Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Brick wall between now and closing.

Friday, August 14th, 2015

There are many hurdles to overcome to get your property sold. It’s like a brick wall standing in the way to get to closing. You can do it, it’s just one brick at a time. Each brick you take down gets you that much closer to the closing. Some of those bricks you will encounter: First, getting your home in shape to show. Second, marketing to find buyers. Third, a completed purchase agreement. Once you have a purchase agreement, the brick wall is getting smaller, but very important steps are in front of you. You will need to handle any special requirements, such as; repairs, surveys, and inspections. Once these are completed, you will need the appraiser, mortgage company and title company to complete their work. Any problems with these three need to be taken care of. Otherwise, you are back to starting over with a large brick wall. This process takes time and over 5 million homes are successfully sold each year. Don’t feel like you are the only one with minor set backs. You need to keep moving forward by taking down the wall one brick at a time.

FSBo Brick Wall

It’s Open House season for FSBO’s

Monday, April 20th, 2015

we have often blogged that there is no one way to find a buyer for your property. Some call off of the yard sign. Others find your property online. Others from referrals, etc. And, some find their new home driving around the area’s in which they plan to buy. This is the time of year that buyers drive in the area’s they are interested in, so you might as well help them. I would pick a weekend and hold an Open House from noon to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. On the Monday prior to the weekend I would do the following:
1. Lower your price a little and change the Remarks to:


2. update, Zillow and all other online ad’s with that headline
3. each day put a new ad on Craigslist
4. send/deliver flyer’s to all real estate offices that are close to your property
5. put balloons on your mail box and Open House signs every place that will help
6. the day of the Open House, park your cars at the street so it looks like people are looking at your home
7. remove pets, small children and any other distractions from your property on the day of the Open House.
8. be prepared to be there to discuss your property and to negotiate with any interested parties.
9. have a notebook and get all parties to write down their name and number. You need to know who is entering your property and this gives you a way to follow up later and get feedback.
10. some suggestions for security: a. place all valuables in a secure place b. keep all parties together, do not let one person go upstairs alone, while the other keeps asking you questions to keep you busy c. Make sure, you are not alone during the Open House, either your spouse, relative or other adult is with you.
fsbo open house

thank you builders for helping me sell FSBO

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Home Builder prices are now 30% higher than comparable resale properties. Historically, it is 15% higher. Thank you home builders for making my FSBO property more appealing to the home buyer. “Builders are making a conscious decision to sell fewer homes at higher prices than to sell more homes at lower prices.” according to ZIllow economist, Stan Humphries. Between 2008 to 2012, I saw many builder developments go back to the banks and resold for 20-40 cents on the dollar. Plus I saw many larger builders selling developments for 40-50% of the development costs. To put this is real dollars. Example: an 80 lot development, ready to have homes built on it cost (in major metro areas) $80,000 to $100,00 per lot. This includes the cost of purchasing the raw land, getting it developed and approved with roads, utilities, etc. These developments were then sold for $40,000 - $50,000 per lot. Today, with an improving economy, low interest rates the buyers are looking to purchase. The builders owning these properties now own them for $50,000 less then the cost 5 years ago, plus materials & labor have stayed the same. So, why do they ask so much for these properties? Simple answer is ‘because they can’. To their surprise, the public is not buying it.

FSBO Prices

FSBO properties asking prices are 30% that of a comparable new builder home. Plus the resale development is already finished. Have you ever lived in a new home and over half of your community had vacant lots. When these lots are finally built on, you take the risk they will have smaller, less expensive homes which hurt your value. Big risks.

Don’t be fooled by adjustable rate mortgages!

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

3/1, 5/1, 7/1 adjustable rate mortgages offer a lower interest rate the first year, thus a lower monthly payment. But, don’t be fooled. Each year the interest rate changes and at the end of the term, either 3, 5 or 7 years there is a balloon payment. Balloon payment means you owe the entire balance right now. If you are confident rates won’t move much or that you can quickly sell the property, here are some historical facts:

Interest rate moves- Federal Reserve raised short term interest rates from 8.85% in August 1980 to 20% in January 1981 (less then six months). Other countries move their short term rates even quicker, for example; this week Russia raised their short term rates from 10% to 17%. Our country has not seen this is a long time, but it could happen.

Home values- Baby boomers had gone the last 40 years confident that their real estate holdings are guaranteed to always go up. Well, they did until 2009. That myth was proven wrong.

To avoid future problems and pressures, lock in today’s low interest rates with a 15 or 30 year fixed mortgage. Avoid buying a property that is over the appraised price or the real estate agent added their commission to the price, which means you are paying more.

Year end quick facts

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Existing home sales: after four years in a row with under 5 million homes sold, 2014 will be the 2nd year in a row of over 5 million homes sold.

Inventory of homes on the market: after four years in a row of over 2 million homes on the Market for sale, 2014 will be the 2nd year in a row of under 2 million homes for sale.

Mortgage down payment: 3.5% down payment needed for a FHA mortgage. Over 75% of new loans this year used the FHA program. New programs coming by the year end through FNMA and Freddie Mac will require only a 3% down payment.

Mortgage interest rates: 4.1% 30 year and 3.2% 15 year. These are the best rates if your credit score is 740 or higher. New FHA standards require minimum of 580 credit score. The mortgage rate depends on your credit score.

Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs): with home values up, over $67 billion in HELOCs in 2014. The most since 2009.

These facts all point to a positive real estate market in 2015.

How much do you spend on a house payment?

Friday, October 10th, 2014

What percent of your income goes to pay rent? Is it 10% or 20% or 30% or more? How does that compare to a house payment? Your house payment depends on the price of your house and mortgage amount. There is a wide range of prices for the same size house depending on where you live. Coastal areas and the Northeast are much higher then the Midwest and South. Affordable housing and a good job market tends to attract younger workers. Demographic researchers describe those born between 1977 and 1992 as ‘Millennials’.  The ‘millenials’ population in certain markets keep increasing. Jobs and affordable housing are key reasons. Here are a few of the affordable places to live:

Metro area Payment/Income Home price Income
Augusta,GA 10.52% $64,100 $37,561
Fayetteville, NC 13.14% $97,500 $45,742
Atlanta, GA 13.98% $111,600 $49,200
Jacksonville, FL 13.99% $99,000 $43,621
Philadelphia, PA 14.06% $81,675 $35,801
Baltimore, MD 14.35% $90,000 $38,655
Little Rock, AR 14.81% $122,000 $50,768
Columbus, OH 15.26% $125,000 $50,502
Omaha, NE 15.35% $128,000 $51,392
Milwaukee, WI 15.62% $108,000 $42,611

Happy Labor Day

Friday, August 29th, 2014

You work hard for your money, right? Let’s celebrate Labor Day by saving some of that hard earned money! How about $30 off any new #FSBO property listing? Use code laborday30 at checkout online - Expires 9/2/14 and valid only on new property listings.

FSBo Labor Day

Health of Real Estate market improves

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

The real estate market has been improving yearly since the depths of the financial crisis six years ago. Sales and market values keep going up. Foreclosures keep going down. This weeks headline “Foreclosure activity hits lowest in eight years” with the number of new foreclosure filings dropping again. Remember just 24 months ago, most areas had foreclosed properties sitting on the market for sale, with the prices dropping, which held down your areas real estate market. Look around today, they are mostly gone or none existent. Mortgage rates are still below historical norms and banks are now getting more lenient. The only thing holding back future sales is lack of inventory. Many owners that have refinanced at very low interest rates are staying put. Why walk away from a really low mortgage payment? Many buyers still have a problem qualifying for a new mortgage because of credit score problems. Looking out the next 24 months, more of the same, except interest rates will move up.

USA vs Belgium

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

In honor of the USA Soccer team’s match today versus Belgium in the World Cup we will be closing our offices early.  The Phone Support will be closed at 3PM.  They will open again tomorrow morning at 9AM.  Please feel free to use the Customer Service email link at the top of the website to submit any questions and we will get back to you after the game.

GO USA!!!!


Vote Now for the Best FSBO BBQ Backyard!!!

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

So far we have a pretty close race to see who has the best backyard for a BBQ for the upcoming Fourth of July Holiday.  Visit our Facebook Page now to place your vote by “Liking” your favorite one.


The backyard with the most likes will receive a $100 Gift Card to Home Depot.  Voting will end at Noon on July 5th.

Don’t forget, these homes are all for sale.  If you see one you would like to buy simply click on the link to their listing next to the photo.  You could be having your own BBQ in one of these backyards by Labor Day!!!

#fsbobbq #fsbo4th