Three Key Elements to a Successful Home Sale

There Are Three Basic Key Elements That Sell A Home.

The three key elements are condition, location and price.

Of the three elements, Sellers typically have control over two of them: condition and price.

Most Buyers, unless they are investors, will tend to choose homes that are in good condition and need very little work to move right into. Most first-time home buyers fall into this category. I like to use the analogy that you would not sell your car with mud caked on the outside, filled to the brim with trash inside, with the radio not working, the A/C not working, and four flat tires, and expect to sell it for the same price as a similar car in mint showroom condition. It’s just not going to happen!

A little elbow grease pays off big time in selling a home. Such things as window washing, carpet cleaning, exterior wood rot repair and painting go a long way in getting top dollar for your home. A buyer usually views repairs as costing at least double what they actually costs when determining an offer price for your home. Why give buyers an opportunity to knock down your price?

The other key element sellers have control over is pricing. There are four pricing scenarios:

  1. Sellers who need to move fast. Sellers who have taken a job transfer fall into this category. These Sellers need to price their house below the competition in order to sell. They don’t have time to “test” the market and chase a declining market. They need to get the job done and move on.
  2. Sellers having a financial hardship and facing foreclosure. These Sellers typically fall into the Short Sale category, and must price the home high enough for their lender to consider taking a short sale, and low enough to generate buyer interest in making an offer.
  3. Sellers whose homes have decreased in value and they just want to get out and salvage what is left of its value. The best thing for these sellers to do is to get a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) from an agent and price the home at market value.
  4. Lastly, are the Sellers whose homes have been on the market and the home is just not selling. If the culprits are not condition and location, then more than likely it is the price. Ask your agent to prepare a new CMA to determine what other homes have sold for recently, and why buyers chose those homes over yours.

Selling your home involves getting it prepared, priced, presented, and marketed. As a full-time, full effort Realtor, I can help you achieve your goals!

~ Ed Short, Atlanta REALTOR®


The Short Sale Shimmy

Short Sales Continue To Be A Large Component Of The Metro Atlanta Real Estate Market.

Many of my clients, and others I come in contact with, are not familiar with what a Short Sale is, nor what a Short Sale Process entails.

First of all, what is a Short Sale? Here is the definition of “Short Sale” From Wikipedia:

A short sale is a sale of real estate in which the proceeds from selling the property will fall short of the balance of debts secured by liens against the property and the property owner cannot afford to repay the liens’ full amounts, whereby the lien holders agree to release their lien on the real estate and accept less than the amount owed on the debt. Any unpaid balance owed to the creditors is known as a deficiency.[1] Short sale agreements do not necessarily release borrowers from their obligations to repay any deficiencies of the loans, unless specifically agreed to between the parties.

A short sale is often used as an alternative to foreclosure because it mitigates additional fees and costs to both the creditor and borrower; however both will often result in a negative credit report against the property owner.

From the Article, The Skinny on the Short Sale : HGTV FrontDoor Real Estate, what makes a Short Sale so difficult to complete?

Because a short sale results in the lender losing (a) funds they are owed and (b) the property which secured the mortgage loan, these transactions must be done with the full participation and agreement of the homeowner’s lender(s).

Lenders are institutions, not people. They often move at a snail’s pace when evaluating a request for a short sale. Short sales are more frequent in a declining market — many lenders are simply not equipped to handle the deluge of short sale requests they receive.

Realtors who work on short sale transactions all have stories of trying for weeks to get the short sale “package” to the correct person in the loss mitigation department! Once the package is in the hands of the right person, the bank may have some reason they disagree with the deal between the buyer and seller, and may insist on inserting the bank’s price increase, reduction in closing cost credits, or other major alteration of the terms of the deal.

During a short sale, the buyer, seller and even the real estate agents are somewhat subject to the whims of the bank — the deal cannot be done without the bank’s agreement.

And finally, and the most important, how to get your lender to agree to a Short Sale. (From: The Skinny on the Short Sale : HGTV FrontDoor Real Estate)

With all that said, short sale transactions are completed every day! Because the lender is likely to take so much time processing your short sale request — and because time is of the essence — you must ensure that your short sale request itself is as articulate, thorough and persuasive as possible. Here are some concrete actions you can take to maximize your chances for success.

  • Approach your lender as soon as you think you might need to request a short sale.
  • If you are struggling to make your mortgage payments, list your home with a reputable real estate agent as soon as possible. If they advise you that your home is likely to sell for less than you owe on it, immediately contact your lender’s “workout” department to request a short sale package. If you can get your lender to indicate how much of your mortgage they are willing to forgive up front, you boost your chances of working with a buyer to create a deal that is a bargain for them, but likely to be accepted by the bank, too.
  • Authorize your real estate agent — in writing — to work and to negotiate directly with the lender. But make sure to stay on top of the communications between your agent and your lender. Delegate; don’t abdicate!
  • Make sure an offer is presented in its best light. Make sure your real estate agent includes a cover letter that explains the buyer’s qualifications to buy your home, how much down payment money they propose to put in — anything that might boost the lender’s confidence. 
  • If the buyer is requesting any closing cost credits, be sure to tell the lender if the buyer is a first-time homebuyer; lenders are more likely to agree to concessions for first-time buyers than for investors.
  • Your lender will request a hardship letter from you. Make sure you handwrite it, and present your finances in the worst light. If you lost a job, had an illness or death in the family, are a senior citizen or have any other circumstances then let the lender know! Let them know that you are considering filing bankruptcy, and that this short sale would prevent you from doing that; because bankruptcy stops the foreclosure process cold, the lender would much rather approve your short sale than have you file bankruptcy. Also explain any facts that might make it harder for the bank to resell your house — anything that makes the bank grateful that someone has made an offer!
  • Make sure your short sale package is impeccably thorough. At a minimum, the lender will want to see:
  1. The offer to purchase your home, including the buyer’s preapproval letter;
  2. Your hardship letter;
  3. A balance sheet listing your monthly income and expenses;
  4. Statements from your checking, savings and other asset accounts;
  5. A net sheet from your real estate agent listing all of the closing costs that must be paid for your short sale to close;
  6. Supporting documentation, including two months’ worth of paycheck stubs and all your bills;
  7. Your last two federal income tax returns.
  • Don’t make them have to come back and ask you for any of these items. Make sure the package is complete the first time your real estate agent sends it!

In conclusion, I can help you with all your Short Sale needs from listing your home to buying a Short Sale listing. I have experience in both and can assist you every step of the way.

~ Ed Short, Atlanta REALTOR®

The Good Stuff

Attention Home Buyers: The “GOOD STUFF” In This Market Sells Fast!

Buyers have several misconceptions about the current Metro Atlanta real estate market. These misconceptions can definitely have a negative impact on a buyer’s home buying experience if buyers are not aware of, and are not prepared for the true nature of today’s local real estate market. For example, just what exactly is the meaning of a “Buyer’s Market?”

What many buyers assume a “Buyer’s Market” means:  “Everyone tells me this is a buyer’s market. That means I call all the shots and I’m in the negotiating seat. It also means that there are so many homes on the market, that I can take my time and worry about financing down the road when I eventually find the perfect house. And, because I’m the only one looking at the house, I’ll offer extremely low, and then work my way up until we find a middle ground. Or, if the seller counters my offer, I’ll just walk away and wait for the next perfect house to come along and start the process over again as there will always be better “good stuff” out there.”

The above assumption cannot be farther from the truth!

If you have this assumption, there is a good chance that when you do find the “perfect house,” by the time you act on it, it will already be gone!

What Buyer’s Market “REALLY” means in the Metro Atlanta market:

1. There are a lot of homes to look at on the market, BUT “the ‘GOOD STUFF’ on the market sells fast!

2. It is very common that when a new listing comes on the market, and is in decent shape, there will be multiple offers on it instantly. There are lots of buyers out there, and also lots of investors (rental vacancies are at an all-time low, investors know how profitable rentals are right now) and they all want the same great deal you do!

3. Many REO (foreclosure) and Short Sale homes will not even look at an offer without a “letter of loan commitment” from your lender or “proof of funds” from your bank. So if you wait to have your financing arranged before you find the “perfect house,” there is a very good chance that property will go pending in the amount of time it takes you to organize your financing.

4. The buyer’s negotiating “driver’s seat” is instantly lost once there are multiple offers on a property. In fact, most listing agents will give all parties a shot at coming in with their “highest and best” offer. And if you are not at the top among all the offers, plan to continue looking at more homes… Again.

In short, as a buyer you need to be prepared! Plan on what you want in a home, and know what that is before you start looking. Have all your financial ducks in a row ahead of time. When you find something that fits your criteria, move on it! The longer you wait, the less likely you will get the “deal” and the home that is going to fit you and your family best.

As I said before, “the ‘GOOD STUFF’ on the market sells fast!”

As an experienced, full-time Realtor® in the Metro Atlanta market, I’m here to help you or your friends determine what a good deal is, and then feel comfortable to act upon it in a timely manner!

~ Ed Short, Atlanta REALTOR®

Hello World!

Hello World! I Am A Top Producing, Full-Time, Full Effort Realtor® In Atlanta, GA.

I am passionate about Real Estate, Technology, and Social Media. My outside of the box, ‘can-do’ approach will make your home buying or selling experience smooth, pleasant and unforgettable. I can help with all your real estate needs and referrals – anywhere in the world! Welcome to my blog!

~ Ed Short, Atlanta REALTOR®