A Dozen Morris County People Talk With Realtor Kelly Holmquist, Attorney Marty Eagan About Avoiding Foreclosures

(We just issued the following release:)

The Holmquist Team, Kelly Holmquist, Morris County Realtor, houses for sale in Long Valley, houses for sale in Chester, houses for sale in Mount OliveCHESTER – The headlines may be shouting about an improving housing market, but for a dozen people at a workshop in Chester earlier this month, the topic of a quieter discussion is avoiding foreclosure. They heard two experts – Kelly Holmquist of The Holmquist Team, part of Keller Williams-Towne Square Realtors and Morristown Real Estate Attorney Martin Eagan – talk about ways to do that.

Ms.Kelly Holmquist, the Holmquist Team; Morris County Realtor, Long Valley Realtor, Chester Realtor; short sales, foreclosures Holmquist and Mr. Eagan work together to help people sell homes short, meaning the bank agrees to allow a house to be sold for market value, even when that sum is less than what is owed to the bank.

“It’s a traditional sale,” explained Eagan. “You’re selling to a buyer. It’s not a foreclosure. It’s just the bank agrees to take less than you owe.”

As they have at several previous workshops, the duo explained to those around the table how a short sale works and the role of the attorney and the Realtor in the sale. The bank agrees to accept the lower price, but it does want market value. It’s a tight rope, said Eagan.

“We want to upsell it to the buyer and downsell it to the bank,” said Eagan. “Kelly’s great at that.”

Ms. Holmquist explained that the home will be appraised by the bank, which will set a target asking price. The house is then aggressively marketed like any other home. It must be listed on the MLS, for instance. And home sellers are encouraged to properly stage their homes so it sells quickly. When an offer is received, the bank has to approve the offer.  In fact, said Ms. Holmquist, the only difference between a short sale and regular sale is the negotiations are done by the attorney with the bank and others owed money from the proceeds of the sale.

“On the front side, everything appears to be a traditional sale,” said Ms. Holmquist. “It’s on the back side that it’s different.”

While past workshops have been attended by an array of people, many of them have been younger homeowners who can no longer afford their mortgages or who need to move for a better job, but can’t sell their depreciated homes. This group was a different, said Ms. Holmquist and Mr. Eagan. One couple, for instance, was collecting information for their daughter who is going through a divorce. Another couple is trying without success to sell a home owned by the woman’s mother, now in her 80s in assisted living and with no income. A third woman, in her 70s, had taken multiple mortgages to pay medical expenses. Although she’s never missed a mortgage payment, the failure of the real estate market and the devaluation of her savings now has created financial problems.

“All sorts of people are facing foreclosure or are so far underwater that they may never recover, even though they’re making their payments,” said Ms. Holmquist. “It’s not at all uncommon.”

In fact, she said, about 29 percent of the homes being sold in Long Valley and Mount Olive are short sales. In the Chesters, that number is about 9 percent.

“Working with an established team of an attorney and a Realtor to sell short offers a good way out for many people,” said Ms. Holmquist. “The improving real estate market improves their chances of selling short, but it’s still the best answer for some people.”

Ms. Holmquist said people with questions about short sales or any other facet of buying or selling real estate can call her office at (908) 867-7109 or by sending her an email at kholmquist@comcast.net.

Ms. Holmquist is the team leader for the Holmquist Team, part of Keller Williams Towne Square Realty, and one of the top-producing real estate teams in Morris County, N.J.  She has been in real estate since 1997, specializing in residential home sales. After working at other agencies, she founded The Holmquist Team in 2008. A Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), she holds a bachelor of science from PennStateUniversity. More information is at http://www.kellysellshouses.com or by calling (908) 867-7109.

Eagan heads an office that focuses on real estate and is one of New Jersey’s fastest growing specialty law firms. The firm has successfully represented thousands of individuals and business clients across the state in residential and commercial real estate transactions. More information is available at (973) 898-7300 or www.martyeagan.com.

New Website Fights to Preserve Homeownership Opportunities For All of Us

LONG VALLEY, N.J. – Whether you own a home, or you’re a renter who would like to be a homeowner someday, a series of legal proposals and events are threatening long-held ideas about home ownership. Holmquist Team members have been urging people to visit a new website that talks about those challenges and gives people an opportunity to be heard on the topic.

The site, http://www.protecthomeownership.com, was created by the National Association of Homebuilders. It explores the mortgage-interest deduction, affordable housing issues, foreclosures and the threats to the many jobs created by the housing industry. And it’s information every homeowner or perspective homeowner should be aware of, whether you’re selling a home or not.

You might think it’s a little self-serving for a Realtor to be promoting a site supporting homeownership, but there is a lot more at stake here than a few listings.

Home ownership has always been a goal of many Americans. While a house is usually a good investment, that’s not the primary purpose of owning a home. It’s a safe place to relax, raise a family, escape from work and live life one’s own way.  It creates wealth and promotes financial security for individuals and also builds stable communities where people feel a strong stake in what happens.

Equally important, new home construction and the resale of existing homes create jobs for millions and generate revenues for businesses and government. Think about it: Ever know anyone who bought a home and didn’t spend a lot of money on redecorating and refurnishing? That money stays in our communities!

For reasons that are beyond me, government officials are considering a lot of policies that will harm homeowners, home buyers, homebuilders and the millions of people connected to the industry. For example:

  • Debate continues about cutting or eliminating the mortgage-interest deduction from your income taxes.
  • With few regulations governing appraisals, it is difficult sometimes to get a fair appraisal without having foreclosed or distressed properties included and pulling down the price of a home.
  • Six federal agencies have proposed a mortgage standard that would make 20 percent down payments the “new normal.”
  • Surprisingly, there is a lack of inventory in many types of homes, and places where the demand for new homes is rising. Banks, however, are doing to builders what they’ve done to homeowners: They’ve cut them off from credit for land acquisition and construction. The housing market – and all the jobs it creates — can’t make a comeback without credit for builders. Legislation addressing the issue has been introduced.

As Realtors, we talk every day with people who want to buy and sell homes and people who are pursuing their dream of homeownership for the first time. For many, owning a home is milestone that means they’ve become part of a community and achieved the American dream. For others, it’s a financial and social shelter that provides them with security. For all, homeownership is one of the rewards of working hard and being successful.

People in Washington seem to have forgotten about those feelings. Homeowners and those who want to become homeowners need to understand that there are threats out there, and must take some action against those threats. At the same time, they need to support legislation and regulations that support homeownership.

The NAHB’s website, www.protecthomeownership.com, is a good way to start learning about the federal issues and how to get involved. There are state issues, also, that impact you as a homeowner or homebuyer. And if you have questions about any of these issues, or want  help buying or selling a home, call us at (908) 867-7109 or a http://theholmquistteam.net.

 

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Featured Home

The Holmquist Team can show you a wide variety of single-family homes and condominiums in the area, including this featured home:

76 W. Springtown Road in Long Valley is an elegant, spacious colonial on more than six private acres. This four-

home for sale in Long Valley by The Holmqust Team

This beautiful home is available in Long Valley.

bedroom home includes a two-story family room, study and updated kitchen with stainless steel appliances, corian countertops, breakfast bar and beautiful cabinets. Upstairs, the master suite includes a luxurious master bath with jetted tub and lots of closet space. Outside, there’s an in-ground swimming pool with waterfall and beautiful grounds. In addition, the home is close to shopping, restaurants, highways and trains and buses for commuting. Children attend the highly rated Long Valley and West Morris schools. Priced in the mid $600s, more information is available about this home at (973) 867-7109 or by clicking here.