Posted on 1. December 2011 02:52 by qmiskini

 

In the Atlanta Metro Area, as the winter season begins to settle in, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of a seasonal slowdown in home sales activity.  That doesn’t mean there are fewer homes for sale.  Nor does it mean “motivated Buyers” are any less motivated to buy a home.  What seems to occur is a “mental sigh” accompanied by a significant slowdown in showing activity.

True, most of us are thinking about the upcoming holiday events, days off spent with friends and family, a few days of rest before re-entering the fray as a prelude to the spring and summer “selling season.”  However, for us and our Team, it is not unusual to be writing or negotiating an Agreement the night before Thanksgiving or the day before Christmas.  A wonderful holiday present for both Buyers and Sellers is a firm agreement leading to a closed home sale.

We know too, that REO asset managers don’t shut down in December and rejoin the market again in January.  The clock and ticker is always running on the millions of dollars of assets on their books.  We have concluded many a great deal for our Buyers right around the holidays.

Sellers, reaching out to those “motivated Buyers” with innovative marketing and pricing adjustments can often bring a sale that otherwise might be missed.  For Buyers, your negotiating power is at a peak.  Everyone should be ready, willing and able to make a good win-win deal.

So don’t slow down for the holidays.  You could have the best Christmas ever!

Don’t forget…selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event; you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net

 

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Posted on 14. November 2011 03:41 by qmiskini

 

HUD homes come in all shapes and sizes.  They are for sale in most segments of the Atlanta Metro Area and sell at a wide range of prices.  For Buyers they serve a variety of needs.

Earlier this year one of our Team’s Realtors purchased a forlorn and somewhat neglected foreclosed town home in a pleasant town home community in Kennesaw, just a few minutes from Kennesaw State University.  She purchased it for cash at a low enough price so that the cost of renovation still kept the overall cost of the property below market value.  Right next door was another not yet, but soon to be foreclosed townhome.  Like many residential single family and townhome communities in Kennesaw, this quiet neighborhood has weathered its share of foreclosures and short sales causing property values to plummet.

The great deal she got on a now lovely home for this young first-time home buying couple is typical of the kinds of great deals to be had if Buyers and their Realtors spend the time doing their homework and having the patience to wait for the right property to come along.  But what of the townhome next door? 

A few weeks ago it returned to the market as a HUD-owned property.  Many Buyers’ Realtors shy away from showing their Clients HUD-owned properties because they are not very easy to buy, and take extra work and effort to get a HUD transaction completed.  The purchasing process is actually a bidding process which demands all information is provided initially through the HUD transactional website… not always an easy site to navigate with a process of bidding and waiting that is unresponsive and somewhat arcane.  The HUD listing agent representing the property on behalf of HUD has little to do with the transaction at the outset and since there is no human being to interact with as in most other residential real estate transactions, reporting progress to your Clients and helping them through the wait and often disappointment of not winning the property is can be daunting.  However, once a Realtor understands the HUD system – which is actually not all that difficult to learn – helping clients benefit from the advantages of buying a HUD property can be rewarding for our Clients. 

A huge plus for the Buyer is HUD’s $100 down payment purchase plan.  Buyers can purchase a new home needing good credit but very little up-front cash.  HUD will allow up to 3% of the purchase price to be credited to the Buyer to apply toward paying the Buyer’s customary closing costs.  If the HUD property appraises for more than the selling price, the FHA upfront insurance fee which pays for the first year of FHA loan insurance, can be rolled into the home loan, again conserving the Buyer’s cash.  When purchasing a HUD property using the 203K renovation loan program, most if not all the cost of bringing the property back to life can also be incorporated into the Buyer’s home loan.

Investors buy HUD properties for use as income producing rental properties or to renovate and resell at a profit.  But Buyers of all types and needs, from singles to families, and first-time buyers to empty-nester down-sizers can all take advantage of a good program that can and often does help communities ravaged by the sub-prime mortgage debacle regain its footing, standing and value. 

Whether you’re buying a home for twenty thousand dollars or two hundred thousand dollars, your Realtor and their Team – one who is not afraid of helping Buyers navigate through the HUD maze can help you find a good property at a great price.

Remember, HUD homes come in all shapes and sizes.

Don’t forget…selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event; you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net

 


Posted on 2. November 2011 02:28 by qmiskini

 

Last week we spent a full day with nearly 200 of the top REO sales and marketing teams from across the USA listening to the collective thinking of eight of the top asset managers from six asset management companies representing billions of dollars of foreclosed properties for both large and small banks and investors.  The information they shared was a stark commentary on the state of the housing market today and their best prognostication of the market to come.

They described the huge backlog of “grey or shadow inventory,” perhaps as many as 6 million mortgages in default or eminent default still to come to the market.  That number in itself is more than 10% of all mortgages nationally.  If the market is depressed today, imagine what would happen to the housing market and home prices if all these defaulting mortgages were foreclosed at once.  A huge quandary for banks and investors holding these defaulting mortgages: How to clear the inventory from their balance sheets, which hurts their financial health, without crashing the housing market.

Although it seems like a large portion of the resale housing available for sale today are foreclosed homes, a rising percentage of the distressed properties for sale in the Metro Atlanta market and across the country are short sales. These are properties whose mortgages are in default and whose owners are attempting to sell and also work out a settlement with their mortgage holder to repay less than what is owed and have the balance (called the deficiency) forgiven.

For sellers of short sale properties this is still, although a good alternative to foreclosure, a tough row to hoe.  Banks, investors and the asset management companies hired to manage the short sale negotiations are still woefully understaffed.  Processing and procedures vary widely from bank to bank, and federal and local regulations and restrictions on how Realtors can represent sellers in short sale transactions are restrictive and inhibiting.  Not a pretty picture out there.

The bright side of this gloomy picture is that industry professionals recognize what a mess the market and the process to clear out the glut of defaulting mortgages is.  But there is much work to be done to stabilize home prices and allow the housing market to help lead the nation out of economic distress.

As Realtors, the more we know about how to navigate the unclear and turbulent waters of marketing and selling short sale and foreclosed properties, and the sharper our understanding of the internal systems of lenders and asset managers when negotiating sales for our distress sale sellers and buyers, the clearer the housing picture will become.  Taking many months to unsuccessfully negotiate a short sale transaction only to see the property go to foreclosure helps no one.  Learning how to successfully bring a short sale offer to a defaulting seller’s lender and thread the eye of the needle in order to get the sale approved, clearing one by one the backlog of distressed homes from the market, can only speed up change in this otherwise dismal residential housing environment.

At the end of the day, it may well be educated and adept Realtors and their Teams, who have become expert at guiding defaulting sellers and bargain hunting buyers through the process, who will clear out the defaulting inventory and bring the market back to health.  We can help distressed home owners find financial relief, and help buyers anxious to find a good opportunity at the bottom of the market to find the “perfect home,”  stabilize neighborhoods, and do our part in forging a path toward economic recovery.

Until then, there’s is no telling how long this tough market will continue.

Remember… selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event; you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net

 


Posted on 31. October 2011 03:40 by qmiskini

 

 

The phone call began with this ominous statement:  “You’re going to die when you hear this… I know I almost did!”  WOW!  A pretty strong opening to a business conversation; but it says a lot about the kind of frustration Realtors as well as their clients feel when transactions fail.  However, sometimes changes that impact a hoped for sale are outside of our control and then we must remember that we cannot control everything in real estate (or in life for that matter,) so do not fret or obsess about things that are out of our control.  With that said, it takes both empathy and a clear plan for getting a disappointed Buyer back into the car to re-start the search after a hoped-for-sale fails.

Here’s the circumstances.  One of our Team’s most experienced Buyer’s Realtors helped her Client find a home that fit nearly all her wishes, wants and needs.  The home was a large, well maintained Georgian Traditional in the sought-after Chatsworth community.  It was within the Buyer’s budget, located in Roswell, but on the Cobb County side of town so that it was in the Lassiter High School district.  Property taxes would be paid in Cobb County vs. Fulton County – which offered a considerable savings in yearly costs.  The Seller was relocating to another state because of a job transfer.  The Seller’s relo company had already completed nearly all the repairs that would be asked for after the Buyer’s inspection.  The Buyer’s offer was on target and acceptable to the Seller and the relo company.  So what could go wrong?

This home had been on the market for several weeks.  It was somewhat overpriced at the start, but after a series of price reductions it reached a price that was within 1% - 3% of fair market value.  The offer to purchase was a 97% offer which was right on target.  The Buyer was pre-approved for an amount exceeding the selling price and was putting down 50%.  And the Buyer was prepared to close within 30 days of binding agreement.  All parties expected the home to correctly appraise at or above the sale price.  All parties expected there to be few or no issues to be negotiated following the home inspection.  So what could go wrong?

After weeks of marketing, price reductions and strategizing the Buyer’s very fair and workable offer was a welcome event.  The Listing Realtor was pleased; the Seller was agreeable; the relo company was agreeable.  All that was now required was for the relo company to sign off on the offer and relo addendums and the transaction was on its way to close.  But not so fast.  On the day the Buyer expected to receive the bound agreement the Listing Realtor called to say the Seller was withdrawing the home from the market.  He was only 6 months away from early retirement and if he took the transfer he’d have to re-up for another two years.  So he decided to work out the last 6 months, move to Florida and rent out the house until after he retires.  Yikes!  Listing Realtor crushed… Buyer frustrated and disappointed… Buyer’s Realtor back on the hunt for the next “perfect home.”

There was about 15 minutes of frustrated venting by the Buyer.  And about 15 minutes of empathetic listening by their Realtor.  “I’m so frustrated.  Maybe we’ll just stay where we are.  But I have to move!  I HATE THIS PROCESS!!!” 

“Yes, I know how you feel.  If I were in your shoes I’d probably feel just the same way.  But guess what… I searched out eight more homes that are very similar to the one we just lost… and spoke with a Realtor who is about to list a home in Chatsworth that may be even nicer than the one you were about to buy.  I know this process can be tough… but we make a good team!  You know what you want, and I’ll help you find it.  Let’s look again on Sunday.”  So they did.  And they found two great choices.  So often the job of a Realtor and their Team is all about managing expectations.

Remember… selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event; you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net

 

 


Posted on 21. October 2011 03:47 by qmiskini

 

Every time one of the Buyer Realtors on our Team presents an offer on behalf of the Buyer to a Seller’s Realtor representing a short sale, the Buyer is given a document that explains in full detail what a short sale is, how a short sale transaction works, and what they can expect to occur during the contract negotiation process.  It begins with the following:

Dear Short Sale Buyer,

 

CONGRATULATIONS! You have just made an offer to purchase a short sale property as your next home.  You’ve chosen to buy a home that is well worth owning, but you will need to have patience and persistence in order for this sale to be completed. Fortunately, when it is completed, you will have been able to buy a great home at a great price, one which most other buyers who do not understand the process and do not have your patience, will miss out on.

The two key words in that paragraph are understanding and patience.

 

Let’s start with understanding.  Understanding means understanding the process you are entering into.  If your Realtor is an experienced Buyer’s Realtor with many successful short sale closings in his or her experience in the Marietta, Roswell, Alpharetta, Woodstock or Canton communities, they will make you aware of the length of the short sale process, the inconsistencies in the level of experience of Realtors representing Sellers in the transaction and the reality that the Seller has little or no control over the sale process.  That is not to say the Seller does not have all the rights accorded to Sellers in every residential re-sale transaction. They do.  But the final decisions about how, when, for how much and under what terms and conditions the sale of the property can occur, lie with the Seller’s Lender or in some transactions, multiple lenders.  These lenders must agree to the terms and conditions of the offer as well as approve the modification of the terms of the mortgage agreement between the Seller and their Lender(s).  Then, if the Seller agrees to the short sale loan modification terms and the Buyer agrees to the purchase and sale terms, the sale can successfully conclude.

 

What this means is a short sale is actually at least two separate transactions which are also linked to each other.  Right at the start, things get confusing.  The first thing a Buyer must understand is that the Seller is selling their home under duress.  The Seller is being forced to sell their home because of a myriad of personal and financial difficulties.  They are often extremely stressed.  Under these circumstances the Seller must make an appeal to their lender to work with them to sell the home, usually at a price that is less than the Seller owes to their lender, and accept terms that allow the Seller to be relieved of most or all of the unpaid balance of the mortgage debt at the conclusion of the sale.  That is not what lenders want to hear.  However, as a practical matter, when all parties are realistic about the value of the property and financial circumstances of the seller, accepting a negotiated short sale can be the least financially unrewarding of several unwanted choices the lender now must make, including exercising the due on sale clause present in most mortgage documents allowing the lender to foreclose on the property.  In Georgia which is a non-judicial foreclosure state, foreclosure is a relatively simple and quick process for the lender.

 

Lenders were, and in some cases remain unprepared for the huge number of loan modification and short sale applications they receive daily.  Unlike assisting a Buyer in purchasing a foreclosed property where the sale procedures are established and, though not always easy, relatively consistent, every lender has its own sometimes clear, but often unclear or shifting short sale rules and procedures that over-complicate and muddle the process.  Many lenders use third party processors to manage the transaction, some who have experienced processors and negotiators, others who do not.  Many of the Seller’s loans are not actually owned by the lender.  These loans may have been sold to investors in a package of loans, or to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the quasi-government controlled mortgage purchasers who themselves are in management and financial turmoil.  FHA or the VA may be involved as well.  So there are often many approvals required for the Seller to get short sale approval, and for your offer – which is only one part of the short sale transaction – to be accepted and approved by all these third parties.  The process can take weeks in the hands of a Realtor and Team experienced in the management of the short sale process on behalf of sellers.  But it can also take many months, only to end in failure.

 

All this is why the second key word – PATIENCE – is so important.

 

Remember… selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event; you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net

 

 


Posted on 19. October 2011 05:18 by qmiskini

 

 

OK.  So now you have a binding agreement and it’s time for your Realtor’s Team of professionals to assist you in the necessary due diligence work to be sure the property you are about to purchase is physically all you hope it is.  A home inspection, termite inspection, roof inspection, heat & air systems inspection, and more all paint a complete picture of the property’s current physical condition and offer direction on what it will require to put it into tip-top shape.

For all residential home sales in the Atlanta Metro Area, as detailed in the Georgia Association of Realtors (GAR) Purchase and Sale Agreement, you have both rights and duties as stated in the Inspection paragraph of the Agreement.  They are:

10. Inspection.

A. Right of Buyer to Inspect Property: Buyer and/or Buyer’s representatives shall have the right to enter Property at Buyer’s expense and at reasonable times (including immediately prior to closing) to inspect, examine, test and survey Property. Seller shall cause all utility services and any pool, hot tub and similar items to be operational so that Buyer may complete all inspections under this Agreement. Buyer agrees to hold Seller and all Brokers harmless from all claims, injuries, and damages arising out of or related to the exercise of these rights.

Copyright© 2011 by Georgia Association of REALTORS®, Inc. F20, Purchase and Sale Agreement, Page 3 of 7, 01/01/11

B. Duty of Buyer to Inspect Neighborhood: Buyer acknowledges that: (1) in every neighborhood there are conditions which different

buyers may find objectionable and (2) Buyer has had the full opportunity to become acquainted with all existing neighborhood conditions (and proposed changes thereto) which could affect the Property including without limitation land-fills, quarries, high voltage power lines, cemeteries, airports, prisons, stadiums, odor and/or noise producing land uses, crime, schools serving the Property, political jurisdictional maps and land use and transportation maps and plans. It shall be Buyer’s sole duty to become familiar with neighborhood conditions of concern to Buyer. If Buyer is concerned about the possibility of a registered sex offender residing in a neighborhood in which Buyer is interested, Buyer should review the Georgia Violent Sex Offender Registry available on the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Website at http://www.gbi.georgia.gov.

 

These rights and duties apply whether you are purchasing a foreclosed home in Roswell, or a short sale in Canton, or a retail sale in Marietta, or new home construction in Woodstock.  Once the inspections are completed you will have one or more Inspection Reports from which you will likely have a list of items you would like the Seller to repair.  Those items are presented to the Seller through a document called Amendment to Address Concerns with Property.  Just when you thought you and your Realtor were finished negotiating the purchase of this home, you are right back into a new negotiation.  Usually both the Buyer and the Seller want to find a fair approach to these concerns, but sometimes the two different perspectives clash.

Buyers want to be assured the huge purchase they are making is not only emotionally pleasing but physically sound.  Sellers want to close the transaction on time, but don’t want to see their shrinking bottom line reduced any further.  There is a good pre-listing defensive action Realtors on our Team suggest to our sellers: Hire a home Inspector to determine all the physical issues that need attention and get them repaired before you put the home on the market for sale.  Then, when your home is inspected during the due diligence period of the sale, it is likely few or no imperfections will turn up in a new inspection.  And Buyers are usually more willing to pay closer to the Seller’s asking price when a home is in top condition and well presented.  By sharing the Inspection report and evidence of the repairs made, a sometimes contentious set of issues that appear at a critical moment in the transaction are completely avoided.

Most Buyers will want every item that turned up during inspection to be addressed.  Most sellers will address all the necessary items such as electrical issues, plumbing issues, exterior “deferred maintenance” issues, heat and air conditioning servicing, termite damage, and other important issues.  But they will resent being “nit-picked-to-death” as one Seller recently conveyed to one of our Team’s Buyer Realtors, if the list of “concerns” is “endless.”  Here is where the experience of your Realtor helps keep all parties focused on finding agreement.  Sometimes smaller, inexpensive simple maintenance issues can be traded for larger more expensive concerns.  Sometimes, a cash settlement or a price reduction allowing the Buyer to make the repairs, but be compensated by the Seller, is a good negotiated solution.  Finding a fair and appropriate balance between the Buyer’s concerns and the Seller’s willingness to address those concerns can sometimes be more tense than the original price and terms negotiation.

The Buyer’s Amendment to Address Concerns is an important document; and when the Seller’s Realtor can help their Seller understand why addressing those concerns is important, and helps them to economically and appropriately get them resolved, both the Buyer and the Seller win!

Remember… selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event; you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net

 


Posted on 17. October 2011 07:01 by qmiskini

 

Sellers, here is some straight talk from Buyers about what “makes a house feel good” when they step in for the first time.   Before I spill the beans, though, let’s explore just why this is so important to Buyers and why this can be the determining factor in a Buyer choosing one home over another.

Certainly there are many factors that bring Buyers to the decision that one home vs. another is the right home for them.  Location, price, style, size, proximity to shopping, schools, transportation, work and more are all elements in the decision-making process.  Yet, we have seen, time and again, Buyers turn down a great deal on what would seem to be the optimal property because it “just doesn’t feel right.”

Sometimes it is the floor plan that “does not feel good”– a lay-out that is not comfortable for the Buyers.  One of our Team’s Realtor’s listings in East Cobb, an immaculate 4200 SF beauty with perfect landscaping, tons of exterior decking, privacy, and elegantly understated décor received rave reviews from Realtors showing the property.   However, the master suite on the main level was in the front of the home while the stairs to the upper level was (old fashioned style) at the rear of the home close to the kitchen, family dining area and keeping room.  For Buyers with young children this was not a comfortable layout.  It took more than 30 showings to find a Buyer who liked the floor plan. For that Buyer the home “felt good” and it sold and closed at 99% of the list price.  Happy Seller; happy Buyer.

All the other distracting or off-putting factors that make Buyer’s uncomfortable the moment they enter a home, before they get a feeling for the floor plan, were absent from this home.  It was kept in “showcase” condition inside and out. 

The driveway was always clear of parked vehicles.  The landscaping was trimmed and neat.  The walkways and decks were swept of errant leaves and pine straw from the surrounding trees.  Leaves and debris falling on the gutters was removed regularly.

Inside the home smelled fresh and clean; there were no stale cooking odors from last night’s dinner.  Floors were swept or vacuumed regularly.  Their dogs were also kept bathed so there were no pet odors – an issue pet owners do not realize can be a deal killer for Buyers with allergies or pet fears.   The pets were removed from the home for all showings.  Pet bedding and toys were hidden in a storage closet in the garage for showings.  Beds were always made and there was no laundry left in baskets in the laundry room.

Whenever there was a showing scheduled the owners left all the lights on in the home, and opened up all the drapes and blinds to let in light, making the home feel bright and cheerful.  The dining room table was tastefully set with their fine china to showcase the elegant separate space.  The table in the family dining area off the kitchen always had cookies and mints for the Buyers along with our extensive marketing materials showcasing the best qualities of the home.  There was soft music playing in the background.

Several Realtors showed this home to multiple Buyers because it showed itself so well.  Aside from Buyers not comfortable with the “different” floor plan, Buyer comments were always glowing.

All the best marketing and pricing efforts won’t help sell a property that is poorly presented… at least not at top dollar in this very finicky market.  “Apples to apples” homes that are really well presented – homes that make Buyers “feel good,” always sell faster and for more money than homes that are presented poorly. 

Remember… selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event; you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net

 

 

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Posted on 14. October 2011 02:05 by qmiskini

 

Why do Realtors and their Teams sell houses?  The reasons are as varied as the real estate professionals working in the field.  But here is the number one reason I hear from Realtors I have worked with over the years, and from members of our Team.

Most often I hear it is the “joy of helping people.”  Sounds corny, but it is a prevailing attitude.  Whether a Realtor does a poor job or brilliant job in assisting a Client in purchasing a home, when the transaction closes they get paid.  Then everyone goes their own way.  The difference between doing a poor job and a great job can be the attitude we bring to the work each day.

For many Buyers, whether it is their first time or the tenth, purchasing a home is a big financial undertaking and an emotional roller coaster ride.  Spouses must find agreement; childrens’ excitement and fears about moving to a new school, neighborhood and making friends, sadness about leaving old friends behind and anticipation of meeting new neighbors, packing, unpacking and more all can resonate throughout the home search and purchase.  Helping Buyers focus on their wants, needs and wishes in order to find their “perfect home” also means getting to know our Buyers, making a new friend, empathizing with their concerns and worries and providing an easy to talk to safe haven for working through those concerns.

When a Buyer tells you three months after they have moved into their new home that they “love their home,” that’s usually code for their having made the right choices for everyone in the family.  Schools are good, neighbors are friendly, they feel comfortable and safe in the community and the home itself really did live up to their hopes and expectations.  I love my new home means to our Buyers that what may have seemed like climbing a mountain when they started the buying process, now feels like a walk in the park!

A month or so after a Buyer moves into their new home we often drive by to see how they have adjusted to their new home and surroundings.  It is a lot of fun for us to see and hear how easily and well their lives have “returned to normal.”

I love my new home means we have accomplished our number one objective when working with Buyers:  We’ve made a new friend… hopefully for life!  That’s why Realtors sell houses!

Remember… selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event; you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net

 

 


Posted on 13. October 2011 01:35 by qmiskini

 

In the Atlanta Metro Market, the high water pricing mark for all residential real estate was reached in 2007.  The Peak month was June 2007 when the average sale price climbed to just under $270,000.  By August 2007 the price had decreased seasonally to around $265,000.  At the end of August 2011, the average sale price for all residential properties in Metro Atlanta was a seasonally adjusted $173,000.  That’s 63.37% of the August 2007 sale price or… a decrease in value of 36.63%.   

Other markets like Las Vegas, for example have seen much worse declines.  But in Atlanta, those numbers are pretty stunning – especially for Sellers not selling distressed properties such as short sales and foreclosures.  The good news in all this is that sales have accelerated from an Atlanta Metro Market monthly low of 3,500 sold/closed properties in November 2010, and just over 4,000 sold/closed properties at the end of August 2010, to about 5,300 sold/closed properties in August 2011.  Lower prices fostered higher numbers of sales. Tough news for many Sellers.  Good news for many Buyers.

But here are some less evident statistics that add additional perspective to just how different the residential real estate market is in Atlanta…how much it has changed since the heady days of 2007.

In 2007 the number of sold/closed single family residential transactions with no “special circumstances” in Metro Atlanta, completed between January 2007 and December 2007 was just over 37,000 or 85.2% of the total sales.  The number of sold/closed single family residential transactions with “special circumstances” like foreclosures and the rare short sale was just over 6,400 or 14.8% of the total sales.  In 2011 between January and October the number of sold/closed single family residential transactions with no “special circumstances” in Metro Atlanta was 13,360 or 45.1% of the total sales year to date.  The number of sold/closed single family transactions with “special circumstances” like foreclosures and the now prevalent short sale was 16,250 or 54.9% of the total sales year to date.  It is a complete market reversal where in the residential single family market segment, distressed properties have become the dominant sale outstripping non-distressed single family residential home sales.  That’s a 60.6% rise is the number of distressed sales and a decline of 63.9% in non-distressed sales.  Those kinds of swings are dizzying.

In Cherokee County where our Realtors and Team assist many Buyers and Sellers the numbers are rougher still.  From January 2007 through December 2007 for single family residential properties with no special circumstances there were 2,418 closed transactions or 92.9% of the total sales in Cherokee County.  Distressed single family residential properties – foreclosures and a few short sales totaled 185 properties or 7.1% of the sales that year.  In 2011 from January to date non-distressed single family residential properties accounted for 701 sold/closed transactions or 47.6% of total sales while distressed single family residential properties – foreclosures and short sales climbed to 772 completed transactions or 52.4% of the total sales to date. That’s a more than 400% increase in distressed property sales and a 71% decline in the sale of non-distressed properties if sales continue along the same trend lines through the end of 2011.

Wading through these numbers can be mind-numbing.  But they are critically important when trying to both understand what has happened to our local residential market, and even more important to understand when faced with the potential for millions more short sale and foreclosed properties still waiting to enter the market across the USA over the next several years.  How we as real estate professionals parse these numbers, apply these vast market swings to our home pricing, and to our short to medium term market evaluations, can mean a great deal to our Buyers and Sellers.  Knowing how much the market has changed can mean all the difference between a Buyer choosing to take advantage of a glut of distressed inventory and low interest rates now, or waiting it out thinking the market may still drift even lower.  For non-distressed sale Sellers knowing the weight of the competition in distressed sale properties will help them to realistically price their homes for sale and not get slammed by the neighborhood price damaging short sale and foreclosed home sales that will certainly hit the market in 2012 and beyond.

These are challenging and interesting times.  Knowing how things have changed in our local markets can only help our Clients.

Remember… selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event; you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net

 


Posted on 12. October 2011 05:20 by qmiskini

 

No transaction, whether you are Buying or Selling a home runs smoothly from start to finish.  There are many variables that must be managed.  There are many issues that should be anticipated.  There are some issues that cannot be anticipated but must be worked on with solutions found.  Just as important as the research, offer and negotiation stages in a real estate transaction is the final stage: Getting from contract to close.  This is where an experienced Realtor and Team are essential in guiding you through the often unfamiliar and occasionally frustrating steps to a successful close.

Once a Purchase and Sale Agreement is bound, a number of “next steps” are triggered which also involve servicers such as inspectors, an appraiser, a loan officer and their underwriters and government agencies that guarantee or insure loans like FHA and VA. That’s a lot of people and a lot of hoops to jump through.  There are also additional negotiations that can take place, triggered by issues that surface during the Due Diligence period such as requests for repairs stemming from the inspection reports, or appraisal that is lower than the agreed-upon sale price triggering a new sale price negotiation.

Concerned, nervous, worried, scared about buying or selling a home in Atlanta?  Don’t be.  Here is where your Realtor and Team, working together and drawing on their experience can sail you through the choppy waters to safe harbor.

The two primary elements of the “closing” process are Due Diligence and Loan Approval.  Although separate elements they are linked.  During the Due Diligence period, a specific number of days negotiated during the offer stage, a variety of inspections should take place.  A home inspection evaluates the entire property and points out any issues that should be addressed.  A termite and pest infestation inspection evaluates the property for past and current infestation issues and in Georgia, triggers issuance of an Official Georgia Wood Infestation Inspection Report stating the current condition of the property and stating what, if any, remedies may be required.  An HVAC system inspection – inspecting the heat and air conditioning systems – will tell you whether it is clean, operating efficiently, and how close to the end of its “usable lifespan” the system may be.  If the property’s roof is older, or shows signs of visible wear or damage during the home inspection, a roofing inspection will diagnose roof issues that may be evident or lurking.  A licensed plumber should inspect the hot water heater and plumbing system, especially if the home was built with Polybutylene piping, to detect often small issues that could lead to major problems if not immediately addressed.  There are other inspections that can be done as well, such as Radon gas testing, air quality testing, inspections for mold and mildew.  Your Realtor and Team will have a ready list of professionals that can be called upon to perform these inspections and work with you and your Realtor to understand which issues need to be addressed, and what the best solutions may be.

During this Due Diligence period, your lender will order an appraisal.  This is how you and your Lender determine whether the sale price of the property is in line with current market values and therefore eligible for loan financing.  In this difficult market appraisals can be the determining factor in whether a transaction will close.  Your Realtor will have completed a detailed market analysis before working with the Buyer to determine a property’s value so that you can correctly structure and negotiate your offer. For the Seller, a detailed market analysis allows you and your Realtor to confidently negotiate and accept an offer.  However, even though an appraiser uses current and recent comparable transactions that have sold and closed, and other market factors as well as their experience to produce an appraisal report, property appraisals are a combination of science and art.  There is some leeway for an appraiser’s opinion of a property to shape the final appraisal report.  If a property appraises for less than the agreed sale price, an additional negotiation is required between Buyer and Seller to adjust the final sale price in order to receive financing approval. 

All the while, working in the background is you Lender’s underwriter. Their role is to dig into your finances and determine for the Lender whether you are truly a good prospect for a loan.  Your loan officer will keep you up to date on the underwriter’s concerns and tell you what you will need to provide to answer the many questions underwriters must answer in order to approve your loan.  Don’t panic.  Achieving loan approval is a process, and not an easy process. But it is achievable when you and your loan officer fully and clearly communicate and problem solve together.  Your Realtor should be able to recommend several experienced loan officers you can interview prior to starting the home search process.

Through all of these steps, your Realtor and Team should be working alongside you, providing you with the resources, personnel and industry-wise guidance to bring you through to a successful close.

Remember… selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event; you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net