Facebook Brings Distressed Homeowner And Realtor Together

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Agent finds neighbor through social media and saves home from foreclosure

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I jokingly call John a magician, because he managed to get my short-sale approved when I was told by several people including lawyers and lenders that there was no chance due to my situation.

After a Morgan Hill homeowner had given up hope on selling his distressed property, he received a message on Facebook from neighbor and Realtor, John Fagan. The two had never met, however Fagan saw his neighbor’s home on the Notice of Default list and wanted to help. In just over 2 months, the home was listed and sold as a short sale for 98% of the list price.

When Fagan first saw the Notice of Default in January, he thought it might be too late to assist this homeowner with a short sale. The home had a foreclosure sale date that was just over two months away. The values of the homes had dropped approximately 40% in just five years in this neighborhood.

After a little online research, Fagan discovered that the homeowner had an out-of-state mailing address. Thinking that the home was an investment property, he realized this may be a fruitless effort, as banks are less likely to approve a short sale on investment properties. However, he continued to dig deeper to see if he could assist the owner.

“As a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE), I knew that 7 out of 10 homeowners were going into foreclosure without visible intervention,” Fagan said. “It appeared that was the case for this homeowner as the foreclosure sale date was nearing and the house was not listed for sale.”

Fagan did a search for the owner’s name and location on Facebook. With only one matching return, he decided to send a message to the person to see if it was in fact his neighbor.

“I decided to take a chance and I sent Eric a Facebook message simply asking if this was the same person that owned the home facing foreclosure and explained that I was a local Real Estate Broker that lived around the corner,” Fagan said. "I explained that as a CDPE, I was trained to help homeowners in his situation and would love the opportunity to help.”

Eric responded quickly with very detailed information in regards to his situation. He purchased the home as his primary residence but had to relocate out-of-state for work. He was suffering a considerable loss, approximately $2500 each month, on his property in Morgan Hill, despite having renters in the home.

A few Facebook exchanges, e-mails and phone calls later, the owner and Realtor decided it was worth listing the home as a short sale. After one open house, they received an offer on the home. The bank approved the offer after just a few weeks of negotiations and because it was a cash buyer, the home closed 18 days after receiving bank approval.

"I jokingly call John a magician, because he managed to get my short-sale approved when I was told by several people including lawyers and lenders that there was no chance due to my situation,” said Eric. “I was prepared to walk away from the property and have it go into foreclosure. However, John sought me out, and in a very respectful way, convinced me that he would do his best in short-selling the property.”

Short sales allow the sellers to repay the mortgage at the price that the home sells for, even though it is lower than what is owed on the property. With plummeting property values, this can save many people from foreclosure and even bankruptcy. More and more lenders are willing to accept short sales because they are much less costly than foreclosures.

“The CDPE designation has been invaluable as I work with sellers and lenders on complicated short sales,” said Fagan. “It is so rewarding to be able to help sellers save their homes from foreclosure.”

Eric’s situation proves that it’s never too late for a seller facing foreclosure to seek help. Due to the lengthy and expensive foreclosure process, most lenders prefer short sales and are willing to postpone the foreclosure date to allow homeowners time to complete a short sale. And in most cases, a short sale is a much better alternative to foreclosure.

For more information about the benefits of a short sale, as well as other foreclosure alternatives, visit http://www.HomeownerReliefCenter.info.

To schedule an interview, please call John Fagan, a Real Estate Broker with Bluefin Realty servicing Morgan Hill and San Jose, at 408-718-0264 or email him at John@SuperiorRealtyServices.com.

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John Fagan

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