While many are throwing their hands up in surrender, Sebastian Acosta’s unique foreclosure system is making National Housing Help a leader in real estate investing and rapid reselling of distressed homes. Seeking a profession that would fulfill him and his goals indefinitely, Acosta studied Finance, Government and International Relations at the Externado University of Colombia. “I was planning someday to be President of my country, just as two of my great-grandparents were,” he says.
While he’s not President just yet, his firm is taking over the world of real estate, especially during these difficult times. As Chairman of National Housing Help, Acosta says a grounded perspective on the fate of the market sent him and his partners into a whirlwind of success. “Back in 2004/2005 we saw how many of the properties in South Florida where extremely overvalued and would obviously take a huge hit any moment,” explains Acosta. “My partner Felix “The Cash” from Los Angeles, previously a Senior VP at Citibank who had been doing this for many years, introduced me to the concept of short sales.”
For Acosta, it was a new and unexplored field at the time. “I started doing extensive research and attending every possible seminar across the country where I could learn more about it,” he says. The work paid off. After a couple of years working in the field, Acosta knew enough to write a best-selling book, Make Millions with Foreclosures and Short Sales. The book did so well that a Spanish-translated version will be launched at the end of this year, with much of Acosta’s strategies accounting for its success.
He sites many differences between his firm and a regular realtor performing a pre-foreclosure short sale. “First, the national statistics show that 90% of all short sale listings end up in foreclosure,” he says. “Our advantage is that we immediately present a cash contract to the bank for a quick closing. That way, we are not expecting offers from anyone else. We go right to the bank and tell them, ‘Here’s a cash offer, we close in 20 days! Counter-offer me!’”
Over the years, Acosta has learned that it would take a regular short sale listing months on the market to get a contract, if there’s even an offer. “Usually the real estate agent is not familiar with the process of getting a short sale approved, so by the time they actually have an offer, many times they are already very close to an auction date, and the bank will be less likely to negotiate at that stage.”
As such, Acosta and his partners are using the firm to encourage realtors to work as a team, where National Housing buys the property and works on the short sale, while the realtor keeps his or her full commission and bonuses. “A typical short sale is overwhelming for a realtor due to the non-response from banks. A typical negotiator inside a bank will have between 150 to 300 files on their desk, so if the package is not prepared appropriately and with a serious offer that has proof of funds, they will most likely be overlooked.”
With such a keen eye for the details that count, Acosta assures his clients a fast, meticulous approach to business, with a response time that won’t exceed one hour. “More than five law firms in Florida have reviewed all of our contracts and they are bulletproof,” he says, recognizing that their promises may sound similar to those of any other company, although he’s willing to bet they’re not. “We charge no fees! That’s right! Our success is tied to our client’s success!”
That’s because National Housing Help makes its money by reselling the property, while other short sale firms will charge as much as $3,000 in non-refundable fees just for the privilege of submitting an application, according to Acosta, who is working around the clock to alleviate homeowners in distress, realtors with clients, or yard birds — the regular people on the street who bring them deals. They’ve been doing so since 2006, when the company bought its first short sale and was left with good earnings.
Three years later, they are still standing strong and growing, with no plans to take a break. “We don’t expect foreclosures to stop in the next 3-4 years so we would like to start selling franchises of our company nationwide,” says Acosta.
All this as they expect to work an average of 150 short sales per month by December, and that’s only in South Florida. As a best-selling author, Acosta’s wisdom is an invaluable asset to National Housing Help. “We have unlimited investment capital from people that believe in us,” he affirms. “We’ve successfully short sold many homes in Brickell, helping the banks recover a huge part of their losses and allowing people to relocate into more affordable homes. I would dare to say we are probably doing more for this community than you could ever imagine. ‘The Brickell Financial District’ will forever be called ‘The Brickell Foreclosure District’ unless we do something about it.”
For more information or to learn more about National Housing Help and Sebastian Acosta and his team, call 305.244.6222 or visit NationalHousingHelp.org.