Posted on 11. October 2011 03:47 by qmiskini

 

As more and more foreclosed properties make their way onto the Atlanta Metro Area market, it seems they are not just more abundant, but harder to buy.

Although many properties are listed for sale as “Bank Owned Foreclosures”, the Bank is either acting as the Asset Manager for the property which is actually owned by an “Investor,” or has allocated management of the sale of the property to a 3rd Party Asset Management firm that is the negotiating intermediary for the Bank/Investor.  If the property is a VA or Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae property there is yet another layer of approvals to the sale.  Confused yet?

This is where an experienced Buyer’s Realtor and Team becomes a valuable “partner” in your quest to find a great home at a below market price.  Here is an example of how Banks, Investors and the quasi-private/government mortgage purchasers (Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae) and government loan guarantors or insurers (VA or FHA/HUD) are changing the way in which negotiations between Buyer and Seller sometimes take shape.  Remember, the Buyer wants the property for the lowest price and best terms.  The Seller is seeking the highest price and least costly terms.

One of our Team’s Realtors is representing a Buyer in the purchase of a “bank owned” foreclosed property.  The Investor for whom the Asset Manager is managing the sale is Fannie Mae.  This property in the Brookstone sub division in Acworth was somewhat overpriced when first listed by the REO Realtor charged with finding a Buyer for the property.  Although REO Realtors complete a market analysis called a BPO (Broker’s Price Opinion) it is the Asset Manager who dictates price and terms.  There was relatively little showing activity even though the sub division is a well maintained community and the home is in relatively good condition for a foreclosed property.  After a few weeks on the market with few showings, the Asset Manager instructed the REO Realtor to drop the price.  At this point our Team’s Realtor put in an offer on behalf of her Client.

She completed a thorough market analysis, checked with the REO Realtor to be sure there were no other offers, and deftly questioned the REO Realtor to see what information about the property and the Asset Manager’s readiness to negotiate a sale was available.  Since the property was priced considerably below market value, and the original sale price of the property was considerably higher than the current listing price, an offer consisting of a purchase price very close to the current list price, a request for Seller paid concessions on behalf of the Buyer and other necessary terms was submitted.  By all accounts a strong and appealing offer.  However, within 48 hours of submitting the offer there were other offers submitted and a request for the Buyer’s “highest and best” offer and terms was received.  The Realtor and Buyer fashioned an offer that was 101% of the listing price with Seller concessions and terms.  Still a great deal for the Buyer.  The offer was “verbally accepted” by the Seller.

Here’s where the game has changed.  In the past, because of the “back-office issues” with Asset Managers work volume, verbal acceptance triggered Due Diligence and the offer was considered Bound.  It also changed market status of the property’s listing from “Active” to “Pending.”  But guess what… the REO Realtor informed our Team’s Realtor the property would remain Active until the Asset Manager signed the Agreement and Seller Addendum documents. And it would take a week to get the documents to be signed.  Until then the Seller would continue to accept other offers – even though the Buyer’s offer and terms had been “verbally accepted!” Two days later came an email calling again for the Buyer’s “highest and best” offer as new offers had been received.  Needless to say, the Buyer is understandably upset.  “When”, they asked, “is a deal a deal?”  The answer: “We are not sure.”  This process can potentially play itself out several times until either all the Buyers simply stop making offers and walk away from the property, or someone overpays for the home, caught up in an “auction-like” buying frenzy.

Here is where the negotiating experience of a Buyer’s Realtor and Team becomes a Buyer’s most valued asset in the purchasing process.  When is it time to walk away?  How can the Buyer’s offer be tweaked to make it attractive enough for the Seller to accept it and sign off on the transaction?  Should the Buyer stand pat and make their current offer their highest and best offer? 

REO properties are getting tougher to buy.  Sellers are seeking ways to wring every dollar they can out of the sale.  Buying a foreclosed property is no longer a game of checkers… it has become a game of chess! 

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 5. October 2011 04:06 by qmiskini

 

What do sellers want?  Buyers!  Pretty simple, right?  No, not so simple. 

First, a few tough but true facts. In the Atlanta Metro Area, the high water mark for residential detached home sale prices peaked in June 2007 at about $275,000.  By the end of July 2011 the average sale price had declined 29.82% to about $193,000.  Interestingly, the number of home sales rose between 2010 and 2011, adding some hope and energy to the residential home sales market.  But that was sparked by a decline in home values overall of 13.96% between July 2010 and July 2011. 

The Atlanta Metro Area is a huge market area, divided into many different Areas where everything from the quality of schools to zoning impact home values in those Areas.  In Area 13 which includes a portion of Alpharetta as well as Roswell and Mountain Park, the average sale price for the months including January through July 2007 was $459,317.  The average original list price to sold/closed sale price was 95.69% of the original List price.  A home run for sellers! 

In the same period this year, the average sale price was $389,859, a decline in home values of 15.12%.  The good news is, in Area 13 the decline is only half the Atlanta Metro Market decline.  The bad news is that unrealistic expectations and pricing showed the overpriced original list price average of $441,924 vs. the final sold/closed sale price average of $386,859, just 88.22% of the original list price.  A home run for Buyers!

If all this sounds very technical, actually it’s pretty basic and very, very important.  Your Realtor and Team must know the numbers, the specific numbers for your Area and your sub division and street, in order to help you accurately price your home for fast sale at full market value.  But price, although a major component of attracting qualified, interested Buyers is only one part of the equation. 

Presentation of a seller’s home – “pin-neat” and “move-in-ready” – elevates a property above the crowded field.  And innovative and aggressive marketing that targets the specific Buyers who would be searching for just this home separates the seller’s home from all those other homes in the price category.  Remember, the numbers are the harsh reality of today’s market.  Understanding what it takes to showcase a seller’s home so that the Buyers in search of the “perfect home” immediately and positively equate this home’s benefits with this home’s price, means the difference between bringing Buyers to the home and Buyers passing that home by without ever crossing the home’s threshold.

Everything about the marketing - from the quality of the photography and presentations showcasing the home, to the articulation of that home’s unique benefits, to understanding what Buyers shopping for a home like this want - must be carefully thought through when showcasing a home for sale.  Even the messages on the yard signs must be unique and enticing to Buyers. 

There is no “trick” to selling a home. There are plenty of Buyers looking for “deals.”  There is an over-supply of homes for sale.    Selling a home in today’s complex market means making sure your Realtor and Team have a firm and clear understanding of pricing and values, past trends as predictors of future pricing, and an aggressive and innovative system of marketing that can elevate your home above the really crowded field.

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 3. October 2011 03:47 by qmiskini

 

Buying a home is a journey, not an event.  This mantra is repeated to every new Client and over and again as we work with our Clients.  Occasionally it is a sprint, but it should never become a marathon. Your Realtor and Team are there to guide you through that journey by helping you focus your wants, wishes and needs, and then as you step through the journey, add clarity to your criteria, but remain flexible enough to adjust when the “perfect home” is found… even though it may not meet 100% of your criteria.

Client #1: “I love everything about this home, but we will have to paint the dining room and replace the back splash in the kitchen and the master bath wall paper is just ugly.”  Client #2: “The rest of the house is just what we’re looking for, but we hate the front porch so much we can’t picture ourselves walking past it every day.” Client #3: “I want to be no more than 20 minutes’ drive from home to work and I timed the trip, it’s 25 minutes away.  Yes the house is perfect, but it’s too far from my job.”  No perfect home is truly perfect.  It is possible to find a home that meets your criteria, but rarely will it meet every one of your wants, wishes and needs. 

Client #1 wanted a move-in ready home.  They did not want to make changes until they had been in the home long enough to feel comfortable and settled.  That was a pretty big “want” on their list.   When they reviewed their criteria with their Realtor, and worked through the “inconvenience” of taking on some minor remodeling, they realized they had found a home that met all their major needs and most of their wants and wishes too.  The back splash really wasn’t that ugly, it would only take a day or two to repaint and change the offensive wallpaper. They focused on their needs and were flexible about a few of their wishes. Offer made, negotiated, accepted… purchase closed…everyone delighted.

Client #2 who loved everything else about the home spent an afternoon with their Realtor driving through the neighborhood to see what other similar homes with porches looked like, and what ideas they could come up with about making changes to the look of that offensive porch to make it more pleasing.  Other than the dreadful front porch, this home met every one of their very specific criteria.  After about two hours of comparing and contrasting porch aesthetics, they actually found the list of things they “sorta liked” about “their” porch was longer than the list of “flaws” they were seeing in the designs of their neighbors’ porches.  They became more focused on their needs and were flexible about one of their wishes.  Offer made, negotiated, accepted… purchase closed…everyone delighted.

Client #3 really felt the home fit all their needs.  It had a pleasing floor plan, needed relatively little clean-up and fix-up even though not was an foreclosed property, it was in the right school district, in a well maintained sub division.  Everything about it was right.  It met nearly all their criteria… except it was “5 minutes too far!”  Offer made… offer withdrawn.  This is the 6th home they made on offer on, and the 6th home not purchased.  Focused but inflexible…everyone disappointed – again.

Work with your Realtor early in the journey to develop your list of criteria with four separate categories.

Category 1 is your needs list: I need a basement for storage and expansion.  I need at least 4 bedrooms.  I need to be in the Pope High School District.  I need the price to be no more than $275,000.  Your needs are the things that are the “musts” in order to fit your family, space, location and price minimums. This is your primary list of needs criteria in your search.

Category 2: is your wants list: I want to be within 10 minutes of I-75 to make travel to work reasonably easy.  I want an oversized garage.  I want a level driveway. These are musts also, but musts that can be somewhat flexible. 10 minutes to I-75 is great but I can manage 15 minutes.  I can swap out the oversized garage for a level driveway.  Your ideas about perfection will change as you view homes in your search.

Category 3: is your wish list.  I want a nice rear deck but a screened porch would be wonderful.  I was hoping for all stainless appliances, but these black-front appliances are all new.  I pictured my perfect home with a big shade tree out in the front.  But I can plant my own tree and watch it grow over time.  This is how you balance your needs with your wants in your selection process.

Category 4: is your Flexibility list – this is your list of wants and wishes that become apparent as you focus your search.  It lets you decide what can be flexible about in order to not let peripheral details dissuade you from buying a home that, given a small amount of elbow grease or a few minor adjustments truly does meet your most important needs, wants and wishes.  This is , perhaps, your most important list… it is the list that will help you make the best decision and be happy with that decision long after you close the sale.

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 29. September 2011 02:23 by qmiskini

 

An appraisal is a critically important building block in the purchase and sale of a property.  It is important for the Buyer who does not want to overpay for their new home; important for the Seller because nearly all transactions are contingent upon a home appraising at or above the agreed-upon sale price; important for the Buyer’s lender in order to verify the property they are providing a mortgage for meets or exceeds the amount of the loan value they will be funding.

In Metro Atlanta, the market is large, spread out and varied.  In some Market Areas home values generally have plummeted more than 30%.  Yet in pockets in those same Areas home values have declined significantly less.  Individual sub division communities in some Areas hold valuations despite the market crash; other sub division communities riven by short sales and foreclosures in the same Areas have declined at a rate greater than the Market Area.  Realtors and their Team including research experts have to be clearly in touch with the many variations in home values from community to community, school district to school district and Area to Area.  That keen awareness and thorough research and price analysis can help significantly when pricing a home for sale or when making an offer to purchase a property.

When making or accepting an offer, Buyers and Sellers need to heed their Realtors’ market analysis so they have a clear picture of their home’s fair market value.  Offering or accepting a price that may not be consistent with recent appraisals could foster difficulties in late stage price negotiations and may lead to termination of the transaction.

One of the documents that manage the wrinkle of when a home appraises for less than the agreed upon sale price is an exhibit called the Appraisal Contingency.  This Contingency provides for a specific amount of time for the Buyer, if it is an all cash transaction, or the Buyer’s lender if the Buyer is seeking loan financing, to order and complete the property appraisal.  This is the nail-biting period. Everyone hopes the appraisal value of the property is consistent with the sale price.  But what if the property appraises at an amount less than the sale price?

In this same document there is a provision allowing the Buyer to ask the Seller to lower the sale price to the appraised value.  If the seller agrees, the Buyer is obligated to complete the purchase.  If the Seller refuses, the Buyer can terminate the Agreement and have the earnest money deposit refunded.  Of course, any of the costs for inspections and any other due diligence work will be lost by the Buyer.  There are a number of ways to remedy appraisal-price discrepancies, but for the most part, if Buyer and Seller cannot reach a re-negotiated agreement on price, the deal is dead.  The use of such contingencies is important.  They protect the rights of Buyers and Sellers; they set definite time frames for completing critical tasks and proscribe specific mechanisms for resolving differences. 

But in the end, when a sale fails to complete because of an appraisal, everyone is disappointed.  The appraisal is necessary to protect all parties' interests, but when Buyers and Sellers agree on prices that are inconsistent with researched market valuations, there is always the chance the appraisal will not be the deal maker confirming the value of the property, but a deal breaker, confirming all parties involved miscalculated the property’s true market worth.  Are there times when an appraiser will get it wrong?  Certainly.  But unless an appraisal is grossly out of step with researched market values, the appraisal rules.  Thorough market research and a clear understanding of a property’s market value make the appraisal a validation of price and not the arbiter of price.  It makes the appraisal a deal maker not a deal breaker.

   Because 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