How Long Will it be Before My Short Sale Offer is Approved?

Every short sale is different and depends on the lender and listing agent.  It is important to be patient when sending a short sale offer, as short sale approvals can take up to several months at a time.

What you can do to help speed up the process is to qualify the short sale.  First, examine the comparable sales.  What that means is to look at the comparable sales in the area and with your agent, make an educated offer that is reasonable and close to the comparable sales in the area.

Next, find out how many short sale offers have been submitted.  The offer prices may not be disclosed but in most areas, but agents can release the amount of offers that have been received—this will also help you and your agent figure out the best offer price for approval.

Another way to qualify the sale is to find out if the seller’s sale package is complete.  Usually if the file is missing paperwork and incomplete, the bank will either prolong the approval and send it to the bottom of the pile.

Once again, short sales approvals are essentially on their own schedule and will be approved when the bank says so.  They key is to be patient, especially if this is the house you truly love and want.

The information in this blog was gathered from Elizabeth Weintraub, About.com guide.

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Nine Dos and Don’ts When Buying Your First Home

DO know where your credit score stands. Before you apply for a home loan you can get your free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com. This allows you to make changes in your spending habits and a chance to boost your credit score if it is not up to par. Most buyers cannot purchase a home without first taking out a home loan which requires certain “creditworthiness”.

DO research the home market. You can look at RealtyTimes’ Market Conditions or Coldwell Banker’s Home Price Comparison Index to find information regarding housing costs in various markets.

DO plan ahead. According to RealtorMag, “the average first-time buyer only stays in a home for four years”. Questions that you need to answer are: Will you raise children in this home? Do you plan to grow old here or do you plan on this being a starter home? Will Grandma be staying here in the future? Do you plan to have pets and will they need the outdoor space? All of these things should be taken into consideration when buying a home. It will influence the size and type of home you will need.

DO know when to ask for help. During your housing search you will most likely need to hire a real estate agent, a home inspector, an attorney to cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s, as well as a mortgage broker.  You have plenty on your plate as a first time home buyer; let these guys help you with the rest.

DO prioritize your needs and wants. Be willing to compromise in order to stick to your budget. A solid foundation and running water are things you need. Granite countertops and a pool are examples of things we may want, but don’t need. Make a list of your priorities.

DON’T buy a home for a quick profit. Buy a house because you need one, not to make money off it tomorrow. Don’t bank on your home price soaring. Especially right now, the housing market is unpredictable.

DON’T allow lenders to fool you. Know what YOU can afford, instead of focusing on what a lender will loan you. Take a look at your existing bills; college loans, car payments, cable bill, cell phone bill, life insurance, car insurance, and numerous utility bills. Rather than living paycheck to paycheck, choose a home that suites your budget comfortably.

DON’T settle for the first home you see. Keep an open mind and walk through many different homes to get a feel of what fits you and your family. You may end up loving a different style home or completely different neighborhood than you imagined in the beginning. This is a big investment; take your time during your search.

DON’T sign unless you understand the loan. Research your different mortgages and loans just like you researched the housing market. Find someone to help you understand every part of the loan, take your time, and find one that works best for you and your lifestyle.

The information in this blog was summarized from: http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20080416_firsttimebuy.htm

Can a Realtor Help You Sell Your Home More Quickly in Freehold, New Jersey?

Absolutely!

Real estate agents in Freehold are required to be up to date on the housing market trends in the area. That means that an agent in Freehold is familiar with average selling prices, short sales, foreclosures, lenders in the area, and everything else real estate. Furthermore, these agents are trained and tested daily in the real estate and housing markets, and their experience can absolutely work to help you buy or sell your home in Freehold, New Jersey.

Moreover, because your real estate agent will be familiar with the housing market trends in Freehold, he or she will be about to help you determine a realistic asking price for your property in order to ensure that your home sells. To determine what you should list your home for, your real estate agent will look at comparable homes that sold and that didn’t sell in Freehold, New Jersey. This will give both of you a good idea of what price is too high, and what price will sell, as well as give you more insight on the competition in the area.

If you need to sell your home very quickly, say, to avoid foreclosure, your real estate agent can work with local lenders and/or help you find out whether you qualify for a short sale or deeds-in-lieu transaction (which will save you from being foreclosed upon).

Make sure to hire a competent realtor who has experience in buying and selling homes in Freemont to help you sell your home as quickly as possible, and for the best possible price.

To get in contact with a Freehold agent, click here!

To read the original article, click here!

10 Things to Ask a Real Estate Agent Before Buying a Home

Buying a home can be a tricky process, but your real estate agent can help you with any questions that you have or that you come up with-and there will be a lot of them! Below is a list of the top ten questions you should be sure to ask your real estate agent before buying your home.

  1. What is this house worth in the current market?
  2. Is this home in a flood plain?
  3. Can I have a CMA (comparative market analysis) of the area?
  4. Is this area growing or declining?
  5. How do your realtor fees work?
  6. Is there anything wrong with the home?
  7. How energy efficient is this home?
  8. How much should I offer?
  9. What will I need to pay for out of my pocket?
  10. What is the process of buying a home?

Five Home Remodeling Projects that are Worth it

There are so many options for remodeling, revamping, updating, and upgrading your home, but how do you know which projects are worth it? Should you invest in adding more bedrooms, or would your money be better spent revamping the kitchen? Here we break town the top 5 home remodeling projects that will really pay off.

  1. Kitchen– The biggest concern for many home buyers is the kitchen. This room can make it or break it when you’re trying to sell your home. Go for bigger, more open designs that offer lots of counter space, storage space, and elbow room. Also, if you can afford to update your appliances, do! The refrigerator and the stove are the biggest, and arguably most important, appliances in your kitchen, so start with those.
  2.  Bathroom– Second only to the kitchen, the bathrooms are the most important rooms in your home to consider remodeling; this is especially true for the master bath-it should exude luxury and relaxation. If your home currently has just one bathroom, it would be wise to consider adding a second one to increase the value of your home and to make it more appealing to buyers. Thinking about having to share one bathroom amongst everyone in the house can be a major turn off for many potential buyers.
  3. Replace the windows – Although replacing windows in your home can be a pricey investment, it is certainly one that will pay off in the end. New windows will not only improve the look of your home and enhance curb appeal, but they can also help to lower energy costs, which is a definite plus in the eyes of a potential homebuyer (and its good for you while you’re waiting to sell).
  4. Replace the siding – Vinyl siding has become somewhat outdated, and it is important for you to know that it is not the only option when it comes to replacing exterior of your home. Fiber cement siding, clapboard siding, and siding that resembles brick, stone or wood are just some of the alternatives. As with new windows, new siding enhances curb appeal and has been shown to help a home sell faster.
  5. Reserve space for a home office – More and more people are finding ways of working from home, so a home office is an appealing addition for many potential homebuyers. And, for homebuyers who work outside the home, the home office can be converted into a nursery, a sunroom, or serve many other purposes. The flexibility and option of having this extra room is a real kicker for many buyers today.

What are the Upsides of Owning a Home?

It seems like all you hear these days is, “Buy a house if you can; now’s the best time!”. But most people don’t know why it’s so important to own a home, or why they should make that kind of financial commitment. The fact is, when you own your own home, you are able to build equity and reap certain tax and long-term financial benefits, that aren’t available to renters. Here’s a quick list of some of the benefits you will gain when you buy a house:

  • Financial benefits such as tax deductions, ability to build equity, greater borrowing power, and more.
  • You become part of a tight knit community that includes your neighbors, your neighbors’ friends, local workers, etc.
  • The longer you stay in one place, the more your house will feel like a home.
  •  Developing positive relationships with the people surrounding you will earn you friends that can help you through any problem you come across, home-related or not.
  • You can change your home to fit your short-term and long-term needs.
  • If you want to start, or continue, growing your family, you can customize rooms, i.e. turn that office space into a new nursery, or even build on to the house in some cases.
  • If  you’re short on cash, or your friend needs somewhere to bunk for a few weeks, you can rent out rooms.
  • Or you could rent out that space above the garage, or your almost-empty-tool shed if someone needs extra storage space.

Owning a home allows you endless opportunities to change and mold your space and your community to fit your needs. And moreover, owning a home leads to great financial benefits.

To read the full article, click here.