The program will launch in Sacramento, California on November 16 &
17, 2012 with an educational event where buyers can be pre-approved for
the program. RSVP to come to the NeighborhoodLIFT launch event where you'll be able to:
To register for the launch event or to learn more about NeighborhoodLIFT, click here.
All attendees MUST bring the required documents to the event. Required
documents include things like your last month's paystubs, last two years
of tax returns and W-2's, bank statements, etc. To see the checklist of
required documents, click here.
So, if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you will know that several days per week, I tour the newest home listings that come on the market in different Sacramento neighborhoods.
Why do I do this? Well, it makes me a more effective Realtor. I find that I am better able to service the needs of my buyer and seller clients if I am familiar with the listing inventory in the areas that I work in. If I see something that one of my buyer
clients may like, I immediately make arrangements to show the home to
them. Or if I am listing a property, actually having first hand
knowledge of the recent comparable home sales in the neighborhood helps
me to guide sellers
with regard to proper pricing. Of course, when I list a home, I open it
up to other agents to tour it as well....it's good exposure.
In addition to making me a more effective Realtor, there are a couple other reasons I enjoy touring.
The first reason is - touring is a good opportunity to network and briefly socialize with other agents. The listing agent is usually present during these "broker open houses" and often times other (good, productive) agents are touring the homes at the same time. The Sacramento real estate community is really a small world...so, when I know an agent
on the other end of one of my transactions, it makes for a much
smoother process as there is a spirit of cooperation, and that
ultimately makes for a less stressful process for my buyer or seller client.
second reason is - sometimes the homes on tour are a little...unique.
Or they have unique features. Or unique furnishings. Or unique decor.
At least once every week I am pleasantly entertained (or completely
disgusted?) by something found in homes on tour. What were these people
thinking when they did that!? I occasionally tweet these photos, but until now have not put them on my blog...well since it seems that I run across these things so frequently, I thought I would start a regular blog
feature to "showcase" the oddities that people do to or with their
homes...Of course the property itself will remain unidentified. Let's
start with a favorite of mine. Yes, this is a rug in a really gorgeous Sierra Oaks home, and yes it's real.
I can not believe 2010 is coming to an end in just a matter of hours! It
just does not seem that long ago that I wrote my final blog post of 2009, and I remember writing my final blog post of 2008
while waiting for a flight to Phoenix...I have been doing a lot of
reflection on 2010 lately - from both a personal perspective and a
In 2010, professionally I feel like I
accomplished a lot in terms of my transaction productivity, education,
media exposure, awards and honors, fundraising, and more. So,
was the #1 Listing Agent of the Month in the Lyon Real Estate Sierra Oaks office of +/- 130 agents 4 of the first 7 months of 2010 (for the months of January, February, April, July)... then I departed Lyon Real Estate and went to Dunnigan Realtors (they do not rank their agents as Lyon does).
successfully closed 8 short sale
transactions, and have lender approval for others that will close in
2011. I was pleased that I closed more "regular" transactions with
traditional sellers than I did last year...perhaps the market is
starting to turn around?
62.5% of my transactions resulted from my internet presence (someone finding me online via google, one of my websites, my blog,
etc.), while 31.25% of my transactions resulted from referrals...the
remainder of my transactions and income were generated from other
sources (sign calls, open houses, etc)
I receive several calls per week from homeowners that are looking for information regarding Sacramento short sales,
and aside from wanting to know about the process itself, one most
common questions I get from them pertain to if the sale will cost them
anything out of pocket, if so, then how much, and generally, who pays
for what fees. Having successfully closed several short sales, I will tell ya'll what I know to be true based on my experiences.
-Who pays the real estate agent commissions? In a short sale scenario, the lender(s) who agree to forgive debt and allow a short payoff of the loan(s) pay for the real estate agent
(or Realtor) commissions - generally by absorbing the costs of the
commissions out of the proceeds of the sale. As a side note, often
times these commissions are re-negotiated by the lender(s) during the
process. For example, if the seller and listing agent
agree to a 6% total commission initially when the property is listed
(usually then split in half to 3% to the listing agent, 3% to the
selling agent), the lender may re-negotiate that fee later to perhaps
5% total (2.5% / 2.5%) or less. Note: Real estate commissions are always
negotiable and NOT set by law or local custom.
-Who pays title insurance, escrow fees, and transfer tax fees? These are negotiable between buyer and seller when the offer is initially negotiated (before it is submitted to the lenders for approval). For example, perhaps the buyer and seller agree initially that the seller will pay for 100% of title insurance and escrow fees, 100% of county transfer tax, 50% the city transfer tax. The lender(s) may negotiate that the buyer pay a different split of these fees...however the portion that is paid by "the seller"
is absorbed in to the overall debt forgiveness and short payoff.
Occasionally you will see a lender agree to pay one of these fees, up to
and not to exceed a certain amount (for example, they may agree to
cover up to $750 of the escrow fee that costs $1200). Generally then, the buyer would cover the unpaid portion of that fee. So basically, again, the lender(s) will absorb many of those types of fees.
-Who pays for a home warranty? This is negotiable between buyer and seller
when the offer is initially negotiated (before it is submitted to the
lenders for approval). Generally though, I would prepare any buyer of a Sacramento short sale property to expect to pay for this cost, even if you ask the seller or short sale lender to cover it. In my experience, this is paid by the short sale lender in less than 20% of my approved short sales.
-Who pays for inspections or certifications? These are negotiable between buyer and seller when the offer is initially negotiated (before it is submitted to the lenders for approval). Again, most short sale lenders
will not agree to cover things like pest or termite inspections, roof
inspections, sewer line inspections, or any corresponding
certifications. A lot will depend on the circumstances with the
condition of the property, how many loans are involved, the buyers'
loan program, if the property is in default, the length of time of
negotiation, etc. As a safety net - buyers, do not expect that lenders
will grant these requests. Generally short sale properties are sold "as-is" and sellers can not afford to make repairs anyway.
-Will the lender(s) give the buyer credits for closing costs? These are negotiable between buyer and seller
when the offer is initially negotiated (before it is submitted to the
lenders for approval). I have seen this vary widely from the short sale lender(s)
agreeing to pay up to 6% closing costs for the buyer (including an
instance of seller-funded downpayment assistance...which is no longer
possible thanks to past legislation), to the short sale lender(s) rejecting those requests. Again, much will depend on the circumstances surrounding the sale of the property.
-Who pays delinquent property taxes or liens? Sellers
- if you have not been paying your property taxes or county utilities,
you really need to let your agent know this ASAP! I work closely with
the title company on this to make sure that we know of any lien issues
in advance, but because it can take several weeks or months to get
approval, new liens may pop up during the lender negotiation process.
When I negotiate short sales, one of my worst fears is that after the short sale
is approved an unexpected lien will pop up. This has happened to me
before, and for lack of a better way of describing it - this sucks! If
you can let your agent know in advance that these items are unpaid, it
will save lots of headaches all the way around. IF WE KNOW in advance
that these liens exist, there is a great chance that the short sale lender
will absorb these costs into their overall debt forgiveness and short
payoff. IF WE DO NOT KNOW in advance that liens exist, once the short sale is approved - this will halt the transaction until we can find a way to pay these liens. The seller
is often financially unable to pay them, the buyer does not want to
pay, the agents commission has already been reduced, and the short sale lender has already taken a loss on the loan. Sellers - please save everyone a headache and communicate with your agent.
To make a bit of a sweeping generalization, the seller usually pays nothing out of pocket to close the transaction unless specifically asked to by the lender(s).
In perhaps one instance out of every six short sale transactions I close, the lender will request that the seller make a cash contribution to close the short sale.
In these instances that I have negotiated, the sellers have had cash
in the bank and were financially able to make that contribution...in
those instances, the lowest cash contribution one of my short sale sellers has contributed was $1,000, and the highest was $5,000.
The grant may be applied towards the buyer's closing costs or additional qualifying energy upgrades as defined below.
The home must have been built in 1978 or prior
Home must be owner occupied
Minimum financed EEM:
The borrower must finance at least $4,000 in qualifying EEM upgrades in order to qualify for the ECO Grant. The only exception to this is in the case where the maximum EEM
allowed by their lender based on their sales price is less than
$4,000. In these cases the buyer will qualify for the ECO Grant provided
that they are financing the maximum allowable EEM for their scenario.