Will Congress Help Florida Homeowners Get Short Sales Completed To Avoid Foreclosure? Florida Realtors Ask for Fed Help

Posted By on May 24, 2011

Around ten days ago, a group of Florida Realtors appeared before Congress and asked for the federal government’s help for Florida homeowners to get short sales respected and accepted by banks, lenders, and financial institutions.

They are a powerful voice: Florida Realtors, according to its website, are the largest trade association in Florida – having 115,000 members.

From their perspective as real estate professionals trying to get deals closed, this group, which represents all Florida real estate agents and brokers, gave Congress their take on things:  lenders may be telling everyone that they’re working hard trying to get short sales done in a short time frame, but it’s not happening — even if there are federal guidelines in place.

Coming hat in hand with some suggested solutions, the Florida Realtors asked Congress to rule that if banks are silent on a proposed short-sale price, that it should be legally assumed to be approved after 45 days. In other words, by not rejecting a proposed short sale price by the deadline, then the new law would make that price automatically accepted by the lender.  As a lawyer who offers short sale counseling, we have been advocating for something very similar for some time now.

Florida Realtors Want an Online Search Site Containing Bank-Approved Short Sale Listings – A List of Homes That Lenders Have Agreed to Short Sale and The Price Which They Will Accept

They also gave their idea of what could help Florida homeowners get their homes sold in a short sale – thereby avoiding foreclosure.  What’s their big idea?

An online listing of properties in Florida with pre-approved short-sale prices — a searchable website where homes with short-sale prices already approved by the banks could be surfed by agents and potential buyers.  Shouldn’t cost that much to implement, right?  Wouldn’t have to be fancy, just get the job done.

Why Are Florida Realtors Marching to Washington?

Florida realtors make money on sales commissions – if a home doesn’t sell, then they don’t get paid.  They don’t get their expenses covered — gas, phone — and they don’t make a profit.  Right now, real estate professionals are among the hardest hit in this bad, bad Florida economy.

Florida realtors are also among those on the front lines that are able to testify, first-hand, on how lenders are dealing with the huge housing crisis the state is facing.  They know that lenders are not working with them to close deals and get houses sold; instead, they are seeing too many homes going into foreclosure despite the possibility of a viable short sale.

It is true, that a short sale can cause a lender to take a large loss on the property (especially second mortgages).  However, short sales are a good idea for Florida lenders as well as Florida homeowners, given the huge and growing number of homes sitting on the bank’s books.  They help to establish a floor in housing prices.

Hopefully, Washington will listen and help Florida short sales succeed.  For more information, please feel free to leave a comment of contact us at (954) 458-8655.

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