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Steve Sanz's Blog

By Steve Sanz | Agent in Portland, OR
  • Negotiating Tips for Buyers

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Portland, Property Q&A in Portland  |  June 2, 2011 8:10 AM  |  207 views  |  1 comment
    Even with the help of an experienced real estate agent, the negotiating process can be frustrating and even nerve-racking.  Many of us are not involved in high-level business negotiations in our day to day lives, and even buyers who are businesss savvy are not used to having a personal stake in the negotiations and outcomes.  Good negotiating in real estate is not about being wining over the other side.  Its about understanding the other side's motivation and striking a deal that satisfies all parties as much as possible.

    Here are some things to consider for your negotiations:
    • Don't focus on price too early: consider other dynamicssuch as closing dates; seller contributions towards closing costs and repairs.
    • Don't move to slowly: real estate can be an agressive commodity, not taking decisive action can result in losing the buying opportunity.  Buyers that have their financing in order and ready to go prior to making an offer will have a better chance at getting th e property they are interested.  
    • Avoid responding on the spot: never respond verbally to an offer or counter offer always do it in writing. Don't make handshake agreements that make lead to issues down the road.
    • Keep negotiations professional: it can be difficult not to take things personal especially if your own home is at stake.  This is a strong reason to have a professional realtor assisting you to keep things objective and in perspective. Remember to ask for clarifications when the reasons or motivations are not clear to help keep things in perspective.  If answers are not forth coming be prepared to walk away.
    • Don't make a lowball offer: There are valid reasons for making offers signinficantly lower than the asking price.  The home may be overpriced to comparables or may require costly repairs.  If you are expecting the seller to reduce their price to accomodate your budget or to ensure your good deal, you're not negotiating in good faith and risk alienating the seller entirely.
    • Don't be afraid to ask:  Shrewd negotiations assume nothing is off the table entirely.  when done correctly it doesn't hurt to ask.  As always remember to remain flexible. 
    • Don't obsess: It is easy to become anxious and try to follow the process relentlessly.  Try to remember to relax and leave as much as possible to your professional guides.
    Good luck and skill in your next real estate transaction.
  • Dear Home Seller . . .

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Portland  |  April 20, 2010 5:39 PM  |  309 views  |  No comments
    Want to sell your home for the most money and in the shortest period of time?

    I'll be honest. That can be tough in today's buyers market.

    Today where there is only 1 buyer for every 10 homes on the market, how do you get the buyer to pick your home?
     

    Obviously getting the buyer(s) to pick your home is a mission-critical step but before that can happen, you need to get buyers to see and want your home

    . 

    Our logic is the more interested buyers you have, the more competing offers you can get. Competition can increase the final sale price and/or reduce the time it takes to sell your home.


    Put another way... You wouldn't go fishing in the desert. You could but it would be wiser to go fishing where the most fish are.

    Likewise, if you want home buyers, you want to be where the most home buyers can be found.


    So where are the buyers?
    Over 87% of today's home buyers use the Internet as part of the buying decision process.
     

    Knowing that, I make sure your home is presented in the best possible light. I do special things* to maximize the appeal, desirability and value of your home with your help.

     Things many agents don't know about or simply ignore.

    Here's how a listing looks on my Website (it's a website created for each individual property)  A sophisticated property website are a must, just take a look.  Fernbrook House Website  Now take a look at similar home on RMLS.com, this is the simplest method to portray the property for sale. RMLS-Property-Search-#10023182

    Consider Luck . . .

    Luck has little to do with selling your home. When luck does come into play, I have you covered if you define luck as, "when preparation crosses paths with opportunity".

    Preparation is key . . .


    I prepare your home to be viewed by those 87% of buyers that allow the Internet to influence their buying decisions. Yes, some homes are just more appealing than others but in most cases, some simple marketing strategies can make your home more appealing and desirable. I use Internet tools such as property websites, syndication and distribution to maximize Internet visibilty and influence prospective buyers.

    Before you make any commitments or sign anything, call me and let me explain my approach to selling your home in today's economic environment.



    Let's work together call today . . .(503) 970-3904
  • New Foreclosure Alternatives that will Help!

    Posted Under: Foreclosure in Portland  |  April 12, 2010 10:35 AM  |  330 views  |  2 comments
    So I've been writing about the new HAFA program and there will be some help, but realistically it will not help as many that are in trouble.  But here is some good news.  Banks are gearing up and switching gears to streamline short sales.  It turns out they lose less money and get incentives for doing the short sale.  Here are a few details to make a note of . . .

    April 5 2010, lenders and mortgage investors will have even more incentives to offer troubled borrowers short sales instead of foreclosing.

    Under the new Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program, borrowers will earn a $3,000 "relocation incentive" and servicers will get $1,500 for handling a short sale.

    The investors who actually own the mortgage notes will get $2,000 in exchange for sharing proceeds of the short sales with any second-lien holders. And, finally, those second lien holders will receive up to $6,000 for releasing their claims.

    Lenders participating in the program must also determine the market values of properties early on and inform the owners of just what price they're willing to accept. Then, if owners come back to the lenders with bonafide offers, they have to be accepted within 10 days.  [CNNMoney.com Mar 29 2010]

    All this being said, short sales are not the end all to the problems folks are facing, once you have spoken with an experienced Realtor (hopefully me) don't forget to contact an attorney and a CPA to understand the ramifications of selling short and the impact of having the forgiven debt counted as income or in some cases being sued for the shortfall debt.

  • Fix It, Rent It and Maintain It!

    Posted Under: Rental Basics in Portland  |  April 8, 2010 8:49 AM  |  315 views  |  No comments

    Are you thinking about renting out your property?

    Here are a few reasons why you should enlist the help of an expert. Consider this.

    • How willing and able are you at managing a rental property?
    • Are you going to tackle the job or hire a top notch property manager?
    • And how will this affect your cash flow and personal finances?

    The first thing to consider is if the property is within a reasonable distance to manage are you willing to take on all the aspects of renting, These aspects are sumarized with Fix It! Rent It! Maintain It! For many the sheer distance leads them to make the decision to find a property manager. If you are going to tackle the job, you will want to familiarize yourself with the various laws that govern landlord / tenant relations.

    The property will need to meet health and safety codes and you will need to plan for managing the repairs and maintenance. You will need documents for your screening process, a rental application and an authorization form. This will form the basis for creating your management system, which can provide a consistent and fair practice for all parties.

    One of the main benefits of using a top-notched property manager is havng a management system that can be put in place rather quickly. Not to mention marketing technics (getting the word out) and market rent research (comparing other rental units) and processing applicants. Most property managers have processes and documentation which creates a consistent and fair system which to deal with the public. You can develop one for yourself over time if that is something of interest to you. You will want to treat your rental property like a business for long term success.

    Rental income is your cash flow, if you decide to rent, will your rental income cover the ongoing expenses associated with the property? Will it cover mortgage payments, property taxes, and insurance? If not, determine whether you can afford to cover the difference on an ongoing basis. Will you cover the utility expenses or will it be the tenant's responsibility? Remember to plan for the anticipated annual maintenance expenses on the property might be. Most importantly, if the property were vacant even for a brief period, think about whether you could cover these expenses without a steady stream of rental income. There will be tax consequenses to consider for each property, whether you capture a tax gain or liability and you should seek the advice of a tax advisor or CPA.

    Your proximity to your rental property will help you decide if you will be close enough to manage and service the property. It is very much like setting up a business from scratch and will require the creation of documents (forms and agreements) and the overall process used in placing tenants and this is no small job. Top notched property managers have processes and docs in place that can provide a turn key system. And finally, does the property cash flow make sense and is it sustainable even through vacancies.

    These are just a few of the questions that owners deal when deciding to rent their property. How about you? is this something you want to take on or does it make more business sense to hire a professional property manager.

    Call or contact the GotoGuy for a consultation and set a plan in motion to get the best tenant for your property.

  • What is HAFA in the world of Short Sales & Foreclosure? Will it Help?

    Posted Under: Foreclosure  |  April 5, 2010 5:44 PM  |  308 views  |  No comments

    H A F A 

     -  means Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program. 

    HAFA was designed to provide incentives for Borrowers doing a short sale (or a deed in lieu) in order to avoid foreclosure. 

    Loan Servicers who participated in HAMP (Home Affordable Mortgage Program) are required to participate in the HAFA program.  For the rest, it’s voluntary.  

    A list of all the servicers participating in the HAMP program can be found here at the Making Home Affordable WEBSITE. 

    The HAFA program is set to begin on April 5, 2010 and all HAFA agreements must be finalized and signed by December 31, 2012.

    HAFA Provisions

    • Complements HAMP by providing a viable alternative for borrowers (the current homeowners) who are HAMP eligible but nevertheless unable to keep their home.
    • Uses borrower financial and hardship information already collected in connection with consideration of a loan modification.
    • Allows borrowers to receive pre-approved short sales terms before listing the property (including the minimum acceptable net proceeds).
    • Requires borrowers to be fully released from future liability for the first mortgage debt (no cash contribution, promissory note, or deficiency judgment is allowed).
    • Uses standard processes, documents, and timeframes/deadlines.
    • Provides the following financial incentives:
      • $3,000 for borrower relocation assistance;
      • $1,500 for servicers to cover administrative and processing costs;
      • Up to $2,000 for investors who allow a total of up to $6,000 in short sale proceeds to be distributed to subordinate lien holders, on a one-for-three matching basis.
  • Requires all servicers participating in HAMP to implement HAFA in accordance with their own written policy, consistent with investor guidelines. The policy may include factors such as the severity of the potential loss, local markets, timing of pending foreclosure actions, and borrower motivation and cooperation. [http://www.realtor.org/government_affairs/short_sales_hafa]

    Will it Help?

    As with any government program, it remains to be seen as to how it will help. There will be the interpreted and deliberated guidelines and we will have to see how many people really get help. 

    I for one want to Stop Foreclosures in America and get real estate back on a healthy track for all. It saddens me to see people that should not have been impacted getting hurt in this real estate market downturn.  Foreclosures are a huge part of the downward pricing pressures.  If this program truely works could it reduce the foreclosures by half (50%), to bad it could not be more in the 90% range...since it is a government program and financial centers of investors will still have control it will probably be 24 months before we know if it really helped.  I am gearing up on the help I can provide and looking ahead to a challenging time that we can get people help with mortgage debt relief and stopping foreclosures in America.

  • Short Sales - What you need to know...

    Posted Under: Market Conditions, Financing, Foreclosure  |  April 4, 2010 1:04 AM  |  309 views  |  No comments
    What you need to know about Short Sales . . . 



    #1 Myth - Banks will not negotiate.

    Wrong - most banks do not want the house back . . .




    Now more than ever, homeowners need educated real estate professionals that understand the issues they face and can help find solutions.  Take the first step to find answers and get the assistance you need NOW.
     
    Certified Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource-SFR Designation.  
    National Association of Realtors’ only designation designed to prepare real estate professionals to negotiate on your behalf, as your 3rd party representative with your lender.  
     
    Sellers– it is critical that you choose a listing agent that has the knowledge, experience and patience to get a short sale to closing.  As a SFR broker we have the understanding of what is becoming the new norm in real estate transactions.  We understand what options are available and can assist you in determining which option is best for YOUR specific circumstance.
     
    If you are falling behind, don’t delay.  In a pre foreclosure the clock is ticking. Know your time lines and stick to them.  Communicate any delays to your lender and all parties involved.
     
    Buyers -it is paramount you are working with an Agent that has the SFR designation and has the experience to guide you through the rough waters.  We can help to determine if a home that is distressed has an opportunity to CLOSE.  Writing an offer on a home is just the beginning, let me help you to understand the process.
     
    Confused about where to start? Let me see how I can help..... 

    Steve Sanz
    Keller Williams Realty Professionals
    Real Estate Broker, SFR
  • Stop Foreclosure in America

    Posted Under: Foreclosure  |  April 4, 2010 12:08 AM  |  297 views  |  2 comments

    These are crazy times and many are facing horrific financial challenges.  Nobody is perfect and I can testify to that, we all need help from one time or another, and I want to share my wealth of experience in real estate sales and mortgage lending.  I have been licensed in Oregon for over seven years and been investing in real estate for over 25 years.

     I am writing you today because many homeowners are in trouble and do not know a safe place to turn.  As a Realtor and citizen of the greatest country in the world, America, I want to help save home owners in these trying times and help get our real estate market back on track.  To do this, I have completed a specialized training provided by the National Association of Realtors and I am certified as a Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource.  So I offer honest help at sorting out the options homeowners face and strive to provide a counseling service with no upfront costs or strings attached to help folks who need some safe guidance.  

     looking for more info, leave a comment and I'll respond?

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