New Short Sale Guidelines Announced
Stand up comedian Jerry Seinfeld might have started his show with, “What’s the deal with short sales anyway? Why do they take so long?”
But this is not a sitcom; this is the same question many homeowners are asking in our struggling housing market. The average short sale transaction takes upwards of eight to ten months to close, and is quite harrowing to everyone involved in the process.
That could all be about to change thanks to the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative Program (HAFA) announced by the US Treasury Department recently. HAFA places new guidelines on short sales and deed-in-lieu of foreclosure (DIL) transactions that could help speed up the housing recovery process. The program which is scheduled to take effect on April 5, 2010 is a complex one with 43 pages of guidelines and forms, but here is a summary of the ways it will enhance the process:
- Mortgage services will have 10 days to say yes or no to the short sale request.
- Allows borrowers to receive pre-approved short sales terms before listing the property.
- Prohibits the servicers from requiring a reduction in the real estate commission agreed upon in the listing agreement (up to 6 percent).
- Requires borrowers to be fully released from future liability for the first mortgage debt (no cash contribution, promissory note, or deficiency judgment is allowed).
- Uses standard processes, documents, and timeframes/deadlines.
- Provides financial incentives: $1,500 for borrower relocation assistance; $1,000 for servicers to cover administrative and processing costs; and up to $1,000 for investors for allowing a total of up to $3,000 in short sale proceeds to be distributed to subordinate lien holders (on a one-for-three matching basis).
- Requires all servicers participating in HAMP to implement HAFA in accordance with their own written policy, consistent with investor guidelines. The policy may include factors such as the severity of the potential loss, local markets, timing of pending foreclosure actions, and borrower motivation and cooperation.
Though the program doesn’t start until April servicers may implement it before then if they meet certain requirements. The program sunsets on December 31, 2012. If you would like more information on the HAFA Program check out the National Association of Realtors (NAR) FAQ’s here.
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Trend In Relocations:
Where The Family Does Not Immediately Relocate
With The Employee Due To Economic/Real Estate Issues
(Source: Mobility Magazine, February 2010 Issue)
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Home Improvement: Differentiate & Add Value
Courtesy of HGTV’s FrontDoor®
Most likely you have transferees that are about to put their home on the market. Here are some home improvement ideas from HGTV's FrontDoor® that will helo to differentiate their homes from others on the market, and add value.
# 1: Top Budget-Friendly Project: Clean and Conquer Clutter
Cleaning and decluttering is by far the most cost-effective way to add value to your home. A clean and clutter-free home looks larger and makes a great first impression on homebuyers. So scrub, dust, mop and vacuum each room until it shines, and while you’re at it, seriously scrutinize your possessions and toss or donate anything you haven’t used in a year.
If you’re selling your home, put away your favorite knickknacks and family heirlooms. Buyers want to see a clean, neutral space where they can envision their own belongings.
# 2: Top Energy Efficient Project: Add Insulation
# 3: Top Outdoor Structures Project: Build a Fence
# 4: Top Big Ticket Project: Finish the Basement
# 5: Top Home Exterior Project: Repair Gutters
# 6: Top Outdoor Living Project: Add Outdoor Lighting
# 7: Top Landscaping Project: Tidy Your Lawn
# 8: Top Storage & Organization Project: Maximize Storage Space
# 9: Top Bathroom Project: Refresh Fixtures
#10: Top Kitchen Project: Upgrade Appliances
For more ideas and details on the top 10 projects that add home value, click here.
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In this Edition
In a survey of 2,600 American Hiring Managers, 45% say they use social networking sites to research job candidates, compared to
22% a year earlier.
(Source: Careerbuilder.com, Chicago)
The average amount of time hiring executives spend reading a resume is 6.4 minutes, according to a survey of 150 senior executives.
(Source: Office Team, Menlo Park, CA)
Employees in Japan and India have the highest number of public holidays, while those in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Australia have the least.
(Source: Mercer, New York 2009 Worldwide Benefit and Employment Guidelines)
According to a poll of 503 employees, 33% of American workplaces provide free coffee to their employees, but 50% of the respondents described the coffee as "tolerable."
(Source: Braun Research, Princeton, NJ)
(Source: About.com Human Resources)
Please feel free to contact your GMS Account Manager for more information:
Amanda Burris, CRP, GMS
Sam Hoey, CRP, GMS
Katie Stevenson, CRP, GMS