Working with the Right Short Sale Realtor in Grand Rapids to Sell Your Home

In the current Michigan real estate market almost half of the homes that are being sold are being sold as short sales or property foreclosures. For this very reason, more and more homeowners in the Grand Rapids, West Michigan area are facing the hard facts that selling their home through the short sale process may be their only option if they wish to avoid going through the foreclosure process in Michigan.

With the economy being what it is, falling home prices, which may have bottomed out for now, and the predatory sub prime mortgage lending that had been going on for years, its no secret that there is a lot of pain being suffered by homeowners not only in the Grand Rapids area, but through out the entire country. So, if you’re a West Michigan homeowner who is upside down on your mortgage, meaning you owe more on your mortgage loan than your current home’s worth; you’re not alone in your struggle. There are millions of other hardworking homeowners in the exact same situation. In some extreme cases, homeowners are finding themselves owing 150% more on their mortgage, then their homes current worth.

Unfortunately, being upside down on their home loan is forcing many homeowners who need or wish to sell their home to subsidize the sale of their home, meaning they are making up the difference between the selling price and their mortgage balance themselves, by paying thousands of dollars out of their pockets at the home closing to make up the difference owed to their mortgage lender.

So, what is a homeowner to do that doesn’t happen to have thousands of dollars burning a hole in their pocket, sitting in the bank or in a retirement account waiting to be paid to their mortgage lender; but still needs to sell their home?

You should seek the assistance of a good short sale realtor in Grand Rapids.

Selling your home through the short sale process is a complex real estate transaction; a transaction that has a lot of moving parts and the potential for many things to go wrong that may prevent your home from selling in the first place. So it’s very important that you have a short sale realtor that has plenty of experience with the negotiating and selling of short sale properties in Michigan.

Any of the licensed realtors in Grand Rapids can list a short sale property, so you’ll want to make sure your realtor has actually successfully negotiated and closed plenty of short sale transactions before you sign a contract with them.

Here is a list of some of the qualifications and questions you should ask of any real estate agent before you select the one you want to work with.

1. How many short sale transactions have they successfully negotiated and more importantly successfully closed?

2. Do they have experience working with your current mortgage lender?

3. Do they work with an attorney and or CPA should the need arise?

4. Are they familiar with the tax consequences of a short sale transaction?

5. What is their marketing strategy for selling your home?

6. Do they have any references from previous short sale clients?

Banks and mortgage lenders don’t want to own the real estate they make loans on, however, they can often become non-cooperative in situations where they know they won’t get paid in full on a mortgage loan.

The good news is, these lenders also realize that they were part of the home mortgage problem in the first place, and understand they must cooperate to a degree to complete a sale; and avoid a possible costly foreclosure process.

That’s where the experience of a good short sale real estate agent comes in, an agent that understands the short sale process in Michigan.

It is your short sale realtor who will make your case to the mortgage lender about your intentions to negotiate a short sale transaction. They will explain the specifics of your current situation and your intentions to pay your mortgage balance to the best of your ability.

To begin the short sale process your realtor will need to understand your economic situation, which will include your household income and any money you may have in any savings or retirement accounts. Also any circumstances which may have impacted your situation, such as, divorce, health issues or loss of employment. This information will be used during their negotiation with your mortgage lender.

Next, your home will need to have a professional appraisal done to document your home’s loss in value; this appraisal information will be forwarded to the loss mitigation officer at your mortgage lender. The appraiser will determine the value by comparing your home to other like properties in the area, also accounting for the home’s physical condition.

Once this is done, your short sale realtor will place your home on the market for sale at a price range they believe your home will sell for in its current condition and the current condition of the local real estate market.

From there, nothing will really happen until a buyer comes in with a written offer. Once a written offer has been tendered, the real hard work of the short sale process begins.

Your real estate agent will take this offer to the loss mitigation officer of your mortgage lender and begin the negotiating process.

If you are working with one of the realtors in Grand Rapids that has plenty of short sale experience, your mortgage lender will already be expecting an offer for them that is for less than what you owe on your mortgage loan.

The beauty of working with an experienced short sale realtor, especially one that already has a working relationship established with your mortgage lender, is that they will already be familiar with the procedures and people they must work with within your lenders office to get the short sale through their process. Sometimes, just getting someone from your mortgage company to return calls can seem like forever, simply because these mortgage lenders are working with hundreds of short sale transactions at the same time.

To sums things up, we know that any of the realtors in Grand Rapids can list a short sale property, however, we now know how important it is to use a short sale realtor that has plenty of experience with the foreclosure process in Michigan, a working relationship with your mortgage lender, excellent negotiating abilities, and good communication skills to keep you and your potential buyer up to date with the progress of your transaction.

Working with the right short sale realtor in Grand Rapids, makes all the difference in the world when it comes to successfully negotiating your short sale transaction.

Grand Rapids Homeowners: How to Stop the Foreclosure Process in Michigan

There are generally three techniques a homeowner can use to prevent the foreclosure process in Michigan. As a homeowner, you have the options of: a short sale transaction, mortgage loan re-instatement, or a mortgage modification. This article will discuss briefly, each of these kinds of processes and how they apply to short sales in Grand Rapids

What is a short sale property transaction? A short sale opportunity develops when the property owner no longer has the ability to pay his or her mortgage loan. Usually, there’s no foreseeable alternative in the near future for the homeowner and the borrower is in danger of losing his or her property once the mortgage lender begins the property foreclosure process in Michigan. 

In order to help save the homeowner’s credit rating and eliminate a potentially costly and prolonged property foreclosure proceeding, the owner of the home, as well as, the mortgage loan company agrees to seek a short sale. 

The mortgage company agrees to settle for, in most cases, a significantly less amount of money than the actual outstanding property loan. They fully understand they will lose money on your home; however, they still get most of their financial investment back and avoid the costly, time consuming property foreclosure process. 

Once the decision has been made to put your house up for sale you can either sell it by yourself, (FSBO) for sale by owner, or you can use any good short sale realtor in Grand Rapids that has plenty of short selling experience. Keep in mind that just because your mortgage company has agreed to do a short sale, doesn’t mean they’ll settle for just any short sale offer that comes in, in some cases the lender will turn down a good short sale offer, or make the process so complex that you may risk losing your new buyer. That’s why using any of the good short sale realtors in Grand Rapids is to your advantage. 

The mortgage loan reinstatement method and how it applies in Michigan. Due to Michigan’s current economic climate, many West Michigan homeowners’ have found themselves in the unemployment line. The downside to trying any mortgage reinstatement plan is that generally, the property owner has to come up with the total amount of mortgage payments that they’re behind on to begin with. Once in a while, the financial institutions will give an individual some sort of time frame to get current with their home mortgage loan. Generally a 90 to 120 day grace period, providing you continue to remain current with the monthly payments from then on. For many West Michigan homeowner’s, obtaining the money to bring their mortgage payment up-to-date with their home loan in the first place, is usually the most challenging obstacle. Another strategy is the mortgage loan modification program. 

What is a mortgage loan modification? A Mortgage loan modification is usually the very first method a property owner should use once they begin to have difficulty making their mortgage payments. Sometimes, the mortgage company may be the first to suggest a mortgage loan modification. The mortgage company may work with the homeowner to figure out if there is anything that could possibly be done to keep from using the foreclosure process

A loan modification program will involve using one or more of these techniques: adjusting the interest rate on your loan, reducing the monthly mortgage payments and adding the balance to the backend of the mortgage, or perhaps re-doing the entire mortgage agreement it’s self. For many homeowners’, those who meet governmental standards, a mortgage loan modification program can help to save their property against the foreclosure process in Michigan. 

As previously explained, selling an individual’s family home by means of a short sale is going to be a financial decision made between the mortgage lenders and the owner of the home. In Michigan, Short sales are generally thought of as a final attempt to avoid a home foreclosure. Homeowner’s should certainly seek the help of a good Michigan short sale real estate agent that has plenty of practical experience to help guide you throughout the transaction while trying to sell your house. 

As you can see, there are a few methods that a property owner could utilize to avoid the home foreclosure process in Michigan; use any or all of these steps to your benefit. Some homeowners could save money by selling the home by themselves; however, choosing a good short sale realtor in Grand Rapids to sell your home could very well speed up the selling process and get you back on your feet sooner.

Buying A Short Sale Home In Grand Rapids: How To Get A Mortgage Lender To Agree To Your Short Sale Offer

In Michigan, the vast majority of family homes are generally offered for sale using a local Grand Rapids Realtor. However, a lot of homeowners will offer their homes or real estate for sale by owner. Many do this because they want to have control over the transaction and try to save themselves some money in the process. They can choose how much money they wish to sell the house for, how it’s advertised, and when to hold an open house. 

Unfortunately, due to the recent condition of our economy and the West Michigan real estate market in general, a large number of these homeowners are selling their homes to prevent a foreclosure. These individuals can’t afford to pay for their home anymore, and a sale of the property will stop, or prevent a foreclosure process in Michigan

If you’re looking to purchase a new home for less than the current market value, or simply want to make a profit renting or reselling homes, you need to concentrate on buying short sale houses in Grand Rapids. That being said, buying a short sale property isn’t an effortless process. A lot of home sellers won’t advertise the fact they’re actually selling their home to avoid the foreclosure process 

The first step in the process is to contact the owner and schedule a meeting with them in person; so that you can view the property, inside and out. You should be friendly and try to strike up a casual conversation with the owner; if done properly, in almost no time at all, you should have the story behind the owner’s intent behind the sale of the property. It could be due to relocation, loss of a job or divorce; however, it can also be to avoid foreclosure. These are the properties you’ll want to find. If the owner does mention they’re trying to avoid foreclosure, be sure to ask about the name of their mortgage lender. 

If you like the property in question, ask for more details about the price and how firm they are. Is the selling price reasonable to the actual home’s estimated market value? If it’s a short sale opportunity to avoid a foreclosure, the price should be considerably less than the current market value. If the owner of the home is selling their house to prevent a foreclosure, they should be prepared to take any offer close to their mortgage balance; their primary aim is usually to pay off their mortgage loan. If the price is way to high or the owner is just in the beginning stages of trying to sell their home on their own, you’re going to have to do some negotiating first. In cases where the past due mortgage balance is relatively low, you can offer that as your starting offer. If the owner is hesitant, offer to add a few thousand dollars more to help them with the cost of moving or rent deposit. If the homeowner refuses your offer, you can just move on to another house, or you have yet another possible course of action. 

As previously mentioned, you have to find the name of their mortgage company. Although it may seem a little misleading, it could lead you to a new home or investment property for your family. What you must do in this case is approach the lender and talk to a loan officer, or the person in charge of short sales in Grand Rapids. Tell them you and your family attempted to make an offer on the house, but the home owners appeared to be asking for way too much for the property. Emphasize your interest in the house; however you also need to express your unwillingness to spend an unfair amount of money on this house. Try to gage how receptive the mortgage company is to your interest in the property; at this point, you should suggest a short sale; especially, if the homeowner told you their property will be going to foreclosure. 

The short sale process in Michigan is a transaction between the lender and the homeowner. They come to an agreement to sell the house for less than the unpaid balance of the mortgage loan, homeowners agree with this to prevent the foreclosure process. The property gets sold and the homeowner doesn’t receive a foreclosure on his or her credit report; not to mention preventing a possible bankruptcy situation. Mortgage loan lenders agree to short sales because they simply want to have their money back, even if a lot less than what may be due. It simultaneously, saves them from a long and expensive Michigan foreclosure process, where many homeowners can become difficult and unruly. 

If you contact the mortgage lender inquiring about the short sale process in Grand Rapids, keep in mind the sale won’t develop right away. Remember, typically the homeowner is still trying to sell their property on their. However, due to the status of the local economy, many potential home buyers are finding it difficult to receive mortgage loans; which mean these houses are staying on the real estate market for months and months. The short sale process normally requires a month or more of letters from the mortgage company threatening to foreclose on the home before homeowner agrees with a short sale. On the other hand, if you have contacted the mortgage company and prepared a good offer, you will probably be the first buyer they contact when they decide to take action. 

If you don’t have the time to locate these short sale properties by yourself, but still want to take advantage of the lower prices, you can always hire one of the many Realtors in Grand Rapids to work on your behalf as a buyer’s agent. There may or may not be some extra fees involved when hiring a Grand Rapids Realtor to work as your buyer’s agent, however it will save you time and effort.

Buying Michigan Short Sales Versus Property Foreclosures: What Type Should You Purchase?

Whether you’re looking to buy a personal home in Grand Rapids, MI or just looking to invest in the local West Michigan real estate market, you should examine both short sale opportunities, as well as, buying home foreclosures. Which real estate transaction is in your best interest, and which kind of transaction deserves the majority of your attention? 

Before evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of buying short sales and foreclosed properties in Grand Rapids, MI, make sure you understand the actual processes of each transaction. 

The foreclosure process develops when a Michigan homeowner has become delinquent on their residential home loan. They’re unable to pay their mortgage and have used up all other options. Typically the property is sold off at a foreclosure auction or the ownership reverts back to the initial loan provider. Short sales in Grand Rapids are an alternate course of action to the property foreclosure method. The foreclosure process in Michigan has a negative effect towards credit score reports and is rather expensive for mortgage companies. With the short sale process in Michigan, instead of home foreclosure, the house is usually offered, at a reduced amount of the mortgage balance due, for sale ahead of a public auction. 

So, which real estate transaction is going to be more advantageous for you? Buying Michigan real estate foreclosures or buying short sales in Grand Rapids? It depends, however, a good Realtor in Grand Rapids will be able to help you. 

Usually, with the short sale transaction, the lenders will have the final say; the mortgage company authorizes all of the final offers. Having said that, the mortgage lender will not propose a short sale themselves, they will expect the borrower to make good on the actual loan amount or expect the homeowner to sell the property or home at full market price. 

Once the property owner realizes they have little or no other solution, will contact the financial institution to seek information about the short sale process in Michigan. The property or home owner understands they will have to leave the property after it is sold. 

On the other hand, foreclosures in Grand Rapids, MI can result in disorderly evictions; a number of home occupants refuse to abandon their home’s without the need of force. Essentially, with foreclosed homes, you could end up being left with really difficult occupants who actually refuse to move, unless of course the authorities intervene. 

If this is your initial purchase and / or you’re looking for fewer headaches following the purchase, it really is a better idea to purchase a short sale house or simply buy empty home foreclosures in Grand Rapids

When buying Michigan short sales, you pay considerably less than the unpaid residential home loan balance. This approach usually means getting an outstanding investment for your money. For example, buyers might be able to purchase a well-kept single family house for under $50,000 if the outstanding mortgage loan balance is $75,000 or less. 

Buying Michigan foreclosures, alternatively, can be done for dirt-cheap, however, the amount you actually end up paying is going to be dependent on the condition of the particular home and the competition that shows up at the property foreclosure auction. Remember to keep in mind that individuals that allow their homes to go into foreclosure have usually reached a place where they don’t really care about the house anymore; which could result in a house that has also been damaged and quite possibly will need extensive remodeling and / or maintenance. 

If you’re looking to make the largest return on your investment, buying Grand Rapids foreclosures is usually an individual’s best option. If you’re looking to get the best value for your hard earned money, looking at short sales in Grand Rapids is usually the best solution. 

Michigan foreclosure sales have lots of guidelines and regulations that must be followed. 

In many scenarios, payment in full is necessary within 24 or 48 hours after the auction. Usually, there are more experienced real estate investors with cash on hand that participate and are very successful at property foreclosure auction sales. Many of these investors have substantial monetary resources and will simply out bid an individual on a piece of property; if they really want it. If you really want to find a new home or perhaps you’re just getting up and running with real estate investing, you’ll more than likely have to acquire some decent funding to start with. 

Unless you have a spotless credit report, most financial institutions will not fund the possibility of people successfully winning at a Michigan home foreclosure auction. Mortgage lenders, on the other hand, will provide you with the necessary funds to purchase short sale property in Grand Rapids. 

Buying Michigan short sales or home foreclosure properties both offer good quality investment options. If you’re a real estate investor or the hopeful first-time home buyer, always keep your options open; you never know what you’ll bargains you’ll find when buying foreclosures or short sales in Grand Rapids, MI.

Short Sale Realtors in Grand Rapids MI


Choosing a Short Sale Realtor in Grand Rapids MI is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Having to sell your house through the short sale process and the actual transaction itself has the potential to become a tremendously complicated procedure, one that could be a huge uphill battle and filled with many pitfalls if you decide to work with the wrong real estate agent; an agent with little or no short sale experience.

You’ll want to make sure you’re working with a Grand Rapids Realtor that not only understands the short sale process, but an agent that has successfully closed many short sale transactions along the way. 

Working with a Realtor in Michigan that has little or no short sale experience will do nothing but add to the challenges of successfully negotiating a reduction of your mortgage, as well as, getting your house sold and closed in a timely manner.

The goal of any short sale transaction is to negotiate with your current lender, getting them to agree to accept less than you owe on your present mortgage and finding a buyer that is willing to purchase your house in its current condition.

There are many Realtors in the Grand Rapids and West Michigan area that have been actively advertising to help homeowners with their short sale transactions. The sad part is many of these real estate agents have little or no real world experience; some of these agents have only taken a few hours of classes which isn’t anywhere near enough training or experience to successfully complete a short sale transaction in Michigan.

You’ll want to make sure the short sale Realtor you decide to work with has a good combination of real estate certifications, as well as, many successfully closed real estate short sale transactions.

How to Choose a Michigan Short Sale Real Estate Agent

Now that you have a little better understanding of the Michigan short sale process and some idea of the minimum qualifications you should look for in a Real Estate Agent here are a few more suggestions you should also consider while searching for your agent, a Realtor that will soon become the most critical part of your short sale process.

Use a Realtor That is Licensed to do Business in Michigan

Make sure you are working with a local Realtor, a Realtor that is licensed to do business in the State of Michigan. There are some Mortgage Brokers and others that will try to broker the deal for you; for a fee or percentage of the sale price. There are also a lot of out-of-state Realtors that are licensed to do business in our state, however, if it were my house; I would want to make sure my realtor is living in my area.

Ask Questions about the Michigan Short Sale Process 

Don’t be afraid to ask any questions you may have about the short sale process in Michigan. You should ask questions about what to expect along the way through the sale, what type of services your Realtor will provide for you and what they will expect of you. You’re placing a lot of responsibility into the hands of this Michigan Short Sale Specialist, you’ll want to make sure that you’re happy with their answers; after all, this Realtor will be working for you.

A good, qualified short sale Realtor with plenty of real estate experience will be comfortable giving you a road map of what to expect and the steps you should follow as they help guide you through this process.

Failure to completely answer these questions to your satisfaction, or not feeling comfortable with this particular Realtor should give you cause to seek another real estate agent to help guide you through the short sale process.

You should also avoid real estate agents that tell you they can guarantee you results such as the exact amount your lender is willing to settle for, or give you an exact date when you can expect to close the transaction, unless of course you are well into your way through the process; in a short sale transaction nothing is guaranteed.

There are a lot of agents out there that will say anything to get you to sign on the dotted line and lock you into a contract, also, make sure they’re the primary Realtor who will be working with your transaction and not just working as a front for another agent they plan on splitting the commission with. 

Short Sale Experience Makes a Big Difference

Be sure to ask the agent about how much experience they have in real estate in general, and more importantly, the number of successful short sale transactions they have personally handled.  There’s a big difference between the amount of short sale listings an agent has, and the amount of successful short sale transactions they have completed. Any licensed agent can list a property; a good short sale agent with experience can get those hard to close short sales done.

Unfortunately, not every real estate short sale transaction can be completed successfully for one reason or another, due to circumstances beyond your control.

Don’t be afraid to ask this agent for a few references from past clients, if they have lots of short sale experience, they will have plenty of people who should be willing to say how well this agent helped them through their short sale process. If the Realtor won’t give out any references from previous short sale clients, this could be a sign that either they have little or no previous short sale clients or worse, their previous customers don’t have anything positive to say about the services this agent provided.

Potential Short Sale Liabilities

As with any real estate transaction, there are several potential pitfalls and liabilities you may encounter during the short sale process in Michigan. Short sale laws change, Banks and Lenders may not agree to the sale process or the final sale price, even buyers can back out; leaving you back to square one.

It’s important that you work with a short sale real estate agent who can adequately and comfortably discuss these potential liabilities with you. While it’s not practical to expect to receive tax or legal advice from your short sale agent, they should at least have a working knowledge of these important aspects of the short sale process. You should always consult with an Attorney and a CPA or Tax Accountant about the potential issues you may face as a result of your short sale.

Working with an agent that has a clear understanding of the short sale laws and the tax implications is well worth considering when you are in the process of selecting a good short sale Realtor.

As a homeowner, finding yourself in the position to have to consider short selling your home in the first place is stressful enough as it is, let us help you resolve this issue professionally, confidently, and with your best interest in mind at all times.

Our licensed Michigan short sale agents have the experience, the negotiation skills and the education to get the job done properly the first time. We work with lenders all over the State of Michigan and are successfully handling short sale transactions on a daily basis.

Best of all, our short sale services are completely free to you as the homeowner. The banks and lenders pay our fees. Why not give us call today and see if there’s something we can do for you.