Posts Tagged ‘sell your home’

Low Cost Ways to Spruce Up Your Home Exterior

front door curb appeal
[tweetmeme]
Make your home more appealing for yourself and potential buyers with these quick and easy tips:


1. Trim bushes so they don’t block windows or architectural details.

2.
Mow your lawn, and turn on the sprinklers for 30 minutes before the showing to make the lawn sparkle.

3.
Put a pot of bright flowers (or a small evergreen in winter) on your porch.

4. Install new doorknobs on your front door.

5.
Repair any cracks in the driveway.

6.
Edge the grass around walkways and trees.

7.
Keep your garden tools and hoses out of sight.

8. Clear toys from the lawn.

9.
Buy a new mailbox.

10.
Upgrade your outside lighting.

11. Buy a new doormat for the outside of your front door.

12.
Clean your windows, inside and outside.

13.
Polish or replace your house numbers.

14.
Place a seasonal wreath on your door.



Share the wealth: Bookmark and Share

5 Important Tips When Considering a Short Sale

short sale help button

[tweetmeme]If you’re thinking of selling your home, and you expect that the total amount you owe on your mortgage will be greater than the selling price of your home, you may be facing a short sale. A short sale is one where the net proceeds from the sale won’t cover your total mortgage obligation and closing costs, and you don’t have other sources of money to cover the deficiency. A short sale is different from a foreclosure, which is when your lender takes title of your home through a lengthy legal process and then sells it.

1. Consider loan modification first.

If you are thinking of selling your home because of financial difficulties and you anticipate a short sale, first contact your lender to see if it has any programs to help you stay in your home. Your lender may agree to a modification such as: Refinancing your loan at a lower interest rate; providing a different payment plan to help you get caught up; or providing a forbearance period if your situation is temporary. When a loan modification still isn’t enough to relieve your financial problems, a short sale could be your best option if:

* Your property is worth less than the total mortgage you owe on it.
* You have a financial hardship, such as a job loss or major medical bills.
* You have contacted your lender and it is willing to entertain a short sale.

2. Hire a qualified team.

The first step to a short sale is to hire a qualified real estate professional and a real estate attorney who specialize in short sales. Interview at least three candidates for each and look for prior short-sale experience. Short sales have proliferated only in the last few years, so it may be hard to find practitioners who have closed a lot of short sales. You want to work with those who demonstrate a thorough working knowledge of the short-sale process and who won’t try to take advantage of your situation or pressure you to do something that isn’t in your best interest. A qualified real estate professional can:

* Provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA) or broker price opinion (BPO).
* Help you set an appropriate listing price for your home, market the home, and get it sold.
* Put special language in the MLS that indicates your home is a short sale and that lender approval is needed (all MLSs permit, and some now require, that the short-sale status be disclosed to potential buyers).
* Ease the process of working with your lender or lenders.
* Negotiate the contract with the buyers.
* Help you put together the short-sale package to send to your lender (or lenders, if you have more than one mortgage) for approval. You can’t sell your home without your lender and any other lien holders agreeing to the sale and releasing the lien so that the buyers can get clear title.

For additional resources and assistance on short sales, contact your local Real Estate Resource Center.

3. Begin gathering documentation before any offers come in.

Your lender will give you a list of documents it requires to consider a short sale. The short-sale “package” that accompanies any offer typically must include:

* A hardship letter detailing your financial situation and why you need the short sale
* A copy of the purchase contract and listing agreement
* Proof of your income and assets
* Copies of your federal income tax returns for the past two years

4. Prepare buyers for a lengthy waiting period.

Even if you’re well organized and have all the documents in place, be prepared for a long process. Waiting for your lender’s review of the short-sale package can take several weeks to months. Some experts say:

* If you have only one mortgage, the review can take about two months.
* With a first and second mortgage with the same lender, the review can take about three months.
* With two or more mortgages with different lenders, it can take four months or longer.

When the bank does respond, it can approve the short sale, make a counteroffer, or deny the short sale. The last two actions can lengthen the process or put you back at square one. (Your real estate attorney and real estate professional, with your authorization, can work your lender’s loss mitigation department on your behalf to prepare the proper documentation and speed the process along.)

5. Don’t expect a short sale to solve your financial problems.

Even if your lender does approve the short sale, it may not be the end of all your financial woes. Here are some things to keep in mind:

* You may be asked by your lender to sign a promissory note agreeing to pay back the amount of your loan not paid off by the short sale. If your financial hardship is permanent and you can’t pay back the balance, talk with your real estate attorney about your options.
* Any amount of your mortgage that is forgiven by your lender is typically considered income, and you may have to pay taxes on that amount. Under a temporary measure passed in 2007, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation Act, homeowners can exclude debt forgiveness on their federal tax returns from income for loans discharged in calendar years 2007 through 2012. Be sure to consult your real estate attorney and your accountant to see whether you qualify.
* Having a portion of your debt forgiven may have an adverse effect on your credit score. However, a short sale will impact your credit score less than foreclosure and bankruptcy.

For additional resources and assistance on short sales, contact your local Real Estate Resource Center.  You may have other options available to you.  Find out what they are to make better financial decisions.


Share the wealth: Bookmark and Share

Now is Still a Good Time to Buy?

happy homeowners

More than 80% of first-time home buyers and sellers feel the current housing market is more affordable today than this time last year, despite the fact that 40% of all respondents are more worried about the economy compared to this time last year, according to Century 21 Real Estate LLC’s First-Time Home Buyers and Sellers Survey.

While the attractive combination of home prices, mortgage rates and tax credits appeal to both buyers and sellers, market conditions continue to favor buyers. However, first-time home buyers anticipate home prices will soon begin to rise and in fact, about half of first-time buyers (48%) expect an increase by this time next year, thereby reestablishing the balance between buyers and sellers.


Home price effects on first-time buyers and sellers:

-More than 80% of buyers believe now is a good time to buy a home.

-First-time home buyers rated the three most influential factors in their decision to enter the market and buy a home as current housing prices (66%), followed closely by both the home buyer tax credit (63%) and low interest rates (60%).

-Finding a home within a buyer’s price range is extremely important (95%), as is a neighborhood’s safety (90%).

-The top two factors influencing the first-timers’ decision to sell their homes were personal/family reasons and current housing prices – both of which were cited as motivating factors by 48% of first-time sellers.

-Most likely due to their experience, approximately half of first-time sellers (54%) think home prices are more affordable now than compared to this time last year.

-In fact, the current home prices have influenced 50% of sellers to ‘move-up’ and 37% to change neighborhoods.

-Sellers are mainly concerned about losing money on the sale of their home and receiving offers near their asking price.

-Approximately half of all first-time home buyers (48%) and sellers (53%) anticipate housing prices will increase over the next year.

Source: RISMedia.com



Share the wealth: Bookmark and Share

Stay Informed. Stay Connected.

Backyard Wealth Facebook Become a Fan!

Backyard Wealth on Twitter Follow Us!

You Tube Stay Tuned In!

rss More on the Backyard Wealth Blog!