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An Overview of Foreclosure and Short Sale Homes: An Intervirew with Becky Parker Bradford of American Realty Professionals of GA

By Becky Bradford

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Currently I am associated with American Realty Professionals of Georgia, located in Covington Georgia. We have several offices in the state as well. We also have a real estate school that offers pre license, broker license and continuing education. Our foundation is centered around our agents. We know what licensees are looking for and we cater to those needs. This allows us to have a great retention rate.

I was originally licensed in 2007 and recently obtained my broker's license in June 2014. Having a real estate team for the last 7 years, I knew I needed to further my education to help my agents grow. My team functions on the bases of agent support as well as spiritual encouragement. It is my goal to help the agents on my team meet and exceed their goals.

What are some of the services your company provides?

We provide exclusive seller listing services, buyers agency, designated agency, dual agency and tenant placement services. We also offer commercial rental listing services and commercial tenant placement. In addition, we offer commercial listing services and commercial buyers agency.

In the last 7 years, I have specialized in short sale listing services. Since the economy forced a lot of homeowners in this situation, the need was there to get the education necessary to assist the owners in distress.

What is the process of preforeclosure like? Can it be reversed if I pay off my debt?

i.e. Short Sales are an arduous process for the owner and all parties involved. The most important first step is to determine the homeowner is in an upside down situation with the mortgage. If this is the case, the second most important fact is to determine if the homeowner has a true hardship. A hardship, in the opinion of the mortgage holder is typically loss of employment, loss of spouse, increase in monthly living expenses and/or having to leave the home to find work, typically in another state. Once all of these factors are computed and it is determined the owner is a candidate for the short sale, the agent will start to gather financial information and other lender required documents to initiate the listing. From there the home is listed, marketed and an offer is typically next. The lender has to review the file and send it through the proper steps for approval of closing. This can take months depending on the lender, type of loan the owner has and other factors.

If an owner in a short sale situation is able to pay off the debt before a short sale then the short sale is cancelled. An owner may achieve this by talking with the lender about a forbearance or a loan modification. Agents are not licensed to modify any terms of a mortgage, so it is important to direct the owner to the appropriate parties.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of buying a home in foreclosure?

An advantage to buying a home in foreclosure is typically getting a good price for the home. The disadvantages of buying a home in foreclosure are; typically the home is sold as is, closing cost for the buyer is usually 3% or less, it may take time to close as the title from the foreclosure may have issues that must be resolved.

What is a short sale? How does this help the homeowner who is behind on payments?

A short sale is when a home is being sold for less than the current owner owes on the mortgage. Therefore the word short means not being paid in full. This requires 3rd party approval from the mortgage holder.

A short sale helps the homeowner by allowing them to dissolve the mortgage for less than what they owe. Typically, once approved the lender will settle the account and no further action/payments are required by the owner. This like any other modification of a mortgage must be handled by someone licensed to do so. In the case of short sales, agents are not allowed to do this without the assistance of an attorney. The attorney facilitates the short sale and the closing. It is important to have the education for this niche like any other real estate transaction. With an educated and experienced agent along with an attorney, the owner can expect a smooth closing without having to contribute money to the closing. As with anything that is subject to a 3rd party i.e. the lender, no guarantees can be made until the final approval letter is given to the owner from the lender to show what is expected.

How much will a foreclosure or short sale negatively impact my credit score?

Agents are not licensed in this area. It is best to refer this question to a CPA. Obviously there will be repercussion to either of the above.

How does the bank determine the selling price for my home?

In a short sale and a foreclosure, the lender will request a BPO (brokers price opinion) from an agent uninvolved with the listing of the short sale or foreclosure. This is the first step for the bank to determine a price. If necessary, the lender may request another BPO from another agent as reference and comparison. Depending on the bank, they may even order an appraisal. Most HUD and Fannie Mae foreclosure are priced based on an appraisal.

What is the best way for people to get in contact with you or your company?

The best way to contact me is on my cell 678-448-6732 or email me at

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