Monday, March 30, 2009

It's a Good Thing your in Oklahoma!

Money Magazine, Forbes and Forturne Magazine voted Oklahoma number one as the most recession-proof state in the country, in 2008. "Good Thing You're in Oklahoma" campaign is making sure buyers and sellers know about not missing this opportunity to buy or sell here in our great state.

The Oklahoma Association of Realtors felt the national media was drowning the public with depressing news of the housing market. "Real estate is local". Could one person in the U.S. tell another person, that the temperature across the entire country is 92 degrees in every state? No, they can't... It's going to be different temperatures, in different states and cities across the Country. So, the OAR came up with a logo... "Good Thing You're in Oklahoma".

In a nutshell, the Oklahoma housing market remains stable. So call the office today if your thinking of buying or selling. I can prepare a brokers opinion for your real estate information that fits your local market.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

To Blog or Not to Blog...

Okay, for fun right? I do like the idea of putting my thoughts and thank you's for real estate out there, so that it might help my customers or maybe help the next customer.

But, how do I accomplish this? Facebook, active rain, ecademy, linkedin, twitter? I am out there, but... I like this blog. My web site designer has been "evolving" my web site since it's conception. He's great! I couldn't have an internet presence without him. I was afraid my competitors would have an edge. But, I have learn I have to share, and this is the portal he has chosen for me. My fellow realtors will find me... and I hope you found me here too!

I have discovered, (or resolved), myself that.. I am, and will always be, the 'little fish' in the big sea of real estate. I do enjoy making my customers happy. I do like to work one on one and handle the entire transaction. I know what's going on ... and, SO MUCH CAN GO ON in a purhcase. My customers need me! They need information and they become my friends... I am so please when they are content and excited with their new purchase that I want to express a thank you.

So, THANK YOU! I hope you find my 'blog' amusing and helpful when you need it. There's always more to come!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Short Sell, Refinance, Bankruptcy, But Try Not to Lose Your Home

Short Sell, Refinance, Bankruptcy, But Try Not to Lose Your Home

What are the options, should you find yourself on the verge of getting a foreclosure notice? You'll know it's inevitable... for some reason you have gotten behind in payments and/or have decided to let the home go back to the lender. First, if you have gotten behind, you should resist the feeling of trying to avoid the situation. If you want to truly keep your home... you should be proactive to try to work out new terms with your lender. What is hard to understand is... the puzzlement of how to accomplish this.

To try to keep your home... you must call your bank, your mortgage broker, or the servicing company. Find out who to talk/write to before much time passes. Time cost you accruing interest and penalties through the non-payment that you owe on your past due loan. The bank, who now owns your loan, will/may have a REO/Acquisitions department. This department will want everything in writing, and every page/document you send in will need the name of the homeowner and account number written on each page. This department will need/require a letter of hardship stating why you can't pay... how this situation came about, etc. Be detailed. Keep copies of every piece of documentation you send. Try to get a refinancing at a lower rate or some type of re-structure plan. The REO department will also require 2 years of your tax returns, 3 months of bank statements, 3 months of pay stubs, each month for as long as it takes... three, six to nine months of this. Then, they will tell you that you MAY be eligible for a short sale and not a refinance.

A short sale is when the lender agrees to take less that is owed on the home. They will tell you to get a Realtor to list the real estate. Now, here's a little bit on that part. You need to find an experienced Realtor to list. REO companies have the control to cut the Realtors commissions for all the hard, agonizing, professional work to get the Real Estate to a successful closing. Realtors only get paid if the short sale closes... and very few get to closing. Why do they not make it to closing? Well...

1. The seller owes more than the home is worth.
2. The seller has little equity in the home and can't pay the Realtors commissions.
3. The seller gives up on all the repetitive documentation the lender requires from the seller each month that passes. (the REO/acquisition department may ask for new letter of hardship, new pay stubs. They will not take copies stating nothings changed.

Okay... lets say you have some equity in you home, and have enough funds to pay a Realtor... if you close. The Realtor must list your property with your approval from the lender... There are over 100 items required to list one, normal property. A listing in distress of foreclosure proceedings, has many more steps. The Realtor must provide, for this type of short sale listing, a BPO, three comparison sales for the house, and three active listings for your home, in hopes of selling it. The Realtor must also provide detailed photos of the home, inside and out, and must provide a number of other documents to the lender, as well as working with the homeowner every 3 weeks, for sometimes months. All this with no guarantee that the seller will not quit on them and will move forward with the short sale. Sometimes that means the seller bringing money to the closing table.

Now you may understand why you have to have the numbers to make a short sale work and... the dedication to stay with it for yourself, as well as the Realtor, that will not get paid unless you continue to follow through with all the documentation the lender will require.

Other Potential Solutions can possibly include:

1. Negotiating a loan modification.
2. Refinancing the loan.
3. Listing the home as discussed above.
4. Selling the home to an investor on your own.
5. Declaring bankruptcy.

Click on link below to for more information

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Chasing the Market

Chasing the Market by Paul Pastore

Have you ever seen a dog chasing after a car? To a sadist, it might seem very funny. No matter how fast the dog runs, it will never catch the car. The dog will never slow the car down. And, the dog will never bite a moving tire. What must the dog be thinking?

Today, many sellers are running after the market, the same way dogs chase vehicles. What are these sellers thinking? Their home is the only castle for sale? Buyers will love the scent of their lilac bushes so much that it will temporarily cause them to forget the competition? Is it possible the smell of fresh baked bread will cause a buyer to pay yesterday's price in today's market?

In my opinion, it is imperative for a seller to price their property 10% below market in order to sell promptly and avoid being left in the long line of expired listings. It may be an election year, but it will be a long wait for the inventory levels to decrease to a balanced market.

There is a Turkish proverb that says, "No matter how long you are traveling down the wrong road, when you figure it out, turn around." Overpricing is a two-edge sword. If a property is receiving little activity, it is overpriced. Or, if a property is receiving adequate activity, but no offers; it is also overpriced. The latter problem is called "always the bridesmaid, never the bride."

By suggesting a seller has an overpriced property, the real estate agent runs the risk of being the messenger that gets shot. Courageous agents tell the truth. Cowardly agents hope the overpriced property will generate sign or ad calls while the seller reduces the price and stigmatizes the property with additional days on the market. Say's law says, "No good or service will remain chronically unsold, as long as prices remain flexible." The next time you see a dog chasing a car, hopefully, it will remind you of the futility of chasing a declining real estate market.

About the Author: About the Author: Paul Pastore, ABR,CRS,CRB,G.R.I.,MRE,e-pro,RECS, is with ReMax Elite in Chandler Arizona. He has been serving the East Valley area of Phoenix since 1977. Paul can be reached at, 480.603.3800, or via e-mail at

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What determines your Credit Score?

The Federal Trade Commission recommends that consumers check their credit reports and FICO scores annually to make sure they are accurate. Each of the three major credit reporting agencies produce its own credit score.

The factors that have the greatest affect on your credit score are payment history and amounts owed. So, pay your bills on time and don't use too much of your available credit.

The length of your credit history accounts for about 15 percent of your credit score. That's why a teen, just out of high school has a hard time with first big purchases. Roughly 10 percent is based on recent credit events. This includes new accounts and how many inquiries have been made for new credit.

Another 10 percent is based on types of credit such as credit cards, retail accounts, loans, finance companies and mortgages. The complexity of the scoring system is tough to understand. Keep in mind that if your rejected for credit, you have a right to know the reason why within 30 days.

The major Credit Reporting Companies are: