Obama challenged by RE/MAX broker

August 30, 2011

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Short Sale My Home?: A Homeowners Guide to a Short Sale by Lou Lollio

May 25, 2011

Book Description
A Homeowners guide and help to answer questions about the Short Sale process. Author Lou Lollio and Tim & Julie Harris

About the Lou Lollio
Lou Lollio is a Real Estate Broker who has been selling Foreclosures for over 20 years and Short Sales for over 10 years. His name has been in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times Hot properties section, and featured on the front page of American Lifestyle Magazine. His real life experience has helped him to maneuver through the mine fields of purchasing distressed properties for many Americans and those from abroad. He has trained on how to purchase distressed properties and held continuing workshops to help people buy distressed properties both Foreclosures and Short Sales. He has a SFR Short Sale and Foreclosure Specialist certification and designation from the National Association of REALTORS. Tim and Julie Harris have been leaders since day one of their careers. After selling more than 100 homes in their very first year and every year there after. They gained great acclaim when the National Association or Realtors named them Agents of the Year in 1997. They were consistently rated on the Knars lists of top 500 Agents in the US. The youngest and fastest to achieve the Remax Platinum award.

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Are backup offers worth the gamble on short sales?

February 27, 2011

There is no simple answer to the question of whether or not you should make a backup offer on a short sale. Many factors are involved and you really need to consider them all before you make a decision. Are you looking for an investment property or do you plan to live in the property yourself? How long are you willing to wait to close on the short sale property?

As a general rule you should avoid short sales entirely if you’re in a hurry to buy a home. There is nothing “short” about a short sale, with most taking between 3 to 6 months from contract to closing. And some can take even longer. If you’re not willing to wait a minimum of 120 days you should not waste your time, the seller’s time or the bank’s time. Yes, often short sales get done in less than 90 days, but more often than not you need to expect a more lengthy wait.

If you’re considering placing a BACKUP offer on a short sale all of the relevant factors get amplified. To start with most short sale listings never sell. Most end up going into foreclosure with the owner being forced out of the home. At this point the home will go back on the market as an REO or bank-owned listing. But truthfully it will usually take 4 or more months after the seller is forced out of the house before you will see the home back on the market as a foreclosure property. And then when it goes back on the market the bank will want the house to be exposed to the market for a month or more before they will accept offers. So if you’ve got your eye on a short sale and are hoping to snatch it up after the sellers are kicked out and it becomes a foreclosure listing you will have a long wait. Read more

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What do I need to do to sell my Florida home?

January 18, 2011

If you’re interested in selling your Tampa Bay, Florida home in 2011 you’re going to need to learn how to look at your situation as objectively as possible. By “objectively” I mean “Uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices.”

Easier said than done? Tell me about it.

But you’re going to need to do it nonetheless, so perhaps now is the time to start practicing. A good place to start is by walking out of your home and then back in the front door, pretending you’re an actual home buyer seeing the “property” for the first time. You’ve never been in the house before so look around at what you think a buyer would look at if they were seeing your home for the first time.

Is it clean and organized? Are there unfinished repair or maintenance projects obvious? How does the home smell? Is it light or are all the windows covered making the place feel more like a cave than an inviting home?

These are the physical steps to attempting to see your home objectively – as buyers might see your home. You might also ask some friends to do the walk-through with you and to be honest about what they think a buyer might think. Read more

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Where is the Shadow Inventory?

September 21, 2010

shadow inventory floridaWASHINGTON – Sept. 20, 2010 – For the last year, the real estate industry has been talking about shadow inventory and the coming flood of distressed properties. Where are they?

Here’s what’s happening, according to a recent paper by Alan Mallach, a senior fellow the Brookings Institution:

• Some delinquencies have been resolved through loan modifications or people working out the problems on their own.

• Banks are getting better at managing short sales.

• Investors are aggressively buying up properties, sometimes in bulk, directly from the banks or at courthouse auctions so they don’t hit the market.

The likeliest outcome, Mallach predicts, is a steady flow of foreclosures over a long timeframe that will prevent another crash in home prices – but it will probably lead to low or no appreciation in home prices for a while.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Nick Timiaros (09/16/2010)

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Bill could speed up short sales

September 17, 2010

WASHINGTON – Sept. 17, 2010 – Homeowners underwater on their mortgage may find relief through a bill strongly supported by the National Association of Realtors®. The bill, if passed by Congress and signed by President Obama, would force lenders to respond to a short sale request within 45 days.

The legislation, H.R. 6133, “Prompt Decision for Qualification of Short Sale Act of 2010,” was filed yesterday in Congress by U.S. Reps. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) and Tom Rooney (R-Fla.).

“The short sale, which requires lender approval, is an important instrument for homeowners who owe more than their home is worth,” says NAR President Vicki Cox Golder. “While the lending community has worked to improve the size and training of their short sales staffs, they still have a long way to go on improving response times. As the leading advocate for homeownership issues, NAR believes that quicker attention to the short sales process is vital to help homeowners … as well as the nation’s economy.”

The number of potential short sale properties is rising across the country. According to NAR data, in the second quarter of 2010, four states have a significant share of properties with short-sale potential: Florida has 27 percent, Nevada 32 percent, California 28 percent, and Arizona 24 percent.

“Unfortunately, homeowners who need to execute a short sale are severely hampered because lenders (loan servicers) are unable to decide whether to approve a short sale within a reasonable amount of time,” Golder said. “Potential homebuyers are walking away from purchasing short sale property because the lender has taken many months and still not responded to their request for an approval of a proposed short sale price. Many consumers have mentioned that the delay in short sale price approval exceeds 90 days, and in many cases never arrives.”

Golder says she commends Reps. Andrews and Rooney for their efforts on the bill and urges Congress to pass the bill quickly.

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How long can you breathe underwater?

August 27, 2010

Inman News

Top 10 states with highest share of negative equity mortgages

1. Nevada (68 percent of 592,000 mortgages)
2. Arizona (50 percent of 1.3 million mortgages)
3. Florida (46 percent of 4.5 million mortgages)
4. Michigan (38 percent of 1.4 million mortgages)
5. California (33 percent of 6.9 million mortgages)
6. Georgia (28 percent of 1.6 million mortgages)
7. Idaho (24 percent of 243,000 mortgages)
8. Virginia (23 percent of 1.2 million mortgages)
9. Maryland (22 percent of 1.4 million mortgages)
10. Utah (20 percent of 470,000 mortgages)

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What documents are needed in a short sale?

June 13, 2010

What is a short sale?

A short sale is a sales transaction in which the seller’s mortgage lender agrees to accept a payoff of less than the balance due on the loan.

Unfortunately, there is nothing “short” about short sales so be prepared for a lengthy process far more complicated and frustrating than a traditional sale. But in the end a short sale can save your credit from the long-lasting blemish of a foreclosure.

What documentation will I need to provide to my Realtor and lender?

Authorization Letter
An authorization letter giving your lender permission to speak with your Realtor about your loan(s).

2 most recent months of bank statements
You can use your online bank statements. Just print out the last 2 months.

2 most recent months of paycheck stubs
Be sure to use the 2 most recent paychecks or you’ll delay the process.

Last 2 years W-2s
Employers provide this to employees and to the IRS every year.

Last 2 years tax returns
If you missed filing write a note to the lender explaining this fact.

A hardship letter
A letter describing your financial troubles and inability to handle the mortgage payment.

There are many additional forms and documents that your lender may require, but just about every lender requires these above items. It makes sense to start locating these documents immediately when you believe you’re going to be attempting a short sale.

Your Realtor will need to provide an executed sales contract (both buyer and seller have signed), a comparative market analysis justifying the contract price, a signed listing agreement and a HUD-1 settlement statement.

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Palm Harbor, FL Short Sale and Bank-Owned Statistics

May 20, 2010

My clients regularly ask for my professional opinion on the Tampa Bay area real estate market. Are things turning around or will prices continue to decline? Should I sell my house or attempt to find a tenant?

This week I was asked about the overall real estate market in Palm Harbor, Florida, and specifically, what percentage of homes for sale are short sales or bank-owned. So I set about to get some data for this client that I’ll now share right here for anyone interested in Palm Harbor real estate. Keep in mind that these numbers represent a snapshot in time and may not apply if you’re reading this post at a much later date.

As a general rule there is an inverse relationship between list price and percentage of short sales and bank-owned properties. As list price increase the percentage of listings that are short sales or bank-owned decreases. I’ve known this inverse relationship exists, just by virtue of being a full-time Tampa Bay Florida Realtor, but today was my first day running the numbers.

Palm Harbor, Florida Short Sale and Bank-Owned Statistics

I ran a series of MLS searches in Palm Harbor in $100,000 increments. Afterall, I’m trying to demonstrate that as price increases there are fewer and fewer financially distressed properties on the market.

$0 – $100k $101 – $200k $201 – $300k $301 – $400k
Total 12  (100%) 154  (100%) 125  (100%) 78  (100%)
Short Sales 6  (50%) 41  (27%) 19  (15.2%) 7  (8.9%)
Bank-Owned 3 (25%) 7 (4.5%) 2  (1.6%) 0  (0%)
Regular 3  (25%) 99  (64.3%) 104  (83.2%) 71  (91%)

I’ve called listings that are not short sales and not owned by banks “regular.” In real estate we often term these as “traditional sales.” The point being as price increases the percentage of homes that are financially distressed decreases. In the table above only about 25% of the Palm Harbor Florida listings priced below $100,000 are NOT in financial distress.

I actually ran the numbers for the next 4 $100,000 price increments and the trend continues to the point where there are virtually no financially distressed Palm Harbor listings at the higher end.

$401 – $500k $501 – $600k $601 – $700k $701 – $800k
Total 46 (100%) 19 (100%) 18 (100%) 4 (100%)
Short Sales 3 (6.5%) 1 (5.3%) 2 (11%) 0 (0%)
Bank-Owned 1 (2.2%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%) 0 (0%)
Regular 42 (91.3%) 18 (94.7%) 16 (88.9%) 4 (100%)


I hope brief study helps my Palm Harbor buyers and sellers understand the current ratio of traditional listings to distressed property listings. As is obvious I have refrained from commenting on why these numbers might be important to buyers and sellers of real estate. That will be a different post.

* These numbers only pertain to single-family houses and not condos, townhomes, villas, or land for sale.
* I rounded my numbers off and might not have always done so perfectly.
* The numbers don’t always add up to 100% because there are a few other seldom used categories in MLS, such as “pre-foreclosure” and “in foreclosure.”

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Will the $8,000 tax credit be extended?

April 9, 2010

According to my sources the $8,000 tax credit will NOT be extended. There simply is not enough money available to extend this first-time home buyer tax credit. So it is now or never folks. If you’d like to benefit from this tax credit you need to be under contract in the next few weeks and closed by June 30, 2010. This means short sales aren’t going to work. Concentrate on traditional sales and bank-owned or you will miss the tax credit. Anyone that tells you that you can go under contract and close on a short sale by June 30, 2010 is either under the influence of something exotic or completely inexperienced with short sales.

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