Real estate and home sellers! Help is on the way! The 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit and the Move Up/Repeat Home Buyer Tax Credit have been wildly successful programs that were specifically designed to help those who wished to buy a home. With all of the programs designed to help home buyers recently, many may be asking what about help for home sellers? Certainly sellers are in need of some long overdue relief as well. The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program may just be that long awaited help that sellers have needed for years.
According to the National Association of Realtors® article Home Affordable Alternative Program (HAFA), ”In 2009, the Treasury Department introduced the HAFA program to provide a viable option for homeowners who are unable to keep their homes through the existing Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). The HAFA program takes effect on April 5, 2010—although some servicers may implement it sooner, if they meet certain requirements--and sunsets on December 31, 2012.”
This program provides incentives related with a short sale or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure (DIL) in order to avoid actual foreclosure and the credit chaos, financial and emotional stress that follows. These incentives apply to sellers who are eligible for modification under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). The article adds that the HAFA program compliments HAMP by providing a viable alternative for borrowers (the current homeowners) who are HAMP eligible but for a multitude of reasons and circumstances cannot keep their home, maintain their mortgage and sell their real estate in a conventional manner.
Struggling home sellers and their realtors frustrated by the confusing, long and involved process of short sales now can look to guidelines implemented to help streamline this process, and give incentives to the seller for taking this course of action. Did you know some incentives include $3,000 for borrower relocation assistance, and $1,500 for servicers to cover administrative and processing costs?
This should absolutely help speed up this dreadful process. In the past, sellers have often listed their homes without having negotiated the terms of the sale price with their lender, often times leading to disappointment for all parties concerned. An additional positive to this equation is that agents and buyers will be “less likely” to avoid short sale listings like the plague, making it “more likely” the sellers will get their homes sold…finally!
This is certainly good news for home sellers in the Tampa Bay area and across the country. Sellers should learn about these options by talking with their real estate and financial professionals to see if they qualify. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.