HARP Refinance Program Expanded

Got questions about the new HARP Refinance Program?  Clink on the link below to access up to date information.

http://www.fhfa.gov/webfiles/22721/HARP_release_102411_Final.pdf

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  Email us at Info@TheCatonTeam.com or visit our website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

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How to Write a Great Offer on a Short Sale Property…

So you’ve found your dream home only to find out it is a short sale.  Nuts.  Now what?

A short sale is a pre-foreclosure property.  Perhaps the seller has stopped paying their mortgage and are in default, or perhaps the seller is on top of paying their mortgage, but are forced to sell when the market is down.  Either way it comes down to one thing – the seller owes more than the home is worth and in order to sell the property free and clear of any liens the seller must ask the bank to take less than they are owed – thus the term short sale.

For a seller to qualify for a short sale they must be in financial distress and prove this to the bank.

For a buyer in requires great patience while the offer package and seller financial documents are reviewed by many many many investors.

Because of the tedious review process – a buyer must be wise when writing their initial offer.

How to write a good offer on a short sale home…

To be frank, when writing an offer on a short sale property you only get one shot.  Once and if the bank accepts the short sale offer – that price is firm.  During the buyers contingency period – if they find out there is an expensive issue – there is no going back to the bank and re-negotiating.  The buyer can either walk away from the deal due to the new information – or the buyer can take a look at their other options on the market and decide what is best for them.  Of course, as your Realtors – the Caton Team will try to renegotiate the price and if an appraisal comes in low – that’s ammo.

The good news – since generally the owners still occupy the home, it is not in too bad of shape and disclosures can be provided up front.

So, how do we write a good offer?  Buyers and their agent will take into consideration the pro’s and con’s of the home and write their best offer after taking a look at comparable properties on the market.  The short sale bank will conduct one or more appraisals of the home and if the buyers offer price is in line with market price – generally the bank will move forward with that offer.

Price is important but sometimes it is not everything.  When writing any offer, a buyer will need to have a bank pre-approval letter, copy of their bank statements and pay checks to show their financial security.  The short sale bank wants to be sure the purchaser is strong.

The terms of the contract are equally important.  Time is always of the essence in Real Estate – it is even a term in the contract.  When dealing with a short sale bank – a buyer and their Realtor have got to think like a bank – that means moving fast when the bank is ready.  Close of Escrow should be a 30 window – shorter if possible.  Longer than 30 days tends to turn the bank away.  As for as contingency periods (time for the buyer to conduct their inspections and appraisal) the short sale bank will give the buyer the standard window of time – generally 10-17 days after acceptance.  Having a tight contingency period will make the short sale bank a bit more happy.  Also, the bank doesn’t move at anyone’s pace except their own – so giving the bank at least 3 months to review the short sale package is acceptable, longer is better if a buyer doesn’t mind.

Now on my end, as the Realtor – I want to make sure I send the bank your offer and all the paperwork by mail instead of fax so the bank has everything it needs and hopefully cutting down on the back and forth.

In the end, a buyer must write THEIR best offer, and whether they get the house or not, be comfortable with their purchase.

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  Email us at:

Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Visit our website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

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Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:  http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com/

Loan Limits Have Changed… check out this site…

For more information on the change in loan limits – visit the Fannie Mae webiste at:  https://www.efanniemae.com/sf/refmaterials/loanlimits/

-Sabrina

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  Email us at:

Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Visit our website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

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Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:  http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com/

How to Write a Great Offer on Bank Owned Homes (post foreclosure)

Point Blank – Writing a good offer is writing a good offer.  Price is most important, then close of escrow, contingency terms and then buyer qualifications.  Just about in that order.  So when a buyer is faced with writing an offer on a Bank Owned home – it is just about as easy as writing an offer on a home where the buyer is working directly with the seller.

The Caton Team Realtors, will provide the buyer with comparable market information – homes of similar condition and size – and what they are selling for.  Armed with this info, the buyer can decide a fair market price to offer.  Since the home is bank owned – the bank is very aware of the homes market value and has elected to sell the property in the open market instead of an auction – most likely because the bank will get more money in a normal sale versus an auction.  So our advise to a buyer – be realistic in your offer price.  Too low and the bank will move on, there can be some back and forth counter offers – but generally it is cut and dry or the bank will hold onto an offer till a better one comes along.  (At least that is how it feels to the waiting buyer.)

Next are the terms.  A bank owned home can move MUCH faster than a short sale.  A buyer will want to keep their property and loan contingencies tight – 10 – 17 days and generally a 30 days close of escrow is acceptable – if not shorter since the home is already vacant.

The downside bank owned homes – no disclosures except for the CA State Mandatory Disclosures – but those pertain more to the area than the actually home.  Why?  The bank has NEVER lived in the home and cannot disclose if there are neighborhood nuisances, or if the downstairs bathroom floods every years.  So it is more buyer beware – however – once a buyers offer is accepted, they will have their contingency time frames (stated in the offer) to conduct any and all inspections they want and to make sure the home appraisals for their loan.

Sounds like any offer right?  Right.  Bank Owned homes are like normal sellers.  The turn around time for an offer response in a couple of days – a week max.  Meaning, when the buyer get’s the offer accepted phone call – the clock starts ticking for contingencies and in 30 days I hand them the keys 🙂

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  Email us at:

Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Visit our website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

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Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:  http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com/

Interested in Investing in Real Estate? Great article link from the WSJ

Great article for Investors from the Wall Street Journal:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904103404576558484074477822.html?mod=WSJ_RealEstate_LeftTopNews

 

 

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  Email us at:

Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Visit our website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

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Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:  http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com/

What Costs of Home Ownership is Tax Deductible?

I just came across this great article that I thought I’d forward along.  It talks about what is and is not tax deductible in home ownership.

http://lowes.inman.com/newsletter/2011/09/13/news/152084

 

 

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  Email us at:

Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Visit our website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

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Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:  http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com/

How Much Insurance Do I Really Need?

How Much Insurance Do I Really Need?  It’s a great question that I get often.  Found this great article and thought I would pass it along:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/if-you-arent-sure-what-your-homeowners-insurance-covers-ask

 

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  Email us at:

Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Visit our website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp me at: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:  http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com/