Private Town Home Living at 590 Countryfield Lane, Elgin

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590 Countryfield Lane, Elgin, IL 60120
Quiet, tree lined streets, surrounding a beautiful neighborhood, ensures your privacy in this cozy community, in a central location.  Few units are available for sale in this subdivision, making it a challenge to gain access to this upscale area.

However, this unit at 590 Countryfield Lane is a special home.  Listed at $159,900, the lowest price home in the entire subdivision, not only can you get a great deal, you’ll enjoy a fully loaded kitchen with hardwood floors, 2 large bedrooms + loft, a full, unfinished basement, a huge 2 car garage and a private deck out back with vaulted ceilings in the master bedroom and oversized windows in the two story family room. Pets are allowed and rentals are allowed within limits.  The monthly HOA includes exterior maintenance, snow removal, and scavenger service.

Take a peek with our property walk through here:
590 Countryfield Lane, Elgin, IL 60120 Property Preview

We would love to help you find your perfect home!

Did you know?  
In addition to short sales, Fox Valley Short Sales offers full broker service for regular and distressed listings, for all buyers and home sellers, rentals, as well as investors in residential properties across the northern Illinois and Chicago region. All team members are trained to coordinate short sales effectively and retain the full skills and expertise of fully licensed Realtors®, including access to the resources of the local Illinois MLS database.

For more information and details on short sales and more, please contact Jennifer Kinzle, 630-854-4360. Email me direct  jkinzle73@gmail.com to get on track for 2016.

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Contact me:

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Direct/Text:  (630) 854-4360
Facebook: Fox Valley Homes – Jennifer Kinzle, Broker
Fox Valley Investors Group: Fox Valley Investor Group – on Facebook
Email: jkinzle73@gmail.com
Twitter: @jkinzle
Website:  www.FoxValleyShortSales.com
Instagram: @jkinzle
MeetUp: Fox Valley Investors MeetUp Group

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Charles Rutenberg Realty of Illinois
1733 Park St, #150
Naperville, IL 60563
LIC 481.010.165
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Short Sale Case Study – The Unintended Investor in Elk Grove Village

Short Sale Case Study – The Unintended Investor in Elk Grove Village

Name – Jay R., from Elk Grove Village, IL
Occupation – IT Manager
Income – $100K
Combined Debt Load – $95K, one mortgage.

Do you qualify for a short sale?  Find out here: http://www.foxvalleyshortsales.com/what-are-the-qualifications-for-a-short-sale.php

Reason for Selling:
Jay R. bought his first property, as a small, 1 bedroom bachelor pad, and had no plans to become an investor.  But when he got married a few years later, the market values were so low, even though it was slowing losing money, he decided to keep the condo unit as a side rental while he purchased his new home with his wife.  The rental unit went along fine until the couple decided to start a family, and the new parents were stunned with newborn daycare rates of $1400 a month.  Seeing the condo as a losing asset month after month, and looking to put the losing investment behind them entirely, Jay decided to request a short sale from his lender at Nationstar.

What the Market Said:
A comparative market analysis indicated the value for the condo was $65,000.  The market price showed few condos for sale in his area.  Only two actives were listed, at $60K and $65K.  The good news was that rentals were allowed by the Housing Association. The unit was in good condition and we listed the condo for $65,000.  Multiple offers were submitted and we requested highest and best.

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Results:
Due to the fact that multiple cash offers, over asking price, came in from other investors, the short sale moved quickly to closing.   While Jay’s income level did not meet the standard hardship short sale guidelines, Nationstar allowed him to reduce the outstanding loan, with a cash contribution at closing to settle the debt.  He did not qualify for the HAFA $10,000 Relocation Assistance program because the property was not owner-occupied.

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Now:
With a healthy baby boy doing well, Jay and his wife are enjoying parenthood.  No longer encumbered by the unintentional investment, the young family has relocated to a sprawling suburban home in Elgin, IL with plenty of room to roam.  Both parents are very happy to look ahead to their future, including a adding a new sibling for their son.

Did you know?  
In addition to short sales, Fox Valley Short Sales offers full broker service for regular and distressed listings, for all buyers and home sellers, rentals, as well as investors in residential properties across the northern Illinois and Chicago region. All team members are trained to coordinate short sales effectively and retain the full skills and expertise of fully licensed Realtors®, including access to the resources of the local Illinois MLS database.

For more information and details on short sales and more, please contact Jennifer Kinzle, 630-854-4360. Email me direct  jkinzle73@gmail.com to get on track for 2016.

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Contact me:

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Direct/Text:  (630) 854-4360
Facebook: Fox Valley Homes – Jennifer Kinzle, Broker
Fox Valley Investors Group: Fox Valley Investor Group – on Facebook
Email: jkinzle73@gmail.com
Twitter: @jkinzle
Website:  www.FoxValleyShortSales.com
Instagram: @jkinzle
MeetUp: Fox Valley Investors MeetUp Group

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Charles Rutenberg Realty of Illinois
1733 Park St, #150
Naperville, IL 60563
LIC 481.010.165

Short Sale Case Study – A Family Kicks Starts Finances

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Name – Edward and Anna from Elgin, IL
Occupation – Manager and teacher
Income – $75,000 combined
Total Debt Load – $125K mortgage 1 + $20K HELOC = $145K

Do you qualify for a short sale?  Find out here:
Qualifications for a short sale

Reason for Selling:
After being downsized at his company, Edward found himself unexpectedly unemployed. As the  family’s main breadwinner, the family counted on his paycheck for stability. He was able to find a new job quickly, but he was disappointed in the large pay cut. With the reduced income and bills piling up, the family quickly drained their emergency fund. Although Edward was trying to find a better paying position, it was going to take longer than they expected.  Edward and Anna realized the mortgage was now out of their comfort range to afford.

First, they talked with their lender and were able to get a temporary reprieve on their payments with a loan modification.  However, the loan modification ran out after 6 months’ time and the regular mortgage payment was reinstated.  Edward had not found better employment and they were no closer to affording their mortgage.  Edward and Anna decided to look into a short sale and remove their mortgage burden.

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Next steps: a pre-screening and a market analysis
Talking with them at their kitchen table on a quiet Tuesday night, we knew right away we could assist them.  When Edward and Anna contacted our team, we knew they had exhausted all efforts to save their home.  They had just hit a rough spot along the road of life, as so often happens.  First, we looked over their mortgages and expenses.  Then we looked at current market values for homes in the area.

A comparative market analysis for the home indicated a market value of $120K, which was less than what was owed. This property was underwater, meaning they owed more than what it was worth.  The home was in fair condition and would be sold as-is.  Edward and Anna were relieved to find out that they did not need to make any repairs or fixes on their home before the short sale. They paid no money out of pocket for the short sale. Our team listed the home at $119,900.  A buyer made an offer of $110K, which the bank countered to $115K.  The buyer agreed and the short sale was processed.

Results:
Under the short sale process, the lender also took care of the attorney fees, closing costs, title fees, and agent commissions.  Using a program called Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives, or HAFA program, Edward and Anna could receive a closing cost credit of $10,000 because they were owner occupants with a clear hardship – loss of income. They also realized a short sale would impact their credit score for a much briefer time period than a foreclosure.  The family decided it was the best strategy for them and completed the short sale.

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Now:
After short selling their home, Edward and Anna made a difficult decision to move in temporarily with family locally in Elgin, IL, until they could sort out their next steps.  Edward continued to look for work.  Their patience and persistence paid off.  Five months after the short sale was completed, Edward found a better paying position with a new company in the area.  They  are saving up their money, rebuilding their emergency fund, and plan on buying another home soon.

 

Did you know?  
In addition to short sales, Fox Valley Short Sales offers full broker service for regular and distressed listings, for all buyers and home sellers, rentals, as well as investors in residential properties across the northern Illinois and Chicago region. All team members are trained to coordinate short sales effectively and retain the full skills and expertise of fully licensed Realtors®, including access to the resources of the local Illinois MLS database.

For more information and details on short sales and more, please contact Jennifer Kinzle, 630-854-4360. Email me direct  jkinzle73@gmail.com to get on track for 2016.

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Contact me:

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Direct/Text:  (630) 854-4360
Facebook: Fox Valley Homes – Jennifer Kinzle, Broker
Fox Valley Investors Group: Fox Valley Investor Group – on Facebook
Email: jkinzle73@gmail.com
Twitter: @jkinzle
Website:  www.FoxValleyShortSales.com
Instagram: @jkinzle
MeetUp: Fox Valley Investors MeetUp Group

 

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Charles Rutenberg Realty of Illinois
1733 Park St, #150
Naperville, IL 60563
LIC 481.010.165

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Chicago Area Short Sale Expert Offers Underwater Home Owners Alternatives to Foreclosure

Short Sale Expert Offers Underwater Home Owners Options

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Fox Valley area specialist, Jennifer Kinzle, and Fox Valley Short Sales with Charles Rutenberg Realty of Illinois are working with foreclosure experts across the Chicagoland area to help others avoid foreclosure.

Fox Valley Short Sales

“In the beginning, I started with local property investors from my Meetup group, Fox Valley Investors .  They had clients that they were unable to assist, or who didn’t fit the profile.  So they would give my name to the homeowners looking to avoid foreclosure.  That really started my  distressed property specialization,” Kinzle said,  “Some folks are just barely underwater on their mortgages, some are several years’ of mortgage payments behind.  I can offer options that many folks don’t know is out there.”

Illinois is one of five states with a high percentage of underwater mortgages

2015 – 5 States With Highest Percent of Underwater Mortgages

Using her expertise, she raises awareness of other programs, offers suggestions on how to best work with lenders and suggests when an attorney or HUD home specialists might be needed.  Kinzle and the Fox Valley Short Sales team work with a large network of experts and residential housing professionals to educate the public, offering guidance and professional advice as it relates to the housing market, for both distressed foreclosure sales and regular sales.

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“Short sales can be a solution, but only when the homeowner is ready to sell and move on.  There are other options to try if the homeowner wants to stay in the home.”

Get prescreened for a short sale now!  http://www.foxvalleyshortsales.com/what-is-a-short-sale.php

Ways to Keep Their Home
There are two ways to keep a home in financial distress: a refinance under a program such as HARP or a lender workout such as a forbearance or a loan modification.

Find out the requirements for a HARP refinance here:

HARP Eligibility

Under a lender workout or a loan modification, the homeowner speaks directly to the bank to address the payments.  Every bank has different requirements and you should have your account number handy when you contact the lender.  A forbearance allows a homeowner to temporarily postpone their mortgage payments.  A loan modification can be temporary or permanent.

Click here for video on ways to keep your home: Your Home – Save it or Sell it?

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Distress comes in many forms
There are nearly 3,000 pre-foreclosures just in the city of Elgin.   The surrounding areas of the Fox Valley are just as inundated, with pre-foreclosure notices being mailed out on a daily basis.  Recipients of these notices may not even know what happens next in the foreclosure process.  From pre-foreclosure, to a bankruptcy, or a job loss, and pending auction dates, the team will work with the homeowner find a solution.

Click here for a Foreclosure Timeline:  Foreclosure Timeline – Illinois

When a regular sale won’t work
Many times, homeowners know they need to sell their house, but they are underwater, meaning they owe more than what the home is worth. They feel that they need to complete repairs before trying to sell.  Or, they may drain their savings accounts trying to make enormous mortgage payments.

“We are working with clients who are sometimes extremely behind on their mortgage payments.  These clients often are going through bankruptcy, divorce, mountains of medical bills or a job loss, while facing foreclosure and auction notices,” Kinzle said.  She notes it can be a very difficult, stressful experience, and everyone’s situation is unique.

Discretion is very important for many families, who often don’t share the knowledge of their financial distress with friends or neighbors.  Embarrassment and anxiety are the most common reasons clients seek out a distressed property expert.  Clients also fear ruining their credit with a foreclosure.  A short sale will damage a credit score, but not as severely as a foreclosure.  A short sale can work in many instances, even giving the owners a cash back at closing with Relocation Assistance.

See my last post how to sell a home without a yard sign here:  4 Offers, 3 Days, 1 HR Open House, 0 Signs

$10,000 Relocation Assistance* 
Underwater home owners may be qualified to receive $10,000 after closing the short sale on their house, especially when they thought they wouldn’t see a dime.  Restrictions apply and there is never a guarantee a seller will receive any cash at closing for relocation assistance*.(*Restrictions apply)

Again, an experienced short sale negotiator, like those with the Fox Valley Short Sale team, who understand the process, who can talk with the lenders, can tip the scale in the homeowner’s favor and attain a smooth closing.  The $10,000 cash can be used for boosting a new start on the road to financial success.

The government program is called HAFA-(Homes Affordable Foreclosure Alternative) which allows for home sellers to receive up to $10,000 in relocation funds.   However, many homeowners don’t know if they can qualify for this credit.  We can explain this and much more.

 

 

Free Service, Easy Service
Fox Valley Short Sales offer specialized services with no fees, and no strings attached. Local home owners need straightforward, professional advice about alternatives to a foreclosure.

“There is never a fee for our service.  No consultation fee, no listing fee, no attorney fees.  We never charge the home seller anything, ever.  Our home sellers  facing foreclosure are in financial hardship and we understand their difficulties,” she said, “They’ve been through enough.”

Commitment and cutting out the red tape
Unlike a regular sale, the work doesn’t stop with an offer from a buyer.  Short sale closings can range from 3 to 8 months’ time, depending on the bank.  Fox Valley Short Sales has gained experience with over 40+ different lenders and servicers, including Wells Fargo, Citibank, Nationstar, Ocwen, Chase, PNC, US Bank, Citi, HSBC, Charter One, Seterus, Carrington, RoundPoint Mortgage, Citizen, DiTech and many more.

Cutting through the red tape in short sales is part of the team’s full service short sale process.  Knowing beforehand what forms are needed, the proper submission methods, meeting deadlines, requirements of the various loss departments, asset manager specifics, and more,  gives our clients a smoother transaction. Because all transactions are processed in-house, with no third party servicers, the deal moves faster through the system.

As Kinzle notes, “Unlike some agents who only work the spring sales season, we coordinate short sales year round.  And we’ll continue to do so as long as there is a need for it in our communities.”

 

In addition to short sales, Fox Valley Short Sales offers full broker service for regular and distressed listings, for all buyers and home sellers, rentals, as well as investors in residential properties across the northern Illinois and Chicago region. All team members are trained to coordinate short sales effectively and retain the full skills and expertise of fully licensed Realtors®, including access to the resources of the local Illinois MLS database.

For more information and details on short sales and more, please contact Jennifer Kinzle, 630-854-4360. Email me direct  jkinzle73@gmail.com to get on track for 2016.

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Contact this Top Rated Agent: Jennifer Kinzle

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Direct/Text:  (630) 854-4360
Facebook: Fox Valley Homes – Jennifer Kinzle, Broker
Fox Valley Investors Group: Fox Valley Investor Group – on Facebook
Email: jkinzle73@gmail.com
Twitter: @jkinzle
Website:  www.FoxValleyShortSales.com
Instagram: @jkinzle
MeetUp: Fox Valley Investors MeetUp Group

 

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Charles Rutenberg Realty of Illinois
1733 Park St, #150
Naperville, IL 60563
LIC 481.010.165
2006287

4 Offers, 3 Days, 1 Hour Open House = SOLD!

The 1 Hour Open House
The biting cold of January in suburban Chicago didn’t stop our open house from bringing in a huge number of cash buyers last weekend.  Not only did we have “boots on the ground” with more than 20 visitors at the property in one hour’s time, we also created a live streaming event, showcasing the property to an unlimited number of home viewers.

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485 N Commonwealth Ave, Elgin, IL.  This was the only sign we used for our 1 Hour Open House.  The real estate yard sign was not used to sell this home!

4 Offers, 3 Days, 1 Hour Open House and 0 Yard Signs =  SOLD
Want to know how we managed to bring in 4 cash offers in less than 72 hours with no yard sign?  We created a broad marketing campaign using social media, advertising, blogs, videos, webinars and more, across the internet, to attract ready to purchase cash buyers.

Our highly efficient marketing team excels in promoting events online.  Active home buyers are constantly searching the internet for the freshest properties on the market, and they react fast when they see a great property.  Knowing how to snag the interest of those active cash or conventional buyers is key in bringing in the highest and best offers.

A customized marketing plan
To help promote a property, we first discuss with the owners their time frame and goals.  Then we create a pre-staging marketing plan.  We want visitors to see the property at its best, with swept floors, bright lights and clean windows.  There’s no point in doing an open house if no one can walk through it.

Next, we meet the owners in person to review the marketing plan and make sure the proper timelines are met.  Not everyone is ready to sell in three days, so we make sure our marketing lines up to your needs.  We also go over how to de-clutter, de-fur (pets) and de-personalize the property, so that buyers can envision themselves living in the home.  We coach the home owners through our home seller checklist.  We let them know what to expect and how to best work their way through the list.

For example, the property used in our sample video below, the owners used a dumpster to unload decades worth of old boxes from the partially finished basement.  They knew how valuable clearing out the property was in order to receive the highest offer in the shortest amount of time.

Then when the property was mostly cleaned up, we were ready for the next step in our marketing plan – broadcasting our open house event.  This included attracting the interest of the local group, Fox Valley Investors, to get their thoughts on the property  as well.

Here’s an inside peek here:

Fox Valley Investors Group is a local group with cash buyers, contractors, property managers and others looking to for their next purchase or flip.  Investing experts love to get inside a potential property, to see first hand all the benefits of a property, just like HGTV’s Flip or Flop.   The group works right in our neighborhoods and local communities, adding value and contributing to the area by revitalizing run down or dilapidated properties.  Here’s a link to the MeetUp:

Fox Valley Investor Group – Join the MeetUp

As you can see from the video, we used a local expert to walk the group through the house, with an eye for renovations.  By leveraging a multi-level marketing plan, including pre-staging, a broad marketing campaign to highlight the property, and reaching out to local community participants, we ensured a successful outcome with multiple offers.

Three days later, we had received 4 offers. The home owners found themselves in the enviable position of choosing which offer they preferred.

 

 

 

Top dollar for short sales and regular residential sales
We’ve developed marketing plans for a variety of homeowners across the Fox Valley area. Some folks are caught in underwater mortgages and require a short sale to avoid a foreclosure.  Listing their home with my team ensures they can avoid foreclosure and the bank knows they will get true market value.  Short sales and foreclosures are what we specialize in.  Our long term relationships with bankruptcy attorneys, divorce lawyers, title companies, and all the major banks, work together to close more short sales than any other team.

My other clients, who don’t need a fast exit solution, require a different brand of marketing to find a suitable buyer.  I work with a variety of buyers, sellers, and investors to coordinate every sale to run smoothly.  Short sale or regular sale, we work with them all, throughout the Chicagoland area.

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If getting top dollar is the only solution that works for you, then you need to list with a Realtor who leverages the right marketing channels, to ensure the highest and best offers.  That’s exactly what you’ll get when you list with me.

The spring market is warming up soon!  Get your free property report here:
Fox Valley Free Property Report

Contact me at (630) 854-4360 for more information on how my 1 Hour Open House can get your home SOLD.

 

Jennifer Kinzle, e-PRO Broker
The Keller Group @ Charles Rutenberg Realty of Illinois
Direct : (630)  854-4360
Fax:  (773) 466-1538
Email: Jenniferkinzle@yahoo.com
Free Property Report: Fox Valley Free Property Report
Website: St Charles Fox Valley Homes

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Homeowners vs. Investors

 

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“I’ve never bought a home.  Should I look at my first home as an investment?”

This question came up recently at my Fox Valley Investors Group MeetUp.  (details: Fox Valley Investors  ) .  Our group is open to everyone and we get folks of all experience levels, backgrounds and ages when we do our on-site property evaluations.  It was great how this person took the first step into a broader world of real estate by coming out to the property evaluation, and didn’t have any expectations about investing in property.

I took the liberty of explaining how a personal home is not the same as an investment property. Everyone needs a roof over their head,  but a property investor has a few extra.  The difference between investing and home ownership is huge.  Here’s my take:

99 problems plus your own home
A homeowner has one roof, one furnace, one set of pipes and one water heater to worry about.  An investor typically has their own home plus several others on their worry list.  Investors inherit new problems from other locations such as running background checks, deciding on lease terms, fixing broken furnaces in winter,  leaky roofs, calls in the middle of the night on plumbing and weekends, too.  Working a regular 40 hour/week job?  Consider how you’ll handle those extra fixes and issues on your nights and weekends year round.

“But I love this house!” said no investor ever.
Investors don’t love their investments, they love with the profits and checks that come along with a successful business.  Falling in love with a house is not good for business and can undermine a sound business plan. However, falling in love with a house and envisioning cozy family holidays, Super Bowl parties with friends, a big garden, relaxing nights or a remodeled kitchen,  are the exact right reasons to make a purchase to enjoy for years to come.

X marks the spot
Homeowners live in their homes to enjoy them, to maintain them, and to do with as they please.   They might want a home close to work, by a nature preserve, something without stairs, or with a huge back yard.  Their personal preferences trump the investor card every time.  That’s important because building your life in a new home can be a great perk of home ownership. Often people move to a single family home after years of renting and paying a landlord.  The freedom to own your walls, ceiling, garage and basement without needing to share it can be alluring.  I’ve had new homeowners so excited to have a laundry room that they install the washer and dryer before unpacking a single box on Day One!  And if you’re ready to paint the walls in Fired Up Orange, now you can go for it!

Make it personal
Knowing the difference between a detached, professional business approach to buying an investment and falling in love with a white picket fence is important to understanding your first home purchase.

So go and search out those dream homes on the internet.  It’s an adventure to boldly walk through a front door of a house for sale to see if it is right for you!  Will it be as great in person as it looked online?  Maybe.  But one thing is for certain: your first home will be a great “investment”.  Absolutely, yes!  As long as you’re loving the roof over your head and the lifestyle it offers, you’ll be ahead every time you pay the mortgage.

So, what’s your motivation for buying a home?  Interested in investing in properties?  Have you tried a house hack like buying a fixer upper to live in as you fix it?  Find out if a house hack is right for you!  Attend our next meet up and learn from the local property pro’s.  Join us here:  Fox Valley Investors

Free Property Report
Property markets change every 90 days!  But folks sell homes all year long.  Take the first step and get a free market report by going here:
Free Property Report

 
Questions?  Contact me:
Jennifer Kinzle, e-PRO Broker
Charles Rutenberg Realty of Illinois
Email: Jkinzle73@gmail.com
Twitter: @Jkinzle
Web: St. Charles Fox Valley Homes

 

 

What I Learned at a Private Tour on Turnkey Property Investing

What did you do last week?

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Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a private tour of Chicago Turnkey Properties, a local business that flips and manages single family homes.  They take blighted homes and renovate them into upgraded, attractive homes that rent in record time.  It was a great learning experience and my group of Fox Valley Investors were warmly welcomed.

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Fermin Saucedo and Alberto Fernandez hosted the event in Country Club Hills and took us through 3 properties, a before, during and after, to see each phase.  It was a hands on experience, as we saw the behind the drywall, under the sub floor and behind the trim, as they showed us how they renovate the entire property.

Check out more links, videos and information here:

YouTube video link:

Fox Valley Investors Turnkey Property Tour

Linked In Blog link:

Finding the Win in Turnkey Properties

Looking for more information or want to check out the group?  Newbies and pro’s are welcome.  We do monthly meet ups and make local connections.

Connect with me on Facebook: Fox Valley Investor Group
Come to our next Meetup: Fox Valley Investor Group

Two Words Realtors Hate

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The Two Words Realtors Hate

In the world of retail property sales (also known locally as the Multiple Listing Service or MLS), Realtors can write in a field called “Remarks” on their listing sheets.  You won’t find this on public access sites like Zillow.  It remains a private field, and only active agents can access it via their local MLS.  It is a powerful field and a few short years ago, the two words listing agents hate:  “motivated seller”, could be found on nearly every listing on the MLS.

Back then, the housing market was swamped in underwater properties, market times lagged, and the key words bottomed out. “Motivated Seller” lost its mojo.  Homeowners stuck in underwater mortgages were in bad shape.  Investors thick in cash were heavy hitters, driving prices down and reaping the rewards.  They didn’t need to look far or wide or drive for dollars.  Indeed, distressed homeowners were often throwing keys at them before the ink dried on contracts, so desperate were they to escape a failing mortgage and a trip to bankruptcy court.

Go Away, Serious Buyers Only! 

But today, the housing market has shifted.   Placing a property on For Sale By Owner frequently causes a huge wave of low ball offers and Realtors knocking on your door, because you’ve opened the floodgates to the non-retail housing market.  You’ve just put yourself on the wrong radar.  Property investors and licensed Realtors understand the market place and they can sense desperation when an owner gambles on the non-retail end of selling property.  If a homeowner doesn’t trust the fair market value of their home to list it on the MLS, why should anyone else?

Listing a property on the MLS is like an indirect endorsement: the listing agent first has to believe in the property in order to justify listing it at “X” price point.  Then again, if you’re not found through the MLS, most retail buyers (who are usually pre-approved) won’t ever find you.  Realtors prefer to show homes to pre-approved buyers.  They don’t like to waste time on clients “just looking” or window shopping.  So, unless you are in serious distress as a home seller, why advertise you’re motivated?  It is enough to have an active property listing to show you’re ready to sell.  No homeowner enjoys low ball offers unless they are truly distressed.

Why Motivated Sellers get the Kiss of Death on the MLS

Over the past few years, the housing market has shifted back to the seller’s domain.  Deals for investors are tricky, lack built in equity and afford slimmer margins.  Old, reliable techniques such as door knocking, yellow legal pad letters and driving around neighborhoods are returning.  Keywords are hot again on the MLS such as “fixer upper” and “needs work”.   But “motivated seller” remains the kiss of death for the average MLS property listing.

Why? When the MLS listing has “motivated seller” in the Remarks section, it knocks the seller out of top negotiating spot in the sale.  The seller has revealed his cards and sits exposed on the open marketplace.  As soon as the listing agent published the words “motivated seller” on the MLS listing sheet, it is too late.   Consider too, that hundreds of agents run automated daily property searches under those key word terms.  The searches get emailed to buyers and the offers will roll in, but they won’t always be good offers.  Keep in mind that for regular, full price retail homeowners (who are motivated, but not desperate):

  • 5%-10% below list price is a reasonable offer
  • 10%-15% below list price is unlikely, but possible
  • 15%-20% and below list price is insulting. **

(**unless the situation is desperate, then a truly motivated seller will be relieved of the financial burden)

Is any offer better than no offer?

I am often asked is any offer better than no offer?  That depends.  Each seller is unique and what works for them may not work for the next person.  Advertising on behalf of a client that the seller is “motivated” opens the floodgates, just like a For Sale By Owner listing.  Keep in mind that fair price and property value are not tied together.  The seller takes what the buyer offers and that becomes the market value.

Key words like “motivated seller” still have a purpose in the MLS.  Distressed property sales are often coded now as “short sales” or “pre-foreclosure” to the same effect.  If you’re a property owner in serious distress, use the MLS to get the burden off your shoulders and move on.  If you’re not in distress, and are just testing the market, clue your Realtor in to your plans.  Then, put it in writing.  If you put it in writing that you don’t want to see any offers that are 10% or more off list price, you can save a lot of time and hassle.

 

Interested in navigating the housing market in the Fox Valley area?  Find out more about how it works and contact me today at 630-854-4360 for a no-obligation marketing consultation.

 

 

Investors Find Streamlined Short Sales

patiencebirdegg

It’s going to cost you $500

When I first did a short sale in 2008, I had to give up part of my commission in order to close the deal. The bank refused to budge, the buyer refused to budge and the seller had no money and no time. The listing agent didn’t negotiate in-house and gave up control of the deal to a third party negotiator. The automated pricing matrix kicked in and dropped the list price. The bank refused to honor it. The deal ended up on the bottom of a pile of paperwork and sat on someone’s desk for months. Frantic calls went to voice mail boxes that were too full to accept additional messages. The bank was so backed up, it couldn’t clear its own inbox.

The experience left a bad taste that lingered for years. I vowed never to be sucked into a fruitless short sale again.

Nice niche

2015 is a different real estate market.  Inventory is short in the Elgin area and multiple offers are getting more common for regular sales. Investors shy away from short sales for good reason.  Short sales frequently attach nearly impossible standards to process their deals. We’ve routinely handled listings with a bankruptcy, two mortgages, a notice of foreclosure, and a wonky title before the real fun begins. Throw in an auction date or an FHA loan and one loose string can unravel the best laid plans.

It’s no wonder that few licensed agents seek out the extra trouble of the notorious short sale. There is nothing short about them. It’s a niche that requires tenacity, people skills, marketing, administrative checklists a mile long and unlimited patience. Each bank has its own documents, requirements, loss mitigation departments and rules to process a short sale. If there are two mortgages, double the workload. The average short sale package to kick off a request has 50 pages. And banks like to have documents with wet signatures, black ink only, in PDF format, faxed AND emailed. If you’ve closed a short sale, thank your admin folks for sticking to it.

Now let’s consider that on the listing agent is dealing with touchy banks plus aggravated homeowners. Besides housing issues and money issues, the sellers may have health issues, or have lost their jobs, be going through a divorce or much worse. Buyer’s agents know that even the steepest discounts on the best properties can sour a buyer enough for them to lose patience and move on to something with far less drama.

But what fun is an easy, simple deal? It would mean a boring blog post.

Streamlined short sales

But I am here to tell you, I’ve seen the bright side. Consider that there are fewer short sales in today’s inventory. I can almost guarantee there will not be multiple offers on the table, so, the competition is lower. If you can put up with 90+ days to process, the discounts on a short sale are still viable for some investors and many are in good condition.  One turnkey investor buys distressed short sales and then rents them back out to the homeowner.  A high risk endeavor, but every investor is unique in their RE deals.

I’ve come a long way since negotiating that deal a few years ago. In 2015, short sales have matured. Spoiler Alert: short sales are still a huge pain. But they don’t have to be for a buyer. My biggest fear of all that work and no reward is finally fading. Why? Banks are now actively engaged with proper systems in place to push deals through. They know how to crank them out more efficiently.

Who’s ready to take a dip in short sales?

What has your experience been with short sales?  Did your deal turn out great or been a nightmare?  Let me know!

Jennifer Kinzle is a  licensed e-PRO broker with ​Charles Rutenberg Realty.  Contact her via jkinzle73@gmail.com or 630-854-4360.  ​http://www.elginfoxvalley.com/