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Short Sales Can Fail When You Are Not In Control

Short Sales can fail when you are not the one in control. By that I mean involved in the negotiations on the successful short sale approval. 

As Wellington short sale agents we have a very high rate of success in closing our short sale listings in Palm Beach County, Broward county, Miami/Dade county and St Lucie County. 

The only time we don’t have success on a short sale listing ( other than the foreclosure not being stopped- which has not happened in a few years) is when the seller has already chosen an attorney to do the short sale negotiations for him before listing their property with us or hires an attorney other than one we know does a good job with negotiations after we list the property. 

As Realtors® we have a code of ethics and standards of practice. In that it states that no Realtor® is to work in a field or area of real estate that they are not proficient in. 

REALTORS® shall not undertake to provide specialized professional services concerning a type of property or service that is outside their field of competence unless they engage the assistance of one who is competent on such types of property or service, or unless the facts are fully disclosed to the client. Any persons engaged to provide such assistance shall be so identified to the client and their contribution to the assignment should be set forth. (Amended 1/10) 

But what about attorneys and their assistants? Is there any duty that the BAR requires that attorneys don’t work in areas of real estate matters that they do not have competence in? Is there any requirements for those they hire to process and negotiate short sales to have short sale experience of some kind? No license is required? 

The attorneys in these situations are not the ones doing the negotiations. They have hired clerical people to do this work in their offices. So while they are working “under the supervision” of a licensed attorney I am wondering how much supervision they are actually getting? 

Case in point: 

1. Seller lists their Palm Beach County short sale with us. They chose us because of a referral ( a successful short sale seller). Then after they list their property, they hire an attorney who is doing their short sale. This seller is most likely qualified for HAFA which means he would get a release of his deficiency. The attorney does not want us to be involved in the negotiations. The approval letter comes back from the bank. The attorney has a clerical helper processing and negotiating ( if you can call it that) the short sale. The approval letter states that the first lien holder is NOT going to release their deficiency rights. Nestor asks the clerical person why they don’t have a HAFA approval. There is just silence on the other end of the phone. The clerical person never put this file through HAFA. The sellers refused the short sale terms and conditions from their lender. 

As real estate agents in Florida we can not advise these sellers about the incompetancy of the attorney’s office. We can not practice law so we just have to sit by and watch the sellers lose another buyer and maybe lose their home to foreclosure. 

2. Seller lists their Palm Beach County short with us. They choose an attorney to do their short sale processing and negotiations. The attorney refused to allow us to see the HUD1 settlement statement that was going in with the short sale package. He said it is because Brokers always have items they want changed. Really? Of course brokers have a say on the HUD1, they are making sure that disbursements of funds are correct and that the real estate fees are listed correctly, etc. Well, the HUD1 did not have mortgage insurance on it. The attorney argued with us saying that the seller did not have any MI. We were not talking about the kind you get when you take out your loan but rather the kind that the note owneres get to protect their bad notes when the market started falling and they knew that the defaults were coming. Of course, he refused to add it. Guess what! The short sale approval letter came in exactly how we said, $5000 shy of the net because there was MI insurance!!! Go figure! The sellers were so disenchanted and vulnerable at that moment that instead of trying to negotiate these terms, their attorney told them to do a DIL. 

3. Seller lists their short sale with us. They hire an attorney. The attorney has us working the short sale, showing the house, etc and the attorney was working the DIL at the same time. The attorney after we had invested money and time into this listing was going to get paid more money by doing a DIL than a short sale. We had to cancel the listing so that the sellers could do the DIL. 

4. Short sale sellers list their property with us but they were already having their attorney do the short sale negotiations. The attorney gets the approval letter with a request for a promissory note. We thought that was sort of peculiar since the sellers were again, most likely qualified for HAFA. HAFA was never pursued by the clerical help in this attorney’s office. 

We take a lot of pride in the fact that we have closed more short sales successfully from our listings over the years than most other agents with the same volume of listings since 2007. This goes against our success record on successfully closing short sales. It also leads to bad feelings between the sellers, the attorneys and us.

So at the end of the day, incompetence ruins relationships. Because of this, we will no longer be accepting short sale listings when the outcome is up to a clerical person in some attorney’s office somewhere who does not even know that you are supposed to try to get the sellers approved for HAFA or other incentivized programs the banks are participating in. We will no longer be accepting listings that are short sales if the sellers’ attorneys don’t know what a short sale prelim HUD1 is supposed to have on it. 

Wellington Foreclosure Report

Wellington Foreclosure Report For Zip Code 33414 

There are only 82  foreclosure properties in the zip code of 33414 which is the main part of Wellington according to Realtytrac. Some of us call this part of Welligton- the Village or you may consider it Wellington Proper which may be more like what you would call the main part of a town. 

During the real estate boom all the developers and builders wanted to be able to have a Wellington address. So they started to request to be annexed into Wellington. The Village of Wellington wanted to annex because that brings in more revenue to the town. 

So much of the eastern communities along 441 and further east like Olympia and Buena Vida got annexed into Wellington. 

But the interior or Wellington, the older parts of the town are what are like in your town might be your downtowns or your city propers. This also encompasses the southern and western Equestrian areas which were always Wellington. In the Wellington proper areas of Wellington you can walk to the store, the post office, the city center except of course out in the acreage and farm areas.  If you live in the exterior part of Wellington, the newer annexations, you have to drive to get to any place because your communities are located along State Rd 7 or 441. 

So in the zip code of 33414 there are 82 new foreclosure properties according to Realtytrac. That is one in every 262 housing units. This is considered to be a moderate amount of foreclosures. High would be one in 149 and low would be one in 455 units. 

For the entire western to central palm beach county one in every 255 housing units received some kind of foreclosure filing in the month of January 2012. 

Currently there are 82 bank owned properties in Wellington zip code 33414. 

ONLY 13 of these bank owned properties are listed in the Regional MLS for sale. 

Currently there are 263 properties in one stage of pre-foreclosure or another. This means that they are at risk of being filed a lis pendens on because they are late in making their mortgage payments or they have a lis pendens filing against their property. 

Only 81 of these are listed as a Wellington short sale for sale in Wellington zip code 33414. 

That is a lot of homeowners who are not doing anything about their delinquencies or they are trying to re-modify their loans or they are choosing to wait it out as long as they can. 

It is projected that foreclosures will speed up this year now that the government and the banks came to an agreement about the penalties for robo-signing and other things.

Don’t wait until it is too late to do something about your foreclosure. There are options out there for you. Call us today for a private confidential phone interview to go over your options. A Wellington short sale may be your best option and if it is, choose Wellington Short Sale Agents to list your home and negotiate your short sale.

Authored by Katerina Gasset- Copyright© 2012

Wellington Short Sales- Some Take 3 days and others Take Over a Year!

Wellington short sales- Some take 3 days and others take over a year. 

Our team has been doing short sales in Wellington- South Florida- Texas- California since 1981. The one thing that has not changed is the fact that every single short sale is different. There are no cookie cutter methods and there are no certainties except for the fact that each short sale is different. 

We got an approval from Bank Of America on one of our short sale listings within 3 days and closed within the next few weeks. We get a good amount of less than 30 day short sale approvals. But there are also short sales we have listed and sold that have taken over a year. 

You can not judge the expertise of a Wellington short sale agent by the length of time that a short sale takes because there are just too many elements that are out of the control of the Wellington short sale listing agent. 

So much depends on the lender’s servicer and how many loans are on the property, how close to foreclosure a seller is, if the seller is paying their mortgage payments or not, if the seller is paying their HOA fees or not, if there are attorneys involved or not. 

Then there is the factor of the buyers. When a short sale takes too long with the sellers’ lenders’ servicers, the buyers don’t often stay in the short sale transaction. If we are not the ones who brought the buyer to the table, that is yet another factor that we need to pay attention to because many Wellington short sale agents are not involved with enough short sales on the listing side to understand and educate their buyer on the process and what to expect. 

While you don’t know how long each Wellington short sale is going to take you can make sure that whoever you have helping you with the transaction and the negotiations with the banks, whether that is your attorney or your real estate agent, has a very high closing ratio of successful short sale transactions closed for the seller. 

Why Won’t The Foreclosure Judge Force My Bank To Modify My Loan?

Why Won’t The Foreclosure Judge Force My Bank To Modify My Loan? 

In Florida we are a judicial foreclosure state which means that you can fight your foreclosure in court. You can have your day in court and you have your defenses. 

If you have not made your house payments for a while you will get served at some point in time a summons and complaint for foreclosure. Some banks will serve you with a foreclosure lawsuit about 10 days after they send you an accelleration letter and others will not serve you for a while. Some people get served with a foreclosure lawsuit within 60 days and others it could be years. 

The contract you signed when you bought your house- is between you and your bank. When you did not have enough money to buy your house with cash you asked your bank to give you a loan. The bank said yes but in return you would be signing a promissory note. This is what we call the ‘Note’. The note is an agreement for you to pay your bank back the money you borrowed. It was a contract between you and your bank. But your credit alone was not enough for the bank to give you the loan for your house so you signed a ‘mortgage instrument’ which became a part of the transaction agreement you made with your bank. Your mortgage is an agreement that you offered up your house as collaterol to back up your promisorry note that you would pay back the money you borrowed. 

Your mortgage instrument says that the bank can take away your house from you if you don’t pay your agreed upon house payments and other fees. But the bank has to take you to court or file a motion in court, like a law suit against you in order to actually take the house away from you because Florida is a statutory warranty deed state. That is the subject of another article. 

Since this is all an agreement you and your bank made when you want to remodify the terms of that original agreement the bank does not HAVE to do so. It is a misunderstanding that the bank HAS to let you modify or refinance your loan or do a short sale or do a deed in lieu. They don’t HAVE to do any of those things because it is not in the contract that you have with your bank. 

So a judge can not force the bank to go against their own contract unless of course the bank created your contract in a fraudulent manner or violated laws in doing the contract with you. 

The court can order your bank to go to mediation to try to work things out with you. The supreme court of Florida passed a ruling that says that all foreclosure cases must go through mediation before the bank can get their foreclosure judgment. The court can do this because it is about rules of court. They can determine what their rules of court are. 

The judge can force the mediation but the judge can not force the outcome of that mediation. The mediation is confidential and the details of the mediation resolve is not brought up in court. 

So the answer is NO- the judge does not force your bank to modify your loan. He can not force you or your bank to agree to anything that is not in your contract with the bank. 

Disclaimer: We are NOT attorneys and we are not giving you legal advice. Please consult an attorney who knows how to help you defend your foreclosure lis pendens. 

Nestor Gasset- Katerina Gasset- 2011 Top 9% In Wellington and Palm Beach County Florida

Nestor Gasset- Katerina Gasset- 2011 Top 9% In Wellington and Palm Beach County out of over 5000 real estate agents in Palm Beach County. 

Bragging rights:) and self-promotion going on here with a smile on my face- yes, it is time to toot our own horns here! 

Back in 2007 there were over 10,000 agents in Palm Beach County and that number has dropped by 50%. We embraced short sales since we already knew how to do short sales since the 90’s recession and the 80’s recession. 

More agents were doing short sales in Wellington and Palm Beach County in 2011. We remained in the top closers for our short sale listings. This is because we don’t give in nor do we give up. The last person that just googled to find us put in google: keyword + Aggressive short sale agents and our name popped up for them. You can not be passive and close short sales. You can not be an order taker and close short sales

It was exciting to get the email from Ocean Capital Lending announcing our 2011 success being in the top 9% of all the agents in Palm Beach County. The best part about it is that it is a third party validation of our numbers, in other words, I did not do the math, a third party did:) And that is always a good thing! 


Florida Foreclosure Update- Banks Must Prove They Own Your Note!

Florida Foreclosure Update- Banks Must Prove They Own Your Note! 

The 4th District Court of Appeal has ruled that the banks must prove they own your note before they can foreclose on your property. 

This ruling may force the banks to dismiss some of their cases against homeowners and go back to start the foreclosure process over again after they get possession of the real note. This is good news for homeowners in the state of Florida- they get to have their day in court in order to prove their case. This of course, is also good for foreclosure defense attorneys and it is also good for Florida short sale agents because it gets us some more time to get a short sale approved for sellers who want to move on with their lives. 

The Florida Supreme Court decided to take a case that had already gone to foreclosure. The bank had the note backdated ( allegedely) when they went to court against the homeowner. Even though the homeowner had lost his home the court still wanted to rule on this case because they said it would impact the foreclosure crisis in the state of Florida. 

Then after that decision, the 4th District Court of Appeal ruled on the matter of the banks having to prove ownership of the notes they are foreclosing on. 

Thousands of homeowners have said that the banks did not have the original note in their cases. Most of the banks end up finding the note before the final disposition of the foreclosure summary judgment but the appeals court ruled that the banks have to have ownership and prove ownership before they can even get started in filing a foreclosure summons and complaint against a homeowner. 

The court said that if the bank has any doubt about the note, they should dismiss the case and then refile it later once this is resolved. The homeowner is entitled to an evidentiary hearing instead of the summary judgment hearing. 

The summary judgment should not be used in cases where the homeowner wants a hearing. Summary judgments are not that common except in foreclosure cases. 

Contact a Florida foreclosure defense attorney for futher information. We are not attorneys and we are not giving legal advice. 

There are options to foreclosure. Contact Nestor and Katerina Gasset at 561-753-0135 for a confidential phone evaluation to go over your options to foreclosure. 

Wellington Short Sale Listing Agents Get Approval Letters!

Wellington Short Sale Listing Agents Get Approval Letters! 

All of a sudden we started to get approval letter after approval letter at the end of the year. It could be the timing, it could be the servicers wanting to get files closed before the end of the year or it may be that aggresive Wellington short sale agents get the job done for sellers by not giving in or giving up. 

Sometimes the work seems endless to get the approval letter stage and sometimes it feels like you are working and working with no end in sight. Sometimes you work and work and work on short sales file and the day you get the approval letter is the day the buyer’s agent calls you to tell you her buyers are walking away from the deal! 

Those are not good days! You have to pick up the phone to call the seller who is so excited about finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel only to hear that the buyer walked. They even walk away from their earnest money deposit at times. They waited too long they always say. 

But we pick up the pieces and go to the back up buyers or put the property back active on the market to hurry up and get another buyer who wants to close quickly at the approved price. This is why we want our sellers to reserve the right to accept back up offers. 

Wellington short sale listing agents negotiate until we get an approval letter and help the sellers get to the closing table so they can get on with their lives and get this chapter closed. 

Wellington Short Sale Agents Help Homeowners- Testimonial Video- Hear What Clients Say

Wellington Short Sale Agents Help Homeowners- Testimonial Video- Hear What Clients Say

This is one of the more emotional testimonials we have received after completing a Wellington Short Sales for homeowners who were in foreclosure.




Wellington short sale agents– Nestor Gasset and Katerina Gasset understand what you are going through when you are up against losing your house. We understand that this is a normal process in this economy through no fault of most homeowners. We understand how to work with your banks in order to come to the best conclusion of this part of your life as possible.

Make sure you ask for testimonials from homeowners who actually have done a short sale with the agent you are going to list with. We list short sales throughout Palm Beach county, Broward and Miami/Dade counties. Don’t just read and accept testimonials from buyers and sellers that are not about short sales. Make sure that the homeowners you are reading about had a short sale that was listed and sold.

South Florida Home Prices To Hit Bottom in 2012

South Florida Home Prices To Hit Bottom in 2012 

Six years after the housing collapse here in South Florida there is a predicted light at the end of the tunnel. Time goes by very fast. It seems like just yesterday we were watching home prices fall by over 50% in many parts of South Florida- in Palm Beach County, Broward County and Miami Dade County and up to St Lucie County along the Treasure Coast. 

Here we are six years later and prices are beginning to stabilize. That is a long free fall! Moody’s Analytics projects that in the next 10 to 15 months we will see the bottom of the fall. 

It is not going to be some housing boom especially not the likes of what we have seen in 2003, 2004 and to the middle of 2005 when the prices peaked.

This is all about median also. So bear that in mind. That means there are areas that will see a faster rise and others a slower upswing. There are condos on the waterfront in South Beach in Miami that already have risen by 25% but yet down the street into North Miami Beach off the waterfront sellers can not give their condos away. So it is all relative to your exact market.

Here in Wellington the prices for most properties and subdivisions are beginning to stabilize. Near 60% of all our sales are ALL CASH closings. The lower end properties sell to first time homebuyers or investors. The equestrian high end has always sold to those serious about moving their horses here to our great climate.

But there are areas all around us that are not fairing as well. 

Some of the banks are not as positive in the outlook because they say there are still too many foreclosures in the courts and too many people behind in their payments and too many bank owned properties that still have yet to be put on the market. 

Unemployment rates, toughter lending rules, harder to get a mortage regulations and more fees on mortgages will slow down the process of recovery as well. 

New home construction is starting again so if you are in the market for a new home now may be a good time to buy one. 

Rates are still low. Interest rates for mortgages are still at record lows so if you can get a mortgage now is a great time to do so. 

Sellers who are not doing short sales and who are not in foreclosure will have the upper hand and some leverage as me move into 2012. Most likely we will continue to see bidding wars on non stressed properties. This is good news for sellers who don’t want to wait until all their equity lost decides to come back. 

There are over 371,000 open foreclosure cases in the state of Florida. Palm Beach, Broward and Miami/Dade counties have about 100,000 of those cases. 

So we are not in a free fall any longer but still have a long ways to go to get out of this mess. 

Your Short Sales Are NOT Closing????

I just read a featured post about an attorney who is not going to be negotiating any more short sales in his office. There were many supportive comments but there were many that were quite disturbing. The post was a ‘members only’ post so I can not refer to it however I will go over what is most alarming to me. 

More than one commenter stated that they don’t like to do short sales because they rarely close. Some even said they don’t want to take short sale listings because they don’t close. I don’t know the ratio of who’s comments were those who list short sales compared to those who had buyers for short sales. 

My big question is: WHY are your short sales NOT closing? What is your closing ratio for your short sales closing? If it is not over 90% than you are right – you should not be listing short sales not because they are not closing but rather you are not closing them for some reason. 

What is the reason you are NOT closing your short sales? 

  • IF you are doing an intake evaluation with each seller before you list their house for sale as a short sale you should know right up front whether the short sale is going to close or not. 

We should not be gambling with people’s homes. 

  • IF you look over the short sale package the seller turns into you– which should be done BEFORE you list their property for sale as a short sale- you should be able to tell whether there are going to be any issues and if there are you can address them before you list the property for sale. 
  • IF you made sure your seller understands the process of a short sale and he or she has committed to participate in the short sale- there should be no reason for this short sale not to close. 
  • IF you DON’T give up with the lender, if you DON’T behave like a debt collector, if you DON’T give up on your seller, there is no reason for you not to get the short sale closed. That means if you have to climb to the top of the food chain, that is what you do. 

IF the seller is going to get foreclosed on next week- you don’t LIST the short sale! 

The odds are in your favor if you know how to negotiate a short sale that you will get your short sales closed. If you are not getting your short sales closed then you need to take a good negotiating course. We list and negotiate and sell our short sale listings. In over 20 years of negotiating short sales we have over a 90% approved short sale ratio. That is after dozens and dozens of short sales. The same goes for Broker Bryant and many others that do short sales. 

Yes, they can be tough.

But don’t take listings if you run out of breathe before you get to the finish line. That is not fair to your sellers, the homeowners and it is also not fair to the buyers waiting for the approval and it is not fair to yourself.