woman holding short sale sign

What do you have to gain by short selling? The top 5 benefits of a short sale over a foreclosure:

Avoid the stress of falling behind and losing your home to foreclosure.

A foreclosure can be mentally and emotionally draining and publicly humiliating. A short sale will help you stop FL foreclosure, and move on with your life quickly.

Eliminate or minimize the chances your lender will pursue you for a deficiency judgment.

If you foreclose in Florida, your debt doesn't disappear, especially if you owed more than the home eventually sold for! Florida state laws allow lenders to pursue you for this loss, but you do have the opportunity to settle the debt in a short sale​.

Minimize credit repercussions.

A short sale is less derogatory on your credit than a foreclosure and recovery is faster. You will qualify for a new home loan much sooner without a foreclosure on your credit.

Control over the sale of your home.

You will be able to sell your home on the open market and make all the decisions regarding the terms of the sale of your home. 

A short sale will likely cost you nothing!

When involved in a short sale, almost always the lender allows all customary closing costs to come out of the proceeds of the home sale including realtor fees, conveyance taxes, back taxes and attorneys fees. In some cases you may even qualify for relocation assistance!

LOVED LOVED LOVED working with them! They were so efficient, so attentive, they got back to me instantly with every question I had, (And trust me I had a lot!) they were so informative, and they walked me through every step. I highly recommend Minna and her team!


March 12, 2019

As prices keep climbing, Jacksonville area distress sales drop to record lows!

chart jacksonville prices

As the market continues to heat up, Jacksonville, FL area new listing prices and sales prices rise again in 2019:

sales prices chart

As expected, a hot market leads to less short sales and foreclosures as homeowners are able to sell their homes for profit. 

As 2019 begins, short sales are currently less than 1% of the market, and REO sales (sales of foreclosed homes) less than 5%:

chart of ss and reo

It's been a sellers market here in Jacksonville, FL for quite some time, and 2019 seems to be off to the same start!

February 12, 2019

Will you qualify for a short sale?

approval stamp

​A financial hardship will be required to get your Jacksonville short sale approved.

​The most common hardships that are easily approved and widely accepted by lenders:
  • Unemployment​
  • Employment or military ​relocation
  • Divorce ​
  • Death of a co-borrower/household wage earner
  • Facing foreclosure
  • Increase in expenses
  • Decrease in income
  • Natural disaster impacting property or employment
  • Medical issues
However there are many other reasons to short sell that do translate in to qualifying financial hardships if presented in the right fashion. ​

There is a lot of misinformation out there on the web regarding what is and is not an acceptable hardship. ​Before assuming your “hardship” doesn’t qualify, talk to me!

February 10, 2019

How to sell Florida real estate with federal tax liens

picture of calculator and irs document

Need to sell your Florida home but have a federal tax lien? ​The IRS has many ways to collect unpaid taxes, one of them by placing a tax lien on your real estate. A tax lien will make it more difficult to sell your property, especially if you owe more than your home is worth and can’t get the feds paid in full at resale, but there is always a way! 

What is a federal tax lien?

A federal tax lien is the government's legal claim against your property when you fail to pay your federal income taxes. The lien protects the government's interest in all your property including real estate. However, when you need to sell, this lien ties up the equity in the home and must be addressed.

There may or may not be enough proceeds from a home sale to pay off the IRS lien at resale.

If there is enough equity; prior to close you will need a current payoff statement from the IRS, and at close funds from the home sale will go to pay off the IRS, and they will simply issue a lien release clearing the property of their claim against it.

But what if a home sale will not pay off the IRS in full?

Then things get a little trickier, but there is still a solution. The IRS will in fact consider a partial payment in exchange for a lien discharge, when proven it is necessary to facilitate a sale. There is a process and some paperwork involved in this case. 

Keep in mind, this is not the same as settling your IRS debt. IRS has their own process for that and does not settle tax debt through property sales. They do however accept the partial payment to release the lien from the property so it can convey to the new owner. You will still owe the remaining excess IRS debt, but it will be cleared from the home you wish to sell.

You will want to make sure the professionals handling your property sale are well versed in dealing with federal tax lien issues. You will also want to get started far enough in advance of closing that there’s ample time to complete the process after contract but prior to close. IRS was never known for their speed or efficiency.

But what if there’s no equity at all?

If you owe more on your mortgage(s) than your home could sell for, AND have a federal tax lien in addition to that, then things get even trickier. In this case you are looking at a short sale to deal with your mortgages, and with likely little or nothing left for the IRS, you will need for them to discharge their lien…for nothing.

piiciture of home floating in water

This too can be done!  

Seeing as now you have multiple lien holders involved and several complex issues to sort out, you need some seriously expert help with this transaction and awesome timing to get this all done properly (PSSST….THAT’S WHAT WE DO!!!). Upon having the short sale approvals and the IRS lien discharge – you move forward to close as in any other sale. In a short sale your mortgage debt is generally always forgiven, but the IRS just releases their lien on the home, so you will still have to deal with the IRS at some later point.

Article adapted from:

Minna is the consummate professional. She delivered on every single item she said she would during our first conversation. Not only did she exceed expectations, she did it with a genuine concern for my situation. At every step of the process, her input and guidance was instrumental in helping to make my home an attractive property for buyers. She understands the market and uses that knowledge to her clients advantage. Selecting Minna was one of the best business decisions I ever made.


February 5, 2019

Northeast Florida Home Sale Prices Just Keep Heading Up!

Northeast Florida home sales prices rose another 8% over in 2018, in a seemingly endless race to a new market peak!

Average residential home sales prices have risen 6-8% yearly for the last 5 years in a row, totaling an almost 40% increase total. The average sales price in the greater Jacksonville area has risen from $195,390 in 2013 to $270,365 in 2018:

graph of northeast florida real estate prices

While sellers would surely appreciate another year of skyrocketing prices and quick sales, buyers are increasingly frustrated over rising prices and limited inventory.

What's headed our way for 2019? January is always a slower month of the year so it's simply too early to say what is on route the rest of the year just yet!

January 31, 2019

A guide to understanding deficiency judgments in Florida and how to avoid one.

Did you know that if your Florida home forecloses, the lender can be granted a deficiency judgement and pursue you for their losses​?

What is a Florida deficiency judgement?

If you owed $​400,000 on your Florida mortgage, and it foreclosed and sold for $350,000…the missing $50,000 would be the deficiency. Florida laws allow the lender a year to sue for a deficiency judgement​.

If you are facing foreclosure in Florida, your best bet to avoid a deficiency judgment is with a short sale.

​A short sale allows you an opportunity to negotiate how the loan is settled and to ideally get this deficiency balance ​waived.

​Short sale approval letters specifically spell w​hether or not the deficiency is being waived, or whether retains their right pursue the deficiency. 

​Carefully review your short sale approval ​letter, and  if the terms are not to your approval, you ​may renegotiate​.

As your short sale agent, I always seek to have the short sale approved at terms most beneficial to you - which would be to settle the account in full and have the deficiency balance forgiven.

​There are some very rare situations in which the lender(s) will not waive their right to pursue a deficiency and then it will be your decision whether to ​proceed with the short sale or not.

A short sale negotiated by an experienced agent is your best chance of settling your Florida mortgage debt on your terms, preventing a foreclosure and having the deficiency balance forgiven.

I can't recommend Minna enough for a short sale! She eased my mind during the entire process and followed through 100% from day 1 to the closing. She and Jaime handled everything flawlessly. I am so grateful to Minna and Jaime for all that they did to help us through this process.


January 23, 2019

Should I modify my mortgage?

A lot of my short sale clients have either considered a mortgage modification or been turned down for one by the time they have made the decision to move forward with a short sale.


In a mortgage modification the lender makes permanent changes to the terms of your home loan resulting in a more affordable payment. Keep in mind that while a modification will reduce your payment, it will not reduce the amount you owe on the property. In fact, in many instances the amount you owe on the loan will actually increase the amount or length of your loan.

This is the main reason most mortgage modifications ultimately fail. Loan modifications are not a long term solution for anyone who owes more on their home than their home could sell for (owners with negative equity).

piiciture of home floating in water


A loan modification may be a good solution for those who:

  • Can not afford the current mortgage payments
  • Wish to avoid Florida foreclosure
  • Have a stable financial situation (including steady employment) to support the new payment amount indefinitely
  • Do not have significant negative equity in the home, or are prepared stay in the home for many more years to overcome a heavy negative equity situation

If you owe much more than your home could presently sell for (or will after a modification), and believe there is a possibility you may want to move within a few years time, a loan modification is not likely to be a good long term solution for you.

A better alternative in this case is almost always a short sale

​Article adapted from:

I want to thank you again for taking care of everything, I received stacks of letters from the two mortgage companies with threats and pleads for me to contact them and I ignored it and left everything in your worthy hands. The other realtor at the closing said that he was worried because usually short sales don't work out, and that this is his first successful one. I told him that I found you on google and I was told that you are the best in the state for short sales, and that you proved that to be true. A huge burden has definitely been lifted and all of the credit goes to you. Thanks again!


January 10, 2019

Why your Florida short sale didn’t close and how to get back on track!

short sale didnt close

Did you know that less than half of all listed short sales actually end up successfully closing?

​As most Florida short sellers are highly motivated to sell, ​it is unlikely so many of these sellers simply change their mind, yet over half of all short sales fail to sell at all and simply expire, or fail to get approved and to closing.

rejected stamp

Our short sale approval rate is near 100%….and our short sales close, so why is the industry average so low? ​


​​​​​4. OVERPRICED HOME: Price and condition are the two reasons homes do not sell, and both can be addressed with a price reduction. ​Remember that what you owe on the mortgage is irrelevant in a short sale situation.

3. ​SHORT SALE DIDN'T GET APPROVED: This is common also, and can almost always be overcome! Maybe paperwork was incomplete, or there wasn't enough follow up. Perhaps the short selling lenders valuation came in higher than market value and the parties involved did not know how to handle the situation.  Maybe a pending foreclosure date was not addressed and the clock ran out. There are many ways to bungle a short sale, but almost all are ultimately preventable or remediable with the right help.

​2. TERMS OF SHORT SALE APPROVAL WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE: Sometimes short selling lenders make unreasonable demands. This also happens, but more often than not is also resolvable, if you know how to ask.

1.​SELLERS AGENT AND/OR ATTORNEY DIDN'T TRULY UNDERSTAND THE SHORT SALE PROCESS: This is generally the #1 reason short sales fail​. When t​hose in charge of getting the short sale approved do​n't have enough knowledge or experience with the short sale process – things rarely end well for the seller. Short sales are comp​lex specialty transactions and require expert assistance!

So things didn’t go as planned and your short sale expired…so now what? Well the good news is…most of the time you can simply try again. Sometimes it takes a try or two (or three!) but with the right help, almost any Florida short sale can be successful!

January 8, 2019

Who pays Realtor fees in a short sale?

home sale

How can upside down sellers afford a Realtor if there's no money in the home to pay for one?

Find out how to sell your over mortgaged Florida home in a short sale without paying a penny out of pocket in Realtor commissions or other closing costs...

Realtor commissions in short sales

In almost all Florida real estate sales the seller pays for all customary closing costs out of the proceeds of the sale. In a short sale, where there are no proceeds for the seller, these same costs are still due but things work just a bit differently. 

In a short sale, the seller’s lender will allow these same customary closing costs to be paid out of the proceeds of the sale, including:

  • Realtor commissions
  • Conveyance taxes
  • Adjusted real estate taxes
  • Legal fees
  • Seller paid concessions to the buyer
  • Junior lien payoffs
  • Seller relocation assistance
  • Recording, wire, courier fees etc.
The lender accepts the remainder of the funds as short payoff for the loan balance. 
FOR EXAMPLE: Let’s say the home sells for $200,000. In a short sale, the lender doesn’t get $200,000. The lender gets $200,000 minus all the costs of sale, including REALTOR® commissions, attorney’s fees, recording fees, back taxes, conveyance taxes, payoffs to junior lien holders, seller concessions to the buyer, etc. So, at the end of the day the lender agrees to accept a net of, say, $182,000 (remember, this is an example only) after these costs.

Isn’t that beautiful? That means short sellers get to avoid foreclosure, sell their homes on the open market, be forgiven of massive mortgage debt, and nearly 100% of the time it never costs a single cent out of pocket!

I can't recommend Minna enough for a short sale! She eased my mind during the entire process and followed through 100% from day 1 to the closing. She and Jaime handled everything flawlessly. I am so grateful to Minna and Jaime for all that they did to help us through this process.


January 7, 2019


foreclosure sign

Facing a looming foreclosure can be a terrifying prospect, but you have options! 

Knowing your options and taking action quickly  is the key to​ stopping your Florida foreclosure.

In the past decade, we have hundreds of our clients avoid foreclosure. For a free consultation contact us anytime, and read  on for a summary of all your options when facing Florida foreclosure:


After a few missed payments your lender will no longer accept a single monthly payment, but you have up until the foreclosure law day to bring the loan current. Partial payments won’t be accepted, but you have the option to bring the loan current by paying all the back payments, late fees and legal fees in one lump sum. 

stack of cash

A loan modification is a permanent change to your mortgage that may lower your payments and the delinquent payments may be added to the mortgage balance. You may or may not qualify for a loan modification and the process can be difficult and time consuming, but it is an option if you want to stay in the house. In a forbearance the lender agrees to reduce or suspend mortgage payments for a certain period of time, after which you resume making your normal monthly payments along with an additional amount to catch up. 


Keep in mind it is almost impossible to arrange new financing when you’re already in default on your existing mortgage. Refinancing will depend on your income, credit report, value of your home and the amount of your mortgage. If you’re not sure of the value of your home, contact me. I will be happy to help and I can usually give you a pretty good estimate right away with just some basic information.

bankruptcy court

If your financial situation has improved or will shortly, filing bankruptcy will halt your foreclosure proceedings temporarily. Unfortunately, a few months later you would be back to square one. You may also want to note that filing bankruptcy does not change ownership of the home and it will still belong to you. The lender would still have to foreclose to take back title to the home, leaving you with not just a bankruptcy but also a foreclosure.


If you have recently been served with a foreclosure lawsuit you still have enough time to sell your home.  We can help you sell your home quickly and if you have no equity, we can negotiate a short sale for you. A short sale allows you to sell your home for less than you owe and have your remaining mortgage debt forgiven.

Some of our clients even receive relocation assistance from their lenders. Furthermore, all the seller associated costs of the short sale are generally paid out of the proceeds by your lender, making this option FREE to you.


A deed in lieu of foreclosure is basically a voluntary foreclosure. You would have to apply and be approved by your lender for this option and a deed in lieu is not generally available if you have more than one loan on your property. As lenders prefer other workout options, even if you do qualify for a deed in lieu, the lender may first require that you attempt to modify the loan or sell the home. 


By far, your worst option! Many folks feel they should just walk away, but foreclosure has very serious consequences.  Foreclosure can easily take a year or longer, and Florida is a recourse state. That means your debt doesn’t just disappear with the home. A lender that suffers losses in a foreclosure has the right to file a deficiency judgment against you and pursue you for the remaining debt. A foreclosure is just the beginning of a new and larger set of problems.

​Article adapted from:

Minna came into my life at a time I didn't know where to turn, I was out of work and running out of time. Realtors were willing to come and put my house on the market and tell me we will see if we can sell it. Minna came to me and told me she knew how to sell it, she knew the system and she would do her very best to see that I didn't lose everything including my credit...She spent months working on selling the house and I have had minimal consequences to my credit. I don't know what I would have done without Minna. Minna, thanks again, you made a terrible situation bearable.


Short Seller