short sales: Vacant Homes in the Snow - 02/25/10 05:24 PM
In a recent blog post about shoveling snow in front of a vacant listing, I took a little time to toot my own horn and shoot a little video. Yeah it was a pain in the patootie and it took about 2 and half hours to shovel a path from the road to the front door. It was worth it, though, because people wanted to see it.  They were calling the showing service and even with unflattering photos online they saw the price was right.
Recently, the tables were turned when a buyer client wanted to go house hunting.  They had … (6 comments)

short sales: Photos of Trashed Listings. Is This a Good Idea? - 02/04/10 09:21 PM
Everyone knows that the home buying consumer loves photos.  They look at them constantly on the Internet.  I doesn't matter if they're the still photos the Realtor took, a Virtaul Tour a professional put together or something done with one of those cute little Flip things.
I've been seeing a lot in the Blogosphere and Twittersphere about how listing agents are really falling down on the job if they don't provide lots of interior and exterior photos. I'm guessing most people mean "regular" houses. I wrote about a different type of house in a piece called: "Are Photos of Homes in … (21 comments)

short sales: Are "Plain Vanilla" Home Sales on the Rise? - 01/18/10 06:40 AM
Here's a confession:  I hate short sales.  I do my very best to avoid them either on the listing side or the selling side.  Yeah. I know.  People tell me all the time  that "this is the market" and, if I'm going to survive, I have to learn and work with short sales.  Bah Humbug.
To be sure, I have not been having as much fun as I had in the early 2000s. There are fewer "plain vanilla" sales out there - sellers with enough equity in their home that there is "NO third party approval needed".  However, there are a … (9 comments)

short sales: A Kinder, Gentler FHA Appraisal...Not - 05/06/09 06:18 AM
For some of us who can remember the days when FHA mortgages were to be avoided like the plague it almost seems like a quaint notion that Sellers and Buyers didn't have to worry about appraisers coming in behind home inspectors to do a home inspectors job.  The FHA, it seems, wants its appraisers to hunt down "health and safety" issues in addition to their regular job which is simply to ascertain value for the mortgage company or bank.
This may be all to the good in a "normal" market. When the market is a hot Seller's market, no one touches … (16 comments)

short sales: Working in a Micro-Niche -- Sellers with Equity and Buyers that can Document Credit Worthiness - 03/09/09 07:26 AM
This whole short sale thing has taken on a life of it's own.  Entire industries have popped up around them.  Designations, workshops, gurus of every stripe.  Everyone is getting into the act!  All hail the short seller. 
Of course, there are some who teach that working a niche can be just as rewarding.  The Condo King/Queen, waterfront properties, horse farms. You name it, there's a niche for it.  Don't forget the geographic niches. Subdivision A, Town B, On The Street Where You Live.
For me, I'm working the Sellers with Equity and Buyers that can document creditworthiness niche.  Shhhh.  Don't tell … (3 comments)

short sales: How Short Sales Affect My "Plain Vanilla" Buyers - 02/12/09 07:03 AM
Here's a little bit of a confession:  my career path has led me to be mostly (not entirely) a listing agent.  Don't get me wrong.  I'll work with buyers in a heartbeat and I enjoy working with buyers.  It's just that, for whatever reason, I work mostly with sellers.  Here's another part:  I don't really work with short sales and REOs. 
I know. I know.  This niche in the market should be an integral part of my business model with so many short sales and REOs on the market.  It's just that I prefer the "other niche" -- houses being sold … (10 comments)

short sales: "Short" Sales, the Media and You - 01/29/08 09:54 PM
I just finished watching a show on CNBC called The Millionaire Inside: Debt Makeover and I was astonished at the real estate advice the Money Mentors were offering.
Granted.  The debtors (two couples and two singles) were in deep debt and had pretty poor credit scores as a result. However, there seemed to be pretty consistent counsel to sell their home in a "short sale" as part of the plan to get out of debt.  In fact, the Money Mentors made this suggestion so quickly that it made me wonder if they realized that "short sales" weren't that easy and would … (2 comments)