From a Traverse City Realtor
The longer we are in this cycle of this “housing correction” the one thing I realize is how thankful I am for my education and the investment I put into this industry to truly know what I am doing. As a part of my business, I have never relied on who my friend are, or who my kids played soccer with….I invested in knowing this community and this business.
I was never one for seeking out foreclosures to sell. I made a decision that since my family did well in the hay day, my job was to help people stay in those homes that needed that help, or sell their homes before they lost it to the bank.
As a result, we have stopped several foreclosures, keeping people in their homes that could work it out through hardship applications. Many people have come to me thinking that the Sheriff was going to show up at thier door with bidders and sell their home, and they would have to leave with suitcase in hand. I read the letters Trott and Trott (the big wig attorney’s in foreclosures) where the letters stated that you will loose your home and the sale date is such and you have to be out. They never mention that you have a right to redemption, (under 3 acres 6 months over 3 acres 1 year if it is your primary home).
Yes, I still sell homes and help buyers, but a strong committment has been made to help educate the homeowners who suffered a financial set back but are working to get back on track get into a modification program. We have had great success and it really makes me proud to be a part of the solution. Many associates also work hard and are doing their part. But, most of the agents don’t talk about helping homeowners. While business is slower, my hope is more will give back. Also, Michigan needs to do a better job on who can get licensed and how much training they require. A Realtor right now only needs a 40 hour class, not be conviced of a felony, take a test and get a Broker to hire them. I believe many Brokers require you have a pulse. The training needs to be longer and more intense and the Brokers need to have at least at a minimum 90 days of training. A Realtor should not be able to list and sell on their own for at least 2 years and have to apprentice under a Broker first. Right now there is no state requirement. It should be more hard to become a Realtor than it is a Denny’s waitress. Given where we are at with the housing industry in Michigan, now more than ever Michigan needs to demand more for license requirements. You may ask why there hasn’t been….the answer is serious lobbying to keep that from happening. Only the public can bring about change.
To those who say, why should I bail out my neighbor by allowing them to modify their loans. I say, if you lost your source of income and had to choose between feeding your child and paying your house payment what would you choose? Then they get a job and are back on track and just cannot make their mortgage payments and need some assistance from their lender. I say which would you rather have? a mortgage back on track or a home listed next door to you at 40% of your last appraised value?
If you know of someone struggling to hang on to their home, have them call me to review options.
Cindy Anderson, www.traversecityproperties.net, LLC Associate Broker of Coldwell Banker, 522 Front Traverse City