Monthly Archives: May 2009

Streamlining Short Sales

This morning I ran a search on the RMLS for my buyer clients. The results showed that 11 of the 14 homes meeting my client’s criteria were distressed properties. Two of which were bank owned and nine were short sales!

It is my experience that transactions involving bank owned (foreclosure) properties seem to be closing reasonably smoothly. The banks negotiate in a timely manner and will even pay for repairs, home warranties, buyer closing costs and other requests. The foreclosure departments at the banks seem to be organized, efficient and incentivised.

Short sales, on the other hand, are processed out of a different department than foreclosures at most banks. They are typically very challenging to get closed. As banks, Realtors, buyers, sellers, lenders and title companies all ride the short sales learning curve, there are any number of things that can go wrong. Sellers must be approved to sell their home short and the process is complex to say the least. The short sale departments are overwhelmed and understaffed. Buyers can wait weeks and even months to get a bank’s response to their purchase offer. Often buyers get tired of waiting for an answer, withdraw their offer and move on.

The good news is that the U.S. Treasury has unveiled a plan to streamline and encourage short sales. The “Foreclosure Alternatives Plan” will include standardized documentation, cash incentives to lenders and even moving allowances for homeowners.  This plan will play an important role in getting these properties sold and keeping people out of foreclosure.

 Here is a National Association of Realtors release regarding the plan.

Have a great week!

Kevin Gorman / GRI (Graduate Realtor Institute) / CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert)


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Certified Distressed Property Expert




Kevin Gorman of RE/MAX equity group in Portland, Oregon has earned the prestigious Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation, having completed extensive training in foreclosure avoidance and short sales. This is invaluable expertise to offer at a time when the area is greatly affected by “distressed” homes in the foreclosure process.

Short sales allow the cash-strapped seller to repay the mortgage at the price that the home sells for, even though it is lower than what is owed on the property. With plummeting property values, this can save many people from foreclosure and even bankruptcy. More and more lenders are willing to consider short sales because they are much less costly than foreclosures. In the Portland area, thousands of homes are in danger of foreclosing. It is happening in all price ranges. Local experts say that even high-priced homes are not immune.

“This CDPE designation has been invaluable as I work with sellers and lenders on complicated short sales,” said Gorman. “It is so rewarding to be able to help sellers save their homes from foreclosure.”

Alex Charfen, founder of the Distressed Property Institute in Boca Raton, Fla., said that Realtors® such as Kevin with the CDPE designation have valuable training in short sales that can offer the homeowner much better alternatives to foreclosure, which virtually destroys the credit rating. These experts also may better understand market conditions and can help sellers through the emotional experience, he said. The Distressed Property Institute opened in January 2008 and provides training on-site and online.

The CDPE is the premier designation for Realtors helping homeowners in distress and handling short sales. “Our goal is to educate as many people as possible so we can help as many homeowners as possible,” Charfen said. For more information about CDPE designation or to find a certified distressed Realtor in your area, please call 1-800-482-0335.   503-495-5191

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Positive Market Indicators

The overall health of the real estate market is beginning to improve. Refinances are creating a wave of business for lenders while strengthening homeowner’s finances. This helps reduce the number of foreclosures which is an important step in our return to more stabilized the market.

Interest rates remain at below the 5% level for qualified borrowers. Sellers are negotiating and prices can be very attractive. You’ve heard it before…there may never be a better time to buy in our lifetimes.

New mortgage applications are up 77% for home purchases and refinances over this time last year”   ~   Mortgage Bankers Association

Nearly 600,000 home buyers have already claimed the $7,500 tax credit from last year or the $8,000 credit from this year.”  ~ National Association of Home Builders

Bank of America is adding 5,000 new positions to help with mortgage business. B of A closed 400,000 new loans in the first quarter 2009.” ~ Bank of America

National home prices rose by seven tenths of a percent on average last month after falling by six and a half percent during the previous 12 months.” ~  Federal Housing Finance Agency

tax-credit1If you have not owned a home in the past three years you qualify as a first time home buyer. In order to be eligable for the $8,000 tax credit though, your home purchase must close in escrow before December 01, 2009. You might fall in love with a bank owned or short sale property which can take months to close, so don’t wait…. If you have been sitting on the fence, it’s now time to hop down and get busy.

Call me today. I will help you succeed. If it’s not the time for you, please refer me to a friend. Thank you~

 All my best,

Kevin Gorman

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