Category Archives: Short Sales

Is the New Milford CT Real Estate Market getting better or not?

Three bedroom home for sale in New Milford CT
Three bedroom home for sale in New Milford CT

It is so hard to listen to national news about the “hot” real estate market others are experiencing across the country and wonder if it is happening here in New Milford, CT. It is a complex answer as you can see below. Did we hit bottom and are now on the way up? Is it a sellers market in New Milford? . We are on track to have the best month in number of sales for 2013, if things continue to go as they have so far. I don’t believe the total number of sales will be jaw dropping, but any improvement is good. There are a few more days for homes to close in May, I will have to be patient to get the final numbers.

The success of the real estate market is tied to many other things,  the employment rates in the state, the proximity of jobs available to New Milford, confidence in the housing market, good rates and a lower housing inventory. Connecticut again posted a rate higher than the national unemployment averages which needs to come down in order for the real estate market to feel more positive effects.

The unemployment rate in Connecticut has been at 8.0 for the last three months, the national average for April posted at 7.5. When we hear that the real estate market in our neighboring state of Massachusetts is really heating up you must look at their unemployment rate, which was last posted at 6.4%, where it has been for a while. This means more people in Massachusetts are working and can afford to purchase homes. They have more jobs,  a shrinking pool of homes available for sale which creates the perfect storm. I must qualify that statement, I know that the Metro Boston area is doing very well in the housing market, I don’t know how the rest of the state is doing. The metro area seems to be on fire!

A new problem for New Milford CT seems to be an abundance of short sales.

Our inventory is still down, which is a great thing for sellers. Although for buyers looking up to $300,000 it is slim pickins, and much of those are short sales, a full 10% of the active single family homes for sale in New Milford are now short sales.

What impact does this have on a seller? If you are not in a short sale position and you price your home correctly according to condition and location, you should find that you will have lots of showings and hopefully an offer fairly quickly. I will warn you that overpricing can cause issues, especially when it comes time for the buyer to do an appraisal.

If you are a seller in a short sale position, it will take longer to sell, however with the inventory shrinking you just may procure that much needed offer. It is imperative that you are prepared to work with your agent, attorney and lender to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible once an offer does come in! Some short sales can be pre approved prior to going on the market, if you would like to know if that is your situation, give us a call at 860.946.0686 to further discuss the matter.

34 homes are under deposit. of these, the majority (15 homes) are in the $200,000-$300,000 price range. Again, this seems to be our hottest market right now. Of the homes that are under deposit, 4 are short sales and 2 are foreclosures.

40 homes are listed as sale pending. This means contracts are signed and most contingencies have been met. 15 of these homes are short sales which translates to 37.5%. That is very, very high. These short sales will sit in the pending sale status for far longer than a traditional sale making it very hard to judge what is going to happen. 3 homes that are pending sale are foreclosures.

Buying a home in New Milford, CT can be tight for anything under $300,000. First time home buyers can get very frustrated, many of the homes they are looking at are short sales that may need work, and very importantly, time to wait for the short sale to be approved by the lender. Homes that are priced well and are not short sales are moving very, very quickly. Often with multiple offers on them. This means you must be FULLY prepared when looking for a home.

  • Pre qualified, or better yet, pre approved (if possible)
  • Ready to run out and look at a moments notice
  • Be prepared to decide quickly to put an offer in or move on
  • Remember, in this lower price range it is NOT a buyers market, do not play around with low ball offers

What we are seeing is in a multiple offer situation, sellers are choosing buyers that are NOT using 100% financing. This does not mean there isn’t hope if you are using a product that is 100% financing, but you must be+ aware you may have to move on until you find someone that is not afraid of 100% financing. The housing market in New Milford is not sliding backwards and this is good news. It is fragile, and those who are selling or buying should know what the latest market conditions are.

Keeping you updated on the housing market in New Milford, CT.

We post detailed monthly market reports. Fill out the form below to get your monthly copy of our New Milford CT real estate market report. We do not sell email addresses, and will not use it for any other purpose than to notify you when the latest market report is ready.



Litchfield County CT Real Estate Q&A, Pricing Your Home

House for sale New Milford CTThe question we hear most often when listing a home for sale in Southern Litchfield County is…

“But how much should we build in to the list price of our home for negotiating purposes?”

Let me show you some REAL real estate statistics for New Milford, CT.

In August of 2012, homes sold, on average, at 95.5% to their LAST LISTED PRICE.  You think that’s not bad, right?

However, the real number is arrived at by looking at the ORIGINAL LIST PRICE to sales price percentage. That would be 92.3%

Homes that are overpriced sit on the market longer, become “stale listings” and take price reductions before they sell. Why would you want to do that? Why not price it to sell in the first place?

List to sale price in New Milford CT

Buyers actually determine the price of your home these days. We are, after all, in a buyers market. If no more homes come on the market, it will take 11 months for us to sell the current inventory. And these homes will sell for at MOST 92.3% of their original list price.

How does that look? Simple. $400,000 actually sells for $369,200 after sitting on the market. Why set yourself up like that for all the disappointment and heartache? And what if that final amount is less than what you owe on your mortgage? It would really be best to be prepared for that up front, not having the sale halted because you didn’t realize it, or didn’t want to acknowledge that the actual sale price of your home would put you in the short sale category.

By the time you add all your expenses up for the 11 months it may take to sell your home, mortgage, taxes, insurance, perhaps the better idea is to list your home at the price suggested by looking at current comps, both sold and active. Forget about building in room for negotiating purposes! And then there is the hassle of waiting and waiting before someone actually comes to look at your home when it is overpriced, or the disappointment of no offers after showings.

The answer to the question, “how much should we build in to the list price of our home for negotiating purposes”?

NOTHING. List it to sell, not to sit and try to negotiate your hopes away. Get realistic right from the beginning.


Short Sales in the Greater New Milford CT area, what you need to know

Debt, including short sale, negotiators in Connecticut must be licensed, unless the person doing the negotiations is an attorney or a real estate agent. These people are covered the license we already have. A licensed debt negotiator in Connecticut is only allowed to collect a maximum $500 fee for negotiations on a secured debt at closing, from either the mortgagor or debtor, and only upon the successful completion of the debt negotiation.

A warning has been issued to all real estate licensees by The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection and the Connecticut Department of Banking that they are investigating complaints that short sale negotiators are entering into agreements with the consumer and the real estate agents who represent the owner of the property to receive portions of the real estate commission meant for the real estate broker. This is against the law!

Real estate brokers and agents are not allowed to, by law, share our commissions with anyone that does not hold a real estate license. This puts every one at risk. You can read more here from the Connecticut Department of Banking.

If indeed you are approached by either your debt negotiator or your real estate agent that this is common practice, please remember that all parties concerned can get into serious trouble. Home owners who are underwater, who cannot pay their mortgage, who owe more than their house is worth and are now finding themselves unable to pay their mortgage should consult with a qualified short sale real estate agent and or attorney. If your real estate agent brings a short sale negotiator on board, make sure they are licensed, and that they are not asking you to help them break the law.

If you would like more information on short sales in the Greater New Milford, CT area, please call me at 203.460.1775, or send me an email at the contact below for a confidential interview.

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING SHORT SALES: Andrea Swiedler and/or Prudential Connecticut Realty are not associated with the government, and our service is not approved by the government or your lender. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan. If you stop paying your mortgage, you could lose your home and damage your credit rating.

Short Sales, New Milford CT Real Estate Talk with Realtor Bill Gassett

New Milford, CT Real Estate, Short Sale Straight Talk with Bill Gassett.

Bill Gassett, Realtor with RE/MAX Executive Realty
Bill Gassett, Realtor

I am very excited to bring you this interview with Massachusetts Realtor Bill Gassett of RE/MAX Executive Realty in Hopkinton, MA, serving the Metrowest area.  Bill has been a successful Realtor for 24+ years, earning a rank in the top 1% of Real Estate agents in the country. I met Bill Gassett on his ActiveRain blog about a year ago and have been following his blog ever since. I was thrilled when Bill agreed to this interview about short sales as I consider him to be one of the most successful real estate agents I know, in both traditional sales and short sales.

Although Bill is licensed in Massachusetts and I am licensed in Connecticut, much of our laws and customs around real estate are similar. I am always comfortable discussing real estate with Bill, he is a wealth of information for myself and many others!

When did you realize that short sales were becoming an important part of your business model?

About 5 years ago I started to get involved in short sales. I saw that the market was becoming depressed to a point that there would be folks that would need a reputable Realtor to get them out of a tough financial position.

How many short sales have you done? Your success rate?

Honestly I have never actually counted how many I have done but if I were to guess I would say around 70-80. This is probably pretty hard to believe but I have never listed a short sale that did not get lender approval. While I do know what I am doing when it comes to short sale I can certainly not take all the credit. I work with a short sale attorney who is terrific and they do all the negotiating with the lender.

I make sure the contracts make sense before it ever even reaches the attorney. This is a key part of the success rate.

What is the most important thing home owners can do when they realize they are in trouble with their mortgage?

The first thing they should do is decide whether or not they want to remain in the home. If they do, the first option would be a loan modification if in fact they can qualify. On many occasions I have met a client who has tried a loan mod but were not successful in getting one. They say the loan mod program is a miserable failure as not many actually get one. If they know they need to sell, they should get in touch with a Realtor or someone who knows how to close short sales.

How do you prepare your home owner to go through the process of a short sale?

The first thing I do is answer any questions they may have. After that I fill them in on some important things they may not realize such as the impact to their credit, tax implications, debt removal etc.

We all hear horror stories about how long the process can take. I know you have said that you have a very good track record of 3 months from offer to approval. To what do you attribute your success?

Again it boils down to structuring the offer properly. The contract should be written much the same as a traditional sale. The buyer should be doing inspections and getting financing just like they normally would. In addition one of the things that is required of every buyer who purchases one of my short sales is that they will commit to waiting for short sale approval for 90 days. Without that it is NO DEAL. I want a fully committed buyer who will see the process through until the end.

How about home owners who have a second mortgage or a HELOC? Does that make a big difference to the success of the short sale?

It hasn’t for me. I see other Realtor’s complaining about this all the time online. Frankly it just boils down to being a good negotiator. The law firm I use is fantastic at this aspect of the short sale process.

What do you think about the issue of people pricing their homes according to what they owe on their mortgage?

Frankly that is absurd! The mortgage balance has NOTHING to do with where a short sale should be priced! My short sales are priced aggressively but not so much that the lender is going to say no way. As an example if a home is worth $300,000 based on recent comparable sales. I may list the home just below that say $295,000 and settle for something close to that.

When do you suggest a home owner that is in trouble should contact a Realtor?

Right away. There really is no point in waiting.

What questions should a home owner be asking when interviewing a prospective Realtor?

The most important question of is how many short sales they have closed. If they don’t have a track record of success is it really worth chancing it. The seller’s financial future is in the Realtor’s hands.

Why do you think people should pursue a short sale rather than allow their home to be foreclosed?

The most important reasons someone should short sale over a foreclosure is the length of time before they would be able to buy another home. With a short sale it is most likely 2-3 years. With a foreclosure it can be anywhere from 3-7 years. Despite what many Realtor’s say the credit implications are nearly identical according to Fair Issac. You might save a few points with a short sale but not the totally exaggerated non-sense that some Realtor’s push who could care less about the client and are just looking to pocket another listing.

What is the most important advice you can give to a buyer who is looking to purchase a short sale?

Ask good questions about the seller’s situation along with finding out what the listing broker’s track record is with closing them. Here is a link to some excellent short sale questions to ask a short sale listing agent. Questions to ask a short sale listing agent as a buyer or a buyers agent

For more information from Bill Gassett on short sales, check out these pages:

If you are struggling to pay your mortgage in the Greater New Milford, CT area, please give me a call at 203.460.1775. I would be happy to sit and discuss the options available to you. Short sales can and do work!

Greater New Milford, CT Short Sales, Real Estate Talk

I can’t pay my mortgage, New Milford CT real estate talk.

Short Sales in New Milford, CT. I can’t pay my mortgage, my house isn’t worth what I owe, what can I do?

I don't know what to do
Short sale, foreclosure, deed in lieu????

There is something you can and should do. Get in touch with a Realtor® who can assist you to sell your house “short”. Be very careful to find someone who understand the short sale market, who has been successful in getting short sales approved and closed, someone who will tell you the truth about the value of your home as it relates to the current real estate market here in New Milford, CT.

Tough talk here. I see homes listed all the time for more than they are worth in today’s real estate market. Believe me, when I have a buyer interested your home I am now investigating EVERYTHING! Not only am I checking at the building department to make sure you have permits for all those updates and additions you have done, but I am also taking a few extra steps. BEFORE my clients put an offer to paper, I am checking to see if I can figure out how much you might owe on your mortgage, how many mortgages you have, I am actually checking to see if there is anything on file with the CT judicial system, in case the foreclosure action has been started.

If I have a buyer, I will be advising them not to put an offer in on your home if you are listed too high, if there is no notation this is a short sale. Short and sweet. If you, or your agent do not want to admit that you are in a short sale position, we are moving on. I am seeing homes like this languish on the market, expire… and then… foreclosure. THIS DID NOT HAVE TO HAPPEN!

You are having trouble paying your mortgage in New Milford, CT, your situation has changed. You call in a few agents, this is what you might here from some, but not from me.

  • How much money to you need to get out of the sale?
  • What price do you want to list at?
  • Let’s throw it on at what you need to satisfy the debt and see what happens.

Some may not even ask you if you are in trouble or what you owe. I am asking everyone what you owe up front. I have to know. If you want to list your house high and run the very real risk of losing it to foreclosure, I am not the agent for you. If you want to hear the truth, please feel free to contact me. Foreclosures are expected to rise 20% in 2011 overall. Why not do everything you can to avoid this?

Short sales can and do work. First, you have to face the reality that you owe more than your house is worth. Next, you have to face the fact that prices of homes are down in our area, so what you want or need to get out of the sale of your home in New Milford CT has NO relevance to what it is worth. NONE. This is the hardest concept for struggling home owners to grasp. The goal of a short sale is to sell you home as quickly as possible for the best price possible. The current real estate market and the condition of your home will determine the best price possible.

You do have other choices if you can’t pay your mortgage in New Milford, CT.

  • You can contact your lender and try to do a loan modification. If you no longer have the ability to pay, this probably won’t work.
  • You can ask the bank to take the house back, called a deed in lieu of foreclosure. You won’t be “on the hook” for the balance left after your lender sells your home, however it can cost you up to 250 points on your credit score.
  • You can do nothing. The lender will eventually foreclose, you could be responsible to pay the difference between what you owe and what the house sells for, and your credit score can take a bit hit.

I would suggest you contact an attorney to discuss all the options available to you, including bankruptcy. If you and your attorney determine that a short sale would be the best way to go, contact a Realtor® who has successfully negotiated short sales. They can and do work.

If you live in the greater New Milford, CT area and are no longer able to pay your mortgage, call me at 203.460.1775. I will discuss your short sale options and give you the names of some local attorneys who can discuss your best options with you. But so something! More than anything else, remember that you are not alone.

I can’t pay my mortgage, my house isn’t worth what I owe, what can I do? New Milford, CT Real Estate Talk.

originally posted at

C Andrea Swiedler 2011

Upside down in your mortgage? Short sales in New Milford, CT.

New Milford CT real estate talk. Short Sales can and do work.

Is your house under water?The sad fact is many home owners are finding it more and more difficult to pay the mortgage. There are many reason’s why, job loss, illness, divorce, ARM’s resetting to a higher interest rate. Whatever the reason, it is a hard, cold and sad fact. Add to this that a sale seems impossible as you now owe more than your house is worth, your house is what we refer to as “under water” or “upside down”. Sometimes the amount seems staggering and it probably feels like there is nothing that can be done.

There is something that can be done. Many times an agreement to sell the house “short” can be reached with your lender(s). Simply put, you sell your house for less than what you owe, an agreement is reached with your lender to allow the sale to happen.

Although it can be put into simple terms, there is nothing simple about a short sale. Negotiating the short sale waters is difficult at best, and for the home owner who is already receiving notices in the mail, harassing phone calls to the house, this feels like an insurmountable task.

It is NOT, I repeat, not insurmountable. The first thing you need to do is give me a call. We will sit together and discuss your options, I will give you a short sale packet and explain the process to you. Should you decide to proceed with the short sale option, I will do my best to get your house sold for you and to get your lender to agree to the short sale.

Short sales can and do work! It is often a better option that a foreclosure. You will have some control over what happens to you, your credit score will not take as big a hit as a foreclosure and often you can own a home again in 2 years.

Short sales in New Milford, CT. They can and do work, give me a call or send me an email for a private consultation. I will also advise you to speak with your attorney. If you do not have an attorney I can provide you with the name of a local real estate attorney who is familiar with the short sale process.

Stay tuned for more New Milford CT real estate talk. C Andrea Swiedler 2011.


Are you in need of a loan modification in the Greater New Milford, CT area? Be aware that the FTC is now protecting you. Payments made up front to the modification company helping you are not allowed. If you are thinking of doing a loan modification, if you are in need of a loan modification in the Greater New Milford, CT area this is a MUST READ.

The following article was written by and  is courtesy of Lenn Harley,, a real estate broker in Leesburg, VA, covering Virginia and Maryland. Ms. Harley is perhaps one of the best brokers I know of, and graciously allowed me to feature her here on my blog. For more information on Lenn Harley and, visit her website, Maryland and Virginia Homes for Sale.


FTC Issues Final Rule to Protect Struggling Homeowners from Mortgage Relief Scams

Rule Outlaws Advance Fees and False Claims, Requires Clear Disclosures

Homeowners will be protected by a new Federal Trade Commission rule that bans providers of mortgage foreclosure rescue and loan modification services from collecting fees until homeowners have a written offer from their lender or servicer that they decide is acceptable.

READ MORE . . . . . .

LOAN MODIFICATION COMPANIES promise the moon, but deliver little to nothing. IMO, if viable relief for homeowners in distress were available, these companies would never have existed with their false promises and free rein to scam the most volunerable.

You’ve heard the very clever advertisements:

FHA LOAN MODIFICATION – Gives the impression that they are affiliated with FHA, which they are not but might appeal to home owners with an FHA loan.

GOVERNMENT APPROVED LOAN MODIFICATIONS – The appearance of a government affiliation again. Not true, but desperate people are the easiest to persuade.

EXPERIENCED ATTORNEYS offer loan modification – Often the company doesn’t even employ an attorney. Then OTOH, many are owned and operated by attornys.

SAVE YOUR HOME WITH MORTGAGE MODIFICATION – That promise makes their phone ring and well trained sales people do the rest.

STOP MAKING YOUR MORTGAGE PAYMENTS is probably the most harmful advice from these scam artists. Bad enough when the mortgage company requires that destructive act before they’ll even discuss modification or short sale. Worse when it comes from an entity that has no authority to modify or represent the home owner in distress.


NOTE: It is not only home owners in distress that are being bomparded by the loan modification ads. MANY HOMEOWNERS WHO ARE “UNDER WATER” are also susceptable to these scams. (Suggested by Paula Hathaway in her comment below). My focus was on the home owners in distress, but Paula is right. Home owners who owe much more than the market value of their home are also getting mailings for loan modification and they hear to radio ads too.

WHAT TOOK THE FTC SO LONG?? Let’s see now. We’re about 3 years into the mortgage mess and these mortgage modification scam artists have been advertising widely all this time. Attorneys General of many states have been on top of this matter for over a year. HOWEVER, the radio ads cross the state lines and are heard by many home owners in distress. HA! Telephone conversations have no state boundaries either.

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER. We’ll see how this turns out. Hopefully it will be more help to the housing industry than the various government programs offering loan modifications which were no more than MISERABLE FAILURES.

Courtesy, Lenn Harley, Broker,, 800-711-7988.