I had a gentleman who lives in another state contact me on my Raleigh Real Estate website about listing his 92 year old mother’s home. He said she had gotten ill over Christmas and could no longer live alone. He needed to find a senior continuing care facility in the Greater Raleigh area for her to move too because all of the family lived too far away to take care of her long distance. The long term care facilites were very expensive and he needed to know what the house was worth. I met with his mom, who was the sweetest thing in the world and didn’t look 92. I hope to be so lucky. I gave him a price and he was pleased then he tried to take the hardest step and here was our dialog:
I have talked to my mother and she is so indecisive I am not sure how to push her forward at this point. She doesn’t feel that she knows where to go and doesn’t know how to go about making the decision. She feels that she needs to make a decision on where to go before going forward. I try to provide help but she is very hard to deal with. She needs to be gone from that house!
Every day in the Raleigh area I meet with perspective home sellers. However, in the current real estate market I find myself practicing “tough love” and being more of a counselor and consultant. I try to educate my home sellers to make sure they have realistic expectations so they do not end up with regrets in the end. Many times during the initial consultation I talk sellers out of putting their homes on the market and encourage them to wait until a better time. I show Raleigh area sellers the absorption rates for their location, age, square feet, architectural style, features and price range. I explain experimenting just to see what happens in a buyers market is another real estate listing about to fail.
Going Green in your Raleigh Home will help you save green every month. You do not have to build a new home from the ground up to have a healthier, greener home in Raleigh. These quick home tips will help save the earth while reducing your monthly housing expenses too.
TAKE YOUR TEMPERATURE
Turn your hot water temperature down to 120 degrees and cut hot water heating energy compsumption
SWITCH THE LIGHTS
Compact fluorescent light bulbs use up to 75% less energy than traditional bulbs. Replace them in highly used fixtures such as porch lights, bathroom vanities, and office lights.
Install low-flow shower heads and faucets to cut back on water flow or shorten your shower time and your water and heating bill
Use a power strip for your Raleigh home office or entertainment center. Even in standby mode, electronics account for 15% of the household electricity.
Remember to turn off the light when you leave the room and to unplug your computer and other appliances when not in use. These small gestures will save you money and protect these items during bad weather. 5 to 10% of your energy cost goes towards lighting
of all your appliances your refrigerators will use the most electricity in your Raleigh home. Adjust the temperature to 37 degrees F and your freezer to 0 degrees F and save.
Hang your heavy duty clothes and bed linens outside and get that fresh smell. You’ll also be reducing the amount of energy you use in your home.
Search for hidden air leaks around doors, window, electric outlets and in your attic, basement or crawl space too. Seal them with caulk, spray foam or weather stripping. With four seasons in Raleigh sealing a home can cut energy consumption by up to 10 percent.
Lower your themostat at night and stay warm with a down comforter. For each degree you lower it, you’ll reduce heating cost 3% to 5%.
It Takes Four Things For Every Homeowner to Sell a Raleigh Home:
1. A Compelling Price
4. A good marketing agent
Many sellers today feel very beat up and out of control in this challenging and competitive Raleigh real estate market. Many Raleigh home sellers get mad at their real estate agents when their homes do not sell but, the truth is the REALTOR has very little control. As a seller you decide the list price, how easy or difficult you’re going to ake it for us to show; you decide whether or not you are going to put it in good showing condition; you decide whether or not you’re going to be cooperative on financing options and closing cost. Your REALTOR does not decide any of that and neither does the buyer. You’re in 100% control. Additionally, your REALTOR can’t make the buyer pay what you might want, any more than your REALTOR can make you take what they buyer offers. You’re in control- you have the final say over the sale of the house. Your REALTOR’S job is to advise you, give you the truth about current market conditions, market your home aggressively to generate leads and follow up on every lead to create opportunities for an offer.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss strategies in this current real estate market, please give me a call at 919.235.0007 or send me an email.
Unemployment, divorce, job transfer, death, financial crisis is finding many Raleigh homeowner’s struggling to make their mortgage payments. Mortgage payments are due by the first day of each calendar month. They are late on the 15th day of the month. After 15 days a late payment reminder letter arrives, after 30 days it is mortgage default and the ugly phone calls begin from the collection department. The stress of not knowing how to make ends meet and combined with the threatening calls received daily leaves many owners of Raleigh homes wanting to lock the door, cancel their phone and run away to what they hope will be a quick fix; bankruptcy or foreclosure.
Everyday I talk to people who are in despair. The best answer is to sell their home, pay off the debt, and move to a smaller more affordable home. However, many Raleigh homes have not appreciated enough to satisfy the cost of selling and the mortgages owed. If you find yourself in this situation a short sale is your best solution. Mortgage lenders do not want to own real estate. They are eager to work with you on a short sale. So eager that I have many lenders calling me directly to tell me my seller has missed payments and they are willing to do a short sale. They request from me that I get the home owner to submit a pre-foreclosure short sale package. Why, because they do not want to foreclose and own real estate. They want to help find a win win solution.
For most home owners it very confusing and hard to believe that their mortgage company wants to help them when they are receiving threatening phone calls from the collection department. Those phone calls feel like they are only out for blood. And, in some ways they are, at least that one department. Every mortgage company has different departments with their own agenda. The Origination Department makes loans. They are the friendly sales force for the mortgage company who want to give you money. They are paid when you borrow. The collection department has only one job and that is to collect. Some would say; “collect by harassment.” When the Collection Department pressures you into paying they receive a bonus. Loss Mitigation or Home Retention is another department at your mortgage company. They want to work with you to stop a foreclosure and encourage short sales and other solutions to avoid foreclosure. To learn more about the solutions to stop foreclosure visit LindaCraft.com
5 Things You Need to Know to Save Your Credit
and Avoid Foreclosure:
When you call your mortgage company, make sure you get to the right department.
There are thousands of short sale request daily so it takes a lot of time to get through. Be patient.
The work load in Loss Mitigation is causing employee turn over to be very high. If you do not get the answer you want when you call in the first time, call back and talk to someone else. The employee turn over in the pre-foreclosure departments is so high that you may get a new employee that doesn’t know what they are doing. If you get someone new you may be told things that will make you want to run away again. You can always ask to speak to a Supervisor’s.
Whatever you do, don’t let your Raleigh home go into foreclosure. There are other solutions. Foreclosure equals 10 years of horrible credit and every foreclosure reduces surrounding home values approximately 9%.
A bankruptcy may seem like a quick fix to stop the harassing phone calls but, in the end you will have a bankruptcy and a home foreclosure on your credit report. Do a short sale first and a bankruptcy afterwards only if you still need to.
If you have any questions I can be reached at (919) 235-0007.
Today I heard that WRAL- Channel 5 -would be featuring a story on the potential danger home owners face when allowing strangers into their home when they are selling it themselves. As Agents we take this matter very seriously. Some of you may remember several years ago when a real estate agent in the Fayetteville area was shot and killed when showing someone a vacant home. The North Carolina Real Estate Commission published a booklet for agents on safety and what people should and should not do when meeting strangers for the first time. Our local Board of REALTORS and Triangle MLS requires all agents to sign a confidentiality agreement stating that they will keep all lock box codes, security alarm passwords and such matters confidential. The fine for sharing any of this information with a non-agent can be as high as $1,500. This is a very serious issues and I urge you to take as many precautions as you can before you open your home to strangers, including service providers and lawn care professionals. Make sure that you know their true identity and ask for proof of driver’s license, business license, etc. What ever may apply to help keep you and your family from danger.
Here are a few good tips to use:
Write down the color, make, model and license number of the car the person arrived in.
Tell someone you trust who are meeting, what time they will be at your house, what time they should leave. Have them call you at a certain time to make sure you are ok.
Keep your cell phone in your pocket, not in a different room
Trust your instincts. You have them for a reason
Dress for safety- do not wear expensive jewelry
Keep your valuables out of site- your laptop is included in this too.
For more information on how to protect yourself contact the Raleigh Police Department or an agency that offers self protection classes.
Every day I watch and the number of new listings, price reductions and failed listing in the Raleigh real estate market. It is very concerning to me as I see our historically safe real estate market falling and our personal equity investment decreasing. Although Raleigh home prices have not fallen to the extent other areas have, we too have been touched by the forces in this economy.
The past two years have real estate values flat for some Raleigh homes and declining for others. One factor that has caused a decline in property values is the increasing number of Raleigh home foreclosures. We have a second wave of foreclosures postured for early 2009.
Many ask; “how long will it take for Raleigh home prices to return to the highs of 2005 and 2006”? Some believe a year, others think three to five. One thing I know for sure is it will not be this spring.
The mortgage crisis that started with subprime has become an economic snowball that is rolling down hill fast. Housing controls 40% of our economies fuel. Which means it’s no longer just the housing market that is struggling, every business has been affected. Unemployment is growing and people in all price ranges and in every walk of life is losing their homes to foreclosure.
If you know of anyone struggling to make their mortgage payments please have them contact me or any other REALTOR with a CDPE designation. There is help available but, in people in that situation do not know where to turn. Foreclosure and the terrible negative effect it will have for years and years can be avoided. A foreclosure on a credit report has the absolute worst consequences. It will affect their ability to rent a home, buy a car, get student loans for the children’s education and may even keep them from getting a job.
Every person that is saved from foreclosure helps Raleigh homes prices stabilize faster. If we can reduce foreclosures we will protect our own property values and the equity we all need for our future while helping someone else have a future too.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at the office- (919) 235-0007.
Many people ask me weekly “What do I need to do to sell my home?” Buyers purchase homes with emotion. So, one of the things you have to do is stage your home to capture emotions. There is a big difference between staging a house to sell and decorating a home. When you decorate you fill space with personal color and design that apeals to your taste. When you stage for selling you remove everything personal and try to make your space more of a blank canvas. A blank canvas allows the buyer to easily imagine themselves living in your home. You also want a blank canvas that appeals to the largest sector of buyer profiles. Yesterday I met with a family that had been trying to sell their home for 6 months. They had personally (not professionally) sponge painted two bedrooms. One was pink the other blue. They chose those colors because they had a boy and a girl. I advised them to neutralize the rooms. They told me their decorator said to leave the colors because they added charm and since it was a family neighborhood having colors that appeal to both sexes would be good for a sale. I told the homeowner that I disagreed with the decorator and her assumptions. I shared my concern and reminded them it is a buyers market where only 1 out or 14 homes sell and they are competing with new homes too. New homes do not use personal colors and they spend millions of dollars researching buyer preferences. Further more, even in a family neighborhood my experience is that the likelyhood of their buyer having both a boy and a girl that would appreciate their personal handsponged painted blue and pink walls was very narrow. To sell your home it needs to appeal to the maximum number of people. I was certain I was telling her truth that would help them sell their home but, I don’t think I will get this listing. They told me that they would have to get back to me. By their body language, they clearly didn’t like my answer.
What do you think? Spend $50.00 and take away the blue and pink walls or take the chance the perfect buyer will come through the door that would actually want someonelse’s art project on their walls?
In real estate there is a saying: “It is always best to be the first born, second wife and third REALTOR.”
Maybe they will call me back- you know what people say -“The third time’s the charm. I hate to loose.