Real Estate · Uncategorized

If I can’t get in to show it, I can’t sell it.

I know that it can be a difficult time having a home on the market, especially if you have several small children. But the fact remains that if nobody can get into the house to look at it, nobody is going to buy it.
While there are times when a seller simply can’t show the home because they are sick or have company, the majority of the time the house needs to be available to show. I have seen properties listed in the multilist that state that the property can only be viewed on Mondays and Fridays between 2-4pm or something along these lines. In my opinion, this house is simply in the multilist and not on the market because the majority of buyers want to work around their schedule not the seller who has a very narrow time frame to show the property.
If you are worried that your house will not show properly because you work all the time and may not have the perfectly clean home to show, here are some simple tips.
1. Limit the number of toys the kids can play with and box the rest. I suggest 15. Not too many to quickly pick up and it will seem like Christmas when the old toys are unboxed in your new home.
2. Always make your bed everyday.
3. Always put the dishes after every meal in the dishwasher.
4. Put your laundry away or hide it in the washer or dryer. It is embarrassing to show a house and step over underwear or see bras hanging in bathrooms.
5. Box up things. Less stuff, less mess to worry about.
6. Make sure the key that goes in the lock box actually opens the front door and easily. I can’t tell you how many times I have been at a door trying to get into the house and the key won’t work.
By doing some of these easy items it should be helpful to be prepared to show the house and get it sold in a reasonable time frame, so that you can move to your new home.
If you have questions regarding real estate, please feel free to call me at 405-213-2992 or visit my website at http://www.sandiwalker.net.

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Real Estate

First time home buyers

It is a little nerve racking buying your first home, the uncertainty of it all. Not knowing where to start or who to ask questions can be scary and over whelming.
It seems that most buyers begin by driving around looking a homes or searching on the internet. This is a good way to see what is available to purchase. However, when you get serious about purchasing a home you should do the following.

1. Get preapproved, preferably with a local lender. Credit unions are good, but usually have more stringent lending requirements. If they can’t get you approved check with another lender. If your current credit score is too low, not all is lost—learn how to improve it.
2. Check a couple lenders to see what they offer for interest rates and fees and types of loans. All lenders have different fees. Don’t pay too much.
3. Find a full time realtor who works in the area that you want to buy. Someone you feel comfortable with and is knowledgeable about the area. Work with one Realtor, that person can open any listing regardless of the sign in the front yard. A majority of for sale by owners will also work with a realtor.
4. Be realistic in what you are looking for. This is probably not going to be your dream home. You are looking for something that is NOT a money pit and that will hopefully appreciate in 5 years or so when you decide you want to move up.
5. Make sure you hire a licensed home inspector, so you know what you are buying. It may not be perfect but you don’t want any crazy surprises either.
6. Listen to your lender and realtor—Don’t make any large purchases prior to closing. Don’t quit your job, or move money between accounts. Disclose to your lender all your finances up front. Surprises the week of closing are not fun.
7. Enjoy the journey of the American Dream. And don’t be afraid to ask questions, remember you haven’t done this before so there is no dumb question.
I would love to help you find your first home. Feel free to call me at 405-213-2992 or visit my website at http://www.sandiwalker.net

Real Estate

Want some money—Quick

I have been told you can make some fast money in real estate. Buy a house cheap. Throw a coat of paint on it and some new carpet and you are on your way to instant wealth.
I get calls from people wanting to be investors all the time. People who want to flip property mostly, because they don’t want to deal with tenants. I can understand that I have had some tenants I would rather not have had to deal with either. But as the old saying goes: If it were easy everyone would be doing it. Now I don’t want to discourage you, if you are thinking about buying investment property, but you should know it is work.
There are some basic questions you should ask yourself before you begin.

What will the property sell for when it is remodeled?
Will the property I purchase resell fast/
Is the floor plan functional or does it contain some dysfunction?
What will it cost to repair the property?
Can I do any of the work myself?
Do I have a list of contractors or can I get a list of contractors?
Do I have enough cash reserves for the remodel?

Create a budget and stick to it. This is sometimes easier said than done. Do not over updates for the area. The appraiser is not going to over value the property just because you did, and neither is a buyer.

I have personally rehabbed several properties, rented properties and flipped properties. The knowledge I have obtained over the years does not come from seminars and books but rather life and the school of hard knocks. I have worked hard and been fortunate to find some really good deals. You can make money investing in real estate but don’t think it is like you see on late night t.v.
If you have questions about investing in real estate, please feel free to contact me at 405-213-2992 or visit my website http://www.sandiwalker.net

Real Estate

Pricing the property correctly

I am constantly hearing from sellers who want to try a little higher and we can always adjust the price downward, if that doesn’t work. The problem with this theory is that they get stuck on the number and don’t want to reduce the price fast enough. The longer the house sits on the market, the more the buyers think they can write a lower offer.
A house that is priced at market value or maybe a little below market value will increase amount of interest in the property. It is hard to under price a property. If the property is truly below market value, the market will correct this by bidding over the list price. We have seen this several times lately where a multi offer situation occurs on a property because more than one person believes the house is worth at least what the house is listed at. Because people buy homes based on emotion and facts, people tend to increase their bid in a multi offer situation to get the property that they desire. This increases the price of the home.
Whereas if the property is over priced and nobody is looking at the home, the home becomes stale and stays on the market a longer period of time. Therefore it is suggested that if you are not getting showings you reduce the property every two to four weeks until you get an interested buyer.
A common understanding amongst real estate professionals is if you are not getting showing, the house is priced to high. If you are getting showings and no offers then there is something wrong with the house. Getting feedback will help determine why people are looking and not making an offer. It may be that the owner can fix what is causing the buyers to not purchase the property. If the owner cannot remedy the issue (location, floor plan, room sizes, etc) they may have to adjust the price to entice someone to purchase the property.
The value of a property is not determined on what the current paid for it, or the amount of money they spent to improve it. The value is not determined by what the realtor says, the county assessor, or what the neighbor down the street sold their property for last year. The true value of a property is determined by the market and what a buyer is willing to pay for it.
If you have questions about real estate, please feel free to call me at 405-213-2992 or visit my website http://www.sandiwalker.net.

Real Estate

Location, Location, Location

They say that the key word in Real Estate is location. And so it is true. The same house in two different locations can have vastly different prices even if the houses are only a block away. How can that be you might ask?

The things that can entice a buyer to pay more or less for a property are:
1. School district.
Certain school districts are more desirable than others. Therefore it is really important to know where the school lines are even if you don’t have children in school. It may be that you could buy a home for less money if you are just outside of the school district everyone else is wanting. Just remember that when you go to resell, the house will still be outside of that desired school district.
2. Backing up to a major road or commercial businesses
Not everyone wants to live where traffic is rushing behind their back fence. Homes that back up to commercial property are often seen as less safe and less desirable.
3. Nearby a park
People generally like parks where they can take the kids to play or go for a walk with the dog. Generally a home near a park is worth slightly more to a buyer.
4. Near a school
Neighborhood schools can be desirable because people with certain criminal backgrounds cannot live within a minimum distance to a school. In addition, people may like the idea of their children walking to school. If the school is a neighborhood school, I always suggest driving by at the beginning of the school day and at the end of the school day to see if you are ok with the traffic.
5. In the back of a neighborhood or at the front entrance.
Obviously there is less traffic going past a home in the back of the neighborhood than at the front. Look to see how many entrances are going into a neighborhood. The more ways into a neighborhood could mean not everyone going past a single row of homes in the neighborhood. Cul-de-sacs also have less traffic.
6. An unsafe part of town
Obviously, if the neighborhood has a reputation for violence or theft, the cost of the properties will need to be less in order to entice someone to buy there.

I always tell people, property is priced based on location and condition. While you can improve the condition of a home, you cannot move a house so look around; see who your neighbors are, look at the location of the property.
If you are interested in purchasing property in Oklahoma feel free to call me at 405-213-2992 or visit my website at http://www.sandiwalker.net

Real Estate

Competing with the builder to sell your home?

I was at a listing appointment the other day. The couple had purchased a home a few years ago in a new neighborhood. The house was nice and had several upgrades to it, including wood laminate floors in the living room and a storm shelter in the garage. The builder had given them a microwave hood vent at time of purchase and they were willing to leave their refrigerator.
Unfortunately, the builder was still building in the neighborhood that they were living and they needed to sell because of a job transfer. Surely the upgrades would add value to their property that they were hoping to sell for more than they paid.
The truth of the matter is, as I explained to them, that they were going to have to compete with the builder to sell their home, since the builder was still building in the neighborhood. This builder currently is selling homes comparable to the one they purchased three years ago for about the same price that they paid three years ago. In addition, the builder typically pays closing costs and includes items like blinds, microwave hood vents or ceiling fans for their buyers.
In order to entice a buyer to buy a three year old home versus a new home that has not had animals or kids and comes with a one year builder’s warranty; this seller will need to discount their home even with some updates. Otherwise what would be the incentive for a buyer to purchase a resale home when they could purchase a new home at equal or lesser value?
As a word of advice, a little too late for this couple, if you are only going to live in a home 3-5 years, you need to research and know if the builder will still be building in your subdivision when you are planning on selling your home. Look at the resale market of the area and decide if it makes sense to purchase the new home in a subdivision that is still being developed.
For any and all real estate questions, please feel free to call me Sandi Walker 405-213-2992.

Real Estate

How do I buy a short sale

Patience, Patience, and lots of patience.
Short sales should be called long sales as in time requirements. It often takes many months to get a short sale accepted at the bank. However if you are not in a big hurry, you may be able to get a good deal.
The seller’s lender will need to sign off on the contract in addition to the seller. The majority of the time the lender will want to see an offer on the property before starting the short sale procedures. Local lender’s may want to determine value sooner than a larger national bank. Either way, the seller’s lender will do the following in order to complete a short sale.
1. Current owner will fill out a financial package to determine if they qualify for the short sale, including a hardship letter detailing why they need the short sale.
2. The lender will review the short sale packet. This takes time.
3. If the owner qualifies for a short sale, they will send out an appraiser to quantify the value of the property. They may also request a BPO (broker’s price opinion)
4. The current lender will use the appraisal price to determine the amount they are willing to accept on a short sale. Most of the time, the realtor will reduce or increase the list price at this time to match the appraisal price.
5. The lender will accept a net amount based on the appraisal price. (In my experience, this number has been 86-88% of appraisal price)—remember this the net to the seller’s lender after all expenses, realtor fees, etc. So there is not a lot of room off the appraisal price. Hopefully the appraiser has not over valued the property.
6. Several people at the bank will need to review the short sale offer and sign off on it before turning it over to a closer to set the closing up.
7. The new buyer will need to make sure their lending requirements are met. I do not advise buyers spending money to do inspections or appraisals prior to the current bank’s approval to sell. Once that approval is given, the rest of the sale works mostly like a regular sale.
Just remember that these homes are sold as is and where is and may have some repair requirements.
If you have real estate questions please feel free to call me at 405-213-2992 or visit my website http://www.sandiwalker.net