Type in stop foreclosure on any search box on the web and you no doubt will query a string of articles that highlight ways you can negotiate with you lenders, restructure you loans, and usually get things worked out. In a perfect world this would always work, in fact in a perfect world you wouldn’t have to worry about foreclosure at all.
But as we snap back to reality, those of you who have tried the tips and techniques discussed earlier may have realized that the world is anything but perfect. In my first article I discussed many ways to talk to your lenders, what to ask for and who to talk too. But where do you go after you run into a dead end with you lending institution? Well my friend, it’s time to move to Phase 2. If you read my first article you should already be organized as discussed in “avoiding foreclosure phase 1.” You should have also already have started putting aside twenty dollars a week for your “just in case” fund; but if you haven’t start today!
A report by realtytrac.com stated that in 2005 approx. 846,982 properties when into some form of foreclosure. So I’m pretty sure your house doesn’t need to be added to the list. Consider phase 2 the decision phase. I this phase there are some key decisions that Need to be made.
Where are you going to live? What are you going to do? What is the least amount you can take for your
The rules of engagement for this phase are pretty simple. Talk to your family or whoever is living with you and explain your situation; get input, get feedback then make your final decision. I said it would be simple not easy so if you have been keeping you situation a secret from someone who should know about it it’s time to pay the piper.
Once you have had “THE TALK” it’s time to shift focus back on stopping your foreclosure. In most cases the foreclosure process takes between 3-7 months but really depends on the laws of your state (which you should research) and the aggressiveness of you lending institution. That being said if you have spent the last month or so trying to come to an agreement with you lenders and the conversation ended with you still in the same situation, then it’s really time to get moving.
Lets me put it this way: if you make it to phase 2 from here on out you are focusing on selling your home by this time its either sell your home, or lay down and let your lender put you out, it’s your choice. Since I never go without a fight I’ll assume you don’t either, so you need to decide what is the least amount you will take for your home. This isn’t some pie in the sky number up with; it should be what you owe. That doesn’t necessarily mean that this is what we are shooting for, but you need to have an exit strategy in place.
Also, you need to think about arrangements for where you are going to move, even if you never considered moving before, you should have an idea of where you can go after you aren’t in your home anymore. Since Phase 2 last anywhere from 2-3 weeks now is the time to get aggressive with the saving you are going to need it, save as much as you can afford to.
Now, with that out of the way we’ll move on to the next step
For those of you who read my first article on stopping foreclosure it’s time to bring out your notebook. If you haven’t read my first article you can read the first phase of avoiding foreclosure on my website listed in the bio box at the end of this article.
Getting organized deals with collecting comparables because you need to find out what houses in your area are going for. This is easy to do, just jump in your car or take a walk around you neighborhood. You are looking for realtor signs and “For Sale” or
“FSBO” signs with literature about that particular home attached.
When you get back from your trip with the info you went after you are going to call local realtors in your area and ask them what homes in your area are going for. The realtor will usually have a list in the MLS that has the most recent homes sold in you area and what the selling price was.
Make sure you are comparing apples to apples here. If you have a one story three bedrooms with 1 1/2 baths make sure you find the selling prices of similar homes. FYI if the realtor that you call is any good he or she is going to ask a lot of questions. You don’t have to tell them your situation but you do need to humor them a bit. And while you are at it have a little fun,” You deserve it.”
After you have your comparables you are going to call your local penny saver and your local news paper. You are collecting classified advertising rates. Many times you local penny saver won’t charge you for listing instead the charge readers for the classifieds. One example of this is the Iwanna, the Iwanna is a local penny saver in my area and they don’t charge one cent to
Now that you have all your information, you are going to need to collect some supplies again if you read the first article I told you to save $20.00 a week for the first phase; this is why. Go to your local hardware store and buy 2-3 bundles of simple wooden ground stakes. You can find them at home Depot for about $6.00 a bundle.
Next you will go to an arts supply shop or even Wal-Mart and buy 10-20 sheets of the ugliest bright neon orange or yellow poster board you can find. These sheets should be 2’x3′ or as close as you can get to it and should only cost around $2.00. If your wondering why the supplies? Well, they are for the for sale signs. (You didn’t think we were going to let the bank
Take your home without a fight did you?)
The reason that you aren’t buying those pre-made signs is because everyone is doing that, you want to look different and I have found that a simple homemade handwritten sign gets much better results when you’re trying to move a house fast.
Now it’s time to automate because you already have enough to think about. This is another crucial step and shouldn’t be avoided. You need to set up a dedicated 24hr hotline to take you incoming call all the details about the line and how to use it will be covered in Phase 3. Just know for now that you are going to need this to take messages for potential buyers when you aren’t at home. You can find hotlines for less than 14 dollars all day long with a simple search on Google.
You are also going to want to have a way to display details about you home to shoppers. Since most Americans can’t just stop working and many realtor won’t touch this time of sale you have to be creative. A blend of a good classified ad with a FSBO website can really work wonders when it comes to collecting leads and scheduling showing times.
This opens up your options and will allow you to have more shoppers and buyers than you could reach otherwise. A service like this should only cost about $59-60 dollars for a 9 month listing. The ideal FSBO website allows shoppers to contact you via email and give you the ability to post pictures of your home on the website. This gives a shopper a better feel for the home than a classified ad would alone. Some FSBO websites actually generate an I.D. number so your buyer can pull up your listing.
Now that you have a list of the tools you need get shopping you should not have to spend more then $200.00 If you think you can’t afford it, buy less ground stakes just don’t skimp on the Hotline or FSBO website.
In the next article we will put it all together structuring a sale that might even make you some money.
James is the webmaster of two great resources that his readers use to help them stop foreclosure and sell their homes faster