Now in Part 2, I'll share 7 tips on how to avoid the situation I wound up in and what to do if you're there and don't know what to do.
My 1st Real Estate Nightmare - What I Learned...
1) NEVER co-sign! I know it sounds harsh, but I need you to get the point. When co-signing for anyone or anything, know what you are really signing up for. Your credit will be on the line and you will be as financially responsible as the primary party if the financing terms are broken.
2) For the love of FAMILY... I am one of the biggest supporters of family, but I am also one of the biggest supporters of knowing your limits when it comes to family. I'm sure you have experienced or know someone who had a situation with a family member where things went left faster than electronics get sold at Walmart on Black Friday! #side-eye #proceedwithcaution
3) Buyer REPRESENTATION. Do your research and find a qualified agent you are confident in to represent your interests. We ended up finding out the home was a money pit due to septic issues. The neighbors told us every person that lived there had the same problem and this was never disclosed to us by the sellers or selling agent. I don't remember seeing a Seller's Disclosure, but a qualified agent would know to request one. *FYI- Even if it is new construction, you still need your own representation. Keep in mind that the on-site agent is representing the builder/seller.
4) Take ACTION. When you first see a sign of financial trouble, take action! For example: when you get word your hours will be cut at work. Do not wait until you are 4 months behind. Time is of the essence! Especially in a non-judicial foreclosure state like Georgia where foreclosures can happen very quickly.
5) Do your RESEARCH. Do not go about things haphazardly. We are in the information age. Do your research online, talk to professionals, and get recommendations from people you know, like, and trust. Knowledge is power!
6) Don't shell out MONEY to a third-party company for "help" unless you know EXACTLY what they are going to do for you and you understand and can adhere to all of the terms. For example, if you are set up a payment plan for the company's fee for service and you miss a payment, they can drop your file. If this happens, more time and money has been wasted. Putting you in no better position and at the end of the day, your neck is on the line.
7) Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up! If you fax something on Monday, call on Tuesday to make sure it has been received and to find out what the next step is. Also, do not let days and weeks go by without knowing where you stand. Always make note of dates, times, and the contact information of who you spoke with.
Stay tuned for PART 3 where I'll share my 2nd real estate nightmare.
Do you have a real estate need?
If you need an agent that has been through the fire and walks the talk, I'm the one! Not local? No problem! Call me at (404) 857-2508 to see how I can assist.
Natasha Liburd Bazile is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Atlanta and the Lead Home Stager with Heart of Decor in Georgia (virtual services available). She prides herself in being a guide to her clients and finds fulfillment in helping them achieve their goals.