Real Estate Bailout

From my lender sources, the real estate buyout started on October 1, 2008. The basic translation of bailout is you renegotiate your mortgage with your lender to reflect the current market value of the home. Seems similar to a short sale where your REALTOR negotiates with the bank for a lower SALES price. The difference is with a bailout, you do not have to sell the property.

I have had a few clients contact me about how to get started with a bail out. As with the recent changes in jumbo loan amounts, changes take about 6 months for the banks to get systems in place and get the training needed to provide the service to clients. From what I have heard, Countrywide seems to be the only bank right now, Oct, 11, 2008, that can do a bailout/buyout program for their clients. It is yet unclear to me how it will affect one’s credit.

Please let me know if you have more information about how it will affect one’s credit, if there are other banks that are offering this amazing opportunity to their clients.

Pools when selling… should they stay or should they go?

Sorry about the title, I have been doing a bit of Wii Rockband singing lately. Anyway, one of the bigger questions in real estate is about pools. Do they add or subtract value? In my experience, for single family mid range homes in a family type/professional neighborhood a pool causes any of the following thought processes to occur with buyers:

1) Typically, younger families do NOT want a pool and will either discount their offer to so they can fill it in OR often not even look at your property. Please note as with everything, there are exceptions (I have a buyer right now with young children who want a pool!). The risk of child drowning is too great for many parents (and grandparents). Pool report.

2) It depends on the location of the pool- If the pool takes up the whole yard or if you walk out the back door and have some grass and some place to entertain/play and then see a pool off in the distance (that can be gated). Young families are a bit more likely to buy if the pool is positioned away from the house and even better if it is gated (note: covers and netting are not as valued by buyers and can translate into the offer price).

3) How are the fences around the yard? Many buyers are concerned about the liability of neighbor kids coming into their yard and getting hurt at their pool because of a faulty fence, they could be liable. Fences are often thousands of dollars to replace and can also play into the offer price.

I have had two clients buy homes with pools and fill them in over the last 2 years. The cost was between $7,000 and $10,000 with permits to remove the pool. Any landscaping is an additional cost. If you have a home with a pool, I recommend getting a quote for filling it in (your realtor can do this for you). This way you have that information handy if you get an offer and the buyer wants to negotiate about the pool.

A smaller pool has less concerns as it is less expensive to fill in, easier to maintain and gate.

Setting the price when selling your property

When it comes to selling their house, most people will hire a professional just as you would hire a professional if you needed some dental work or you wanted to update the electrical in your kitchen. And, many people will listen to all the advice a realtor offers about cleaning up the home and putting away personal items. When it comes to pricing the property however, many sellers think they know best.

If you have picked the right realtor (one who knows your area and has some level of experience and professionalism) they will know how to price your house so it sells! There are many reasons people hire realtors however the largest reason for most sellers is to GET THE HOUSE SOLD! The beauty of a realtor is they are not emotionally attached to a home in the way a seller usually is. They can see the property for what it is and price it accordingly.

If you plan on selling your home and you want to control the price, I suggest you allow your realtor to pick the first 3 digits of the price and you pick the last digits.

3 easy steps to sell your home!

Step 1 Hire a good realtor

Step 2 Listen to that realtor

Step 3 Get the house sold!