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Realtor Goes to Court on behalf of Seller - Foreclosure

I came accros this article and thought the essense of it should be spread to all homeowners and sellers.

REALTOR Goes To Court And Gives Judge Thumbs UP!

Recently I went to court not because I am in trouble...but someone important to me...our real estate seller!  See they live about 6 hours away..and yes the process of foreclosure has started.  Laid off..injured car (needs repairs) and could not make the trip. So what was this seller to do?

They Asked Me To Appear in Court!

Rather than no one appearing...I told them to type a letter..and if the judge will even acknowledge me..and read the seller's letter...there might be some hope to get the offer they received the closing table...all we need is time..time to get the short sale processed..I know it's going to be hard work...I read the wonderful Missy Caulk..and have had REALTORS throughout the state asking me for help to get through to this lender.

for the full story   Realtor goes to Court - Foreclosure

The moral of the story is if you are in the process of foreclosure...DO NOT IGNORE  the documents...that means respond to the you will know your options...respond to court documents and to court appearances..and if you can't get to the court room and its a legitimate someone who can stand in for you. 

Staging is not just INSIDE it is OUTSIDE too for Curb Appeal and other websites have photographs of your house for sale, and those photographs are a BIG FACTOR in whether buyers choose to visit your lisitng offline.

Curb Appeal today means WEB APPEAL!

  • How do I make my lisitng/ house for sale  more photogenicc?

    Start by taking a picture of it form the front. Look at it and critique it.

    What are the best features?

  • What is it lacking?

  • Are the bushes overgrown and you can't see the windows? trim the bushes down so you can see the window and more light can get in.

  • Can you see the trash can from the front?

  • Add window boxes for more color and interest they should be the full length of the window and NOT under the shutters

  • Is the light bulb on the outside light working? What does the fixture look like old and rusty? Replace it

  • Is there a tree with no leaves just branches? get it cut!

  • Does the door blend in with the house? Paint it with a contrast color. and if not then place some flower pots with colorful flowers to give it pop.

Anything that you have procrastinated about now is the time to get it DONE! before the buyers start looking and calculating 3 times what the actual cost to fix it would be.



Current Real estate market advice to Sellers and Buyers to use now...

AS market experts, economists weigh in on their opinion of bail out or other plans, I hope it chosen with common sense. Any person knows that prices do not go up forever and that the interest rates do not continue to go down to zero. The real estate market is not like a bouncing ball although it sure seems like it in the past couple of years. It goes in cycles and there is always movement up and down not peaks and valleys. Real estate is probably the best long term investment a person can make. Presently NOW is a good time to make your investments.

As Warren Buffet states “Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful” certainly also applies to real estate. I have some advice for both sellers and potential buyers…

Sellers: We have been on the downward cycle since fall of 2005, yet many sellers have chosen not to listen to their realtors, whom they have hired to market their property as experts in the area, and still want to price their homes at 2004 prices. This is just NOT going to happen NOW, it did not happen last week or month nor will it happen next week or next month. Wake up smell the coffee! If your agent has not been telling you this firmly and politely and has just acquiesced to you and your numbers etc. get another agent who wants to MAKET YOUR HOME and NOT THEIR NAME and wants to have the transaction CLOSE. By the same token if you have a strong agent who has been in constant communication and you know in your heart of hearts that the agent has been marketing your property to its fullest, now is NOT the time to jump ship to another agency. Sit down and talk with your agent and perhaps include the broker so you can brainstorm. Both the agents and their companies spend a lot of money marketing your property and jumping ship to another agency is definitely not going to work especially if the house is not priced correctly to the current market it will not be right with the other agency either. IF the house does not show well now it will not show well with the other agency either. Same thing with showing, NOW is NOT the time to be difficult in arranging showing of your property with buyers. They are scarce and much more competition to look at. Make sure you can get the buyers IN to SEE your property WITHOUT OBSTACLES. Such things as try back tomorrow, pick up the key at the office, 24 hour notice etc. just push your buyer and their agent away from Your property to a competitors property that is much more “buyer friendly”. Are showings inconvenient? Your darn tootin they are. Are you interested in Selling your house? Then that is just a by product to get the house SOLD and your tough and strong agent should be telling you that!

Buyers: Opportunity is knocking! Hello can you hear it? Low interest, lowering prices! Don’t try to calculate when the bottom will drop – it could be now, tomorrow, next week or in 6 months from now. Whenever the bottom drops it will be useless knowledge when the interest rates have gone up. The Fed will not lower the interest rates forever. What goes down must eventually go up. In fact during past recessions the interest rates went sky high. Now is the time to make good deals, like other investors. Just remember the WHOLE not the piece- real estate is along term investment, and when it works as a short term investment- that’s a beautiful thing. Remember do NOT buy above your means, don’t borrow on tomorrow’s pay raise. There is much more to choose from today than in previous years and there ARE lenders that are lending money NOW. Not all banks have lost their heads about lending money to qualified buyers. When you find the house that speaks to you sit down brainstorm a strategy with your agent and make an offer. Do not worry about whether this is the right thing to do or not, again this is a long term investment and chances are it is the right thing for you. I have had buyers who were worried that they were going to miss out on that one special house, special price etc and have waited too long and lost the house that spoke to them in the first place. Remember there will ALWAYS be other houses that come on the market, that may be better, be priced better etc. but will the time be RIGHT FOR YOU?

In short whether you are a buyer or seller, be smart, use common sense and a strong and tough agent who will negotiate on your behalf, now is not the time for the timid and meek, and it is definitely not the time for inexperience or less than a full time commitment from your real estate professional.

Capital Gains

I was just talking with a colleague of mine as well as a customer recently regarding selling property and capital gains.

What came out of this discussion is if you have capital gains adn are worried about the tax implication then try to get is SOLD NOW! The rumor mill has it that when president elect Obama gets in the tax will be raised.

Just thought I'd mention this so it may help someone.

If you are interested in selling or buying please remember me for Monmouth and Ocean County in NJ


38_shore_dr021 JUST SOLD!

38 Shore Drive Long Branch

Listed at $334,900

2 bedroom 2.5 bath attached garage.

When it's priced right it will sell in a short period of time!

This was listed at Thanksgiving and we had a contract in January!

Thinking Points for Sellers!

  • What you might have sold for a year or two ago is irrelevant. Properties sell for the best price obtainable in the CURRENT market - and not a dollar more.
  • If you sell for present market value, even though the price is less than it would have been in the past, you can reinvest at the same relatively lower range.
  • If your present property has appreciated in value over the years, a reduced price affects only "paper" value, which you never actually realized.
  • If you genuinely want to sell and have a good reason for doing so, there is little to be gained by waiting for "things to get better," especially if you'll be reinvesting in the same market.
  • If your home has been on the market for a considerable period of time and is not attracting the attention of prospective buyers, it is OVERPRICED (end of sentence).
  • If you are unprepared to accept the best offer obtainable from the best buyer available in the present market, you should NOT list your home for sale!

What Buyers are looking for in 2008

What’s In for Buyers in 2008

- Home buyers.. With swelling inventories, they are looking for newly updated kitchens and baths, pristine conditions, and a perception of value.

- Destination bathrooms. The master bath has evolved into the home getaway with multiple task areas. Freestanding or “throne” bathtubs (bath thrones) in the center of a soaking room, multiple flat screens TV’s and wireless Internet so you don’t miss anything as you move from bathing to grooming to lounging. Outfitted with serving bars featuring wine coolers, espresso machines, and grazing snacks. Also, a need for in-home hair salons.

- Pet showers. The kitchen sink is NOT for the dog bath. An emerging trend are dedicated dog showers. Be it in a mud or utility room, garage corner or basement, dog lovers want a place to clean their favored pooch after a visit to the beach or neighborhood park . Common dog showers feature a 3′ x 3′ shower base, surrounded by ceramic tile 4′ up the wall. Pet showers are all about the convenience for Fido to step in, and eliminate the owner’s need to lift.

- Home elevators. The boomers want their vertical palaces with elegant min-elevators. No more unsightly and very 1970s chair-on-the-rail-system for these financially flush, forward-thinking home buyers.

- Outdoor living spaces that look interior. Massive, soaring “statement” fireplaces of cut stone, heated (think bathroom floors) flooring and walkways, entertaining sized custom kitchens, and indoor-looking artwork, fabrics, and finishes, but ones that can stand up to the elements.

- Monitoring and controlling with hand-held devices. Forgot to turn off the coffee maker, close/open the blinds, and turn the heat down or the air conditioning up? The latest in technology that utilize hand-held devices to open or close the blinds, turn on or off lights, or let Fido out the electronic pet door, around the corner or across the country.

- Floating Homes. Not just in


. If your hood has calm protected waters, you’ll soon have floating homes, those that look like conventional, soil-situated structures. From




, floating homes are at the top of must-have lists for those looking for a primary home to be lifestyle oriented. Plus, watching sunsets are a more enjoyable and greener alternative to lawn mowing.

- Concealed appliances. Buyers bypass matching cabinet panels that are used to disguise the ubiquitous refrigerator and dishwasher. Hinged and pocket doors are the latest way to integrate visually those boxy necessities and make the kitchen more non-traditional and less functional looking.

- Energy Option homes. Solar panels, windmills and inverters are here to stay, in a big way. With brown-outs and power line-damaging storms on the increase, buyers in 2008 will ask for hybrid home-energy options.

What’s Out

- Unrealistic home sellers. These relics of another time and market missed the cocktail party chat and water cooler angst by the transitional sellers of 2007. Cautions included: pricing their home right, consider home-sale contingencies, and offer closing cost givebacks. Hear-no-evil-sellers were overlooked by buyers who pined for reality minded ones. Because if sellers were flexible with buyers needs, buyers bought.

- Living rooms. The great room has replaced the living room in American residential culture. Informal lifestyles with eating, cooking and living spaces combined so family members and visiting friends can congregate together through various activities has conquered the forced museum. In viewing homes with buyers I see the ex-museum used as work-out spaces, home offices, craft or hobby places, and I’ve seen more than once, the coveted living room with nothing more than a pool table as its solitary focus.

- Empty for sale homes. Buyers thought people “lived” in houses, but after seeing one-quarter of the homes they viewed empty, they wondered. Even though staging was the buzzword, getting that right was prickly in 2007. Those leftover silk flowers, the left behind mis-matched furniture, and the one-off design-show decorating scheme were buyer no-no’s. Neutral palettes, personal objects, thoughtful furniture rental, and something in the refrigerator says to buyers, maybe a person lives here.

- McMansions. Size doesn’t matter if it’s not well finished. A large voluminous home whose best attribute is the square-footage, is waning. Home buyers are looking for quality, not quantity in 2008. After all, who has the money to replace the faux-hardwood floors, builder grade carpet and fiberglass bathtubs?

- Obese ceiling heights. It’s cheaper to go up than out. That’s been the thinking anyway as of late in residential design. Buyers have finally said enough, they prefer ceilings between nine and eleven feet. Anything more, especially in a smallish (under 10′ x 12′) room is waste. If you can’t add a loft in a soaring room, “down size me” height-wise, buyers say.

- Pioneering locations. Buyers have moved away from take-a-chance-hoods. Pioneering or off the beaten path areas were once the hot bed of potential appreciation. However, buyers in 2008 have returned to the tried-and-true address, keeping resale desirability firmly in mind when making a purchase.

- Balconies as a marketing gimmick. Functional outdoor space, not the anorexic appendage hanging off the building, is what buyers crave in outdoor space for 2008. Real balconies have room for a grill and a comfortable table and chairs. People love the outdoors and want to use it, but not only as a solo experience.

What’s on the Way Out

- Mosaic tile. Once deemed the ultimate in tile, now considered a very personal design commitment to the previous owner. The cost and waste to remove intricate mosaic is over-whelming to buyers, especially if it is has been recently installed. Even the most expensive but not agreeable tile could kill an otherwise acceptable property.

- Retro-1970s chic. Trend-obsolescence by buyers in 2007 was rampant. Loving the retro-seventies was easy, but a more main stream kitchens and baths makes a sensible decision. As one Gen X buyer said to me; “I love the dark espresso colored shag carpeting, but, I know my decorating needs will change, I want an interior that will transcend trends.” I replied, “You’re looking for a ‘transcendent look” and her response: “exactly.”

Enhancing The 3 Main Rooms In The Home

Enhancing The 3 Main Rooms In The Home

1.     Kitchen

Light and airy kitchens set the tone for the rest of the home. Thoroughly clean the windows, floors and counters. Then replace with necessary items such as greenery, pottery and linens. Open the curtains turn on the lights and set the table with your best china! If your kitchen appears small, take out extra chairs and tables leaves. Also, try re-positioning your table for a better effect visually.

Your best investments are: A new tablecloth, place mats, area rug, valances, plants and fresh flowers.

2.     Bathroom:

What’s your best investment in this room? A new shower curtain, coordinating towels and bathroom rug. Simply, they make the biggest impact because they cover the most space visually. Clear off un-used items on the vanity and replace with just a few attractive soaps, magazines and towels.

3.     Master Bedroom:

Remove any clutter. Any pieces that are overcrowding the room. Soften the harsh lines with fabrics and plants and, make sure it’s light, airy and comfortable. Re-arrange furniture when necessary, to appear spacious.

Your best investment: An attractive comforter, throw pillows and matching valances. A few well placed pictures (hung at eye level)