Tag Archive | "Short Sales"

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Smyrna Short Sales Update

Posted on 16 February 2011 by Aaron Hofmann

Interested in the Smyrna Short Sale market? Keep in mind that short sales are distressed properties, homes that are effectively pre-foreclosure. The seller’s goal in a Smyrna short sale is to sell the property prior to being foreclosed, which allows them more control of the process, less damage to their credit and less long-term effects. The bank’s goal is to minimize their losses by doing the short sale. A short sale is a win-win for both parties

Here’s a quick update for January for Smyrna Short Sales. In January, there were three Smyrna homes that were sold as short sales. There are currently 32 single family homes for sale and an additional 14 that are pending lender review.

There was one Smyrna condo that was sold in January as a short sale. There are currently 27 Smyrna townhomes and condos that are for sale as potential short sales and an additional 6 condos and townhomes that are pending lender review.

Click here for the current Smyrna Short Sales available and contact us if you are a seller who is behind in their mortgage payments or a buyer who is interested in purchasing a Smyrna short sale.

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Important Short Sale Facts

Posted on 15 February 2011 by Aaron Hofmann

Many people in Atlanta have lost their jobs or had to accept reductions in their pay and are no longer able to pay their mortgage. Filing for bankruptcy will destroy their credit rating and will, most likely, strip away the last shred of dignity they have left. Their family will be embarrassed, and depression is bound to set in. Fortunately, there is another less drastic solution that can end the financial turmoil. With the approval of the lender, a home owner can request a short sale in Atlanta.

A short sale is a decent solution to preventing the destruction of someone’s credit rating and financial future. The following frequently asked questions and answers can clarify some of the mysteries often surrounding Atlanta short sales.

Q – What exactly is a short sale in Atlanta?

A – this occurs when a lender approves the sale of a property for less than the outstanding loans against it.

Q – What happens if the home is worth more than the loans, but the owner cannot pay the requested closing costs?

A – Most often, lenders will authorize the payment of taxes, closing costs and real estate commissions from the money received from the property sale. A lot will depend on the value of the property. Talk to your lender for more details.

Q – What documents are required when requesting a short sale in Atlanta?

A – Each lender has different requirements. In most cases, they will request proof of hardship, purchase and sales contract, pay stubs, bank statements of all your accounts, and a personal financial sheet or monthly budget.

Q – Can the owner stay in the house until it has been completed?

A – In most cases, they can

If you are behind in your mortgage payments, don’t delay in contacting us to discuss your options. There is no cost to you and the longer you wait, the fewer options that will be possible. Our team includes Certified Distressed Property Experts, Certified Public Accountants and Real Estate Attorneys experienced with these issues and trained to assist you.

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Short sales don’t have to be Horror Stories

Posted on 15 September 2010 by Aaron Hofmann

A couple years ago, very few people had heard of short sales. Now everyone seems to have hear a horror story about the process, whether a seller or a buyer. A short sale transaction can take months to be approved and closed. While short sale approvals can be completed in a short timeframe, the reality is that short sales usually take three to four times as long as a regular sale to finally get to the closing.

Our number one tip for both buyers and sellers is to be patient and flexible. Each transaction has its unique attributes.

For conventional loan short sales, it can take anywhere from 30 days to 6 months for lender approval. Click here for more information on FHA short sales.


For buyers, the first step is to make sure you’re working with an Atlanta Realtor that specializes in foreclosures and short sales. A lot of advice always points to making sure that the listing agent is an expert, but if the Realtor representing you as a buyer’s agent is very knowledgeable in distressed properties, you will become frustrated very quickly.

Identifying the right property and understanding expectations up front is important. Your Realtor will be able to assess whether the property is priced where it’s more likely for the bank to accept or whether the price is completely out of line. We’ve seen a growing trend where listing agents will reduce the price of a property the last few weeks before foreclosure in an attempt to get an offer, but this is merely a “teaser” price. They’re trying to stall the foreclosure and buy their clients some time, but along the way they’re misleading buyers.

So it’s very important for your Realtor to investigate a home that you’re interested in making an offer on to determine the likelihood of a bank approving the short sale. They will need to interview the listing agent to ensure they have the adequate training, experience and proper documentation to see the short sale through to a successful completion.

Once you have a contract with a seller, it will be contingent upon the bank approving it. They’ll review all the hardship documents to ensure everything is complete. The next step will be to assess the current value of the home. They’ll either order a broker’s price opinion (BPO) from a real estate broker or an appraisal from a certified appraiser. They’ll compare the offer price to the outstanding loan balance and to the current value attained from the BPO or appraisal. The unfortunate thing for buyers is there isn’t much communication from the bank during this process so buyers are left waiting and wondering. If you go into it with the right expectations, this won’t be an issue.

Once the bank has approved the short sale, they’ll generally require it to be closed in 30 days. This is where flexibility is key.


If you’re a seller, you also must be patient and flexible and do your homework upfront. Most critical for you is to ensure you’ve compiled all the required documents and have them updated when you’re ready to submit a buyer’s contract on your home. Many short sales get delayed due to incomplete files or outdated information.

Lenders take their time while responding, but when they do, they usually give a 72 hour timeframe to respond or provide the missing documentation. If the documentation is not provided within the specified timeframe, it usually ends up in a closed file. Another common situation that is happening very often is borrowers being served with foreclosure paperwork from either the lender or Homeowner’s Association while the short sale is being processed.

If this happens, you need to communicate this to your listing agent as soon as possible. Foreclosures and short sales are parallel processes and one does not cancel the other. Sometimes a short sale might delay a final sale date, but it will definitely not stop the lender from starting the foreclosure proceedings.

Once you have a contract and have submitted all hardship documents, you are in the same boat with the buyer. You wait. Be patient and flexible. Once the bank has come back with an approval, you’ll need to review to ensure you are satisfied with the terms of the short sale approval.

While short sales can be frustrating for buyers and sellers, it doesn’t have to be. Our team specializes in short sales and foreclosures, so we see the issues on a daily basis, know how to react and counsel you on these items and assist you in either avoiding foreclosure if a seller or finding a great deal if you’re a buyer. We are Certified Distressed Property Experts, trained specifically to deal with Atlanta short sales and foreclosures.

You can contact your Atlanta Short Sale Realtor for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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How is the purchase process different between a short sale and foreclosure?

Posted on 02 September 2010 by Aaron Hofmann

We get a lot of questions about short sales and foreclosures from Atlanta home buyers these days. Here’s one of the most common.

Q: How is the purchase process different between a short sale and foreclosure?

A: To give you a little background, in short sale you have multiple parties involved in the transaction. It’s not just a buyer and a seller. On the seller side, you’ll also have one or two lenders, as well as a third party investor and a mortgage insurance company. With so many fingers in the pot, short sales can take several months to complete. Banks are working to improve their systems and personnel, but don’t expect a traditional 30-day close. The majority of short sales don’t even involve the lender until they’ve received a contract from a buyer, which is submitted to the lender(s) along with a hardship package. The lender(s) then need to go through their due diligence process before ever making a decision. Generally, we counsel buyers to expect a minimum of 2-3 months before hearing a decision. Sometimes it’s quicker and sometimes it’s slower.

Conversely, the process for purchasing a foreclosure, also known as an REO (real estate owned) property it pretty quick. Typically, we’ll receive a response with just a couple business days. With a bank-owned property, there’s just the bank and the buyer involved, so it makes sense that decisions don’t get hung up for a long period of time. In addition, with a foreclosure, the bank has already done their pricing analysis prior to putting it on the market, so once they have an offer, they’re ready to make a decision.

In both cases, there are great opportunities available for the savvy Atlanta home buyer and patience and flexibility are key to ensuring you’ve found the right property and can wait for the decision.

We specializing in counseling buyers on the advantages and disadvantages of buying short sales and foreclosures. Contact us today to see how we can help navigate you through the short sale and foreclosure home buying process and find you a great home at a great price.

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One in Seven Homeowners is Past Due on their Mortgage or in Foreclosure

Posted on 30 August 2010 by Aaron Hofmann

According to the State Foreclosure Prevention Working Group’s latest report on home loan delinquencies, we have seen an improvement in loan modifications not becoming delinquent within the following six months. Loans modified in 2009 are 40 to 50 percent (40% – 50%) less likely to be seriously delinquent six months after modification than loans modified at the same time in 2008. In addition, recent modifications that significantly reduce the principal balance of the loan have a lower rate of redefault compared to loan modifications overall.

Finally, while loan modifications have consistently increased over time, the numbers of foreclosures continue to outpace loan modifications. Nearly three years into the foreclosure crisis, the report finds that more than 60% of homeowners with serious delinquent loans are still not involved in any loss mitigation activity. With the significant overhang of seriously delinquent loans, they anticipate hundreds of thousands of foreclosures will occur later this year absent additional improvements in foreclosure prevention efforts.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest report on home loan delinquencies, one in seven homeowners is past due on their mortgage or in foreclosure.  The report shows that mortgage delinquencies rose during the second quarter, and overall, one in seven borrowers is delinquent or in foreclosure. That’s up from one in eight a year ago and one in 11 two years ago. Although there was a dip in the share of homes in foreclosure, the report shows that the foreclosure epidemic continues, with millions of homes still at risk.

If you are at risk of foreclosure, contact us today to see what your options are because procrastination is certainly not one of them. Loan modifications are a possibility to keep you in your home and if you don’t qualify for a loan modification, we can talk to you about the benefits of a short sale rather than losing your home to foreclosure and the destructive impact foreclosures have on your life.

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Homebuyer Tax Credit Extended

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Aaron Hofmann

Homebuyer Tax Credit Extended

Atlanta home buyers, you may yet get that homebuyer tax credit. Late today, the Senate passed a bill to extend the $8,000 homebuyer tax credit until September 30th. It now goes to President Obama, who is expected to sign the bill. The bill was overwhelmingly approved by the House on Tuesday. The deadline had been June 30th to close on the property.

Before you get too excited, the bill doesn’t help anyone currently shopping for a home. Buyers must have signed a contract by April 30th to qualify for the tax break. At issue is when the deal must be finalized.

Repeat home buyers also have until September 30th to close on new homes and receive a tax credit of up to $6,500.

Congress has been trying to pass the extension for the last month, but it got caught up in the usual Washington politics. The extension is estimated to raise the deficit by $9 million.

An estimated 200,000 people have missed out on the tax credit because they wouldn’t have been able to close by the end of business Wednesday. Many are trying to take advantage of short sales, which are complicated deals to complete. We specialize in Atlanta short sales and foreclosures and fortunately all of our clients who were under contract by April 30th were able to close without need of the tax credit extension. Our short sale team are experts in navigating the Atlanta short sale minefield and helping our clients find some great homes at significant discounts.

Contact us for all of your Atlanta short sale and distressed property needs. We are local market experts and continue to find great deals for our clients.

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Short Sales and Homebuyer Tax Credit

Posted on 09 April 2010 by Aaron Hofmann

You may be in the market and wanting to take advantage of the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit or the $6,500 repeat homebuyer tax credit and have heard the horror stories about short sales and how long they can take to complete.

With the tax credit deadline looming at the end of the month, it’s a natural reaction to think that you should exclude short sales from your options.

But, don’t jump to conclusions.

Keep in mind that there are numerous short sale homes currently available that have been approved by the lender(s), but where the initial buyer had walked away for some reason. The ability to step in to an approved short sale at the last minute eliminates the wait.

So don’t eliminate short sales for this reason, just make sure your Atlanta Realtor specializes in short sales and does a little more due diligence to determine the status of the short sale. Our team has identified lots of good opportunities with approved short sales just waiting on new buyers over the last couple days.

 The other reason why you shouldn’t exclude short sales is simply that many short sales are simply better financial deals. You may not get $8,000 in your pocket, but you may be able to buy your new home at a substantial discount that will be worth much more than $8,000.

We maintain a list of the best Atlanta short sales, so be sure to contact us if you’re interested in buying a new home and looking for a great opportunity.

We also have an on-staff CPA to answer all your questions about the tax credit and help you understand whether you qualify for the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit or the $6,500 repeat homebuyer tax credit. Sometimes it’s surprising to find home buyers that don’t realize that they can take advantage of the tax credit.

Contact us today to schedule your complimentary homebuyer consultation.

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How a Short Sale Realtor Can Stop Atlanta Foreclosures

Posted on 01 April 2010 by Aaron Hofmann

Foreclosures are continuing to be a pressing issue around the country as well as in Atlanta Georgia. A homeowner who has stopped making their mortgage payments is at risk of their home being foreclosed. There are options for Atlanta homeowners, but often a short sale is teh only viable option.

It’s always stressful enough when you are having financial difficulties, but the unknowns of how one does a short sale does not need to add stress to your life. It’s always important to hire a short sale Realtor who is knowledgeable of the process and has successfully negotiated short sales..

Realtors who are experts in short sales can advise you on the proper steps when dealing with the mortgage lienholders. Avoid hiring anyone who has little experience in short selling or who hasn’t been successful in closing a similar deal in the past. Ask the agents about how many deals they have successfully closed in the past.

Always get the help of a Realtor who has the knowledge and experience in short sales. Seeking out a Certified Distressed Property Expert helps to ensure the Realtor has attained critical training related to short sales and foreclosures. The Realtor should be able to explain how things will go from the beginning to the end and keep you informed throughout the whole process.

We speak with many homeowners that are in a similar situation such as yourself. When trying to avoid foreclosure, procrastination is not an answer. It’s important that you contact us immediately so we can assess your situation and provide you with options based upon our initial assessment. Rest assured, all consultations are held in the highest confidence. We understand that this is a stressful time and we want to ensure that your needs will be addressed in a confident and professional manner.

About the Author:

Aaron Hofmann is a Certified Distressed Property Expert with Keller Williams Realty in Atlanta. Mr. Hofmann is not only Realtor, but also a CPA, and is expert in dealing with the financial industry and assisting distressed Atlanta homeowners avoid foreclosure.

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Georgia Ranks Third in Mortgages Past Due

Posted on 07 March 2010 by Aaron Hofmann

Georgia is third in the nation, with 13.5 percent of mortgages one or more payment past due as of December 31st, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Delinquency Survey. Florida and Nevada came in at #1 and #2.

The MBA said the drop in the 30-day delinquency rate is “a concrete sign” that the end of the mortgage crisis may be near. That’s important because mortgages that are 30 days late generally serve as a leading indicator of serious delinquencies and foreclosures.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury recently reported while more than 1 million U.S. homeowners have started the process of modifying their home loans under the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), only 116,000 have actually had their mortgages modified as of last month.

In Georgia, there have been 33,059 active trial loan modifications through January. Of them, 4,508 have been permanently modified.

Atlanta is among the top 15 metro areas for HAMP activity, accounting for 3.2 percent of overall HAMP activity. The city had 30,285 active trial loan modifications through January. Of those, 3,692 were permanently modified.

If you or someone you is having financial issues and concerned about foreclosure, contact us for a free report on Avoiding Foreclosure.

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Short Sales Expected to Increase Significantly

Posted on 15 February 2010 by Aaron Hofmann

Federal and mortgage industry officials are increasingly looking for ways to get distressed borrowers to leave their homes voluntarily, without going through the expensive foreclosure process or a messy eviction.

Citigroup, for instance, plans to announce a pilot program on Thursday that would allow delinquent borrowers who don’t qualify for or decline mortgage relief the opportunity to stay in their homes without making payments for up to six months before turning over the keys, in return for keeping the property in good condition.

Other initiatives have also emerged for borrowers likely to lose their homes. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage financing companies, developed programs allowing former homeowners to become renters after a foreclosure or other proceedings.

As part of its federal foreclosure prevention program, known as Making Home Affordable, the Treasury Department announced late last year that lenders would be eligible for $1,000 in exchange for allowing borrowers to sell their home in a short sale.

In such deals, the borrower sells the home for less than the outstanding mortgage, and the lender forgives the difference.

Moody’s Economy.com has forecast that the number of short sales and transactions in which borrowers surrender their deed in lieu of foreclosure will increase more than 50 percent, to about 490,000, this year. That is just a fraction of the 1.9 million homeowners Moody’s has forecast will lose their homes to foreclosure this year, up from 1.7 million last year.

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