Industry Update – Outlook for 2012

The “waiting game” has been a very familiar theme for Real Estate Agents nationwide as inventories have slowly come to market. The Real Estate industry has seen a large increase in short sales as borrowers have been languishing in the elongated foreclosure process. With the continued uncertainty surrounding REO and foreclosures, Agents may want to consider focusing on short sales and HAFA during 2012 depending on their specific circumstances and local market conditions.

In 2012, we are more likely to see more short sales as loans continue to avoid foreclosure and more servicers aggressively pursue proactive short sales. The HAFA program should assist more homeowners in completing a short sale this year. While volumes have remained fairly low, expect to see more servicers making a push to qualify borrowers for HAFA. In preparation for larger short sale volumes, servicers have adopted short sale technology to facilitate and expedite the process. Agents should continue to seek out training and certification in short sale technology to be better positioned to make the most of the current opportunities.

REO inventories may finally start to see some growth as foreclosure sales start to pick up the pace in the 2nd quarter of 2012. The ongoing political landscape changes will continue to shape the Real Estate industry with a potential of new refinance programs and debt forgiveness. There remains the possibility of a sweeping new government program designed to aid the struggling homeowners as the election approaches. The refinancing of problem loans could assist in the reduction of foreclosure and REO inventories.

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