Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Confused about Energy Providers and PECO’s Utility Increase 1/1/11?

January 6, 2011



On January 1, 2011 caps will be removed from the utility rates that were put in place in 1998 by Pennsylvania state law. As a result, PECO’s electric supply rate will jump from $0.068/kwh to $0.09924/kwh – a supply rate increase of 30%+.

You can default to this higher rate, or choose a lower rate. Even PECO is encouraging you to choose a lower rate. Take PECO’s advice: Lower your rate!      “With deregulation, people should be shopping for their electricity. If not, PECO becomes the default provider.” – PECO president and CEO Denis O’Brien

As a Service to Clients, Friends and Family;

Go to this site from the PA Utility Commission with a list of new approved energy providers.

As you see Stream Energy currently is the lowest rate at .0743 kWh variable

Starting January PECO rates go up to .09924 kWh;  Some companies on the list have cancellation fees and/or deposit fees.

Stream Energy has no fees.                      

Contact me back with your PECO Acct # as I can change your Electric Provider.  Remember PECO still sends you the bills and remains the company performing repairs on lines, etc.  

 Happy New Year!

 Mark Barone
Keller Williams Real Estate

Sellers Of Short Sales- What is HAFA?

November 16, 2010

In 2009, the US government introduced Making Home Affordable in the attempt to alleviate foreclosures and have people retain their homes. First: there were (two) programs: (1) Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) and (2) Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). Neither of these were designed for short sale transactions.

Thru 2009, number of foreclosures and short sales continued to increase across the US, but no uniformity or standards of short sale procedures among lenders. The urging of (NAR)   the U.S. Treasury announced Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA) in May 2009 and released guidelines and forms in Nov. 2009.

HAFA took effect in April 2010 and includes loans serviced by loan servicing companies. It only included (GSE) loans. Which means did not include loans held or guaranteed by FNMA or Freddie Mac. On June 1, 2010 they announced participation in HAFA.

Under HAFA, short sales can be pre-approved on the first mortgage only, standardized docs, time lines set for approval, marketing, acceptance and closing. Sellers receive ($3,000) in relocation expenses at close of escrow if the short sale is in compliance with HAFA. There are three (3) HAFA programs- US Treasury, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac.                                      HAFA Advantages for SELLERS ARE:     

*Sellers receive $3,000 relocation assistance.                                                                                                                                                                                                            *Foreclosure sale must be suspended while eligibility is determined, property marketed, or pending closing.      *Sellers are released of all liability on 1st and subordinate liens.   *Sellers cannot be required to sign note or pay amounts to satisfy liens.  *Short sale is (pre-approved). This takes more time on front end of transaction, but less time after a purchase contract is accepted from seller. *Purchase agreements are approved or denied within 10 business days. *If short sale is not successful, a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure may be possible with seller receiving $3,000 relocation assistance or being able to lease home back at below market rent (FNMA loans only)

So if you are questioning your attorney, Realtor, CPA or anyone about this option, make sure you work with a qualified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and a Pre-Foreclosure Specialist (SFR) before signing anything to list your house and complete a short sale.

Don’t sell yourself Short! Call an Expert Professional in this Field!    Mark Barone, CDPE,SFR,ABR,CRS,GRI  has successfully sold short sales and helped sellers with cash for relocation assistance.   Keller Williams Real Estate- 610-565-1995, ext. 1310,

email:                      Direct 484-468-1310,  610-537-1166

Anatomy of a disaster: Option ARMs

February 4, 2010

Anatomy of a disaster: Option ARMs

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Welcome to the 2nd decade of the 21st CENTURY

January 25, 2010

The Second Decade of the 21st Century!

   Welcome to the 2nd decade of the 21st Century! The first 10 years of this millennium brought us opportunities and challenges for Realtors and Consumers we couldn’t have predicted. Undoubtedly, there will be surprises in the next 10 years as well. That’s why it’s important to work with top educated Realtors who anticipate and keep ahead of the market. This includes in-depth analysis on pricing, strategic planning, market knowledge and support for clients.
    Both the overall economy and real estate markets will improve in 2010. As a Real Estate Broker in Media for Keller Williams and as a Realtor/Educator; We will Continue to be “The Voice for Real Estate” on critical legislative and regulatory priorities, such as addressing appraisal issues, the needs of the self-employed in the health care, lessen the impact of the economic swing downturn on the commercial markets and practitioners.
    Advise and Represent Consumers with new tools giving us in-depth data on residential and commercial properties throughout the United States. Only As a member of National Association of Realtors we will receive the Realtors Property Resource for free-not just properties for sale.  
    At continuous meetings in Harrisburg with the Standard Forms Committee, we have proposed changes and revisions in this bi-lateral contract to protect Realtors, first time buyers, past clients, buyers, sellers, investors on the New Standard Agreement of Sale effective Jan 2010. We scheduled training sessions on this revised contract in our office and at the local Association of Realtors. 
Our mission this year will be to re-connect and educate with my past clients, work together with agents, prepare you with data and tools to keep you advised with details of the transaction.  Each transaction is getting more complex so we bring you market knowledge and support you need to succeed. 
Contact Mark Barone for More Information on how this market will affect your Real Estate Buying, Selling Needs. 610-529-3642, O-484-468-1310;  E mail;

Real Estate Short Sales

January 18, 2010

Real Estate Short Sales

Real Estate Short Sales:        Definition:

The definition of a real estate short sale is basically the sale of a house in which the proceeds fall short of what the homeowner still owes on the 1st and/or 2nd mortgages.

Many lenders in the country should and will agree to accept the proceeds of a short sale and forgive the rest of what is owed (on a primary residence) on the mortgage loans. Assuming the homeowner cannot make the mortgage payments and they constitute a hardship.  In the event the lender will accept a short sale they can avoid a long, lengthy and costly foreclosure.

The homeowner has some final options:

Despite the short sale

1: Deed in Lieu of foreclosure:

  This method offers several advantages to both borrowers and lenders. There is a deed instrument whereby a mortgagor (borrower) conveys all interest in the property to the mortgagee (lender) in order to satisfy a loan that is in default. The homeowner also avoids the public notice of a foreclosure proceeding and may receive additional generous terms, especially in a formal foreclosure.  To be considered in a deed in lieu of foreclosure, the debt must be secured by the real estate; both sides must enter the transaction voluntarily and in good faith.

The settlement agreement must have consideration.

Also must be equal to fair market value. The lender probably will might not proceed with a deed in lieu if the debt of the borrower exceeds the fair market value.

2. Workout with the Servicer: More on this later

3. Last Resort: 

Homeowner files bankruptcy which is the legal declared inability or ability of individuals or organizations to pay their creditors.

Creditors can file a petition against the debtor in an attempt to recapture a portion of what is owed to them.

As a majority, the initiation of a bankruptcy is by the homeowner/debtor.           The four chapters of bankruptcy with the most common first are: 7, 13, 12, 11.

Short Sales Continued:

Many homeowners on the verge of foreclosure tend to be embarrassed and/or procrastinate. For Realtors, try and determine this pattern early on and communicate that a possible positive outcome can be reached. Make sure to list the property at fair market value in the property’s current condition and if you receive no offers, within seven to ten days, lower the listing price according to your market.

 For Realtors:

When pricing the property for sale, list it at fair market value in the property’s “As Is” condition. To determine a favorable listing price, run your comparative market analysis (CMA), summarize the estimated repair costs and adjust your calculation accordingly. Document the condition of the property for the justification of your listing price and forward this information with the listing agreement to the Real Estate Department.

  Make sure, you get the listing contract signed from the Seller, with the listing price filled in. Acknowledge in the remarks section on your contract, the seller’s property disclosure statement and the multiple listing information sheet, as well as in Seller and Buyer Disclosures or addendums that this transaction is “Subject to third party approval“.

  If the property is priced correctly, this should generate multiple offers. The Servicer should be more motivated to negotiate with you if they receive legitimate offers to purchase. Then they will consider postponement of the foreclosure date.

Verify with the homeowner if there is a foreclosure date scheduled or if they received a notice of default or complaint. Also check county records and your courthouse to see if there a notice of public sale posted. Review your state statues and time frames regarding the foreclosure process in your area.

The foreclosure process will continue while the property is listed and even during negotiations of a short sale. Ask for a postponement of the foreclosure sale if a legitimate offer is pending. Do not assume the negotiator is aware of the pending foreclosure sale. Very Important: There are some attorneys who will negotiate right with the bank and they can possibly negotiate their fee as well. Don’t short sell the Homeowner because their might be some legal ramifications.



The homeowners may still owe the difference between the mortgage balance and the sale amount.  This is called a “deficiency judgment.”  If granted, this judgment will affect the homeowners and their credit report just as any other judgment.


You need to ask the bank to accept “payment in full without pursuit of any deficiency judgment, and even a 1099”.  But the lender does not have to grant your request. 

Hopefully the lenders will not pursue the deficiency judgment; they will just 1099 the homeowner. The Homeowners need to understand that the difference between the mortgage balance and the final sale price may be declared as ordinary income on their income tax return by means of a “1099.”

Homeowners should be advised to contact a local tax advisor and/or an attorney for more details.  Make sure disclosures are provided to the homeowners Do not give any legal or tax advice.

There is much more information we need to learn on this subject as our US economy and the mortgage industry has many homeowners (upside down) and in the process of losing their home.

For more information on this blog: e mail:

Unless you have been involved in the short sales, there are numerous hours of work and time devoted for real estate professionals.  Also there are few Real Estate agents who have the experience, knowledge and skills to successfully help the homeowner complete a short sale.

  Written by

Mark Barone, ABR, CDPE, CRS, GRI. SFR

Associate Broker

Keller Williams Media, PA





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January 18, 2010

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