Thursday, November 20, 2008

Losing Your Home to Foreclosure?? There May Be Other Options!

The Sky is Falling!Yesterday, I received a call from a Seller who has been trying to sell his home with another real estate firm for the past 250 days. His listing contract with the other firm had expired and he received a post card from my office announcing that we sold a home on his street. He purchased his home in mid 2006. In late 2007 his employer laid him off. He has since found work in his profession, however he is now earning less money. He is struggling to pay the mortgage for his home that was once affordable. He did what many other sellers in similar situations do. He listed the home for sale with a real estate agent at a price that, if realized, would be sufficient to pay off the mortgage and the expenses associated with the sale. Demand is Not Dictated By a Seller’s NeedsThe Seller was upset at his previous real estate agent for not delivering a sale. While I agree that the agent may have been able to better advise his client, I explained to the Seller that I have never met a seller’s agent that possessed the ability to overcome demand limitations. If better purchase options exist in your area, buyers will likely pass on your home to move in a different direction. Buyers are simply looking for their best option. 250 days later, still no buyer.Could His Agent Have Done More? While his previous Agent may have been well intentioned, he did not identify a very strong option for this Seller, a Short Sale. A Short Sale occurs when a homeowner owes more on their property than the property is presently worth, however their mortgage company agrees to accept less than what is owed as payment in full, in an effort to avoid the foreclosure process. Avoiding a forclosure will greatly minimize the damage to a seller's credit.Why Don’t We See More Successful Short Sales?Many real estate agents do not understand short sales and therefore are either reluctant to get involved or deterred by the high number of failed short sale attempts. Agents may have difficulty “qualifying their seller” for the short sale process. Not all sellers will qualify. In addition, mortgage companies are often overwhelmed by the growing number of distressed property sales and may be slow to communicate internal requirements. Time is of the essence and there is little room for a learning curve that has evolved.The Silver LiningThere are real estate agents that have started to specialize in this growing niche market. There is additional training that may improve their success. As with hiring any real estate professional, you want to ensure that the agent is qualified to handle this niche. Ask for references and additional qualifications that might set the agent apart form other real estate licensees. Please visit this link for additional useful information on Short Sales.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Free Information That Can Save You Thousands!

Few decisions you will make rival the importance of a home sale or purchase, so I'd like to offer the following complimentary reports to help people during these important times. I have continually seen home owners struggle with the same questions and challenges over and over.

That's why I put together these special reports - in hopes of helping people avoid the same struggles and pitfalls of those who have gone through it all before.

-Home Buyers: How To Avoid Paying Too Much
-29 Essential Tips That Get Homes Sold Fast (And for Top Dollar)
-Squeezing Every Last Dollar From Your Home Sale

Just visit and check off the report(s) you'd like to receive.

The Big 3

You’ve seen the stories on the news and read the articles in the newspaper. The cyclical real estate market has taken a turn and conditions in most parts of the country now favor the buyer. Often referred to as a “buyer’s market,” this means that the inventory of homes for sale exceeds the consumer demand. As a result, buyers can be more selective and more conservative with their offers. But that does not mean all hope is lost if you need or want to sell your home now.

Use these three steps to help your home go from “For Sale” to “Sold.”

1. Price It – The number one thing you can do to help your home sell in a buyer’s market is to price it right. A knowledgeable buyer and / or an experienced real estate agent will know value when they see it. If you price the property too high, you are unlikely to receive offers since buyers know there are plenty of properties to choose from. Also, if you are forced to reduce the price bit by bit, buyers will not always revisit an old listing, especially if new offerings are continually being added to the MLS.

2. Make it Show – Make your property stand out from the rest. Do the required prep work, both inside and out, to give it the curb appeal and charm that will pique buyer interest. Follow the advice of your Realtor® to help the home “show well.” Clean the clutter. Shampoo the carpets. Refinish the floors. Paint the walls. In a buyer’s market you have to do everything you can to make your property rise above the rest.

3. Choose Wisely – Hire a real estate professional who has the experience and network to get your home sold. In a buyer’s market it is critical to have a professional who is working non-stop to set your home apart and bring in potential buyers. A Realtor® will help you set the right price, tell you how to stage the home, and guide you through negotiations. Plus, in these selling condit ions, knowledge about the local marketplace is invaluable.Do you have any questions or concerns about buying or selling in today's real estate market?

10 Cheap Fixes

As listings stay on the market longer and buyers are being pickier, the 10 cheap fixes I read about on MSN Real Estate makes for a good to do list - whether you're thinking of selling or not.

Changing market conditions necessitate making the house as presentable and appealing as possible. Some of these inexpensive renovations will actually increase the home’s value.