YIKES- 1 in every 7.5 homeowners

YIKES- 1 in every 7.5 homeowners with a mortgage in the US is either behind on their payments or in foreclosure, according to new data released by Lender Processing Services last week. Equates to a record high 13.2% of the nation’s home loans.

This is especially alarming given the lack of jobs.  There are many owners and even renters out there that are struggling to make payments on time.  I must say, hearing this statistic was a bit shocking.  You know its bad out there- but 1 out of 7?  That means everyone in the US knows at least someone who is in the midst of losing the roof over their head. Most likely unless your a hermit, you know quite a few who have already lost their homes or will be this year.  (No offense to hermits, introverts are people too)

The economy of the last 4 years has affected every economic class across the board.  Just last year, even one of our own fellow office agents ended up taking his life because of it.  Yes, it seems like there is not a whole lot else but dismal news that surrounds the headlines these last few years.

However, I do see great things still happening all around us.  Starting with many first time home buyers able to get into homes over the last year and a half that would have never thought they could of just a few years ago.  First time home buyers have made up one big slice of my business during this time.  That in itself has been very rewarding to take part in.

I also see more fellow Realtors taking the time to reach out to troubled homebuyers now more than ever before.  You may have heard from your agent or friends that short sales are no walk in the park.  This is true.  I have closed my share of short sale listings and it is hard work.  Time is spent with my clients.  I grow close to them.  I empathize with them.  It takes an emotional toll on everyone involved.  Hours upon hours have been spent on our clients behalf on hold with these banks by the time a short sale has been completed and that is the VERY short of it.

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The payoff?  Helping sellers do the right thing while saving their credit and getting them one step closer to home ownership once again.  No, I’m not talking next year but sooner than that for a foreclosure.

And let’s not forget our buyers, those loyal clients who have been anxious each day and night for up to 6 months to get into the home of their dreams. Waiting, waiting, waiting… The quickest short sale I’ve listed and closed took 28 days to get approval.  Two full price offers the first day.  That was an awesome feat and even that is a long time to wait to hear if you can buy a home or not.

As a Realtor, I have not forgotten this is a people business more than anything else.  I’m happy to say I’ve really observed agents step up to the plate and help our community by helping people move on with some feeling of self respect and dignity.  There are also many of us who take the time to also help homeowners end up staying in their home.  We take the time to show all the options and get them the contacts they need to talk to.

happy fam

I’m tired of the preconceived notion that we make sooooooo much money.  Most don’t understand the process of how we get paid and where the money goes besides to pay our bills.  Let’s not forget tax time.  Yes, some of us do make decent money and there are plenty out there who may not always earn it.  Why do you think my tagline is what it is?  But that’s a small minority of agents who do this full time.  It’s not easy what we do.  It’s not easy waking up most mornings unemployed day after day as we are our own contractors.  Sitting for hours prospecting.  Studying the market locally while gaining knowledge nationally.  Marketing ourselves and homes from money our of our own pockets BEFORE we get paid.  And don’t kid yourself, this is NOT an inexpensive business to run.  Anyone who is married to a Realtor knows this.  And lets not forget time.  Ah good ‘ol friend time.  Let’s just say there is never enough of it and you will never find yourself with nothing to do.

Yes, you can say I have great respect for fellow agents who are in the business of making a difference.  It’s not easy and it’s not always fun but we do it anyway because to us, there is nothing else we’d excel at like we do this.  Some of us were just made for this business- and you know who you are.  There is no other rewarding career we’d rather be in at the end of the day, than making dreams come true.  Or, in many cases in todays market, just lightening the load a bit…

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