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When things go from bad to worse!

Managing Real Estate Broker with Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions"

When things go bad sometimes they get worse!

That is what one of my clients told me this morning.  I asked why he would say that.

His credit card debt was rising because his hours had been cut.  It seems he had planned on the overtime in his budget.  Not a new story or scenario, now that his hours have been cut he has to adjust his standard of living...the problem is adjusting sooner than later.

So his option, to cure his financial problem, selling his home in a down market.  Many homeowners are faced with the same decision.

Before making the final decision to list your home for sale consider some of these options.  It may sound odd a Realtor telling you not to sell your home just yet.  It shouldn't sound odd.  Realtors many times offer clients advice to wait or not sell depending on the reason why a client is going to sell.

My job is to help clients buy and sell homes.  That is only part of my job.  The other part is to offer expert real estate advice. 

So consider:

•·         Refinancing, the rates are low.  If you are planning to stay in your home at least three more years you will pay for the refinance costs in your lower house payment if you have a 1% higher interest rate than your current interest rate.  Of course make sure you are not paying higher than normal closing costs.

•·         Consider selling boats, cars, snowmobiles and wave runners to pay down your debt.  In other words reduce your toys.  You can always buy them again when your financial situation is better.

•·         Clean the house, have that yard sale.  Sometimes a few hundred dollars gets you stabilized and you can evaluate your options.

The point is do not rush into things.  Things usually don't go from bad to worse.  If you have something bad happen analyze the cause, set up new options to minimize the impact for the next time the same thing  or something similar happens.  It is likely to happen again.

Maintain a budget that you can keep without utilizing your overtime hours.  Look at coupon options to reduce your food bill.  Look at using generic brand name products.  Reduce your electrical consumption and heating and air conditioning costs by changing temperatures a downward a few degrees.  Look at your hot water heater reduce the temperature setting by 5 degrees.  Take shorter showers.

It takes a few thoughtful steps and you can change your budget.

Hope this review helps you make adjustments that make your life easier.Thanks for stopping by Gary L White Realtor www.flexitrealty.com

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Email: garywhite@flexitrealty.com

Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Gary, I recently sold my house in Edmond, Oklahoma, because I could sell it at a profit from my 2005 purchase, thank you Oklahoma, and my girlfirend and I have stepped it up and moved to another joint home. She was looking at all the stuff I had collected over the years, including over 4,000 LPs, multiple sound systems, and things I just wouldn't thow away. It was time to simplify. I had a renter in one of my houses who lost his job, but was doing well selling items on eBay and Craigs List. He hauled it to his house, and I have now received $6,000 and counting for my dumping stuff. We should tell people to check their garages, it could be the source of wealth. FYI, my Japanese, half speed master Rolling Stones box set that I bought for $150 back in the old days, just sold for over $1,200. Besides, it's all on my iPod.

May 03, 2009 03:03 AM

Gary...  TLW makes a great point that I have seen many of times. The lack of responsibility amongst the average person is not what many of us would think it is. People do live above their means and will sacrifice some things over others. In several cases, not to pay bills and such, just to have toys. Even as Missy stated about the person owning a Hummer, yet they are going into foreclosure.

And then Charles points out a great thing....  there are midnight shifts.  Some people working 2 to 3 jobs. I believe that you need to do what you need to do in order to survive. Some people just complain that their hours have been cut and that's it. They don't seek other options. In all honesty, should we really feel sorry for them then?   Just curious.

Overall, not trying to sound harsh here or negative. You make some positive points in what some should consider. But some of these people are backwards and expect help then, just because the gov't is giving it all away in some cases. I just don't see us climbing out of that type of hole for several more years.  thanks for the post.

jeff belonger

Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Excellent advice, Gary.  The main point is action not reaction to consequences.

May 03, 2009 03:33 AM
Mark MacKenzie
Phoenix, AZ


I think a lot of Americans are going through this.  In fact, "loss of income" not "job loss" is the #1 cause of homes going into foreclosure. 

May 03, 2009 03:43 AM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

It looks like you are doing a great job of consulting with your clients on their needs rather than just helping them buy and sell houses.

May 03, 2009 04:29 AM
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Wise adivce, Gary.  And you're right... things don't usually go from bad to worse.  It just seems that way occasionally.  Overall, most of us have more good days than bad ones.

May 03, 2009 06:54 AM
Heather Chavez
Second Self Virtual Assistance - Caldwell, ID
Real Estate Virtual, Assistant (928) 692-3235

Great advice, Gary.  Quite the word to the wise.  It takes a smart Realtor to realize that it's not always the Sell, Sell, SELL mentality that will win out.  You can bet that a client who hears you say to hold onto the house will definitely think of you when it is time to sell in the future.

May 03, 2009 08:03 AM
Hugo Torres
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Monrovia, CA

It's amazing to see the shock that a client has when a trusted REALTOR advices to 'hold-off selling." As if they have seen a real live miracle happen. What's interesting is that many of us who have been building our practice for a long time, have come accross this situation and given this advice many a times.

Every time that I have done it (the most recent 4 months ago), I was thanked for my ethics and forethought.

To me its common sense. Then again, common sense is not common.

May 03, 2009 09:08 AM
Jim Valentine
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Gardnerville, NV

Gary,  Great advice!  It takes a good agent to show how they can keep their home instead of simply listing and selling it to feather your own nest.  If they want to keep it I believe it is our job to do what we can to help them stay in it.  You have many very good ideas that I will use to that end.  Thank you for the information.

May 03, 2009 10:57 AM
Harrison Painter
GoGladiator Media - Carmel, IN
New Media Consultant

Gary, it is so refreshing to see the ethicals stories of Realtors who really are working in their client's best interest!

I have been called an idiot on more than one occasion for not taking a listing, or refusing to sell a home to a client I knew would end up in foreclosure a year down the road! My goal has always been to create life-long relationships, not what I call transactional relationships!

Keep up the great work, and keep fighting the good fight!

I look forward to your next post!

- Harrison


May 03, 2009 11:22 AM
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

Nice post today. so many people are hurting in this economy. Yes it often goes from bad to worse unfortunately.

Patricia Aulson/Portsmouth NH Real Estate

May 03, 2009 11:36 AM
Kathleen Lordbock
Keller Williams Realty Professionals - Baxter, MN
Keller Williams Realty Professionals

Sometimes that best thing is not to sell -  not now.  Many people are in panic mode but are not really in desperate straights.  You are giving good advice on this  - that is what we should do , not talk everyone into selling when there are other viable options.

May 03, 2009 11:56 AM
Kathy Knight
Intracoastal Realty Corp - Wilmington, NC

Great Blog Gary and some really good suggestions.  Sell stuff.  Good Idea...

May 03, 2009 12:19 PM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Lots of good advice here and there are some ways to keep things from going from bad to worse.

May 03, 2009 12:21 PM
Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528
Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956 - New City, NY
Real Estate Salesperson

How refreshing to have a realtor who thinks first of the good of his client.  I'm sure you bought his loyalty for life.  And in todays economic times we can all do with a reminder to adjust to the times and pare down our standard of living before things go from bad to worse.

May 03, 2009 03:01 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Gary, This is great advice for consumers. I hope things will improve in your market area.

May 03, 2009 11:15 PM
Larry Bettag
Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001 - Saint Charles, IL
Vice-President of National Production

Nice...really nice.  It's too bad that people get in these sits, but it is great for them to have an agent who does care. 

May 04, 2009 01:13 AM
Chuck Carstensen
RE/MAX Results - Elk River, MN
Minnesota/Wisconsin Real Estate Expert

When you mention TOYS I am amazed at how many people rent an apartment but have snowmobiles, boats, dirt bikes, 4 wheelers...but no house.

May 04, 2009 01:39 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Gary - Congratulations on the feature.  You make excellent points.  Several months back, I had a past client who had run up debt on the house (in the form of a second mortgage).  I also suggested liquidating the RV, and other toys that had been purchased during that period.  The family was able to sell most of the toys, pay off the second.  They then went on to refinance the first, with a much lower interest rates, and are once again financially comfortable in their home.

May 04, 2009 03:45 AM
Kim Peasley-Parker
AgentOwned Realty, Heritage Group, Inc. - Sumter, SC

Good advice Gary.  So many people refinanced in the good years to buy those toys and now it is biting them in the behind.  Very good reminder for everyone.

May 04, 2009 10:18 AM