Tag Archives: treasure valley

Quiet time for me right now….


Quiet time for me right now…. (edit/delete)

Well the real estate market is a funny animal.   Sometimes you are so busy you don’t know where to turn.  You are running around and falling in to bed late.  Then it gets quiet for a bit… I am in one of my quiet bits… Perhaps the two are related… When you are running around you do not have as much time to prospect.  With prospecting brings clients… When  it calms down you prospect again.  Ideally you never stop prospecting so the pipeline never slows… The quiet time is a bit convenient (except for the lack of sales) since my dad is recovering from a stroke.  It isn’t that I haven’t been busy…. I had the busy start of the year… The buyers with cash in the suitcase.  I also had a pending fall on inspection… I have a buyer who wants what I cannot find… So it is quiet…. I hope to get busy but we will see… So now it is a quiet time for me right now…. Give me patience…. Maybe I should work on my 2011 taxes and prospect.

So if you want to buy a home in the Treasure Valley Call Debbie Holmes.  She is a great agent with some time on her hands….

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Help Wanted Buyers!


Well it has happened.  I sold all my listings!  Well one is pending!

sold sign

Now I need your help… If you want to sell in the Treasure Valley of Idaho call me! The Treasure Valley includes:  Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Star, Kuna, Idaho City, Nampa, Caldwell and middleton.  This really great real estate agent will take you through the process of selling the home from start to finish…

1) Advice you on market conditions.

2) Perform a real market analysis.

3) Help you prepare your house for the market.  I have a list of different types of workmen and stagers who will make your home shine.

4) Hire a photographer for a virtual tour.

5) I will put a nice sign in your yard.

6) Keep the flyer box full.

7) Market your home on the Internet including but not limited to Zillow, Realtor.com, trulia, multiple listing service, activerain, facebook and google.

8) I blog and I will blog about your home to create a bigger Internet presence.

9) I have line ads every weekend in the Idaho Statesman every Friday through Sunday.

10) I will open your home at least once a month (if you want me to).

11) I will keep you informed on the activity and interest in your home.

12) I will present all offers and advice you on how to handle the offer.

13) I will prepare a net sheet for you for all the offers.

14) I will negotiate your offers.

15) I will be in contact with the buyers agent and their lender to facilitate the closing.

16) I will advice you on the inspection contingency form.

17) I will be in contact with the title officer.

18) I will read and examine the HUD1 and settlement form for accuracy.

19) If you are in the Treasure Valley I will come to your closing.

20) I will answer any questions you have (if I don’t know the answer I will find it).

21) I can find you your next home or your next agent if you are moving out of the area.

21) I will listen and do my best to get your home SOLD and CLOSED.

Working together we will get your home sold!  I also do short sales and I will write that up in a diffenent post!

So please let me help you get your Treasure Valley home sold!  You won’t be sorry!

Not all bank owned properties are created equal….


During 2010 and 2011  most of my work was as a buyers agent for REO’s or bank owned properties…..  One would think they are all the same but they are not…..I know HUD does not like to be considered REO or bank owned by for the purposes of this comparison I will include them in the description.   Bank owned property is property that the bank foreclosed on or took in leiu of foreclosure.   The bank  owns the property and wants it off the books… They often sell at a discount.  More importantly not all bank owned properties are created equal…..

So what types of properties are there?  The are HUD, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, OCWEN, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, IFHA,  Chase…… You get the picture….. Every different bank or entity has a different procedure…Perhaps different areas are different.  I work in the Treasure Valley of Idaho and I serve Ada, Canyon and Boise counties….

It used to be that bank owned properties were typically trashed.  No one would bother to go clean them up.  There would be trash, dog pee, weeds, etc.  This is rarer (except for HUD listings).  Many bank are willing to put money into the listing to sell them quickly and at a higher price.  This is nice for us because we have better homes to show are clients….

First we will start with the government and quasi- government foreclosures…. These include HUD, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and some OCWEN (VA)…. It probably also included rural development but I haven’t worked with those so I wont discuss them.  The really cool thing about HUD, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is they have a owner occupied period for bids.  That means that if you are looking for someone planning to live in the home they have the opportunity to bid and be considered before anyone else.   This is very important because investors often have cash and look better on paper.  It allows people to own the American dream for less… In my area most of these homes that are nice sell before the owner occupied period is up.  Not all bank owned properties are created equal

HUD is part of the federal government…. They make the rules for everyone else but they do not play by those rules… What you see is what you get.  HUD homes are never fixed (at least in my area)…. They wont even fix the property enough to test the systems… Not only that you are not allowed to fix anything either.   This can be very inconvenient.  The homes are listed on the multiple listing service and www.hudhomestore.com.  Your HUD qualified  agent (ME) enters bid.  You have no idea what the others have bid are.  There is no contract (until your bid is accepted).  That is the easy part.  If you are successful with your bid the fun starts.  Your agent writes the contract and has to get their broker and the lender to sign it.   Then the agent has to express mail it and beat the time deadlines.  Any mistakes and HUD threatens and sometimes do cancel the deal.   Most of these homes can have FHA loans because the government did the inspection and appraisal.  If you bid for more then the appraisal you have to pay the difference in cash.  It is usually possible to get 203K loans on these too. They are often a good value but do not  show very well since the government is not willing to make them nice.  It doesn’t matter what the lender requires.  The inspection is either a go or no go….You the buyer have to turn on all the utilities at your expense and then re-winterize the home… Not very fair..We real estate agent used to get an extra 2 % in the Treasure Valley but no more….  It sort of made it worth the hassle.  These homes sales are ulcer producing…. That said I have closed every HUD home that I put under contract.  If anything ever makes me into a Republican it will be dealing with HUD foreclosures… I have gone to my Republican Congressman twice on HUD problems….  This is the same Congressman I ran against in 2008. By the way I am not allowed to use the words distressed, bank owned, REO, foreclosed when describing a HUD property…. HUD thinks these words have a negative connotation.  Not all bank owned properties are created equal

Now we will take a detour and talk about the bidding process on most of the rest of the bank owned properties.  The real estate agent writes the offer on the normal real estate form… I find I can almost always get 3% closing costs but I cant always get price reductions on REO property.   You must have either proof of funds or pre-approval.  The earnest money often has to be a cashiers check (usually for at least $1000).  I often bid with a personal check that will get converted into a cashiers check when I know the title company.  The seller always chooses the title company and often the earnest money is held by the title company or the listing broker.  That is not typical in the Treasure Valley.  If there are multiple offers you asked to submit your highest and best… Your buyer also has to sign a form acknowledging that they are in a multiple offer situation.   If your bid is accepted the bank will send a huge addendum which basically negates the original purchase and sale agreement.  It is a form written in favor of the bank but if you don’t sign it you don’t get the home.  The bank will tell you they wont fix things but they will often do so if the lender requires the fix.   I have even gotten the banks to concede on price for cash deals if the inspection is bad.  You must have an agent that is very confident when dealing with the banks.  These deals require around 2 extra weeks because the the time it takes to get the seller signatures and a the time at the end for the REO bank to approve the HUD-1.  The other thing about these deals is that the buyer signs everything before the seller signs anything.  This means that you can’t have the home inspection until you have seller signatures on the addendum and the sales contract.  If there is a hang up and there are lender required repairs that will also slow down the sale since it has to go to a higher level of management for approval.  Mostly these sales will progress like a normal non-distressed sale.  Not all bank owned properties are created equal

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are quasi-government agencies.  They are backed by the federal government.  Lately Fannie and Freddie are willing to fix a house up in order to sell them.  They sometimes paint, carpet and fix things so the buyer will bid.  There is usually a 15 day first look program for the owner occupied buyers.  They are usually well priced and show better then their HUD counterparts.  Because of the owner occupied first look program they are ideal candidates for owner occupied buyers…. Fannie Mae has a Homepath financing avenue.  This is a 3% owner occupied and 10% investor down rate.  There are fees that are high but there is no private mortgage insurance.  There is also no need for appraisal… Make sure your agent does a market analysis and listen carefully to your inspector.   Freddie Mac’s gimmick is that they give a free 2 year home warranty for owner occupied dwellings.  These will proceed like a normal sale once it is started. My favorite REO’s might be Fannie and Freddie’s.   Not all bank owned properties are created equal.

Wells Fargo and Bank of America both have the annoying feature that you must prequalify with their bank to submit a bid unless you are a cash buyer.  It adds a day to the process and they will offer some incentives for going with their bank but be forewarned these are big banks and they tend to delay closings….  The asset managers do not seem to talk to the mortgage department so being with the same bank doesn’t get the loan closed any quicker.  I also wonder about a conflict of interest.  I had a case where closing was delayed by more than a week because B of A mortgage department wouldn’t put out the closing docs with less then 3 days before closing and the assest manager didn’t want to extend the contract…. My buyer almost pulled out.  These banks are good to take your investor too.  There is no owner occupied period.   Not all bank owned properties are created equal

The other banks will have different quirks.  Small banks work faster at getting the deal done.  IFHA in Idaho is particularly good to work with.  These homes sell and they sell fairly easily.  The buyer usually gets a good price for their new property.

So I hope this helps with understanding some of the differences with different bank owned properties.   If you happen to be in the Treasure Valley of Idaho and want to buy a bank owned property contact Debbie Holmes.  I will get you the best possible deal and I have a lot of experience dealing with different banks.  Because you now know just like me …. Not all bank owned properties are created equal!

Safer Short Sales


Short sales are notoriously hard to settle…. Nothing is certain until we have third party approval (the bank)….  Real estate ethics sometimes fly out the window as offer after offer is presented to the banks by some agents…  Reasonable time lines are a joke…. It makes an agent nervous to show a owner occupant…. Especially a first timer or someone who needs to be in the home quickly…..

So when do I show a short sale to an owner occupied buyer?  First I do not send them short sale listings unless they request it.  I look at the available short sales for the clues in the public or agent remarks.  The clues are:

1) Bank approved price

2) Bank approval buyer walked

3) IFHA short short sale (they are quick in Idaho)

4) Small local bank

5) Only need to negotiate the 2nd

6) Process started buyer walked

Even with these words I call the listing agent to get a feel.  If I feel very comfortable with the situation I will send the listing to my client. I always ask the listing agent what is their policy on offers that come in later. If I don’t like the answer I try not to show the home.  Thes represent safer short sales.

Regular sales and REO (bank owned property) sales usually settle more quickly than short sales.  I do not find much difference in the asking price of a short sale and a REO.

Often my buyer will do their own research and I get to investigate all sorts of short sales and contingent short sales…. I do like a buyer who like to do research… In the end I usually find the home first that they actually settle on.  Call me if you want to find your home in the Treasure Valley!  Good hunting!

  Debbie Holmes

Gold Key Real Estate     Company logo

(208)761-2551 Email: d5holmes@msn.com

To search Boise Homes visit my website

Preparing for an Open House


 

open house signSome agents like open houses…. Some don’t….  It probably depends on how busy you are and if it is safe to hold the open house….   I know people who try to make it into a party.  I know some that have heavy print advertising.  I know an agent that will spend all weekend at a listing.

Well here is what I do….

Well the first thing to consider is your client.  Do they want you to do an open house?  Some find it intrusive.  When is it convenient for them?  After all it is all about them! The next thing look at your schedule.  When is it convenient for you?  How often have you opened the house?  Why? If you are does someone in your office want to cover it?  I had an agent who wanted an open house but had no listings…It worked out great for both of us.  Next I want to make sure that the Boise State Bronco’s aren’t playing over the open house… When the game is on 1/2 of Boise and the Treasure Valley is watching.   So I have picked a time… This one is Sunday 1-4 PM.

The current house I am opening I like to open because I am not allowed to have pointer signs unless someone is at the house.  This is really very annoying.  I actually think it is one of the reasons I haven’t sold the home.  I also usually get several groups through and I have picked a buyer or two…  The  last house I have pending the buyers came for the second time at the open house:).  I was able to answer a lot of questions and a week later had an offer. 

1) I assume the home is ready to show.

2) Advertise anywhere you can and as cheaply as you can. I advertise in the local paper (we have a deal for line ads that makes them almost free)… Sometimes I do a spotlight ad but they don’t work much better and cost $80 for the weekend..I use craigslist, zillow, mls, trulia, activerain and facebook….I want as many people to know this house is open. 

3) Check the house ahead of time (if vacant).  Make sure there are no sup rises or odors.

4) Make flyer’s and make sure you know the other homes for sale in the area.  The guests like that information.  Today I made 5 sets of the 12 other active homes in the large Boise subdivision I am in.

5) Dress nicely…First impressions mean a lot.

6) Bring something to do for those quiet times… I find I am much more willing to sit an open house if I have an Internet connection.

7) Place your open house signs to drive visitors. Sometimes I use balloons….I think I will today…I have the time to get them if I have the time to blog.

8) Park a little away from the home so the visitors can park.

9)  Go in the home open the lights turn up the heat or turn down the air conditioner. 

10) I used to bake cookies but sometimes that backfires and I burned them when I got busy.  Now I light a candle.

11) SMILE  … BE HELPFUL… AND SELL THE HOME!

Sold Sign

 

 

 

 

  Debbie Holmes

Gold Key Real Estate     Company logo

(208)761-2551 Email: d5holmes@msn.com

To search Boise Homes visit my website