Tag Archives: residence

Four steps to buying a house in 2012

Q: I am on a mission to buy a home. I’ve wanted to own a home my entire life, and thought I would miss the opportunity to buy while the market was down, because I had no real savings when the market crashed. I think I’m ready, though, and prices still seem low. What should I be doing now to make this happen in 2012?

A: The recession has done lots of favors for buyers-to-be, including dropping prices and interest rates to bargain levels. But it has also created a lending and housing market climate in which loans are tough to get, tensions about buying into a down market run high, and transactions are harder and longer to close than they have ever been.

Here are the things to do now, to buy a home this year:

1. Fix credit problems. More deals than ever are dying on the vine, and credit problems are a top reason home-sale transactions fall out of escrow. Detect and correct errors on your credit report now by reviewing the federally mandated free reports you can get at AnnualCreditReport.com.

2. Study up. Do some research, both online and offline, into things like:

Areas: Start your online research into decision points like tax rates, school districts, neighborhood character and even prices in various areas. Check out NabeWise.com for some local insight into neighborhood flavor and personality.

When you start connecting with local agents, ask them to brief you on neighborhood market dynamics. They can give you a deeper view into need-to-knows like how long homes typically stay on the market and whether they generally go for more or less than the asking price, so you can be smart about how you search vis-à-vis what you have to spend.

Agents: This is the perfect time to ask your family and friends for a referral to an agent they know, have used and love. Then, follow up by doing an online search for the agent’s name and seeing what sort of online reviews and activities you find. When you’ve narrowed the field down to a few, call them up and set up a meeting to find out if you’re a good fit.

Distressed properties: In some areas, more than 40 percent of the homes on the market are short sales and foreclosures, and they involve a very different timeline and set of facts than traditional home sales. Read up and talk with the agent candidates you interview about what you should expect from these types of listings, to minimize surprise and manage your expectations way in advance.

3. Save even more. Sounds like you’ve worked hard for a number of years to save enough cash that you think you’re in the clear when it comes to funding your down payment and closing costs. Studies show that after months of saving, people often let up and relax into a spending season. Even at your early stage in the process, it’s easy to start noticing and buying the furnishings and touches you want to install in your new home.

Although you shouldn’t feel deprived or forgo amazing and affordable deals on things you know you’re going to need, rest assured that no matter what amount of cash you have on hand, when you start house hunting, making offers, closing your transaction or moving in, the time will definitely come when you’ll wish you had more.

You might want to ratchet up your offer a bit to best another buyer, or you might just end up with a place that needs a little sprucing up. It might be months before you know exactly what you’ll need extra cash for, but now is not the time to press the gas pedal when it comes to your monthly spending.

4. Purge. Now’s the time to sell, donate or give away as much of your personal possessions as you can. Use the proceeds to pad your cash cushion, or tuck the donation receipts away for your tax records next year.

Start here, and chances are good that your house hunt — and purchase — will be in full swing by spring, if not sooner.

Tara-Nicholle Nelson is an author and the Consumer Ambassador and Educator for real estate listings search site Trulia.com.

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.

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 takes whatever you pay to purchase
the home and forgives the remaining debt.
Short Sale
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, says Tim Harris, co-founder of Harris Real Estate University in Las Vegas.

Why would a lender do that?

Because it will lose less by allowing a short sale than by going through a foreclosure.

Taking advantage of a short sale is less risky than 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 it can’t refuse. Banks and mortgage servicing
companies are most 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.

Vincent Bindi, a real estate broker for ShortSalesASAP in Orange County, Calif., says your real estate agent should interview the listing agent to determine whether the seller has done everything that’s needed to win lender approval.

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.

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, which the bank or mortgage company will accept, in one try.

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).

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 82% of the home’s value, throw in a few thousand dollars to cover the lender’s cost of doing a short sale (ask your agent what that typically is for your area), and you have a good starting point.

Now look at the quality of your comps.

If they’re straightforward deals, and the homes spent at least three or four months on the market, then you’re good to go.

But if all of the comps are foreclosures that sold within a few weeks of hitting the market, you’ve got to assume those were damaged homes being dumped at fire sale prices.

You’ll have to adjust your offer upward, perhaps all the way to the full fair market value calculated with those comps.

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.

They’re just trying to find a price you’ll pay, and the bank will accept, to relieve them of their debt.

If you’re close, then you’ve probably come to the same conclusions as the sellers and their real estate
agent.

If not, then your agent needs to have another talk with their agent to find out why.

Smart move 4. Be patient.

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

We’ve heard of 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.

Most sellers don’t seek the lender’s approval for a short sale until they have a signed purchase contract in hand. (Here’s a step-by-step look at what sellers must do to complete a short sale.)

More often than not, it takes two to four months to get a “yes” or “no” from the bank or mortgage servicing company.

Although lenders say they’re trying to process these requests more quickly, there still aren’t enough loss mitigation specialists to deal with the rising demand for short sales, and we’re not seeing a big improvement.

By Bonnie Biafore  |  Interest.com Contributing Editor

Personal Short Sale Experience

I just closed one of the longest short sales in history with Bank of America. This sale totaled 39 months, over 3 years. Short SaleThere were a few unfortunate problems with this short sale.

Throughout the time of having this listing, there were six individual buyers that were all approved.  Unfortunately, all six also cancelled, with one rewriting an offer through another agent after the initial cancel.  This offer was not submitted when I questioned this buyer’s agent, and as a result, the offer obviously did not go through.

After the seller’s family moved out, they left the house in shambles, but I invested my personal money (which thankfully was reimbursed later through the rent payments) to paint the interior, re-sod the front yard, and thoroughly clean.

There were several liens on the house: water, sewer, trash, and HOA liens.  Most were eventually paid off by the bank and buyer.  The tremendous HOA fines totaling over $5K I managed to negotiate them off completely with no fees to be paid.

The bank changed the locks and I had to pay $250 to re-key the house.

The property sold for $30K less, with a $12K credit for closing costs–very rare on a 50% cash
down purchase, than the REO  (bank-owned) property with no closing costs credit, a block away the
month before.

All these experiences may be things that you, as a short sale buyer, are familiar with.  And while short sale transactions can be the trickiest side of the real estate market, I have had plenty of experience in managing such transactions.  Please, let me be the one to deal with the messy side of short sales–not you!  Give me a call today if you have any questions.

John A Silva
www.johnasilva.com
619-890-3648

Welcome!

Thanks for stopping by www.ExpertAgentRealEstate.com.  My goal is to provide you with local real estate information, advice, and tips on navigating the housing market.  Please go to my website at www.ShortSaleAgentExpert.com for far more information on listings in the area of San Diego.  You can also do a custom MLS map search for homes for sale in your area.

Just a bit about myself, John Silva:

John A Silva

John Silva

My Personal Mission
As your professional real estate advisor, I focus on client satisfaction. My business is about service and I am not happy until you are happy. My years in the business have provided me the experience to assist you with nearly every real estate need. Whether it’s finding you a home, finding the best loan, or helping you getting the most out of selling your home I am here to guide you. If there is anything you need, please let me know.

About My Services
I will listen to your needs and want to establish our goals and objectives. We work as a team to meet the goals and you will continually be in the loop during the entire process. In this fast paced market, I believe communication is key in meeting our goals and building our relationship.

Knowing that you are reading this right now, tells me that you are comfortable with the Internet and email and that means you will be able to take advantage of my 24 hour electronic assistant right here on my website.

Please use my website to provide you powerful features such as the access to the MLS through my MLS Wizard to help you narrow down the ideal home. Selling your home takes special care and attention in order to get the highest possible price and you can feel free to use my Value Wizard to get an instant comparable sales report. My links section is designed to point you important information on home shopping, owning and selling. And if you find what you are looking for, then contact me and I will do my best to get you an answer or point you to a resource.

Satisfied clients are the key to my success
My satisfied clients are my best resource for new business. In this very competitive business of real estate, service makes the difference. My service is second to none and has earned me a valuable source of referrals. If you are considering a real estate professional, please give me an opportunity to earn your business too. I am confident you will be very happy!

Please feel free to email or call me at (619)337-3262 if you have any questions or are interested in buying or selling.