Short Sale & Foreclosure October 27, 2022

What is a short sale in real estate?

A short sale in real estate allows a struggling homeowner to submit a proposal to their lender to sell their home for less than the remaining balance of the mortgage. During the Great Recession of 2008, short sales became popular as many homeowners went underwater in their homes.

What is a short sale in real estate?

A short sale occurs when a homeowner in financial trouble sells their home for less than they owe on the mortgage.  Instead of waiting for the bank to foreclose on the home, the homeowner initiates the short sale process by submitting an application to the lender.

Short sales are a safer alternative to foreclosures for both sellers and their lenders. That is why you often can find them priced just below market value.

The lender will get all the proceeds of the sale, and then have 2 options: either forgives the difference or gets a deficiency judgment, which requires the original borrower to pay what’s left over.

When a homeowner is eligible to ask for a short sale?

For a bank to agree to a short sale, the homeowner must establish:

  • They face a financial hardship that prevents them from meeting their loan obligations, AND
  • They don’t have enough income and assets to pay off the loan. It can be cash, other real estate, available credit, investments, and virtually any other thing of value the homeowner can use to pay the loan.
  • The property is worth less than the amount of the loan. The seller or a specialized real estate agent (SFR®) has to run an accurate Comparative Market Analysis or a Broker Price Opinion.

Advantages and differences with a foreclosure

  • The short sale in real estate is a much quicker process. A foreclosure is a legal action taken by a lender to seize a seller’s property after they fall too far behind on their monthly payments.
  • Fee savings: Normally, the seller bears the burden of closing costs and real estate agent commissions. In a short sale, however, the lender will pay those fees and commissions.
  • Both processes can negatively impact a seller’s credit score (a short sale could knock as many as 160 points off). In a foreclosure though, you can have a far more damaging impact on a seller’s FICO®.
  • Short sale is a private process (lender/seller) as a foreclosure involves the Court and is public.

    Get prepared for the short sale

    If you are a homeowner facing a foreclosure, it is important that you work with a knowledgeable agent who will protect your best interests. A Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Certified Agent (SFR®) are better qualified to handle these situations b. They are also experienced to deal et negotiate with lenders and banks.





Real Estate October 24, 2022

How can you sell a house with unpermitted additions?

Sell your house with unpermitted additions can complicate the process and result in a lower appraisal than if the work was permitted. Here’s what you need to know about selling a home with unpermitted improvements.

How unpermitted additions affect your home value

Permits may be required for structural, electrical, and plumbing work but also for minor projects. Accordingly, the term “unpermitted work,” is used to describe any addition or improvement made without the required permits.

Many individuals, including licensed and unlicensed contractors, do work for renovation or before selling a property without pulling permits to save time and money . They are hoping or believing that no one will find out.

Unfortunately, there are 2 main consequences:

  • Home insurance: If unpermitted additions later cause a hazard in the home and someone is injured or there is damage to the property, the homeowner’s insurance policy won’t cover the damage if they investigate and find evidence of unpermitted work.
  • Appraisal: Some lenders won’t issue a loan for a house with unpermitted work. Others may request from the appraiser to not include the additional square footage when determining the home’s value.

How can you sell a house with unpermitted additions?

Legalizing unpermitted work

The first way to sell you house with unpermitted additions is pulling a retroactive building permit.  It allows the Building Department to confirm that the work complies with all current codes.

You will have to go to the City or county and apply for it. If you made the additions yourself, you’ll likely incur penalties and even additional taxes on top of the permit fee. If the additions were the work of the previous owner, the city might waive these additional costs.

Sell the house as-is

Florida sellers are legally obligated to disclose unpermitted work at the time of the sale, in a document named Seller’s Disclosure. Even if the unpermitted work was done before the Seller lived there, not disclosing it to buyers could mean possible legal trouble if they discover it after the fact. It protects the buyer from purchasing a home with undisclosed problems, but also the seller from potential lawsuits.

Consequently, you can choose to sell your home as-is and disclose the unpermitted additions. Then, you’ll need to set the asking price accordingly, with a real estate professional. You may have to set a lower price for your listing, since the buyer will have to assume the responsibility for the work that was done.

Home tips October 10, 2022

Tips for a hassle-free relocation

Moving to a new state (Florida) or a new country (USA) can be a lot of work and some stress if you don’t get prepared. With relocation, timing is everything. Here are some good tips for a well prepared and hassle-free relocation.

The time for moving

If possible, postpone your relocation until summer or winter time. If you have children, this will help in their transition because the moving will fall at the ends/beginnings of new school semesters rather than the middles. It will give you more real estate opportunities as more properties are on the market at those times of the year.

Choose the best school for your kids

If you have children, anticipating the question of their schooling is wise advice for a successful expatriation. The choice of schooling must be prepared well before moving abroad because it is not always possible to obtain a place in the establishment of one’s choice. Greatschools gives you ratings and comparison of the local schools of your new area.

Choose a trusted Realtor

Secure a licensed Florida Realtor that you trust is one of the tips for a hassle-free relocation. He will do the legwork of finding homes that meet your requirements have them put together a schedule of open houses within a small timeframe. Living in Florida is much different than the rest of the country. Understanding home features relating to hurricane protection, energy efficiency and the Florida climate are important to be informed about prior to making a choice, whether it is to buy or to rent.

Learn how to get around

Have a look at typical commute, public transportations options, main highways and traffic to get to know your new neighborhood and calculate the time to go to work. Check on Walkscore for biking and walking options.

Check if your employer provides with relocation assistance

If you are moving for professional reasons, check with your company. Many of them offer reimbursement on moving company costs, storage costs temporary housing, pre-move visits, etc…

Secure temporary housing

One of the fundamental steps of a successful expatriation is to find accommodation before arriving in a new state to have a fixed address.This may initially be a temporary residence. It is indeed important to arrive on site with an address to communicate.

Choose the moving company

Knowing early in the process how much money you’ll need to budget to cover moving costs is important. Are their prices competitive? On another hand, Be wary of extremely low-price quotes. Beyond the star ratings for a moving company, have a look at a handful of the written customer reviews. Read both good and bad reviews for each company. Check the BBB website for how complaints have been resolved with the company. Finally, choose a company that knows the place you want to move in. A company with local knowledge will provide an accurate price quote and understand what it takes to move about in crowded areas like Miami for ex.





Home tips October 10, 2022

The benefits of home staging, even in a Seller’s Market

The benefits of home staging are huge when you decide to sell your house as want to make your home appear as attractive as possible to draw in potential buyers. That might mean having the best photos of it, writing an attractive listing, boosting your cub appeal… and staging your property following these few tips.

Home staging, what is it?

Home staging is the process of highlighting the best features of a home using interior design techniques. It’s part of the home selling process and is designed to impress buyers during open houses and showings.

You can decide to take the DIY route with staging a house, or hire a professional stager, depending on you possess – or not- the skills to stage a house well. Sometimes it’s best to recruit the help of professionals, especially when dealing with a high-stakes transaction like selling a house.

Remember the greatest buzz about your house comes when it’s first listed, so you must take advantage of that first impression and make sure everything is optimized.

Why home staging is important?

Proper staging won’t just help a home appear newer and in better condition. It also allows buyers to visualize their life in this home versus going into a “seller’s home” and decoration.

When done properly, staging a home can help you sell it up to 88% faster and at a better price (average 5-15% more that non-staged property) and wether you want to sell or rent.

Some tips to stage your home


This is the first job you should tackle when you decide to home stage. Why so important? Because a cluttered room will look smaller, and buyers will focused more on your belongings than on the house they are visiting. Try to free up as much surface space as you can on shelves, coffee tables and especially in the kitchen.


In many cases, home staging involves first removing personal photos and decor, evidence of pets, knick-knacks, religious images, political memorabilia… The seller can begin packing and storing their items in the garage or basement until the sale is completed. The goal here is to make it look like a model home.


Don’t underestimate the power of a new paint job on a property. It can completely overhaul the look and ambiance of any space. Just like cleaning your home, a new coat of paint is one of the most cost-effective ways to home stage your home.


If a room is staged as a combination of home office, gym and playroom, buyers can be confused about the purpose of the room.


This can really envision the new life of a potential buyer here. For ex, put cookies on the oven, set the table, turn on a fireplace if it’s winter, light up some candles and put some ambiance music…

Bottom line

Benefits of home staging are numerous and is worth the investment. It helps maximize the rate of return on the sale of your property—and usually costs less than the first price reduction. With an average staging investment of 1% of the sale price, about 75% of sellers saw an ROI of 5% to 15% over asking price, according to data from the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA). Go for it!