Protect Your Home from Foreclosure during Coronavirus

Protect Your Home from Foreclosure during Coronavirus

Protect Your Home from Foreclosure during Coronavirus

Foreclosure During Coronavirus, legal notice of foreclosure

With the number of cases of the coronavirus skyrocketing in the U.S., we all have been affected by this pandemic. You may not have gotten sick.You may not even know anyone who has the virus. But you have felt the economy grind to a screeching halt.

Just about every industry has been impacted and mass layoffs have already taken place. In fact, U.S. unemployment spiked 1,100% to 3.2 million on March 24th, and that number doubled again to 6.6 million on April 2nd. It is sure to continue to rise over the next couple of months.

With so much economic uncertainty, you may be wondering if your job is safe. If you do lose your job, will you be able to pay your mortgage? Will you lose your home?

You need to know your rights as a homeowner and what options you have. This guide can help you keep your home.

What exactly is a foreclosure?

A foreclosure is a formal ending of the mortgage contract where a homeowner is unable to make their mortgage payments. In foreclosure, the lender legally seizes the property, evicts the homeowner, and sells the home.

Can my home be foreclosed on during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Many homeowners have at least 60 days of mortgage relief due to the coronavirus.

On March 18th, an eviction and foreclosure moratorium went into effect for single family loans backed by the FHA, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and the USDA. During this time, homeowners will not be charged any late fees nor will they be evicted from their homes. In addition, lenders will not initiate foreclosure proceedings and any proceedings already in process will be suspended.

Many major banks have also announced similar measures. While some banks have announced the suspension of foreclosures for 30 days or even up to 90 days, others have only announced the suspension but have not specified a timeframe. Here is a list of banks that currently have a foreclosure suspension policy in place as of 4/2/20.

Ally Bank: Evictions and foreclosure proceedings are suspended until July 30.

Associated Bank: Foreclosure actions on residential properties are suspended for 60 days, unless required by federal or government agencies.

Bank of America: Evictions and foreclosures are suspended for at least 90 days.

Citizens Bank: Home foreclosures have been automatically suspended for up to 60 days.

Fifth Third Bank: All foreclosure activity is suspended for the next 60 days.

First National Bank: New foreclosures are suspended for customers directly impacted by COVID-19.

First National Bank of Omaha: Foreclosure-related activities have been temporarily paused.

Flagstar Bank: All foreclosure, eviction and repossession activity is suspended through the end May 2020.

Huntington National Bank: Foreclosure-related activity specific to residential properties are suspended through the end of May 2020.

KeyBank: Residential property foreclosures have been paused, unless required by a federal or government agency.

Regions Bank: New efforts to start property foreclosures on consumer real estate loans are suspended for 30 days.

Santander Bank: Foreclosures on mortgages and home equity lines of credit are suspended.

TCF Bank: All new residential property foreclosure actions have been suspended through the end of April 2020.

Webster Bank: Foreclosure on residential loans has been put on a 90-day moratorium.

Wells Fargo: Residential property foreclosures sales and evictions have been suspended.

How can I avoid foreclosure?

If you believe you are at risk of not being able to pay your monthly mortgage payments, the first thing you should do is contact your lender and tell them about your financial difficulties. By notifying your lender about your personal situation, they can work with you to create a plan. In some cases, they are obligated to work with you if you indicate a financial need.

You should not stop paying your bills, and do not wait until you cannot afford to make payments before you contact them. You may feel scared or embarrassed, but if you immediately begin to work with your lender on a solution, you have a better chance of avoiding foreclosure. Remember, the person you call has these conversations every day. It is not embarrassing for them, and it should not be for you either. They WANT you to be okay and make your payments, and they want to help.

Who can I talk to in order to get advice?

You can contact the government program MHA which stands for Making Home Affordable. This program grew out of the TARP relief fund passed to help America recover from the great recession in 2008-2009. Their website explains what options are available and they have a hotline that you can call 24/7 at 1-888-995-4673.

If you have an FHA loan, then you should call the FHA National Servicing Center at 877-622-8525. It is also a good idea to reach out to the Tennessee Housing Development Agency for state specific policies.

If you or an immediate family member has a COVID-19 diagnosis from a physician, mention this early in the conversation. It may open up access to newly available funding passed in response to the pandemic.

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How Much Does A Buyer’s Agent Cost?

How Much Does A Buyer’s Agent Cost?

How Does A Buyer’s Agent Get Paid?

Buyer's Agent Cost, happy family

Are you thinking about buying a home but not sure whether you should use a buyer’s agent? You may be wondering, what does a buyer’s agent do, how much do they cost, and why should I use one?

Step 1: Helping you determine your budget

A buyer’s agent’s first goal should be to help you determine your budget. If you are planning on using a mortgage to finance the purchase of your new home, your buyer’s agent should introduce you to a trusted lender who will pre-approve you for financing.

Step 2: Narrowing down the options

Once you have a budget in mind and are pre-approved for financing, the next step is to prioritize what you are looking for in a home. Are you interested in a particular number of bedrooms or bathrooms? Do you prefer a certain style of architecture? Are you open to older homes built in previous decades or do you only want to consider homes built in the past 5 years?

PRO TIP: See the latest homes for sale near you.

After these questions are answered, your buyer’s agent should determine what you are looking for in your ideal neighborhood. Do you prefer an urban, suburban, or rural neighborhood? Are you looking for a neighborhood that is family-friendly with a great school district or are you interested in a neighborhood filled with young professionals and a great nightlife?

Now that your agent has an idea for your budget and preferences, they will search for available inventory using a system called the Multiple Listing Service or MLS. This system will allow your agent to see all of the available listings currently on the market and help them filter listings that meet your criteria. Your agent will then send you a list of between 10-20 listings that meet most of your preferences. When you review the list of homes, you should keep track of which ones you would like to tour and let your agent know so that they can set up a private showing on your behalf.

Step 3: Scheduling private showings

Your agent will then accompany you to each private showing and as you are touring the property, a good agent will point out small details you should take note of such as the condition of the HVAC. A good agent will also help you make the right decision. For example, if you have a dog and one of your ‘must-haves’ is a fenced in yard, don’t get discouraged if a particular home’s yard does not have a fence. Perhaps the home meets all of your other criteria and at the end of the day, adding a fence is a fairly straightforward and inexpensive upgrade you can make if you decide to purchase the home.

PRO TIP: Want to schedule a private showing for a home you’re interested in?

Step 4: Making the right offer

At this point you’ve found a home that you love! How do you know what price you should offer the seller? What if there are other buyers interested in the property? This is where using a buyer’s agent becomes extremely important. Your agent should first determine what a fair price for the property is, independent of the current list price. They should use recent sales in the neighborhood and choose comparable homes with similar features and characteristics at which point they should determine the average price per square foot of those homes. Making a good offer goes beyond the offer price. Are you offering to pay cash or will there be a financing contingency? Do you include a contingency stating that you must sell your current home first? How are you going to split the closing costs?

PRO TIP: Get your instant home value estimate.

Step 5: Navigating the closing process

Assuming your offer is accepted, your agent’s final task is to help you through the closing process. They should make sure that the inspection comes back clean and they will work alongside the title company to ensure everything goes off without a hitch.

How much does a buyer’s agent cost?

In the United States unlike other countries, the buyer’s agent is compensated from the commission that the seller pays. Taking a step back, when you sell your home, traditionally your listing agent would have you sign a listing agreement where the total Realtor commission amounts to 6% of the sales price of the home. This 6% commission is split evenly with 3% going to the listing agent and 3% being offered to a buyer’s agent to incentivize them to bring their clients to the listing. This means that as a buyer, there is no out-of-pocket cost to using a buyer’s agent to help you through the process.

PRO TIP: Want to learn how to save $15,000 in Realtor commissions when you sell your home?

Why should I use a buyer’s agent?

Using a buyer’s agent is important because the stakes are so high. For most families, purchasing a home is their single largest investment and while hiring a Realtor who is a friend of the family can seem like a good idea, it’s important to make sure they are experienced. We suggest hiring an agent who has successfully completed at least 15 transactions in the past 12 months.

We also advocate interviewing multiple agents so that you can get an idea for what services they offer. For example, while nearly all agents will have access to the same inventory via the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), some firms, such as Felix Homes, offer a free moving service so that you don’t have to go through the hassle of hiring a moving company or, even worse, taking the DIY approach.

PRO TIP: Want to schedule a call with a Felix Home Buying Expert?

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Nashville Realty Company Offers Free Moving Service

Nashville Realty Company Offers Free Moving Service

Nashville Realty Company Offers Free Moving Service

free moving service, new furniture in new home

Let’s face it, buying a home can be stressful, especially in a competitive real estate market like Nashville. Based on our recent survey of home buyers, over 77% admitted to having at least one argument during the home buying process. Buying a home, let alone moving is stressful enough which is why we provide a free moving service as part of our home buying offering.

Why don’t all Realtors offer a free moving service?

Nearly all traditional realty firms in Nashville are independently owned franchises such as Remax, Keller Williams, or Century21. The downside to working with a Realtor that is part of a franchise comes down to the varying level of service you will receive.

At the end of the day, it is up to each individual franchise owner, and each individual agent for that matter, in regards to the level of service they provide. Apart from Felix Homes, there are no realty firms in Middle Tennessee that provide free help with moving when you buy a home.

How can we offer a free moving service at Felix Homes Realty?

At Felix Homes Realty, we are not a franchise which means we can offer the same top-tier service to all of our clients regardless of which Felix Agent you choose to work with. Felix was founded on the principle that buying a home shouldn’t be a stressful experience but rather a joyous one filled with new beginnings. This principle begins each time we meet a client and doesn’t end until long after our free home moving service.

Our Agents understand how stressful the home buying process can be. Furthermore, once you do buy a home, the last thing you want to do is deal with the added stress of moving without the convenience of a professional moving service.

Simply put, at Felix, our goal is to make the home buying process as seamless as possible from start to finish which includes our free moving service.

free moving service, new home and new joy

Besides the free moving service, are their other benefits to buying with a Felix Agent?

The benefits of buying your home with a Felix Agent go way beyond our free moving assistance.

  1. Your Felix Agent will help you determine what your budget should be by introducing you to a trusted lender. Once armed with your letter of pre-approval, you can show sellers that you are a serious buyer.
  2. Now that your Felix Agent knows your budget, they will get a sense of what you’re looking for in your dream home. How many bedrooms would you like? Do you prefer a swimming pool? What neighborhoods are you interested in? If you don’t know the exact answers to these questions just yet, that’s fine too! Your Agent will be by your side to help guide you through the process of narrowing down your options.
  3. PRO TIP: Get a head start on seeing the latest Nashville homes for sale.

  4. Once your Agent knows what criteria you are looking for, their job is to filter all of the available homes for sale and send you a list of 10-15 that meet your criteria.
  5. See a home on the list that catches your eye? Tell your Felix Agent that you’d like to schedule an in-person home tour. Your Agent will book the showing and accompany you to point our certain details you should keep an eye out for.
  6. Ready to make an offer? Not so fast. First, your Agent will create a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) report to show you how much similar homes in the neighborhood have sold for so that you can make an informed offer.
  7. It’s time to submit an offer. This is where your Felix Agent can really shine! Our Agents understand that the highest priced offer isn’t always the one that the seller chooses. Sometimes, you have to play hard-ball in order to win a negotiation. Our experienced Agents will negotiate how the closing costs are split, how long the inspection period is, and how much you will need to deposit to secure the home.
  8. The closing process starts when all parties sign the purchase agreement but the deal is not done just yet. Your Agent will coordinate the inspection, make sure your financing is in order, and confirm that the closing process will conclude without a hitch.
  9. Congrats the deal is done and you are the proud owner of a beautiful home! Now it’s time to have your cake and eat it too. At Felix Homes, we are the only Realty firm in Middle Tennessee who includes a free moving service as part of our offering. Don’t worry, your Felix Agent won’t be driving the moving truck (we have professionals for that) but they will coordinate the move with our professional Nashville movers to make sure it goes smoothly.
free moving service, man sleeping in his new home

How do I qualify for your free moving service?

You will qualify for our free home moving service when you buy a house using a Felix Agent. Furthermore, our free move does not include packing services or storage in Nashville. Last our free home moving service is local meaning that your new home must be within 50 miles of the first location.

About Felix Homes Realty.

Felix Homes is a Nashville-based Realty company that is pioneering the future of home buying and home selling. For home sellers, we offer a white-glove home selling experience complete with a dedicated local Realtor for just a 1% commission. Better yet, if you’re a Veteran, we’ll completely waive our 1% commission as part of our recently announced Veteran Program. Felix Realty was also the first company in Tennessee to pioneer the Guaranteed Sale program.

For home buyers, Felix Realty offers a dedicated local Realtor who will walk you through the buying process from start to finish. After you buy with a Felix Agent, if you need help moving for free, we’ll provide a professional home moving service!

Let’s chat today.


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