Posts Tagged ‘FSBO Tips’

New settlement statement for real estate closings

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

Effective Oct 3, 2015 the former settlement statement referred to as HUD1 will no longer be used for real estate closings. The replacement form is call the ‘Master Settlement Statement’. This is a simple one page document that shows all of the numbers related to the sale of real estate. Below is an example of what to expect at your closing. If the buyer gets a new mortgage loan, the loan charges will also appear on this form.

This all comes about because of the financial meltdown and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act rules that the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau now requires. In addition to the new settlement statement, buyers will receive new/additional disclosure forms from their mortgage company. All of these changes simplify the home sale process

New Settlement Statement

FHA appraisers don’t look at Zillow

Friday, December 11th, 2015

two properties Under Contract with FHA financing. Both appraisals come in below purchase price. In the previous post (2991Dalton Ln, Austell, GA and  2054 Summer View Pl, Marietta, GA) I talked about how fast these two properties had a buyer. The sale prices were just below the Zillow estimate, so I thought everything would work out well, not so.

Dalton was appraised at $135,000, more than $10,000 below the sale price and more than $20,000 below Zillow. Through FHA, the buyer only needs a $5,000 down payment. In this case, the buyer was not able to come up with the additional money, so the deal fell apart. With rents up, this property will be rented for one year and I’ll try again next year.

Summer View appraised at $130,000, more than $5,000 below sale price and more than $7,000 below Zillow. In this case, the buyer came up with a little more cash and the seller lowered the price. Property to close on Dec 15th.

Now, with FHA appraisals, once you have an appraisal done, that appraisal is still good for 120 days. That means, in the case of Dalton, if I try to sell the property again with a buyer using FHA financing, that is the appraised amount FHA will use. In other words, it is impossible to sell for more than the FHA appraised price in the next 120 days. Luckily, there are more renters out there paying more and there are more investors paying cash, so something good will happen very soon.

new hardwood floor job completed

Monday, October 5th, 2015

Yea, one project that worked like we planned it. We replaced carpet with hardwood floors and blended it in with existing hardwood floors. Sand and stain to make it look like it was all laid at the same time. The total cost was slightly more than if we would have just refinished the existing hardwood plus replaced the carpet with the same quality. The 14 years old carpet and original hardwoods needed something. Now, with all hardwoods we should be good for another 14 years. No more carpet cleaning, dent marks from the furniture or stains from spilled wine, etc. Here are the before and after pics:

hardwood decision is hard

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

now that we’re committed to refinish the hardwood floors, we need to decide on the stain. Darker, lighter or the same. It’s a tough call. I’m sure it will look good when finished, but which stain is best? What do you think?

replacing carpet with hardwood floors

Monday, September 21st, 2015

owning a home means you are constantly making decisions that have long term ramifications. One decision is what to do when your carpeting wears out. Do I get them professionally cleaned? Do I replace them with more carpet? Do I replace the carpet with a different flooring? I am now in the process of making that decision. I remember back in High School, being a jock was what was ‘cool’, so I did that. In college, long hair is what the girls wanted, so I did that. After college, it was ‘clean cut’, because that is what my customers and boss wanted. When making a decision on appearance for my home, it is what does the buyer want. Not that I plan to sell soon, but eventually. At least once a year I visit home builder models. Builders know what buyers want and they constantly adjust their model homes to appeal to the majority of buyers. Years ago I noticed the kitchen counters getting larger and today with more granite. Master bathrooms with tile, separate shower, separate sinks and separate closets are available. But, what about the main flooring. It is easy to see, hardwood floors are what the buyers want. In almost every room, you see hardwood floors. So, that made my decision easy.  Replace carpet with hardwood and at the same time refinish the existing hardwood floors so it all matches. Even HGTV recommends hardwood floors. Here are a few before photos. In two week when completed I’ll show you the final product.

FSBO Hardwoods

FSBO Carpet

Paperwork is part of the selling process

Friday, June 5th, 2015

Contracts, amendments, addendum’s, exhibits, disclosures, pamphlets, etc may be required in your state. Each state is different, plus there are Federal Laws to be aware of when selling real estate. In most states, the Purchase Agreement must be in writing, no more hand shakes. In most states, Seller Disclosure forms are required. Federal Laws require ‘Lead Base Paint’ disclosures. Know your local, state and Federal Laws. An easy place to start is: US Legal Forms . They provide forms for your state. Some examples:  US Patriot Act - cash earnest money deposits over $10,000. Fair Housing Act - prohibits discrimination in the sales and rentals marketing::  use these Key Words do not use these Violation Words

FSBO Keywords

does it take 3 washing machines to do your laundry?

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Does it take three automobiles to get to work each day? Does it take three of anything to get the same job done? NO!  So why does it take three real estate agent websites to search and get the same results. Search and you’ll find houses for sale that you won’t see any where else. Zillow, Trulia and, you put in the same requirements and the exact same properties come up. Why? Because they all take direct feed the the local MLS system. It is the same information w/photos going to the three different websites. Something has got to change. Redundant?? When one changes or adds a new feature, the other two follow suit. Now, if an effort to be different, Zillow is dropping the MLS feeds, causing quite a stir in the realtor industry. And, Zillow now has acquired Trulia. A backlash is coming. Already we are seeing old listings of properties replace the new ones. Outdated information, wrong price and photos. What’s up with that? Is this possible, change actually has made things worse. I loved the quote yesterday by Rory McIlroy, when asked what Tiger Woods needs to do to compete at the Masters golf tournament this week. His response to Tiger: “Keep it simple” and “use your talents without over thinking every shot”. Hmm! I could say the same thing about the real estate industry. Do we really need so many new versions, new changes, new everything, etc? My brother just bought a new construction house. He had to sign or initial a 46 pages contract. Really?? Are that many pages really necessary to build a new house. In the end, buyers tell me “I just want to buy a new home to live in”, that’s it. The more complicated it gets, the less likely it will happen. Let’s see if Tiger takes Rory’s advice this weekend.

Tiger Rory FSBO

do I buy or sell first ?

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

that is the century old question. Like many things in life, you need to do your homework, be prepared and fully understand your options. What are the current market conditions? Is it a hot buyers market or a soft sellers market? What can you expect to net out of your current home and is it ready to be put on the market? If your current house sells fast, but you have not closed on the new one, where do you live? Can you afford two house payments? Here are some thoughts and suggestions:

- get several opinions of the value of your current home via appraisers, agents, Internet and your own search

- meet with your mortgage broker (more then one is a good idea). Find out your options regarding mortgage approvals for two properties, temporary (home equity, bridge) loans, locking in interest rates, and get any suggestions from your mortgage person regarding current market conditions

- go inside and take a look at as many properties as possible. This will give you a good idea of the new home you will be buying. Plus it gives you a good idea of how your current property needs to look to sell fast

- consider all options. If you sell first, do I have a temporary place to live. If I buy first, can I afford two mortgage payments.

It is very rare to buy the new home at a low price, then sell your current one at a high price. I usually prefer to buy first. This way you get the house you want and at the best price. Put in as many offers as it takes to get the best price. Once you get a good deal, now you can price your home just below the competition and it should sell fast.  If you sell first, then you are under a lot of pressure to pay top dollar and it may not be the perfect property you were looking for. Remember, the three most pressured moments of your life will be dealing with    1. a family death 2. a divorce 3. buying a new home predicts a big 2015

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

New buyers: with 5.2 million foreclosed homes in 2007 & 2008, these owners will be passing the seven year mark in which their foreclosure drops off their credit report. Starting now, they will be able to qualify for a non-FHA mortgage. Plus with their credit improved and tired of renting, we look for these buyers to be back in the market.

New sellers: current average time staying in a home is over 13 years (longest ever). Sellers that have been waiting for prices to rebound will be putting their homes up for sale. Those baby boomers and empty nesters that are anxious to downside. Plus the first time home buyers from a few years ago that need a larger home will be selling to move up.

Interest rates: we are always talking about how low they are. This year will be the bottom and you better hurry to lock in. Federal Reserve policy of lower rates were based on employment, inflation and GDP. Historically, the Fed has been slow to react and it looks like they are doing it again.

Renters: 35% of households rent. This has slowly increased each year since 2005, with a low of 30%. Today, with millions of properties owned by investors for rental purposes, the renter with large families are opting to rent 3 or 4 bedroom homes versus renting the two bedroom apartment. Get ready in 3-4 years when the investors decide to sell/cash in and these renters turn into buyers.

New developments for 2015: Look for mortgage qualifying to get easier. Look for builders to keep increasing the home price. Look for developers to over build new apartment buildings. Look for investors to start selling.

I hear this from FSBO sellers

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

- a buyer looked at my house and he wants to buy it. What do I do now?

-real estate agent says she has a buyer, but won’t bring them to my house. Why?

- my house is set up perfectly for me, how come no one wants to buy it?

- do I buy a house first, then put mine up for sale or vice versa?

- I need to take my home off the market while I am refinancing.

- do Open Houses work?

- what is a Flat Fee MLS listing?

- do I re-carpet or should I give the buyer a carpet allowance?

- What is a pre-qualification letter?

These questions and more are answered in the blog. Let me know if you have questions.