Helping your Clients Make Lemonade: Foreclosures, Short Sales, Financial Distress and Communication

Managing Real Estate Broker with Exit Realty Martin Group

The foreclosure rate in Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach and Port Orange is substantial; 1 in every 5 homes are in some stage of foreclosure. These homes will be on the market at foreclosure prices eventually. For the distressed homeowner, this can be devastating, and we understand that. For an investor though, or a first time buyer, a foreclosure can be the realization of a dream! Some of these homes have been well cared for, and are in move-in condition, or close to it; the owners often have continued to take pride in their homes, even when they are forced by circumstances to relinquish it.

Obviously, other properties have been completely abandoned, but it's less frequent then you would think. In fact, there are many luxury homes in Ormond Beach, Port Orange, Daytona Beach, Ponce Inlet and Ormond-By-The-Sea that are currently short sales, and soon many of those luxury homeowners will face a decision to turn the home back over to the bank. At which point homes that were valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars a few years ago will sell at a fraction of that price.

It seems unfair at times that one individual might gain from another’s loss; however, homeowners who are going through a foreclosure do have options! In Florida alone, as of February 2011, 24% of homes are at least one payment behind or facing foreclosure. That is the highest rate in the nation!

Though this may seem like the worst of times for those homeowners, it is possible to bounce back and overcome these financial straits, and even have an improved financial situation post-foreclosure. Though some homeowners will seem reluctant to even communicate with their Realtor as a way to avoid the inevitable, it is up to you, Realtor, to ensure that communication is effective and comfortable, especially in this complex situation.

We have found it is important to our relationship with our foreclosure and short sale clients that they understand the stigma usually attached to financial difficulties is offset considerably by the current economic climate. This often eases the tension to create a better line of communication between agents and distressed homeowners, to allow a potentially negative process to be as painless as possible. For some, it is possible to get a modification or to make arrangements for reinstatement.

The key for homeowners who are going through a financial crisis is for you, Realtor, to help them to look ahead at the future, to their options, and to recognize that this is an extremely difficult, sensitive time for them.

Source of statistics for major metro areas foreclosure rate: Agent Genius
Source for statistics about Florida foreclosure rates: Loan Rate Update

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