Thanks to all our Clients

May 28th, 2010

We again want to thank all of you who have given us the pleasure of “serving your dream” over the last number of years.  We finished 2009 as multimillion dollar producers in the top 14 agents in the county.  So far in the first 5 months of 2010 we have been in the top 10 most of the time.

Again, thank you to all of you who have made this possible.

Short Sale Hardship

May 28th, 2010

Often we get asked the question, “Do I qualify for a short sale?”  Here are the two primary ingredients that banks consider when they answer this question.

First, do your expenses exceed your income?  As long as you can make your monthly payments, there is no reason for a bank to consider you as a canditate for a short sale.  However, if you are in a situation where there is absolutely no money left each month to make your mortgage payment, you may want to explore a short sale a bit further and consider whether or not you have a legitimate hardship.

Second, is the fact that your expenses exceed your income the result of a legitimate “hardship” (as defined by the bank)?  This question is a bit more difficult than the first and can be viewed differently by different banks.  Here are some guidelines that we have seen as to what is viewed as a legitimate hardship by the banks (in general).  

For someone to simply have runaway spending and poor money management does NOT qualify as a hardship for the banks.  For the value of the home to be less than what you paid for it (and thus a poor investment for you at the present time) also does NOT (in and of itself) qualify as a hardship.  If these things do NOT qualify, what does usually qualify as a hardship?

MEDICAL HARDSHIP: One hardship accepted by most banks is financial hardship as the result of extreme medical expenses.  This one is easily understood by banks.  You qualified for the original loan, however, you had unexpected surgery/illness/injury and the medical expenses have altered your financial position.

LOSS OF JOB/REDUCED INCOME: A second hardship accepted by most banks is loss of employment (and sometimes reduced hours).  Again, you initially qualified for the loan by a sudden loss of income has altered your financial position.

JOB TRANSFER: A third hardship generally recognized is a required job transfer or the need to move to a better area for employment.  In this senario you must move, but there is no way to sell your home because it is worth less than your mortgage amount.  Many banks will recognize this as a hardship and work with you on a short sale.

DIVORCE/DEATH: A fourth hardship that may be recognized by banks is the divorce of marriage partners or the death of one of the spouses.  Here the situation is that with both incomes you qualified for the loan, however, now with only one income you can no longer make the payments.  Many banks will work with you in this situation to short sale the home.  However, note that if the surviving spouse or one of the divorced partners has the assets/income to afford the home, this may not be approved by the bank.

ECONOMIC HARDSHIP: This is the most debatable hardship and will not be recognized by all banks.  However, some banks will approve a short sale based on the hardship of economic hardship.  For example, maybe taxes and insurance have doubled for you since you purchased the home, but your income has remained fixed.  Maybe you have a rental property that is now renting for half of the original rental value.  These hardships are viewed by banks on a case by case bases.  Some will approve them, and some will not.

If you have any questions about whether you may be a candidate for a short sale please do not hesitate to contact us at info@citrussold.com or call 352-637-2777.

Short Sale Specialists

May 28th, 2010

For the last several years we have remained one of the top real estate teams located in Citrus County, Florida.  One of our strategies has been to remain relative to the markets of the moment.  During the last year this has meant providing enhanced services for short sale and REO sellers, while continuing to provide excellent service for “regular” arms length transaction sellers.

To better serve REO and short sale sellers, we completed 6 months of training through Keller Williams Realty international and received the SFR certification through the National Association of Realtors.  Currently our website, http://www.citruscountyfloridalistings.com/ShortSale/ has extensive information available about short sales and how this process works.  Currently we are one of the premier teams in Citrus County, FL to work with banks on REO’s or seller’s facing a legitmate hardship situation to execute a short sale.

If you, or someone you know, is in danger of loosing their home to foreclosure or appears to be headed on that path, please have them contact our team immediately.  Short selling your home takes time, and we have much better success helping sellers when they are not in the final stages of foreclosure.   Furthermore, doing a short sale may be much better for your credit then simply letting a foreclosure proceed.  Please contact us for additional details.

Advantages of a Team

February 14th, 2009

The Citrus County Dream Team was one of the top 12 teams in Citrus County for total dollars sold in 2008 (based on the Citrus County MLS residential sales).  I was sitting here thinking about some of the reasons that we have been able to rise into the top 2% of REALTORS in this county.

For some, I suspect our slogan, “Our team serves your dream“, connects with the reason that they have enjoyed working with us in their real estate transaction(s).  Customer service is a high priority for us.  We believe your home is often one of your most important (and most valuable) assests.  We are excited when we have an opportunity to help you sell, buy, or invest in a way that allows you to move forward with some of your life goals.  Perhaps it is a job transfer, or upsizing, or downsizing, or a host of other major life decisions.  Our goal is to provide you with the quality service to allow you to move on with your life dreams.

Others seem to appreciate our mission statement of “Providing quality service with honesty, integrity, and expertise“.   Each of these three words resonate with clients.  Honesty means that we will tell you what we honestly think you house should sell for in the current market.  We don’t inflate these numbers to “buy” your listing and then come back to get a more realistic price later.  Integrity means we will follow through on what we say.  Every attempt is made to “under promise and over deliver”.  Expertise is where we have a chance to go beyond the role of a standard real estate agent and function as a real estate consultant.  We do extensive market research on the Citrus County market and this allows us to provide all our clients with information that can be a powerful asset in any side of a real estate transaction.

Finally, I believe everyone that has work with us appreciates the fact that they are working with a team of professionals.  We operate our real estate business like a business.  We expect that you will find working with us like working with other professional firms - your accounting firm, legal firm, or medical team.  By having a team in place we can specialize in different areas of the real estate process and can provide a level of service that would not be possible for a single real estate agent working alone.

In summary, I am thankful for what working as a team has allowed us to achieve in the Citrus County Real Estate market.

Reflections on this Week’s Activity

February 14th, 2009

I’m here at an open house today with some activity - three potential buyers so far in a 2 hour timeblock.  This along with a climbing count of the number of pending homes, suggests that the market is improving slightly during the month of February.  The stimulus package should be signed by Monday with some possible help for first time home buyers.  Interest rates have continued to stay close to historic lows.  For those who are able to buy a home without first selling another home, this market provides wonderful selection and attractive prices.

Here in Florida we are glad to have the snowbird crowd here with us.  They are out looking and considering retirement options that are available.  In all, some encouraging signs…

January 2009 Review

February 7th, 2009

The market at the end of January shows some encouraging trends.  102 single family homes closed during the month, up almost 20% from 86 homes that closed last January.  Lower mortgage rates and lower home prices both may be contributing factors for this increase.

Currently it seems like a great time to buy a home and get an extremely good deal.  There are some short sales and foreclosures in the Citrus County market (in January a little over 30% of sales).  Some of these are great deals, and the net effect is that other homes marketed in the county have also come down substantially in price.

Where are we headed from here?  This market has already dropped about 40% from the peak prices in the fall of 2005.  All indications are that we should have reached a bottom.  Expansion and repair plans by Progress Energy suggest some relief for the local job market.  The new construction market remains very soft.  If this market would experience some relief, the local economy would probably be in fairly good shape.

There is reason, at this point to be optimistic about 2009.