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Archive for July, 2013

Holding A Open House Today? What To Do On Showing Day

The truth is, the best thing for you to do on showing day is to not be home. That’s right. Your Realtor® is the best qualified person to show your home. While you may think you know the home best, it is the Realtor®’s job to know the client best, and to know what they are looking for in a home. So on the days your home is LIVING AREAbeing shown, kick back and relax at a friends, go for a drive and a shopping trip, or whatever it takes to get you out of the house.

It’s really before the showing day that your work comes in. One of these is to share all you know about your home with your Realtor®. The more they know about the home, the better they can sell it. Don’t hide your home’s flaws from the Realtor®. Sooner or later these will come up anyway. It’s best if your Realtor® knows everything, the good and the bad. This way they can effectively understate the bad and promote the good. Alternatively, they may even be able to provide creative solutions to what you perceive as problems with the home, or know about a niche market of buyers that actually wants those features in a home.

The other major job for you is to clean up. Making sure you home is clean is very important. Clean better than CLEANyou normally would. I’m not implying you are a sloppy cleaner, it’s just that a home being shown for sale needs to be completely clean, top to bottom, with no corner or crevice forgotten. Don’t forget about cupboards or closets, as buyers almost always open these up to have a look. Consider getting drapes and carpets professionally cleaned.

Along with cleaning comes de-cluttering. It is imperative that you remove clutter from your home. More than tidying up, this implies maybe even getting rid of some of your decorations. If you are the type to have lots of little figurines or a vase collection, choose maybe one, then put the rest in storage. SInce spare rooms and storage spaces can sometimes be key FOR SALEselling features, so don’t just cram everything in there. Consider renting storage space. Since you will be moving anyway, having some of your things packed up before the house even sells could make things a lot easier when it’s actually time to move.

Hopefully these tips will help you have a successful showing, and help your home sell fast.


Thinking Of Home Buying? When Is The Right Time To Buy Your First Home?

There are many market predictions, however if you want to buy your first home—there is no wrong time.  The motivation to buy is not determined by regional market conditions or by location.  Industry opinions and investor speculation can not predict when a particular individual will be ready to buy.  For the great majority HOME BUYINGof folks, the most compelling reasons to buy a home are based on individual circumstances and personal needs.

• Family needs and desires for children/parents/in-laws/couples • Convenience to home, work, school, social activities • Sense of achievement or fulfillment • Freedom and independence

Even though there are many changes in the market, both up and down—people still need and want to buy homes.  This desire to buy a home is deeply rooted in the fabric of our consciousness.  The value of homeownership gives far more satisfaction than ROI calculators can quantify. Today, there are many different loan programs with flexible terms to fit all buyers. There is city and county down-payment assistance programs to assist in buying a home.   For future buyers with blemished credit, there is debt reduction and counseling programs to help gain a fresh start. 

How do you make the leap to become a homeowner?  First, determine that you want to buy a home.  Get your finances in order.  Determine your financial situation and check your credit to determine where you fall as a SAVINGSborrower.  Look at all of your available assets for your down payment and examine all of the finance options available to you.  If you have some credit blemishes, take the time to make timely payments to your creditors to present the best financial picture.  Make sure that you have a track record of stability in your employment history.  Postpone any major purchases.  Your actual home purchase may still be 12-18 months down the road, but you can still prepare for it now.

Get pre-approved for your mortgage.  Once you’ve cleared the financial hurdles, talk to your lender or broker to find out how much you can afford to borrow along with the expected out-of-pocket costs you will need to incur for the closing.  This will include the required down payment along with funds for closing costs.  If you are buying in a seller’s market, you may want to search for homes below your approved price range, so that you can have the most room for negotiation.

MORTGAGEFind a credible licensed real estate agent.  Look for an agent that can work with you based on YOUR needs and your schedule.  Check references of previous clients.  You may not know exactly what you want in terms of a new home, and your agent should work with you to determine your needs and help you find a property that meets your immediate and future needs.  Check with family and friends for successful agent referrals. Ask them how satisfied they were with his/her services and if they would use them again.

Become an informed and practical buyer.   Once you determine where you would like to live, determine what factors are most important for your family.  Calculate your new commute time and research school information for your children.   Make sure to evaluate the surrounding factors that are most important to you, along with factors that are least important.

Find a home that works for you.  Envision yourself (along with your family living in the home).  What are the key points of consideration for your home?  If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, then you want to make sure that the kitchen can accommodate your habits. If you will be working from home, make sure that your ENJOYhome office setup will work.  Make sure that all of your telecommunications and electrical needs can be met.  

Make the offer.  Once you have located a property that meets your needs, make an offer based on the listing price, along with comparable information and market considerations.  Your agent can work with you to determine the best price, along with any contingencies for the sale. 

It is good to get a home inspection, so that you can know what the potential pitfalls and future maintenance needs may be.   In a seller’s market, you may find yourself bidding with several other buyers for a single piece of property.  Work with your agent to determine what is customary in your area.  This is when negotiation skills really come in handy!

Once your offer has been accepted, you will enter an escrow period, where all of the title research will be REALTORhandled, funding requirements met; tax and title transfer paperwork managed.  Prior to the close of escrow, you will sign all of your finance paperwork, and pay your remaining deposit and closing fees.  After funding is complete, the title company will record the new purchase deed with the County Recorder’s office, and you will officially “close”. 

Congratulations! It’s time to move. Make sure to connect your new utilities along with mail forwarding.    The purchase of a home can be a lifelong achievement, but one that is truly a worthy accomplishment.

Are You Considering Buying A Pre Foreclosure Property?

UNDERWATERHave you ever heard of the term pre foreclosure?  Do you think that this means the same thing as a foreclosed property?  If you answered yes to these questions you are not alone.  But at the same time, if you answered yes you are not familiar with the advantages of buying pre foreclosures.

Pre foreclosures are properties that are in the final stage before they are taken back by the bank or lender.  This means that the owner is still in charge of the property, but if they do not make any attempt to rectify their situation the bank or financier will repossess the home.

There are many benefits in buying pre foreclosures.  The reason that most people miss out on these homes is because they do not know what they are, or how to find them.BUY

The number one advantage of pre foreclosures is the lower price associated with such properties.  The owner has to sell the house before the bank or lender takes it and is more inclined to listen to any offers that they receive.  It is quite possible to find pre foreclosures that are up to 50% off of the market value.

In addition to the bargain that you can get on pre foreclosures, you will also be able to deal directly with the owner.  This is an advantage because the buyer is in control during a pre foreclosure deal.  If the home owner turns down your offer and fails to find another buyer, they will end up losing everything. If they manage to sell the home they can at least end up making back some money.

AVOIDFinding pre foreclosures can be done in the same way as locating homes that bank already owns.  You can find them in the newspaper, online, or by calling the lender directly on the phone.  It is really up to you, and you can base it on what seems to be most effective.

Compared to foreclosed properties, you would normally face less competition with pre forecloses. This increases the chance of getting a great price and ending up with the home of your choice.

If you are looking for a new home, don’t forget to check out these properties. Buying pre foreclosures can be very profitable.

Why You Need a Real Estate Agent: What your Agent Should Do For You

A real estate agent can either be a buyer’s agent or a seller’s or listing agent, depending on their client’s need. Although a single agent may list property for sale and also work with buyers, each role will be a little different. REALTORTo understand why you need a real estate agent and what your agent should do for you, let’s take a look at each agent type.

Buyer’s Real Estate Agent

When you’re ready to buy a home, getting help from a real estate agent will expedite your search. Your buyer’s agent represents your interest during the entire real estate transaction and will work hard to make sure you get the best bang for your mortgage buck.

Your realtor is an absolute asset when it comes to researching available homes for sale. She should have geographic knowledge and neighborhood familiarity, along with school information and other insider info. He will also have a network of related professionals to assist you in completing your real estate transaction, including mortgage lenders, title companies and inspectors.

When you are ready to make an offer on a home, your realtor will generate the paperwork to present to the seller and will negotiate on your behalf until you are either satisfied with the terms of the sale or are ready to continue looking.

Once your offer is accepted, your real estate agent will help navigate each step in the closing process. If youLENDER weren’t pre-qualified for a home loan, she will also work with you to gather the necessary elements to obtain a mortgage.

In short, your buyer’s agent will walk you through each step of the buying process while handling more details that you could ever imagine.

Seller’s Real Estate Agent

When you’re ready to sell your home, finding a listing agent is the first step toward success. Your listing agent will evaluate the market and help you price your home accordingly. He will also make suggestions for improving the exterior and interior of your home to make it more appealing and saleable.

Your agent will list your home for sale on the Multiple Listing Service and get the word out about your home to other agents. She may hold an open house for other agents and host events to attract potential buyers. Like a buyer’s agent, your seller’s agent should have neighborhood familiarity, school iHOME FOR SALEnformation and other insider info to share with prospects. 

While marketing and selling your home, your realtor will accentuate the positive aspects of your property and downplay its shortcomings. He will ceaselessly show your home and stay in constant communication with you. And when an offer is made on your home, your realtor will provide experienced advice on whether to take the offer, submit a counter-offer or reject the offer completely.

When a legitimate offer is made on your home, your real estate agent will show her true value by negotiating every detail to your advantage. At this point, you should have enough faith in your agent to trust his recommendations regarding the close of your sale. And then, put the paperwork in your HOME SWEET HOMErealtor’s hands.

Although some homeowners do put their house on the market for sale by owner, paying the associated fees to have a professional realtor handle your sale makes a lot of sense in today’s competitive market.

The Bottom Line on Real Estate Agents

As you can see, the role of a buyer’s agent and a seller’s agent are distinctly different, yet their paths intersect with each real estate transaction. Whether you are buying or selling, a professional real estate agent will be your ally from start to finish.

Using A Realtor To Sell Your Home, Considering FSBO?

Consider this: if you needed work done on your teeth, would you go to a dentist or do it yourself? The same theory applies to real estate. The art of selling a home is something that takes years to perfect. There are so REALTORmany aspects of home sales that the average buyers and sellers are unaware of. Also there are many aspects of the process that are only easily available to a Realtor. The actual process of selling a home is very time-consuming and right about now, the seller has many more important things to consider, such as the impending move.

Realtors spend years learning the art of selling and how to interpret the real estate market. They can offer you insight and information that only comes from years of experience. Realtors are also experts on their FOR SALEarea; they know the communities and what they have to offer, the location of schools, transport routes, and how the current market will affect the sale of your home.

Using a Realtor to sell your home has several advantages over a FSBO. Perhaps the most important of these advantages is exposure. The marketing of your home is of the highest importance. Without a robust marketing plan, your home will not be seen by prospective buyers and as such, HOUSINGwill take much longer to sell. Realtors utilize the latest in internet technology to ensure that your home is seen by as many buyers as possible. Also, realtors have a large budget to purchase newspaper ads, hold open houses, and create flyers and information packs about your property. Realtors can also utilize a CMA to evaluate the correct value of your home and to price it correctly in your local market. This will enable your home to be competitive and attractive to buyers. Remember, homes sold by a Realtor sell for an average of 20-30 thousand more than homes sold by the owner. use a professional to sell your home, and free up the time you need to organize yourself for the process of moving your own new home.

Considering A Short Sale On Your Home? Why Would A Lender Do A Short Sale?

There are many ways to lose a home but signing away ownership in a manner that destroys credit, embarrasses the family and strips an owner of dignity is one of the hardest. For owners who can no longer SHORT SALEafford to keep mortgage payments current, there are alternatives to bankruptcy or foreclosure proceedings. One of those options is called a “short sale.”
When lenders agree to do a short sale in real estate, it means the lender is accepting less than the total amount due. Not all lenders will accept short sales or discounted payoffs, especially if it would make more financial sense to foreclose; moreover, not all sellers nor all properties qualify for short sales.
If you are considering buying a <a href=”http://www.realestateforeclosuresinvesting.com”>short sale</a>, there could be drawbacks. For your protection, I suggest that all borrowers:
* Obtain legal advice from a competent real estate lawyer  
* Call an accountant to discuss short sale tax ramifications  
As a real estate agent, I am not licensed as a lawyer nor a CPA and HELPcannot advise on those consequences. Except for certain conditions pursuant to the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, be aware the I.R.S. will consider debt forgiveness as income, and there is no guarantee that a lender who accepts a short sale will not legally pursue a borrower for the difference between the amount owed and the amount paid. In some states, this amount is known as a deficiency. A lawyer can determine whether your loan qualifies for a deficiency judgment or claim.
Although all lenders have varying requirements and may demand that a borrower submit a wide array of documentation, the following steps will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect.
ABOVECall the Lender     
You may need to make a half-dozen phone calls before you find the person responsible for handling short sales. You do not want to talk to the “real estate short sale” or “work out” department, you want the supervisor’s name, the name of the individual capable of making a decision.
Submit Letter of Authorization   
Lenders typically do not want to disclose any of your personal information without written authorization to do so. If you are working with a real estate agent, closing agent, title company or lawyer, you will receive better cooperation if you write a letter to the lender giving the lender permission to talk with those specific interested parties about your loan. The letter should include the following:
* Property Address   
* Loan Reference Number  
* Your Name
* The Date
* Your Agent’s Name & Contact Information
Preliminary Net Sheet
This is an estimated closing statement that shows the sales price you expect to receive and all the costs of sale, unpaid loan balances, outstanding payments due and late fees, including real estate commissions, if any. Your closing agent or lawyer should be able to prepare this for you, if you do not know how to calculate any of these fees. If the bottom line shows cash to the seller, you will probably not need a short sale.
Hardship Letter
The sadder, the better. This statement of facts describes how you got into this financial bind and makes a plea TIMINGto the lender to accept less than full payment. Lenders are not inhumane and can understand if you lost your job, were hospitalized or a truck ran over your entire family, but lenders are not particularly empathetic to situations involving dishonesty or criminal behavior.
Proof of Income and Assets
It is best to be truthful and honest about your financial situation and disclose assets. Lenders will want to know if you have savings accounts, money market accounts, stocks or bonds, negotiable instruments, cash or other real estate or anything of tangible value. Lenders are not in the charity business and often require assurance that the debtor cannot pay back any of the debt that it is forgiving.
Copies of Bank Statements
If your bank statements reflect unaccountable deposits, large cash withdrawals or an unusual number of checks, it’s probably a good idea to explain each of those line items to the lender. In addition, the lender might want you to account for each and every deposit so it can determine whether deposits will continue.
SOLDComparative Market Analysis
Sometimes markets decline and property values fall. If this is part of the reason that you cannot sell your home for enough to pay off the lender, this fact should be substantiated for the lender through a comparative market analysis (CMA). Your real estate agent can prepare a CMA for you, which will show prices of similar homes:
*Active on the market
*Pending sales
*Solds from the past six months.
Purchase Agreement & Listing Agreement
When you reach an agreement to sell with a prospective purchaser, the lender will want a copy of the offer, along with a copy of your listing agreement. Be prepared for the lender to renegotiate commissions and to refuse to allow payment of certain items such as home protection plans or termite inspections.

An Overview of a Quit Claim Deed

The deed to a property is a legal document that establishes ownership. There are different types of deeds. Here is an overview of a quit claim deed.

CLAIMAn Overview of a Quit Claim Deed

Quit claim deeds are a form of deed used in the transfer or sale of property when a grantor, a person who owns an interest in the property, is essentially allowing the transfer of that property to another person. The grantor do not actually own the property but rather simply have responsibility over it. For this reason, grantor have the legal right to sell the property but there is a catch.

The quit claim deed offers little protection for buyers down the road. Although the property will be transferred to the grantee from the grantor, the quit claim deed does not legally protect the grantee from future claims to the property. The grantor does not legally own the property and so that leaves a back door open for potential future problems regarding the property.FLORIDA

Quit claim deeds are often used in a couple of situations due to their relative simplicity compared to many of the other forms that have to be filed during property transfer and/or sales. One, the quit claim deed is used to clear up a title. And two, quit claim deeds are effective for those who want to use a simplistic method for giving up their interests in a certain property.

When used in a sale of a property, quit claim deeds can result in significant risk to the buyers of the property. However, quit HOMEclaim deeds still have other uses that are very beneficial. For instance, in the case where there are multiple people who have claims to a home, such as when a relative passes away, a quit claim deed is an effective way of one of these people to legally transfer their interests in the home to another person. A divorce can create a similar situation, making the quit claim deed very useful.

It is important to be smart about which form of deed you will be using and signing whether you are a seller or a buyer. Know what the potential risks are and the protections that are being offered by the deed so as to better be prepared.

Refinancing Your Home, Why You Should And Why You Would.

There are many people in today’s society that have, for one reason or another, found themselves in massive financial difficulty.

LOANThe reasons for this are widespread but typically include credit card debt, loan debt, Car Loans (believe it or not), or mortgage problems.

All of these things are debt of one type or another and during our study we have found that there is a typical pattern of events surrounding the persons problems. Read on and see if this sounds familiar:

1. Person has a job, not brilliantly paid but a paying job 2. Person feels comfy so gets a loan to buy ‘x’ with (Car, kitchen, holiday, etc) 3. Person then either a. Loses job b. Acquires more loans (because they need more stuff) 4. The debt that they’ve acquired then starts eating away at what ever money was left at the end of the month 5. Person borrows more money to help prop up the existing debts, usually withMORTGAGE credit card spending 6. Points 4 and 5 then get repeated until suddenly the monthly out goings are more than the incoming

And suddenly the person finds themselves in trouble because each month the debt gets bigger and bigger.

Sound familiar?

There are probably some of you reading this thinking ‘What is he talking about?’, rest assured there are those reading this right now having just experienced a cold chill.

One of the options that ‘Person’ usually overlooks is the value of the house that they are living in, a simple mistake (because realistically who wants to gamble the roof over their head?).

There are two clear ways out for Person, he can either sell the property (in which case a series of new problems come to light – like finding somewhere else to live) or more intelligently he could refinance the property (the technical name for this is ‘Refinance Home Equity’ / ’Refinance Home Mortgage’).

REFINANCEMost banks will do this for you (assuming you haven’t already upset them) or you can approach a private company for a ‘Home Equity Loan’.

The thing to remember about refinancing your home (whether ‘Refinance Home Equity’ via a bank or ‘Home Equity Loan’ via a loan company) you are essentially borrowing money against the value of your home, and so if you default on this loan (or remortgage) then you are going to be in real trouble.

To limit the potential for problems you should:

1. Find local refinance companies – they’ll be more sympathetic to your situation 2. Find the best refinance LENDERloan rate or Home Equity Refinance rate 3. Clear credit card debt first – this is typically the most expensive type of loan 4. Don’t refinance just to buy a car – if you’re not doing well don’t go OTT 5. Whether you’re looking at mortgage loans or equity loans be sure to shop around – the larger banks might make an offer to stop you using the smaller refinance provider

This may seem like very simple advice to many people but for some, who have worked themselves into a rut it’s handy to be reminded.

And don’t forget, by intelligent use of credit and refinance you can solve your debt problems.