Posted by Liberty Real Estate on 11/25/2015

When a homeowner first buys their home foreclosure is probably the furthest thing from their mind. Today’s economy has forced millions of homeowners into a potential foreclosure situation. There are many reasons why people go into foreclosure. Some of those reasons include:

  • Job loss
  • Unexpected death, illness or medical emergency
  • Adjustable rate mortgage increase
  • Unexpected home maintenance expense
There are ways to avoid foreclosure. The best way to avoid foreclosure is to prevent the filing of a Notice of Default. If a home owner knows they are unable to pay their mortgage they should immediately call their lender. Lenders do not want to foreclose. They may be willing to work with the home owner but it is important that the home owner doesn’t ignore contact from the lender. The lender may propose several options:
  • Forbearance
    • Lenders may agree to a repayment plan before taking legal action
  • Debt Forgiveness
    • Very rarely the lender might give you a break and waive your obligation.
  • Repayment plan
    • The lender may agree to spread the payments out over a longer loan term.
  • Modification
    • In some cases, the lender may agree to freeze the interest rate of an adjustable rate loan or extend the amortization period.
  • Refinance
    • Adding payments to an existing loan balance may be an option if the homeowner has sufficient equity and meet the lender’s guidelines for refinance.
  • Partial Claim
    • Certain government loans may contain provisions that allow the homeowner to apply for another loan to pay back missed payments.
Preventing the Notice of Default filing is the best way to prevent foreclosure. If none of the above options have worked there are still some options a homeowner can leverage. Once the Notice of Default is filed, the homeowner only has a small time frame to reinstate the loan by bringing the payments current and pay the costs of filing the foreclosure. If you are unable to make up the payments you still have a few options:
  • Sell your home
    • If you have equity in your home a quick sale is probably the best option at this point. Your home will need the best exposure and marketing to achieve the quickest sale possible.  A full marketing plan and the proper price positioning should get your home sold in time to avoid foreclosure.
  • Attempt a short sale
    • If your home is worth less than the amount you owe, you might be a candidate for a short sale. A short sale is when you sell your home for less than what the amount owed.  A short sale will affect your credit rating but not as bad as a foreclosure. A short sale is negotiated with the lender.
  • Deed in lieu
    • The homeowner deeds the property back to the lender by giving the lender a properly prepared and notarized deed, and the lender forgives the mortgage.
For more information on how to prevent foreclosure visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development site to Avoiding Foreclosure. http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/topics/avoiding_foreclosure  





Posted by Liberty Real Estate on 8/26/2015

A house needs to be sold three times when it is on the market. First it needs to be sold to other agents so they will want to show and sell the home. Second it needs to be sold to buyers and lastly to the appraiser. Even if the buyer is willing to pay a certain price for a home they usually need a mortgage. That means it is actually the bank who is buying the home. The bank wants to protect their investment so they do an appraisal. When the appraisal comes back low or as an under-appraisal deals can fall apart. If you are a seller or a buyer you need to know how to protect yourself from short appraisals? Here are some suggestions from Bankrate.com for buyers and sellers. If you're a buyer: -- Tell your lender to find an appraiser who comes from your county, or perhaps a neighboring county. -- Request that the appraiser have a residential appraiser certification and a professional designation. Examples include the Appraisal Institute's senior residential appraiser, or SRA, or member of the Appraisal Institute, or MAI, designations. -- Meet the appraiser when he or she inspects the home and share your knowledge of recent short sales and foreclosures that might skew the comps. "Many appraisers are just pulling up data out of MLS (Multiple Listing Service) or off the deed at the courthouse and not checking it out," Sellers says. "Most good appraisers will appreciate the information." And yes, you can speak with your appraiser; the prohibition only applies to your lender. If you're a seller: --·Get an appraisal before you list a home. Search for a qualified appraiser in your area on the Appraisal Institute website. -- Use the appraisal to set a realistic listing price for your home. -- Give a copy of your pre-listing appraisal to the buyer's appraiser. The more professional appraisers will understand that you're just trying to add more data and another perspective. -- Question a low appraisal. There's always a chance the appraiser or a supervisor will take into account new or overlooked information.





Posted by Liberty Real Estate on 6/24/2015

If you are a seller, you need to know how buyers think. A study by the National Association of Realtors asked buyers who they are, why they need to buy, and what would make them buy. Here is just a few highlights from that study which provides detailed insight into the home buyer's experience with this important transaction. Here are highlights from that report.

  • Sixty-six percent of recent home buyers were married couples—the highest share since 2001.
  • For forty-two percent of home buyers, the first step in the home-buying process was looking online for properties. While fourteen percent of home buyers first looked online for information on the complete home buying process.
  • The use of the Internet in the home search process rose slightly to ninety-two percent.
  • The typical home buyer searched for 12 weeks and viewed 10 homes.
  • Eighty-eight percent of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker. This share steadily increased from sixty-nine percent in 2001.
  • Eighty-eight percent of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent when selling their home.
  • Two-thirds of home sellers only contacted one agent before selecting the one to assist with their home sale.
  • The share of home sellers who sold their home without the assistance of a real estate agent was nine percent. Forty percent knew the buyer prior to home purchase.
 





Posted by Liberty Real Estate on 4/15/2015

Does a backyard pool add value to a home? That has been a long debated question among real estate professionals. While there is no clear answer the National Association of Realtors reports that pools add approximately 7.7 percent to the average property value. But there are some caveats to that statistic. In recent years, pools have become more part of the landscape that a hole in the yard. Things that increase home values with pools also include backyard landscaping, fencing, walkways, decks, and fabulous plantings. Another factor that increases a property’s desirability and value is if the home is in an area that has a large number of pools. Be aware if your neighborhood has a community pool it may be difficult to attract buyers for your home. Experts say buyers that are looking for pools are typically middle age with teenage children.  While buyers with younger children might shy away from a home with a pool and view it as an accident waiting to happen While in-ground pools return approximately 50 percent of their initial investment, be sure to keep service records that show it’s in good working order prospective buyers will want to see the pool has been properly maintained.  





Posted by Liberty Real Estate on 1/28/2015

Garages aren't just for parking cars and storing all of your stuff. The garage could just be the key to selling your home. Homeowners don't typically think of putting much effort in the garage when preparing a home for sale. Investing a little time and effort into staging your garage could just be the difference from for sale to sold. Follow these quick and easy steps to a garage home buyers dream of. 1. Get organized. Everyone loves storage. Show off your garage and make it a selling point. One of the best ways to showcase your garage is an organized place where buyers can picture their things. Shelves, bins and storage closets are available at any local hardware store. When your garage looks spacious and organized it is more appealing and may even result in the buyer feeling like they are gaining square footage. 2. Light it Up Lighting can make all the difference. Replace dangling, plain bulbs with fixtures or strip lighting. Adding an eight-foot fluorescent light strip can turn your garage from dark and dreary to open and inviting. 3. Finishing Touches Garages that have appealing floors and walls go a long way in the buyer's eyes. Concrete garage floors can be coated with an epoxy resin-based paint or rubber mats and tiles. This hides spills and makes cleaning a lot easier. Don't forget the walls. Adding sheet rock makes a very clean surface and makes the garage feel more like a finished space. The sheet rock can also be painted to create a warmer atmosphere. 4. Properly working doors There is nothing worse than a garage door in disrepair. Garage door openers should be quiet and have safety mechanisms in place. Have the garage doors evaluated by the garage door company that installed it or sometimes all it needs is a good oil job to lubricate it.