Grand Rapids Short Sales – Market Update

1 04 2010

Grand Rapids Short Sales getting some help from the Fed?

 The Obama Administration announced that they are going to be updating their housing rescue plan in an attempt to make it easier for troubled homeowners to sell their homes when they are worth less than their mortgages. Read more here. This certainly can’t hurt. The newest initiative creates a standardized process and adds incentives for so-called short sales.

Grand Rapids Short Sales make up a large part of our overall sales and there are many reasons that a home needs to be sold that way. Basically, if you have to sell your home due to some  sort of hardship but you owe more on it than it is actually worth, the only option is  to go the short sale route and your lender will have to agree to discount the loan balance on the house so that it can be sold. This is where a competent short sale negotiator is very important and is the reason we have hired a short sale negotiator specifically to work with the banks on your behalf.

The new initiative is supposed to create a standardized process and I think this is going to be a big help when working directly with the banks. We have already seen Bank of America switch to a new system called Equator. It is an electronic system and we hope this will make things a little easier. Bank of America, Countrywide and a few others were notoriously slow, mainly because of the sheer number of distressed property that they handle.

If you are in this situation, have to sell your home but are unsure of what to do next, please feel free to give me a call at 616-570-1871 and let us walk you through the process and help you get out from under. For more information on Grand Rapids short sales and the Grand Rapids market in general, visit my website at or contact me anytime. It doesn’t matter what style of home you own or what area of town. We sell real estate in Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas including short sales in Ada Twp, Cascade, East Grand Rapids and the West Michigan Lakeshore. Luxury homes have also been and we are able to negotiate on your behalf as well.


Icon On Bond Condos Facing Foreclosure – Downtown Grand Rapids Condo Update

16 04 2009


Icon on Bond Condos facing Foreclosure

Icon on Bond condos According to Chris Knape at Mlive, Icon on Bond condos are facing foreclosure. Basically that’s too bad, but I can’t say that I am surprised. Sales were slow to nearly nonexistent there and while yes, the market has been bad, you can’t completely blame it on the Grand Rapids Market. Icon on Bond condos came on the market at a bad time, but they also didn’t help matters by pricing themselves too high. It’s really a shame as they are well built condos and a lot of thought was given to the floor plans and finishes. I had a tour there a while back during construction and was shown the techniques that were being used to keep the sound to a minimum. I was impressed at the steps they were taking.

So it was too bad when they finally hit the market at the prices they wereIcon on Bond Foreclosures asking. As far as downtown Grand Rapids condos selling, you have Boardwalk condos which are nearly sold out and you have Union Square condos which sold out. We have the Hillmount condos which are almost sold out and the Fitzgerald condos which are doing well. According to the sales team at Riverhouse condos, sales are picking up there too. In fact I am bringing a new client through the Riverhouse this week and am very busy selling selling Grand Rapids condos and homes. So to are several colleagues in town.

Downtown Grand Rapids Condos Icon on Bond condos are located at 538 Bond Ave NW, just north of I-96 off of Monroe. It’s the tan colored building with the large “Leasing” sign hanging off of it. They have been leasing for the last little while. Only 4 condos have sold there and 50 units have been leased. Prices for lease range from $1100 to $1700 per month. These condos are in a Tax Free Renaissance Zone where City and State Income taxes are waived as well as Property taxes until 2012. The building is nine stories and holds 118 condos. The bank that loaned money to build the project claims that they are owed over $40 Million dollars.

For more information on downtown condos and to search for homes online, visit my website or contact me any time.

Grand Rapids Short Sales – Better Than A Foreclosure?

4 04 2009


Short Sales and Foreclosures – How do they affect my credit?

Grand Rapids Short Sales Well the quick answer to that is, ‘Badly’. There is no getting around it, a Short Sale and/or a Foreclosure will both negatively affect your credit. Having said that though, there are other factors that should be considered if you are in this unfortunate situation.

There are three situations that greatly effect a FICO score and they all carry the same weight.

  1. Serious Delinquency
  2. Derogatory Public Record
  3. Collections Filed

Foreclosures remain on your credit report for up to 10 years and in the event you are applying for another loan, this must be stated on your loan application. Just because a Short Sale is not specifically stated on a loan application does not mean it is any less damaging than a foreclosure, however Fannie May and Freddie Mac will lend to you in two years versus five for a foreclosure. That is pretty important!

Another factor that is not talked about is the incredible stress of being in such a distressed state. With creditors hounding you, a contrant stream of letters from collectors and the general feeling of hopelessness from just having lost a job, it isn’t much fun and no one likes to face the unknown. This is another reason why a Short Sale is better than a foreclosure. Getting that beast off your back and allowing you to sleep better at night is a very important factor.

Having an experienced agent and broker in your corner during this time is very important. A good Grand Rapids’ agent with a proven short sale system in place can save a lot of time and stress during this process. For information on our short sale program, visit my website or contact me any time.

Grand Rapids Short Sales – Grand Rapids Real Estate

29 03 2009


Sell your Home and Bring No Money to Close!

Grand Rapids Short Sales That is one of the main questions that I get, “Will I have to bring any money to close or do I have to pay any closing costs?” The answer to that is no, you will not have to bring any money to close.

There are many short sales in Grand Rapids these days and the good news is that lenders are realizing that they need to work with the homeowner, so they are beginning to negotiate on these  short sales. Basically, a short sale happens when the owner, through some form of hardship, can no longer make the payments but he can’t sell the house because he owes more than the house is actually worth.

At the Platinum Realty Group, we have formed a relationship with a local law firm and have created a “short sale and debt mitigation” department that will negotiate with the banks on your behalf. Our goal is pretty simple, to sell your home and negotiate your short sale for you. To get you out from a very stressful situation and start you on the road to financial health.

As of March, 2009, we have 10 Short Sales pending and scheduled to close in April.

The same rules still apply when selling a home. Just because it is a distressed listing doesn’t mean is has to look distressed.

  • Aggressive Pricing. The house has to be priced competitively. The banks aren’t going to give it away but they know the market is bottoming out. You will be competing with hundreds of other homes so price is the most important factor. But not the only factor!
  • Marketing. In this day of rapid technological advances, buyers are in the drivers seat. They have many tools at their disposal with which to research their next move. You need an agent with a “search engine visible” website and the knowledge to maximize your home’s exposure online. That is where the buyers are!
  • Quality pictures. There just is not any reason that your agent can’t have good quality pictures with which to market your home. Pictures make a huge difference, in fact I know of several buyers that just won’t bother taking a tour of your home if they can’t view pictures before hand. Why would they bother wasting their time when there are so many other options? Your home needs to show well. A coat of paint and some inexpensive fixtures and kitchen hardware goes a long way.

Having said that, my website is one of the top website in town for many Grand Rapids Home Evaluationdifferent keywords. I average 20,000 hits each month from just one of my sites. Those numbers translate into massive exposure for your listing and is something of a hobby for me now. I really enjoy it, plus it works.

For example, using my marketing strategies, I sold one of my most recent listings in just 10 days, for 97.5% of the asking price! The sellers were thrilled and the buyer was thrilled. It was a win/win situation and a very pleasant experience.

For more information on Grand Rapids Short Sales and the marketing I use, please visit my website at Or better yet, simply google, “grand rapids short sales“.

Grand Rapids Short Sales – Grand Rapids Debt Mitigation

17 01 2009

Grand Rapids Short Sale Information and Mitigation

Grand Rapids Short Sales A high percentage of the homes currently for sale in the Grand Rapids housing market today are short sales. If you are in this situation it can be heart-breaking, but it is in your best interest in the long run, to pursue this. Short Sales are far more preferable than having a foreclosure on your credit history. With a short sale, you can be back in the housing market within 12 – 18 months. If you wait until your home is foreclosed on, it could take 7 – 10 YEARS before you will be able to purchase a home again.

In short, a short sale is nothing more than negotiating with lien holders a payoff for less than what they are owed, or rather a sale of a debt, generally on a piece of real estate, short of the full debt amount.

What is a Short Sale? Basically, a short sale is where you are upside down in your mortgage. In other words, you owe more on the mortgage than what the house is actually worth and due to financial and economic hardship; you don’t have the cash to bring to the closing to make up the difference. Therefore your lender will have to agree to discount the loan balance on the house so that it can be sold. The current Grand Rapids real estate market and your financial circumstances will influence whether or not the bank will accept a short sale. Banks will often allow a short sale if they believe it will result in a smaller financial loss than foreclosing.

This is where a competent Grand Rapids Realtor and Debt Mitigation Grand Rapids Short Sale InformationProfessional become very important. The Platinum Realty Group has recognized how valuable such a service would be to our clients and we have established a relationship with a local law firm to negotiate short sales on your behalf and help you mitigate your debt. Our goal is to help you sell your home and avoid a foreclosure on your credit history.

You will need to provide proof of hardship in the form of a letter, W-2’s, bank statements and any other documents showing financial hardship. We will gather and compile this information and begin communication and negotiations with your lenders. Your house will be put up for sale and marketed using all of the tools at our disposal, including getting featured on Grand Rapids #1 Real Estate Website. My website enjoys high placement on all of the major search engines and I employ many marketing tools to maximize the exposure to all of my listings. Check out the Market Value section for more information on selling and staging a home or condo in Grand Rapids.

Platinum Realty Group also has a relationship with certified, licensed Debt Arbitrators and Loss Mitigation professionals. Not only can we help you avoid foreclosure, but we can also assist you in getting back on your feet.

If you have any questions about  short selling your property, foreclosures or what type of services we provide, please contact me any time.

Related Information:

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 offers relief to homeowners who would formerly owe taxes on forgiven mortgage debt after facing a foreclosure and extends relief for three years, applying to debts discharged in 2007 through 2009.

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 extends this tax relief another three years, covering debts discharged through 2012.