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Foreclosures Hit Record High, Agents Shift Focus To Short Sales



Foreclosures shatter records

Last year, the number of homes that received foreclosure notices hit 2.8 million, crushing the number of notices from previous years, bringing the total up 21% from 2008 and a heartbreaking 120% from 2007, according to

RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio noted that “as bad as the 2009 numbers are, they probably would have been worse if not for legislative and industry-related delays in processing delinquent loans. After peaking in July with over 361,000 homes receiving a foreclosure notice, we saw four straight monthly decreases driven primarily by short-term factors: trial loan modifications, state legislation extending the foreclosure process and an overwhelming volume of inventory clogging the foreclosure pipeline.”

Although RealtyTrac’s CEO appears to attempt optimism in one press release that things could have been worse, the Senior Vice President Rick Sharga tells the Wall Street Journal in the video below that it has been a brutal year for foreclosure activity and that there’s “no end in sight.” Sharga noted that “we’re setting new records almost every day,” later stating that “everybody keeps looking for a quick fix to this. There really isn’t one.”

The hardest hit areas

The midwest fared the best with foreclosure rates while the coasts were most hard hit. Florida, California, Arozona and Illinois combined to make up more than 50% of the national total in 2009.

Why agents are shifting focus

Although homeowners are not faring as well as in past years and the number of Realtors are declining, the remaining agents are adjusting to the market- many practicing in areas hard hit by foreclosures have shifted toward focusing on short sales. Some areas are so hard hit that having short sale knowledge is becoming unavoidable.

The good news is that there are a great deal of information sources out there, designations, continuing education for agents to establish a solid foundation for agents. Just today, we announced the addition of short sale expert Melissa Zavala to AG who will focus on sharing her knowledge of the practice to help the agents who are having to adjust to a market with a rising demand for short sale agents.

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  1. Broker Bryant

    January 15, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Melissa is a great addition to your site.

    if you don’t know how to do short sales in my area, central Florida, you are basically out of business. About 85% of the closings are distressed sales!!! And with values down 60%-70% it will be this way for many years. Fortunately for me I’m staring to actually like doing them. I most be sick 🙂

  2. Jay Papasan

    January 15, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Florida, California, Arizona and Illinois make up more than 50% of 2009 foreclosures.

  3. Leslie Hampton

    January 15, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    RT @jaypapasan: Florida, California, Arizona and Illinois make up more than 50% of 2009 foreclosures.

  4. Nathan Bangs

    January 15, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    RT @jaypapasan: Florida, California, Arizona and Illinois make up more than 50% of 2009 foreclosures.

  5. Melissa Zavala

    January 16, 2010 at 4:35 am

    RT @agentgenius: Foreclosures Hit Record High, Agents Shift Focus To Short Sales

  6. BroadpointProperties

    January 16, 2010 at 4:35 am

    RT @agentgenius: Foreclosures Hit Record High, Agents Shift Focus To Short Sales

  7. Rosalinda Mojarro

    January 16, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    RT @MelissaZavala: RT @agentgenius: Foreclosures Hit Record High, Agents Shift Focus To Short Sales

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Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?



Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.



aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.



zillow move

zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub,, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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