Sell House Now Tips and Information – Learn How to Sell a House Fast

It is now doubt the real real estate market will slow down during the holiday season. This is good for realtors and real estate investors who have been working very hard to help clients buy and sell houses but not so good for buyers and sellers.

If you are in the market to buy a house, December and January can be a good time to pick up some great deals on a house because there are not many buyers. It can also cause an issue for home buyers because the number of available homes typically is lower during the holidays as home sellers don’t want to move during this time.

The cold weather also has an affect on the real estate market. The colder it is outside the less home buyers are out shopping for a great new home and the less number of open houses real estate agents hold. In months when the weather is warm the number of houses for sale increases and so does the number of sold homes each month.

Does this mean you should wait to sell your house until Spring? Well, if you can wait it might be a good idea too, but many home owners need to sell their house now. The truth is life happens and there are many reasons a home you expected to stay in for seven to ten years suddenly becomes a home that you can only stay in for two or three years.

Home owners who need to sell their house fast typically have one of the following reasons: foreclosure, job transfer, divorce, relocation, family illness, short sale, etc. There are many reasons home owners need to sell a home but if you are experiencing any of the above stated issues you are more likely to need to sell quick.

The problem with needing to sell a home fast in the current real estate market is many home owners do not have much equity so selling a house can be very difficult. If you owe more for your home mortgage than what your home is worth it can seem impossible to sell your home. The truth is you still have home selling options. You can have a professional realtor or investor complete a short sale, lease option your home until the market increase or you can rent your house until the market increases and sell then.

It is important that if you are wanting to sell a house you discuss all your options with a real estate professional. Real estate can be a tricky thing to handel especially when you have an emotional attachment to the home. Discussion all your options with someone who is an expert and does not have an emotional attachment can help ease the process of selling a home.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Finding The Best Offer On Housing Loans

First time homeowners usually still have no first hand experience on borrowing for the purpose of purchasing a home. For people who are yet to avail of a housing loan, there are a number of considerations that you would need to take in order to get the beast deals in the market. Always remember that there are a number of lenders in California that offer housing loan programs. Most of these lenders have their own sets of criteria when approving a housing loan and drafting the terms and conditions that shall govern the loan. As these lenders in California have different sets of standards, it could not be avoided that some of them would have lower interest rates than the others. Furthermore, there may be a marked difference in terms of the terms and conditions that California lenders may enforce in connection with the housing loan. Some lenders may impose more onerous obligations that others so it is very important that you study your option swell when finding a lender in California that grants housing loans.

Finding the right lenders for housing loans may take some time and effort on the part of a borrower. Yet, if you are a would be borrower you should always bear in mind that the time and effort that you spend researching and learning the different services offered by banks and lending institutions are time well spent. If you are able to get good terms and conditions for your housing loan, you could easily save hundreds and even thousands of dollars on amortization cost.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

A Few Of The Benefits To Buying Used Campers For Sale By Owners

There are many different benefits you could gain by choosing to buy campers for sale by owner, rather than buying campers from a dealership, or buying them from an RV auction. I think that you can find some of the best deals when you buy campers for sale by owner for several reasons.

First of all, when you buy a camper for sale by owner rather than buying one from a dealer, you are already showing some great signs of intelligence. Most of the time, dealerships have a 30% to 45% markup on their inventory. This means that they have found owners who are willing to sell to them for a very low trade-in value, and then they will typically mark up the price significantly higher, so they could sell it to you and make money out of the purchase. If you take the time to do a lot of searching, you can find people willing to take 40% less than the dealer retail value, or 20% less than the private party value.

These people are known as motivated sellers. They are typically motivated by some reason other than money to sell their RVs quickly. It may be that the owner is selling to avoid a foreclosure. Another reason may be that the owner is going through a tough divorce. Or worse, it could be that the owner has lost his job and can no longer afford to keep his RV. If you can find out what reason they have for selling, and how you can help them solve their problem, then chances are that you will be able to also save yourself a lot of money.

Another reason why you should buy used campers for sale by owner, is that they are a better deal than buying from camper auctions. Although you can occasionally find a better deal at an auction, when you do find it, you have a lot of competition from other expert RV buyers and dealers. Often, they will bid up the RV to the point where there is very little money you are saving. Because you can have a lot competition when you buy a camper at an RV auction, it would be a wiser choice to look for RVs for sale by owner. Also, you do not need to have cash at the time that you make an offer when you buy from an owner. When you buy at an auction, you need to have cash in hand that day in order to pay for the camper, otherwise you lose the deal. So buying from an owner is a lot less stressful and you don’t have to make your decision quite as quickly.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How To Sell Your House Fast Regardless Of Your Situation!

Do you need to sell your house quickly in today’s ever changing real estate market? Do you need to get cash fast for your home? There are options even in this real estate market to help you accomplish all of your goals you have for selling your house. You can sell your house for all cash or on terms. You are probably asking what are terms? Well you have other options in today’s market to sell your house over a short period of time say 12-18 months or over a longer period of time like 3-5 years. This will depend on how much cash you will need up front. By selling your house on terms you will be able to have your house payments made for you every month and be able to walk away with some cash for your immediate needs. Then depending on the terms of the sale you can receive up to full market value for your house. This would be better than selling your house now and maybe having to come to the closing with extra money that you might not have. With this type of sale you will get your price over time instead of all at once.

The benefits of selling your house this way are

1) you will get top dollar for your home in today’s market.

2) You don’t have to deal with realtors and waiting 6-8 months for you home to sell.

3) There are no costs or commissions to you at all.

4) If you sold it through the traditional way of a realtor, by the time you pay the realtors commissions, sellers concessions and the discount that the buyer will want in today’s real estate market. You will be lucky to net 85-88% of the Selling Price of Your Home.

5) You can deal directly with a local Professional Real Estate Investor that will listen to your needs and help structure a sale of your home that will work perfectly for you.

Many home sellers in today’s market find these methods of selling their house to be the best option to fit their goals. As you have seen there are many benefits of selling to a local real estate investor V.S. selling their house FSBO or through a Realtor. The choice is ultimately up to the homeseller to make.

A local real estate investor will also be able to make you an all cash offer on your home if you prefer. You would not have to make any repairs because they would by it „as-is“. Your local real estate investor will give you a quick and fair all cash offer for your house. They should also be able to close on your home in under 30 days and in some cases as fast as 7 days! It is just a simple hassle free sale of your home. You will be able to walk away from your house with cash in hand. It doesn’t matter the condition of your house or what your situation is, they can buy it fast for cash. Your local real estate investor will take care of all of the repairs, leins, back taxes, judgments, or whatever else you might be dealing with. You will just be relived of all that stress that has been building up about your house and, you will walk away with cash being done with your house.

Your local Real Estate Investor will provide you with fast, friendly, professional service. Not all real estate investors are friendly and have the experience you are looking for. Be careful to work only with a company who knows what they are doing. Good luck and I hope you are able to sell your house fast.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How to Choose The Right Real Estate Agent For You

Whether buying, or selling a home, choosing the right real estate agent or buyers agent, is the most important step to take. The process of buying or selling a home is very detailed and difficult. In addition to the fact that mistakes can cost a great deal of money?

Your assets are on the line, and losing through the purchase or sale is the last thing you want to do. There are many real estate agents around. The ones that are dedicated and stay with you every step of the way, or the ones that farm out the work to other brokers.

The areas of expertise you need to look for are:

· How much education in the area of real estate does the agent have?

· How much knowledge does the agent have about the homes in the areas you are looking at?

· Do they have a wide variety of homes for sale for you to view?

The title that carries the most education and experience is a real estate broker. The real estate broker has a real estate license, training, and is recognized by the National Association of Realtors. This professional would likely be able to assist you with all of the needs you would have for buying or selling a home.

After the real estate broker is the realtor. This professional received the real estate license, and some additional training. He or she has also received recognition from the National Association of Realtors.

Finally the real estate agent is a person who has received the license, however may not have the same amount of experience as the more seasoned broker.

Most states have minimal requirements for being a real estate agent and this is the cause for some of the issues that are incurred during the transferring of ownership of a home. However keep in mind that at all levels of this expertise there are good agents, realtors and brokers. Doing a little checking can help you find the right one for you.

Most of the time a real estate agent is representing the seller of the home. If you are looking to buy a home, you are looking for a real estate buyer’s agent. This is important because you want to be represented in the best interest of your needs. Not those of the person on the other end of the deal.

When you are doing your research about the right agent for you, you will want to look for the commitment you deserve. There are many agents on the market just like there are many homes to be sold. If you do not get the attention and prompt response you deserve, go looking for someone else. They will make a profit from your purchase and they should be treating you with a reasonable amount of respect and professionalism.

The rule of thumb is that you want a real estate agent that has been around for a couple of years. With the turn around in the real estate market the way it is, this is the reason it may take you contacting a couple of agents.

You want to start your search by getting the right real estate representative for you. The home you are looking for will come along. There are bait and switch agents out there who specifically use a house within a price range and look that is appealing to the average home purchaser and then when they get the call, they may tell you it is sold, but there is another they have that you will love also. Keep this in mind so as to not get stuck by a tricky agent, instead look for the representative, agent, or broker that will show you what is available at all levels of purchasing and will keep your best interest in mind.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Hey Buddy, Wanna Buy a House? Or What Do Realtors Actually Do for All That Money

Real estate as a profession has been around as long as there has been a United States and yet many people have little idea how Realtors actually function. This understanding is exasperated by the fact that no two Realtors practice in the exact same way. While the aim is the same, the methods employed are often quite different. Still, the basic process remains unchanged.

This matters because both buyers and sellers are often challenged by their living situation–or lack thereof–to the point of severe stress both emotional and financial. Understand the process can be a great help.

Buyers, for instance, tend to think of real estate sales persons as someone who wants to sell them a house, that they will even try to talk a person into buying a particular property in order to make another commission. While some new licenses may start out like a glorified used car salesman with this idea they rarely last. Over 70% of new agents fail in the first year.

What actually happens is the Realtor learns all they can about a person’s needs and finances and combs the market for a home to fit those needs and financial limitations. This last issue is usually the toughest. Buyers strive to get the most home for the least cost and sellers strive to sell for the highest price. Add direct competition from other buyers and the landscape can be challenging at best.

This is where a good Realtor is worth his or her weight in gold. Well, maybe not their weight in gold, although this may be true in some cases, but a considerable amount of money at a time when financial resources are usually stretched to the limit.

Helping a buyer into the right home at the right price is the job and Realtors have been doing just that for as long as there have been Realtors. If they didn’t they would have gone extinct ages ago especially in today’s computer driven markets.

Once the right home is found the job is just beginning. The best price and terms must be negotiated. This is an art in itself and can save the home buyer a sizable fortune. Here’s where the network of Realtor affiliated with the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) comes into play.

Both the buyer and the seller are typically represented by separate agents, each legally required to serve their client’s needs and no other. Buyers and sellers do not directly interact. This single factor facilitates successful agreements more than any other means since Realtors as experienced negotiators can put together deals that individuals usually cannot as witnessed by the staggering rate of negotiation failures experienced by FSBOs (For Sale by Owner sellers working without representation)

Once the deal is struck the next challenge is getting to the closing table through financing, home inspections, attorney and title hang-ups and even timing. The previous owner must leave at the same time the new owners are ready to move in. This is often on the same say, the day of the closing. Here too expertise pays off while sellers who manage to strike a deal experience major fall-through issues and failed closings forcing them to start over with all the accompanying costs and missed opportunity.

Realtors facilitate successful transactions not by pushing their own agenda but by expediting their client’s needs and goals.

Not only is trying to sell someone a home counterproductive in a world of cautious buyers it undermines an experience agent’s foundation for continues success in the profession: repeat customers.

Sellers too often labor under misconception about the process of selling their property. If they gave it any consideration at all they might think that what doesn’t really happen to buyers actually does. No successful agent goes out and tries to talks someone into buying a house.

What actually happens is much like marketing any product or commodity. Simply put, the Realtor promotes the listing to the buying public in the best possible light. This process too is greatly facilitated by MLS associations as a repository of homes for sale. The MLS is the single best source for home sales in the country where over 90% of buyers find their home through agents affiliated with a regional MLS. The goal is that no one interested in buying a home is left unaware of the seller’s offering. And that the best possible light means the place must show well and the price must be competitive with other similar homes since buyers will always choose the best home at the best price.

This can be as much of a challenge for sellers as it is for buyers. Again, the seller is looking to maximize their investment which does not usually include fixing the place up. If they wanted to make improvements or repairs they wouldn’t be selling in the first place and for the price they are getting the buyer should be willing to accept less than picture perfect–at least that’s often the common thinking. This is just as reasonable as buyer’s being put off by homes that need work and in their opinion overpriced but not conducive to anyone getting what they want and need.

What results is conflict–almost every time. Solving these innate issues is what Realtor do best: Finding the right home for the buyers based on their needs not their own. Or market the seller’s home effectively to bring in a ready, willing, and able buyer. Then making it work for both parties all the way to the closing table and a fine new home for the buyer and a big check for the seller to enhance their bottom line as well as their living situation. Not bad, not bad at all.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Realtor Lockboxes Explained: A Summary of Lockbox Options and Alternatives for Real Estate Agents

Real estate professionals today have a plethora of high tech options out there to enhance their business, but rarely do we fully consider the value of the lockbox – the sole piece of equipment responsible for allowing agents to show the homes that we sell everyday. The lockbox itself has evolved over time, and today agents find themselves comparing the value from a standard combination lockbox to that of a more high-tech electronic lockbox. Real estate agents today are pressed from all sides for fees, dues, and expenditures that are unavoidable costs of doing business, so when it comes to making a decision between a combination lockbox that’s just a few bucks versus a high-tech electronic lockbox that is substantially more expensive, does the increase in cost justify the value? Also, what are all the options out there for electronic lockboxes? This article highlights the findings of current industry options available.

Having the ability to show a home without the sellers there to watch your every move was a move in the right direction for the real estate industry. Agents know very well the situation where a seller will remain in a home during a showing and „pretend“ like they are minding their own business while the buyers tip-toe through the home trying not to impose while attempting to get a sense of what the home was like.

This is a wild departure from the typical showing when the sellers aren’t there; clients love to snoop around in order to get a good sense of the home. With the sellers not there, the buyers get a good opportunity to get a true sense of how that particular home would feel and if they can see themselves living there. Put simply, it allows for a better, more convenient showing experience.

From this dilemma the lockbox was invented. A device securing the key for entry by licensed real estate agents to show their prospective buyers, and it allowed sellers (or their agents) the opportunity to have the home shown without the need of their presence. It saved time, and allowed for a better showing experience. Truly, it was a win-win.

However, early lockboxes were simply a combination lockbox. They are certainly inexpensive, but an obvious downside was the lack of security for the home in question once the lockbox code was known. Sellers would rely on the professional ethics of real estate agents to keep the code confidential, but sometimes the code would slip into hands of non-agents. Less frequently, the code would be found by people with malicious intent.

With the obvious shortfall of relying on the honor system to keep lockbox codes confidential, it offered the opportunity for a better solution that would allow for accountability along with the ability to show a home without the seller being present. As a result, it did not take long for „smart“ lockboxes using electronic technology to come into existence, thus revolutionizing the process of showing a home. Before a seller and their agent wouldn’t really know who was showing the property other than the confirmed appointments that were made. Flash forward to today, and you have the ability to know exactly who and exactly when someone shows a property through the use of an electronic lockbox. With these smart electronic lockboxes, only an agent or other authorized party can access the lockbox itself, further emboldening the assurance to a seller that only licensed agents and properly authorized individuals are showing or entering their home.

Today there are 2 main companies that provide these smart electronic lockboxes to real estate agency associations. They are Supra key and Sentrilock. Together they comprise the majority of the lockbox industry market; nobody else comes close.

Supra (or SupraKey) is owned by general electric and provides lockbox solutions to all sorts of niche industries, real estate lockboxes being one of them. Bill Love, national account manager for Supra, says that out of a given state or region in the country, Supra, on average, maintains an 80% market share. Supra has sold several million lockboxes throughout the years to real estate agents, and currently Love estimates that there are 1.5 million+ Supra lockboxes currently in use by about 750,000 real estate agents throughout the country.

The supra key itself features a cylindrical design up to the „shackle“ (the loop part of the lockbox that will noose around something and keep it in its place securely) where the shackle fits in seamlessly. Its simplistic design is pleasing to the eye, and to activate the lockbox, an agent has a „digital key“ that’s about the size of a small flip phone and has a number pad and screen on it. The agent sets the key to open a box and points it in the direction of an infrared sensor on the box itself. When the lockbox recognizes that it being accessed by the remote digital key, it will release to allow access and the bottom of the lockbox will fall out when it’s pushed by the agent, and voilà, the key to the home is available for the agent to take and open the door for the showing.

Love says that Supra has plans for upgrades to the current model lockbox that will include the ability for wireless Bluetooth access and syncing. Also, rather than having the digital key, if the agent has a smartphone, Supra offers an app for access with the phone instead, which makes it easier and more convenient, for a monthly fee. Love claims that the key difference with a Supra Lockbox is that „it keeps intelligence in the hands of the user.“ Rather than having to rely on extra equipment or other trades people, the user has the control. Supra has had the current model for several years now with incremental software updates along the way. If an agent wants to buy a new Supra lockbox, it costs around $90, but the actual price that an agent will pay is determined by the association that they belong to.

Sentrilock is the other major player in the real estate lockbox industry. Sentrilock, which is based out of Indiana and is partially owned by the National Association of Realtors has been around for less than a decade and currently services about 250 of the 1000+ Realtor associations throughout the country and Canada as well. These associations comprise about 250,000 agents and approximately 500,000 lockboxes in current use. Sentrilock has 2 main models that are currently used; one is a silver lockbox that resembles a cell phone from the late 1980’s, bulky and heavy and somewhat longer in size than the supra lockbox. It has a key pad directly on the front of the lockbox itself, and holds the key within a drop-down door that pops open when accessed.

The other lockbox they offer is a smaller, more compact blue lockbox that is more cube-ish in shape but with the similar functionality features. The main difference between the silver and blue lockbox is that the blue lockbox allows for more space within the lockbox itself (which is important for people trying to sell a condo and who need to include an „access fob“ in addition to the key to the front door of the unit itself – there just isn’t enough room for multiple keys or when including the access fob with Sentrilocks‘ silver lockbox). Sentrilock sells their lockboxes for about $125 a piece, but this also depends on where you are getting it from, as the actual retail price is determined by the local real estate association that sells the boxes.

Both lockbox companies offer substantial warranties on the product themselves. They also have a support team that is almost always available in the event there is difficulty in accessing a lockbox, or for troubleshooting purposes. Both companies offer a comprehensive online tool that can provide the analytics from the showings and use of a specific lockbox which agents can use to share with their clients.

Some of the main differences between these two are how the lockbox itself is accessed. Sentrilock doesn’t need an extra piece of equipment to open a box. Rather, they utilize a „Smart-Card“ which is essentially a credit-card that fits into the lockbox and has a chip inside it that shares your information with the lockbox you are accessing. This card is all you need to access the lockbox, whereas Supra requires the digital key, although they have addressed this by means of offering the smart-phone app so an agent can use their phone in place of the digital key. Both systems require updating; in other words, the smart card for the sentrilock system requires you to stick your card in a „card reader“ that you get when you buy your smart-card that hooks into your computer. Every few days (the exact amount of days is determined by your local Realtor association) you must update the card through the card reader, which will allow you to show property, and at the same time uploads the information of the places you have shown to the Sentrilock system, which in turn is then able to be seen by the agents who owned the lockboxes of the places that you accessed. In a pinch you can update your card over the phone, but you can only do this once or twice.

On the other hand, supra keys update wirelessly. They didn’t always do this, where you were required to keep your „digital key“ docked on a charging station that was hooked up to a phone line. You had to do this every day and that’s how the system would both update your card as well as share your showing information to the system. The wireless updating feature has been in place for a year or two now, and takes the headache out of the equation of having you update your key each and every day.

The back end system for Sentrilock allows an agent to create specific access codes for one-time access of a specific lockbox. This makes it really convenient for a contractor, appraiser, termite inspector, etc. to be able to access a property with a code, but only one time because that code will expire after the day the code was intended to be used. This is a great feature that Supra doesn’t have an answer to.

Although there are benefits to both systems, any agent can’t simply choose which lockbox system they want to use – this is decided, agreed to and contractually obligated between either Sentrilock or Supra and an agent’s local real estate association. These associations, once they have agreed on a system to use can then „tweak“ the system to their discretion and preference. Things like the cost of a lockbox, whether the lockbox is leased or sold to agents, the amount of times an agent can renew their key by phone, the amount of days that can elapse before an update of an access key is required, these and more options can be tweaked and most real estate professionals are unaware that other options or preferences exist.

When comparing the benefits over your standard combination lockbox, an agent must be able to justify the added cost of a smart-electronic lockbox by the value it provides. It’s easy to do so, especially when taking the seller’s best interests at heart, as the smart lockbox will ensure accountability and a better safety and security measure for the showing process and for the home itself. Its analytics information and the ability to control who can actually gain access to the home are tantamount to successfully being able to gauge the interest in a home by means of how many people are interested in seeing it as well as being able to rest assure the seller that a home is being shown but in the most secure manner possible.

During this most recent downturn in the economy, most real estate markets throughout the country were inundated (and some still are) with foreclosure property. Certain real estate brokerages that specialized in this type of distressed property had the best years of production on record for the 2008 and 2009 years. All of these properties that needed to be shown and sold needed lockboxes, but the value provided by a smart lockbox through Sentrilock or Supra didn’t justify the cost to acquire, as distressed-property brokerages had inventories of 50, 100, 200 or 300 properties at a given time. The smart lockboxes were too expensive, especially when taking into account that the home in question was owned by the bank, it was vacant and the analytics of showings didn’t matter when a given foreclosure property is selling in no time at all with multiple offers. If an agent is carrying even 50 listings with a smart lockbox, it entails $5000 worth of lockboxes needed on all the properties he/she has for sale. At this point, a less expensive combination lockbox from Lowes for $7 looks way better and the total outlay for the lockboxes is substantially less. It’s a combination of utility value and overall price paid from the standpoint of the real estate professional, so it begs the question, why are the smart lockboxes so expensive?

Put simply, the market will bear the current price point of both the Supra and Sentrilock lockboxes because the value they provide are well worth the cost. That being said, certain companies have come into existence that are poised to take advantage of the amount of agents that want to sell their used lockboxes as well as the agents out there who don’t want to pay retail for the lockbox(es) they need for their business. Blake Nolan, co-owner of San Diego based LockboxSwap has created a website where a secondary market has been created and regulated for both the Sentrilock and Supra lockbox systems. Nolan says his company can help agents buy or sell their lockboxes and in the process save time and money. „Right now there is no real place online that offers what we offer“ Nolan Says. He continues that „if you call into (any association) and ask about used lockboxes, or where to sell your own lockboxes, they say to go try craigslist or Ebay. We created LockboxSwap to address this vast and untapped market opportunity.“

Nolan’s‘ LockboxSwap company plans to unveil the business this summer, and preliminary beta-test users have offered rave reviews.

In the world of Realtor lockboxes, smart-lockboxes are preferred because the overall value inherent in being able to secure a home, controlling the use of entry and having analytical accountability far outweighs the alternative of your standard combination lockbox (or no lockbox at all) Although the 2 main players in the Realtor lockbox arena have 2 excellent products, both fall short of being 100% perfect. They both do some things quite well and have the capabilities that the other does not. It would be great to be able to merge both products and concepts together, but since that is not possible, it’s up to each individual Realtor association to interview and determine which company is a better „fit“ for them. At the end of the day, the 2 companies and respective products, although imperfect, represent competition between one another which keeps productivity and innovation high while keeping prices in check. Companies like that of LockboxSwap help to do this further by inventing and establishing the precedent for an industry that hereto has yet to exist, but has the ability to offer a cost-efficient alternative to Realtor professionals when it comes to their lockbox needs.

No matter what, it’s obvious the industry is moving in the right direction; we are witnessing technological advancements that help to serve Realtor professionals do their job better and more efficiently, and it is interesting to see what will be the norm in the near future as well as the long term. For now, Realtor professionals should be confident in knowing that while it’s great where we stand today, the future is only getting brighter.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Foreclosure Alternatives and Common Pitfalls – The Loss Mitigation and Short Sale Disaster – A Guide

Whether you’re about to have your house sold at auction, or you’ve just missed your first payment, you still have options! In fact, even if you’re still making your payments on time, but feel that in the near future, you won’t be able to keep up, it’s time to act! As any financial expert will tell you, ‚prior planning prevents poor performance.‘ I can personally tell you, as President and C.E.O. of the leading loss mitigation company, Option Next, at our company, we believe that the only way you can possibly decide what to do, is by knowing your options…

This article will go through each of the best available options, and will explain the advantages and drawbacks of each one, along with tips on how to avoid getting scammed.

What Are Your Options?

1. Refinance – If you’re facing hardship because of the terms of your current mortgage, such as an adjustable rate mortgage which has started adjusting out of control, you may still be able to refinance into a fixed-rate loan. This option may not be available if you’re already far behind on your mortgage, or if your credit history is severely damaged. This is something that a qualified loss mitigation company can inquire about on your behalf. They should be able to give you a clear answer as to whether this is possible without charging you any fees. There are of course fees if you pursue the refinancing, but anyone who charges you a processing fee just to find out if it’s possible is looking to cash in on your misfortune…

Refinancing Advantages: No damage to your credit, you stay in your home and work out a payment you can afford.

Refinancing Disadvantages: Not available if your credit is severely damaged, only works if you owe less than the property is worth, the monthly payments will still be somewhat high, as you are refinancing your entire mortgage balance plus new closing costs.

Summary: Refinancing is most effective if your mortgage has an adjustable rate, and either has yet to adjust, or has just adjusted, and you are no more than 30 days late. If you don’t owe more than the property is worth, have reasonable credit, and would want to keep your property, refinancing is the best approach.

2. Loan Modification – If the hardship you’re facing is temporary; if you feel that you can reasonably continue to assume your current mortgage if only some adjustments were made, such as deferring your past due amount to the end of the loan or reducing the payment for the next few months, then it’s possible that a good loss mitigator can negotiate a solution with your bank. Banks do not want to foreclose on your property. They would rather take your money than your land. They are poorly equipped to manage ownership of real estate, and would rather find a way to salvage the loan. A qualified loan mitigation company may be able to work out an agreement that works for both you and your bank.

Loan Modification Advantages: No damage to your credit, you stay in your home and work out a payment you can afford.

Loan Modification Disadvantages: May not be available if your credit is severely damaged. Monthly payments will still be reasonably high as you are keeping your entire mortgage balance plus default amount. Also, loss mitigation companies generally charge a pretty hefty fee for this service, sometimes as much as $5,000 or more.

Summary: Loan Modification is most effective if your mortgage has an adjustable rate, or if you’ve fallen behind in such a way where you would normally be able to make your monthly mortgage payment, but just can’t keep up with the late fees and penalties. In most cases, it is only the late fees, penalties and interest rate that the bank would be willing to negotiate. If you don’t think that you’d be able to afford the mortgage at its current principal balance, even if the interest rate were reduced and the late charges removed, then a loan modification would not be a good option for you, and some fly-by-night loan mitigator may end up taking you for a ride.

3. Sell Your House – If the amount you owe on your property is less than or equal to the current market value of your property, you can always sell your house and pay off the mortgage in one lump sum. However, in today’s real estate market, that’s rarely the case. Most people in mortgage trouble today are faced with the problem of owing more on their property than it’s worth. If you are in a position to sell your home and pay off the mortgage in full, then you don’t need a loss mitigator and should simply contact your local Realtor…

Selling Advantages: No damage to your credit, your mortgage is paid off in full and you walk away..

Selling Disadvantages: Not an option if you owe more than the property is worth. You give up the house and lose any remaining equity to closing costs and broker commissions.

Summary: The traditional sale option is not available to most homeowners in today’s marketplace, as most owe more on their houses than they are worth in today’s market… If you are in a position where you owe less than the property is worth; If you’re willing to walk away from the property, this is a great option to preserve your credit…

4. Short-Refi – If your property is worth less than what you owe on it and you want to keep it, a short-refi may be the best solution. In a short-refi situation, the bank agrees to take less than what you owe on the property, in exchange for an immediate payoff and closing. At the same time, another bank agrees to refinance your property, at a significantly smaller amount. At this lower payoff amount, you are then able to have a mortgage you can afford. This option may not be available to you if you are severely past due on your mortgage or have severely damaged credit.

Short-Refi Advantages: Minimal damage to your credit, the entire debt is wiped away, and the banks will not go after you for the difference. There will be no foreclosure or bankruptcy on your record and a legitimate loss mitigation company should mitigate your short-refi with all fees worked into your new loan, meaning no immediate out-of-pocket expenses…

Short-Refi Disadvantages: You suffer a slight black mark on your credit, the process is lengthy and somewhat complex, and if your credit isn’t good enough to qualify you for the refinancing, this option goes out the window. A bad loss mitigator can cause a short-refi negotiation to fall apart.

Summary: Short-refis are most effective if you owe more than the property is worth, are facing financial hardship and are or will soon be unable to afford your mortgage, and you have minimal or no liquid assets and want to keep your house.

5. Short-Sell – If you’re in that ever-growing category of homeowners who owe more on their property than it’s worth, and you’d like to sell your property, a short-sale may be right for you. In a short-sale situation, the bank agrees to take less than what you owe on the property in exchange for an immediate sale and a payoff at closing. You, the homeowner, end up walking away having settled your entire mortgage for whatever the property could sell for. The banks will report this on your credit history as ‚Settled For Less Than Owed.‘ This is a negative mark on your credit score, but is nothing close to a bankruptcy or foreclosure. A short-sale, more than any other option, requires a highly competent loss mitigation company. See below for tips on how to make sure the company you pick is experienced and legitimate.

Short-Sale Advantages: Minimal damage to your credit, the entire debt is wiped away and banks will not go after you for the difference. There will be no foreclosure or bankruptcy on your record. A legitimate loss mitigation company should mitigate your short sale at no cost to you.

Short-Sale Disadvantages: You give up your house and suffer a slight black mark on your credit. The process is lengthy and somewhat complex, and a bad loss mitigator can cause it to fall apart.

Summary: Short-sales are most effective if you owe more than the property is worth, are facing financial hardship and are or will soon become unable to afford your mortgage; If you have little or no liquid assets, and are willing to sell your home.

6. Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure – This is the last resort when facing foreclosure. It means simply giving away the deed to the bank in exchange for them not pursuing a foreclosure action against you. This does significant damage to your credit score, but is still better than a foreclosure.

Deed-In-Lieu Advantages: No foreclosure on your record, and the bank will not pursue you for the remaining balance.

Deed-In-Lieu Disadvantages: You give up your house and suffer a significant black mark on your credit. It’s only available if you haven’t been able to find a buyer for over six months, and if your sale date hasn’t been set yet.

Summary: Short-sales are most effective if you owe more than the property is worth, are facing financial hardship and are or will soon become unable to afford your mortgage, and if you have little or no liquid assets.

7. Bankruptcy – This is the final alternative to foreclosure. This can be a costly process, and depending on the laws of your state may or may not be particularly helpful.

Bankruptcy Advantages: Buys you some time to come up with better options, and allows the bankruptcy trustee to act as a loss mitigator on your behalf.

Bankruptcy Disadvantages: Suffer a significant black mark on your credit. On its own, it does not provide a permanent solution, and when done properly, results in huge fees to a lawyer and a referee. The results of improper foreclosure filings are too disastrous to even discuss…

Summary: Bankruptcy is a last resort, and is often too expensive for people in financial hardship to afford. A sloppy bankruptcy filing does nothing but waste your time and money, ruin what’s left of your credit, and will often prevent you from exploring the better options most likely available to you. Never pursue a bankruptcy without speaking to a well-qualified attorney!

Who’s Your Mitigator?

A good loss mitigation company should be staffed with professional mitigators, whose sole job is to negotiate with the banks and to reach a solution that works for everyone. These experts can help you out of a terrible situation by finding a compromise that both you and the bank can live with. Keep in mind that since there is no standard certification or degree for loss mitigation, many companies claiming to be staffed by experts are really staffed by people they hired this morning. A qualified mitigator can make the difference between having your modification approved quickly, or having it drag out and foreclose.

Some signs of a low quality mitigation company? One that advertises on its website that you can become a loss mitigation specialist for them just by completing some quick certification course, or by just paying them a fee… They charge you a large fee, and give you a website and title. You then watch one of their videos and take an online test. Now you’re qualified to be responsible for people’s financial well-being. Personally, I find that outrageous! By signing up with them, you can rest assured that your file is being handled by someone with no experience, education, or office support. There are many such companies, so do your research! Be especially wary of any company that wants an upfront fee. If they’re promising a money back guarantee, offer to pay them once you’re satisfied, or at least to pay through attorney escrow. Remember, if you give away your last dime, will you really be able to pursue getting it back? If their website is based on a template and they haven’t bothered to finish building it, you should wonder if they’ll ever bring your mitigation to completion. Another bad sign is if the loss mitigation company can’t be bothered to respect your privacy. Some companies out there will list the address of your property on a publicly accessible website, where your friends and neighbors will be able to find it and see that you’re in financial distress. One company that I’m aware of claims to be a leader in short sales and yet uses this unsavory practice. Not only is this a blatant attack on your privacy, but it can result in hundreds of other companies getting your address off of their website, and then having telemarketers and door-to-door salesmen harass you every day and night… A good loss mitigation company will keep your financial situation strictly confidential, and will not turn your misfortune into bragging rights!

Some signs of a good mitigation company? Well, there could be many. Personally, I believe in education, expertise, owners and managers who are themselves experts in what they do, and not just investors looking to cash in, a website that is informative and fully functional, a web-based live tracking system which will let you see what’s going on with your file, a simple submission process and an easy to understand document packet. On top of that, quick responses to your inquiries are also quite important. At our company, all mitigations are headed by our general counsel’s office, where all documents, proposals and submissions are reviewed by a licensed and experienced attorney, not just a processor working out of his or her home… All of our mitigators have a minimum of a doctorate in law or at least 5 years of loss mitigation experience. A test question I would suggest is this: ‚Can you tell me what an order to show cause is, and how I can file one to stop my foreclosure sale?‘ Their answer should be something to the effect of ‚It’s a short-term order granted by a judge, which prevents the foreclosure sale for a very limited time, so that a more permanent solution can be worked out with the courts. You can pursue this in one of only two ways: through an attorney, or by going to court yourself as a pro-se litigant.‘ If they don’t know this answer, they are not experienced. If they tell you they can do one themselves, unless they’re a law firm in your own state, they are lying! My best tip for selecting a mitigation company? When you call, ask them to fax or e-mail you the résumé of the mitigator who would be assigned to your file. See what they respond with… Remember, you’re hiring someone to represent you in what could be the most important negotiation of your life, don’t just pick the first company to appear in Google!

No matter what your situation, you must remember that you still have options. Having experienced loss mitigators on your side, working to secure a solution that works for you, is the most valuable asset you can have. At my company, Option Next, we provide all of our potential clients with a free consultation with one of our foreclosure experts, who will discuss the various options that could work for you, and which one is best in your particular case. This is not to say that we are the only good loss mitigation company out there. I’m sure there are others. Just beware of the bad, and be careful when making your choices. If you have any further questions, feel free to send me an e-mail. I try to respond to all requests and make it a point to help direct homeowners in distress to someone capable of helping them.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

A Professional Approach To Getting A House SOLD!

SInce, for most, the financial/ economic value, of their house, represents, their single – biggest, personal asset, doesn’t it, make sense, to use, a quality, professional approach, to ensure, it sells, for the highest – possible/ available price, with the best – terms, in the shortest, possible, period of time, with a minimum of hassle/ stress? After, over 15 years, as a Real Estate Licensed Salesperson, in the State of New York, I strongly, believe, the best way, to achieve, the most – desirable/ beneficial results, is, hiring, the finest professional, for your specific needs, goals, and priorities, who will use a professional approach, to getting, your home, SOLD! With, that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, what this means, and represents, and, why it matters.

1. Strengths; selling; system; systems; solutions; service: Carefully interview, before hiring your agent! Hire someone, who will provide the highest – quality, service, consistently! Honestly, evaluate, and understand, the house’s strengths, as well as weaknesses, and, what might attract, and/ or, turn – off, a potential buyer! What efforts, will be taken, towards, selling the property? Discuss, the system, to be, used, and whether, the individual, you hire, has the solutions, to timely, challenges! Address, whether, the house, has specific systems, which, might, either, attract, quality, qualified buyers, or, deter, their desires!

2. Options; opportunities; offers/ offering; organized: In most cases, the best – organized, agents, get the best results! Understand, and consider, the options, and alternatives, in terms of marketing, selling, pricing, etc, this house! Does it present, any desirable opportunities, the competition, may not? Will it be positions, effectively, so, what you are offering, obtains quality offers?

3. Listen; listing; looks; location: If you seek professional advice, it is wise, to effectively listen, learn, and pay attention, to the advice, and guidance! Don’t be fooled into, believing, the listing price, is, always, the same as the price, it sells, for! Address, any area, where the looks/ appearance, and/ or, location, might be a potential weakness, and be prepared, from the start!

4. Delve deeply; dreams; deals; deeds: Make certain, all potential challenges, are, examined, such as a clean deed, and/ or, title! Delve deeply, into, how your house, may satisfy, a potential buyer’s, dreams! Hire a professional negotiator, who might, transform, offers, to the best deals!

Before offering your house, for sale, carefully, interview, potential representation, and hire, the best professional, for your needs! Are you, ready, willing, and able, to be, a smart, home – seller?

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Why Most New Realtors Fail

Being a realtor can be a lucrative career, and some real estate agents have even managed to reach millionaire status. But this is the glamorous side of real estate, the side that often attracts new realtors into the industry. The unfortunate part is that most new agents come in with big business dreams which end up getting destroyed during their first year in business.

We have put together what we feel are some of the biggest factors leading to new realtor failure. Make sure you avoid these mistakes at all costs!

Not Having a Financial Plan

Brand new agents often forget that commissions are a drawn out process. It can take several weeks or even months to close a deal. That large commission cheque takes time to generate and even more time to actually arrive in the mail. Often, new agents forget that they need money in the bank to last them for several months until a steady flow of commissions are coming in. Your first few months are going to be tough, and you will be lucky if you get your first sale within the initial 90 days. Without planning, new agents drain whatever savings they have, giving them panic as they wait for the next deal to close. This is one of the biggest reasons new realtors drop out of the industry – they can’t hold their ship together long enough for money to start coming in.

Solution: Keep at least six months worth of savings in your bank account before jumping into the real estate game. Make sure you have enough tucked away to cover food, expenses, and overhead until you can create some positive cash flow. This way, you can transition into your new agent role without losing your shirt in the process.

Not Being Aggressive Enough

New realtors can be self-conscious and nervous. Not having done any deals, or even the idea of being a sales person, scares the daylights out of them! But the reality is that business isn’t going to come knocking on your door. You really have to push hard to bring those deals in.

Agents have to swallow their fears and jump into the industry knowing that it will take time to learn and become a pro. You absolutely will screw up, but ultimately you will learn and grow from it.

Solution: Get out there and be aggressive. Everyday you should do at least five new things to push your business forward. Whether that’s teaching yourself a new marketing technique, prospecting for new clients, or attending a networking function, every new day is another opportunity to try and get your name out there and build your business.

Being Scatter Brained

Having a plan is the key to success for any new realtor – actually, for any realtor, new or old. Without a plan, your hard work is going to spread across so many tasks that nothing really gets done properly, and everything risks being done poorly.

Solution: Get a comprehensive plan together. We recommend that any new realtor should have at least three plans: a financial plan, a business plan, and a marketing plan. These three documents should help keep your business on track. One important thing that you need to develop into all of your plans is a weekly action list. Break down all the tasks that you need to get done over the year and divide them up into bite size tasks you can do each week. This way, you’re not overwhelmed on where to start on your plans, but rather have a clear path of action to take everyday.


Being a realtor can be one of the most rewarding self-employed careers one could ask for. But to achieve six-figure earning, you really have to focus to avoid pitfalls. These three tips for new real estate agents should help any new Realtor avoid first year failure in the industry.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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