What You Should Know About Mortgage Forbearance

Like many Americans right now, you might be worried about making your next mortgage payment. Don’t panic just yet… Forbearance may be a good option for you! It means working together with your mortgage company to help you avoid any late penalties and eliminate any risk of being foreclosed on. You may also consider seeking the advice of an experienced real estate agent before contacting your lender.  

If you’re experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, here are some things you need to know about mortgage forbearance agreements.

What’s mortgage forbearance?

Mortgage forbearance is a program designed to provide temporary relief from your mortgage payment by either lowering your monthly payment or pausing your payments completely for a pre-determined amount of time. This is generally requested by homeowners who are going through some type of financial hardship affecting their ability to make their mortgage payments, like loss of employment, divorce, or illness.

Mortgage forbearance is not free money; you still owe the full amount of those reduced or missed payments.   

Does mortgage forbearance affect my credit?

Under normal circumstances [not during a global pandemic], it would be up to your lender whether or not to report your forbearance to any credit bureaus. However, right now mortgage lenders are providing struggling homeowners with an automatic, no documents required 3-month forbearance plan because of the coronavirus. They will not be reporting this forbearance plan to any of the credit bureaus either.  

Under normal circumstances, however, a forbearance would still be much less damaging to your credit than a few missed payments or foreclosure.

How does a mortgage forbearance work?

First of all, you have to make contact with 6your lender to see if they will approve you for a forbearance agreement. Don’t ever just stop making payments without speaking to your lender first. Normally, lender qualifications will vary slightly between different mortgage companies. The type of loan you have will also be a determining factor in what options you will be offered, or you will qualify for.

If you qualify for mortgage forbearance, your lender will work together with you to set up the terms of your agreement. Terms of forbearance may include:

  • Length of time for the forbearance period
  • Reduced payment amount required during the forbearance period.
  • Whether or not your lender will report the forbearance to credit agencies.
  • After the forbearance period ends how will you pay your mortgage moving forward, including skipped or reduced payments.

Once the forbearance period ends, you will have to pay your mortgage company back according to the terms you agreed on. Here are some typical options for paying back the missed amount:

  • Lump sum bringing the loan current in 1 single payment.
  • Adding an additional amount to your normal monthly payment until your current.
  • Normal payments will resume and missed payments will be added to your mortgage lengthening the terms of your mortgage.
  • Loan modification; when the terms of your mortgage are permanently adjusted by either a reduced payment, reduced principal or both.

How long will a mortgage forbearance last?

Mortgage forbearance is designed to provide temporary relief from your mortgage payment while you are going through a financial problem. Typically forbearance agreements do not last more than 3 months to 1 year.

Most mortgage companies will require you to provide them with regular updates during the forbearance period. If you need an extension, your lender will explain your options at that point.

Can a forbearance plan hurt my financial future?

A forbearance will usually be reported to the credit bureaus unless your lender has agreed to not report it. Right now, because of the coronavirus outbreak, almost all lenders have agreed to not report a forbearance to any of the credit bureaus. Having a forbearance on your credit history still looks much better than a foreclosure, short sale, and even a few missed payments.

Before you buy a new home in the future, you would need to re-establish yourself as a credible borrower. As long as you’ve already gone through the forbearance without missing any payments, the impact on your credit should be minimal and you may even consider applying for a new home loan from the same lender that granted you the forbearance.

How can I qualify for a mortgage forbearance?

The qualifications for mortgage forbearance are similar to that of a short sale. You start by applying. Most lenders will let you start the process online but I suggest you begin by calling your lender and take notes on every phone call… who did you speak to?… what happened on the call? etc. You can get started by gathering the following items.

  • Most recent mortgage statement.
  • List of your monthly income.
  • List of your monthly expenses.
  • Hardship letter, an explanation of why you cannot continue to make the mortgage payment (include any supporting documentation if possible).

Just like when I do a short sale in Orlando, it’s best to start communicating with your lender way before you miss any payments. If you already missed a payment before reaching out, it will show up on your credit report and stay until the loan has been made current again.

Keep in mind, if you’re filing because of a natural disaster or even a global pandemic like we’re facing currently, there’s usually a time limit in which you can file your claim.

If your request is denied, you then have an option to appeal the decision with your mortgage company. Then your application will be reviewed by a newly assigned loan officer, and they will reach out to you with an updated decision.

How do I get mortgage forbearance?

You should contact your mortgage servicer to apply for a mortgage forbearance agreement. Call the number on your monthly statement and ask for the mortgage forbearance dept to get started.

If you want unbiased advice about your financial situation, consider speaking to a housing counselor from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. You can make an appointment with a HUD counselor near you by going to their website. They will advise you on whether forbearance is a good choice for you in your current situation. They will also explain how different repayment plans would work.

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Can You Negotiate The Price of a Short Sale?

Short sale deals in Orlando can mean big savings for home buyers and investors who are experienced with the process. Short sales can be very time-consuming and require a lot more work than a regular sale, but if you’re willing to hang in there, you could end up with a fantastic deal on a home.


In case you don’t know, a short sale is the sale of a house whereas the mortgage company allows the homeowner to sell the property for an amount less than what’s owed on the note. Because of this, short sales are very popular for homeowners who are no longer able to afford to pay their mortgages. This also allows banks to get most of their money back and avoid taking a homeowner through an expensive foreclosure process.

A short sale is also much better for the homeowner because it allows them to avoid having a foreclosure on their record which is very damaging to your credit score. The short sale process can be beneficial not only for lenders and homeowners but also for potential buyers… if they’re willing to stay the course no matter what.


Short sales are all about back and forth negotiations, but they are anything but short. It can be a very time-consuming process and there’s never a guarantee that the lender will approve your offer. Lenders are not required to accept any short sale offer on any property. To negotiate a successful short sale, you must be familiar with the process.


These days, very few first short sale offers are accepted so don’t get your hopes up. Your ability to negotiate will have a lot to do with what the final accepted price will be.

Very few initial short sale offers are accepted, and for those that are,
there is a large amount of negotiation involved. Your ability to negotiate will often determine the final price that is accepted. Check out the following tips to help you put your best foot forward:

Look at the comps: You must know how much the house is worth so that you know you’re getting a good deal. You should enlist the help of an Orlando real estate agent to help you with this as they have access to the MLS and other tools. Submitting a lowball offer is the quickest way to get rejected while offering too much can cause you to lose money. That’s why having a real estate agent in your corner is vital.

Submitting the 1st Offer: Assuming the homeowner has already been granted permission to short sell their home, the negotiation process begins when you submit your first offer. If the property requires repairs, then you should include a contractor’s estimate with your offer. This is done to justify your offer and also lets the lender know the home needs work.

The Short Sale Agent: Hopefully the listing agent that’s doing the short sale for the seller has some experience processing short sales. If not, then you might be headed for trouble, and unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about it because it’s up to the seller to choose the listing agent.

The BPO aka [brokers price opinion]: After the offer’s been submitted, the lender will order what’s called a BPO. This is usually performed by a local real estate agent of the lender’s choosing to determine what the fair market value of the home is. Whatever this number comes in at will usually determine what the lender is willing to accept. However, sometimes [most of the time] this number will still be a bit higher than it should and so the negotiations begin…

The Counter Offer: If your first offer was accepted, either you offered too much or you are really lucky! Hopefully, it’s the latter…but not likely. Most of the time, the 1st offer will be rejected and the lender will either… tell you how much their willing to accept or they may tell you to submit your final highest, and best offer. At this point, you should tell your realtor to do the comps again before submitting your final and best offer. How the short sale agent handles this will have a lot to do with your chances of success.

Short Sale Tips From a PRO

In my career as an Orlando Real Estate Agent, I’ve completed thousands of successful short sales in Orlando and throughout the state of Florida. I can tell you that processing and negotiating a successful short sale requires skill, experience, tenacity, and most of all patience. To give yourself the best chance at getting a deal, here are some tips:

  • Work With An Experienced Short Sale Agent: Whether you’re looking to buy a short sale or do a short sale on your own home, you should do so with the representation of a real estate agent experienced in short sales. Take your time in finding the right agent as this part is crucial to your success.
  • Have Your Funding in Place: Sometimes lenders will only give you 2 weeks to close on an approved short sale property. You should have your financing in place before you even start submitting offers.
  • Start The Loan Process Early: While not always the case, some banks will offer a small closing window to those looking to secure a short sale (sometimes as little as two weeks). Those that have yet to secure funding may find that the window is too short. Therefore, it’s a good idea to get the ball rolling on financing as soon as possible—perhaps even before the file is sent for final review.
  • Follow up, Follow up, Follow up: Be sure to maintain constant contact with your real estate agent to be aware of what’s happening with the file.


Short Sale

Short sales in Orlando have served as some of the best deals since 2007 and still do so today, although it’s a bit more competitive now in 2019. However, if you’re willing to put in the work and stay the course, it could mean a big payday for you!

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9 Reasons Why Some Homes in Orlando Sell Faster

Why is it that some homes in Orlando sell faster than others?

Have you ever wondered why some homes in Orlando sell much faster than others when they appear to be similar in the same neighborhood? The most obvious three reasons would be location, size, and condition. However, beyond that, some other factors can affect why some Orlando homes sell faster than others.

Great Curb Appeal- Top Realtors in Orlando say that the curb appeal of a home is the number one factor determining the amount of time that a home stays on the market. So if you’re selling a home in Orlando be sure that the front of your house looks the best that it can. Sometimes all it takes is a freshly cut lawn, manicured hedges, and a few colorful plants.

Homes ready to move-in- homes that are in “move-in ready” condition and are marketed as such usually sell much faster than homes in need of repair. Although there seems to be a million Orlando real estate investors buying fixer-uppers right now, the number of retail buyers is much higher.

Local School Districts- Homes that are located in A-rated school districts not only sell faster but also sell at a premium. For a young family, there’s a tremendous amount of value to them knowing that their kids will be going to the best schools. There’s it’s been researched that 1 in 5 Orlando home buyers would pay an additional 6 to 10 percent above their housing budget to be in a good school zone.

Professional Photography- As an Orlando realtor, it still baffles me how many listings I find on the MLS with horrible photos. If you want to sell your Orlando home fast for top dollar, make sure your agent uses top-quality photographs. Sometimes times, especially with our international buyers, people buy homes that they’ve never seen and all they have to go on is the photos. Also, homes in Orlando end up selling for more money when they have quality photos as opposed to homes with amateur-looking photography.

Have it staged elegantly staged- Homes that are tastefully staged sell 73% faster than homes that aren’t staged. If you can’t afford to have your home staged, you should at least make sure it’s decluttered and cleaned so it looks the best that it can for potential buyers.

Setting the listing price correctly- Homes that are priced at market value or just under have been proven to sell much faster than overpriced homes. Consult with your Orlando realtor to determine the correct listing price before putting it on the market.


Hiring a top Orlando Realtor– Buy hiring an experienced Orlando real estate agent who knows your community like the back of their hand, you’ll not only sell your home faster and for more money, but you’ll have the peace of mind knowing there’s a licensed real estate professional in your corner looking out for your best interests. Be sure to check an agent’s reviews and track record before hiring them.

Video and virtual tours- One thing we do with every one of our listings is to create a unique video showcasing the property. We do this because everyone loves watching videos and we share it on social networks, on the blog as well as the website. We’ve also found it to be a great sales tool to show potential buyers.

Home features- In addition to being an Orlando realtor, I also invest in Orlando real estate, mostly to buy and resell. I can tell you from experience that homes with certain upgrades like granite countertops, upgraded fixtures, and quality flooring. However, you shouldn’t over-invest in these upgrades unless you know you’ll get a return on your investment.

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Orlando Real Estate Market Still 5th In The Nation

Real Estate In Orlando Remains In Top 5 Markets For Investing

Are you looking for a great market to buy residential investment properties? Well, nothing’s a sure bet in this life, but the Orlando Real Estate Market  is one of the best in the nation for investing in single-family homes right now.

According to a list of the top twenty real estate markets for investing in the nation, Orlando comes in 5th place overall and number one in Florida.

The criteria that was used in determining was based on the growth of the population as well as job growth. Both of these circumstances are ideal for investing in single-family homes. All twenty of the markets that made the list increased in population by 2%.


Top 20 Real Estate Markets In The U.S For Investing:

  1. AustinRound Rock, TX
  2. HoustonBaytownSugar Land, TX
  3. RaleighCary, NC
  4. NashvilleDavidsonMurfreesboro, TN
  5. Orlando, FL
  6. Boise CityNampa, ID
  7. San Antonio, TX
  8. DenverAurora, CO
  9. CharlotteGastoniaConcord, NC
  10. North PortBradentonSarasota, FL
  11. Oklahoma City, OK
  12. PhoenixMesaScottsdale, AZ
  13. SeattleBellevueEverett, WA
  14. DallasPlanoIrving, TX
  15. OaklandFremontHayward, CA
  16. Fort WorthArlington, TX
  17. Las VegasParadise, NV
  18. Salt Lake City, UT
  19. San JoseSunnyvaleSanta Clara, CA
  20. San FranciscoSan MateoRedwood City, CA


Real Estate Agents In Orlando Are Elated!

Making #5 on the top twenty list in the nation is great press for attracting even more investors to the Orlando real estate market and Realtors in Orlando couldn’t be happier! Overall, most realtors have been busier this year when compared to the first quarter of 2014 and it’s because of the investor-friendly market we’re experiencing right now. Top Orlando Realtors are extremely busy right now with both buyers and sellers and will have to work even harder to keep up as we get further into 2015.


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Smart Homes In Orlando, The Wave Of The Future

Thanks to technology, buying and selling smart homes will soon be the norm for Orlando real estate agents. This week Google made a $3.2 billion dollar investment in a company called Nest Labs, a company that designs and makes smart smoke detectors and smart thermostats. It’s amazing, smart technology is becoming available in just about everything you can think of. And if it’s not today, it will be tomorrow. With an estimated $19 trillion dollar market ahead, smart technology is like a locomotive that just can’t be stopped.

How Will Increasing Smart Home Technology Affect Realtors?

Agents that are able to embrace and love smart home technology will have the biggest advantage. The best way to do this is to learn the technology and practice using it whenever you get a chance. The way it usually works is that everything can be controlled by your smartphone through an app. You can now control things like the thermostat, window blinds, lights, locks, etc.

Real estate agents that are able to easily show their potential clients all the features of the smart technology while showing the house will have a definitive edge. Agents that are unfamiliar with the software won’t be able to show a buyer how to use it and a situation like this could possibly cost them a client.

Smart buyer’s agents will research the technology and find out what people love about it. There are many benefits that smart homeowners have like making sure the doors are locked from 800 miles away or being able to close the blinds because they forgot. Real estate agents should be able to educate their potential buyers about all the benefits that they will enjoy by living in a smart home.

Some buyers will be turned off by new technology, especially the 55+ age group. With these clients, a realtor will really have their work cut out for them in trying to sell them a smart home. The best thing to do here is to simplify things for them by making a simple guide that’s easy to use and understand. No one likes to feel less smart, especially to a house that they will be living in.

Even though I’ve only shown a handful of smart homes myself, it’s obvious that smart technology will continue to grow and get more and more popular in the world of real estate. Orlando realtors that are willing to embrace whatever comes their way, will be the most successful agents. Just like one of my very first mentors used to say ” If you’re going to make it in the world of real estate, you have to take what the market gives you”.

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