Monday, June 29, 2009

Fort Walton Beach Short Sale Appoved in 2 Days!

This week I had my all-time record fastest short sale approval. It took two days.

Here is what happened:

Property: Investment condo - Fort Walton Beach FL
Seller Hardship: Loss of Income
Lender: BB&T
Original Purchase Price: $640,000
Mortgage Balance: $550,000
Contract Price: $380,000
Submitted: 6/22
Approved: 6/24
Conditions: $30,000 promissory note negotiated directly between seller and BB&T

The key to this quick approval was both the lender and the package. Unlike many other lenders, BB&T will start a dialogue directly with the homeowner prior to the short sale listing. They assign a negotiator in advance. They do not suggest a list price. BB&T did not order an appraisal, either, so they must rely on internal valuation models. The package I sent had no missing items, and the buyer, price and terms were strong. After I received the approval, I called the buyer’s agent, a wonderful lady with whom I have worked before. She could not believe it, since we allowed over 90 days for lender approval in the contract. She was stunned. She said:

"Wendy…. Wendy…. Wendy… Oh my!... I don’t usually drink, but I think I’ll have a Margarita".

I told her "Have two!"

It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, CRP, CRS, GRI, ABR Rulnick Realty, Inc.

Sign up for "SHORT SALE BASICS FOR REALTORS" Webinar - Four Sessions Left, all available on MP3

Call toll-free 1-877-ITS-WNDY (1-877-487-9639) or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy to sell your home or buy a home: [email protected]
Call Wendy Rulnick, Destin real estate agent, to list and sell your home or condo or help you buy a home or rental property on the Emerald Coast of Florida in Walton, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa County- Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Seagrove Beach, Watercolor, Sandestin, Seaside, Crestview, Rosemary Beach, Mary Esther, Shalimar, Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"All Things Are Difficult Before They Are Easy"

A few weeks ago my life started to change. I was asked to step outside my boundaries and outside of my comfort zone. What happened? I “met” Bryant Tutas- otherwise known as "Broker Bryant" . You may have heard of him- he’s one of the best-known real estate bloggers around. His writing is insightful, direct, witty and often very funny. He’s got quite a following.

Anyway, in the past several months I started to notice Broker Bryant’s comments on my blog posts and others. I noticed we were “simpatico”, of like-mind, on many topics, notably short sales. We exchanged a few emails, and a couple of months ago, Bryant asked me if I was interested in doing a joint venture. Among other things, he wanted to know if I would do a live webinar with him about short sales.

Well, ignorant me, I did not even know what a webinar was! I had to look it up. If you don’t know– a webinar is an “online live educational presentation”. Bryant and I would teach real estate agents about short sales. That idea scared the heck out of me, but how could I say “no”? I love short sales! I love discussing them, analyzing them, doing them and answering questions about them. I welcome calls from agents in my area or around the country looking for information or direction on short sales. I love helping the consumer with short sales. And that is what I do all day. So does Bryant.

But what would we have to offer that would be different? There are a lot of “classes” about short sales. The difference here is that we are both practicing real estate agents who spend 90% of our time listing and selling short sales. And we do them from beginning to end. Bryant and I do all our own negotiating, we don’t refer out to a law firm, title agency, assistant or loss mitigation company. (Not that there is anything wrong with that). We are the ones on the telephone on hold with the negotiators- every day, getting sales closed. We think that our practical experience with the day-to-day workings of short sales can benefit others. We want to share what we've learned in a forum to provide concrete knowledge.

Enough about that. I am still nervous. We’ve never done this before- although Bryant has appeared on other webinars. So forgive us in advance if we goof up a little, or pause or stutter (especially me). What you will get, I promise, if you sign up for our webinar- is practical, usable, comprehensive information on short sales.

The first session of our five-part series is Saturday, June 27 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern. Join us.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

922 Pocahontas, Fort Walton Beach FL - Waterfront - Short Sale

Deep water views graced by tall trees... this is a unique hideaway in Fort Walton Beach Florida for boat and water lovers. and lot sits up high. Circular drive brings you to home set back from street for privacy. Magnificent oaks adorn lot. Tile floors throughout, wood-ceiling living room, happy kitchen open to dining room. Kitchen has recessed lighing, breakfast bar and warming oven, plentiful cabinets. Oversized covered patio plus screened porch. Master bedroom is restful, with French doors out to back. New dock- 1 year old with water, 4 extra posts set for a lift. Seller estimates can park 34' vessel, waters 4-10' deep at end of dock- can bow in a big one. Property includes delightful one-bedroom apartment, universal design, on left side of home accessed with separate entrance or through garage. Includes kitchen/living and bedroom, separate a/c. Tenant will remain at $750 per month. Separate oversized workshop to right of drive, segmented into two sides, with walk-up attic, and separate power. What more could you want?

Offered at $425,000

Call our Rulnick Realty team to help you buy this property at 850-650-7883

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The Legends of Santa Rosa Beach - Short Sale

IMAGINE... Beautiful Gulf Views, Sugar-White Beaches, Emerald Water, Quiet Surroundings, Incredible Sunrises and Sunsets, Ultra-Relaxing Vacation... Sound Good? This is a beautifully redecorated townhouse at The Legends in Santa Rosa Beach Florida. It has new flooring throughout (07), offering over 1400 square feet of living space. The master suite has a king-size bed with a pillow-top mattress, whirlpool tub with separate shower in the private bathroom, and beautiful gulf views from the deck. The ' Surfin' ' room sleeps up to four on 2 full-size beds with it's own bathroom and walk-in closet.

The Legends is a beautifully landscaped complex in the heart of Santa Rosa Beach. This condo overlooks one of two pools, so finding a lounge chair at the pool is never a problem! Play sand volleyball or tennis right on the grounds. Quaint shops, incredible restaurants, and championship golf courses are all close by. BEACH ACCESS is less than 200 yards away, just a short stroll. Scenic Route 30-A offers a 17 mile long, paved, bike and jogging path, great for the morning exercise.This Santa Rosa Beach FL short sale is offered at $209,900.

Call our Rulnick Realty team to help you buy this or any other property. 850-650-7883
It's Wendy!

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Destin Condos - Short Sales and Condo Dues

In Destin, Florida, and around the country, as time goes by with short sales, a new problem is growing-- unpaid condo association dues. I currently have two short sales pending with with over $20,000 in unpaid association dues. Short sale mortgage holders are growing weary of paying these huge back-fees to facilitate a short sale. Sure, I've had $10,000 or $12,000 paid to satisfy associations in short sales before. But the longer the short sale or bank action takes, the more the dues will start piling up. Now I have Bank of America balking at paying the association dues on a $300,000 Destin short sale. They want my seller, with no income at all, to pay a promissory note of $40,000 or cash at closing of $20,000, because of the $20,000 past due amount. How am I tackling this problem?

Brainstorming solutions is one of my favorite parts of negotiations. Here is what I found:

Florida Statutes, Section 718.116 states:

The liability of a first mortgagee or its successor or assignees who acquire title to a unit by foreclosure or by deed in lieu of foreclosure for the unpaid assessments that became due prior to the mortgagee's acquisition of title is limited to the lesser of:

1. The unit's unpaid common expenses and regular periodic assessments which accrued or came due during the 6 months immediately preceding the acquisition of title and for which payment in full has not been received by the association; or
2. One percent of the original mortgage debt. The provisions of this paragraph apply only if the first mortgagee joined the association as a defendant in the foreclosure action. Joinder of the association is not required if, on the date the complaint is filed, the association was dissolved or did not maintain an office or agent for service of process at a location which was known to or reasonably discoverable by the mortgagee.

In my case, there are about two years past due in condo fees. I have asked the association to agree to a compromise to accomodate the short sale. Basically, if the condo goes to foreclosure, they will only be paid 6 months dues by the senior lienholder.

If they could reduce the balance owed in any amount to allow the short sale to occur, then the association will gain by:

1. Immediate income to fund a project already in financial need
2. More than the minimal 6 months past due that a foreclosure action will pay them - at some later date
3. A new owner who will certainly be paying his dues on an ongoing basis, providing immediate cash flow

By agreeing to a lesser amount to allow the short sale, that does not mean the association will not pursue the homeowner separately for the balance owed. But a compromise can allow the short sale process to take place,both benefitting the condo project's financial position, and helping the homeowner solve his dilemma.

It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, CRP, CRS, GRI, ABR Rulnick Realty, Inc.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

But He Didn't Do Any Work - Why Should He Get The Commission?

My husband and I had to go shopping for a new television last weekend. The old one was about to die - its channel guide was getting fuzzy and my eyesight is already "bat-like". We researched our options online, found one we wanted, then set out for a reconnaissance mission to Sears, Best Buy and yes, Sam's, at my Hubby's insistence.

Right away, at our first store, Sears, there was our new flatscreen- and it was a lot less expensive than the internet price! I got really excited. The on-duty salesman, Lee, came over and quietly introduced himself to ask if we needed any help. My husband asked if it the t.v. had built-in speakers, and Lee said "Yes". Hubby didn't give signals to talk further (being an engineer), so Lee said to call him if we needed more help.

My husband and I walked up and down the aisles but I already KNEW it was the t.v. we wanted (OK-- " I" wanted). Hubby and I whispered ...."I really want it, let's get it now!" I said. My husband agreed.

I called Lee over and we said "We'll take it". He said he would have to check their inventory (sigh). Sadly, there were none in stock, but if we ordered it then, we could have it in three days. Hubby and I looked at each other. I said "Let's order it", but my husband wanted to finish our mission and go to the other stores.

Before we left, I asked the salesman, Lee, "Are you commission sales?"

" Yes" , he responded.

"Then I want you to get credit for the sale if we call or come back to order the t.v. I am a salesperson, too, so I respect that."

Lee then filled out a customer-finder form so we could let any of the other Sears salespeople know we were "his" customers.

Hubby and I completed our research at the other stores. Sears was the best price by far. I sent Hubby to get the t.v. the next day. "Make sure you give the on-duty salesperson Lee's card so he gets credit!" I instructed.

"Why?" he asked innocently, being an engineer, "He didn't do any work. He answered one question."

"Honey", I said, " If someone called me up because they found a house, then grabbed me to write an offer, would I not deserve a commission? Some deals are easy, some are hard. That's just the way it is. Lee might have killed himself with the previous three customers. They might not have bought, or maybe they did not give his card so he didn't got credit when they did buy. Yes, we were ‘easy', but not all sales have to be ‘difficult' to make the salesman deserving."

Hubby went back to the store, and there was a different salesperson there, not Lee. He did a lot of work to take the order from my husband. I asked Hubby what he said when he gave him Lee's card... He said....

"He would have done the same for me."

It's Wendy!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Destin FL

starting June 27 - comprehensive, practical knowledge
taught by Wendy Rulnick and Bryant Tutas

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Countrywide/Bank of America "Forgets" to Ask for Promissory Note

We all make mistakes, but this was a big one, by a big corporation... I was in negotiations for a short sale on a Crestview, Florida listing. My sellers owed Countrywide/Bank of America about $175,000 as the senior lien and around $25,000 to Citi Financial as the junior lien. The sale price was a spot-on $150,000.

Bank of America asked for a promissory note of $5000. Although my sellers had recently divorced and had to move to separate homes, they both had stable jobs. Bank of America told me that was a factor in asking them for the note. The couple agreed, and I emailed the negotiator. A few weeks later, BOFA approved the short sale. YEA! And they did not even ask for a note!

My next problem was to tackle Citi, who had initially farmed out the listing to a collection agency, as I wrote about in "Rude and Crude- Nordon Collection Services". After I complained about Nordon's uncouth behavior, and hanging up on me, Citi took the file back. They requested $6000 as a pay-off to release their lien. BOFA would only pay them $3000, so my sellers agreed to pay the other $3000 at closing, each having to borrow money to do so.

Finally, the home closed! After months of wrangling, the sellers were thrilled to complete that phase of their lives.

Until yesterday, that is. Bank of America called asking where the note was. This is a month after closing. They sent me back a copy of my own email to them stating the sellers would agree to a note (pretty shrewd, huh?) The negotiator then called me, demanding the note be paid.
I responded, incredulously."The note?" I said, "You did not require a note in your approval letter. The sellers based their decision to borrow money to pay Citi on the fact that you did not require a note. They have nothing more to give.... Is someone in trouble at your company?"
"Yes" he responded.

It's Wendy!

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Monday, June 8, 2009

Short Sale Basics - Let The Class Begin!

I am excited to announce that Broker Bryant , Bryant Tutas of Tutas Towne Realty, and I will be launching a Short Sale Webinar starting June 27 - for all to learn and grow.... Broker Bryant has been sharing his thought-provoking and information-packed blog for years, and he never fails to delight his many followers. We are teaming up on this project to educate YOU and share our knowledge. Take it away, Bryant!

Via Bryant Tutas-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc:

Hi folks. Did you know I have been giving away free information on Active Rain for three years? Just about everything I know about Real Estate I have shared and have never asked for anything in return. Today, is going to be different.Starting Saturday June 27th at 11:00 am Wendy Rulnick and I, Broker Bryant, will be launching “Short Sale Basics”. This will be a 5 part, very comprehensive, course on Short Sales.If you are not familiar with Wendy check out her blog here. Wendy is the Broker/owner of Rulnick Realty in Destin Florida and…..

“Wendy Rulnick, is a Florida Realtor and Broker, and has been selling real estate for 20 years. She has won numerous awards, including the coveted ADDY for advertising design. Wendy was featured in Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine as a short sale specialist.”

Wendy and I will be your instructors. Our goal is to help as many REALTORS® as we can become better at handling Short Sales. By empowering you we can do our small part to help Mr and Mrs Homeowner get through these difficult times. Together we CAN make a difference. Short Sale Basics is being presented as a Webinar. Each class will be 60-90 minutes long. As students you will be able to call in by phone or listen in on the Internet. We will take questions in advance of each class and will try to answer as many as we can during the session.These sessions are NOT for trying to sell you a product. Instead these are training classes. If you attend all 5 classes you will have the knowledge and confidence needed to succeed at Short Sales. You will be in a position to help folks and make a good income while doing so. We want you to succeed and we'll be there to help you in any way we can.Wendy and I will both be available during and after the course to answer any questions you may have as you start working with Short Sales. Here’s the class schedule and curriculum:

June 27th Session 1: Short Sale Basics
What is a Short sale
How does it affect the Seller
Why would the Lender consider a Short Sale
What role does the REALTOR® play

July 11th Session 2: Taking the Listing
How to qualify the Seller
Questions to ask
Documents needed
Disclosures and addenda to the listing contract

July 18th Session 3: Placing the property on the market
Proper pricing
Price reduction strategy
Seller disclosures

July 25th Session 4: Selling the property
Qualifying the Buyer
Negotiating the contract
Knowing what the lender will accept
Time frames

August 1st Session 5: Presenting the Short Sale to the Lender
Preparing the package
Making your case
Follow up
Negotiating the payoff

Folks as you can see we have a lot of information to cover. There will be course materials sent to you in advance of each session.OK since I already mentioned this is not free…you’re probably wondering how much it is? The cost is $27 per session or you can purchase the series for $97. All sessions will be recorded and given to you as a MP3 file so you can go back and listen at your leisure. will get a membership for our Short Sale Networking site. The course is guaranteed. If for any reason you feel you didn’t get your money's worth just let us know and we will give you a full refund. All we ask is that you are honest with us and yourself. Let us know where we let you down so we can improve.

Wendy and I are just like you, we both work Real Estate full time. We both handle our own Short Sales from beginning to end. Wendy has tons of experience and is a wealth of information. My job will be to get this information from her and present it to you in a no nonsense style so we can all learn together.Short Sales are going to be around for years to come. If you are not interested in listing them that’s OK. You may still be selling some on the Buyer side. This course will give you the knowledge needed to assist your Buyer in choosing the right property. Knowledge is power. I can already see I’m going to need to write a few more posts about this.

This one is waaaay too long.So.....are you ready?

All you have to do to register is send us an email at [email protected] Let us know what sessions you want to attend. We’ll then send you the instructions on how to pay and where to “go” for the class. We have room for 250 people. Who wants to be first?

Copyright © 2009 All Rights Reserved

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Blue Dolphin Condo, Okaloosa Island, Fort Walton Beach FL

Fantastic Gulf views from both levels of rare penthouse unit in Blue Dolphin condo complex on Okaloosa Island, Fort Walton Beach, Florida! Balconies on two levels for viewing all the sunrises and sunsets and beach activities oh the Gulf of Mexico. Only 10 units in this low density condominium complex. Covered parking and Gulfside pool and poolhouse for your comfort, privacy, and convenience. Unit appointments feature spiral staircase, spacious storage, and crown molding. Living area features kitchen with granite counter tops, ceramic tile, vaulted ceilings in the living area. The oversized Master suite and bath are ultra plush and relaxing with a large walk-in closet, whirlpool tub, separate shower and a comfy sitting room for watching the telly. This unit is beautifully decorated in nautical themes, so your really feel you have arrived at the BEACH on Okaloosa Island! It would make a wonderful home or rental investment property. Ready to rent, ready to move into. Short drive to Destin shopping and harbor.
Fish, eat and enjoy life on the Emerald Coast of Florida! Offered at $690,000.

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2431 Bungalo Lane, Sandestin FL - Short Sale

Adorable Bungalo home in gated Sandestin, tile floors, upgrades, porch. Close to amenity-filled Baytowne Wharf shopping, dining. Fish, pools, tennis, play, job, lifestyle. This home is 1596 square feet, built in 2005. It has three bedrooms and three and a half baths. Destin Florida location has some of the best beaches in the world! This is a pre-Foreclosure Short Sale subject to seller's mortgage holders' approval. Offered at $317,900.
It's Wendy!

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