Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Realtor Resource Article on Using Comparable Sales to Price Your Home

Visit for more articles like this.


Welcome bloggers and readers. Here's another great tip on Real Estate Sales. Read the article for useful information on pricing your home to sell. While this piece tells us things to do; here are a few things to avoid:

1. Pricing at an amount thats just enough to cover your payoff on the mortgage. This won't work, because you'll need to factor in closing costs, such as: transfer and recordation taxes, final tax bill, title fees, and broker compensation if a Realtor's services are being sought. Estimate your seller closing costs to be approx. 7.5 to 8.5% of the sales price.

2. Price high and plan to negotiate down. Major NO-NO! You'll price yourself out of the market and miss over 50% of qualified buyers. In addition, pricing too high will make your home the "show home" for other homes on the block. Instead of showing yours, buyers and agents will schedule appointments to see other homes because the perception is that your price is too high. Buyers are savvier today than years ago.

3. Follow the neighbor's pricing plan. This won't work for you because most likely your needs and your neighbor's needs in the sale of a home are different. We don't know what they owed on their home, who has more equity, or what condition the home was in when it sold. With all these variables, I'd recommend pricing based on your needs and the current market conditions in your area. Be reasonable. Make sure your needs are met, and if possible price affordably so buyers will see value in your home and make an offer.

Lastly, prepare to cover closing costs, advertising, signage and related expenses to marketing a home. With all this in mind, I say GET A QUALIFIED REALTOR to help sell your home. As a Realtor, we're aware of current market conditions and can guide you accordingly in getting the best price in the least amount of time, if your expectations are both reasonable and complimentary to the current market. Buyers are EVERYWHERE! We just have to find em. Thanks for reading my blog. Happy selling. Hope to hear from you soon, if I can ever help with your real estate needs. Call me at 443-538-1631.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

HAFA changes as of April 5, 2010 & How they affect you

HAFA (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives) changes went into effect on April 5, 2010. What's HAFA you may ask? It's an "alternative" program created to help homeowners who may not have qualified for a loan modification under HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program).

Here's a quick synopsis of standard loan products offered to consumers. As noted on the page to the link for "loan products," Fannie Mae began offering refinance options per the "Making Homes Affordable" program. The goal of this program as announced by President Obama is "to provide access to low-cost refinancing to responsible homeowners suffering from falling home prices." The expectation was that these changes would relieve people of the strain of an interest-only loan or short term ARM, reduce their Principal and Interest payment and place them in a more stable loan product. In short, DON'T do any 5/1 or 7/1 Adjustment Rate Mortgages and avoid interest-only loans altogether. Lenders may not like this advice. Thats OK. By virtue of my nature I simply don't believe in "predatory" practices. "Predatory" practices put my needs 1st and my client's needs last. NO GOOD.

Here's a quick summary of HAFA & Changes from Fannie Mae as of June 1, 2010:
  • On June 1, 2010 Fannie Mae released their servicing guide announcement SVC20-10-07: Introduction of Fannie Mae's HAFA program. This guide provides servicer guidance and direction for using the short sale or deed-in-lieu (DIL) process for borrowers who qualified for, but did not complete a loan modification with HAMP. In essence it covers servicers incentives, standard forms to use, and timeframes for completion.

HAFA programs features:

  • Uses verified borrower financial & hardship info collected in conjunction with HAMP eliminating the need for additional eligibility analysis.
  • Allows borrower to receive pre-approved short sale terms prior to the property listing.
  • Prohibits servicer from requiring as a condition of approving the short sale, a reduction in the agreed upon Realtor commission in the listing agreement. Good stuff. 8-)
  • Releases the successful HAFA borrower from future liability for the debt. (no deficiency judgments...whoo hoo!!!!)
  • Uses standard processes, documents & timeframes. (Yes,saves time & expedites the process).
  • Provides financial incentives to borrowers, servicers and subordinate lienholders.

Servicer incentives: $2,200 for short sale. $1,500 for deed-in-lieu (DIL)

Borrower incentives: Short sale of DIL- $3,000 to assist with relocation expenses.

**Pls note, in most cases the borrower will receive funds at closing of the short sale, or within 5 days after the servicer accepts DIL, as long as the home is vacated and in acceptable condition.**

I hope this post answered a few lingering questions you may have had. Don't hesitate to e-mail or call me with additional questions/concerns. While I'm not a Tax Professional, Attorney, or Lender I'll do my best to help with Real Estate related inquiries related to buying & selling homes; thats my specialty. Thanks again for reading my blog & HAPPY HOUSE HUNTING. As always, I'm never too busy for you or your referrals.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Prudential's PREA Center is OFF DA CHAIN!!! Peep my video for 2 of my listings. I love the capabilities I have at Prudential. I'm on fire!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Short Sale or Foreclosure which is worse?

Financial hardship is facing many people in todays market. How did they get in such a tough position? What led to the hardship? Each scenario is different. There are numerous reasons why people are facing the decision to do a short sale on their home or face possible foreclosure: loss of income, bad loans, overspending, poor payment habits, etc.

Let's consider a "short sale" as "pre-foreclosure." Its an option that can prevent someone from facing the embarrassment & negative impact on credit from going through a foreclosure. Can a short sale appear on your credit report? Yes. How bad is that? Depends. Depends upon whether your hardship involved past due payments or a bad loan. There are homeowners who fell behind in making their monthly PITI payment and some folks who had a lender offer them an Adjustable Rate interest-only loan. Interest only loans do major damage because your "principal" on your mortgage is not being paid. The balance owed increases year after year. Ultimately, people with these loans end up "upside down," owing more on their home than its worth; hence the need to do a short sale. By definition a short sale is a sale of real property in which the lender approves the sale of the home for less than the amount due. The lender is being "shorted." Attractive to lenders....not necessarily. In some cases short sales are more desirable to the lender than doing a foreclosure. How beneficial is a short sale to the home owner? Again, it depends. It allows the homeowner to be relieved of the debt and further financial ruin. There's always the possibility of a "deficiency judgment" being filed against the homeowners. Laws vary by state on types of instruments used to secure a mortgage on a home; trust deed or mortgage. This mere fact warrants clarity on what did you sign when you bought your home. Most people don't cover this amount of detail at the settlement. There's just a whole lot of signing. Ask questions. You can never ask enough. For this reason its best to consult with a tax professional and your lender for detailed info on the effects this could have on you. In addition to working with Realtors, your lender, tax professional, a real estate attorney for help with the process, DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. Learn all you can, so you're equipped to cover your interests as well. This post is one in many to come on this topic. Stay tuned for more on short sales. Thanks for reading my blog & happy house hunting. As always, I'm never too busy for you or your referrals.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Homesdatabase & Coverage of Listings

Homesdatabase makes my listings SHINE.
1328 INGLESIDE AVE, BALTIMORE, MD 21207 on HomesDatabase It's an absolute pleasure to see my work displayed so nicely; they add all pictures from MLS, and best of all they share the agent's contact info (our office address and number, e-mail and cell phone). This ensures that leads and business can be routed back to the agent who works hard to develop new business. This service also increases our chances of CLOSING THE SALE.

This is just one of my listings. See "agent profile" on for my other active listings. Feel free to call with questions, if one of these homes may be a good fit for you and your family.

Thanks for reading my blog and HAPPY Househunting. Don't miss the TAX CREDIT deadline of 4/30 if you qualify as a 1st Time Buyer or Existing Owner.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Latest Listing for Marlene Rogers

Hey Fellow Bloggers and Followers,
This is my latest listing to hit the market FOR SALE. It's an AMAZINGLY renovated SPACIOUS Rancher w/ a FULL finished basement in Gwynn Oak, MD. Thats in Baltimore Co., close to Sam's Club, Pat's Pizza, M&T Bank, Bank of America, RT 40, I-695, Rt 70, Rt 29, I-95 and so much more. The advertised subdivision is Catonsville Manor; close to all, shops, restaurants, social security administration, commuter routes, etc.
This house SHINES w/ gleaming hardwoods, new kitchen, baths, nice sized rooms, a fenced backyard, walkout lower level complete with 2 separate spaces for dual uses (family room/games or office). The kitchen has 42" Maple Cherry cabinets, beautiful new floors, corian counters, a bistro set, and private driveway (could hold up to 3 cars).
All realtors see MLS # BC7262217 for details and all disclosure docs. Public openhouse scheduled for Sun 3/7/2010 from 1pm to 3 pm. Brokers Open on Fri 3/5/2010 from 1pm to 3pm. Brokers Open to feature FREE LUNCH, DRINKS & GIVEAWAYS, so drop by & check out my listing. It may be PERFECT for one of your buyers.
Electric systems was updated in 2007, along with the NEW vinyl siding and concrete walkway. Washer/Dryer conveys along with bistro set, and picnic table in backyard and radio player in kitchen. PRICED UNDER $235k, IT'S READY TO GO! Let's find the right buyer together and head to settlement before April 30, 2010.
Here's a sneak peek, via video.

Happy House Hunting & Thanks for reading my blog.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Deficiency Judgments

Deficiency Judgments. A possible trap door when buying a home. Let's explore when this can become an issue. The article here, tells us if a deficiency judgment is permitted in Maryland. FYI-Yes it is.

Whats does this all mean? A deficiency judgment occurs when a borrower owes the lender the difference between what the home sold for at auction and the original amt owed. For example: The original amt. owed on the loan was $200,000, and the home sold for $150,000 at auction. The difference of $50,000 could be saught in a lawsuit, as a "deficiency judgment," against the borrower. Fair? Absolutely not. Imagine, losing your home to foreclosure, then being sued by the bank for a "deficiency." Unbelievably CRUEL. If an individual couldn't afford to keep their home.....hence the foreclosure, how does a bank realistically think the borrower can pay an additional judgment??? From what money?? If someone cannot "modify" their loan, or commit to a "workout" agreement of some sort, its HIGHLY unlikely they can pay a deficiency judgment. Do the banks care?? HELL NO. They want to DRAIN all they can from whomever they can.

What are some ways to manage your money better and possibly avoid this scenario?
  • Develop a savings plan for emergencies. Set aside whatever is feasible based on your current income and expenses, say $50 per week. That's $200 per month, and about $2,400 a year that may be used to "bail you out," if the need arises.
  • Commit to paying a little more each payment on your mortgage, considering you're not subject to a "prepayment penalty." This may make talks go more smoothly should a hardship arise. If the lender sees you're "ahead of schedule" on your payments, this may allow you more time to catch up, if you find yourself falling behind.
  • Whenever you have a "windfall" of money, (i.e. tax refund, bonuses, etc) set aside 1/3 to half for unexpected emergencies. Increase this windfall by setting aside regular savings in addition to this amout, increasing your cushion.

Another site with useful info on the topic is:

Hope this blog helped shed some light on an otherwise "dark" topic. Financial difficulties can devastate anyone. With some preparation, we can weather the storm a lot easier. Happy reading. Thanks for viewing my blog.