Saturday, August 22, 2009

A piece of the American Dream, A Place They can call Home!

I'm so pleased for my customers, they are now proud owners of their first home. A beautiful 5 bedroom home that is sure to be the center of many family gatherings. There was a time we thought this day would not come, but with every one's help, and determination we did it! They are great people and I'm proud to have helped them in realizing their goal of owning a home they can be proud of.
This is the first time in my Real Estate Career that I've ever had FHA come back and tell us they would not guarantee a loan. Because of findings during the appraisal process the lender decided it was risky for them to approve the property and felt that the seller was trying to dump the property on the buyers. We had done our homework and knew that all the lender needed was clarification from the right sources to feel comfortable with the loan. After much work and time, it was approved and closed. I'm happy to report that Team work done between both selling and listing agents, engineer, appraiser, and mortgage broker, all made a huge impact on how this deal was turned around. Of course the buyers were the ones that never lost faith, and because of that I worked harder to make sure they got what they wanted......A piece of the American Dream, A Place They can call Home!

Seller Beware!

I submitted an offer on behalf of my clients last week, for a small home in the North Central Area. The seller took approximately 4 days to respond. When he finally responded, he countered with a slightly higher price and changed the property condition terms to reflect that the property was being sold "as is".
To give you some background; this is a property that has been in the market for the past year. Several different Real Estate offices have listed this property but so far none have been able to sell it. Could it be the seller is set on the value of his property? The property is overpriced for the area, it's over 20 years old and although it's in fair condition, the garage was converted leaving you with a property that is no longer comparable with the area around it, what we call curable functional obsolescence. You also don't have a Private back yard, the home is part of a HOA that is comprised of about 20-30 homes that share a backyard and pool. This already makes it a hard sale..most homeowners want to have a private backyard that they can relax in, and share with their families and friends.
So going back to the offer, I have to ask my buyers to consider whether or not the enclosure of the garage and the lack of a private backyard, adds value to the property for them or not. As a Real Estate professional, I have to deduct value from the property because it has an enclosed garage and is lacking a private backyard, so instead of going with the square footage they're disclosing, I have to deduct the amount of square footage from the garage, giving me a much lower value than what the property is marketed at. I feel our offer was more than fair, and advised my buyers to stand firm...Homes in that area have sold for $30,000 less than what this property is advertised for, and the fact that it's been in the market for so long stigmatizes the property. When a property sits on the market for a long time, buyers assume there is something wrong with it, or that the seller is not negotiable on their sales price. So the seller has lost the ability to negotiate.
In this case, what killed the deal for my buyers was the fact that the seller wanted the buyers to accept the present condition of the property "as is" prior to inspections. This became a big concern for my buyers....they came to the conclusion that the property has probably been in the market this long because something major is wrong with it, and the fact that the seller won't consider negotiating repairs after inspections, told them that he was hiding known defects about the property that could be revealed during a home inspection.
This takes me back to my title for this blog..Seller beware, this is a buyer's market, if you don't want to sell under the current market conditions, take your property off the market and wait for the market to flip back to the Seller's side.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What Order?

According to our previous contractor (the one that's awol), the outdoor light fixtures were ordered months ago and had been in his warehouse for months, just waiting to be installed. He was paid 50% of the cost when he placed the order and the remaining 50% when they arrived according to him.

My client came into town yesterday and directed himself to the Company where the items were ordered, and found out that the contractor placed an order for only half of the light fixtures, and paid only $600.00 deposit with a credit card!!! Since he never went back to pick them up, they sent them back! To top it off, the contractor called the company trying to get a credit on his card since they sent the light fixtures back. I must say he has a lot of nerve. My client paid this man $5,000.00 to order 8 light fixtures and that's not including installation, which was also paid for in advance. My customer had to reorder the items and of course pay for them, again.

If you're in south Texas, on the IH 35 corridor and are working with a contractor, I hope for your sake you're not working with the same person. I know he's currently working on some project in Eagle Pass, Texas, and I'm sure the money that he stole from my client probably went to cover for the money he's stealing from his current project. Of course my client will proceed in legal form against him, but what a shame it has to come down to that.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Anything else?

It seems Mondays are always the most hectic of all days in the week. Getting over the weekend is hard, especially when you worked all weekend! Today I've got a million things to do, and to top it off tomorrow I'll have to deal with building repairs that were not finalized by the previous contractor. Aside from shody work, the contrctor went "missing"and won't return our calls, he has also taken materials and money for work that was not performed. As it stands my customer has a huge loss in time and money. We've had a buyer waiting for the repairs to be finalized and at this point do not know whether or not he'll follow through with the purchase because he needed to occupy the property by the end of the month. So we'll see what happens tomorrow and hope for the best.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Forclosed Homes

It seems that these days we don't have the same inventory we used to have in relation to Foreclosed homes. Our market has been able to absorb a high percentage of foreclosures. Some of these homes last only a couple of days before they're contracted. I've noticed that there are less and less homes being foreclosed on in our seems that most of the loans that had ARM's are coming to an end, and we'll see less foreclosures toward the end of the year and next year. I've seen it all when it comes to foreclosure...the homeowners side and the investor side of it. Although I'll definitely miss the action, I must say that I'm happy to know that less homeowners are losing out on their biggest investment.