Monday, February 28, 2011

Selling to SOLD - Selling your home

Alright, you decided, you are ready to sell your home.

Now what???

Well, first we need to establish a reasonable value, right? How do you do that??

First, I select SOLD and ACTIVE homes from within your neighborhood/area of similar functional value and condition. Then I compare the most similar properties to your home and make slight adjustments for value added features like pools, extra bedrooms, lot size and condition.

I am more interested in the Sold comparable properties than the Active Properties. The Sold properties are painting a picture of where the market is and the Active Properties are showing us where the market could be. Also, there are so many low priced Short Sale properties on the market, that the active market could show values way below or above the true market CLOSED (homes that have sold) median value.

Once the value is established, you will decide on a Listing or Asking price.

Pricing is VERY important!! I cannot stress that enough.

If you are priced to high you will not get enough looks and will attract low-ball offers.

If you price to low, you will receive more attention, but you may under-sale your home!

With your Asking price established, you are ready to get your home on the market.

What is the market? For most agents putting a home on the market means, putting it in the MLS. Yikes!

It only takes one person to buy your home, but why not have everyone see it?

I offer the following:
-Posting your home to the MLS for all active agents to see
-Posting your home to, one of the largest real estate sites in the world
-Posting your home to, also one of the largest real estate sites in the world where thousands of qualified buyers can view your home
-Posting your home to one of the largest sites in the nation
-Post your home to
-A personal website for your home with additional photos www.
-A professional Virtual Tour highlighting your home
-Virtual Tour Posting to
-Open House to show your home
-Last but not least, a sign, letting passersby know your home is up for sale.

These 10 tools attract THOUSANDS of qualified lookers.

FYI, I don't charge extra for this service!

I look forward to helping you sell your home.
Call me today-
Mark W.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

To Flip or Not to Flip?

Finding the right investment property in this market can be difficult and risky. Finding the perfect flip can be downright nasty!

Flipping has become increasingly difficult due to the declining market, diminishing margins, purchase restrictions and competition.

With the market slowly falling, profit margins are slowly evaporating, making each investment more challenging and less profitable. Take for example this simple scenario:
You find a nice little gem for $100,000 that would be worth $150,000 when completely fixed up and ready to sell. But, since the market is falling you have to factor in the declining market and figure that the $150,000 today will be $145,000 in two months!

Two other big factors that are having an adverse affect on buying an investment flipper is loan restrictions on the back end and competition.

Competition is fierce!
Banks are working with first time buyers by giving incentives to close and even giving them money to fix up properties that otherwise would not qualify for non-conventional financing.
So fixers can be sold to first time buyers with little down and the Bank will pay for repairs!
Fannie and Freddie Mac currently offer a first time buyer fixer program.

With the market pinching everyone, investors are willing to net less of a return and are purchasing properties to hold and rent.
You will be competing against investors that that want to hold the property, pay cash and are willing to receive less of a return.

So what should you do???
Here are my 10 recommendations:

1. Establish a relationship with a contractor who is willing to work closely with you.
2. Find an agent who understands what you are looking for.
3. Start Small and work to get bigger. Don't over do it.
4. View properties with your contractor and agent.
5. Calculate for declining market.
6. Be ready to hold for 6 months.
7. Know your neighborhood.
8. Consider multiple areas.
9. Stay on schedule.
10.Be ready to SALE!

This is a very basic overview of what to look for when considering a flipper.
If you have any questions, post a comment or feel free to contact me directly at 916-410-1284

Thursday, October 28, 2010

First Time Buyer? The steps to get you home.

If you are considering taking that first step towards owning your first home your probably thinking "Where do I start?".

Here are the basic steps to buying a home and if follow them you will be well prepared to handle whatever the buying process can throw at you.

1. Select your Real Estate Agent.
If you need help with this part you can give me a call!
Your agent will guide you throughout the process.

2. Get pre-approved!
With a pre-approval you will know how much you can afford, what your approximate payment will be and you will be able to purchase with confidence.
Without a pre-approval you will be shopping blind!

2. Determine where you would like to live.
Find the location or locations that work for you.

3. Preview listings.
Your agent will be able to email you listings. Pick out the ones you like and weed out the bad ones.

4. Visit the homes that you like.
Your agent will be able to show you the homes that you like. Rank the ones you like from 1 to 10.

5. Put an offer on a home (or two).
Now that you have seen a few homes and you think you found "the One", you and your agent will put an offer together and send it to the seller or listing agent.

6. Negotiate
Once the Seller has the offer they can accept it, reject it or counter.
This process can take a few days.
If an agreement is made you are in contract!

7. Escrow is Opened
Escrow is the time period needed to complete inspections, get a full loan approval and complete any other terms and condition stipulated by the contract. This process usally takes 30-45 days.

9. Become a homeowner!
Once all the contract terms and conditons have been executed, the loan has been funded and the title has been recorded- You are a homeowner!

If you have any questions about buying a home, finding a home or real estate in general, feel free to give me a call. I am here to help.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Short Sale? What's a Short Sale?

I am constantly asked by clients and friends "What's a Short Sale?". Some people think that a Short Sale means that the seller is trying to get rid of their property as quickly as possible in a "Short" period of time. Some people have asked if a Short Sale means that the seller is trying to sell the property short of its value. Neither are correct!

A Short Sale is when you are allowed (with bank approval) to sell your home for less than what is owed on it with out repaying or partially repaying the difference. WHAT!! Why would the bank do that??? Well, the bank would consider a short sale for many reasons. Some of which include: the homeowner cannot afford the payment and is falling behind, job loss, future loss and prevention of foreclosure.

Recently, banks have been rolling out new programs to help homeowners Short Sale their home other than forcing a foreclosure. With new mandates and procedures the Short Sale process is becoming more streamlined and systematic.

Please understand that a Short Sale does not come without implications! You must expect a large ding to your credit and may be ineligible to purchase a home for a few years, however a Short Sale is far better than a Foreclosure and can help you get back on track.

If you have any questions about Short Sales, post a comment or give me a call-


Friday, February 5, 2010

What is a BPO?

BPO's are very common now- and here is my basic overview!
BPO's or Broker Price Opinions are the "new appraisal"! I like to call them "mini-appraisals". They are an independent opinion of value of a given piece of property.
Banks order BPO's for Short Sales, REO's (bank owned properties), Pre-Foreclosure, Loan Modifications and Market Updates.

BPO's consist of a Interior or Exterior drive-by inspections of the subject property.
Interior BPO's require photos of the Front, Sides, interior, bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, common areas, back yard, back of the subject, photo of the address or street sign (if no posted address), street photos (looking down the street), what the subject faces and any damages or amenities. Exterior BPO's only require photos of the street, address or street sign, front of the subject, sides of the subject, any damages or amenities and what the subject faces.

The BPO form requires 3 sold comps and 3 active/pending comps to confirm agent/brokers values. Comparable properties are selected from within 1/4 mile of the subject to 15 miles of the subject with regard to urban, suburban or rural properties, but that is a blog in itself.

The agent/broker will make neighborhood, condition and market comments, that include- active listing ranges, sold value ranges and average days on market.

The agent/broker will then comment on the differences and the similarities the the subject has with the selected properties and make adjustments for square foot, lot size, damages, repairs, garage capacity, age, location, condition, amenity, market trends and property type.
Once the adjustments are a value range can be established and the agent/broker can complete the BPO!

I hope this was helpful for all you out there looking to start doing BPO's or if you were just wondering what the heck a BPO is!

FYI-Feel free to contact me if you need any BPO help, I have completed well over 700 BPO's in the last 6 months and I am still alive!