Category Archives: Short-Sales Opporunities and Advice

Sonoma County Short-Sale History–How many, Hot-Spots of Sales, How LONG does it take? Read ON!

Here in Sonoma County,California  Short-Sales are a consistent part of our monthly sales. Our market currently is 50/50 Distressed (gun to your head selling–short-sales) and Bank Owned(REO-real estate owned or foreclosed upon bank owned homes). The other 50% of the market are “elective” or “equity” Sellers.  Our clients keep asking  WHEN will  a “normal” market appear? A normal market, to us, will be total “Distressed/REO” sales in the sub 5% range of total sales.  In January Short-Sales made up 27% of total Sales with just slightly more REO/foreclosed upon homes at 27.7%!. Our “Elective” sellers are less at 49% of total sales. But this is NORMAL as in the “Winter” market most “elective” sellers DON’T market their homes. The Banks and Distressed Home sellers have no “Selling”  SEASON.


2011 Short-Sales by Month-No big surge here!

See any take aways from the above chart? NO BIG SURGE of SOLD short-sales.  Many though the promise of the government program called HAFA (Housing Affordability Foreclosure Alternative)  would be a “game changer” However, the numbers are JUST not there.  And NOTE the DOM or Days on Market ending the year at over 6 months! currently we have an enormous amount of properties IN ESCROW as Short-Sales. The “Under Contract” numbers are through the roof! We currently have close to 3,000 properties IN ESCROW.  Why the big number? Short-Sales GO INTO ESCROW but don’t leave anytime soon. So they “pile-up” and give us these bloated Continue to Show numbers. Of the 3,000 homes IN ESCROW as CTS or Continue to Show (early in the escrow process)  1911 are short Sales.  Short Sales account for 64% of ALL the CTS properties.  How many are currently “pending” (deal firmed up, contingencies removed) ONLY a paltry 38.  That’s a mere 0.02%.

     The other chart below shows 2008 through 2011 Short-Sales. We had an initial BIG jump between 2008 and 2009 but nothing dramatic year over year:


Tracking of Short-Sales began late in 2007. Here's "valid" numbers 2008 to 2011.











“Bulk” Sale of Short-Sales could aid Blighted communites with rampant Foreclosures!

Here in Sonoma County, the “Wine” Country, our real estate market absorbs “Bank Foreclosure homes” at a pretty quick rate. We could use more as they are Buyer favorites as they are no-nonsense, close in a ready manner and present a good value. However other more urban areas in harder hit areas (Detroit, Pennsylvania, Florida, Las Vegas, etc)  the amount of foreclosed or “Seized”  homes cannot find the buyers and hence are sitting vacant;  prone to vandalism, and illegal occupancy. The  idea  set out below in the article would encourage  lenders to grant short-sales in a geographical area and then “Bulk sell” them to non-profits to be fixed up, make into rentals or aid various non-profits in providing housing to needy families! Here’s the full article below from news: Continue reading “Bulk” Sale of Short-Sales could aid Blighted communites with rampant Foreclosures!

So, What is a HAFA Approved Short Sale ???

Follow this link for an explanation from the National Association of Realtors website….and come see our listing at 3768 Hoen Ave, Santa Rosa,Ca…. coincidentally,an approved HAFA short sale. $262,650. 3/2 1276sqft. Open 11/06/2011 from 1-4pm.

When a HAFA (Home Affordible Foreclosure Alternative )short sale is advertised as APPROVED, it means the homeowner has already approached the bank, may have tried a HAMP loan mod, but was un-succesful, or did not qualify, and has received a HAFA agreement from the bank with the acceptable terms of the short sale agreement spelled out….including a move out agreement of up to $3000 at close of escrow, $6000 to settle any junior liens (junior lien holder(s) must also agree to the terms of the HAFA short sale, which includes accepting the proceeds from the sale of the house as the sole remedy to settle the seller’s debt)….and has approved the sale and settlement of the sellers lien at a pre-determined dollar amount.

This dollar amount is determined by a HAFA appraisal done by the lien holder (the bank) The price may be right on, or it may be high….at which point a lower offer can be accepted by the seller and submitted to the bank for approval. If an offer is accepted at the HAFA suggested price, an escrow can more forward quickly….a lower offer will take longer. But, either way, the fact that there is HAFA acceptance to begin with is a real boost to the process.

For more information about the HAFA program, follow the link above, shoot us an email at, or give us a call 707-799-3617

“Walk Away” Calculator–Today’s guest reccomends this interactive calculator to see IF YOU should Walk from your Home Mortgage

Here’s the Web site to use this “Calculator” to determine if waking away from your mortgage makes sense. As always, consult with an attorney and CPA to determine any tax liability or possible debt relief issues. This is reccomended by our guest on Today’s Show, Nicholas Carroll in his book, “Walking Away from Debt–for a Better Future”. CLICK HERE to go to the site.







Sonoma County, California consumers-anti scamming alerts! Department of Real Estate articles.


Attorney Jeremy Olsan joins us today--Foreclosure-ShortSale Scams to Avoid!

Thanks to attorney Jeremy Olsan for providing us with special updates on Senate Bill 458 plus Scam updates regarding pre-foreclosures, short-sales and Loan Modifications. Invaluable to any of our listeners facing a situation of a distressed property. He wanted me to post these Department of Real Estate articles for our listening audience. Remember- an informed consumer is the BEST foil against scammers and sharks!


2.  Consumer Alert: What You Can Do to Protect Yourself from Getting Ripped Off in Real Estate and Home Loan Relief Scams—Here’s the link to the whole article:

 3. New Federal Rule Outlaws Advance Fees and False Claims, and Requires Clear Disclosures, Regarding Mortgage Assistance Relief (including Loan Modification, Short Sale, and Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure) Services—Here’s the link to the whole article:

 4.  Update to DRE Issued Consumer and Industry Alert(s) Regarding Short Sales Fraud, and Related Issues—Here’s the link to the whole article:

 5.  Preventing Real Estate Fraud: How to Protect Yourself and Your Home—Here’s a link to the rest of the story:



This week’s Guests: Two Industry Leaders in the “Distressed” Real Estate Market +John Duran,President of SRCR!

Listener’s to The Real Estate Hour, Sundays, 9 to 10am pst, 1350AM, KSRO, will hear two Industry leaders who are  experts in the field of “Distressed” properties: Ivan Choi,current president of REOMAC and formerly Sr. VP of REO for Countrywide and Bank of America. PLUS Allen Seelenbinder, Sr. VP of REO/Short-Sales BofA West Coast–just these two and YOUR questions! And to help me with the questions and provide his insights, I’m pleased to have old friend, John Duran current President of the Santa Rosa Chapter of Realtors. Continue reading This week’s Guests: Two Industry Leaders in the “Distressed” Real Estate Market +John Duran,President of SRCR!

California Foreclosure Timeline…Facing Foreclosure? Know what to expect, and then find out your options

If you’re facing foreclosure…this time-line from the Ca. Association of Realtors really breaks down the process. You may have time to look at other options such as a loan mod or a short sale….but you need to understand the process. Also, the timeline leading UP TO the Notice of Default, which in turn starts the foreclosure clock  clicking, varies from Lender to Lender. We have client’s tell us they’ve gone MONTHS or YEARS before a NOD was filed while others–BAM! Miss one payment and the hammer falls.

Know the TimeLine for Foreclosure in the State of California


Look for this and other information for distressed homeowners in our shared folder at…

Today’s Show: Equity Sharing–Can’t qualify for a loan today? Sold your home as a “Short-Sale” or lost to Foreclosure? Want to take advantage of these great prices? Tune us in this morning!

Sonoma County,California Home buyers who have recently lost their home to foreclosure, sold as a “Short-Sale” or who can’t qualify for a loan today but are good credit risks–Equity Share may be the tool for Home Ownership! Join us today as we welcome long time friend of the show–Harry Coffey as he explains this unique process of homeownership. Go to his web site: or call Harry at 707-799-0157. Continue reading Today’s Show: Equity Sharing–Can’t qualify for a loan today? Sold your home as a “Short-Sale” or lost to Foreclosure? Want to take advantage of these great prices? Tune us in this morning!

Short-Sales and “Deeds-in-lieu” UP according to the Treasury Department! But Loan Mods–50% fall out! and Carrie Bay report: The Treasury Department released a new report on the government’s foreclosure prevention efforts Friday. In addition to the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) numbers that are regularly recounted, new this month are details on short sales and deeds-in-lieu, as well as second lien modifications.