Tag Archives: Realtor

Exposure is the Name of the Game

Exposure is the key to selling your home fast and getting top dollar.

selling your home

With good exposure your home will be viewed by more people, thereby increasing the chances of an offer on your home. If you are looking to sell your home quickly then it is definitely in your interest to contact a REALTOR®, as it is unlikely that you will be able to generate as much exposure as an experienced professional.

Why is it that a REALTOR® is able to generate so much more exposure than the average homeowner? Part of the explanation can be found in the fact that most REALTORS® have marketing plans that consist of print ads, an online presence, and a network of clients interested in real estate. A second reason is that for many REALTORS® this is a full time job and they are willing to put all their experience and time to the sale of your home. The final reason is that the REALTOR® has access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and through this is able to network with every agent in your market area. As soon as you list your home with a REALTOR® this information is disseminated to all agents in the market, who are then able to match it to buyers that they are working with; maximizing your exposure and minimizing the time it takes to sell your home.

Customer Satisfaction is Key!

How do buyers and sellers select a real estate office and agent?

The customer service home buyers and sellers receive is key in their decision on whom to work with.

Buyers choose firms based on Continue reading

How a Realtor Can Help You

Real estate help from Realtors

How can I or another Realtor help you as a home buyer? One huge way is in assisting you in negotiating your home offer deal!

Just a few of the ways Realtors help:

  • Negotiating better prices and terms of the real estate purchase
  • Finding the right home
  • Determining comparable prices
  • Figuring out affordability
  • Helping make the transaction paperwork make sense

Give me a call at (619) 890-3648 for real estate help; my goal is to help you get into a home of your own!

Negotiating the dealInfographic from CAR.org.

Making an Offer

Time for nervous anticipation. You’ve found the home you want, and your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties Sales Professional says you need to act fast. Yet you want to be as calm and objective as possible. The expertise A Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties Sales Professional can give you at negotiating time is priceless.

bhhs logo

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Watch Out for This Law Expiring: the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act

If you know someone who is upside down or owes more on their property than it is worth of residential real estate, NOW is the time to really take a close, hard look at the law that has saved millions of homeowners over the past several years: the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act that expires on January 1, 2013. Federal and California state guidelines are listed below.

For anyone you know in a modification, I strongly suggest you have your agreement reviewed ASAP with a real estate attorney if you haven’t already.  For a referral, I can help; I keep in contact with several top-quality attorneys and accountants.  The modification agreement in place may circumvent the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act–causing liability for the difference of the home loan on your property of what it is worth, whether you let your home go to foreclosure, or sell the property as a short sale now or after this law expires this year. 

mortgage debt forgiveness relief act

Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief act

Please do yourself, friends, and family a favor–YOU will always be remembered as the knight in shining armor to them if you help them out.  And I can always help to answer any questions about this Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act and the effect it will have on you and them once it expires.  Since short sales can take several months to process in some cases, immediate action is necessary, and with that a financial windfall is possible–even if there is no equity in your property.  Call me now for details–(619) 890-3648!

Below you will find some of the details pertinent to the Federal and California government laws, but there are others as well (not noted here) that will also be expiring.  I am here to help!

New law–Taxable years 2009 through 2012

California law conforms, with modifications, to federal mortgage forgiveness debt relief for discharges that occurred in the tax years of 2007 through December 31, 2012.  The amount of qualifying indebtedness is less than the federal amount, and California imposes a state-only limitation on the total amount of relief excluded from the gross income.  The following summarizes the differences between the Federal and California provisions.

Federal provision applies to discharges occurring in 2007 through the end of 2012, and:

  • Limits the amount of qualified principal residence indebtedness to $2,000,000 for taxpayers who file as married filing jointly, single, head of household, or widow/widower, and to $1,000,000 for taxpayers who file as married filing separately.
  • Does not limit the debt relief amount; it only limits the indebtedness amount used to calculate the debt relief amount.
  • See the Federal law: Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation for more information.

California provision applies to discharges that occurred in 2007 through 2012, and:

Taxable years 2009 through 2012
  • Limits the amount of qualified principal residence indebtedness to $800,000 for taxpayers who file as married/registered domestic partners (RDP) filing jointly, single, head of household, or widow/widower, and to $400,000 for taxpayers who file as married/RDP filing separately.
  • Limits debt relief to $500,000 for taxpayers who file as married/RDP filing jointly, single, head of household, or widow/widower, and to $250,000 for taxpayers who file as married/RDP filing separately.
Taxable years 2007 and 2008
  • Limited the amount of qualified principal residence indebtness to $800,000 for taxpayers who file as married/(RDP) filing jointly, single, head of household, or widow/widower, and to $400,000 for taxpayers who file as married/RDP filing separately.
  • Limited debt relief to $250,000 for taxpayers who file as married/RDP filing jointly, single, head of household, or widow/widower, ad to $125,000 for taxpayers who file as married/RDP filing separately.

You can read more about the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act and Debt Cancellation via the IRS website

If you’re confused still about this law, or need help getting the ball rolling NOW–please give me, John A. Silva, a call.  I would love to help sort this all out for you and save you headaches in the future–call me! (619) 890-3648

ING Steps Up & NFCU Waives Promissory Note

This post is a follow up to my recent one (which you can view here) regarding a short sale with active military personnel.  Another military couple in a new transaction were forced to sell their home due to NFCU’s (Navy Federal Credit Union) refusal to help them keep their home.  NFCU then forced them to accept a Promissory Note when selling their home.

Navy Federal Credit Union logoING Bank, who held the first loan, did not require any money from the seller–after I demanded that the seller would provide no contribution. This references the new California Law, SB 458, which allows the lender to collect for closing costs to the transaction only from the seller. However, this is still a gray area and only an agent who has the necessary experience to negotiate with banks, like myself, is obviously worth more than his weight in gold to anyone who may need to sell (paticulary those with assets to protect).  Those agents experienced enough in this area will make sure that the seller or buyer will not be required to make any contributions. 

The buyer, who was also being forced to contribute in the same transaction to the second loan with Chase, was also permitted to not contribute because of my negotiating ability. Even the buyer’s agent, having seen my emails to the lien holder, confided that he couldn’t believe how much I was able to do on behalf of the buyer. 

The commission was reduced drastically as a result of my negotiations, but more importantly, the banks were able to save money by me negotiation an above-fair market price on the property.  My hope is that more people will realize that I do my utmost to keep buyers’ and sellers’ interests (and assets!) above my own–and if they believe that, that they spread the word that I strive to be the best of the best.

This new short sale with NFCU had a requirement: that to be considered for the short sale, the seller would be required to take back a promissory note (which in this case was $30K after the seller took out over $80K cash when the market was booming). A seller, in this sort of case, by letting their property go to foreclosure, may create a battle for a settlement on that second loan of over $80K, due to there being no equity in the second loan and the first loan being the foreclosing entity.  In cases such as these, a short sale becomes the best alternative to avoiding hiring an attorney to settle this.

On this transaction, this promissory note was approved prior to the passing of SB 458 (which allows no contributions from the seller to the loan that would pay it down, reflecting a deficiency judgment). My persistent communication with this lien holder resulted in a complete forgiveness of the total debt–saving the seller $30K!

Without a properly experienced agent working in the best interests of the seller and buyer, this would have spelled disaster.  Even with working with some of the more experienced agents out there.

For the Best of the Best to represent you–whether selling or buying–call me at (619) 890-3648.  Thank you for reading!

Successful Short Sale Closing Testimonial of a Current Mortgage

Here is a rare closing of a short sale that recently closed that 99% of all real estate agents can not accomplish.  The owners stayed current on their payments and the lender granted an approved short sale on a property that was an investment property.

While this is rare due to the reality that all short sales are only done if the borrower is behind in payments or, if the borrower is current, the mortgage company requires the borrower to stop payments in order for them to look at a short sale for the borrower, there are valid qualified situations that the banks will process the short sale. I have the knowledge and experience for accomplishing this task.

Since I have been doing short sales for 20 years and in two down cycle markets, you or someone you know will benefit dramatically from this result.  The benefits are that the homeowners credit rating will have little to no effect based on the credit reporting agencies guidelines.

testimonial letter

 
“Dear John,

We appreciate very much your assistance–and your crucial role–in both finding and selling the condo property at 4415, 38th in San Diego.  The latter was especially difficult in the current housing market.

We have found you to be hard-working, honest and reliable, alert as to what is going on in the area, and responsive to any of our concerns.  We would certainly recommentd you to prospective buyers and/or sellers.

Please accept the enclosed as a token of our gratitude.
Sincerely, 

Barbara S. K. and John B. K.

P.S. –And thanks for working with Katie.”

For more information and to schedule a private, no-obligation consultation right away, call me now!

 
Talk to me, an agent who has the experience that is helping people beyond what they ever thought was possible.

How to take advantage of a short sale

If you’re shopping for a home with a bargain-basement price, a short sale could be the answer.

This is where a lender allows borrowers who can’t keep up with the mortgage payments to sell their home for less than they owe on the property. The bank or mortgage company approves what you paid to purchase the home and forgives the remaining debt.

How low can you go and still expect a lender to approve the deal?

Lenders usually will accept offers that net at least 82% (after expenses) of the home’s current fair-market value, regardless of what the borrower owes. When there is a 40-50% reduction in price, this does not matter.

Why would a lender do that?

Because lenders will lose less by allowing a short sale to occur, than by going through a foreclosure on the home.

Taking advantage of a short sale is less risky then buying a foreclosure, because so many repossessed homes need tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs. The worst of the bunch have been deliberately vandalized by angry owners just before they were evicted.

Here are 4 smart moves for buying a short sale property:

Smart move 1. Make sure you’re a good candidate for a short sale.

Short sales are all about presenting the lender with a deal that can’t be refused. Banks and mortgage servicing companies are more likely to approve buyers that:

  • Have a substantial down-payment.
  • Have been preapproved for a mortgage.
  • Place no contingencies on their contract, such as having to sell their current home before proceeding with the purchase.

Smart move 2. Hire a real estate agent who’s experienced in short sales.

You need someone who can steer you away from short sales that aren’t likely to succeed.

I will interview the listing agent to determine whether the seller has done everything that’s needed to win lender approval, in addition to and most importantly, finding out what is necessary to put you, the buyer, in the number one position.

You need to know whether the home has been aggressively marketed — the bank won’t like it if the seller hasn’t made a good-faith effort to get a reasonable bid — and whether the bank has received a broker’s price opinion, which it will use to determine the home’s market value.

Smart move 3. Offer the right price.

Short sales aren’t the time or place to do a lot of dickering.  There is competition for these properties, even more so than bank-owned homes that are in great condition.  The difference between the two types, is that short sales will always end up going for less than a bank-owned property.

Lenders don’t have the time or staff to evaluate an endless bunch of bids, each a little higher than the last. If you deliberately lowball a bank or mortgage company, it will just write you off as a waste of time.

You need to come up with a cheap but reasonable offer that the bank or mortgage company will accept, in one try and in a short sale. The agent representing you should be doing the work to make sure you get the best deal. Most of the time on properties that I sell as a short sale, the price accepted is one of the lower offers.

Start by estimating the fair-market value of the home for yourself, using comps (values of comparable properties that have sold near the home in the past few months), then collaborate with your agent for the highest and best offer to submit.

Take the condition of the home into account and reduce your estimate if the home needs repairs. It’s a buyer’s market, and you don’t have to treat a fixer-upper like it’s in pristine condition.

Calculate 90% of the home’s value, throw in a few thousand dollars to cover the lender’s cost of doing a short sale (ask me, your agent, what that typical is for your area), and you have a good starting point.

Now look at the quality of your comps.

If it’s a straightforward deal, and the home has spent no more than three or four months on the market, then you’re good to go. There are variables that can go with this that I can explain for you when we meet.

But if all of the comps are foreclosures that sold within a few weeks of hitting the market, then those may be damaged homes being dumped at fire sale prices, so further investigation is necessary.

You’ll have to adjust your offer upward, perhaps all the way to the full fair-market value calculated with those comps in most cases, but sometimes there may be a quick steal in sight and I can get it for you.

Check how close your offer is to the asking price on the home. Remember, the sellers won’t get any of the money, so they have no incentive to demand an unreasonable price. But unfortunately, sometimes there are unreasonable sellers and I can help get them to be co-operative, even though I am not representing them, to put the price at what you want to pay which will ultimately help the agent representing the seller get the bank to do the same.

They’re just trying to find a price you’ll pay, and one the bank will accept, to relieve them of their debt, but I have a knack for getting the seller and seller’s agent to realize what is necessary in doing the transaction because I have dealt with countless lenders while knowing their tendencies.

From the your perspective, given your agent’s guidance, you’ve probably come to the same conclusions as the seller and their real estate agent, but unfortunately this is not always the case.  It is not about the seller deciding the price; it is about the lender’s decision, while being guided by the real estate agent.  If the listing agent or their hired negotiator are not experienced in handling the process,  I take care in making sure the seller’s agent understands the approach and if the agent isn’t doing the negotiating, then I will speak with the person the listing agent hired and show them how a short sale can be successful.

Smart move 4. Be patient.

It almost always takes longer to close a short sale than a typical sale of a property, because it takes so long for lenders to review and accept your proposal.

There are deals closing in as little as five weeks when the lender has preapproved the short sale and asking price and you agree to meet that price.

But that rarely happens, however, when you hire an agent like me those results go way up!

More often than not, it takes two to four months to get a “yes” from the bank or mortgage servicing company.

Although lenders say they’re trying to process these requests more quickly, there still is a problem because of the lack of knowledge or contacts by the listing agent within a bank that I can help expedite for you the buyer.

__________

Bottom line, buying or selling a property in today’s market requires a skilled and experienced agent.  There is money to be made by sellers even if you are upside down (banks are offering special incentives or thousands of dollars to sellers that most agents do not know about) and discounts to be gotten by buyers, but only with the “RIGHT AGENT”. Call me TODAY!

I’m available at (619) 890-3648 or via email.