Mary Jo Ryan Earns NAR Short Sales and Foreclosure Certification

Buyers and Sellers Benefit from REALTOR® Expertise in Distressed Sales

North Carolina, 2010 - Mary Jo Ryan with NC Realty Solutions has earned the nationally recognized Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource certification. The National Association of REALTORS® offers the SFR certification to REALTORS® who want to help both buyers and sellers navigate these complicated transactions, as demand for professional expertise with distressed sales grows.

According to a recent NAR survey, nearly one-third of all existing homes sold recently were either short sales or foreclosures. For many real estate professionals, short sales and foreclosures are the new "traditional" transaction. 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.

"As leading advocates for homeownership, REALTORS® believe that any family that loses its home to foreclosure is one family too many, but unfortunately, there are situations in which people just cannot afford to keep their homes, and a foreclosure or a short sale results," said 2009 NAR President Charles McMillan, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Dallas-Fort Worth. "Foreclosures and short sales can offer opportunities for home buyers and benefit the larger community, as well, but it's extremely important to have the help of a real estate professional like a REALTOR® who has earned the SFR certification for these kinds of purchases."

The certification program includes training on how to qualify sellers for short sales, negotiate with lenders, protect buyers, and limit risk, and provides resources to help REALTORS® stay current on national and state-specific information as the market for these distressed properties evolves. To earn the SFR certification, REALTORS® are required to take one core course and three Webinars. For more information about the SFR certification, visit www.REALTORSFR.org or call 1-877-510-7855.

It is important that buyers and sellers understand the process and difference between a Short Sale, a Foreclosure, and a Bank Owned/REO property.

A Short Sale is when the bank is owed more than the market value of an existing home. This happens when the homeowner either has a property that has substantially decreased in value since they purchased the home and/or they borrowed against the home and the liens add up to more than the home is valued at today. In this situation, the seller needs to prove to the bank/lien holder(s) that they are in a hardship situation. Examples of this are loss of income, health issues, or being relocated 100+ miles away for employment purposes. Once the seller gets an offer, there is a detailed process that each bank will go through to try and satisfy the investor that holds the mortgage and transfer the property to the buyer. This is a complicated and potentially long process. It requires expertise, experience and a lot of patience to be successful. The seller may or may not be held responsible for the balance owed to the bank after the sale. There are federal government programs designed to assist sellers in this situation. We have been trained in these programs and can help you understand them as a seller. For Buyers: we want you to understand that buying a short sale property is NOT for everyone. Feel free to contact us if you are considering purchasing or selling a home that is in a short sale situation. We can help!

A Foreclosure is when the bank has exhausted all efforts to satisfy the loan repayment and they take the property back as collateral for the note. When a property is in the foreclosure stage, it is not for sale. The homeowners are usually required to vacate the property immediately and they may still be required to pay back a portion or all of what they owe. Even if the debt is "forgiven" there can be serious tax ramifications. A seller should consult with a qualified real estate agent, tax attorney and an account if facing a short sale or foreclosure. Even if a home is in the short sale process with a contract, the foreclosure process may still be moving forward. If there is not time to complete the short sale before the foreclosure is scheduled, the foreclosure is not automatically postponed. It is up to the bank servicing the loan and/or the investor. Again, this is why you need an experienced agent to assist you with this process!

An REO (Real Estate Owned) property is when the bank has already foreclosed on the property and is now attempting to recoup its losses by selling the home on the open market or at auction. In most cases, the home is sold "As-is, Where-is" with no representations or warranties as to its condition. Usually, a buyer will be given a short time (10 days is often typical) to have the property inspected and decide if they will move forward with the purchase. The bank will attempt to not make repairs so it is important to have a good inspector and real estate agent to assist you with this.