Losing Sleep, Home Seller in Thousand Oaks, CA

My loan will reset in a year, so I have to sell my home for as much as possible quickly. I don't think I can

Asked by Losing Sleep, Thousand Oaks, CA Mon May 4, 2009

afford to use an agent. The biggest challenge is pricing it correctly. If I do go with a realtor (who would set a price) and later and decide to do a fsbo, that seems unethical. Help!

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Bonnie Sterling’s answer
I agree with the comment below about going with a plan A of loan modification or refi if you like and can afford your home. Loan modifications can be excellent but they can be tricky. If you use a service, many do not have a guarantee and I have heard of people locally being charged $4500 to have a service do the work for them. This seems like money well spent but they dont always accomplish more than you could on your own and they usually only suggest that they will get you some type of offer. If you dont use a service, you may want someone else to look over the paperwork that you negotiate for you, before you sign on the dotted line. Some people are getting loan modifications that seem great. 5 years with progressively increasing payments that seem doable but tack everything unpaid over that long term onto the principal. All I'm suggesting is that if you go for the loan modification be sure you understand what you are signing, completely.

If you need to sell, I think the idea of interviewing agents recommended by rockinblu is a great idea. I would select a few that seem a good, likely pick to you. Look at what their marketing plan is and more importantly how compatible they are with you and your style. For example, how do they stay in touch and how often do you expect to be contacted. A Realtor invests money in selling your home, really they usually do. However, if you are up front about your possible desire to withdraw the home from the market, the contract could have conditions written into it so that this could be done and everyone would know up front what the expectation is.

Good Luck. I hope things turn out how you hope. Now for just a touch of non-Realtor thought. I love real estate but in the end we need to be practical and realize that the house is not home. Family is home. The place where your dog snuggles under the covers or you read your kids a book, that's HOME. If the house is keeping you up at night, reconsider whether it is feeling like home. If you are loosing your good health over worries about your house, you may want to reconsider where you rest your head at night.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 4, 2009
I am having some computer issues, and my longwinded posts are cutting out before I can click "ANSWER" so hopefully you get this.

Examine your refi options. The link below will give you one example. I can't help you as an agent - you are way far from me. But, pleases get in touch with your lender first and then other lenders (like a local BofA) to look at your refi options before you assume you must sell.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 4, 2009
Dear Losing Sleep,

You should be "okay" by this time next year. I recommend you do not do anything as drastic as selling your residence (FSBO or otherwise) in the event you can still afford the payment(s). There are other alternatives, such as a loan modification, refinance or a governmental assistance program (current or future). You are welcome to use a Market Snapshot widget I have on my website to determine a value range for your home. The next phone call you make should be to your lender!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 4, 2009
Losing Sleep,
So, hopefully (a year and a half later) you were able to work with your lender to successfully enact a loan modification program that's affordable. Too many local homeowners are scrambling for answers to their unique yet relevant financial dilemna, based on a mortgage that's greater than their diminished equity. We are here to assist you in any way we can. Happy Holidays!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 17, 2010
Thank you for the outpouring of support and advice! I thought that, by dealing with this issue a year before the loan resets, I could do "the right thing". I had to let go of believing that, because I have a high credit rating, have never been late with a payment and have zero debt (other than my house), I would somehow be okay. The reality is that I got into a bad loan and if I invest in a traditional re-fi (I'm not eligible for any of the modification programs) it would result in a huge new payment plus the cost of the re-fi, as well as require that I stay in my house another 5-10 years. Bonnie's advice really hit me: if your house doesn't feel like home, it might be time to think about where you lay your head at night. Bless you all! I know what I have to do now and look forward to a good night's sleep in the near future (hey! I'm still an optimist!). It's good to be reminded of how many good people there are "out there", willing to help a perfect stranger.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 6, 2009
Maybe the loan reset will be affordable. If it's still not affordable, try a modification. Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 5, 2009
Dear Losing
The facts are that about 10% of homes are sold without professional representation (NAR Survey 2007).

The problem is that this survey is two years old. In a "normal market". In your area that prices have dropped 17% in the last year (see link), so assuming that your loan is going to re-set means you bought in the last two years or so and your home has dropped big time in value.

I suggest interviewing Realtors who have short sale experience. The advantage of having your home sold in a short sale fashion is that you will have the services of an expert for free. I don't know your complete situation, however the fact that you will have a loss when you sell makes me think that would be your best plan. The market is continuing to decline, so while you're trying to sell your home is losing about 1% per month in value.

Your problem is not pricing, your problem is value. Buyers are buying homes that scream VALUE, BUY ME! When you price a home in order to cover your costs, the chances are you are not going to be priced at market. You are competing against other short sales and REOs who HAVE TO SELL, so they will probably beat you on price.

If you would like a referral to an experienced short sale Realtor let me know. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 5, 2009
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
Losing Sleep,

Given that most agents seem to be confident that owners are not capable of selling on their own, they should be more than happy to interview with you even though there's a good chance of you going FSBO initially. You might want to check out the blog attached to the first link below. However, if on the other hand speed of sale is the bigger issue, check out the second link. Both of the links really shouldn't be of any concern to you if the advice from Vicky and Barry pans out as well as I hope it does. That should be your plan "A." The links should be a distant plan "B." Good luck.


0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 4, 2009
Send me your address and I'll be happy to do a comparative market analysis for you. We can talk about what your house has to offer and adjust the price to the comparable sales. I can also let you know about some lower cost alternatives to a standard 6% listing.

Brad Davidson
Web Reference: http://www.wehelpubuy.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 4, 2009
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