Diana's Neighborhood

Real Estate in New York & Connecticut – Won't you be my neighbor?

Home Selling on a Budget

                                                  Home Selling on a Budget from About.com

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April 6, 2011 Posted by | Home, Real Estate, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Before You Look to Buy a Short Sale House

6 Things to Know Before You Buy That Short Sale House

The Wrong Short Sale House Might Not Ever Close

By ,  About.com Guide

Houses that form a question mark

Qualify the listing agent and the seller before writing an offer on that short sale house.

© Big Stock Photo

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When you spot a short sale house that interests you, take your hand off the mouse and step away from the computer. Before you get all excited over the prospect of buying that short sale house, pick up the phone and call your real estate agent. Your agent needs to research that short sale listing first.In some real estate markets, fewer than one in 10 short sales close. Just because that home is listed as a short sale doesn’t mean it’s really for sale (because it’s subject to lender approval), nor does it mean it will sell at the advertised price. Here are 6 things you need to know before trying to buy that short sale.

Comparable Sales For That Short Sale House

The short sales I list in Sacramento are all priced below comparable sales, yet they are priced in line with pending sales. Why? Because short sales take anywhere from 2 to 4 months, on average, to close, and pending sales will become the comparable sales at closing.

Some short sales are priced ridiculously low. So low that the sellers’ bank will never accept them. These types of listings receive multiple offers. But all is not lost. To get your offer accepted, it will need to be priced near market value. If you’re not prepared to pay above a superficial price on a lowball short-sale listing, then pass.

Mortgage Amounts, Number of Loans and Lenders

Ask your agent to research how much is owed against the home and find out the number of loans that are recorded. A second or third mortgage lender will receive peanuts as compared to the amount a senior lender in first position will get.

Moreover, some lenders, deserving or not, get a reputation for being difficult to work with. If your agent is an experienced short sale agent, he or she will know who these lenders are and can advise you of the difficulty you may encounter.

If your offer is 20% or 30% of the mortgaged amount, it is unlikely that your offer will see the light of day on the negotiator’s desk.

Short Sale Listing Agent’s Track Record

A listing agent who is advertising a short sale but has never closed a short sale is a risky proposition for you. That’s because it’s up to the listing agent to submit the short sale package to the lender and negotiate. Your buyer’s agent can’t talk to the bank.

Some listing agents hire outside companies to do their job, and the results of those negotiations are sketchy at best. Ask yourself, do you want to risk rejection of your short sale purchase because the listing agent has no experience?

Short Sale Seller Qualifications

Find out if the listing agent has received a completed short sale package from the seller, and ask about the contents of that package. A complete short sale package consists, at minimum, of the following:

  • Sellers’ hardship letter
  • Tax returns
  • W-2s
  • Payroll stubs
  • Financial statement
  • Bank statements

Some sellers do not want to cooperate and are slow to return these documents. Others have never been told by their agent that these documents are mandatory. You don’t want your short sale purchase delayed because the listing agent doesn’t have the required documents.

Number of Short Sale Offers Received

Homes priced under market value will receive multiple offers. An agent is not required to disclose the terms of those offers, but you do want to know how many offers you are up against.

Here’s how it generally works:

  • When a short sale home first comes on the market, the first offer will most likely be a tad below list price.
  • The second, at list price.
  • The third offer will be slightly higher, maybe by a $1,000 or $2,000.
  • The fourth offer will be significantly more.

You want to make an offer that will beat the competition yet still be below market, or don’t waste your time.

The Listing Agent’s Short Sale Procedures

Although REALTORS are required by the REALTOR Code of Ethics to treat everybody fairly, not every agent is a REALTOR. This means the short sale listing agent may decide to submit only the first offer to the bank and withhold all other offers.

Withholding other offers could be considered to be a violation of the fiduciary relationship formed between the listing agent and the seller. The seller is entitled to receive the highest and best price. Realize that even if your offer is submitted to the bank, as time marches by while waiting for short sale approval, another buyer could outbid you.

At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, DRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.

March 18, 2011 Posted by | Buyers, Home, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Home Buying Guide

Home Buying Guide from About.com

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                                                                 Chefranden – Flickr.com

February 15, 2011 Posted by | Buyers, Home, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Home Style Guide

Home Style Guide from About.com – What style are you?

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                                                              Lynette 1962- Flickr.com

January 4, 2011 Posted by | Home, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

12 Days of Christmas for Home Sellers

Here’s a different take on 12 Days of Christmas from a Realtor for Home Sellers…

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                                                                     Chris_J – Flickr.com

December 1, 2010 Posted by | Christmas, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Buying Foreclosures

Buying Foreclosures – Tips for Foreclosure Profits  –  From About.com

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                                                                      emdot – Flickr.com

November 18, 2010 Posted by | Buyers, Home, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Thank You To Our Veterans

Thank You to our Veterans

                                                                Beverly & Pack – Flickr.com

Facts about Veterans Day from about.com  **  CLICK  **

November 11, 2010 Posted by | Fun Post, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Short Sale Info

Short Sale Info from About.com

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November 4, 2010 Posted by | Buyers, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

How Long Does it Take to Sell a House?

How Long Does it Take to Sell a House?  Information from About.com

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November 1, 2010 Posted by | Home, Real Estate, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Scariest Places on Earth

Scariest Places on Earth from About.com

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                                                                 ~Duncan~ – Flickr.com

October 28, 2010 Posted by | Halloween, Home, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

How to Carve a Pumpkin

How to Carve a Pumpkin with the help of About.com

                                                               Joe Shlabotnik – Flickr.com

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October 14, 2010 Posted by | Halloween, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Buy a Starter Home

Buy a Starter Home… About.com

                                                             love janine – Flickr.com

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October 7, 2010 Posted by | Buyers, Home, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Halloween Costumes You Can Make

Halloween Costumes You Can Make from About.com

                                                                   L. Marie – Flickr.com

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                                                                     peasap – Flickr.com

October 4, 2010 Posted by | Fall, Fun Post, Halloween, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Why do Leaves Change Color?

Why do leaves change color in the Fall?  Find out from About.com –

                                                             virtually_supine – Flickr.com

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                                                                    Ctd 2005 – Flickr.com

September 21, 2010 Posted by | Autumn, Fall, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Lunch Ideas

Lunch Ideas from Kraft Foods…

                                                                     bingbing – Flickr.com

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                                                                      jetalone – Flickr.com

For Healthy Lunch Ideas from About.com…

                                                                    yoppy – Flickr.com

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                                                    an opportunity for identity – Flickr.com

August 19, 2010 Posted by | Kraft Foods, Recipes, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top Books to Read at the Beach

Top Books to Read at the Beach – from About.com

                                                             Wouter de Bruijn – Flickr.com

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                                                                 Wil Wheaton – Flickr.com

August 10, 2010 Posted by | Summer, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Speedy Cleaning Tips

From About.com : HousekeepingSpeedy Cleaning Tips

                                                                sbaracchina – Flickr.com

Whether your entertaining and running late – or your home is up for sale and you have a last-minute request for a showing – here are some great – quick clean-up tips from About.com…

                                                          supershoppertoo – Flickr.com

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                                                              supershoppertoo – Flickr.com

May 14, 2010 Posted by | Home, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Time to Trim the Tree, Wrap the Gifts & Holiday Cheer!

christmas-tree-farm-busymommybusymommy – Flickr.com

This past weekend, I purchased my freshly cut Christmas Tree.  I LOVE the smell of the pine needles and deciding where to place my ornaments.  This year, my family and I will have decorate the tree together – a wonderful holiday tradition.  With my mother visiting from Portugal, my husband and I working 7 days a week and my 5 kids running in different directions – it will take some planning!

red-christmas-krisdecurtiskrisdecurtis – Flickr.com

 – HGTV’s Trim the Tree <CLICK>

Rachael Ray – Holiday Decorating <CLICK>

About .com – Tips on Decorating Your Christmas Tree <CLICK>

DIYnetwork – Gift Wrapping & Christmas Crafts <CLICK>

gift-mysza831mysza831 – Flickr.com

Please stay safe – from ABC News –  Good Morning American<CLICK> for Holiday Safety Tips Video

December 16, 2008 Posted by | Christmas, Fun Post, Uncategorized, Winter | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More Halloween Fun!

Halloween – shortened for “All Hallows’ Eve” – has been around for centuries and is one of the most popular and enjoyed holidays of the year.

For some “Creepy” fun, check out the Headless Horseman site – I dare you!

And I Double Dare you to read the 6 Terrifying Tales of Halloween on About.com


A great site with lot’s of Halloween and Fall info – PUMPKIN PATCHES AND MORE.ORG – like…

Hmmm??  Wondering if I should “Dress Up” during my showing for the month of October?

I big “BOO” – I mean Thanks to GOOGLE IMAGERY and ClipArt.com

October 13, 2008 Posted by | Fall, Fun Post, Halloween, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Homebuyer’s Guide

Buying a home for the first time – or anytime – can be stressful.  From deciding where to live, how much to spend, who can you trust to walk you through the most important investment in your life – and many more issues.

Thanks to Frontdoor.com – you can view videos and read some helpful information about Homebuying.

   This step-by-step guide will help ease any anxiety.

Another excellent site is – About.com – Here you can read about  – Buying vs RentingReasons for buying – and Should you buy before getting married? and other answers to questions that you may have.

 Hope this information helps you achieve the American Dream of Homeownership.

Thanks to GOOGLE IMAGERY and ClipArt.com

October 6, 2008 Posted by | Buyers, First Time Home Buyers, Home, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment