If you won’t leave, the new owner of the home will have to go to court and ask the judge to make you leave. They will send you a written demand to give up possession of the property and file an eviction proceeding against you in court. The court will have you served with notice of the eviction proceeding.

When you get the notice from the court, you can file an answer, letting the court know that you want to be heard on the matter. If you don’t respond within seven days, the court will just issue a writ of eviction. If you do respond, a court date will be set.

At the court date, you will get the opportunity to explain why you should not be evicted, but no matter what you say, the facts are very simple. You are living in someone else’s house and they want you to leave. At the end of the hearing, the judge will issue the writ of eviction.

So why file a response if you are going to lose anyway? The response forces a court date, which extends the time you can stay in the house. You don’t even need to attend the hearing – you know what the outcome will be anyway.

Once the writ of eviction is issued, the prevailing party will take it to the sheriff for service. At some point in the future (and this period of time varies wildly depending on how busy they are), the sheriff will serve it by posting notice of eviction on the door of your home. This is where the party ends. Shortly after they post notice, the sheriff, the new owner (or more likely their representative) and a crew of workers will come to the house with the intention and authority to enter the house, make you leave and remove all of your belongings. If you aren’t there they will just put your stuff in the yard.

So now you know. You are going to have to move before the sheriff throws you out. 

If you are reading these articles because you are worried about a foreclosure, there may very well be a better way for you to proceed. Call 770-682-7735 and ask about your options. You might be surprised at just how many options you have.


The day finally came. You did what you could to save your home, but on the first Tuesday of the month, it was sold on the courthouse steps. You are living in someone else’s home. What do you do?

Well, first of all, realize that this is a reality. You are living in a house you no longer own. You are going to have to leave. You don’t have to panic and move into the street, though. You have a few minutes. Take a breath.

When the house was sold on the courthouse steps, it was probably purchased by your lender. I say probably because in today’s market, the majority of foreclosed homes are worth less than the amount of the mortgage. Investors want to buy homes with solid equity. The banks are stuck with the rest.

When the bank takes the home back in a foreclosure proceeding, they aren’t going to come knocking on the door the next day. In fact, no one from the bank is likely to ever see the house. What they will do is turn the case over to a servicing company or a real estate firm. That company will begin the process of making the home ready to sell. Part of that process will be to come to the house and see if it is empty. If you are still living there, they will most likely contact you to inform you that the home has been foreclosed on and ask you when you plan to leave. This is where you can make a bad situation a little bit better. 

Frequently, the bank’s representative will offer a monetary incentive for you to leave. The trade term is “cash for keys.” Typically they will ask that you leave within 5 days, leave the house in good condition and broom clean and give them the keys. They will give you money to help you move. This amount is negotiable, so don’t be afraid to ask for more. It’s a good deal for you, because you are eventually going to be moving. It’s a good deal for them, because the eviction process can take a while these days.

If you don’t want to move, the bank’s representatives will file an eviction suit. More on that next time.

If you are behind on your mortgage, don’t sit around and wait to get foreclosed on. Call 770-682-7735 and ask how we can help!

Getting a notice from the bank that they are going to sell your home on the courthouse steps is pretty frightening. Your mind immediately begins to churn – “Where will we go?’ – “We need to look for another home!”

This is a perfectly understandable reaction, but not entirely appropriate. 

When your lender is ready to foreclose, they must send you notice. They send a certified letter, explaining that you are in default, that they have been unable to collect, that your mortgage is secured by real property and that they have accelerated your debt. Then they tell you that you must pay the entire loan, plus fees or your home will be sold in a foreclosure proceeding. Then they give you the time and place of the sale.

In addition to that notice, the law requires them to publish notice in the local paper each week for four consecutive weeks prior to the sale.

So at a minimum, you are going to have 4 weeks from when you receive notice before your home is sold.

Frequently the sale date will be postponed. In Georgia, foreclosure sales can ONLY be held the first Tuesday of each month. If your sale is postponed, it must be postponed for at least a month. The notices have to be reissued, the advertisements have to be run again, the entire process is basically repeated.

Once the home is actually sold at foreclosure, you are living in a home you do not own. In the next article, I will discuss what happens next.

If you are facing foreclosure, there are lots of options. Call 770-682-7735 and ask what those options are.

As the bad news about the economy continues to inundate us, the percentage of home sales classified as either short sales or foreclosure sales is skyrocketing. What’s the difference? That’s a great question!

A foreclosure is the end of the road for a homeowner with an unaffordable loan. When a homeowner stops making payments to the lender, the lender sends them a letter. “Hey – Dude (or Dudette) – Where is our money? Please pay us the overdue amount and some fees!” When that letter arrives, you have become a blip on the lender’s radar screen.

Most lenders will send out more letters of this type, hoping to get the payment stream started. These letters are pretty non-threatening and they always include plenty of contact information for the lender. This is the time to pick up the phone and start negotiating with the lender. You can do it yourself or have one of our professionals do it for you. Call 770-682-7735 and ask about a loan workout.

If you ignore these letters, eventually you are going to get a letter that is not so friendly. This letter says “OK. We asked you to pay us and you didn’t. Now we are accelerating your loan. You are in default. Pay all of it plus interest and fees by such and such date or we will take your house.” This letter isn’t quite so non-threatening, is it? In fact, this letter is pretty darned scary! First of all, they say they might take your house (where will you go?) On top of that, they want all of the money you borrowed! Last month they wanted $8000, now they want $245000! Don’t panic. It is not too late. Call 770-682-7735 and ask about a short sale review.

The next letter you will get is the scariest. In this letter they will restate the demand for the entire balance of the loan and will tell you that they plan to sell your home on a certain date. That date will be a Tuesday, and in fact it will be the first Tuesday of a month. In Georgia, foreclosure sales can only occur on the first Tuesday of the month. Time is definitely getting short, but this is not the time to be the turtle in the shell – call 770-682-7735 and ask about having a foreclosure sale postponed. 

If nothing happens to forestall the foreclosure, the home will be sold to the highest bidder in front of the Gwinnett County Courthouse on the appointed day. In the next article, I will explain what happens next.

With opening day rapidly approaching, construction on the Gwinnett Braves Stadium is in high gear. They took New Year’s Day off, though and I took the opportunity to take a look around.

It’s a great layout and I especially enjoyed wandering around the press box, locker room area and taking pictures from my season ticket seats. The Gwinnett Braves are going to be a lot of fun and will add value to Gwinnett County Real Estate. If you are thinking about purchasing, selling, renting or leasing Gwinnett County Real Estate, or if  you just have some questions, give me a call at 770-682-7735.

Well, the Braves have moved from grading the site to slapping up walls. I took some pictures last week and here they are! For information on the finished product or season tickets, check out www.gwinnettbraves.com.















Currently on the market in Gwinnett County we have 9952 homes. The lowest priced home is $40,000and the most expensive is $7,950,000. The average list price is currently $307,832. All data comes from First MLS.

In 2008, 3429 Gwinnett County Homes have sold for an average of $231,140. The lowest price has been $42500 and the highest price has been $2,080,816.

Taking a look around the county, home prices are being lowered with rampant regularity. If you are looking for a home and have a little flexibility, bargains abound. Here are a few of the recent price moves.

6227 Woodlake Drive NE in Buford is a 3337 square foot home on a 2000 squre foot finished basement on Lake Lanier. The lot is just over a third of an acre and the basement appears to be nicely finished. The price was recently lowered from $1,599,000 to $1,100,000.

4577 Ridgegate Drive in the Riverview subdivision in Duluth was reduced from $850,000 to $699,000. Built in 1973, this 3313 squre foot home on an 1847 sq ft basement features 5 bedrooms and 3.5 baths and over an acre of land.

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Here is a beautiful property located across from Chateau Elan’s public golf courses and convenient to I-85, shopping and more. This home features 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths, upgraded appliances and granite countertops, a huge pantry, convenientgarage to kitchen access, an open free flowing floorplan, great community amenities, a large lot, Mill Creek schools and a very low price. The berooms are especially large and the home has two staircases for easy access. There is a large upstairs laundry room and a cool built in desk in the upstairs hallway. The Falls of Braselton subdivision is divided by the Gwinnett / Barrow line and this home is on the Gwinnett side.

Offerred for $202,900, this home is listed as a short sale and all offers will require lender approval. Call Chris Compton today at 770-682-7735.

In a recent post, I described the short sale process as a win-win-win situation, and it is. The lender avoids taking yet another property through foreclosure. The homeowner avoids the foreclosure process and the enormous credit impact associated with it and the buyer gets a great deal.

If the deal closes. If…

When you make an offer on a property being offered as a short sale, you need to understand a little bit about short sales and what to expect. The first thing to understand is that although these transactions are becoming more and more commonplace, there is an excellent chance that your realtor will not really know a lot about the process. Is this because they are not good at their job? No. Short sales are just not common enough for the average realtor to have come in contact with a lot of them and while your realtor is hopefully an expert in more common areas like property selection, valuation, negotiation, etc., this “newer” field may be daunting.

The second thing I want you to know is that the process is not fast. Your patience is going to be tested and if you are not ready to exercise extreme patience, maybe you should pass on this particular deal. From the time you submit your offer, you should expect at least 4 weeks before you find out if the bank has approved it. If they approve it, you are going to save thousands of dollars, so if you don’t have to move tomorrow, this might be worth your time.

My next little nugget is very important if you don’t want to waste your time. You can apply this technique to other deals as well – it is not restricted to the short sale arena. Negotiation requires both parties to succeed in order to be successful. If you try to steal the property, you are just going to wait for 4 weeks or more and get rejected by the bank. In a typical short sale transaction, the bank will send out realtors they trust to evaluate the property’s value. Then the bank will evaluate the offer to see what percentage of the property’s value they are going to realize after paying all of their expenses. If that percentage is 80 or higher, they will probably accept. If it is lower than 80, they will proably reject the offer.

What does that mean in English? If the property is worth $100,000 dollars, don’t offer $80,000. Sure, the home owner wll agree to it, but the bank won’t and four or five weeks later you will have to submit another offer or look for another property. Remember they need to NET 80% of the value. Offer 90% and you have a great chance. How do you determine the value? That’s where your realtor comes in. If you don’t have a realtor, you can call me, Chris Compton at 770-682-7735. I will walk you through the process and help you succeed.

Short sales are odd transactions because you are buying the property from another individual, but their lender has final say so on the deal. Make sure that their lender is getting what they need and you will find yourself in a great home for a great low price.

Hello sports fans. Currently on the market in Gwinnett County we have 9918 homes. The lowest priced home is $52,900 and the most expensive is $7,950,000. The average list price is currently $308,460. All data comes from First MLS.

In 2008, 2434 Gwinnett County Homes have sold for an average of $229,044. The lowest price has been $42500 and the highest price has been $2,080,816. Note that I previously reported a higher priced sale. I get the data from First MLS, so I assume that they have corrected an error since my last report.

During the week ending June 8, 173 homes sold in Gwinnett. 605 homes were listed and 657 saw their prices change with over 90% of those changes being in a downward direction (that is correct – they got cheaper.)

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