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Join the Winning Team!

To be successful, every Short Sale should be a partnership in which each member of the team takes their responsibility seriously. When we work with a seller facing a Michigan foreclosure, this is what the team responsibilities look like.

Realtor® – markets house and finds buyers.

[GLHS] Great Lakes Home Solutions, Inc (us) – negotiates the Short Sale with the foreclosing lenders, handles all communications with the lenders.

Seller (you) – maintains house for showings, cooperates with showings, stays in communication with GLHS & notifies GLHS of any changes in their situation such as moving, notices from the bank, inability to pay utilities, etc.

One of the reasons our Short Sale acceptance is 8 times the national average of 10% (we are close to 80%) is that we insist that you take responsibility for your part. After all, we are investing time and resources to resolve your situation without charging you, the Realtors®  or the buyer. What better way to show your gratitude than to shoulder your load. Yes, we understand you have a hardship and life is not great right now. We are trying to get you back to better times as quickly as possible. We will be much more successful when we work as a team.

Some examples of good teammates and not good teammates.

Not So Good Teammates

  • Refuses or limits showings because of pets, work/sleep hours, children, company, etc. (Realize in today’s market, if a buyer can’t see the house when they want to, they probably won’t be back. They have far more homes available to them then you have buyers available to you).
  • Moves without telling us, turning off utilities and leaving house vulnerable to damage from freezing pipes, vandalism, etc. or repossession by lender (yes, they can repossess if they deem the house abandoned. We can prevent this but we have to know it is vacant).
  • Does not return our phone calls in a timely manner possibly preventing us from getting critical information needed to complete the Short Sale or update you on a critical development.

Good Teammates

  • Makes sure house is clean and de-cluttered for showings, looking and smelling nice.
  • Leaves for showings so the buyer can look in privacy and start to feel like they can make the house their home.
  • Reports any phone calls, letters, postings from the lenders to us immediately.
  • Maintains an attitude of gratitude realizing that they have no other options and we are working harder than anyone to help them.

See there, your responsibilities on this team really aren’t that hard when you consider we take the burden of all dealings with the lenders off your back, plus answer all your questions about options and what is happening. I guarantee that we will work harder than anyone else on this team or any other to get your situation resolved.

Ready to join the team? We’re ready to have you! Give us a call today and join a winning team!


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Another $195k Wiped Out, 4 Days, 2 Houses

Within the last week, we closed on two different houses and my team made $195,000 of debt disappear between both of them. How is this done? This is done with a short sale. Don’t know what a short sale is? Well you can search this blog to learn more, or just give us a call. We’re really good at them though, based on all of the testimonials you’ll find here and here. Oh, and here’s two more!

“… my life has been turned around – they helped me get a new lease on life…”


Robert, Holland, Michigan

We appreciated all the work Great Lakes Home Solutions did on our behalf. We were trying to work with our bank, but couldn’t get through all the bureaucracy of the bank. Great Lakes Home Solutions was able to keep working with the bank to find someone who could make a decision. The original loan was for $140,000 which we could never have sold the house for. Great Lakes Home Solutions and Erin Cramer (Realtor) found a buyer for our home. The bank netted $58,400. Our total debt wiped out was over $81,000. Thank you so much.”

Jeff and Tammy, Kalamazoo, Michigan


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The Truth About Payment Plans

As the real estate market declines with the rest of the economy, more and more families like yours find themselves facing foreclosure. The Michigan foreclosure process is a very complex and expensive process for lenders; in an attempt to stem of the flow of funds lost during foreclosure, many lenders say they are offering solutions, usually in the form of a loan modification or a plan to repay the amount past due (in arrears).

I just wanted to take a moment to talk a little bit about repayment plans. Often the plans offered by lenders require a considerable amount of money due immediately (we’re talking thousands of dollars). Most homeowners find themselves in a default situation because of a financial hardship, resulting in a loss of liquid assets, or cash on hand. This makes a large initial payment all but impossible.

Also, most repayment plans consist of fractionalizing the amount in arrears, and adding that smaller amount onto the monthly payments. For example, if a your mortgage payment is $1000/month, and your are two months behind, the amount in arrears would be $2000, plus any penalties or late fees. A lender may then offer a repayment plan that requires $200 down initially, adding $200 to the payments for the next nine months, making those payments now $1200.

If you are in a temporary financial hardship, this may be a viable solution. However, if you find yourself in an ongoing hardship, this option is likely not be feasible.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, give us a call to discuss what your other options may be at this point to get you back to better times as fast as possible.


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It’s Your Short Sale… Is Your Realtor Qualified?

Who better to answer this question about how qualified your Realtor is to negotiate your short sale besides Michigan’s premiere Short Sale Negotiator and Trainer?

Joel will teach you the exact questions to ask so you can learn your Realtor’s chances of helping you with your short sale so you can avoid a Michigan foreclosure.

Check out the video on this page.


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Don’t Be A Whimp

OK, I’m getting a little frustrated. I coach a lot of people on how to deal with their lender to enable to keep their house. Yes, we charge nothing for this, so I get to vent a little 🙂 so I’ll share my frustrations.

When you’re talking to these guys (the lenders) you’ve got to realize that you’re negotiating to keep your home! Act like it – be passionate! Keep bugging them until you get a commitment, or keep asking for a supervisor (or their boss, and their boss) until you find someone that will work with you to keep your home.

Remember, it’s just a job to these people, and if they want to leave at 5pm (or mail you a package), most will leave and lose your stuff by the next day. You need to take charge – period!

I’ll let you know what’s reasonable for the lenders to expect (as for as $$, paperwork, etc.) – you’ve simply got to keep following up. Do NOT sit around waiting for them to call you back, or waiting for mail or a fax. Actually, NEVER let them mail anything – it takes way too long. Have them fax it. Don’t have a fax? Someone that you know has one, or bite the bullet and have them send it to Kinko’s. Each day (and hour) that ticks by brings you that much closer to losing your house – take control!

Some people are upset with me because I won’t jump on the phone and negotiate for them (on occasions I have). Here’s my theory, if you’re passionate, you’ll do a much better job than I will because I’ll coach you. Some families have hired firms to negotiate for them. What a waste of money – don’t bother. They seldom are more success than you can be, plus, even if they offer your money back if they fail, everyone I’ve talk to that has tried them can not get their money back.

OK, I think I’m done venting now.


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It Can Happen … But Don’t Count On It

Every once in a while, especially around the holiday season, you read a heart warming story like this one where a couple facing a Michigan foreclosure due to a hardship are saved by receiving donations from caring people.

As much as I like reading good news in the paper for a change, I can also read between the lines and tell you that unless this couple does something fast, this solution is only temporary. Something has to be done about the medical bills and the high mortgage that is causing the problem in order for them to have a long term solution. Otherwise, next month’s mortgage will be due and they will be back facing foreclosure when the donations dry up. Maybe they need to just sell the house and start over in something more affordable – tough decision but sometimes it is the only way, especially if the hardship of the medical bills can not be solved easily.

Be encouraged by this story, but also be realistic if you are facing a hardship. Unless you are a high profile case like this couple, don’t expect people to give you money to bail you out. In fact, just about every day families call us for help with keeping their homes. When we ask if there are any friends, family, organizations that can help them, they say “no one has any money”.

Of course, most people are facing Michigan foreclosures during a stressful time in their life, and that is where talking to someone who is not emotionally involved can help you think through your options clearly. Give Emily “Mom” a call. After all, it always helped to talk through your problems and options with “Mom” didn’t it?


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Upside Down House, Don’t Panic Yet

We found this refreshing article which should strike a cord with most Michigan homeowners.

The author is basically saying that even though most people owe more on their home than it is worth in today’s market that is no reason to panic. The best thing to do if you don’t need to sell your home right now is to not sell it. All markets move in a cycles. Eventually, home values will rise so that homeowners are no longer upside down. That is the time to sell.

Unfortunately, this market correction is not going to happen in weeks or months but more likely will take many years. Also unfortunately, many people who are having a hardship today due to a loss of income, divorce, disability or other misfortune, do not have time to wait for the market to correct. They need to act today if they can no longer afford the house payments in order to avoid the damage of a Michigan foreclosure.

That is where our team comes in because we only work in upside down markets! If you have to sell now due to a hardship, we can work with your lender to negotiate a discount on what you owe so the house can sell (a short sale). Give Emily a call today to find out how we can help!


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When the going gets tough…..

…..the tough get going!

“Foreclosure” is a scary word, especially if you’re not aware of the impact it can have on your life in the future. Having foreclosure on your credit history can and WILL prevent you from getting any kind of loan for years to come! It is of the utmost importance to you and your family that you avoid a Michigan foreclosure at all costs.

Every week we mail letters to people going into foreclosure througout Michigan. Every week they call us to see if we can help them. It’s frustrating for us to realize that most of the people we write to won’t respond, either because they feel they have no choice in the matter, they’ve given up or they think the letters are a scam of some kind. Don’t give up; you DO have choices. The letters are no scam; they are a glimmer of hope for your future, an invitation to find out if we can help you, at no cost to you, EVER! We urge you to be tough, fight this unfortunate situation. Call us to see what can be done to protect your future.


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