind the non-sale may be more revealing than flatly accepting claims made by the agent.  Asking for references of satisfied clients of homes that sold as well as homes that did not sell is useful to not only get a recommendation, but also understand how the agent conducts business.  Ultimately, your home purchase or sale falls upon the experience and skill of the agent you hire. Protected by Copyscape Web Plagiarism Detector

More news and articles on “the Blog”
This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. This article was originally published in the Montgomery County Sentinel the week of July 23 , 2012. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws. Copyright © 2012 Dan Krell.

Non-hardship short sales on the rise

by Dan Krell ©2012
DanKrell.com

underwater homeowner short saleA March 2012 Housing Wire piece (housingwire.com) indicated that CoreLogic recently reported that there were 11.1 million home owners who owed more on their mortgages than what their home is worth, which roughly translates to 22.8% of all mortgages being underwater. At one time, most home sellers applying for a short sale were experiencing hardships and foreclosure. However, as the housing market continues to recover- an increasing number of short sale listings are from sellers who are current on their mortgage and are not experiencing hardships.

For home owners who are experiencing financial difficulty, there are a number of options available to keep your home; however often a last resort- the short sale is one alternative to losing your home to foreclosure. However, home owners who need to sell their homes (because of a job transfer, divorce, or other reason), but are not otherwise experiencing a financial difficulty nor hardship, are also turning to the short sale process because of depressed home sale prices.

Although short sale horror stories still circulate, much has changed and many lenders have attempted to “streamline” their short sale process. Still, this has not prevented Congress from attempting to force lenders to provide speedy short sale decisions. In 2010, H.R. 6133 H.R.: Prompt Decision for Qualification of Short Sale Act of 2010 was introduced to require a 45 day response from lenders, however it “died” in committee. A recent form of this legislation was introduced in 2011 (H.R. 1498: Prompt Decision for Qualification of Short Sale Act of 2011), but GovTrack (govtrack.us) gives the bill an 8% chance of becoming law. Another bill, S. 2120: Prompt Notification of Short Sales Act, was introduced in February; GovTrack gives that a 2% chance of being enacted.

Beware of the circulated “wisdom” regarding short sales, because it is not always reliable or accurate (e.g., hardships and delinquencies). If your home has negative equity (underwater) and you want to sell, consult with an attorney; there are financial and legal issues that may affect you presently and in the future. The short sale process may seem straightforward, but it can get complicated quickly (especially if there are multiple mortgages involved). Many experienced short sale agents work in tandem with attorneys to make the process much smoother than otherwise would be expected.

underwater homeowner short saleIf you’re an underwater home seller, but have assets and are not experiencing a hardship, your attorney can advise you on the short sale process. The issue pertaining to a successful short sale is not always about the seller’s financial status; but rather, a short sale is more about the amount the lender will accept as payoff for the existing mortgage. Yes, the lender will collect your financial information to use in their short sale determination; but a skilled negotiator may be able to reduce the overall mortgage payoff (even if you have to bring funds to closing).

Finally, an attorney is the only person who can provide you legal advice. Real estate agents advising you to stop making payments on your mortgage or to “fudge” your short sale application could be putting you in a precarious position: your credit can be affected, or your home can go to foreclosure when payments are stopped; providing false or misleading information to your lender is fraud (lenders and law enforcement are working together to stop short sale fraud).

Additional information about short sales:
Short sale is an option
Don’t be pushed into a short sale
House bill proposes 45 day lender response on short sale
Mortgage fraud on the rise

More news and articles on “the Blog”
This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. This article was originally published in the Montgomery County Sentinel the week of April 30, 2012. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws. Copyright © 2012 Dan Krell.

Protected by Copyscape Web Plagiarism Detector