Foreclosures from COVID? Lisa gives her thoughts on that and expert guidance
Lisa: Hey, friends, it’s me Lisa Richart-Hernandez here today and it’s just me flying solo. George Hernandez my husband had to unexpectedly head out of town today, his mother was in the hospital down in Miami. So he wanted to fly out and be with her and so we made that decision last night and he got the first flight out this morning. She’s doing great which is good news. but you know a few stressful times there. I’m about to head out the door this evening to drive down to Florida because my mother is also in the hospital having surgery today.
So this week I just want to talk a little bit about life travel and real estate, not a lot to talk about the travel department but uh let’s just talk a little bit about life and what’s been happening with us. So um in the last week we well in the last couple of weeks we had George’s oldest daughter mandy had her little baby girl winter and she’s a couple of weeks old now but it was just kind of an interesting situation. Because she was born during covid 19 and so we had to zoom call in to see her we weren’t allowed to go to the hospital and um it was just kind of like a really weird situation.
It was awesome! The technology with the zoom and facetime and you know getting to see her on video was awesome. But it wasn’t as great as when we got to go and actually hold her last week when she was home. So we’re super excited to welcome winter into our family it’s mandy’s little baby girl her and her husband Mark. They also have seven-year-old twins so we’re a grandparent I guess three times now. And then you know all of this kind of also put interest perspective for me you know my mom has been having problems with uh we really couldn’t diagnose it for the last couple of years, as a matter of fact, she’ll just she’ll be fine one minute and the next minute she starts slurring her words and on like really dizzy and kind of unable to walk and so finally after I guess it’s been almost two years now they finally diagnosed her with uh they’re gonna put a stint in one of the arteries to her brain that is apparently needs it is not getting enough blood.
So we’re hoping that she’s gonna be out tomorrow and have a speedy recovery and be back to normal is our best bet. But once again we can’t be there in the hospital for her things have changed like that. So she’s getting dropped off and we’re gonna be there tomorrow to pick her up but it’s just a strange time and a lot with these aside from everyone being you know stuck in the house senior citizens were really at the highest risk and I really question you know this quarantine uh the effects that it’s had the long-term effects and depression on a lot of these adults.
I mean regular you know aged people as well but especially on these like adults that have been and sometimes they’re small condos for now going on three to four months not getting their normal exercise not doing their normal socialization and you just see a real decline in that age and it’s just really sad. So I hope when all this pandemic is over we get an opportunity to do some research on what really happened in this whole situation. It’s also been a crazy week because uh we live in charleston South Carolina and we were part of one of the cities that had riots and looting over the George Floyd incident.
I don’t really like to get into politics or talk about controversial subjects on my podcast and or really anywhere, to be honest, but I think it’s the whole world agreed that what happened with George Floyd wasn’t right um whether or not, and everybody I believe feels that peaceful protesting is our right as Americans and I believe in that and I think it’s great but the writing and looting is what really really hurt my heart this past week and I just so this happened last Saturday today’s Thursday and I woke up I’m sorry it was Saturday night the looting and rioting happened and you know they locked down downtown, there were people that were trapped in restaurants they were scared for their lives there was shooting there was just mass chaos really!
And you know George being an ex-police officer has some contacts down there still and he asked his friends you know like what happened and they basically said listen you know this all this rioting and looting is over what happened with the police officer so we’re kind of kid gloves on this and you know we have to be very very careful because everything is taken the wrong way now and that’s just a really sad and scary statement um coming from the police officers which you know it’s kind of like there’s a few bad apples out there and it makes it bad for the rest of them.
I always you know I always tell my children you’re the some of your five closest friends and um I hope that and I know George’s friends that are still in the police force and that I’ve met are good people with good intentions that aren’t racist. So, I feel like it’s kind of like America against you know to race the racist people but I don’t even believe anymore that it’s a black and white thing. Because I would say a majority of white people are not racist so it’s very sad.
Anyway, we went downtown on Sunday because I woke up in the morning and I just looked at the pictures and I was just sad and so George and I got our brooms and gloves and masks and trash bags and said I’m gonna go down and help clean up. What we can.
And we got there I don’t know probably about 10:45 in the morning and honestly by the time we were there people had already been there since early in the morning!
The majority of the stuff had already been cleaned up um it was a very eerie feeling walking down the streets the Louis Vuitton store everything was gone the Gucci store everything was gone the iPod apple store was completely wiped out you know and so just I think that the looting was that doesn’t that does no one any good but there’s a lot of other like locally owned businesses that also were affected that really really just hurt my heart and so we walked around and helped where we could for about an hour and a half maybe two hours.
And one experience I had I was walking through Marion square and there was like four or five homeless people sitting on the bench there and they were all African-American and they had sandwiches and waters and they were just kind of sitting and chatting with each other and we walked by and he said hey how are you today and we said hey how are you? I don’t know we just kind of shook our heads and he said, you know he said I usually sleep on the streets, and last night I’ve never been so scared in my life he said I used to call this place paradise.
And I just walked and I don’t bring tears my eyes right now I just thought to myself, what have we done like what this is just here’s a homeless man saying our city is paradise and he loves where he lives on the streets and he was scared for his life and he had nowhere to go and these are the same people that are supposed to be fighting for you know injustice and it just really really touched my heart and was very very sad to me so had a really hard time going on social media and and and seeing things that people are saying and doing and politics is brought into everything whether you wear a mask or don’t wear a mask whether you social distance or don’t social distance where it’s not socially responsible you’re too many people together or you know everything is republican or democrat or and grouping everyone into things and I just think we need to treat each other as individuals listen to each other love each other and respect each other’s difference of opinions.
It’s just sad so that’s all I have to really say about Charleston. But I think that overall in charleston we have a wonderful community and we had a terrible incident that happened um I forget the guy’s name that came in and shot up a church killed about six church members who were all African-American it was a white guy that came in young 20-year-old um clearly insane person and just walked in and shot them all um and he was serving life in prison but the community at that time white black we got together we held hands and prayed and it was just such a unified community at that time.
So it just makes me feel like these looters weren’t people that were from charleston they weren’t our people who work together we’ve been through hurricanes we’ve been through disasters and we all come out and help each other so I still believe there’s good in the world so enough on that all that sad news.
But uh on a positive note this week we did a photoshoot for charleston real producers magazine which was a real honor it’s for the top 500 realtors in um charleston which there are over six thousand realtors and um I’m one of the top 2%.
So the photographer came out and did a photo shoot with a family and I was really excited so I’m excited to see how that turns outlook for that coming out next month we also had travel plans to go to the Dominican Republic this month which is June and those were canceled. Everything was supposed to be open in the Dominican Republic on June 1st but um and we were supposed to go the 10th through the 17th but when I called to reschedule it hadn’t even been opened yet so we rescheduled for the new year so that’s something to look forward to and pray that 2021 is a much less crazy year and uneventful and a happy year for most people.
Believe it or not, talking about real estate we have been extremely busy and our market has seen record sales numbers a record number of properties going under contract, Which is so uh not what I expected in this pandemic to be very honest I was an agent and started in 2005 so lived through the downturn in 2008 I work foreclosures and I’m a short sale specialist and foreclosure specialist and I’m really surprised that prices have not gone down yet and that we’re not seeing uh really any slowdown in the market.
And that’s just such a great thing for the charleston area because we need that and I’m hoping that when unemployment is over and the money runs out that was all injected into the economy that people in the end still have jobs but driving around I’ve seen a lot of restaurants already closed down a lot of businesses already just closed gone probably people that just couldn’t make it and they couldn’t make it through summer with no sales and that’s again heartbreaking and it’s just been very heartbreaking.
So interesting thing Keely Burd one of my buyer’s agents she’s my main buyer’s agent and she trains my other buyer’s agents she’s been with me for geez is it four or five years now. She ratified she sold three houses this week and she’s been busy as could be and most of the deals have been multiple offer situations so that’s good news.
Good news and bad news I guess it means it’s a seller’s market and my listings have been getting multiple offers and lots of showings so that’s exciting and really good news.
One of the things that Keely did she did a lot of good things for her buyers to win in multiple offer situations and I think that’s where having an experienced agent is so important. She did escalation clauses for her offers so say for example the list price was 200,000 and she calls the agent says hi you know I’m about to make an offer do you have any information do you have any offers and they say yeah I’ve already got three offers so chances are if you’ve got three offers there’s already going to be one person that’s offered full price and it may come down to the terms what kind of financing if they’re cash buyer VA, FHA or what kind of loan they’re doing that kind of thing when you start to make decisions so she did what’s called an escalation clause.
And an escalation clause would be so there’s an addendum that goes with the offer that says I’ll pay you 200 thousand dollars for the house up to 200 and say let’s seven
thousand dollars um a thousand dollars more than your highest offer up to a thousand up to two hundred and seven thousand so they say the office said to say the listing agent gets an offer for 205 000 that means that Keely’s buyer is willing to pay 206 000 for the seller to take their offer so that’s a great strategy when you’re in a multiple offer situation.
And I think it’s a really good real estate tip for anyone that’s you know a buyer, we’d love to be your agent of course but if you’re even if you’re working with another agent or listing from outside of the market um that’s a strategy for buyers make sure your agent finds out what’s important to those sellers I had another one multiple offers the most important thing to my seller as he had new construction he wanted to be able to stay in his house until he closed. So the buyer was flexible on their closing date and those are things that can make or break a deal and having an experienced agent that knows how to negotiate that stuff is really really important.
So I wanted to touch base on that I’ve gotten a lot of questions also about foreclosures like people start looking in the market oh there’s gonna be a whole bunch of foreclosures well, unfortunately, we’re a little early for that um well unfortunately or fortunately I guess look either way you look at it right now foreclosures are there’s a moratorium on foreclosure so there nothing is being foreclosed on I believe that ends in July so after that happens I’ve seen a big huge spike in an increase in what’s called broker price opinions that I’ve received so before the bank goes to auction or the properties go to auction they do what’s called broker price opinions and they send these out to me in an email and say hey could you for fifty dollars give me three active and three sold comps for this property give me your opinion of the value. That’s called a broker price opinion.
I have seen I’m getting probably offers for 10 properties a day to do those so you know I think this big auction that’s coming up the first one that gets on the docket that will probably be a very big foreclosure auction for all the stuff that hasn’t been foreclosed on that was already in the process. So I think we’ll see a spike there um you know for just the build-up of stuff that was in the pipeline and didn’t get foreclosed on.
In South Carolina it takes six months to foreclose so you know there’s probably stuff that was already in the system the courts are so backed up everything’s moving super slow. So we may see a little influx there towards the end of the year in august September with foreclosures but even so, if it doesn’t get bought at auction then the foreclosure house so here’s how the process works.
First, they send the person who has to be in default for about 90 days right so they haven’t paid their mortgage in 90 days and the bank files what’s called a list pendants that mean we intend to foreclose on you at that time this the owner homeowner still has time to pay up and get straight and you know not to lose their house and then they move forward towards the foreclosure proceedings and you get a notification that there’s going to be a hearing for your foreclosure and if it’s the uncontested meaning you don’t show up with your attorney and contest it then they’re going to set a date for the sale all this usually takes another couple months once they set up the date for the sale if it’s uncontested it goes to sale and it’s sold on the courthouse steps so the bank will say, we’ll they have the first bid for example so let’s just say the owed 150 000 on the house so the bank will say we’ll take 150 for the house well they’ll say we’re willing to pay 150 to get it back or somebody else can buy it for more.
So that’s just them getting their money back basically um if people but say in real life the house is worth 200 000 then an investor buyer may buy it at auction and get that house and when you buy something at the foreclosure auction the title’s free and clear as long as there’s not a second mortgage on there or it’s not the second mortgage for closing and the first mortgage is still on there I guess I should say.
So um it’s a really good uh opportunity for some investors experienced investors to go to the courthouse stops and buy stuff before it goes back to the banks when we say back to the bank it means that the bank bids on the property nobody else bid on it so it goes back to the bank then takes it into their inventory takes about 30 days after.
Well usually after the foreclosure day, I usually get a bunch of assignments that day and it takes about 30 days from then until the date of the foreclosure is recorded so I might get the assignment in my email and they’ll say hey you have a new listing at 123 main street go dot knock on the door see if anybody’s there report back to me. So if the property is vacant it may have already been secured by the lender in the past we move forward and we get started on the listing but if somebody’s living there they normally offer them what’s called cash for keys.
So we’ll knock on the door and literally, say hi I see you’re here the bank owns your house they took it back in foreclosure um what are your intentions for moving out and they’ll say I don’t know or I’m not sure or I didn’t know what was going in foreclosure or whatever they have to say to me and so I say well I need to get your contact information and the bank is going to offer you what’s called cash for keys.
So the bank will come back I’ll do a quick evaluation of a general uh broker price opinion again of what the value of the home is and they’ll come back to the homeowner and they’ll say okay if you can be out in 30 days we’ll give you two thousand dollars you need to leave the property clean and free of any trash or debris in broom-swept condition and the people literally get money from moving out of the house that they didn’t pay for and that’s called cash for keys and that’s the best reason that they do that is because they don’t want the occupant to then basically, destroy their property take out of the cabinets they’ll I’ve seen taken everything out of the house before I’ve air-conditioned are gone hot water heater’s gone pipe’s gone you know all kinds of crazy stuff.
So that’s why they do cash for keys and that way they can gain immediate possession of the property and start moving it towards marketing sometimes we can’t and then we have to go through eviction can take another 30, 60, or 90 days depending on how the courts are backed up and as long as that’s uncontested then they’ll get what’s called a sheriff’s lockout date and then the sheriff will post on your door when they intend to come and lock you out of your property. So then you need to be out of that house otherwise, I and my team show up with the sheriff and we, unfortunately, have to put all of their belongings on the side of the road those belongings then have to stay there for 24 hours so the homeowner can have access to them and then we secure the property and then the next day 24 hours later we have to come back and take everything to the dumpster that hasn’t already been picked up by either homeowner or people that just come by and you know steal random stuff off the side of the road.
So that’s kind of how the foreclosure process works and I think there are so many people that get scared they didn’t pay their mortgage they’re behind on their mortgage and I guess this is a message to any of my friends or people that are out there listening to me right now if you find yourself in this situation especially after this cove incident behind on your mortgage without a job you know to reach out to me I’m happy to help we can see if we can either a get your home sold b negotiate with the bank or just give you some sort of an idea and it’s better to have control over the situation and be in contact with your bank then it is to just let the situation go and bury your head in the sand.
A lot of times people get depressed they don’t want to talk about it anymore they bury their head in the sand they don’t pay any of the bills they don’t answer their phone and they just wait for someone to come and kick them out and that’s just really not the best bet it’s not the way to go and you don’t want a foreclosure on your credit report.
So that’s my uh foreclosure 101 teachings and then there’s a lot of investor people that are interested in buying foreclosures and there’s also another huge misconception I get this question all the time, oh gosh yeah I want to buy this foreclosure but it’s gonna take forever i don’t know if they’re gonna accept it no no no you’re confused if it’s listed by a real estate agent like myself and it’s a foreclosure they have already decided on the list price they have already done appraisals and broker price opinions they’ve already done estimates for repairs they know what the value of the property is and it’s for sale for that price based on that information it’s not like oh it’s listed for 200 but it’s a foreclosure so we should just offer 150.
That’s not how it works um they won’t make an offer of 150 99.9 percent of the time because they know the value of the property because it’s been through a complete entire assessment before it was listed with the agent and then when you do write an offer you’re going to write an offer or your agent will write an offer at least in the state of South Carolina and generally speaking I think it’s pretty similar in every state your agent will write an offer on the local contract and then you negotiate sort of verbally back and forth either through a system like a prop offers online or Fannie Mae has a different one ever there’s a bunch of different online offer portals that we work with.
We submit the offers through there they come back and forth um kind of electronically offer counter offer we come to an agreement of terms and then they send the bank’s addendum.
The bank’s addendum is basically I don’t know 15 pages that are basically just written to cover the bank in every state you know all kinds of stuff sounds like scary language but really it’s not if you have an experienced agent they should guide you through the process it’s very simple and really like working with any other seller they always have their own attorneys and sometimes they’ll offer you a discount to use their attorney I usually recommend against that using a local attorney is much better and more usually quicker everyone gets paid everyone gets closed faster when we use a local attorney to represent the buyer and then the seller has their own attorney through the foreclosure process.
So it’s a very very simple process the difference that I think people are confused about where they think oh gosh it’s going to be a long process that’s called a short sale and a short sale is completely different that’s when you owe more on your home than it’s worth and they’ve become so much less common now because most people have equity in their homes now um prices have gone up uh people were required to put money down it wasn’t any doc loans it wasn’t 100% financing.
So they’ve put 5%, 10%, 15%, 20% down. it hasn’t gone below what they owe so so they’re usually in good shape. But if there is a short sale that process at the quickest takes 120 days so I might have done one in 90 days but it was probably a pre-approved one there’s a lot of paperwork involved with that you definitely need an experienced short sale agent to guide you through that process I used to have my own person on staff that negotiated all the short sales but now I work with Tommy Dinkins at week’s law firm highly recommend week’s law firm for any kind of short sales foreclosures closing attorney they’re one of my go-to people. I’ve got five offices in the charleston area I think Tommy may even negotiate short sales outside of the area.
So it’s uh definitely a good um a good way to go and you can get some deals when you buy a short sale you just have to be really willing to wait for it to be approved. So that is my tidbits on short sales and foreclosures in real estate and I’d like to talk some more about charleston and I’m thinking about starting a new podcast that is just about charleston and all kinds of things because I get questions about that from buyers and sellers moving to the area.
And I love to talk about our town because I love it here so much I know it’s been really so depressing the past few months that everything’s been closed and all the riots and learning and that just really hurt my heart. But we’re going to get back to normal we’re going to come back stronger than ever I hope and charleston is still going to be a fabulous place to visit and especially now that they’re kind of restricting uh foreign travel take a vacation at home come to visit charleston the restaurants and hotels are reopening downtown just beautiful places to visit wander shop.
Its charleston is a safe place those riots were just a very very very rare incident um but we love it here we’ve got beaches we’ve got cultural history and fabulous restaurants. Coming from the foodie that you know I am I’m very very choosy from being in charleston for the past 25 years and having amazing restaurants to go to.
That’s about it for now and I appreciate everyone listening and if you have any questions about real estate. I would love to answer them for you you can reach me at email@example.com that’s my email goes to my team and you can also go to rvpodcast.com and reach out to me there and listen and share this podcast with your friends give us a review the more listeners we have the more downloads we have the better chance we have of getting good ratings and that’s our ultimate goal.
So please share this with your friends enjoy it hopefully we’ll be back to talking more about RV life and more travels and things like that and then months to come because we do plan on being here in the united states for well at least until December 27th I think is when we’re supposed to head to the Dominican Republic for a week vacation with a family that we had to re-reschedule so have a great day and thanks for listening!