Boston Globe -- Real Estate

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Short Sales -- What a buyer should know

I found this article on short sales on About.com its an easy read and very informative:

Short Sales happen when home values fall and sellers do not receive enough cash from a buyer to pay off their existing mortgages, providing lenders agree to take less than the amount owed to them.
On the surface, it may appear that a short-sale buyer is getting a good deal. Although a slim margin of short sales may be profitable for a buyer -- because there are always exceptions -- much of the time, a buyer would be better off buying a home that is not in default.
You are unlikely to hear real estate professionals tell you that it's not a good idea to buy a short sale. In part, that's because real estate professionals profit on a short sale. Everybody makes money except the sellers and buyers. Realize, too, that listing agents might push sellers to list as a short sale, because if the sellers went through foreclosure, the listing agents will not get the listing.
In Sacramento, where I work, for example, many agents ignore short sales like the plague.
Here are 11 Reasons Why Buyers Might Not Want to Buy a Short Sale:

Read More: http://homebuying.about.com/od/4closureshortsales/qt/021208_BuyShort.htm

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pricing your home-- 3 questions to ask yourself


What would make my home more desirable over a foreclosure or perhaps a short sale?

If my home were to be appraised, why would an it be valued more than a short sale or a foreclosure property?

What things could I do to make the exterior look more desirable than all other property's in my direct neighborhood?

In this competitive market you must present your home as "the best deal". That means getting your home in tip-top shape and priced with in the price point of other homes in your neighborhood especially if they are distressed sales. If you offer the best, a buyer is going to gravitate to your property and seal the deal.

The flip side to all of this is that if you have a similar home that is bank owned and needs 20k in work then you might want to increase your home price accordingly. This levels the playing field without loosing $$$'s against a bank owned property.

In my opinion buyers want a combination of things. What tops my list are property's that have excellent value and do not need costly improvements to fit their needs.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Staging and Preparing your home


Preparing your home for sale is a must do in this challenging time in Real Estate. Unlike years past when the boom was going strong and it was a sellers market. You must now adjust to be in a buyers market. What that means to you is making sure your property/home shines far brighter than any other property in your area and price range. Try and think of your home as a person that is competing in a beauty pageant. OK.. you get the picture, only the most beautiful, put together property is going to sell first and sell fast.

Put 1 to 2 months worth of mortgage payments aside for preparing your home in this big competition. That is if you can afford to put away this much cash for updating. Some updating suggestions really cost nothing. The funds you put aside can be put to good use.. things like, paint, landscaping,...etc.

1) De clutter -- its a no brainer but you would be surprised at the amount of stuff we all collect and do nothing with. Approach this task as though you are moving out. If you haven't used it in a year, off to the dump pile or yard sale.

2) Clean, Clean, Clean-- this means washing all floors and having carpets professionally cleaned, wash all windows and if you have siding on your home have it power washed.

3)New welcome Mat and paint your front door with a fresh coat of paint.

4)If you have a yard. Mow and rake, plant new flowers, sweep and power wash your walk way. Adding new mulch can give the appearance of a well maintained property. Ask your local nursery what plants will do best in the type of yard you own. Meaning--Sunny, shaded...etc. They will be able to recommend the best flowers/plants for your dwelling

5) Rooms should have furniture that is in scale with its dimensions. If you have small room instead of a sectional sofa change it to a love seat. Rooms shouldn't look crowded or too sparse.. SCALE SCALE SCALE

6)Remove all personalized pictures, items..etc. Buyers don't want to see who lives in the home. They want to see themselves living there.

7)Repaint rooms that need it. More than likely if the room hasn't seen new paint in 3-4 years a new coat will liven up the dwelling. Stick with neutral colors. Living rooms should be warm. Colors like gold, tan, light coffee. Stay way from bold colors, you may like them but your potential buyers may not.

8)Clean your fireplace.

9)If you have an open floor plan where the living room and dining room are connected add an area rug under your dining table and one in front of your sofa. This will define both area's'

10)Remove as much from your closets as possible and store it under your bed or out of your house. Buyers will often be looking to see how much storage space you actually have. Remember you want an edge over the competition.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Short Sales & Second Mortgages


Great Blog I found a wealth of information-- Written by J.Philip Faranda


New HAFA rules are forcing home sellers to negotiate directly with subordinate liens, or, in common terms, second mortgages, on their own, according to Bankrate.com. The way the rules are written, there is a financial incentive for the 2nd mortgage to settle and release the lien, but the onus of getting assurances that the bank will settle rests on the borrower, which seems incongruous with the intent of the law. If the law is that the bank gets $3,000 from the government to settle, then it is the government who should be getting written assurances that they will indeed settle, not the borrower. The article points out that distressed sellers are already bleaguered and beaten up and in no condition to play hardball with another bank.

I agree. Distressed home sellers ought not do this on their own. They need an advocate, and a 3rd party with experience is very likely going to get a better result than a beaten up home owner. This is what we do, but rather than make this post a commercial I’ll also add that here in New York, the attorney should be on the front lines dealing with the 2nd mortgage as well as the first. The attorneys that we have on our team are excellent; the sellers can rest assured that the arrangements they help negotiate are the very best that can be agreed to. They also read the “fine print” with a fine tooth comb. The devil is in the details in these things, especially in New York.

All short sale agreements from lenders should be in writing, and all short sale agreements from lender should specify that they will not go after the borrower for the difference after closing. Anyone can get a short sale with no assurances of financial security after the closing. It takes a professional to ensure that the seller’s obligations in a short sale end at closing with no residual debt. That is our job, and that is how we do our short sales.

Doing a short sale on your own invites peril. We have done dozens, and that puts you in good hands compared to the guy in the mirror.