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Expert Seller Articles - Louisville, KY

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All articles are original works by Joe Hayden, all copyrights retained.  You have permission to reprint these articles as you see fit as long as Joe Hayden, Realtor is clearly credited with authoring the article, and you include the following link back to this site:  Thank you, and...enjoy!

I'll Say It Again - You've Got To Get The Home Pricing Right!

Facing Home Foreclosure? - Do Something About It!

I'll Say It Again - You've Got To Get The Home Pricing Right!

Ah, pricing your Louisville, KY home to sell... The market vs. the seller vs. the agent. Where's the balance and who can you trust for advice and guidance?

Let me start with a few 'truisms'; no matter how incredible your home shows, even in a great location, a fouled pricing strategy will cost the seller money. Buyers almost never place their most important value on what you consider most valuable. If you are hoping to price high and wait out the market, you are at risk for losing even more money in the end. And finally, the market will produce a ready, willing, and able buyer who will ultimately determine the true value of the home. Maybe...

Let's look at these points and try to find a reasonable way to take them into consideration against the seller's needs and wants. How can a fouled pricing strategy cost the seller money? Skipping the obvious, pricing too low for the market, here are a few ways pricing too high can really hurt the pocketbook. Now, I'm going to assume a seller with an average motivation to sell. There is no risk of foreclosure, no "let's just put it out there and see" attitude, and no circumstances like a relocation involved. The seller would actually like to just sell the home.

Most of the ways you will lose money by listing too high revolve around your 'holding costs' with the home. Once you decide to commit to selling, for the most part all of the money you put into the house for utilities, basic prep to sell, a portion of your mortgage payments, routine maintenance, and other expenses is now going to be lost. This is money that could have gone into the new home and given it the same benefits.

If your pricing strategy directly causes you to stay on the market for an unnecessary length of time, you are losing an amount of money at least equal to your holding costs. If you priced your home too high, these additional costs will rapidly eat into your expected profit, and will most likely mean that you will lose even more money as holding costs increase and you have to lower your price.

An additional negative related to pricing your home too high is the perception in the market your home has a 'problem' if it remains listed for an above-average amount of time. It may be in perfect condition in a wonderful location, but buyers and agents will wonder why those who have taken the time to look at the home did not make an offer if it is so great. Your listing will become stale and you will have to work hard to overcome the built-in hesitation of any potential buyer. Again, your holding costs will be eating into your profit this entire time.

When determining a price for your home, you have to be reasonable and detach yourself personally from the home. You may think the loft over the garage brings added value to the home, but a buyer may view it as just another space to heat and clean, and assign it no value. It helps to have some professional guidance in this area because a third party will be able to approach the home with a bit more objectivity.

Probably the hardest concept to grasp for a seller without sales experience is the fact that the market will ultimately determine the price of the home. Yes, the seller can establish a starting point for negotiations, but the buyer will walk if they perceive a market price that is too high. You just have to accept that as a fact, and you must respond to the market accordingly. If you have made the wise decision to secure professional help when selling your home, you should have access to all of the pertinent market information, the same as a savvy buyer, and you must give a heavy weight to this data.

So what should you do as a seller to determine a valid price to go to market with your home? I recommend partnering with a Realtor who has extensive local knowledge of the market and can provide you with the broad exposure needed to sell your home. Unless you wish to be hands-off during this process, you must also educate yourself on the market using current, pertinent information related to the active listings and sales in your immediate area. Yes, using a Realtor is an expense, but balanced against the additional expenses you could incur by failing to price your home correctly, it is one you cannot afford to do without. Run the numbers is worth it for the market experience, negotiation knowledge, transaction management, and general peace-of-mind. Good luck!

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Facing Home Foreclosure? - Do Something About It!

Probably never before in the recorded history of real estate transactions has foreclosures received such prominent attention. It is as equally likely that there have never been such a high percentage of foreclosures in relationship to all other real estate transactions. In fact, the possibility of real estate foreclosure has most likely never crossed a great majority of borrower's minds prior to this past year.

Attempting to pinpoint exactly what went wrong and how we found ourselves at this point could cause too much fruitless debate, so I am going to make the assumptions that lender greed, borrower and broker ignorance, couple with a stagnant national economy have driven the spike in foreclosures. You may disagree with me as is your right, but each of the above assumptions plays a role in our current market troubles.

I want to bring attention to one facet of this situation and focus on how relief is possible for certain borrowers. When the reality of foreclosure arrives at the borrower's door, usually in the form of a serious letter from the lender or worse, the Sheriff, most people's natural reaction is denial. Certainly they are aware that the bills have not been paid (unless a trusted family member or friend has failed to perform their entrusted duty of making payments), and the notice should not come as a surprise.

Unfortunately, it is this denial, and therefore rejection of reality, that paralyzes people from acting and working to resolve the situation. If there was ever a time that you need clarity of thought and the ability to problem-solve, it is now! Even if this situation was not a surprise to you, it is time to accept the reality and begin to enact positive changes.

First, gather your resources and locate suitable help. Most likely, the lender has sent you numerous letters that specify several possible solutions that will prevent foreclosure. Find those letters, or if you tossed them in the garbage, call your lender immediately and request copies. With those letters in your hands, you will have taken an important first step towards preventing foreclosure.

Since I mentioned calling your lender, I want to let you know that from your lender's perspective the best thing you can do (besides paying your debt), is to establish and maintain communication with them throughout this process. You may feel like you are being taken advantage of by your lender, you may be embarrassed or afraid to call, or you may need to find a trusted third party to help you make the call, but do it, and do it now! Lenders tend to be more lenient and work with those who show a genuine interest in resolving the situation by maintaining communication.

It is important that you keep in mind that your lender is going to go to every legal length possible to recover their debt, so be careful what you say and reveal in discussions with their representatives. Unless you are a lawyer, or have professional experience with collections, your contact with your lender should remain focused on getting them to send you all of the information they have that could help you prevent the foreclosure. Specifically, you will want to request a hardship package. This information will be required by the lender for certain types of relief, so get it and be prepared to complete the paperwork.

Probably one of the smartest things you can do will be to associate yourself with professional help. Call your local mortgage broker who originally sold you the loan product and see if they are aware of alternative solutions, like refinancing or forbearance, that can help you prevent foreclosure. If you are in such a financial position that keeping the house in unfeasible, consider putting your home up for sale. Make sure you find a Realtor with experience in pre-foreclosure sales, or short sales, to help you choose the best course of action.

Most importantly, you need to do something! You must recognize that this is a very serious situation with long-term financial consequences that is preventable! The longer you wait, the more you deny the reality of the situation, it gets much worse. If you cannot bring yourself to attempt to resolve the problem alone, reach out to friends and family for help and guidance. Locate suitable professional help, whether it is a lawyer, Realtor, or mortgage lender, and accept their guidance.

In many, many situations, foreclosure was easily preventable by the actions of the homeowner/borrower. It is the lack of action that guarantees the foreclosure will take place. If you would like to try and keep your home, or even if you know you must give it up, take the time and make the effort to prevent foreclosure as the solution. The financial stakes are just too high to approach it any other way.

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