Staging an Open House

Houses for sale will receive more offers when an open house is staged correctly. The reason that this works so well is that clearing out the homeowners personal things potential buyers can see their things in the houses for sale easier. To stage a correct open house and receive more offers for the home, there are steps that you must take.

Step one

Look at your home with a buyer’s eye and see what turns you off about the home that can be fixed for a small amount of money and little time. One thing that is an easy fix it change unattractive paint colors. It is best if you choose neutral colors or some shade of white. This makes it easier for a potential buyer to picture the walls done in their favorite colors.

Step two

Once you have any paint issues taken care of look at any fixes that need to be dome to the outdated or dated areas of your home. For example, in the kitchen the cabinets can be updated by just changing the hardware. If they have been painted and the paint is peeling, you should scrape the paint off and either paint them again or varnish them. Although it could be expensive and time consuming if the floor is tile or linoleum and it is stained or cracking you should replace it. No potential buyer wants to walk into a room and see stained, cracked flooring. This goes for the bathroom also. In the bathroom, make sure that if there is tiling around the tub or the shower you need to make sure it is clean, mildew, and mold free. You also need to make sure that the carpet is clean and odor and stain free.

Step three

Many houses for sale have small repairs that will need to be repaired before hosting an open house. Take time to check out every room for any repairs such as loose floorboards, a missing railing on the staircases, cracks in the walls, electrical sockets that do not work, or burnt out lights.

Step four

Rent storage unit and move personal accessories and unneeded furniture to the unit. This can include small or large pieces of furniture that does not need to be in the home, personal collections, and family photos. You can make the rooms look more spacious if you keep the furnishings down to the basics. Make sure that every room serves a purpose like a family room, bedroom, etc. You can add accent pieces but not more than is necessary. These pieces can include plants, artwork, and pottery. Make sure that the lawn is mowed.

Following these tips for a successful open house will get more offers on houses for sale.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How To Sell A House And Lot

There are times you think you are incompetent doing some things that are not your field or expertise. On this venture you come to prove something to yourself. Selling a property is crucial but if done with proper documentation, legitimacy, good faith and consent of both parties buyer and seller, transaction will complete in due time.

In my own venture, it took around ten months more or less to sell a house and lot of the transfer of property from parents to heirs of a clean title. You can seek the assistance of a broker, a lawyer, or a realty firm, among others, to help you with the processing of papers. Each office takes two, three or a month to stamp approval or release.

In the process of documentation, you need a set of photocopies of applications, receipts, affidavits, claim stubs, and other certificates. Label them in safe folders and keep in a bag so any time an office requires a copy, you have one available. Should a file be lost, certified true copies could be sought from the proper government offices.

Here are three steps from Attorney Glicerio Alarkon Jr. (San Beda College of Law), of whom I sought help for my papers.

„1 Settle the estate tax where the property of the decedent is located at the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

2 Secure a new title under the heirs at the Registry of Deeds or Land Registration Authority.

Before securing a new title under the heirs at the Registry of Deeds, you have to pay the transfer tax at the City Hall.

3 After all these steps, the property is now ready for sale!“

So after the lawyer’s advise, here is how the papers got processed selling a property. To save on brokers fees, I worked on my own selling a house and lot.

Initially, before step one, real property taxes must be paid every year, but if taxes have accrued and the interest charges are onerous, owners can claim and wait for a tax amnesty or pay in installment. Keep real property tax receipts.

In step one, once the estate tax have been paid, the Bureau of Internal Revenue will issue a certificate authorizing registration. From here, you can go step two.

Other documents you may need are publishers affidavit, an extrajudicial settlement of estate, tax account numbers, government identification cards, valid identification cards, and a special power of attorney from the Consulate General of the country where the other heirs reside if the heirs are living abroad. For example, our extrajudicial is from the Consulate General of the Philippines in San Francisco, California, USA. Also, death certificates of parents, and sometimes, birth certificates of heirs from the National Statistics Office have to be prepared. Save some money for notary fees and transportation, among others.

The last step is the Deed of Sale. With this, the seller should pay the capital gains tax. Payment of the property can be made in cash or check. However, verification from the bank is necessary, if payment is in check. You will need a lawyer to help you during this transaction. Also, you will need the bank’s assistance for safety. Should the money be of material amount seek the help of a police officer. Truly, the help of good workers!

Remember a good sale happens in an honest deal! My mission accomplished! Thanks be to God!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

EIFS – Synthetic Stucco Cost – Price – A Lucrative Investment

Whether you’re planning to renovate your house to increase curb appeal for potential buyers or live in your home for the rest of your life, renovating with synthetic stucco will give you the greatest ROI (return on investment) for your money. The aesthetic value of EIFS alone causes a home to stand out as a gem among it’s neighbors to create a lasting first impression. However, it doesn’t stop at first impressions, as a new siding on your house is ranked the top home renovation in terms of „Cost vs. Value“. If that wasn’t enough, any money not initially recovered via increased home valuation is made up by significant reductions in your heating and cooling bills, putting money back in your pocket for years to come.

The most obvious benefit of synthetic stucco is it’s beauty. No siding exists which can match it’s wide range of textures, colours and design options. From your charmingly basic EIFS with flat trim, right through to the dentil’d cornices, columns, pilasters, keystones, flowers and elaborate moldings of multi-million dollar homes clad in synthetic stucco. This „aesthetic value,“ although difficult to translate into actual dollars, is invaluable in it’s ability to bolster that all-important „first impression“ of your house and make it stand out to potential buyers. This curb appeal is not only for potential buyers however; home owners with recently finished EIFS happily recount (with a big smile) instances of hitherto unseen neighbors stopping by their house to pay them a compliment, express their envy and seek a referral.

From your charmingly basic EIFS with flat trim, right through to … multi-million dollar homes clad in synthetic stucco.

Many factors of EIFS (such as aesthetic value and being safe from mold) cannot be measured in dollar value, but there is a direct cost vs. value according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2007 „Cost vs. Value Report.“ In this highly-regarded report detailing costs of various home remodeling projects and their return on investment at resale time, fiber-cement siding (like EIFS) come in at the (not surprising) number one position, with an astounding return of 88.1%. This means that on a $15,000.00 EIFS renovation, your home’s value increases immediately by $13,215.00 vs. $9,900.00 for a comparable $15,000.00 bathroom addition (66.0% cost recoup). In reality, a synthetic stucco renovation blows others out of the water in terms of value because…

This means that on a $15,000.00 EIFS renovation, your home’s value increases immediately by $13,215.00 vs. $9,900.00 for a comparable $15,000.00 bathroom addition

Adding EIFS to your home results in significant energy savings. Home owners typically report a 25%-40% reduction in their energy bills due to the higher insulation value of their walls. The method by which synthetic stucco reduces heat loss/gain is 2 fold. Primarily, it’s insulation prevents heat penetration through walls, and secondarily, acts as an air barrier — preventing air flow and therefore heat transfer. This means that less heat is lost during the cold season, and less heat penetrates into your home during the warm season — a double benefit for those living in Canada and the upper states. Looking at a typical annual heating/cooling bill of around $2,500.00 and a minimum of 25% reduction, the average home owner can expect to get back $625.00 every year. Again looking at our $15,000.00 EIFS renovation and subtracting the increase in home valuation ($13,215.00), it has only cost $1,785.00. At a rate of $625.00 per year in energy savings, you are „out of the red“ in only 3 years ([3 * $625.00 = $1,875.00] – $1,785.00 = $90.00.)

Looking at a typical annual heating/cooling bill of around $2,500.00 and a minimum 25% reduction, the average home owner can expect to get back $625.00 every year.

Whether planning to renovate with EIFS to attract home buyers or simply to intelligently invest in your greatest asset, you can rest assured you’re making the right choice. After having fully paid off your investment in 3 years, you’ll have an asset which generates approximate 4.2% ($625.00 / $15,000.00) ROI for a 25% reduction in heating/cooling costs, and 6.7% ($1,000.00 / $15,000.00) for a 40% reduction (after 2 years). This energy saving is a huge plus for home buyers, who are also increasingly becoming environmentally conscientious and will adore the freshly renovated exterior of your home.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Top 10 Tips For Buying Cheap Textbooks Online

Short of money? (Dumb question, I know). Trying to figure out how are you going to afford all the textbooks for your next term? Are you creating new economic theories to balance your scarce budget?

Then you are probably not taking advantage of the very best, more efficient way to get your textbooks cheap, and I mean really cheap.

Search and buy online. That’s it. That’s the secret. And to make sure you get the best value out of it, I’m giving you below the Top 10 Tips for buying textbooks online.

1. Buy early. Don’t wait for the first day of classes to go and find the books you need. That’s the moment when demand increases and, inevitably, prices increase with it. Textbooks sell fast and furiously over that short period of time and the effort required to get the best offers then is far greater than the effort necessary just a couple of weeks before.

If your college or university doesn’t supply the textbook lists in advance, don’t despair, contact former students from the course you want to take, or even the professors themselves, and ask them for the books you should buy. That little extra effort will certainly be worth your while.

2. Buy used. Secondhand textbooks are cheaper. That’s an undeniable fact. It is not unusual to find savings in excess of $50 against list prices.

3. Consider older editions. Often times, books on classical physics, chemistry or biology remain virtually the same for years. If you are willing to use older editions you could find books for as little as $1. Not sure if the International Edition will cut it? Contact your course tutor and ask. Chances are he’ll even recommend an older book.

4. International Editions. An International Edition is a textbook that has been published outside the US and Canada and is meant to be purchased and used outside the US and Canada. International Editions are generally drastically cheaper than their American/Canadian counterparts. Here’s the catch, the publishers of International Editions generally do not authorize the sale and distribution of International Editions in the United States and Canada and such sale or distribution may violate copyrights and trademarks of the publishers of such works.

5. Use the ISBN number to boost the effectiveness of your searches. Every book published since 1970 has a unique ISBN, using it instead of the author and/or title will make your searches faster and 100% accurate.

6. Free shipping. Look for free shipping sellers when you are shopping around. Even though shipping within the US is generally under $4, or perhaps because of it, more and more sellers are keen to offer free shipping to potential customers in order to convert them into customers. This translates approximately as an additional 10% discount off a $40 book or 5% discount off an $80 one.

7. Shop around. I know you know that already, anyway, let me say it again, just in case you just landed on Earth from another planet 10 minutes ago. Compare prices from, at least, three different sellers before you make up your mind. If you want to compare online booksellers, you can go to Bookfinder.com. In order to compare thousands of booksellers around the world you can go to Abebooks.com the world’s largest marketplace for books.

8. Buy local. Check where the bookseller you are buying from is located before closing the deal. The nearer the better as shipping cost goes down, the planet is happier and greener and your community will certainly appreciate the extra business.

9. Sell back your old textbooks after you are finished with them. Chances are the same online bookseller that you bought your books from is willing to buy them back, just go to their site and look for their buyback program. Generally, shipping the books is free and payment is immediate upon reception. This one sells itself, doesn’t it?

10. Treat your textbooks well. Don’t use them as umbrellas or to kill that gigantic spider that appeared from nowhere inside the bathtub. Don’t write the name of your love interest all over it alongside little hearts and don’t use it as a canvas when you feel that artistic urge. Remember, you might want to sell them later and the better the condition of the book the more money you receive for it.

Follow these tips and I guarantee you will find more money in your pockets, more time in your hands and, of course, the satisfaction of having joined the 21st century, at last.

Buy online, you’ll never go back.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How Do I Find a Reputable Real Estate Agent?

One of the most important things to do when purchasing a home is to find a great real estate agent to make the process flow smoothly and effectively. A question many people ponder is how to find a good real estate agent. The best agent may not necessarily work at one of the top ten agencies in the area. The agent who will work best for you would be an experienced agent who will listen to your needs, act in a professional and ethical manner and knows the market in your area.

1.)Word-of-Mouth or Referral

Most real estate professionals attract a sizable amount of business because of a satisfied client who recommends them to a friend, family member or neighbour. When you are thinking of purchasing a home, it is a good idea to ask those around you who they have used and ask them to elaborate on their specific experience with the real estate agent in question. Successful real estate agents strive to make customer satisfaction their number one priority and will do everything they can to facilitate a good experience for a customer. Try to find an agent that has a proven track record and reputation for delivering quality service, customer satisfaction, and have experience in the neighbourhoods that you are looking in.

2.) Do an Online Search For Real Estate Agents

There are many online resources available when searching for a real estate agent referral, but this by no means ensures quality. The agents referred online may have paid a fee to the website owner to be listed in the directory. Performing a Google search of the top agents in your area and then reviewing their websites will give you a good list of agents to interview. Agents who have experience in the field will tell you, but a newer agent will more than likely have the extra time to spend working with you. Review any customer testimonials or feedback about an agent you may be interested in retaining.

3.) Visit Open Houses in the Area

You should visit some area open houses where you can actually meet with a potential agent in a non-threatening manner. Here you can see how they work, collect business cards, formulate an opinion and talk with them on a personal basis. If you are thinking about selling a home, pay close attention to how the agent presents the home. Make sure the agent is polite, informative, approachable and professional. Does the agent promote the home by handing out professional looking feature sheets or other related materials? Is the agent trying to play up the features that make the home more enticing? Or is the agent in the corner, back turned and uninvolved in the whole scenario?

4.) Pay Attention to Real Estate Signs

Carefully monitor the real estate signs in your neighbourhood. Observe how long from the day they go up until the home is actually sold. An agent who has a high sales turnover might be a better choice than an agent who has lots of for sale signs but few sold signs. An agent who gets results is what you want.

5.) Why Agents Use Printed Advertising

There are two main reasons real estate agents use printed advertisement. First is to advertise and sell a specific piece of realty. Secondly, advertising is used to promote the agent handling the transaction. By checking the local Sunday real estate ads in your neighbourhood and then checking the agents website, you can find the agents who may specialize in your particular neighbourhood. Contact the agent and inquire about their expertise and ask any other relative questions you may have.

6.) Seeking Recommendations from Other Realty Professionals

Ask around and seek out other real estate agents for a referral. Most agents are happy to refer a buyer or seller to another associate, if the service you require is not a specialty they can provide. Some agents only specialize in resale property, while others work predominantly with the sale of new homes. Other agents work exclusively with commercial or investment properties. Mortgage brokers are a great resource for agent referrals; many brokers have first-hand knowledge and can point you in the direction of a top-quality real estate agent and remember professionals tend to refer like-minded peers. There is also typically a referral fee involved for the referring professional so be careful that they refer you to the best Agent not the one that pays the highest referral fee.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

German Shorthaired Pointer – Pros and Cons of Owning This Versatile Pet

Pluses and Minuses of Owning a German Shorthaired Pointer

The German Shorthaired Pointer is going to be a great pet as well as a good hunting buddy. It is an especially good hunting dog as they will retrieve both on land and in the water. This well balanced dog is perfect for someone who is looking for an outdoor companion as well as a family pet. Consider the information below when choosing whether or not one of these versatile dogs will be the right pet for you and your family.

Pros:

If you have a very active, happy family, the German Shorthair may be just the family pet you are looking for. This breed of dog is one that likes to be active and is going to have a high amount of energy on a daily basis. You will need to have room for your pet to run free and burn some of its energy every day. If you do not have this type of space, another breed will probably be more to your lifestyle. Without lots of exercise this pet will get bored which leads to destructiveness or escapism. They can clear a 6 foot fence so make sure they have plenty of room to run or if you can frequently take them where they can.

The GSP is an intelligent dog with exceptionally good temperament. This makes it an ideal choice as a pet that will get along well with children and other pets. They love being around people and are eager to please. If you want a dog that will learn tricks this one will fill the bill.

If you are looking for a great family pet that doubles as a good watch dog look no further than the German Shorthair. They adapt to their living conditions easily and with minimal training, will adapt to the needs that you have. While these dogs have too much energy to be good house dogs they will be somewhat happy to be inside if they are able to get plenty of exercise by running with you or with your bicycle. They are happiest when they can run when they want so try to have a large yard to put them in.

The grooming of the GSP is minimal as it sheds occasionally which keeps you from being too occupied with brushing of a long haired dog. The best thing for your dogs coat is to wash it every few months as well so there is no need for constant bathing. They like water so a dip occasionally will take care of most of the need for bathing.

Cons:

The trouble with owning a German Shorthair is that you are in need of constant exercise for your dog. If you are someone who lives on their own and who is at work the majority of the time, you will find that you have an unhappy dog who is not satisfied with being locked up in a home by itself all day long. If you are looking for a dog that enjoys being inside and is not too energetic look at getting another breed of dog.

If you don’t have a large yard you will doing this pet a great disservice as they like to be in almost constant motion. If you let them in the house be sure you have a fairly large one as these as fairly good sized. They like to play and often forget they are inside which can cause a lot of damage.

The GSP is not a pet that you can leave in the house by itself for any length of time as they get bored and can be quite destructive. If you do have to leave it indoors you should teach it to stay in a crate or better yet put it in the garage. If it likes to play with toys be sure they are put in with it along with plenty of water. Dog proof it as much as possible first though.

The German Shorthairs are ordinarily hardy dogs but some are prone to several problems such as epilepsy, and hip dysplasia along with a few other minor ones your vet can make you aware of and can be watched for.

If you are looking for an intelligent, active family pet that likes to hunt and roam the outdoors you won’t go wrong with a German Shorthaired Pointer. They are very high energy so make sure you can provide them outlets for this or they won’t be very happy.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

5 Golden Rules of Short Selling Stocks

Golden rules are really special rules that you should always keep in mind and do not forget. These are very important and useful guideposts to keep us on course and headed in the right direction.

When you define your goals, begin looking for the key rules that connect with it. Chart your course by these investment principles and let them steer you to achievement and success.

Here are 5 of the most useful Golden Rules that apply to short selling stocks.

Golden Rule # 1, Do not short stocks based on valuation alone.

The tried and tested reason for carrying it out like this is that momentum can rule the day for many months and even years. Especially in a speculative market, valuation can be ignored for long periods of time. Remember,“the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent“.

Golden Rule # 2, Look for a catalyst.

It’s best to handle this carefully because stocks can levitate in the absence of bad news. Make sure you understand that you should have a catalyst as part of your short thesis. Is there fraud that will be revealed? Will the company likely miss revenue or earnings estimates in the coming quarter? You need some piece of bad news that will most likely drive the stock lower.

Golden Rule # 3, Study the short interest of your targeted stock.

You can find reasons you should do this carefully. It’s important because a crowded short can create extremely painful squeezes. For example, even some of the most successful hedge fund managers such as Steve Cohen and David Einhorn lost major money when Porsche stock rocketed in a matter of days.

Golden Rule # 4, Be Contrarian.

If you would like you could get this done by looking at investor sentiment, the put call ratio, or simply observing whether mainstream media is unanimously bullish about a stock. However, you should remember that you need more than fundamental analysis to have a successful short. You also need to anticipate when the bullish longs may start to fear their positions and rush to the exits.

Golden Rule # 5, Don’t short if you are an amateur investor

Ways to accomplish this step include using put options instead of outright shorting. Shorting stocks involves the potential for unlimited losses and only professionals should engage in shorting. You will need to accomplish this carefully. It is an entirely different skill set to be able to analyze the value of put options.

Have confidence and believe in these Rules to short selling stocks. They’ve been time-tested and have absolutely been proved to be true. Follow them carefully and then your ultimate success will likely be assured and your satisfaction greater.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Huge Profits From Short Sales – Fantastic Pre-Foreclosure Tool For Savvy Investors

Louisville realtors, investors and debtors facing foreclosure ask me from time to time how short sales work. Consider this a primer.

I recently brokered the sale of a house for $85,000 to an investor. The house appraised for $120,000, giving the investor substantial immediate equity. The lender took a $60,000 loss. The owner/seller was forced to sell his house, for which he received not one red cent, and had to move into rental. How is it that all parties walked away from the closing table satisfied?!

In the beginning…

When a home owner owes his lender more than he has borrowed, he’s said to be „upside down on his mortgage“. This can come about in many ways, the principal amongst them occurring when he simply stops making mortgage payments, often because he is in serious financial difficulty. If his mortgage payment is $1,000 per month, and he stops paying, or pays intermittently, the fines, interest and principle can rack up pretty quickly. And if the owner can’t pay the mortgage, chances are he hasn’t been able to make necessary repairs to his home. This situation is almost invariably accompanied by despondency, which again leads to neglect of the house.

Stir into the mix bankruptcy, and perhaps divorce, and you’ll understand it’s not surprising to find the homes of these owner/debtors are often seriously degradated. That leaky roof is probably the last of the owner’s problems.

The „F“ word

Foreclosure. It’s not a happy prospect for the lender or the borrower. Lenders have different tolerances for late payments. However by the time the debtor is late for the fourth consecutive month the vast majority of lenders begin foreclosure proceedings. In Kentucky the foreclosure sale of the home by public auction takes generally anywhere from 6 months to a year from the time the foreclosure procedures began. It can take longer – I saw one artful debtor drag on the foreclosure proceedings for more that 20 months! Her mortgage payment was $1,300 a month. After 20 months that became a significant debt compounded by late fees, interest, legal costs, and the potential cost of selling the property at a public foreclosure sale. To say nothing of the continuing, moment by moment deterioration of the property. By the time she moved out the bank had written off in excess of $80,000.

The lender’s and borrower’s conflicting interests

Capitalism is a wonderfully contrived system. It hands not only the power-barons a potent array of weapons with which to fight, but also the poor and destitute. Though the battlefield is nowhere near even, double digit interest thrust too deeply down an indigent debtor’s throat may precipitate his „nuclear“ retaliatory option – Chapter 7 bankruptcy. And so these two, symbiotically entwined, are locked in an elegant dance, teetering between dividends and disaster, profit and poverty. One serious mis-step, and the band stops playing.

Thus, from years of bitter experience, lenders have learned that it’s often better (cheaper) to attempt to gain the cooperation of the owner and have him agree to voluntarily sell and vacate his home, rather than evict him under foreclosure. Lenders also understand that the chance of ever recovering the money owed to them by the debtor is slim. But many debtors choose not to sell because, around the time they realize they will never catch up on their payments, they often have another „Ah Ha!“ flash of insight: that if they stop paying their mortgage and just wait for the foreclosure axe to fall (or better yet, engage in a hatfull of tricks to keep that axe at bay) they can live „rent free“ for at least 6 months. So now the debtor turns from borrower to squatter, perceiving it to be in his best interest to prevent the foreclosure for as long as possible. And if the house, the lender’s „security“, should fall apart in the meantime, so be it.

The solution

The lender is in a position to offer the borrower a very important concession for his cooperation: to write off the entire debt if the borrower finds a buyer to buy the house at a price and terms acceptable to the lender, within the time stipulated by the lender. This is the essence of a short sale. Lenders set their own guidelines for what they will accept. They may say they need to get fair market price, but will in fact often be prepared to sell for much less. They do not want to chance selling this house at auction and risk receiving a very low price. Or worse yet, receive a bid so low that the property does not meet their reserve price, and they end up owning the property. In this case the property is administered by the lender’s REO (real estate owned) department, which will then list the property with a realtor. And the cycle begins again……

The Lender initially said The Willows house was worth $120,000, and wanted it sold at about that price. It got the $120,000 figure from someone it had hired to do a BPO. BPO is short for „Broker’s Price Opinion.“ It is similar to a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) and serves the same purpose: to arrive at a fair market value for a property. Most are done as a „drive-by,“ meaning that the „driver“ (usually a realtor, maybe an appraiser) drives by the outside of the property, takes one to three photos and leaves. He then completes the lender’s BPO form on-line and e-mails it with the picture. Sometimes an „internal“ is requested, in which case the realtor goes into the property, takes about 3 internal and 3 external photos and sends these through to the lender with the completed BPO form.

When the debtor had realized he would not be able to save his house in The Willows, he contacted me to see if I could help. He did not want a foreclosure on his credit report, which would have prevented him from getting a conventional mortgage for three years. Even with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the wait period is only 2 years from dismissal. He also wanted to have his debt forgiven. I was able to accomplish both these goals, saving him about sixty thousand dollars.

The short sale process

As a Realtor, the first thing I did was explain to my client all his theoretical options, including deed in-lieu of foreclosure, loan renegotiation and others. He settled on short sale. I listed The Willows property, and had him sign an authorization for me to contact the lender to see if it would agree to a short sale. Remember, when I list the property, the owner/debtor is my client (not customer). This means I must always act in his best interest. The lender is not my client and I owe it no such duty. In a normal sale the seller and buyer have greatly divergent interests: the seller wants to sell at the highest possible price, and the buyer wants to buy at the lowest. In a short sale there is no such contest between the parties: the seller wants to sell at any price the lender will accept, and will generally agree to any price offered, contingent upon the lender’s acceptance. So in a short sale, the lender takes on the mantle of „seller“ vis-a-vi the buyer and these are really the parties who negotiate the contract. Now get your head around this one: as listing agent in a short sale I am often in the peculiar position of actively attempting to negotiate for the sale at the lowest possible price acceptable to the buyer! (But always with the caveat that this is in the seller’s best interest, and does not jeopardize the sale). This anomaly has many ramifications for the way I conduct and negotiate these transactions.

Price, Terms and Timing

Price: So how much will the lender lop off that price? I’ve generally found that as the day of auction approaches, lenders become more malleable. Pretty inefficient, because they loose a lot of time and money that way. I supplied the lender of The Willows property with objective material indicating that the drive-by BPO was inaccurate, given the condition of the house. The lender then had an internal BPO done. That was key to getting this particular deal done. I also sent off photos and comps of my own. In some cases I’ve sent the lenders well over 100 photos. Pictures speak louder than words, and it’s critical, when the property is damaged, that the lender understand the shape it’s in. Remember – the BPO realtor may be doing up to 50 BPOs a week – he could care less about this one deal. But as listing agent I need to keep the lender informed of all issues that coincide with my client’s best interests. The second Willows BPO came back at $100,000, and the lender initially tried to obtain that figure. Ultimately, with the foreclosure sale due to occur the next day, it reduced that amount to 80% of the $100,000 plus $5,000 to pay off non-mortgage related liens. At 4.50 pm the lender agreed to stop the foreclosure sale scheduled for 11.00 am next morning.

But hey, it ain’t over ‚til the fat lady sings! Because the loss on this loan was $60,000, and because the lender had authority to settle up to $30,000 only, we had to wait for final word from the mortgage insurance company, which we eventually obtained, but not without many hours additional work.

As you see, the price of The Willows property was determined by the lender looking at the bottom line – how much net it would receive. And in order to get this number, all lenders in short sales request a „fake HUD-1“ or a „net sheet“ submitted simultaneously with the offer. In a normal real estate transaction the HUD-1 is drawn up at the end of the transaction, after agreement is reached. – in a short sale the title search is performed immediately upon listing, even before there’s an offer, so that the figures can be applied to the net sheet as soon as needed.

Terms: The most common terms distinguishing these deals are that the lender often requires terms such as „sold as is“ and „proof of finance or funds required with offer“, and to protect the seller, the realtor should insert terminology indicating seller’s acceptance is subject to release from all liability for debt. None of this is carved in stone, and I’ve negotiated repairs and other concessions from lenders. Each case is unique. Paper will suffer any indignity – write the offer!

Timing: The REO, Foreclosure and Bankruptcy departments often appear to be understaffed and overwhelmed, so don’t expect instant responses. Some will take weeks to reply. Make sure the buyer and seller understand this. But once a deal is struck, the lender will often expect an unreasonably quick closing, and will attempt to penalize you with days interest for closing after a certain date. This all goes back to the net sheet calculations; because you have informed the lender how much it will receive by a certain date, it then attempts to hold the line at that date, even though they are generally very slow to respond. The Willows lender, after having not responded to multiple contacts, gave us just 2 days within which to close! Fortunately we well prepared, but it was very close.

Closing Note

The tax consequences of short sales fall outside the scope of this article. If you want info on how to handle competing offers, dual limited agency within this environment, or need a copy of the net sheet I use, you may contact me.

Update

Here’s a new twist. A couple of weeks ago I submitted a $235,000 offer to a lender on a short sale, (Seller owes about $275,000) which the lender ultimately accepted. However, in it’s acceptance letter, at the very bottom of the sheet, the lender stipulated that it retained its right of recourse against the seller/borrower (my client)! And this despite seemingly contrary language in the main body of the letter. I explained to the lender that the ONLY reason my client had agreed to the short sale (and not to jerk the lender around in the bankruptcy proceedings) was because he expected to obtain a complete release from all liability at closing. After a weeks or so of wrangling, attorneys etc, the lender „saw the light“ and agreed to the release.

CMA

Though the information provided is considered reliable, it is not complete, nor warranted accurate. Always consult your broker or an attorney.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Can I Represent Myself Against Foreclosure Fraud? Yes, It Is Called Pro Se: "By Myself"

„DON’T FIGHT THE PROBLEM… DECIDE IT“

„George C. Marshall“

Nearly all Borrowers who have contacted me about an imminent, or already taken place, foreclosure believed that it was imperative that they find an attorney to represent them in a court foreclosure action. For three years I believed the same thing. Many judges will suggest it so strongly that a borrower believes that it is actually a law, which it is not. But, it does make sense that we believe it. We see it on TV, in the news, magazines, and, of course, most attorneys will tell that you need an attorney

But, the reality is that this so-called mortgage melt down is so big and is rife with illegal and criminal behaviour that defies what most people regard as normal, there are few, very few, attorneys that can win for a borrower.

Attorneys, for the most part, are not familiar with the subject of Mortgage Fraud. Certainly not as familiar as they will lead you to believe I have resented this fact for a very long time. As I said, most of my clients have been advised by a judge or an attorney that they absolutely must have an attorney. They are right, except for one thing. Shouldn’t that read „they absolutely must have a Good Attorney?“

You are not better off with an uninformed attorney representing you.

Can you afford an attorney at this time? What if you think you are unable to pay an attorney? Should that automatically mean that you have no choice but to leave your home?

Well, there is another way. You don’t have to hire an attorney to start the fight to save your home. In my opinion you cannot win with 99.9% of the attorneys in your state anyway. If that is not true, then why do we hear so much about mortgage fraud and so little about the victims of mortgage fraud winning their cases?

The reason you don’t know what to do, is because trials and courts are not your areas of expertise. But, you can be strong if you get the right kind of help. You can do a lot of what an attorney should do at the beginning of the threat of foreclosure. You can do it as Pro Se, which means „I am representing myself“ if you have the right help and accurate information.

You can learn how to use your constitutional civil rights to force the courts to treat you in a fair way.

I now believe that finally you actually have the advantage. But, like anything new you must learn the rules to play the game.

DON’T MOVE FROM YOUR HOME WITHOUT IT BEING A FAIR FIGHT! YOU CAN WIN.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Stage Your Home for "Yourself"

Many people have a horizon for when they’ll be selling their homes. It could be a year, two years, or five years. The family is growing and they need larger quarters… the kids are grown and they want to downsize… the home is too large as they get older… Florida is alluring… or whatever the reason. When the time comes to put the home on the market, they go all out painting, updating and replacing.

Why put all that money, time, and effort into the home for a new owner? Instead, put that money, time, and effort into a home you’ll enjoy for however long you stay there. When I’ve staged homes for clients who are getting ready to put their homes on the market, I’ve heard so many say, „I wish I had done that sooner so I could have enjoyed it.“ Don’t be one of those people.

Take a Good Look at Your Kitchen

An overhaul to your kitchen can be very costly, but there are a few small changes that will make a major difference.

• The least expensive thing to do is give your kitchen a new coat of paint in a color that works with the color of your counters and cabinets.

• Replacing cabinets can be expensive. If your cabinets are out of date or in need of re-doing, think about painting them and changing the knobs, handles, and hinges. That alone can make a big difference.

• Countertops can be another costly investment. If yours are worn or in need of replacement, think about going with a laminate instead of investing in granite or other high-end countertops. Laminates have come a long way in recent years; they offer a wide variety of colors and textures.

• Take all the clutter off your refrigerator door. A refrigerator door looks messy when it’s covered with your kid’s school schedules, magnets, photos, calendars, or anything else. Instead put these items in the inside a door, closet, or cabinet.

• Organize the cupboards and pantry. Remove excess stuff-you know the items you haven’t used in years and probably never will.

• Choose an attractive centerpiece for your kitchen table. Use a vase of flowers, a bowl full of fruit, a ceramic or glass piece, or anything else that appeals to your taste.

• Add a plant or two plants to liven up the room.

Now, Take a Look at Your Bathroom

The appeal of a lovely bathroom can remind you of a luxury hotel or soothing spa. You can create a taste of that in your bathroom.

• Any bathroom can be instantly transformed by adding beautiful, soft towels that you display decoratively. You can purchase a wall-wine rack, roll the towels, and place them where the wine bottles would go. Or you can roll a few towels in a basket with fragrant soaps, bath oils, natural loofahs, and candles to create a spa-like atmosphere.

• Clear off the counters. That includes toothbrushes, the jar of cotton balls, the roll of paper towels, and everything else that clutters the counter. (Instead of having everything on the counter, go to a store such as the Container Store where you’ll find all sorts of caddies, shelves, holders, and de-clutter items.) Get an attractive soap dish or use liquid soap with a dispenser for the bathroom counter.

• If your tub is old and worn and the tiles in your shower are no longer attractive, you can call a company such as Bath Fitter to install a new tub and wall right over the old one. Bath Fitter claims to do the installation in just one day.

• Mirrors often de-silver after years in the bathroom. Replace them, perhaps with mirrors with a lovely frame.

• Replace the faucets, knobs or door pulls, and towel racks for an updated look.

• Include a vase with flowers, pussy willows, or leaves. Either pick them from your garden or get silk ones.

In and Around the House

Take a look around your home to see what else you may be able to update or redo:

• If your wooden floors are worn or dirty from all the years of walking on them, it’s time to have them sanded and coated with polyurethane.

• If your carpets are stained or no longer look clean, it may be time to have them professionally cleaned or replaced.

• If your wallpaper is peeling (and that generally starts at the seams), it’s time to remove the paper and re-paper or paint?

• If your walls are full of fingerprints from the kids or the paint isn’t looking fresh and clean, it’s time to repaint.

Look Outside

• If shingles on your roof are coming lose, it’s time to have the roof looked at and perhaps redone.

• If your driveway has excessive cracks, it may be time for a topcoat or more.

• If you have shutters, make sure the paint is fresh and the shutters they’re attached firmly to the house.

• If your shingles or anything on the outside creates an eyesore, take corrective action.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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