What You Need to Know About Selling Your Condominium in Today’s Market

In today’s California condominium market not only should the seller prepare the unit for sale, but the seller should be prepared with certain information about the homeowner’s association–prior to listing. Do you as a seller know how many owners live in the association? Are you familiar with your association’s Conditions, Covenants & Restrictions (CC&R’s)? What about upcoming assessments for planned maintenance work on the common areas?

You’ve worked hard repainting your unit, cleaning the carpeting and possibly upgrading the countertops in your kitchen and bathroom, and you’re ready to have buyers take a look. Then perhaps you obtain an offer from a motivated and excited buyer and you open escrow and plan to close in 30 days. But wait, have you considered other issues that could impact your sale?

For instance, did you know that having less than a 50% owner occupancy ratio means you may need to obtain an offer from an all cash buyer? Unfortunately, many condo owners do not realize that with a higher number of rental units comes a lower probability of buyer mortgage financing. Many lending sources have a higher criteria than required under FNMA loan rules, and may require 70-75% owner occupancy before agreeing to your new buyer’s loan. At a minimum, 50% owner occupancy is required for FHA loans (this applies only if your building is FHA approved, by the way). In a 32 unit building for example, 16 renters will be too much. Lest you think otherwise, this situation is not unheard of and in fact exists in a very upscale area where the owners don’t want to let go of their units after they have moved on to a single family house. It has presented a lot of difficulties for those owners who wanted to sell. If you wait until you are in escrow for the buyer/buyer’s lender to find this out, much time will have been wasted and the transaction may end up cancelling. Wouldn’t it be wise to bring this issue up to your Board of Directors so that the general membership could review the policy for handling rentals?

Property owners should not be living in oblivion while allowing their association’s owner ratio to decline year after year. This could mean the difference between selling a unit while it still has equity or as a successful short sale, or forcing one into foreclosure because the owner has no other way out of their situation because no lender would grant financing and no all cash buyer could be found. A foreclosed unit in an association means a drop in collected owner’s dues and a possible increase for remaining members, or at the least a lack of contribution to normal operating costs. Plus, the market value of all units in that association may be impacted if it now becomes impossible to obtain financing, or cash buyers bring in „lowball“ offers to a desperate seller. Typically, a lender’s HOA Certification submitted to the Board or property manager may ask how many owners, how many renters, and how many vacant units. You can circumvent wasted time by contacting your Board or property manager beforehand to obtain this information.

Let’s say the owner occupancy ratio is still fine, but there are delinquent owners in the building, possibly due to loss of employment, or units already in foreclosure. Did you know that if an association has over 15% of its owners 30 days (or more) behind in their association payments, the lenders will probably not make a loan until that number is decreased to less than 15%. In a smaller building of 30 units, that would take only 5 units. What if those particular owners are foreclosures held by a bank which is not paying dues until the unit sells, or owners who have abandoned their units and are unreachable? Has your Board of Directors suggested a remedy to assist current sellers in good standing? This is information you the seller should look into before you list your property. Why wait until you’re in escrow and then find out the lender won’t go forward due to this issue? Again, your Board of Directors (possibly the Treasurer) or your property manager representative should be able to quickly provide you with this information.

These are two of the biggest issues that a seller may confront, but others may include whether or not your association has a reserve study–how much money is set aside in your annual budget for reserves? Ideally it would be about 10%. Does your association have CC&R’s updated in the last 5 years, or are you still operating on your original documents that are probably very out of date with today’s laws? What is the pet policy in your building? Many buyers have pets and will need to know in advance what to expect, i.e., two dogs may not be allowed, but one dog under 35 lbs is allowed. Are you aware of any litigation within the association? This is a disclosure asked of California sellers in which lenders have a direct interest in the risk of lending there, depending on the particular issue.

In a homeowner association, the concept of „the greater good“ is very close to the surface. Members of an HOA are bound together by a particular legal umbrella found in the California Civil Code that does not exist in a non-association neighborhood. Condominium living was and is really meant for the owners who plan on living there, and it may not work well for long-term absentee landlords, because now more than ever, the transfer of these units is greatly controlled for the first time by mortgage lending criteria.

For more real estate information please visit my websites. I would be happy to respond to any questions concerning this article, or condo selling in general.

http://www.longbeachrealestate.blogspot.com

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

5 Tips on How to Sell Your House Without a Realtor

1-Don’t change your mind after you made the advertising and preparations for selling the property. If you decide to sell your house without a realtor then keep it this way, because if you change your mind you will feel about it and your morale will go down. Think this way: If so much people make money through selling their own house why shouldn’t I do the same thing.

There’s no ultra-secret method that real estate agents use to sell your house, and there’s no secret tips that everyone sell their own houses without a realtor.

2-Be sure that you are doing the right things, because the main mistake that people do is to think if they spend a fortune on advertising they will get higher offers.No. Advertise in the right place,
through newspaper and websites and put a sign outside the house.

3-Try to make small improvements to your house in order to increase it’s value.

4-Have patience and don’t rush things, because you will get a buyer for your house eventually.

5-Price your house correctly. This is one of the most important tips on how to sell your house without realtor: When you evaluate your house I suggest to find out the price for houses that are for sale or were sold in your neighbourhood and price your house 10% lower. This way you will get most visitors to your house and the chances of getting fast offers for your house increase. Keep in mind that in order to have a relevant price you must look for houses that are close to yours. I mean houses that have the same number of rooms, same number of baths, same style.

These are just a few tips on how to sell your house without a realtor, but I will reveal more soon.Keep in mind that selling houses can pe a profitable business if it’s done correctly.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

For Sale by Owner is Not the Way to Go

If you have a home and you want to sell it, you may be thinking why do you have to use an estate agent to sell your property. Why can’t you just put up a for sale sign, then hey presto! Your house is gone. The technical term for a person that wants to sell there own home is FSBO, which stands for „for sale by owner“. You may have heard the success stories of people that have sold their homes, and now you are thinking about doing the same thing.

Before attempting to sell your own property ask your self if you wanted to invest some money would you ask for financial advise?

This question is relevant because most people see their home as their biggest asset.

There are a number of reasons way you should use a Realtor or estate agent to sell your home.

Contacting lenders

If you want to sell you home your self you will have to contact different lenders such as the bank and credit unions and mortgage companies. Instead of doing this the Realtor can do it. When you speak to a Realtor they will give you a better understanding as to how much you may need to take out as a loan. He will also find you the best company to finance your home.

Realtor flexibility

Using a Realtor will give you way more choices. If you have price that you have settled on for your home, a professional can use his contacts to find you the best opportunities. In a lot of cases there are a lot of unadvertised opportunities that are not advertised. It’s only your Realtor that can make them available to you.

These are just some of the reasons why it’s a good idea to use the help of a professional when selling your home. Instead of selling outright they may be able to get a swap done that is beneficial to both parties. In short the use of a professional is less stressful. If you have your own contacts you can still do it your self but that’s your choice.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Benefits of Selling Your House For Cash

    Honesty Alert! I May Not Be Your Best Option.

What are the benefits of selling your house for cash? As with everything you’ll read or hear from me, I’m going to be completely honest with you. Selling your house to me may not be your best option. That’s right, for many people who have plenty of time and have a house in perfect condition, selling your house to me may not be your best option. You will probably get more money for your house by selling with a realtor and waiting however long it takes to sell on the open market.

    Time Is Money.

However, if you don’t meet the requirements above and want or need to sell your house quickly, there are many benefits to having me buy your house. Since your time is valuable, I’ll start with the most important benefit first. Cash buyers buy your house fast! Don’t underestimate the value of this. We’ve all heard that time is money, and it couldn’t be any more true than in real estate. Not even calculating in the actual value of your personal time that gets eaten up trying to sell a house, just owning a property is very expensive. The insurance, taxes, utilities, and maintenance can easily eat up thousands and thousands of dollars over the many months it takes to sell a home the conventional way. All that money could stay in your pocket very shortly after you call me.

    Avoid Frustrations

I seriously considered making avoiding frustrations the number one benefit, but a fast sale is just too important. Since I could literally write dozens of articles on the ways selling a home can be frustrating, I’ll summarize the most common ones in a list. In no order of precedence, just a few of the ways that selling a home can be frustrating are; fixing your home, staging your home, keeping your home in show ready condition, having to leave your home on short notice for a showing, 18 page Colorado real estate contracts, picky buyers, window shoppers, nosy neighbors, paying for a house you don’t live in, worrying about when or if your home will sell, negotiating with buyers, buyers backing out of contracts after you’ve moved out, realtors commissions, and mostly just the uncertainty of it all.

    Cash is King.

Which would you rather have? A house worth $200,000 or $200,000 cash in the bank. Of course you’d rather have the cash as you can do anything you want with that. If you have a house you have to sell it first to get the cash. The most you could possibly hope to walk away with after selling a $200,000 through a realtor is around $182,000, and that’s if you didn’t have to do any repairs and sold for full price. Do the math, 6% realtor commissions and 3% closing costs add up to $18,000! More likely you’ll have a few thousand in repairs and have to negotiate down an average of 5% in price reductions and paying the buyers closing costs. This means you’ll likely only receive around $170,000 cash for your $200,000 house. As I said, „Cash is King“, so getting a quick cash offer from me is very likely your best option.

    It’s Just Too Easy.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How Your Real Estate Agent EARNS Your Trust?

For most of us, the value of our family home, represents our single – biggest, financial asset! Therefore, wouldn’t it, make sense, to hire, someone, who might make the biggest difference, in your results, from easing the process, to getting the deal, transacted? However, since, many find this period, stressful, etc, quality teamwork, and mutual trust, are essential (what is often called, being, on the same – page)! Before hiring someone, ask yourself, why do you (or don’t you) trust that individual, and what is needed, for a real estate agent, so he EARNS that vital bond! 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. Empathy; emphasis; efforts; excellence; endurance: It’s wise to thoroughly, interview potential representatives, before deciding, who, to hire, as your real estate professional/ agent! During this process, consider, whether the individual, is ready, willing, and able to effectively, listen, far more than he speaks! Does he seem to be able to customize his discussion, or, does it seem, like he is using some sort of script? Only, when you hire someone with genuine empathy, will he proceed with the understanding of your, specific needs, and priorities, and place his emphasis, accordingly! Are you convinced, he will place his efforts, on proceeding, with quality, and excellence, instead of the same – old, same – old? Since, there are often, obstacles, and challenges, you should seek, someone, with the endurance, persistence, etc, to make a difference, for you!

2. Attitude; aptitude; articulate; attention; actions: Great agents possess a positive, can – do, attitude, combined with a well – developed, aptitude, and skill – set, to serve their clients! Paying keen attention to details, articulating a message, which inspires potential buyers, to seriously consider, and bid, on your house, and proceeding with the best strategic and action plans, and, proactively, taking the actions, which produce results, are essential, to earning trust, and respect!

3. Responsive; region; relevant; reliable; responsible: To earn your trust, an agent must be responsive to your specific situation, etc, and produce, reliable, responsible approaches, to achieve, the finest possibilities, and results! To do so, he must know you region/ area, in – detail, and proceed, forward, in the most relevant way!

4. Needs; neighborhood: No two people, are exactly, alike, and, thus, it’s important to address the specific client’s needs, and priorities! In addition, he should be a neighborhood – expert, so he provides the best combination of knowledge, marketing, and input!

5. System; solution; service: Examine an agent’s suggested system, and consider if it addresses, and produces a quality, viable solution, to serve your best interests! The finest agents, consistently, provide the best service, etc!

Before hiring a real estate agent, do all you can, to ensure, he EARNS your trust! That’s the best way, to protect, your enormous investment, in your house!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How NOT to Hire a Real Estate Agent

If you do NOT read this report you will almost certainly lose thousands of dollars when you sell your home…

Home sellers don’t know how to spot a good real estate agent

This is understandable when you consider that you will only buy and sell one or two properties in your lifetime. Your home is probably your biggest asset. So, be careful whom you choose to sell it; one slip-up from an agent will wipe thousands off your selling price.

Ask the right questions

Many home sellers ask the WRONG questions when they interview an agent. They ask questions such as „How much do you charge?“ or „What’s my house worth?“. While these questions are important, they should only be asked after the agent has told you what they’ll do for you and how they’ll get you the best price.

This report is your guide to hiring a real estate agent. I’m going to show you how to spot and select the best agent to sell your home. After all, I believe there’s no one better to sell your home than a highly skilled agent. The problem is that highly skilled agents are hard to find.

WARNING! Don’t settle for second best. Too many sellers make the mistake of picking the ‚best of a bad bunch‘. You could be better off without an agent

Check out your agent

It’s a sad fact, but many people don’t check-out their agent until after they have signed with them – by then it’s too late. After you sign you’re stuck; you could be locked into a ‚minimum 90 day‘ contract.

The questions and information in this report will give you the knowledge you need to keep the power when you’re selling a house. After you sign you lose your power.

Agents love to say they are all different but basic research will prove most are the same. It’s the ‚cookie cutter‘ approach when it comes to selling your home – every property is sold the same way.

What to look for when choosing an agent

In 2006 Neil Jenman (my Dad) was asked to provide a list of questions, comments, and hints to help home sellers choose an agent for a TV show he was hosting. He called his list of questions and comments, GUIDE TO GRILLING AGENTS. Over the last few years I have given the guide to many home sellers. This report contains many of the questions and comments in his original guide.

What does a good agent look like?

Most agents will be well dressed, on time, and prepared. But the best real estate agents will be the ones who put your interests first. They will offer solutions that suit you first, not them.

Agents who ask for money to advertise your home should rarely be hired. After all, if advertising was the only reason your home sold why do you need a real estate agent?

Questions are the answer

Sometimes the answer to one good question will give you the confidence you need to hire the best agent to sell your home. Good questions do the hard work for you. Before you jump in and start grilling real estate agents, take a step back.

Put your home buyer shoes on. And start with a mystery shop…

MYSTERY SHOP

Department stores do it, so why shouldn’t you? Use the ‚process of elimination‘ to weed out the poor agents. Why bother interviewing a real estate agent who doesn’t bother to return buyer’s calls? Start with an email. Approximately half of all buyer enquiry arrives via email.

If you send out 10 emails to 10 local real estate agents, I can almost guarantee that you will not receive 10 replies. If only 5 reply, then you have just saved yourself having to interview 5 agents. Include your phone number in your email. Do they call you back? Or do they just email a standard response? An agent who follows up with a call has a much better chance of ‚closing a sale‘ than an agent who sends a standard reply.

QUESTIONS ARE YOUR BEST WEAPON

If you don’t ‚test‘ your real estate agent before you hire them – one thing is for sure – the buyers for your home will do it for you.

What follows are questions that have proven to be a huge help to sellers.

REMEMBER: You are the owner of the property. You are considering employing an agent to sell your property. You are the boss. You have the power BEFORE you sign up. Make sure you keep that power at all times. Control the agents, do not let the agents control you.

Your home’s selling price is determined by your agent’s ability to negotiate

• HOW ARE YOU GOING TO GET THE BEST PRICE FOR MY HOME?

When you ask this question many agents will start throwing around the word negotiation. You want to be certain that they are capable of negotiating a high price for your house, ask them to teach you something about negotiation.

Question their ability to negotiate.

Ask them what they know about negotiation. It’s a big point that most home sellers miss because they focus on what the agent says rather than on what they do.

Here’s one of my favorite questions to ask a real estate agent:

• WHEN/IF YOU BRING ME AN OFFER, HOW CAN I BE CERTAIN THAT IT’S THE ABSOLUTE BEST PRICE THAT THE BUYER CAN PAY?

Many real estate agents will have difficulty answering this question. It’s a question that’s rarely asked of agents. Ask it. The answer will tell you a lot about an agent.

Some more questions you can ask are:

• Are you a good negotiator?

• Can you tell me some of the main points you know about negotiation?

• Can you give me some examples of the results of your negotiating ability?

The Biggest Liar Gets the Job

When hiring a real estate agent, the biggest liar (the agent who quotes you the highest price) often gets the job. It’s an old (and very true) real estate saying.

Unfortunately many home sellers hire liars. This happens because people who hear what they want to hear don’t perceive the information as being a lie.

One of the best questions you can ask is:

• WHAT WILL YOU DO TO GET THE BEST PRICE FOR MY HOME?

Once you are satisfied with the answer then ask:

• WHAT PRICE DO YOU THINK YOU CAN SELL MY PROPERTY FOR?

Most agents will try hard to hedge around this question. They may be vague and say such things as „It depends on the market,“ or they may use the common ploy of answering a question with a question, such as, „How much do you want?“

Sellers should stand firm and press the agent on this point by making such comments as:

You are the agent, you sell lots of properties in this area, surely you know how much you can sell my property for – even if you have to give me a range. After all, you are the expert, aren’t you?

Once the agent has given a [verbal] quote, ask the following:

1. Will you give me that quote in writing?

2. Do you usually sell properties for the price that you quote the sellers?

Regardless of the answers, don’t dwell too long on any point at this stage. Just keep the questions rolling…

It’s not what you pay an agent, but what they cost you, that counts.

• How much commission do you charge?

Most agents will talk about ’standard rates‘ or they will say that the rate is recommended by the Real Estate Institute – this is to soften the shock. Sellers should make comments such as:

Is your fee negotiable?

Have you ever reduced your fee for anyone?

If you should ask me to accept a lower price than the price you have quoted me, will you also accept a lower fee?

NOTE: Be wary of agents who cut their commission to get your business.

These agents are often poor performers who rely on discounts to get you to sign with them.

• What is it about you and your agency that makes you better than other agents?

This is a great question. The agents all want to say that they are „the best“ but they will struggle to define what is meant by „best“. Of course, „best“ to a seller means the highest price with the lowest risk and the lowest cost.

The Issue of Advertising

With almost every agent, advertising will be a big point. Be careful, this is the most common way in which thousands of home-owners lose thousands of dollars without selling their homes!

The Golden Rule when selling a home: Never pay any money for any reason to any agent until your home is sold and you are satisfied.

The Silver Rule is this: Don’t sign anything that requires you to pay any money [in the future] for any reason if your home is NOT sold.

Some agents will say „you don’t have to pay for advertising until your house has sold“ but what they fail to mention (or make clear) is that if your home fails to sell you will still have to pay.

Here are some comments and questions that can be made to an agent which show the absurdity of the advertising policies in most real estate offices.

• Why do you expect me to pay for the advertising to find a buyer? Surely the commission should include advertising?

• Why should I pay twice – once for advertising and once for commission?

• If you put ads in the newspapers [and charge sellers for those ads] and the buyers are going to come via you, what are you doing that sellers can’t do for themselves?

• If you advertise my home and I pay for the ads and you get calls from buyers and those buyers buy a home other than mine, do you give me any money back? If not, why not?

• If I pay you [thousands of] dollars for advertising and you do not sell my property, what happens to the money I paid?

• I notice that your advertising has your name and the name of the agency prominently featured. Surely I don’t have to pay the cost of advertising you and your agency?

• Based on the length of time you have been in business and the number of people who contact your office, don’t you already have a list of buyers on your books?

• I am not going to be paying any money to any agent for any reason until my home is sold. Once my home is sold within the price range that you quoted me, I will be delighted to pay you a GENEROUS commission as a reward.

This is my firm policy as a seller. Do you accept my policy?

Random comments and questions… [or other ways to make the same major points] might include…

• I want an agent who will get me the highest price at the lowest cost with the lowest hassle and, of course, without any risk of loss if there is no sale. Are you comfortable with being able to meet these simple requests of mine?

• How many properties do you sell? (Let them ask you if you mean weekly, monthly or annually, to which you reply that the time frame doesn’t matter. You just want to know that they are capable of getting results).

• What provisions do you take to ensure the security and safety of my home when it is being shown to prospective buyers?

• If I find a buyer – such as a close friend or relative – will you want me to pay you any commission?

• Have you ever had any unhappy clients?

• What were they unhappy about?

• If I employ you and I am not happy with your performance, I want to be able to dismiss you without any penalty to me. Is this okay by you?

• The agent I choose will be given an initial time period of 30 days on the selling agreement between us. If my property is not sold in 30 days and if I’m happy with the performance of the agent, I will be happy to extend the term of the agent’s appointment. Is this okay by you?

SELLERS‘ TERMS & CONDITIONS

Get the agent to agree to your terms BEFORE you agree to the agent’s terms.

Finally, the biggest and most important point of all for home sellers – DO NOT SIGN the document that the real estate agent asks you to sign – at least NOT on the agent’s first visit.

Ask the agent the following questions:

• If I decide to employ your agency to handle the sale of my home, what document will you be asking me to sign?

• Can I have a copy of that document so that I can get some independent advice about it?

• The following is the start of your final words to the agent at the end of the agent’s first visit…

As I am the owner of the home and as I will be employing an agent, I will be preparing a list of my own terms and conditions under which I employ an agent. I will be asking the agent to sign my terms and conditions before I sign any terms and conditions prepared by the agent. Further, if any of my terms conflict with the agent’s terms, then, of course, my terms will take precedence.

• Are you okay with me, as the owner of the home, telling you, the agent, what I require you to do?

Thank the agent for coming and tell the agent that you will be in touch should you require the services of his/her agency. Stand up, shake hands, walk towards the exit or front gate. Wave goodbye.

Smile, you have done well. You are in control.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Advantages Of Selling Your Home Lease To Own

If you are a home owner with a property for sale, lease to own may be one of your best options. The economy has changed drastically in the last few years. Unemployment has reached record highs. Interest rates are down, but that’s not a factor since most homeowners are upside down on their mortgages anyway,compliments of the housing bust. Buyers in general are having a more difficult time securing a traditional mortgage for varies reasons.

The average home price in some areas are down twenty-five to fifty percent. Home prices are down not for lack of buyers, but lack of qualified buyers.

Foreclosure and short sales has driven home values down also. Homes are appraised by comparing the average sales price of homes in a specific area that are similar in size, condition, etc.It is so many homes in foreclosure, and individuals forced to sell their properties its many finding a buyer impossible. The banks have a surplus of foreclosed homes in every community in the country, and their asking price is much cheaper. A regular homeowner can’t compete. This leaves the homeowner with a property that he can’t sell, and if he does he gets a fraction of its true value. This is when lease to own becomes an option.

Most lease to own companies look for two types of buyers. Buyers that are relocating tend to be great candidates for lease contracts. Relocating buyers are looking to quickly move in and start a new job while their old house is being sold. Most do not have credit issues, but there debt to income disqualifies them for a mortgage. The second kind of buyers are high income clients with some past credit problems.

The advantages for a homeowner willing to lease to own are many. You get your asking price and a nice down payment which you keep, if the buyer exercises his option to buy,or not. Another plus, most lease to own companies will help buyers improve their credit scores. If buyers are serious about being financed, their credit scores are usually repaired by the end of the lease period. The lease period usually lasts no more than two years. No commissions or closing costs for the seller is another great incentive. Closing costs run in the thousands. Commissions for realtors are about five percent of the sale price of the home. These two factors alone save the homeowner usually $10,000 or more.

National online lease to own companies are ideal for sellers and buyers who are considering lease contracts as an option. Seventy to eighty percent of all home buyers look at homes online before they even visit a home, reported by a consumer research agency.

In concluding, lease to own is a great option for homeowners selling their property, and buyers looking to close quickly. All programs are not for everyone so find the best program that fills your particular needs. It should be easy with the vast number of companies providing services in this niche. Hope you found this helpful. Good luck!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Homes For Sale by Owner – Top Ten Secrets For Selling Your Home Yourself

So, you have decided to sell your home by yourself! You can save many thousands of dollars if you are successful. I have written this guide to assist you. I have seen many FSBOs have unrealistic expectations, and make mistakes along the way that ultimately prevent them from being successful. Did you know that 80% of FSBOs ultimately list their home with a Realtor? I hope these ideas will help put you in the other 20%.

Am I trying to put myself out of business? No. Do I think everyone has the right to sell their home however they see fit? Yes. If your circumstances change, and you decide you want a professional to sell your home for you, please call Gold Valley Realty. We are a full service brokerage firm with a flexible commission structure that is hard to beat.

Tip 1 * Plan Your Strategy

First of all, by when must your home be sold? Is nine months from now OK? Or will you not be able to close on your new home if your current home isn’t sold in nine weeks? What are the consequences and financial impacts if your deadline is not met? Time is a FSBO’s friend.

As of October 2008, the average marketing time for an average priced home listed by a Realtor in the Tucson MLS (Multiple Listing Service) was 78 days. This time varies considerably by location and price range. Ask Gold Valley Realty what the average is for your neighborhood. As a general rule, it normally takes a FSBO about twice as long to sell their home as it does a Realtor with MLS access. In either case, add to that the normal 30 day period from contract negotiation and acceptance until the final closing of the deal.

The name of the game in selling a home is getting as many qualified buyers through the door as possible. Who is a qualified buyer? One who can afford your home! One who verifiably has either the cash or financing available to buy your home. Realtors quickly learn to qualify their buyers before spending a lot of time working for them. You should too.

Speaking of Realtors, are you going to „cooperate“ with them? That is, if they bring the buyer that ultimately buys your home, are you willing to pay them? If so, how much? The vast majority of homes listed in the MLS offer compensation of three percent of the sales price to the buyer’s agent. In my experience, around 90% of FSBOs offer compensation to buyer’s agents.

How do you plan on getting qualified buyers through YOUR front door? Various methods are discussed in detail below.

What is your marketing budget? When and on what are you going to spend it?

Who is going to negotiate and prepare the contract for the sale of your home? Who is going to monitor escrow to quickly identify and resolve any potential deal breakers?

Tip 2 * Price your home correctly.

This obvious step will have the single biggest impact on the success or failure of your temporary career as a FSBO (For Sale By Owner). Yet for most FSBOs this can also be one of the most challenging actions.

The market value of your home is what a ready, willing, and able buyer is willing to pay you for it.

How much a buyer is willing to pay for your home is dependent upon his personal circumstances and motivation; available competing properties in your area; and the prices of recently sold comparable homes in your neighborhood. Information on competing properties and recently sold „comps“ is available through several sources. We highly recommend getting a professional appraisal of your home. That will cost you around $300. Having an objective appraisal in hand has several advantages, not the least of which is being able to provide your buyer with a solidly defensible price established by an independent expert.

There are situations in which it may be more important for you to sell your home quickly rather than getting every last dollar out of your home. In this case, you may wish to price your home a few percent below the appraised value. However, your best bet if time is a serious consideration for you is to list your home with a Realtor. One of the extra benefits of listing with Gold Valley Realty is that we reimburse you for the appraisal at closing! Even if you had the appraisal done while FSBO.

Tip 3 * Marketing Materials

The single most effective marketing tool, by far, is the yard sign! Make yours professional looking. Look for a sign company in your city. Buy one of the information tubes that hang below your yard sign, and stuff it with flyers.

Your flyer should include at least one color photograph, and highlight the facts about your home, especially the asking price, number of bedrooms, square footage, special features, and schools.

Ask if you can post your flyers at nearby grocery stores, churches, schools, apartments, health clubs, country clubs, golf courses, travel agencies, insurance agencies, beauty salons, title companies, mortgage companies! Give some to your friends and neighbors too.

Publish your home information on the world wide web. An increasing number of homebuyers use the internet as a valuable information source.

Newspaper ads can be somewhat useful, more so if used in conjunction with open houses.

Tip 4 * Staging Your Home for Showing

As the old saying goes, you only have one chance to make a first impression! Make sure it is a good one. Make sure your front yard is looking good. Is the handle on your front door showing its age? Replace it. Make sure your home is clean and tidy. Open all drapes, blinds, and shutters. Turn on every light in the house, day or night. A sparsely furnished room shows better than a cluttered room. If you have accumulated a lot of extra stuff over the years, put it in storage! You are moving soon anyway. Does your home pass the sniff test? If you have pets, or are a smoker, it might not. In that case, either replace or professionally deodorize your carpets. If you are having an open house, bake some bread or cookies to make your home smell great.

Tip 5 * Security & Showing Your Home

You can show your home either by appointment or by holding an open house. Setting appointments can be difficult if you are not usually available to answer the phone number on your ads and flyers. You might consider using a voice mail or a live answering service (starting at about $35 per month) to field your ad calls rather than using your home telephone. This offers some security benefits as well.

It is unlikely, though unfortunately not impossible, that criminals will use this opportunity to steal your possessions or hurt your family. A little preparation can go a long way to minimize that possibility.

Consider renting a safety deposit box to store your valuable jewelry, coins, guns, stamps, and memorabilia. Make a list and videotape the contents of your home, and store them in your safe deposit box, or at work. You should also hide cash and prescription drugs in a non-obvious place prior to showing your home.

Have your spouse, friend, or neighbor with you when you show your home. If the „buyer“ is making you nervous or acting suspiciously, ask them to leave.

Tip 6 * Cooperating with Buyer’s Agents

Virtually all homes offered for sale in the Tucson Multiple Listing Service (MLS) have a standing offer of cooperation for a three percent (3.0%) or more commission for the agent that ultimately procures the buyer. You might want to make the same offer to any Realtors that contact you. Why?

Most homebuyers are either already working with a real estate agent, or will be soon after their home search starts. Why? They can get professional representation at NO COST, as the buyer’s agents commission is paid for by the home seller. This means that a buyer can have an agent screen homes for him, set up appointments, accompany him on appointments, advise him as to a home’s market value, write up the offer, negotiate with the seller (or the seller’s agent), set up escrow, be there for inspections, handle any problems that arise, coordinate with the other businesses involved (mortgage company, home inspectors, escrow, title insurance), review final documents for contract compliance, and be there at the closing, all for FREE. Why then would a buyer buy a home without a Realtor working for him?

Tip 7 * Pre-qualify Potential Buyers

Failure of the buyer to qualify for a loan is the single most common cause of a FSBO’s deal falling apart.

Realtors get their buyers pre-qualified with a lender before spending much time and effort on their behalf. I personally will meet with a buyer for an initial consultation whether or not they are pre-qualified, but won’t go beyond that until I know they can either obtain financing or pay cash. I certainly recommend that you don’t enter into a contract with a buyer until you have independent confirmation of their ability to get financing or pay cash. Ask for the name and phone number of their loan officer. Call the loan officer and explain the situation; ask him or her if the buyers can qualify for a mortgage sufficient to buy your home.

Tip 8 * Use Professional Contracts

The contract in use by Realtors nationwide have evolved over time to cover almost all contingencies and disputes that have arisen in the past. I highly recommend that you use this contract, rather than a generic, do-it-yourself real estate contract. Arizona has unique laws and customs about selling real estate. A contract that is useful in another state will not be optimized for use in Arizona. If you have found a buyer, and want to write up a contract, contact a local real estate brokerage and see if you can get a copy of a blank contract.

Tip 9 * Monitor Escrow Closely

You are almost there! You found a buyer, negotiated and signed a contract, and opened escrow with a reputable title company. Actually, there is still much to be done before you sign over the deed at the title company and collect your money.

The buyer will normally have the right to perform whatever inspections he desires in the first 10 days or so after contract acceptance. If he finds problems with the house, roof, appliances, heating, cooling, plumbing, etc., he can either cancel the contract, or ask you to repair or replace the deficiencies. This can be a vexing situation. You as the seller may feel that the buyer is asking for too much. This is something that can be negotiated, but needs to be done diplomatically. Try to keep your pride and emotions from interfering with you ultimate objective of getting the house sold.

Get a written Conditional Loan Approval (CLA) from the mortgage company within the first 10 days after contract acceptance. This is much stronger than a verbal „pre-qualification“, and means your deal has a high probability of closing. Contact the mortgage company about 5 business days before you are scheduled to close; make sure that their documents will be available to the escrow company at least one day before you are due to sign the closing papers.

Tip 10 * Closing Escrow

One last note about closing. Closing on a home sale in Arizona is defined as the documents being recorded at the County Recorder’s Office. After the buyer and seller have signed, the loan package must go back to the mortgage company for final inspection. The mortgage company will then actually transfer funds to the escrow company. Only then can the escrow company send a runner down to the County Recorder’s Office and record the sale. The bottom line is, sign the paperwork the day before the actual closing.

Congratulations!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Selling A House In Foreclosure

When most people are notified by their lender that their house will soon go into foreclosure, they think all is lost. While it’s a difficult time, the good news is you do still have options that will not hurt you as much financially, such as a short sale. This will allow you to sell your home prior to foreclosure, with the bank getting all the proceeds from the sale. While it may not equal the entire amount of what’s owed, it will generally be enough to satisfy the bank, since it doesn’t want to spend time trying to sell the property and possibly receiving less money in the process. But if you’ve decided it’s time to sell your house quickly, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

If you have a home going into foreclosure due to a divorce, illness, relocation, inheritance, or other life event, always be sure to get your lender’s permission before going ahead with a short sale. By discussing your situation with them ahead of time, you’ll be able to show you’re not being irresponsible in repaying the loan, but rather have had extenuating circumstances occur that led to the current situation.

In these situations, don’t go it alone. Instead, hire a real estate professional to assist you. By doing so, they can help set a reasonable price for the property, answer any questions you may have, and even act as a buffer between you and your lender if necessary. This will be especially important if the current housing market is weak, since it may take a bit more work to find a buyer.

Once you’ve got a buyer willing to pay your asking price, meet with your lender. Since you’ll already have a buyer ready to take the property, chances are the bank will accept the bid, so long as it’s reasonable. As added insurance, be sure to inform the lender that if they reject the bid, foreclosure is inevitable, since this will give them extra incentive to give you their approval.

When you decide it’s time to sell your house quickly due to such factors as divorce or illness, make sure you get a promise in writing from your lender that they will not pursue a deficiency judgement against you once your home is sold. This would be the difference between what the property sells for and the remaining balance on the mortgage, if any. By knowing no legal action will be taken against you, it will be much less stressful to sell your home during what is already a difficult time in your life.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Homes For Sale – 7 Tips for Selling in a Slow Market

In the past decade home sales have gradually become a buyer’s market. Although this is good news for the buyer, it is becoming somewhat of a nightmare for those who are trying to sell their home. Because of this, sellers often have to dramatically drop the price of their homes in order to make the sale, resulting in huge losses. However, there are ways of increasing the chances of making the sale without the seller having to take a big loss. The following will be a list of seven tips for successfully selling a home in a slow market.

1) Appearance is key- When looking to buy a home a buyer will naturally gravitate to houses that have a nice appearance. Fixer-uppers are not as popular as they once were. The first thing that a seller should do is to fix anything that may catch the eye of a potential buyer. For instance, the yard should look immaculate at all times. If the gutters on the house are drooping, that will be the first thing people will notice. If there is chipped paint on the house, paint it. It is worth the money to stage your property for curb appeal.

2) Be flexible- Be prepared to make yourself scarce on weekends if needed for the realtor to show the house. Keep things tidy at all times for any last minute appointments made by perspective buyers. Try not to limit the times that you are willing to provide access to the home.

3) Keep the home at market price- If you are stuck in the mind-frame of making big dollars from the sale of your home, chances are your house will be on the market for years. The best way to drive away potential buyers is to put the house up for sale above market value. Keeping the house for sale at a reasonable market price means that there will be more interest in coming to an open house, therefore bettering your chances of making the sale. It is a well-known fact by realtors that if the price is right, there is a buyer out there for every house.

4) Find an agent with an extensive sales track record in your town- A good realtor will know exactly how to determine fair market price for your home. He should also have a record of being able to sell a home within three or four months. A realtor that is experienced in selling property in your particular neighborhood will be able to take you through the process efficiently and in a timely manner. If you have a realtor who doesn’t have many years of experience, this will waste valuable time and money while he is still working on perfecting his craft.

5) Give the home have a warm and welcoming feel- If the walls in your home are painted in vibrant colors tone them down with neutral shades of tan and beige. This will allow perspective buyers to picture their own furniture in the home without distraction. Set the mood with lightly scented candles in the bedrooms and bathrooms. Soft calming music in the background will give the buyer a relaxed comfortable feeling. Buy new linens for the beds and throw pillows for the sofas. Give your home that „homey“ feeling that everyone is looking for.

6) Do your research- Go to open houses and check out the other houses that are on the market in your area. See what they have to offer a potential buyer. If they have a cozy seating area in the master bedroom, create your own cozy seating area to entice those potential buyers. You would be surprised at the things you can do with just a few over-sized throw pillows and a window with a view. Gather ideas from other houses and use your imagination for the rest.

7) Offer incentives to potential buyers- When a buyer is interested in purchasing your home but wants you to come down on the price, try using other incentives instead. For instance, you may want to offer to pay the buyer closing costs. This is always tempting to buyers since it will save them money, allowing them to have more money for a down payment. Some sellers choose to throw in appliances such as the refrigerator, dishwasher or washer/dryer.

In a buyer’s market, the seller has the task of being inventive in finding a way of moving his property. Making the sale is not always a piece of cake, but with a bit of effort, it can still be done quite successfully.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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