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6 Tips for Choosing the Best Offer for Your Home

By: G. M. Filisko

Have a plan for reviewing purchase offers so you don’t let the best slip through your fingers.

You’ve worked hard to get your home ready for sale and to price it properly. With any luck, offers will come quickly. You’ll need to review each carefully to determine its strengths and drawbacks and pick one to accept. Here’s a plan for evaluating offers.

1. Understand the process
All offers are negotiable, as your agent will tell you. When you receive an offer, you can accept it, reject it, or respond by asking that terms be modified, which is called making a counteroffer.

2. Set baselines
Decide in advance what terms are most important to you. For instance, if price is most important, you may need to be flexible on your closing date. Or if you want certainty that the transaction won’t fall apart because the buyer can’t get a mortgage, require a prequalified or cash buyer.

3. Create an offer review process
If you think your home will receive multiple offers, work with your agent to establish a time frame during which buyers must submit offers. That gives your agent time to market your home to as many potential buyers as possible, and you time to review all the offers you receive.

4. Don’t take offers personally
Selling your home can be emotional. But it’s simply a business transaction, and you should treat it that way. If your agent tells you a buyer complained that your kitchen is horribly outdated, justifying a lowball offer, don’t be offended. Consider it a sign the buyer is interested and understand that those comments are a negotiating tactic. Negotiate in kind.

5. Review every term
Carefully evaluate all the terms of each offer. Price is important, but so are other terms. Is the buyer asking for property or fixtures-such as appliances, furniture, or window treatments-to be included in the sale that you plan to take with you

Is the amount of earnest money the buyer proposes to deposit toward the downpayment sufficient The lower the earnest money, the less painful it will be for the buyer to forfeit those funds by walking away from the purchase if problems arise.

Have the buyers attached a prequalification or pre-approval letter, which means they’ve already been approved for financing Or does the offer include a financing or other contingency If so, the buyers can walk away from the deal if they can’t get a mortgage, and they’ll take their earnest money back, too. Are you comfortable with that uncertainty

Is the buyer asking you to make concessions, like covering some closing costs Are you willing, and can you afford to do that Does the buyer’s proposed closing date mesh with your timeline

With each factor, ask yourself: Is this a deal breaker, or can I compromise to achieve my ultimate goal of closing the sale

6. Be creative
If you’ve received an unacceptable offer through your agent, ask questions to determine what’s most important to the buyer and see if you can meet that need. You may learn the buyer has to move quickly. That may allow you to stand firm on price but offer to close quickly. The key to successfully negotiating the sale is to remain flexible.
G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who has survived several closings. A frequent contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

5 Things to Know About Title Insurance.

Title insurance protects the holder from any losses sustained from defects in the title. It s required by most mortgage lenders. Here are five other things you should know about title insurance.

1. It protects your ownership right to your home, both from fraudulent claims against your ownership and from mistakes made in earlier sales, such as mistake in the spelling of a person s name or an inaccurate description of the property.

2. It s a one-time cost usually based on the price of the property.

3. It s usually paid for by the sellers, although this can vary depending on your state and local customs.

4. There are both lender title policies, which protect the lender, and owner title policies, which protect you. The lender will probably require a lender policy.

5. Discounts on premiums are sometimes available if the home has been bought within only a few years since not as much work is required to check the title. Ask the title company if this discount is available.

Reprinted from REALTOR magazine (REALTOR.org/realtormag) with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS .
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

New Developments In Short Sale Transactions

Whether you have done short sales in the past, or you have educated yourself about these transactions, you are probably fairly familiar with the basic function of the real estate deal. Essentially, the owner of the home gives a third party the right to the deed of the home and to negotiate with the bank for a discounted price on the home in exchange for avoiding a foreclosure. The owner of the home does not make any money on the deal, but is able to walk away with salvageable credit and no debt over their head in most cases.

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Foreclosures and Short Sales

In the past, real estate investors would do short sale transactions, and then sell the homes on the open market to make staggering profits. Some of my colleagues routinely made 20 to 50 thousand dollars on short sales in fairly short order once they obtained the deed to the property because people were so eager to buy homes. However, since the real estate market took a dive, short sales have become much more common. At the same time, selling short sale properties has gotten more difficult because there are so many homes on the market. As a result, real estate investors have had to find new and innovative ways to flip short sales quickly.

There are a lot of ways to move short sale properties quickly, but before you get started with that, you need to understand some of the pitfalls that can arise thanks to more stringent lending requirements. If you do not factor in these new developments in lending practice and short sale transactions, you may end up with a property on your hands that you cannot get rid of, your short sale deal could simply fall through all together.

One of the biggest issues with short sales is lenders requirement that the sellers name be on the deed of the property. In a short sale, you are the seller, but if you are trying to arrange a quick flip, you may not have been planning to (or be able to) get conventional funding for the purchase of the property. Ideally, you would have your buyer bring in their funding, then purchase the home and you would get the difference. However, many lenders will not give your buyer funding unless you, the seller, are on the deed. This means that you also have to get funding for the short sale.

Sounds difficult? It certainly did complicate things for a while. However, there is a simple answer to this problem that will enable you to get the funding that you need (and your name briefly on the deed) so that you can finish your short sale flip. Well discuss this solution in the next lesson.

Peter Vekselman has been successfully investing in real estate since 1996. He has completed over 1200 real estate deals, owned a construction company, been a private lender, and owned a property management company. Peter currently works with clients all over the US helping them achieve riches in real estate investing. For more information please visit www.CoachingByPeter.com

Article Source: http://www.articlesnatch.com

About the Author:
Peter Vekselman has been successfully investing in real estate since 1996.
He has completed over 1200 real estate deals, owned a construction company,
been a private lender, and owned a property management company. Peter
currently works with clients all over the US helping them achieve riches in
real estate investing. For more information please visit
www.CoachingByPeter.com

Read more: http://www.articlesnatch.com/Article/New-Developments-In-Short-Sale-Transactions–transactional-Funding–Part-1-/970386#ixzz1NNQtXeeN
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution No Derivatives

Take the Stress Out of Home Buying.

Buying a home should be fun, not stressful. As you look for your dream home, keep in mind these tips for making the process as peaceful as possible.

1. Find a real estate agent who you connect with. Home buying is not only a big financial commitment, but also an emotional one. It s critical that the REALTOR you chose is both highly skilled and a good fit with your personality.

2. Remember, there s no  right time to buy, just as there s no perfect time to sell. If you find a home now, don t try to second-guess interest rates or the housing market by waiting longer  you risk losing out on the home of your dreams. The housing market usually doesn t change fast enough to make that much difference in price, and a good home won t stay on the market long.

3. Don t ask for too many opinions. It s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many people will make it much harder to make a decision. Focus on the wants and needs of your immediate family  the people who will be living in the home.

4. Accept that no house is ever perfect. If it s in the right location, the yard may be a bit smaller than you had hoped. The kitchen may be perfect, but the roof needs repair. Make a list of your top priorities and focus in on things that are most important to you. Let the minor ones go.

5. Don t try to be a killer negotiator. Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to  win by getting an extra-low price or by refusing to budge on your offer may cost you the home you love. Negotiation is give and take.

6. Remember your home doesn t exist in a vacuum. Don t get so caught up in the physical aspects of the house itself  room size, kitchen, etc.  that you forget about important issues as noise level, location to amenities, and other aspects that also have a big impact on your quality of life.

7. Plan ahead. Don t wait until you ve found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage, investigate home insurance, and consider a schedule for moving. Presenting an offer contingent on a lot of unresolved issues will make your bid much less attractive to sellers.

8. Factor in maintenance and repair costs in your post-home buying budget. Even if you buy a new home, there will be costs. Don t leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate.

9. Accept that a little buyer s remorse is inevitable and will probably pass. Buying a home, especially for the first time, is a big financial commitment. But it also yields big benefits. Don t lose sight of why you wanted to buy a home and what made you fall in love with the property you purchased.

10. Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation. While U.S. homes have appreciated an average of 5.4 percent annually over from 1998 to 2002, a home s most important role is to serve as a comfortable, safe place to live.

Reprinted from REALTOR magazine (REALTOR.org/realtormag) with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS .
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

2012 Income Limits for the California Homebuyer’s Downpayment Assistance Program CHDAP

The CHDAP provides a deferred-payment junior loan – up to 3% of the purchase price, or appraised value, whichever is less, to be used for their down payment and/or closing costs. This program may be combined with a CalHFA or non-CalHFA, first mortgage loan.

For FHA, the Los Angeles Income Limits for the California Homebuyer’s Downpayment Assistance Program CHDAP
based on persons in the household

  1. person $51,550
  2. people $58,900
  3. people $66,250
  4. people $73,600
  5. people $79,500
  6. people $85,400
  7. call me

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