Monday, April 30, 2012

Top 5 Tips for DIY Staging: Tip #1 Curb the cLuTTeR

#1 Curb the Clutter: 

Sure those beloved school photos of the kids or grandkids plastered all over the refrigerator are adorable. But while your friends enjoy admiring them at a dinner party, they are a distraction and a detraction when a prospective homebuyer views your home. Take a look around, especially areas where the mail tends to collect and magnets and artwork accumulate and..... MINIMIZE, MINIMIZE, MINIMIZE.

What do you think those cereal boxes and baskets on top of the fridge say to a potential buyer? One possibility is: "This home doesn't have enough storage." Don't let your house send the wrong message.

The same goes for decor and collectibles. A great decorator rule of thumb is to pair things in 3's. So take an appraising eye at tabletops and counter tops and begin to pack up a few extra picture frames, figurines or books piled on the shelf. This will do two things: First of all it will help you get started on your way to packing for your big move, and most critically it will help buyers see less of your things and more of the house. This is KEY! You are showcasing your house to TOP DOLLAR....and you want prospective buyers to see it in the best light possible.

Of course, this post wouldn't be complete without a couple of examples of what not to do, courtesy of the current Arizona Regional MLS listings.

Homes for Sale in Surprise Arizona

How about this house in Surprise, AZ. It has some great features that can be easily overlooked by say...the shower cap, Trader Joe's grocery bag and other oodles of clutter EVERYWHERE. With buyers these days looking at online portals and finding their future home in websites such as Trulia, Zillow and, do you think this listing will jump to the top of their favorites?

Homes for Sale in Scottsdale, AZ

Located in Scottsdale this home has been on the market for 458 days. Why stop short of the clutter clean-up and leave all the liquor bottles and magnets on the fridge? Find spare room in a cabinet and clear off the fridge and remaining countertop clutter.

Up Next....Tip #2 Pack Away The Personal.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How long until I can get another loan after a Shortsale or Foreclosure?

I get asked this question frequently. Many people today have been faced with tough decisions related to their primary residence. Some people are trying to decide what to do upon facing financial difficulties arising from unemployment or ballooning interest rates. It is important when faced with these decisions to understand the ramifications of choosing to short sell or foreclose upon your home.

First of all, let me say that you need to get help from professional sources before you ever decide to go down one of these routes. Make sure you have all the facts in front of you before making any decision. A realtor can appraise your property accurately and give you an overview of what to expect in the event of a short sale. A real estate attorney can advise you on whether there are any legal issues in your specific situation. A financial advisor can help you cover the potential economic ramifications and finally your accountant can make sure you have covered the tax implications. OK so now you are ready to move forward. Here is the bottom line as regards how long the credit hit will keep you out of the market (** this is an estimate only at time of publication based on current market data).

Short selling your house will keep you from the market for the least amount of time.

Fannie Mae - 2 years with a LTV of 80% 4 years for an LTV of 90%
FHA           - 3 Years from completion date
VA             - No specifics on this yet, assume foreclosure rule of 2 years
Jumbo        - 7 Years from Trust Deed Date

Foreclosure will lead to the following waiting periods.

Fannie Mae - 7 years from Trust Deed Date
FHA           - 3 years from Trust Deed Date
VA             - 2 years from Trust Deed Date
Jumbo        - 7 years from Trust Deed Date

These are guidelines only and everyones credit will be impacted in a different way based upon where they were before and how well they behave financially after the event.

Remember as much as 60% of all transactions right now are distressed, meaning they are either short sales or bank owned properties. These transactions are the signs of a very specific period of our economic history.

If you have questions or concerns related to any of the subject matter in this blog, please feel free to call me any time for a free and confidential consultation.