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James City County offers email updates on County news and information

by Deelyn Neilson

Interested in what is going on in James City County? JCC offers an online website and and subscription service where users can get updates on various county information mailed to them. The website offers information on county news, recycling information, parks and recreation,planning and development, as well as volunteer opportunities and seasonal jobs. Looks like a very useful and informative site. Click here to sign up or just to check it out.

If you are a new resident to James City County, check out this great New Resident Checklist. Great information on the county as well as very useful numbers and connections to everything that a new James City County resident will need.

Very well done James City County web folks! Very useful information!

So What is a Short Sale?

by Deelyn Neilson

google map to real pro systems

Are there 'short sale' properties available in Willliamsburg, VA? You bet. There are many of them in every price range and neighborhood in Williamsburg. Before you get into purchasing a short sale you really should do some homework.

The term ‘short sale’ was relatively new to me 4 years ago. I knew what it meant, generally, but not really.  If you have not been in the buying or selling mode lately the term may be new to you as well. The most basic definition of a short sale is this: a seller (who still owns the home) is trying to sell their property and owes more on the property than current market value.  The seller is now “upside down” on their property and will need an authorization from the mortgage holder (or holders) to sell for less than is owed. This is happening to many folks who bought when market prices were higher (around 2006-2008) and now need to sell when market values have now declined. 

Short sale and foreclosure are often misunderstood by prospective buyers. A foreclosure is usually bank owned and, while ‘foreclosure’ certainly sounds more ominous than short sales, they are usually much easier to transact. Foreclosures most often can be approved and closed in a fairly ‘normal’ time frame.

Contrast this with a short sale where the average time to get approved and closed is around 6-9 months. Waiting on a short sale is not for a buyer that needs a home right away. You have to have patience and time- lots of both.

Housing Wire recently published a list that ranked different mortgage companies on the average time that each took to approve a short sale. Their numbers:

The quickest was GMAC averaging 6 months to accomplish short sale approvals. Ranking second was CitiMortgage at 7.5 months per transaction. 3rd was Wells Fargo at around 8 months. Coming in last was Countrywide (now Bank of America) at 13 months.

If you are contemplating buying a short sale you really need to do your homework on every aspect of the purchase. Does your agent thoroughly understand the process and what is involved?  More importantly, does the listing agent understand the process and what is involved?  The importance of the experience of the Realtors who are handling a short sale cannot be understated. They are key to communicating with the mortgage company and making sure that your offer does not become another file sitting on a desk of what could be hundreds of other short sale properties sitting on a desk. The National Association of Realtors has recognized the difficulty and skill required to successfully transact a short sale and has now offers a designation course that is imperative for every Realtor that is involved in short sale transactions: the SFR (Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource specialist). If you are a buyer you need to do your homework.  You may get an awesome deal- and you may be lucky and get your deal approved in a mere 6-8 months!

Have an interest in finding a 'short sale' property in Williamsburg? Or maybe you are interested in selling your home that may be 'short'?  Send me an email ([email protected]) or call me at 757.503.1999. I have handled numerous short sales - and the last one was approved in a record setting 2 months!

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