Category Archives: Real Estate

Considering a Short Sale? Here’s what you need to know.

 

In Atlanta’s real estate market today, short sales and foreclosures make up about half of all real estate transactions. In fact, short sales represent a significant portion of real estate sales activity in Atlanta and are becoming increasingly more common than foreclosures. Though they require a bit more red tape than a normal real estate sale, short sales can benefit all parties if they are all willing to make some sort of compromise.

First, let me explain what is a short sale anyway. When a homeowner sells a home for less than the amount of money owed on the mortgage of that home, that sale is called a short sale. Sometimes, you might hear people refer to it as pre-foreclosure. In most cases, the homeowner has fallen behind on mortgage payments and cannot afford to continue making mortgage payments on the home. Instead of waiting until the lender decides to repossess the property, the homeowner will petition to sell the house for less than the amount owed on the mortgage. In some cases, the lender will even forgive the portion of the mortgage loan not covered by the selling price. Even though foreclosures and short sales negatively affect seller’s credit score, the damage incurred from a short sale can be mitigated if the seller can convince the lender to report the debt as “paid in full.”

For the lender, short selling a property is a lot less hassle and a lot less paperwork than taking on a foreclosed property. They are just as tired of foreclosures as the rest of the population. A short sale transaction benefits them in that they don’t have to deal with selling a property that has been vacant for a while and most likely needs repairs. The lenders are the shot callers in the short sale process and are the ones who set the selling price.

It’s unfortunate for the sellers and the lenders that these homes are selling at depressed price levels. For buyers, it’s a deal. Even though a real estate short sale can still take months to have a decision made by a lender, buyers still get a deal on a property that will most often require less work than a foreclosure.

If you’re in the market for a home in the Atlanta area and are considering a short sale, here is a list of things you want to consider before you jump in head first.

Understand what you’re getting yourself into. Short sales take a while to close and can involve extra effort on the buyer’s part. Save yourself time and unnecessary stress by getting disclosures up front.

This is not a DIY project. As I mentioned before, short sales come with a lot of red tape. It’s imperative to work with a real estate agent on the Go Getter Team who knows the territory and is able to navigate you to a successful close.

Know the condition of the property. In a rush to get rid of the property, sellers may not always be so forthcoming with unfavorable information about the condition of the property. It’s important to have the property professionally inspected before you commit. The Go Getter Team has a list of knowledgeable real estate inspectors on our Preferred Service Providers List.

Be sure the sale has a prayer of closing. Since lenders generally approve of short sales based on the seller’s financial situation, the sadder the story, the better. Most lenders require a letter of hardship, proof of income and assets, a comparative market analysis and a list of liens to consider approval of a short sale.

Be realistic. If you are in a hurry to purchase a home, do not consider a short sale. It’s definitely a waiting game. If you do decide to go for the short sale home purchase, make a reasonable offer that the lender will actually entertain. Lastly, be realistic about where closing costs are coming from. In these cases, cash is the greatest financing alternative for buying a short sale in Atlanta.

What are the short sale tips you’d like to share?

 

3 Comments

Filed under Information for Buyers, Information for Investors, Information for Sellers, Real Estate, Real Estate Glossary

Government Shutdown May Slow Your Atlanta Real Estate Market

We don’t really know if the recent government shutdown will destroy the economic momentum we’ve gained, but we do know the furlough of some 800,000 government employees will undoubtedly slow things down. Another thing we know is that the longer this thing goes on, the worse the effects will be. Some employees of the Pentagon were recalled for work beginning on Monday, and the House passed a bill to approve back pay for furloughed employees. That’s good news for those employees, but what about the millions of Americans who need and/or depend on their services. What about the work that’s not getting done while they are at home?

Imagine being a homebuyer in the middle of a real estate deal and the federal government shuts down. You need your tax transcripts to get your mortgage loan approved and the only department that has the keys to what you need is on furlough.

The approval of most mortgage loans, at least 99% of mortgage loans, require tax transcripts. Homebuyers and Real Estate Agents who are in this predicament will surely see a stall in their real estate transaction. In some cases, deals could potentially fall apart because of the inability for homebuyers to get what they need from the government. Plus, these delays could cause some pre-approvals to expire and force homebuyers to purchase at a higher interest rate if interest rates continue to rise. Because interest rates are a major factor in how much house a homebuyer can buy, sellers and real estate agents are affected as well.

Even if you are a homebuyer who was lucky enough to have gotten your transcripts and your pre-approval to buy a home, you could still have some issues if you applied for a mortgage loan from the Federal Housing Administration. FHA mortgage loans aren’t federally funded, but they are guaranteed by the federal government. Some lenders may not be willing to lend without a guarantee already in place. If you happen to be in this situation, go with a larger institution that is in a better position to fund the loan even in the absence of a guarantee. Otherwise, you’ll risk having your loan on hold and your real estate deal falling apart.

In Atlanta, there is already a shortage of real estate on the market relative to the number of Atlanta homebuyers who are looking to buy a home right now. Many of the houses on the Atlanta real estate market are foreclosures and HUD homes, and the Department of Housing and Urban development is working on a skeleton crew during the furlough with 337 out of 8,709 employees on the job. There’s a possibility, but seemingly a slim chance for new HUD homes to come on the market for a while. If this will be the case, Atlanta homebuyers will see even slimmer pickings for housing in the current Atlanta real estate market.

The American people as a whole immediately felt the effects of the shutdown. The gravity of the effects, however, will be determined by the length of the furloughs. The longer the furlough, the dimmer the bright spot of the housing market recovery. We’re all here in the same boat, waiting to see what happens.

In what ways have you felt the effects of the recent government shutdown?

Leave a comment

Filed under Real Estate

6 Tips To Selling Your Home Faster

Image

If you’ve heard the latest news about real estate, chances are it may have scared you off and held you back on selling your home. Here are a few tips that will help you sell your home faster!

Help Your Agent Market Your Home

Unfortunately in real estate, first-time homebuyers may judge a house based on the lack of photos it has. It’s in your best interest as an individual who wants to sell their home faster to post more pictures of your house and its many features. Studies show that listings with more than six photos increase their chances of their home being viewed by potential homebuyers. We often send professional photographers to our listings to take good photos for the listing.

Become a Video Blogger

Posting a walkthrough of your home on YouTube will help potential homebuyers visualize the many attributes of the home you are selling. Most of our smartphones today have the ability to record videos; this is a cheap but strategic way of opening your home to your community and potential homebuyers. This is helpful if you are a FSBO (for sale by owner). In many cases, agents who are registered with their local MLS, the MLS will also provide a virtual tour of the home based on photos taken.

Leave Good Appliances Behind 

It’s in your best interest to leave some of your valuable appliances behind like your stainless steel fridge, stove and even dishwasher. This gives your home a distinguishing feature that other homes on the market lack. Not only do you have a competitive advantage as an individual selling your home, but you may get the offer you’ve been waiting for. Leaving major appliances can also make good negotiation points once a buyer is interested in your home. In some cases, you might be able to negotiate the sale of your washer and dryer, or even furniture and electronics.

Fix the Eye Sores

There are many investment properties like foreclosures that are sold based on their exact condition. To differentiate your home for potential homebuyers, it’s best to have your home inspected for rodents and fix the scratches and nicks around your home. A prospective homebuyer will appreciate a well-maintained home that they are looking to buy.

Staging Is Beneficial

This could mean painting the outdoor of your home, maintaining the landscape and even adding furniture in your front and backyard that allows prospective homebuyers to visualize their life in this home. Entertaining and spending time outdoors may be a selling feature for many homebuyers so purchasing or renting furniture will benefit you in the long run.

Listen to Your Agent

It’s important to do your research and to find an experienced realtor that has a successful track record. Listen to their recommendations! When it comes to pricing your home, ask your realtor for the sales prices of three homes around your neighborhood. Calculate the average of all the prices and drop your price 10-15% lower than the other homes. This gives your home more viewings and a potential bidding war for your home!

Image Source

1 Comment

Filed under Real Estate

Before You Buy Your First Home – Tips for Home Buyers

Image

If you’re a homebuyer and you’re looking for that dream neighborhood, here are a few tips that you should take note of before jumping into that real estate investment.

Outweighing the Benefits

Folks who are looking to buy a home for the first time will have crunched the numbers before even looking for a home. Your friends and family will have recommended that you buy a home as it will ultimately benefit you in the future and reward you with a great investment opportunity. Once you’re aware of the cost of renting a home versus paying a monthly mortgage, you’ll soon realize that the numbers are pretty close. When that hurdle has been passed, you can start searching for your dream home.

Researching the perfect property

The Internet is an incredible discovery that gives homebuyers a greater chance of finding that perfect neighborhood, the type of home you want and the location you prefer to reside in. You’re given the opportunity of viewing countless properties, which will help you in creating a list of needs that are required in your home.

The length it takes to find the perfect home

It’s important to note that homebuyers who are highly motivated will purchase a home in less than a month. It’s crucial that you have a great relationship with your realtor and that they understand your essential needs in a home.

Rating each home you see

Viewing homes can be an exhausting experience, our tip is to keep a digital camera (or camera phone) handy and take pictures of each property you view. Take notes on what you love and dislike about each home and note the overall design to get a better grasp of the differences between the homes you view. Also, pay attention to what is around the neighborhood, such as where the closest hiking trails are, shopping malls and even major freeways. After having viewed the home, rate it on a scale from 1 to 10 and revisit the photos of the properties to start eliminating your options.

Do a double take

After you have viewed all the homes the realtor has for you, you will have a good idea of the homes you are interested in. Ask your realtor for another viewing and make sure there aren’t any offers on it yet. The homes you look at again will be seen in a different light as you view elements that you overlooked the first time. At this stage of the game, it’s in your best interest to contact your realtor and let them know that you are interested in buying your dream home and making an offer!

Image Source

Leave a comment

Filed under Real Estate

Tips Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Know

Image

Buying a home is always an intimidating experience, especially if you’re a first time buyer and lack sufficient resources to purchase and look for a home. Doing your research beforehand will save you time, money and a potential problem that could have been resolved in advance.

What better than to share with our readers two great tips that every first time homebuyer should be aware of.

Tip 1: Be flexible with your price range

When we first start to consider the idea of purchasing a home we crunch numbers based on what we can afford and what the bank is willing to lend us. Occasionally we become so confident that our price range starts going up, hoping that our dream home is listed in that category and that we’d be willing to bring the price back down to our range. Unfortunately, homes that are at a higher range than what you’re willing to spend will have a number of different offers and tend to sell higher than the asking price.

The solution to finding your dream home is to bring your price back down, even lower than your budget and your options will widen. Real estate can be tough sometimes, the trick is to be a little bit more flexible with your price and alter it based on the asking price.

Tip 2: Never judge a home by its current interior

Sometimes viewing a home with your realtor can be an emotionally draining experience. The homes that you fall in love with tend to be off the market in a very short time as chances are another homebuyer purchased it in the blink of an eye. When buying a home, we never recommend you dwell on a property that you lost out on. It’s best to move on and look for something that has lots of potential. The majority of the time you’ll stumble upon a home that has been decorated for a different era. Your expectations were high and you anticipated a well maintained home with a spectacular kitchen and move in ready, unfortunately that’s not always the case.

The solution is to invest in a property that has major potential to become your dream home. Sometimes all it takes is fresh paint, new hardwood floors and an optimistic attitude when you think about the return on investment in the future.

Our advice for you future homebuyers is to always do your own research before buying a home. It’s best to have a general price range that you’re flexible with and an optimistic vision when faced with an unfortunate interior. As always, when in doubt ask your local realtor for advice, they’ll be happy to bring you closer to your future home!

Image Source: http://www.mortgage2own.ca

Leave a comment

Filed under Real Estate

The Rise in Home Prices– A Great Opportunity for All

Image

If you’re a current homeowner in Atlanta thinking of selling your home, you’re in luck as existing home sales have risen to 4.2% since 2009. The future of real estate has been proven to be profitable with these promising numbers, as residential homes have risen in terms of investment. This is an incredible opportunity for those buying a home as well! Your dream home awaits you in the Greater Atlanta Area with spectacular city views and spacious living for you and your family.

Home prices have risen up to 15.4% in the past year, which is great for the economy and those who are looking to sell. As of May 2013, the national median for existing home prices is at a staggering $208,000. Metro Atlanta has seen a significant rise in home prices and they are now at their highest in 7 years. The sudden rise is as a result of fewer people selling their home and more waiting for the best time to increase their return on investment.

Compared to previous years, real estate numbers have undeniably risen and realtors across Atlanta are confident that existing and future homebuyers will benefit from these figures. Part of the reason behind home prices rising is the limited supply of foreclosures. The lack of competition has given sellers the ability to raise the price of their homes. The rise in home prices also gives current homeowners who are looking to reduce their debt a good opportunity to sell. It also boosts the economy by increasing the construction of homes and kick starting employment rates.

For the house hunters looking for a deal, now is your chance to buy a foreclosure or home at an affordable price as they have decreased from 25% originally to 18% in May. From a realtor’s perspective, purchasing a foreclosure is a great investment opportunity at a fraction of the cost. It is a win-win situation as the bank avoids the costs of having to foreclose, the owner avoids foreclosure on their record and you get a bargain price for investing in this property.

Although the rise in home prices is considered a catch 22, the near future is the best chance to purchase or sell a home. If you’re a homebuyer looking for the perfect home, now is the time to contact your realtor to inquire about the opportunities surrounding you. For the home sellers, you have the ability to wait for the value of your house to rise or you can sell it now if you’re struggling to pay the bills. Take full advantage of the foreclosures that are offered around your community, as those tend to be the best return on your investment!

http://zoe1297.wordpress.com/2009/07/21/to-sell-a-home/sold-sign-2/

Leave a comment

Filed under Real Estate

Here’s a tip for selling a home:

Get a Home Inspection

When you are looking to sell a home, one of the main things that you may want to consider is having a home inspection done. Though not one of the first thoughts on a seller’s mind, getting an independent home inspector to conduct a full inspection of your home will give you a head start on identifying issues with your home that may be found during a typical home sell. You may only have a few days to decide whether to make the repairs or adjust the asking price suitably when negotiating with the buyer. A pre-inspection can make you better prepared; you’ll be better prepared to brainstorm solutions that will satisfy you and the buyer. Plus, a re-inspection gives you more time to compare prices and treatment options from a variety of contractors.

 

By getting an inspection early, you’ll know what concerns and requests a buyer might have in advance. That allows you to set your asking price accordingly. Getting your home pre-inspected could help you avoid wasting money on unnecessary repairs. It could also help you avoid doing double-duty since the inspector can pinpoint problems and tell you exactly where the work is needed. When you are sure of the problems or repairs done on the house that you are selling, having someone look at the house professionally can help you identify things that you may have missed, and you are able to have a more profound look on what your potential buyer wants to see. The best part of it all is that you are saving money in the long run.

1 Comment

Filed under Information for Buyers, Information for Investors, Information for Sellers, Real Estate