Real Estate Recovery - A Loan Mod Program That's Working! - 07/29/11 03:38 AM
The feds can't come up with a good plan, and the big banks don't care... but Atlanta-based Ocwen Financial Corporation has come up with a loan modification program that's working.
Under their Shared Appreciation Modifications (SAM) program, a delinquent borrower's principal is reduced to 95% of the home's current market value. This, they say, provides the borrower with the psychological benefit of having some equity in the home. Studies show that having an equity position makes a borrower one and a half to two times less likely to default.
But the investor doesn't necessarily lose.
As part of the agreement,
Sellers want to hear from you - even when there's nothing to say - 07/29/11 02:20 AM
Today when I was writing a web page for my latest real estate letter set - the Seller Service Letters - I got to thinking about how it was when I was a fairly new agent.
Remember this was in the days before everyone was using computers. If you wanted to contact someone you either picked up the telephone or you wrote them a letter and dropped it in the mail.
At that time, the market was stagnant. We had dozens of listings but only a handful of buyers. One broker I worked for would practically knock an agent down
Why You Should Hand Your Business Cards to Everyone - And then do it again - 07/27/11 05:46 PM
The other day I needed to find someone here in my home town. She was the only person I knew that offered a particular service, and I couldn't find anyone else like her in the yellow pages.
The Internet was no help - people in this small town haven't noticed it yet!
So... how to find her? She's not in the phone book under her business name, and I couldn't remember her last name.
After calling a few friends, I got that much, but she wasn't in the book. Unfortunately, there were several men listed with that last name, but
Another Real Estate Scheme From Washington - 07/26/11 01:36 AM
Many of us believe that government interference is what led to the entire housing crisis – from the artificial rise in prices, to the crash.
And, as we watch failed program after failed program, some of us tend to wish the government would just get the heck out of real estate and let the free market do the job of bringing things back into balance.
That means I’m pretty skeptical of any new real estate scheme coming from Washington – including the latest.
This one is merely under consideration at the moment, but if implemented, will mean that the Federal
Does the New California Law Mean Sellers Don’t Need a Short Sale Expert? - 07/24/11 07:34 PM
Does SB 458 Mean California Home Sellers Don’t Need a Short Sale Expert?
I don’t think so. In fact, I think a homeowner’s choice of agents might be more crucial than ever.
Under the new Senate Bill 458, junior lienholders are no longer allowed to impose a deficiency on homeowners in a short sale. They are also not allowed to require additional compensation from the seller, the buyer, or their agents. (They can ask, but they can’t require.)
BUT – that doesn’t mean that all short sales are going to sail through without a hitch.
What they CAN do
To Build Or Not To Build....That Is The Question! - 07/24/11 04:04 PM
Rob Thomas's post this morning offers some good advice on what to do before you begin the process of building a custom home.
And I've got more for you!
When my husband retired from home building and I left real estate, we collaborated on a couple of books - one of which outlines things you need to think about and do in order for home building to be a happy adventure instead of a nightmare.
And, because there are so many "fly by night" builders, I also wrote a free report about choosing a contractor.
Come to Your Home Building Site
The Only Choice Was a Bad One: Made in China - 07/23/11 03:48 AM
For a long time, my elderly neighbor has talked about getting a pre-paid phone to have on hand when he takes his wife to the doctor or to visit their son. None of us here who stick close to home have "regular" cell phones because there is no cell signal out here in the woods. There's just not much point in paying a monthly charge for something we need so infrequently.
I agreed, he needs one for security when he gets away from home. But... he didn't know where to go to get it or what to ask for, etc. So
Do Case Studies Have a Place in Real Estate Marketing? - 07/20/11 03:48 PM
Do Case Studies Have a Place in Real Estate Marketing?
I think so. You don’t see case studies widely used in real estate marketing, but why not?
Wouldn’t they lend more credibility than short testimonials?
We know testimonials work in every service business. But we also know that they are not always believed. It’s illegal, but marketers in every profession have been known to write a testimonial and assign it a fake name – or simply something like “J.W. in Phoenix.” Who is to know, when no address is given?
A case study, on the other hand, tells
Politically Incorrect? If I am, Then So Be It - 07/18/11 02:35 PM
This morning, while responding to comments on my blog post about the frustration of dealing with computer techs in India, something occurred to me.
I'm sure it's politically incorrect, but I'll say it anyway.
Why are we all just "going along with it" when the quality of our goods and services keeps falling due to outsourcing? Why are we still supporting companies who are taking U.S. consumer's dollars to hire overseas workers while U.S. workers search in vain for employment?
Why don't we all seek out companies that hire only U.S. employees and sell only U.S. made products
A Near Disaster - I Almost Used "That Word" in Copy - 07/18/11 03:34 AM
No – it’s not a 4-letter word. It’s not even an off-color word to most people.
But to me as a copywriter, it is a dirty word. It’s the sign of a lazy copywriter – one who can’t think of what to say or doesn't want to be bothered with saying it. Or worse, one who has nothing to say. Or perhaps one who doesn’t know what the heck she’s talking about so needs a filler.
Every time I see this word jumping out at me from a newspaper ad or an email, I SWEAR that I will never,
When Politics Take Over in a Non-profit Organization - 07/14/11 05:24 PM
Yesterday the news from our local Priest River Animal Rescue was a shocker.
When a member arrived at the shelter to take over the afternoon shift of caring for the cats and dogs, she found almost all of them were missing! All that was left were 6 or 8 cats that she had personally rescued and who had been fostered at her home until old enough for adoption.
Instead of 6 or 8 dogs and 50+ cats, she found 4 letters of resignation from members of the Board of Directors.
Trouble has been brewing for a long time. Although I
I Got Zapped - You Could Too, So Keep Watch! - 07/14/11 03:44 AM
Some weeks, things just go sideways. This has been one of them.
I already wrote about the big hassle with my new computer. I thought I had it all fixed on Saturday night. Then I couldn't hook up to the Internet until I got to a store and bought another cable... my moving them around combined with the teeth marks my darling cat had left caused the cable to my router to fail.
Yesterday I got the new cable and last night I hooked it up - and all seemed to be well - until the darn thing did a
Thanks, Mimi. I know better than that! - 07/12/11 04:57 PM
Thanks to Mimi Foster for alerting me to my error!
Yesterday when I posted my message offering a free buyer letter, I failed to go back after it was posted and check all the links. So... one of them was broken.
That's the way it happens - if you check, all is well. It's when you don't check that an error occurs.
This isn't the first time this has happened. Every once in a while a broken link sneaks into one of my web pages. Even though I try hard to make it a habit to check each one, sometimes I
I Want an Active Rain Agent in MY Town! - 07/12/11 03:10 AM
This is so frustrating...
I read about and connect with agents every day who are working hard for their clients, but can't find one in my own community to help my son sell his duplex. What makes the situation even worse right now is that the agent who has his listing is someone I thought was the best in town.
I really believed he'd make some effort. But... my son hasn't had a phone call, letter, or email from him in a couple of months, and the place hasn't been shown.
And that bring us to today.
The part of the
A Gift for You Today - 07/11/11 06:52 PM
The sun is shining, my silly computer problem is solved, and it's my favorite day: Monday. So today seemed like a good time to offer a gift...
Update: January 6, 2013
Since writing this post I've discontinued service at Get Response... so the original links won't work.
Therefore, instead I invite you to visit me at my newest site: www.promotemyrealestatecareer.com.
There you'll find links to several free letters, plus sample letters from some of my prospecting letter sets.
Image courtesy of Dreamstine
Web guru neded! I can't figure this out! - 07/09/11 02:56 AM
My new computer arrived this afternoon and I've been busy setting things up.
I got on line and decided to check out the web, and have the strangest problem. I can go everywhere EXCEPT my own websites!
When I try with Firefox it appears to go there, but the screen is blank.When I try with Explorer, I get an error message saying they can't open the page. But when I go to the old computer, I can open them.
So far I haven't found anything in a help menu that addresses this.
Anybody know what to do?
Help! I need your opinion about real estate website companies - 07/07/11 02:26 PM
This morning I'm working on a plan for an agent who needs a website.
He has something that is supposedly a "lead generator," site, but that's ALL it is. Just form after form for visitors to fill out. There is a place for a bio, but there's no place for buyer or seller information, news about the community, etc. - and those cannot be added.
Of course he's on a tight budget, so can't hire someone to build and maintain a site for a few thousand each month.
And... he's not at ALL tech savvy.
So - he needs something that
More Ways To Become the Recognized Expert in Your Niche - 07/07/11 12:41 PM
Getting out in the community and being seen is a good way to meet more people and gather leads. Among other things, you can do that by joining organizations, including non-profits, and volunteering to help with projects.
But you need to do more than just be seen.
If you want people to recognize you as the expert, you need to give them reasons to believe it.
Here are a few ways to go about it:
Re-work a few of your blog posts and send them to the local newspaper as guest articles. They might not print them immediately,
A Good Reason to Shun Cold Calling - 07/07/11 01:51 AM
Over the years I’ve heard of plenty of sales trainers who insist that cold calling is vital to success in real estate. And here on Active Rain I’ve seen comments from agents who do cold calling and are successful with it.
I can see that it could work well in specific situations. For instance, when calling expired listings in your niche or geographic farm area. However, it definitely isn't for everyone.
Some agents, believing that they must make cold calls, will think up hundreds of excuses why cold calling is there on their plan for the day, but they just
Establish Your Real Estate "Expert Status" by Attending Public Meetings - 07/06/11 02:25 PM
Do you attend meetings of the Planning & Zoning Commission and the City Council?
I think you should. Here's why:
Attendance at these meetings will give you an inside track on what’s happening or about to happen in your community – AND will show your would-be clients that you keep yourself “in the know.”
While these aren’t exactly networking events, your attendance can add to your image as the local real estate expert. This is especially true if you participate with questions and comments, so others at the meeting see you and notice that you’re a real estate
What’s In It for You, Neighbor? - 07/05/11 04:27 PM
Debe Maxwell makes a good point with this post. If you want to attract good neighbors to your neighborhood - keep your own home in a condition that attracts people who value pleasant surroundings.
Via Debe Maxwell - Search Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte NC Neighborhoods (iCharlotteRealEstate.com Savvy + Company Real Estate):
What’s In It for You, Neighbor? Recently, I’ve written a couple of articles to better assist Charlotte home buyers with regards to doing due diligence on neighborhoods which they are considering residing. There are neighbors that you just can’t do anything about–how will their very existence affect your home values? Then, there are
Want to be more confused? - 07/05/11 03:50 PM
It's not unusual to see different articles predicting the rise or fall of home prices, and the reasons why.
Earlier this year one article said home prices would continue to decline as more foreclosures hit the market. Another the same day said home prices would rise because builders weren't producing enough new homes.
Today, I read a Boomberg Report that seems to contradict itself at every turn. Is it good news? Is it bad news?
Looks to me like it's a lot of opinion - and people gathering statistics from varied sources to get the results each of them is
The Bank Won't Help Your Recently Widowed Sister, but... - 07/05/11 03:04 AM
An article in the July 2 New York Times is enough to make you wonder what they put in the water at bank headquarters. And it's not just Bank of America that's gone off the deep end. Chase has joined them.
While thousands of loans that "should" have been modified went into foreclosure, the banks are now forgiving debt for tens of thousands of homeowners who aren't even in trouble with their mortgage payments.
It seems that they see option ARMs as loans that may go into default, so they're taking steps now to try to keep that from happening.
Compelling Reason to Price Your Home Right from the Start - 07/04/11 02:21 PM
This is something that all sellers should undrerstand: When you over price, your home will become "stale on the market." Fewer and fewer agents will bother to show it, and by the time it is sold, you're VERY likely to get less than you would have if you'd listed at the right price to begin with.
Via J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY:
I review market statistics ever quarter, and since we just passed the halfway point of 2011 I found some very powerful data on the relationship between percent of asking price that Westchester County homes sell
Remember to Protect Your Pets this Week-end! - 07/02/11 01:27 PM
As you get ready to enjoy this holiday week-end with friends and family, remember that some of your family members might not find it so enjoyable. Your dogs and cats might find it terrifying.
The sight, sound, and smell of fireworks can set them into a panic. If left outdoors, they can try to run away from it, and subsequently become lost.
When working in animal rescue, I found the week after the 4th of July to be the most heartbreaking, as report after report of lost pets poured in. Sadly, many of those lost pets were never found.
How Do YOU Handle This Balancing Act? - 07/02/11 02:07 AM
Here’s a touchy balancing act to consider:
We all know that the busy agent/store/restaurant/writer/mechanic/whatever seems more desirable to potential clients.
After all, potential customers / clients don’t want to choose a business or a service provider that nobody else wants. They feel that if someone is popular, there’s a good reason. So they want to jump on the bandwagon.
At the same time – every client needs to feel like you have time for them. They need to feel special.
When I read testimonials something that jumps out from many of them is that the agent “made