Did YOU see this Letter to the Editor??
Letter to the Editor, Tampa Tribune:
I understand why your reporter focused on my colorful hair and YouTube marketing videos in her story about Short Sales Riches, our business model for helping homeowners close "short sales" and avoid foreclosure judgments.
But by emphasizing the critics, she missed the context for why our business is having such success.
This is an unprecedented time in the housing market. More than half the homes for sale are distressed properties, including short sales, where banks agree to accept less than what is owed in return for the homeowner's help in selling the house.
But ask any Realtor and you'll hear the problem: short sales have become "long sales" because the banks - and there are generally two involved - take forever to agree on the price and split of the proceeds. As a result, Realtors don't want to show short sales much anymore. They didn't get into real estate to negotiate peoples' debts with banks.
Our business places option contracts on promising homes that face foreclosure, triggering the appraisal and sales process. We hire a negotiator to do the back-and-forth work with both lenders and find the bottom-line price. Once we can market a sales price as pre-approved, the property becomes much more attractive to buyers, who have also become leery of short sales.
Your readers should know that when the homeowner accepts the option contract, they also receive a signedRelease Of Option agreement that can be exercised at any time. If for any reason they want out, we will withdraw. But our experience is that sellers are happy to have someone show an interest in their property, in hopes they might avoid foreclosure. We have yet to have a single complaint!
We also give the homeowner an extensive Affidavit of Understanding that makes them aware of possible taxable events or deficiency judgments, inherent in all short sales or foreclosures. But in our case, to close some deals, investors have agreed to pay back-due homeowner association fees and gotten banks to waive deficiency judgments, benefits not generally seen in today's market.
Your article said that lenders might object if they knew we planned to resell the property. But they do know, because we tell them! And as other documents provided to your reporter made clear, banks are routinely rejecting short-sale offers, only to see the property sell for far less at foreclosure. By negotiating a pre-approved price, we are getting houses moving.
Short Sales Riches is an entrepreneurial response to a housing market facing unprecedented challenges. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that because of snags with second lenders, just 51 loans have been modified since Congress passed the $320-billion Hope for Homeowners program last July. During that same time, my negotiators have helped me close more than 51 sales in Tampa Bay alone!
It's easy to criticize people who make money in today's real estate market, but real hope for homeowners isn't going to come from Congress or Wall Street fat cats. This private-sector messenger might have crazy hair and funny YouTube videos, but he's a real guy who's been in the trenches and knows how to work with lenders to give homeowners true hope they can bank on.