Real Homeowner Stories: A Miracle in the Form of a Red Envelope

Elk Grove Short Sale Agent, CDPE
Elk Grove Short Sale Agent, CDPE

For homeowners who are in danger of losing their home to foreclosure, it is common to feel like you are alone and that there is no one to help. This simply isn’t true. There are real people who have been in the same situation who have found solutions. Take, for example, Punipuao W. of Hawaii.

Punipuao found herself struggling to keep her home after her husband passed away. “With only my income, I was no longer able to make my monthly mortgage payment,” she said. Faced with the prospect of losing the home she and her husband had bought together, she began looking for alternatives to help her keep the home.

She pleaded with the bank for relief, “but their responses gave me little information and even less hope.”

The prospect of losing the home she and her husband had shared for over 20 years was difficult. “I was so distraught,” she said. “I did not know where to turn.

“Then, one day, my miracle came through a red envelope in the mail.”

In the envelope was a note from a local real estate agent with the Certified Distressed Property Expert designation (or CDPE). This designation meant that the agent was trained specifically to help people like Punipuao. She called the agent.

“About four hours after I made the call, he was at my door offering help. I told him my story.” In merely two days, she received a call from the bank saying that the president of the bank was reviewing her file. “That was a good sign,” she said.

A few days after that, Punipuao had been approved for a trial loan modification. “There were many tears of gratitude at the miracle that came to me in the form of my agent. I thank god for sending me that miracle.”

Punipuao’s story is just one of many. I have a report entitled “From Foreclosure to Freedom” which tells other stories of real homeowners who faced foreclosure and found relief. Download the report, read the stories, and then contact me for a free, confidential consultation.

Don’t lower your standards just because homes are scarce

Elk Grove, Sacramento, Short Sales, SOLD
Elk Grove, Sacramento, Short Sales, SOLD

(Guest article, Dian Hymer – Client Direct)

In low-inventory markets that are now common in many areas of the country, buyers might be prone to jump at a listing they wouldn’t even consider if there were a lot of homes for sale.

This desperate approach to homebuying could cause you problems down the line when you need to sell and you realize you paid too much, overlooked property problems, or bought in the wrong location.

A listing that has been on the market for a long time could indicate a problem. Is the listing not selling because it’s priced too high and the seller is stuck unreasonably at a high price?

Does the property have problems that can’t be remedied for a reasonable price? Or is the deferred maintenance so widespread that buyers are turned off, particularly if the listing is priced too high for the market and the amount of work that’s required?

In some areas, it could be none of the above. The reason the listing hasn’t sold could have to do with a slow market where it takes a long time for listings to sell, particularly if they are at the high end of the market.

HOUSE HUNTING TIPS: Before taking the leap and writing an offer on a listing that has been on the market awhile, find out why it hasn’t been selling. Ask the listing agent if the seller has received offers and why they didn’t end in a ratified contract.

The seller’s agent may be reluctant to have this discussion. In that case, let your agent know what price you’d be willing to offer. Ask your agent to find out if the seller’s agent thinks it’s worthwhile to make an offer.

Listing agents usually want to take a low offer to the seller in writing. So you may have to go through this process to even find out if there’s a chance of buying the listing for a reasonable price.

The seller could flatly turn the offer down. But if the listing doesn’t sell for several more months, the seller might soften her stance.

A listing that is difficult to get in to see is another red flag. Does the seller really want to sell? If not, you could waste a lot of time trying to buy a home you’d love to own, but end up with nothing but frustration.

Another type of listing to be wary of is one that is on and off the market repeatedly. This is typical behavior of a seller who wants to sell only for a certain price that is too high for the market. It is also characteristic of homeowners who want to sell only if they have a place to move to and they can’t afford to buy another home until they’ve sold their current home.

These are maybe sellers who can also waste a lot of your time and emotional energy. Some sellers try to sell contingent on finding a replacement home. If you go into contract to buy a home with this contingency, you should also have a contingency in the contract that lets you out of the contract if you find another home to buy before the sellers find a replacement home. You should also get a break on the price to compensate for the uncertainty.

A listing that has been back on the market (BOM) over and over could signify a problem. Find out the reason why the deals didn’t stay together. Was the seller unrealistic about negotiating on defects discovered during inspections? Was there a problem with the buyer’s financing? Did the appraisal come in low? Or was it just the seller’s bad luck.

THE CLOSING: For peace of mind, investigate carefully before you buy.

Dian Hymer is a real estate broker with more than 30 years’ experience, and is a nationally syndicated real estate columnist and author.

Dress Your Home For Success

Whether it’s an Open House, or simply presenting your home in the best light, it is necessary to view it from the eyes of a buyer!  Any money spent in this area may result in increased profits and a faster sale.

Maximizing Curb Appeal
Before potential buyers even see what the home has to offer, they view its exterior.  As a result, an unkempt or unattractive view of the outside of the home could potentially result in a missed opportunity.  To show the house in its best light, consider the following:

* Move all materials, including garbage cans and gardening supplies, from the front yard and into a garage or shed

* Mow the lawn and weed and maintain all planted areas

* Replace any outdoor light bulbs that are not working

* Sweep walkways and steps, and remove all small items from the porch or patio

* Replace worn or badly stained door mats

Once a potential buyer enters the home, they need to determine if it will meet their needs and expectations.  Give them the best view of the home’s interior by following these steps:

* Remove the home of any clutter by limiting decorative objects and clearing all unnecessary appliances from the kitchen countertops

* Rearrange or remove furniture to highlight the space in a room

* Review each room and clean or vacuum if necessary

These tips can help ensure you receive the highest price possible for your home.

Educate Yourself So You Don’t Become a Victim!

Elk Grove Short Sale Agent - March CDPE Scam Alert
Elk Grove Short Sale Agent – March CDPE Scam Alert

For distressed homeowners in danger of losing their home, there are already a lot of problems. The last thing a homeowner in this situation needs is to fall victim to a scam. Unfortunately, people in this situation are often the most vulnerable to a kind of fraud called “mortgage relief fraud.”

Fraudsters will prey on people who are looking for a loan modification, short sale or other foreclosure alternative because these are the most common options for distressed homeowners. As a result of this distressed property situation in the county of Sacramento, rental scams are also becoming more common.

There have been legal cases brought against many, but scammers always try to stay a step ahead of law enforcement. Even though many of them have been caught, there are still people who prey on vulnerable homeowners with too-good-to-be-true promises.

In fact, in a recent example highlighted in the New York Times, con artists told homeowners that they represented the bank and that the homeowners were already approved for a loan modification. Only after the homeowners paid thousands of dollars up front did the truth come to light.

FREE REPORT: Elk Grove Short Sale Agent - March CDPE Scam Alert
FREE REPORT: Elk Grove Short Sale Agent – March CDPE Scam Alert

I have a report that outlines the most common forms of mortgage relief fraud. Contact me (keisha.mathews@century21.com) for a free copy of the report and/or for a free confidential consultation to ensure that you or someone you know doesn’t become the next victim!