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National Mortgage News

SEP 30, 2014 12:01pm ET - Lynn Effinger
Lynn Effinger wrote this article for National Mortgage News.

I recently had the pleasure of serving as one of the expert panelists at the Five Star Conference & Expo held at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas.

This particular panel was part of The Five Star REO Lab, and was titled, "Adjusting for Inventory." and focused on the need for real estate brokers and agents to diversify their service offerings by including retail sales, property management, valuations and other services, since REO inventories have decreased noticeably in most markets.

While it is true that REO inventories are declining in most markets across the country, I offered the argument on the panel as I do here that brokers and agents who have specialized in or at least have participated heavily in the REO market should remain plugged into that space.

This is because the so-called housing recovery has been artificially created in large measure by government intervention with programs such as HAMP, HAFA, foreclosure moratoria due to robo-signing, and other key factors.

We are not headed for another housing downturn as much as we are still in the major one caused by the housing bubble that burst in 2007-08. Affordability issues, looming interest rate hikes as have been predicted by Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen, too many FHA loans being made (this is the "new" subprime market), federal emphasis being placed on low-income borrowers, and other factors are causing house prices to decline once again in many markets.

In addition, many of the foreclosures that had been stalled in California after the passing of the Homeowners Bill of Rights so that everyone involved could clearly understand its impact are now being flushed out of their system.

This is also true in judicial foreclosure states where there had been significant backlogs in the court systems. Most of these foreclosures will go all the way through the process to become REO properties.

Because I believe a further downturn is inevitable, mostly due to too many people having short memories, REO professionals need to be on top of their game to be ready for another wave — certainly not a tsunami, but a wave nonetheless.

At one point during the discussion it was argued that the federal government plays a vital role in resolving issues surrounding the economy in general and the housing market in particular.

I countered that the true role of government is to protect the citizens of the United States, to legislate and provide oversight, but they should stay out of the way of the private sector, because they are the ones with the experience and knowledge to resolve the housing crisis.

It has been my view since the early days of the financial meltdown and the ensuing housing crash that had the government stood back and allowed the private sector to develop ways to resolve these issues it would have been quite painful to be certain, but the recession would not have lasted so long.

Nor would this obscene debacle have been so devastating for so many individuals and families due to related loss of income and jobs.

And while the second-quarter GDP estimate of 4.6% reported today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis appears to reflect an improving economic environment, one quarter’s numbers does not a trend make.

There are still enough indicators out there that suggest another round of foreclosures is near. That was certainly reflected by yours truly and other panelists at this conference.

Throughout the panel discussion it was agreed that new and improved technology will make it easier for agents and brokers to diversify their service lines. Investment in technology efficiencies is as important as ever in this transitioning new climate, whatever service lines are pursued by each individual.

Lynn Effinger is a veteran of more than three decades in the housing and mortgage servicing industries. He currently serves as executive vice president of ZVN Properties Inc.

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A Short Sale Christmas Miracle…?

A Short Sale Christmas Miracle…?

As many of you know, I enjoy working with distressed homeowners (yes, another label), that is, those homeowners who are facing a hardship. It could be a job relocation, death of a loved one, divorce, loss of employment, etc. I like working with these people because, it keeps me humble and more importantly, constantly reminds me that we are all part of the tragic human condition. More to the point, it’s a constant, in my face, open your eyes and stand witness to the plight of those who are hurting. As witness to these terrible circumstances facing these good people, I can empathize and help shoulder the burden that a home can sometimes cause a family. In this, I am reminded of just how human and fragile we are.

This day, started like any other, following up on my files, calling banks, listening to recordings, staying on hold for endless hours, I am sure you know the drill however, something different happened today, something that truly could be called, a Christmas miracle.

My clients banks called me to inform me that they will not be postponing the foreclosure and no other options to save my clients home was available. These calls are always gut wrenching and over the years I have developed an almost morticians kit gloves however, I was bamboozled when the representative asked my client and I if we would like to talk with his supervisor. You see, that never happens…never. Now, keep in mind, our call was not hostile in any way and in fact, by all accounts, it was going really well. Sure, my client was upset and anxious but, he wasn’t agitated, rude, belligerent and he had no malice in his tone or cadence with the representative.  This may be because I had prepared him for this eventuality months before and in reality, we had settled into the idea that this would happen so, all in all, the call was going well. Towards the end of the call, right when I normally say, “thank you Mr. Representative, I will be in touch”, Mr. Representative asked if we wanted to speak with his supervisor. Of course, my client and I jumped at the opportunity, with a little glimmer of hope but, in the back of my mind, I knew and understood we were likely going to be told “no” once again.

Relaxed in our defeat and comforted that up to this point, we had truly done everything we could, everything we knew how to do, the supervisor came on. Now, before the conversation really got started, pleasantries were exchanged and lines were drawn. That is, we were told, that no matter how the call ended, the end result was still going to be “no” and truthfully, to my client, I think that was just fine, as long as he had a chance to speak and tell his story….that is really all he wanted to do. The supervisor, lead by what seemed to be her nature, calmly and empathetically said, “I would be happy to listen.” I immediately muted my phone so as to not disturb my client and I listened in complete amazement as I actually hear silence from the supervisor, interrupted only by her warm, calming and assuring voice as she said things like, “Oh no” or “That’s terrible”. You see, for any of you who know anything about short sales, first off, we rarely get to speak with supervisors and those that we do get to speak with, rarely ever are they willing to just stop, listen and empathize. Down here in the south, we would say that’s about as rare and hens teeth.

In a flash, I realized what I was standing witness to and it moved me, it did something to me that I don’t know will ever be undone. I was listening to a divine moment. A moment where one wretched human, down in despair and looking into an abyss was given a flickering, fragile, flame of hope in nothing more than the simple act of listening. I saw the burden of a crushing debt begin to lift with the calming, reassuring voice of an empathetic ear. I heard the divine reach from the mouth and ear to the soul of another. I was moved. Sure, the outcome didn’t change, the foreclosure is still taking place as scheduled but, foreclosure was the furthest from the soul of the people talking and listening even though it was the word most spoken and weighting most heavily on the tongue.

I know I will never make a dime on this property or client. I have worked tirelessly and yet, my work will not help me keep my lights on, pay my mortgage or even put gas in my car but, it did change my life because, how could anyone stand in the presence of such an awesome act, witness evidence of the divine and not stand in complete awe with their nature changed forever?

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Many people have no clue what happens or if anything happens to their credit when they complete a short sale. Truth is, many people just don’t know however, some really great articles are out there about this very topic and yet, so many questions still exist.

The first article I want to draw your attention to is notably an older article however, based on all the chatter I hear on a daily basis about how a deed in lieu or short sale will impact your credit, I really think this article should be revisited.

As published in the Washington Post 8/30/2011 by Michelle Singletary she stresses the fact the actual credit score it’s self, also known as the FICO score may be impacted differently by a short sale or deed in lieu however, that impact is so marginally different that, claims a short sale is less negatively impactful than a deed in lieu seem a bit farfetched, when strictly referring to impact of the FICO score. If you want to read her article yourself, click here.

A 2nd article I think you should read is by Linda Ferrari on 6/9/2009 on her blog, Linda Ferrari Your Credit Score Expert. She wrote an article titled The Mortgage Crisis and Your Credit Part Three: Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure. This article is really good from the stand point about how your credit score is impacted by how the deed in lieu is reported. Many people don’t realize that the bank can report your deed in lieu three different ways and of those three different ways, the negative impact will vary from most negative impact to lest negative impact. I would strongly suggest you read her article to learn more about how it’s reported. It was a huge eye opener for me.

Finally, I found a great article, maybe the best one on what the future may hold for those of you who have completed a short sale vs a deed in lieu. Now this article is very recent, in comparison to the other two, it was written back on 7/8/2013 by Alanna McCargo and even better, it’s posted on the Equifax forums giving it credibility. It’s titled “Can I buy a Home After a Short Sale or Foreclosure” and, the best part is her approach to credit fundamentals and how important it is to do all you can to protect your credit.

All in all, after these I read these articles and did some further investigation on my own, here is what I learned.

  1. Your credit will be negatively impacted by a Short Sale, Foreclosure or Deed in Lieu.
  2. The negative impact to your FICO score will be marginal at best between the Short Sale, Foreclosure or Deed in Lieu.
  3. When you agree to participate in any of these default disposition options, CONSUMERS MUST READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THEIR PARTICIPATION and watch out for how their action is being reported to the credit reporting bureaus. The truth is, some reporting options are much more negatively impactful than others. Consumers need to know they have options they can negotiate here for a less negative impact to their credit.
  4. Finally, benefits like, relocation assistance, no risk of future deficiency judgments are not guaranteed and once again, CONSUMERS MUST READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THEIR PARTICIPATION as these additional benefits are NOT guaranteed. Consumers have options here to negotiate a better deal and should be aware they have options.

If you are considering a short sale, contact me, Jesus “Jesse” D. Gonzalez Jr. Realtor / Principal Broker of Liberty House Realty LLC. I would be happy to discuss your options with you and how we can help. 615-424-0961

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Thinking of Short Sale Flipping?….Think Again.

In an Article in the Los Angeles Times Business paper, written by E. Scott Reckard published on-line 10/16/2013 @ 6:15am cst, he reports that a former Bank of America Corp. employee Kevin Lauricella was arrested on federal charges for accepting bribes in the amount of $1 million to allow homes to be sold far below their market value.

Based on the report, it appears that Kevin is indicted on 18 properties where he allegedly allowed them to be sold far below the price the bank would have accepted. These alleged transactions took place in 2010 and early 2011. To get the sales through the BofA system, Kevin is accused of falsifying bank records.

The buyers who bought these ridiculously low priced homes would then turn around and sell them for market value or even refinance them at market value, pocketing the profits. To better understand the allegations, see an example of a possible scheme below, not related to the specific allegations of Kevin’s.

Homeowner owes ………………………………………………………………. $100,000.00

Based on Sold comparables, his home is worth……………………… $75,000.00

Which means homeowners is upside down…………………………....$25,000.00

Buyer / Investor makes a low ball offer of……………………………….$50,000.00

BofA completes an appraisal and the home is worth……………..$75,000.00

Now, here is where it get’s fishy. Instead of BofA countering the buyer’s $50,000.00 offer with a counter of $75,000.00, someone at the bank has to do something to allow the $50,000.00 offer to be approved, even though it’s $25,000 less than what the bank could get on the open market. So, to more the story along, the bank approves the fraudulent $50,000.00 offer and the buyer / investor closes the deal on Monday. They then turn around and close the 2nd deal….that’s right, the deal they had in their back pocket from a buyer who was willing to pay $75,000.00 for the property on Tuesday morning, making $25,000.00 in profit in less than 24 hours.

Now, the really sad part of this, the opportunity for fraud is rampant. It doesn’t take a cooperative bank representative to pull this off. In fact, I have seen this strategy myself, in play, here in my local market with corrupt appraisers. I have even been pressured myself, by buyers / investors to tell them when the appraiser is scheduled to be at the property so they can meet with them and give them their comparable analysis. These buyer / investors make it sound so reasonable, they say things like, “well, we want to write up the offer” or “we want to negotiate our offer with the bank direct” or “we can meet with the appraiser so he can see our comps”, etc…  however, it’s fraud!

In fact, this is happening so rampantly in my own market place, I was contacted by such a buyer / investor’s Realtor back on Sat 9/21/2013 @ 10:06pm cst through my email. That’s right, these fraudulent buyer / investors are enlisting Realtors to now do the dirty work for them, offering them “double commissions” or higher splits, playing on the agents greed. Sadly, the agent that contacted me is working with a well known Principal Broker in a very well known firm however, the firm is one of those 100% firms and they offer very little to no mandatory training and chances are, after drilling this agent via email about his actions, he may actually believe what he is doing is “the American way” of buying low and selling high.

This topic always seems to get a lot of response and most of the time, I am demonized and vilified saying that I have no business being in Realestate or, I have no clue what I am talking about however, you don’t have to take my word for it. If you really believe what you are doing is above board, legal….and some investors package you bought for $999.99 gives you a indemnity clause or a release of liability statement that says you can do what you’re doing, then I have one thing to say to you. Take your package you bought, take your forms you use and call my friends over at the HUD’s office of the OIG and ask to speak with the Lisa Gore, Assistant Special Agent in Charge or Harvey Wayne Martin, Special Agent. I know they would love to talk with you and answer all your questions.

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Property Management, Rentals and Short Sale: The New Niche

From the time we sign up for real estate school, to the most experienced agents with 30+ years under their belt, we have all heard that to be successful in real estate, we need to find our niche. Well, I am here to say that’s a bunch of hog wash. I would go as far to say that by “finding your niche” you’re a signing, your own business’s death certificate. Many of our colleagues found out in 2007 – 2008, when the real estate bubble burst, having a niche meant you didn’t know how to work in a shifting market place. I understand that for most all of us, real estate was steady and predictable so, this niche thinking was rampant, accepted and promoted amongst our ranks however, now we have learned that being a niche Realtor means certain death as real estate become more and more volatile each day.

Now, I say all this but, let’s be honest, REO is definitely a niche, I like to think of it as being the undertaker of the real estate world. Yes, by extension, that means I am a housing mortician. As such, we see highs and lows and we are extremely sensitive to fluctuations in the market place. For some, that’s just fine, we have learned to work with these convulsions and have shielded our lives and business from times of drought however, a vast majority of us ended up in the foreclosure lines ourselves when the real estate market heard those fateful sounds, snap, crackle and finally….POP!

As a Realtor and full time Broker, I have found that taking a more diversified approach to my business offers me and my family a more stable outlook to my career. This means, I have done away with the niche and expanded my income streams to include things like; Property Management, Rentals and yes, Short Sales. I do have some other things I do in real estate like, investing however, that is another conversation for another time. Let’s stay focused on the whole “niche” thing.

True, you can say that each of those three I just wrote about are niches amongst themselves and, you would get no argument out of me here however, all together as a part of your service portfolio, they become more, much more. All together they become an inoculation of sorts, from the market place unpredictability. By adding more services you can offer, you are riding out the waves of instability in the market place by being able to quickly and effectively shift your business to more profitable ventures. Ok…yes, you are still working the “distressed property” niche so…..yeah, it’s still a niche but, it’s a niche with diversification.

Right now, many markets are seeing short sales take over and even outpace REOs however, we don’t see a flood of agents clamoring to do short sales like we did with agents clamoring to get REO assignments and, why is that? Have you thought about that? If not, why not? My argument is, the skills you learned to be a kick ass REO agent are really the same skills you need to be a kick ass Short Sale Professional. I would go as far to say, no real difference exist between the two required skill set that would stop any outstanding short sale agent from being a outstanding REO agent and vice versa.

Granted, short sales are much more time consuming and require much more paperwork but, these things shouldn’t scare you away but, should entice you to add short sales to your service portfolio. Let’s face it, if you can close a complicated short sale, you can close any REO. My bigger point is, due to the complex nature of a short sale, becoming a Short Sale Professional will build on skills you already have or at least, develop skills you don’t have and therefore, making you better in the long run.

Don’t be afraid of short sales, they are fast becoming the new REO. As REO agents, you already have the basic and even advanced skills to be a great Short Sale Professional so, grow a pair and get to work. Your area has hundreds or even thousands of homeowners who need the help of an experienced distressed property agent who knows the front and back of the foreclosure process so that they can avoid the foreclosure if at all possible.

As an idol of mine says, “You beda weeerk!”

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Rock Realty Client Testimonials

"Mike Collins was easy to talk to and very good at explaining in detail all aspects of the short sale of the property. With a lot of patience, he walked me through the process of a short sale. He was understanding of my plight and very sympathetic.

Mike was a pleasure to work with and he is a man of his word.
Thank you, Mike, and best of luck to you."

Tom D. (Oxford, WI)
Rock Realty Seller Client

Rock Realty Client Testimonials

Thanks for the compliments, and Congratulations on your closing Tom!

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1Side-e1357247834912.jpg?width=300We are happy to announce the closing on another one of our short sale listings, this time in Oxford, WI! This was an Associated Bank negotiated short sale. Short sale transactions can be complex, but if you have an experienced Short Sale Realtor® the process is much more manageable.

This was a fantastic log home with acreage, at a great price! The new owners are sure going to enjoy all 38+ Acres! If you are thinking of selling or buying a short sale home in Wisconsin, our short sale specialists would be happy to assist you. Give Rock Realty a call at 608-921-8536. (We are a full service real estate brokerage.)

Is a Short Sale right for my situation??

If you are considering the possibility of a short sale for your home and have further questions, feel free to visit the page below:

Is a Short Sale right for My Home?
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Short Sale Real Estate Agents in Fitchburg, WI 53711

Fitchburg, WI Short Sale Real Estate AgentsAre you looking for a Fitchburg Wisconsin Short Sale Realtor®or real estate agent? Rock Realty is a real estate brokerage that specializes in Short Sales and Bank Owned Foreclosures in the Fitchburg WI area.


My name is Michael Collins, broker for Rock Realty. I have completed the Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource training and have been given the SFR designation through the National Association of Realtors®. Feel free to contact me directly at 608-921-8536 for help with any of your short sale questions. I have helped many Fitchburg home owners with their distressed property needs.

REALTORS® who have earned the SFR certification know how to help sellers maneuver the complexities of short sales as well as help buyers pursue short sale and foreclosure opportunities. The certification program includes training on how to qualify sellers for short sales, negotiate with lenders, protect buyers, and limit risk.

A Certified Distressed Property Expert® (CDPE) is a real estate professional with specific understanding of the complex issues confronting the real estate industry. Through comprehensive training and experience, CDPEs are able to provide solutions for homeowners facing hardships in today's market.

What is a Short Sale?
A short sale occurs when a lender agrees to take less than the amount owed to payoff a loan as an alternative to foreclosure. Lenders know that it will cost them a significant amount of money to take a property back. The Realtors® at Rock Realty can often convince them that they will be better off financially if they sell the property now rather than taking the home through foreclosure and trying to sell it later. So, a short sale can actually be good for the bank. It can also be good for the home owner, as it is typically better to perform a short sale on their Fitchburg property instead of letting it proceed to foreclosure.

If you are considering the possibility of a short sale for your Fitchburg Wisconsin home and have further questions, feel free to visit the short sale information page below.

Is a Short Sale right for My Home?

Additional Short Sale Information

Rock Realty SOLD Short Sale Listings
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It’s a sign of the times!

Most of us grew up thinking that if we planned well and played by the rules, we’d never have to stand by as our financial lives unraveled.

But upheaval on Wall Street, unacceptable rates of unemployment and plummeting real estate values have taken their toll.  Since 2007, 7.9 million homeowners have lost their homes to foreclosure. Current estimates are that one in four homeowners owe more on their mortgages than they could get from the sale of their home. Millions more homes will be lost to foreclosure before this real estate crisis runs its course.

The sad fact is that foreclosure is not an isolated event. For months leading up to the loss of a home, financially strapped homeowners live under a cloud of uncertainty.  And then for many years afterwards, the blow to credit gets in the way of buying another home or buying anything on credit. Foreclosure even complicates employment prospects.

The impact of foreclosure is huge and the sad fact is that it’s often avoidable.


As a real estate professional who has earned the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation, my mission is to provide financially strapped homeowners with options to foreclosure, ensure that they steer clear of scams, and help navigate them through the solution that best meets their needs.

Among the most important facts to keep in mind: the sooner help is sought, the better the options.

These are tough times, but more help is available than ever before. If you or someone you care about is ready to navigate away from the dark cloud of an unmanageable mortgage and realize that hope and blue skies are within reach, contact me today and let’s get started.

What are your 10 Options to Avoid Foreclosure?


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Why you should attend the Short Sale Symposium at Sea.

In the past couple days, I have gotten a few calls and emails from members wanting to know what my thoughts are on the Short Sale Symposium at Sea by the Short Sale Specialist Network so, let me make this easy for everyone and just write a blog about it.

1. It's a CRUISE! I really need to say more? Surely not....but, I

  • Hassle Free: This is the best part for me. I pack and unpack once. I don't have to drive around, look for a hotel, wonder if the part of town I am in is safe or where I am going to eat.
  • Get Away: I love being out of the country, truly away from the daily's so refreshing. No alarm clocks, no PHONES, no emails, etc... (NOTE: If you really need it, you actually can get email on the boat, if you want to pay a little extra)
  • It's First Class: The cruise staff treats you well. People are nice, they go out of their way to make your experience a first class experience.
  • Do It All or Nothing At All: It's a cruise, you choose what you do, when you do it.
  • A New Place Daily: I love being able to come back and tell my friends and family about all the places I have been, Jamaica, Grand Cayman....all on one trip.
  • I Am Never Bored: These ships have all kinds of things to do. From shows, dining, events, activities, etc.... you can't get bored. Just between us, I am more a cocktail pool side kind of guy.
  • Shopping!: Yes, we love shopping at all the local shops in port, getting to experience the locals and having a good time on land.
  • Friends Everywhere: Cruises are designed to're on a ship and everyone is there to have a good time so, meet some people and have a good time, make a friend or two.
  • Romance: Ok...yes, cruises are very romantic, something about taking your spouse with you, having a day full of classes and learning, then a nice romantic dinner on your cabin balcony, watching the sun set......uummm, well, that is enough of that, you get the point.

That about sums up the first reason I give people why I love the Short Sale Symposium at Sea now for reason # 2.

2. The Short Sale Symposium at Sea is the most unique and fun-filled conference our industry has. Who said a conference can't be a freaking blast? It doesn't have to be filled with suits and ties, stuffy lecture halls and crazy schedules. Instead, why can't we learn and network in shorts, t-shirts and flip flops? Oh...wait, we can, it's called Short Sale Symposium at Sea. It's a relaxed environment and offers incredible opportunities to learn, network and get to know other professionals and how they are working in their home markets. It really is a conference but, much more fun.

After those two reasons, do you need anymore? Well, you don't have to take my word for it, go to and listen to the testimonials of the other attendees yourself, then you decide.

I really hope to see you there.

Jesse G.

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This 4 Car Garage Stoughton, WI short sale home is now listed at $99,000!

Click for MLS listing.
4 Car Garage Home

Property Highlights

  • 4 Car Garage!
  • Great for a mechanic or woodworker!
  • Large Front Yard
  • Private Backyard
  • Paver Block Patio
  • Vaulted Ceilings
  • Exposed Beams
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Kitchen Storage
  • Hardwood Floors
  • Tiled Bathroom


  • Bedrooms: 2 plus a main level office
  • Bathrooms: 1
  • Home Size: 1,326 sq.ft.
  • Garage: 4
  • Lot Size: 8,712 sq.ft.
  • County: Dane
  • Property Type: Single Family Home
  • Year Built: 1935
  • MLS Number: 1664037

Original Post - Stoughton WI 4 Car Garage House

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Buying again After a Short Sale

Rock Realty Client Testimonials

"Approx 4 years ago.. I was having some financial strain. I wasn't able to keep up with a first and second mortgage alone as a single mom.

Through friends and family, I was introduced to Mike and Matt.

I didn't want to have to go through the foreclosure process, because I knew that I would be able to pull through the mess I was in within a few years and I didn't want to have that looming over me.

Matt and Mike were able to take over and help me with a short sale. They worked with me directly. They both came to my home, sat down, helped me understand this delicate process (which remains total Greek to me), and they were extremely efficient. My bank worked with me and these gentlemen, and withing approx 3 months, my home was sold in a short sale.

I remain amazed at their abilities and their continued efforts to help me.

Now, 3 years later, I'm looking to purchase... I have looked them up again... and they are helping me find a home that I'm looking for within my specifications and they also have resources to assist with lending.

Couldn't ask for more!!

Thanks so much my friends!! you do an awesome job... Keep up the great work!"

Kari B.(Cross Plains, WI)
Rock Realty Seller & Buyer Client

Rock Realty Client Testimonials

Thanks for the kind words Kari! We look forward to finding you the home perfect for you!

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Happy Short Sale Seller

Rock Realty Client Testimonials

"I had a very challenging home sale and Mike Collins was diligent every step of the way. The most difficult aspect may have been me, I was very specific about which closing dates worked and how I wanted to proceed. Mike patiently answered all of my questions and accommodated all of my requests. When issues between the title and mortgage companies arose, Mike was a swift and competent negotiator. I know that the buyer's agent was very impressed with Mike as well. My house had an accepted offer within 10 days of listing. I am amazed that it all went so smoothly. THANKS MIKE!"

John B.(Madison, WI)
Rock Realty Seller Client

Rock Realty Client Testimonials

Thanks for the compliments, and Congratulations on your closing John!

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The SMART Way to Buy Your First Short Sale

Buying a short sale in Madison Wisconsin is quite common right now. The impact of the financial recession has resulted in numerous foreclosures and has left some people with no option but to sell their home for less than the mortgage balance. Buying a Madison area Wisconsin short sale will require a bit of patience and a smart plan.

Understanding the Short Sale


Obviously, the best reason to buy a short sale is for the savings. Most of these properties are discounted as much as 20% off the market price. Buyers can save a considerable amount of money by negotiating the right deal with a motivated seller. However, a good price should only be one consideration. There are other things for the buyer to be aware of such as:

* In order to get a contract on a short sale, it is best to be the first person to contact the seller or selling agent. Being first puts you in more control of the transaction.

* Just because a property is being offered as a short sale does not make it a great deal. Some properties may need extensive work before they can be deemed a safe living environment.

* Banks typically frown on ridiculous low offers. A successful short sale will require you to offer a reasonable amount. This is where an agent can really come in handy.

* Based on the current number of short sales, banks are swamped with these requests. The process for moving the offer through the chain of command does not always progress in an orderly fashion. This requires the buyer to be flexible about a closing date.

All of this means that buying a short sale requires a solid plan; a plan that will get you in front of the right seller, with the right offer.

Putting Together a Good Plan

Follow this outline to help you develop a plan for buying your first short sale.


1. First and foremost, you need to meet with a real estate agent that has experience in short sale transactions. This will save you lots of time and trouble throughout the process. The agent can have a conversation with you to determine the type of house you need and look for possible short sale targets.

2. Determine a plan for responding when a short sale becomes available. Decide with your agent how the information will be communicated to you and how soon you can look over the home.

3. Set up a meeting with a local mortgage lender. Getting the financing secured ahead of time will help get your offer approved. A lender that is familiar with short sale transactions would also be beneficial since the closing may happen at any time and the lender will need to be prepared.

Understand that a short sale which seems like a good deal will likely draw attention from several buyers. The person that responds the quickest, with the best offer and the best plan in place, will likely win the bidding war.

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Front-Yard-e1357247853719.jpg?width=300We are happy to announce the closing on another one of our short sale listings, this time in Madison, WI! This was a Bank of America negotiated short sale. Bank of America has made many changes to make their short sale process easier and more efficient. Short sale transactions can be complex, but if you have an experienced Short Sale Realtor® the process is much more manageable.

This was a beautiful home, at a great price that the new owners are sure to enjoy! If you are thinking of selling or buying a short sale home in Wisconsin, our short sale specialists would be happy to assist you. Give Rock Realty a call at 608-921-8536.

Is a Short Sale right for my situation??

If you are considering the possibility of a short sale for your home and have further questions, feel free to visit the page below:

Is a Short Sale right for My Home?

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Are you looking for a deal in a Short Sale or Bank Owned home in Santa Clara County? If so, don't bother. The inventory of distressed properties in the county is so low it is not worth doing a specific search for either a short sale or foreclosure. If one comes up in your general area search, go for it, but don't expect to get a deal, because there are so few of them.

Total number of single family homes for sale in Santa Clara County

1045 (historically low number)

Total number of short sales SFR For Sales in Santa Clara County:

65 or 6.2%

Total Number of SFR Foreclosures For Sale in Santa Clara County

18 or 1.7%

Total Number of Condos/Townhomes For Sale in Santa Clara County

233 (historically low number)

Total Number of Short Sale Condos For Sale In Santa Clara County

23 or 9.8%

Total Number of Bank Owned Condos For Sale in Santa Clara County

11 or 4%

Combined Single Family Homes and Condos/Townhomes for Sale in Santa Clara County


Total Number of Single Family Homes and Condos/Townhomes for Sale That Are Short Sales or Bank Owned in Santa Clara County


Total Percentage of Short Sales and Bank Owned Homes and Condos/townhomes

In Santa Clara County


As you can see the inventory of Santa Clara County Short Sales and Bank Owned properties that are currently for sale is less than 10%. This is not enough to bring the price of homes down in Santa Clara County, and not enough to allow for these homes to sell for less money than any other home in a similar location and condition. So, if one shows up in your search, be prepared for having to work harder to get through the offer and escrow process, but do not expect to to get a bargain.


If you have any questions about Short Sales or Bank Owned Homes in Santa Clara County please feel free to contact me.

Marcy Moyer

Keller Williams Realty


D.R.E. 01191194

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Great news for people who need to short sell their Blossom Valley

or Silicon Valley home!

If you have a hardship, loss of job, divorce, change in financial circumstance from medical or family issue, etc, you can now be considered for a short sale even if you have not missed a mortgage payment.

Freddie and Fannie will now have the same requirements and procedures, which was not true in the past.

This is great news, especially for people who have a sudden change in their circumstances and can no longer afford their mortgages, but do not want to have their credit ruined in order to be able to sell their home.

So, if you have a change in your circumstances which will change your financial picture, and you want to sell your home without ruining your credit, you may have a way to do this.

Be sure to work with professionals who know what they are doing. In short sales, there is no substitute for experience.


If you have any questions about short sales in Santa Clara or San Mateo County please feel free to contact me.

Marcy Moyer

Keller Williams Realty


D.R.E. 01191194

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As the year comes to a close you may be wondering what the foreclosure and short sale market looks like in San Mateo Clara County. In a word, things are pretty quiet. The numbers of sales are down. Here is what it looks like:

Santa Clara County Short Sales

Closed sales from June 1,2012 to Dec 26, 2012:  


Bank owned: 259

Short Sales: 509


Compared to the first 6 months of 2012:


Bank owned: 387

Short sales: 462


Current Active Sales:

Bank Owned:  17

Short Sales: 22


Current Pending Sales:

Bank Owned: 44

Short Sales: 310


As you can see there has been a large drop off in REO sales with a slight increase in short sales.

I expect a decrease in both short sales and foreclosures as San Mateo County home values increase, loan modifications increase, and the Homeoner's Bill of Rights takes effect in 2013. As prices increase fewer homeowners are underwater, and the need for short sales and foreclosures decrease. Also, the tax exemption of the debt forgiveness on short sales and foreclosures expires at the end of 2012. This will be a big incentive for homeowners to try to hold on until they are no longer underwater.


If you have any questions about San Mateo County Short Sales or Foreclosures please feel free to contact me.

Marcy Moyer

Keller Williams Realty

D.R.E. 01191194


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I am so excited about this news! I know, it doesn't take much for me to get excited, but this is really big news in my opinion.

Up until now if you were involved in a Silicon Valley Bank of America Short Sale they did not take electronic signatures. This would have been ok if the bank could sit with you in your conference room and look at the offers. We all know this does not happen and the paperwork will often be faxed several times before B of A gets to see a document. Since they cannot accept illegible documents it made things harder for the participants.

Also, despite the sometime lengthy process of a short sale, Bank of America will often say they need a document now, and not being able to get electronic signatures is sometimes tough.

Now, for any new short sales, you can send all documents with electronic signatures. This makes me very happy. As a Silicon Valley Short Sale Specialist anything that can make a short sale more efficient is ok with me.


So if you have any questions about short sales in San Mateo or Santa Clara Counties please feel free to contact me.

Marcy Moyer

Keller Williams Realty


D.R.E. 01191194

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I was reading about short sales, as I do every Sunday morning on a great site for short sale information Short Sale Superstars. There was a discussion about a Bank of America Short Sale that had been approved, and then denied after the approval, a few days before closing. The reason:

The seller was a real estate broker and the listing agent works for the seller. The buyer used the listing agent to represent her.

Surprise Surprise, B of A said this is not an Arm's Length Transaction and rescinded the approval.

Blossom Valley Short Sale

There are multiple things wrong with transaction so let me see if I can organize the problems coherently.

1. All short sales must be an Arm's Length Transaction and an affidavit needs to be signed by all parties saying they are not related to each other in any way. The listing agent works for the seller so that is not arms length.

2. The seller may be offered a closing incentive by the bank, but is not allowed to receive any money from the buyer. Since the buyer is using the the listing agent who works for the seller and would have received commission for the sale, a portion of which would go to the broker, then the seller is getting money from the buyer.

3. Again, since the listing agent works for the seller and would get commission from the sale, a portion of which would go to the broker, the seller would be receiving money from the sale outside of the closing incentive.

4. The buyer has agreed to a dual agency and is entitled to the information that the listing agent works for the seller and that this can cause potential problems with The Arm's Length Transaction.

I do not know if the seller was trying to pull something over on the bank, or if he was just not familiar with short sales but this was totally avoidable.

Buyers: get your own agent to represent you.

Sellers: If you are a broker, get a different company to represent you. If you are an agent, get another agent to represent you, not your broker, and ask the bank if it is ok to be represented by someone else in your campany first, not after you are about to close.


If you have any questions about buying or selling a short sale in Santa Clara or San Mateo County please feel free to contact me.

Marcy Moyer

Keller Williams Realty


D.R.E. 01191194

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