A wave of Short Sales could be headed for Orlando due to COVID-19

While stay-at-home orders are keeping people at home, many Floridians could be falling behind on mortgage and rent payments due to loss of employment and an economy on a downward spiral.

The real estate data-service provider, Attom Data Solutions, reported that 10 of Florida’s 67 counties are in the top 50 most vulnerable counties in the U.S. to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of these counties are in either North or Central Florida, including Osceola, Hernando, Flagler, Clay, Lake. Surprisingly, Broward county was the most vulnerable of the South Florida counties.

The only state that ranked higher than Florida in this study was New Jersey with 14 counties in the top 50 most at risk in the nation. Also ranked near the top were New York, Connecticut, and California. Real estate markets in the Midwest and West are considered to be less likely to see big numbers of people losing their homes because of the virus outbreak.

483 counties throughout the US were studied to determine what percentage of homes we can expect that will be receiving foreclosure notices by the end of 2020 and what percentage of the local wages are needed to pay for homeownership. The study used data from the last quarter of 2019 to calculate the averages.

Central Florida has one of the lowest median incomes in the U.S. The local economy is largely dependent on tourism and convention revenue which could mean big trouble for homeowners. Many landlords are suffering right now… especially if they depend on rental incomes to pay the mortgages.


Central Floridian homeowners could be facing rough waters ahead

Realtors in Orlando are also starting to feel the pain. Activity has slowed for both buyers and sellers with only people who have no choice but to buy or sell eager to close. Home sales in Orlando are reaching the levels that we saw back in 2008 after the market crash. Orlando Realtors are losing almost $700,000 in daily commissions from the pandemic.

Right now it’s too early to say how this will all play out because we don’t know how effective the Federal stimulus will be in helping people through this financial rough patch. Banks are granting temporary mortgage forbearance to many homeowners and businesses will hopefully get enough help to pay employees through the crisis.

I believe lenders will have to step up and provide some major help to prevent foreclosures in Orlando and other Florida cities. In my opinion, it’s the only way to avoid large numbers of foreclosures and short sales in Orlando.

Potential for Mass Short Sales in Orlando

Like I said before, it’s too early to tell what will happen to Orlando real estate market as a result of coronavirus. However, I do think that if people don’t get back to work in the next couple of months, short sale Realtors in Orlando will be extremely busy by the end of 2020 and well into 2021.

Even lenders aren’t sure how everything will end up playing out because they don’t know how much time it will take for Floridians to get back to work. Short sales and loan modifications are used as an alternative to avoid foreclosure. The problem with loan modifications is that the homeowner will still be on the hook for the entire amount of the loan but with lower payments.

I’ve been a short sale Realtor in Orlando since 2004 and 9 out of 10 times when I present my clients with the terms of both a short sale and a loan modification, they choose short sale.

Doing a short sale, however, will allow the homeowner to sell the home for less than what’s owed on the mortgage. By doing this, the lender gets at least most of their money back and avoids a lengthy and expensive foreclosure process. The homeowner also benefits from a short because they can avoid having a foreclosure on their record and won’t be responsible for the difference between what they owed and what the home sold for.

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Orlando Short Sale Process: Get Rid of Mortgage Issues for Good

The Orlando Short Sale Process for Sellers Step by Step

I’ve been an Orlando short sale realtor since 2004 and although there have been changes in rules and regulations, etc., the short sale process for sellers has pretty much remained the same. Going through the short sale process can be intimidating, to say the least. However, by getting a handle on it from the start you’ll have a big advantage.

Why Consider A Short Sale?

A short sale is when a homeowner sells their property for an amount that is less than what they owe on their mortgage. A short sale is often the last resort for people who have exhausted all other options to save their homes and avoid foreclosure.

If you want to keep your home try a loan modification first. Speak with your lender about your situation. You may qualify for a loan modification and avoid having to sell it at all. A loan modification is exactly what it sounds like… it’s when a lender adjusts the terms of your mortgage making the payments more affordable so that you can keep your home.

The Home Affordable Modification Program aka [HAMP] is a program by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and is a good place to start. Homeowners who qualify for HAMP are put on a 3 month trial period. Those who it through will be approved at the new payment avoiding foreclosure.

If a loan modification is just not an option pursuing a short sale would be the next step. When you speak to your lender about doing a short sale, do it sooner than later and don’t wait until you’ve already missed several mortgage payments. A short sale means that you are attempting to sell your home for less than what you owe on your mortgage which means your lender needs to sign off on it.

What’s A Short Sale Package?

Lenders have a set of rules or qualifications that need to be met before getting approved for a short sale. Although they may vary a bit, all lenders pretty much have the same requirements for their short sale packet.

The lender will require the homeowner to submit any documentation which proves they are going through a financial hardship and truly cannot continue to make the mortgage payments. These documents will include bank statements, pay stubs, financial statements, asset disclosures, and of course a hardship letter. A hardship letter is a letter written by the homeowner explaining in detail why they can no longer continue making their mortgage payment.

Hiring a Short Sale Agent

Speak with an Orlando short sale expert. A short sale can only be completed by a real estate agent so make sure you hire an agent with a lot of experience in the short sale arena to represent you. The best way to find a short sale agent in your area is to do a Google search using terms like “Orlando short sale expert” or “short sale realtor” and interview at least three of the agents that appear on the first page.

Once you’ve chosen the agent that will represent you, they will then put the short sale package together for the bank as well as determine a listing price that the lender agrees with.

Listing your property as a short sale is a next step in the process. The lender requires the home to be listed on the MLS at fair market value.

Once there’s an interested buyer, the offer should be submitted to the lender. Once the lender has reviewed the offer, there will almost certainly be some further negotiating between your short sale agent and the potential buyer before a price is agreed upon by all parties.

 

Short Sales are anything but Short

It’s important to be aware that short sales are anything but short. It can take several months for a short sale to be approved by the lender.

Make sure your agent finds out from the lender if there are any “cash for keys” incentives available to you. This is when the lender gives the seller money back at the closing to help with relocation costs. If you were able to qualify for HAFA for instance, you will receive $3,000 upon closing the deal.

If all goes well and the lender approves the buyer, the deal closes and all is good with the world. You move out [hopefully with a few thousand in your pocket] and the buyer moves in.

 

When can I Buy another Home?

The next question you have is probably… “how long before I can buy another home?”…

There is no black and white answer to this question. A short sale will surely affect your credit but not nearly as bad as a foreclosure will. Also, the IRS may treat the forgiven debt as taxable income. This means you may end up owing some money to Uncle Sam.

There’s no denying that short sales are a great option for a homeowner facing foreclosure. Firstly, It helps the seller avoid foreclosure and eliminate their debt. Also, the seller can stay in the home without making payments while the process is happening.

We’ve tracked some of our clients after a completed short sale. Homeowners can usually get a conventional loan after four years. Again, this is still much better than having a foreclosure on your record. A foreclosure can prevent you from getting another mortgage for up to seven years.

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Orlando Short Sales: Ask The Expert

Orlando Short Sale Expert Q & A

In this post, we address the most common questions among consumers about short sales and how they differ from traditional sales. In the hot seat, today will be our very own Orlando short sale expert Jenny Zamora. She’s been successfully doing short sales since 2004 way before most people even knew what a short sale was.

Question: What’s the difference between a short sale and a traditional sale in a real estate transaction?

Jenny Zamora: In a short sale scenario, the home is sold for less than what’s owed on the mortgage. Short sales usually take much longer to complete because they need to be approved by the lender/mortgage holder. Sometimes there is more than one mortgage on the home which can sometimes complicate things if both lenders don’t agree.

Once the lender [s] have agreed to the short sale amount then it becomes a normal transaction with a contract signed by both the seller and buyer.

Question: How is a foreclosure different from a short sale?

Jenny Zamora: A foreclosure is when the lender files a lawsuit against the homeowner because they’ve failed to make several mortgage payments and haven’t pursued any other options such as a short sale, loan modification, or paying off the loan. As a result, the property is either sold at a public auction or taken back by the bank if the reserve hasn’t been met.

With a short sale, the homeowner is usually between 60 to 180 days behind on their mortgage payments because of some kind of personal or financial hardship. The property also must be worth less than what’s owed on the note for the short sale to be approved. Although a seller can’t profit from a short sale, many lenders often provide the sellers with relocation costs [usually around $3000] so they have money to help them move into another home.

A short sale however isn’t nearly as bad nor does it stay on your credit report as long as a foreclosure will.

Question: How long does it take to complete a short sale in today’s market?

Jenny Zamora: Short sales used to take 3 to 4 months and even longer to complete even if you followed up with the banks several times per week. As a result, many buyers were getting frustrated and walking away. This happened mostly because lenders just weren’t equipped to handle that many short sales at once and they had no systems in place to help streamline the process. These days, lenders have systems in place and more staff to help move the short sale processing along much faster resulting in much faster responses, typically within 2 to 3 weeks.

Question: Do you have any advice for someone wanting to purchase a short sale?

Jenny Zamora: 1st and foremost to make sure they’re dealing with a short sale specialist. If the agent isn’t familiar with short sales and how they work you could end up being disappointed and not getting your offer approved. Even though I’ve been doing short sales in Orlando since 2004, I’m constantly keeping up to date on the latest information when it comes to short sales, bank procedures, and guidelines.

An experienced short-sale Realtor knows how important it is to stay up to date. Just like there are specialists in the medical field, the same holds in Orlando real estate. We specialize in foreclosure prevention and short sales which is why our company is so proactive in staying educated and informed.

Question: What are the things that can most likely go wrong with a short sale transaction?

Jenny Zamora: Some things can happen with a short sale that is sometimes beyond our control. The most important thing to realize is that it’s ultimately up to the lender to approve or deny a short sale offer. This is another reason to work with a short sales specialist. If the bank comes back with a value that’s way too high, we have to do everything we can to dispute their valuation. Sometimes that means providing contractor’s estimates for repairs as well as a CMA on the home.

A traditional listing agent may not even be aware that you can dispute the bank’s valuation of a property and just let the deal fall apart.

Do you need a Realtor to short sale?

Question: Do you need a Realtor to short sell a home or buy a short sale?

Jenny Zamora: Yes and Yes… and I can’t stress enough to hire a Realtor with a lot of experience in short sales. On the seller’s side, the home needs to be listed by an agent as a requirement by the lender. You also want a strong negotiator in your corner.

As a buyer, it isn’t required to hire your own buyer’s agent. However, if you don’t then you’ll end up using the listing agent as your agent… I strongly recommend you hire your agent that way you have someone looking out solely for your best interests, especially when it comes to negotiating.

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New Orlando Short Sale Hits The Market

1309 FALLING STAR LN, ORLANDO, FL 32828

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This 1,700 square ft home is in pristine condition both inside and out. Boasting an open floor plan, there’s plenty of living space both inside and out perfect for entertaining or just relaxing…  this beauty is move-in ready!

Other features worth mentioning…

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Community features

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*Minutes away from Avalon Park, UCF, highways 408, 417, 528.

One thing’s for sure, this Orlando Short Sale Home won’t be on the market for long. Call or text 407-902-7750 to schedule your appointment TODAY!

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Short Sales In Orlando Still Rank Near The Top In U.S.

Although short sales in Orlando have dwindled in recent years, Central Florida still ranks as one of the top regions in the US having the most short sale listings.

Ironically, “short sales” can take a very long time to complete. These are homes in which the bank is willing to entertain a lower amount than what’s owed on the mortgage, in order to recoup most of their money.

More than 1 in every ten homes that were sold in the Orlando area in the last quarter of 2016 area was a short sale listing. The only other areas that had a higher short sale rate in the state of Florida were Fort Myers and Lakeland.

When short sales first became popular after the market crash of 2007, banks were willing to accept a much bigger loss than is the case today. This meant that investors and rehabbers like me were enjoying much larger profits than is the case with short sales today.

These days banks want as close to full market value as they can get. Many times these listings only make sense if you plan on moving into the house and making repairs yourself.

As an Orlando real estate investor, I make several offers on short sale listings every week most of which get denied for being too low. When buying a property as an investment home to resale you have to consider all the costs involved like repairs, closing costs, marketing, staging, etc. After doing the math, I can tell you that most short sale listings right now in Orlando are way… way overpriced for investors to make any money on them.

Certified distressed Property Expert

Banks are realizing that if they just let the home go to foreclosure, they can sell it for closer to market value instead of accepting a low-ball offer from an investor. Orlando short sales are ending up being auctioned off online auction these days more than ever. This strategy also allows these lenders to expose their property to anyone in the world with a computer.

Orlando’s continued distinction for short sales is a clear indication of how depressed this area’s housing market was just a few short years ago. At that time, there were more Orlando short sales and foreclosures than there were traditional sales. It has taken several years to push these distressed Orlando properties out of the pipeline.

Now that market conditions have been steadily improving, more homeowners are able to sell their homes at a profit. And for homeowners that are a bit underwater are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel that will allow them to hang in there instead of having to come up with the difference at the closing.

For homeowners that are deeply underwater that are still at risk of losing their home to foreclosure, a short sale is still their preferred alternative because it does a lot less damage to the homeowner’s credit. They can also walk away with less debt and even come away with a few thousand bucks in their pocket for relocation costs.

I can tell you from experience as an Orlando Realtor and investor that short sales are no longer the deals they once were. Banks are being harder negotiators than ever and if they don’t get their number, they have no problem foreclosing.

Buyers who want to use the home as their primary residence and are willing to pay close to market value can still get a slight discount buying an Orlando short sale. However, for most retail buyers when they hear the word “short sale”, they usually pass because they know that short sale lenders can take a long time to respond and there’s never a guarantee that they will accept your offer.

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