Monday, April 30, 2012

8 reasons FSBOs should list with a Realtor

Ask yourself: What would Colby Sambrotto do?

Can you explain why it's smarter for a potential home seller to list with you, a real estate agent, as opposed to attempting a for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) deal? Showing the FSBO the value you bring to the transaction may be much easier than you realize.
Many real estate experts thought the Internet would result in more people being able to successfully sell their home without a real estate agent.
The exact opposite has happened. According to research from the National Association of REALTORS®' latest Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, FSBOs accounted for 10 percent of sales in 2011, down from 14 percent in 2003 and 2004.
Nearly half of FSBO sales were intrafamily transfers or other situations where the sellers already knew the buyers. Only 6 percent of 2011 sales were FSBO transactions in which the seller did not know the buyer.

Here are some of the key factors that deter most homeowners from selling without an agent.
1. The decline of print advertising as a major lead generator
In the past, newspaper ads would produce a fair number of calls on FSBOs. Today, a three-line ad in the local newspaper has little chance of competing with the wide array of information online, including video, color photos, 360-degree virtual tours, and a wealth of community and lifestyle data.
2. Buyers seek rich content
IDX and VOW solutions,, Trulia and Zillow provide access to virtually all the listings in most market areas. Most buyers comb these major sites simply because it's more efficient than searching for single properties.
3. Instant gratification
A third problem for FSBOs is that people who surf the Web usually are seeking instant gratification. In fact, most visitors will only visit a website once and stay for 15-30 seconds. If the FSBO has no strategy for capturing the lead's contact information or for immediately following up, the lead moves on to the next website. Even if the Web lead does contact the FSBO, unless the buyer gets back to the FSBO quickly, that lead is gone.
4. Buyers want the savings
Even for those who do search for FSBOs, most buyers automatically deduct 6 percent from the sales price because they want the savings in their pockets, not the seller's. The result is that many FSBOs end up selling for up to 20 percent less on average as compared with sellers who hire a Realtor.
5. The needle-in-the-haystack effect
A major challenge for FSBOs is the needle-in-the-haystack nature of the Web. There are millions of websites including the hundreds of thousands of company and agent sites. Without search engine optimization, meta tags and a host of other branding strategies to achieve high Web placement, the probability of the Web buyer finding the FSBO's single listing online is small.
Of course, the buyer could post on sites such as, ByOwnerMLS, or utilize the "Make Me Move" feature on Zillow. The challenge is that unless the buyer specifically wants to purchase a FSBO, it's much more efficient to search on the brokerage or MLS sites.
The FSBO could also put his home on Craigslist. There are two challenges, however. First, the FSBO has to repost the ad regularly for it to appear near the top where it can be found. Second, there have been so many rental scams and unsavory people using that site to identify targets for possible criminal activity that listing there could be a major safety issue.
6. Web leads are reluctant to share contact information
Another issue FSBOs must face is that most Web buyers are reluctant to provide contact information to a stranger, especially during the search process. Instead, buyers identify homes they want to see and then normally contact a single agent who can show them everything they want to see, not just a single home.
7. Availability for showings
Because FSBOs don't have lockboxes, that means the FSBO will need to be present for every showing. There are numerous challenges with this situation, the most important of which is safety. Is the person who wants to see your house legitimate or not? Even if you accept an offer from a potential buyer, how do you know whether the person meets the income and credit requirements to close the deal?
8. The proof is in the pudding
Here's a great closing question for sellers who believe that becoming a FSBO is a smart move. Did you know that Colby Sambrotto, founder of, which is one of the most popular and robust FSBO sites on the Web, ended up listing his home with an agent AND paying a full commission?
If he couldn't get the job done for himself using his website, how effective do you think this approach will be in getting your home sold for the highest possible price in the shortest amount of time?
The climate has never been better for prospecting FSBOs. If you haven't considered adding this valuable niche to your business, there's no better time than right now.

Friday, April 20, 2012

How to keep tree roots out of sewer line

Solution is simple but takes elbow grease By Barry Stone

DEAR BARRY: Roots have been getting into the main sewer line in our front yard. The only nearby tree belongs to our neighbor, and he definitely wants to keep it. Our plumber says the roots will eventually do major damage to the line. If we sell the home, this will probably have to be disclosed to buyers. Is there any way to solve this problem? --Christine
DEAR CHRISTINE: The solution involves some hard work but is actually quite simple. The tree roots that grow toward the sewer line should be cut as close to the property line as possible. If you can dig a trench along the fence line, all of the roots that cross the trench can be severed. Before refilling the trench, ask the people at your local nursery about products you can bury that will retard root growth in the direction of your sewer line.
DEAR BARRY: For the past six years, the board of directors of our condo association has been dragging its feet on major repairs, including water damage and mold. Each homeowner has been assessed an additional $3,600 in the past two years, yet nothing gets done. We would like to sell our unit, but until these repairs are completed, this may be impossible. What, if anything, can be done to get the HOA to act? --Deb
DEAR DEB: Your condo association may be overdue for new leadership. In the meantime, members of the community should assert themselves. Since the unrepaired defects affect a number of the owners, and since all residents have been assessed thousands of dollars for repairs, a joint demand for immediate repair work seems reasonable.
The HOA should provide an accounting of the moneys that have been collected, as well as specific plans for making repairs. If the HOA has sufficient funds in the account, it is time to hire contractors or to set specific dates when repairs will commence. If the board continues to delay, homeowners should hire an attorney to address them in a more convincing manner. Perhaps there should be a general meeting of all owners, rather than a closed meeting of the board. Talk this over with your neighbors and see if they are willing to take a stand.
DEAR BARRY: Before buying our home, we asked our home inspector about the black mold on the bedroom walls. He said we should remove it with bleach solution before repainting. Since then, we've learned that the mold is probably inside of the walls as well and that the drywall should be replaced. If our inspector had told this to us, we would have asked the seller to make the repairs. What do you think about our inspector's advice? --Janie
DEAR JANIE: Home inspectors should not advise buyers about methods of mold removal. Environmental hazards such as mold are actually outside the scope of a standard visual inspection. However, when home inspectors see evidence of possible mold infection, they should recommend consulting a mold expert for further evaluation. If your inspector gave you advice regarding mold removal, he overstepped the limits of his profession.
To write to Barry Stone, please visit him on the Web at

Thursday, April 19, 2012

4 life lessons grandpa taught me

Book Review: 'No One Ever Told Us That: Money and Life Letters to My Grandchildren' By Tara-Nicholle Nelson

Book Review
Title: "No One Ever Told Us That: Money and Life Letters to My Grandchildren"
Author: John Spooner
Publisher: Business Plus, 2012; 288 pages; $12.99
Over Easter weekend, I visited my grandma, whose birthday was the same week. As always, I was struck by her effortless, ingrained systems and sense of order, even when it comes to the basic details of managing life and home.
I got there the Thursday before Easter and sat down to dinner with her and my dad, who promptly started grumbling about the lack of tomatoes on the table. (Note: Children can be spoiled well into their 60s.) My grandma said, "Well, I didn't make it to the store. But it's time to put my own in the ground. You know, my mama always had us plant the tomatoes on Good Friday." She has similar mental calendars for everything from having your drapes cleaned to getting the house painted, having the windows washed and planting the annuals.
My contemporaries and I are inclined to bristle at such a rigid set of rules about what things you should do and when you should do them. And, when it comes to finances, some tenets of earlier generations' belief systems have been rendered obsolete (when someone mentioned pension plans that same weekend, I pointed out that other than government employees, I don't even know anyone whose company offers a true, company-paid pension plan).
That said, a number of the financial and other standards of our grandparents' time actually, well, work. For example, I'll never forget how happy my grandma was when she paid off her house at a time when the zeitgeist tended to prioritize refinancing ad infinitum and to teach that it was OK -- actually, desirable -- to have mortgage debt until the day you die.
Apparently, there's something to the saying that we live and we learn.
In an effort to impart and preserve his own life-earned wisdom on a variety of topics for his posterity and their peers, famous financial adviser John D. Spooner has just published a set of pithy, powerful missives in a collection titled, "No One Ever Told Us That: Money and Life Letters to my Grandchildren" (Business Plus, 2012).
Here are four of Spooner's dozens of lessons, which are literally written into letters addressed to his two currently college-aged grandchildren, organized as two- to three-page chapters on a specific subject, each summed up with a powerful mantra and takeaway at the end.
1. Everything you can own will fluctuate in value. Spooner repeatedly references the challenges involved with making smart real estate decisions and the risks involved if you don't. Not only does he encourage his grandkids (and readers) to take 30-year mortgages if and when they buy their own homes, he also relates his own experience with real estate investing (which, by the way, turned him into a die-hard stock investor).
He reminds readers several times, with several examples, that real estate -- and any other asset you might ever hope increases in value -- will fluctuate in value, cyclically.
Spooner uses this lesson to illustrate the cyclical nature of even nonfinancial areas of life. But ultimately, he does a very effective job of making the simple, yet fundamental, point that nothing only ever goes up.
2. Bite the bullet early. Spooner tells readers that when they have a problem or have made a mistake, they would do well to jump on these problems as quickly as possible. Rectifying mistakes and addressing even tough problems immediately will save undue stress and sleepless nights -- a lesson Spooner says it took him untold insomniac years to figure out.
3. Don't be a headline reader. While it's important to be aware of issues affecting the global economy, Spooner encourages his grandchildren not to become fixated on media headlines. The anxiety they create can be paralyzing. He advises readers to instead spend their time actually being engaged in the world, in business and in life. That way, he says, they are much more likely to achieve their dreams, no matter what others, the markets or the newspapers say.
In a similar vein, Spooner elaborates elsewhere in the book on how to deal with market fads and trends.
4. You cannot go it alone. This is a theme Spooner returns to over and over again during the book. With his advice on how to select advisers like attorneys and brokers, how to pick whom to marry, how to meet and engage with your local business network and mentors, even how to cultivate friendships, Spooner spends much more time than you might expect in a money book exploring and encouraging interpersonal relationships.
The book's theme might be largely financial, but its tone and range of subject matter is the whole-life advice that any deeply loving grandparent would give if they were a maven on financial markets, had achieved great success in business and were still happily in love with their wife after decades and decades.
Spooner has lots to say. And it's really good: If you ask me, this book should be the graduation gift of the year. Some of his points are less revolutionary than others, but all are potentially life-changing and well-illustrated with Spooner's own life experiences, mistakes and wins from which he garnered the lesson he provides in each letter.
Tara-Nicholle Nelson is author of "The Savvy Woman's Homebuying Handbook" and "Trillion Dollar Women: Use Your Power to Make Buying and Remodeling Decisions." Tara is also the Consumer Ambassador and Educator for real estate listings search site Ask her a real estate question online or visit her website,

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

6 signs a home will hold its resale value

Buying at a low price does have a downside

Most buyers have a wish list of features they'd like to have in a home. Often missing from that list is how salable the home will be when they later decide to sell.
Generally, buyers deal indirectly with resale value. They want a home they can buy at market value or less. They want to buy a home that will retain its value. They want to buy a home that will suit their needs. They want to buy a home they can make their own.
A listing that's priced low to sell fast may be one that will have good resale value only if you use this marketing strategy. The low price may offset an incurable defect, such as a location on a busy street.
There's nothing wrong with buying a home on a busy street as long as (1) you buy it at a price that reflects the location issue; (2) it suits your long-term needs; and (3) you understand that you will probably have to discount the price accordingly when you sell, depending on the market at the time.
In a hot seller's market, buyers are desperate to buy. They often overpay, and they are more likely to overlook defects that they would shun in a sour market.
Resale value has become a bigger issue since the housing recession began five years ago. Buyers are more cautious in their homebuying decisions. They don't want to buy just any home; they don't want to make a mistake and end up wanting to move in a slow market in which they might lose money.
The homes that hold their resale value well are the ones that appeal to a broad cross section of buyers; offer a good floor plan that works for different lifestyles; have a good amount of space but are not enormous and expensive to maintain; and exhibit a pride of ownership. They should also be in good condition.
Location is also a critical element of resale value. There are market niches that are always in demand, in both hot and soft markets. For example, there are always buyers for homes in the Rockridge neighborhood of Oakland, Calif., and the adjacent Elmwood neighborhood in Berkeley. Both are conveniently located to shops, cafés and a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) stop for easy commuting to work.
That's not to say that every listing in these areas sells quickly. To sell, it needs to be priced right for the market.
It's easier to recognize a home with good resale value in the current market than it was in the bubble market of 2005 and 2006 when virtually all homes sold in many areas. In a soft market, the homes that sell within 30 to 60 days are either good homes or good deals.
Ideally, you want to buy a home that has good resale value. Not one that's just a good deal. There's no urgency to buy now in many areas, although it would be nice to take advantage of record-low interest rates. But you shouldn't buy a home that won't work for you long term just to lock in a great interest rate.
Even though there are a lot of homes for sale on the market, in many areas there is a not a surplus of quality inventory on the market. One reason for the lack of quality homes on the market is that many sellers are waiting for a better time to sell. Another reason is that homes with good resale value don't tend to change hands that often.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Foreclosure activity hits lowest level since Q4 2007 (CHARTS)

RealtyTrac warns distressed-property 'dam ... will eventually burst'

Foreclosure filings hit their lowest level in more than four years in the first quarter, according to a report from foreclosure data aggregator RealtyTrac.
Default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions were filed on 572,928 properties in the first quarter, or one in every 230 U.S. housing units -- the lowest number of filings since fourth-quarter 2007, when 527,740 properties received filings.
Last quarter's foreclosure activity was down 2 percent from the fourth quarter and 16 percent from first-quarter 2011. March accounted for nearly 38 percent of the quarter's foreclosure activity, with 198,853 properties receiving filings. That was the lowest monthly total and the first under 200,000 since July 2007, the report said.
On an annual basis, foreclosure activity fell 17 percent in March.
"The low foreclosure numbers in the first quarter are not an indication that the massive reservoir of distressed properties built up over the past few years has somehow miraculously evaporated," said Brandon Moore, RealtyTrac's CEO, in a statement.
"There are hairline cracks in the dam, evident in the sizable foreclosure activity increases in judicial foreclosure states over the past several months, along with an increase in foreclosure starts in many judicial and nonjudicial states in March.
"The dam may not burst in the next 30 to 45 days, but it will eventually burst, and everyone downstream should be prepared for that to happen -- both in terms of new foreclosure activity and new short-sale activity."
States that use the nonjudicial foreclosure process lead the nationwide decline in foreclosure activity, RealtyTrac said. Those 24 states and Washington, D.C., saw foreclosure activity drop 8 percent from the fourth quarter and 28 percent from first-quarter 2011.
Several nonjudicial states saw significant year-over-year drops in activity in the first quarter: Arkansas (79 percent), Nevada (62 percent), Washington (55 percent), Arizona (41 percent), Texas (31 percent), and California (21 percent).
By contrast, foreclosure activity rose 8 percent quarter to quarter and 10 percent year over year in the 26 states that mainly use the judicial foreclosure process.
Judicial states that posted some of the biggest annual increases include Indiana (45 percent), Connecticut (38 percent), Massachussetts (26 percent), Florida (26 percent), South Carolina (26 percent), Pennsylvania (23 percent).

Source: RealtyTrac.
Foreclosure starts, which include default notices or scheduled auctions depending on the state, rose for the third straight month in March, up 7 percent from February, though still down 11 percent year over year.
Foreclosure starts increased on a monthly basis in 31 states, with the biggest jumps in Nevada (153 percent), Utah (103 percent), New Jersey (73 percent), Maryland (53 percent), and North Carolina (47 percent).

Nevada posted the nation's highest foreclosure activity rate last quarter, with one in 95 units receiving a filing -- a 62 percent year-over-year drop.
California had the second-highest foreclosure activity rate (1 in 103 units), followed by Arizona (1 in 106 units).

Top 10 states with the highest foreclosure rates

Area Foreclosure rate (Q1 2012)
U.S. 1 in 230 housing units
Nevada  1 in 95
California 1 in 103
Arizona 1 in 106
Georgia 1 in 119
Florida 1 in 123
Illinois 1 in 141
Michigan 1 in 162
Colorado 1 in 191
Utah 1 in 198
Wisconsin 1 in 206
Source: RealtyTrac
California metro areas accounted for 12 of the 20 metros with the highest foreclosure rates in the nationa in the first quarter, including eight of the top 10.

20 U.S. metros with the highest foreclosure rates

Metro area Foreclosure rate (Q1 2012)
Stockton, Calif. 1 in 60 housing units
Modesto, Calif. 1 in 60
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. 1 in 62
Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif. 1 in 63
Merced, Calif. 1 in 72
Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, Calif. 1 in 77
Bakersfield, Calif. 1 in 81
Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev. 1 in 82
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. 1 in 87
Visalia-Porterville, Calif. 1 in 89
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga. 1 in 90
Fresno, Calif. 1 in 92
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla. 1 in 95
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif. 1 in 97
Orlando-Kissimmee, Fla. 1 in 101
Rockford, Ill. 1 in 104
Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, Ill.-Ind.-Wis.  1 in 107
Chico, Calif. 1 in 111
Prescott, Ariz. 1 in 113
Santa Rosa-Petaluma, Calif. 1 in 113
Source: RealtyTrac.
From start to finish, the foreclosure process took an average of 370 days to complete nationwide, up from 348 days in the fourth quarter -- the highest average in the past five years, according to RealtyTrac.
Some key states are seeing foreclosure timelines decrease, however. In California, the average was 320 days, down from 352 days in the fourth quarter.
Colorado, Utah, Massachusetts, Nevada, Michigan and Maryland also saw declines.

The five states with the longest foreclosure timelines were New York (1,056 days), New Jersey (966 days), Florida (861 days), Illinois (628 days), and Maryland (618 days).

Friday, April 13, 2012

Misconceptions about 2 common real estate tax breaks

Misconceptions about 2 common real estate tax breaks

Some homeowners better off not taking home office deduction

One of the biggest financial advantages of owning a home is the mortgage interest deduction, but the amount many taxpayers submit is often greater than the allowed limit.
And, while home offices have become more popular because of convenience and the downturn in the economy, many homeowners may be better off not taking the deduction because of the depreciation recapture upon sale.
Both the mortgage interest and home office topics need to be double-checked before the April 17 deadline. Why April 17 this year instead of April 15? According to the Internal Revenue Service, taxpayers will have until Tuesday, April 17, to file their 2011 tax returns and pay any tax due because April 15 falls on a Sunday.
In addition, Emancipation Day, a holiday observed in Washington, D.C., falls this year on Monday, April 16. According to federal law, Washington, D.C., holidays impact tax deadlines in the same way that federal holidays do; therefore, all taxpayers will have two extra days to file this year.
Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Oct. 15 to file their 2012 tax returns. Remember that an extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay. You will owe interest on any past-due tax and you may be subject to a late-payment penalty if timely payment is not made.
In a recent column, we discussed the benchmark for the mortgage interest deduction is set at acquisition debt, which is the amount of debt in place when the home is acquired. For example, if you buy a $200,000 home with a $50,000 down payment, your acquisition debt is $150,000.
Many consumers stay in their homes for years, accumulate appreciation and then refinance to put a child through school, mom into a nursing home or attend a much anticipated family reunion. The new debt on the refinance will qualify as home acquisition debt only up to the amount of the balance of the old mortgage principal just before the refinancing.
For example, let's assume your home is now worth $300,000 and you need to take cash out for college tuition. The balance of your loan before you refinance is $135,000 and you take $100,000 "cash back" for a new loan balance of $235,000.
However, the maximum allowable mortgage interest deduction remains $135,000 -- the acquisition debt, not the bigger number from the refinance.
Another popular deduction that is often taken yet needs additional consideration is the home office deduction. It's relatively easy for taxpayers to deduct the cost of a home office. To qualify for a deduction, the space must be used exclusively and on a regular basis for either the entire business or its administrative and management activities.
If you are an employee, additional rules apply for claiming the home office deduction. For example, the regular and exclusive business use must be "for the convenience of your employer."
A home office deduction is comprised mainly of depreciation, utilities and insurance. For example, if a home has 2,500 square feet and the detached garage now deemed "the office" is 250 square feet, then 10 percent of the utilities and insurance are deductible.
The actual office depreciation is 10 percent of what would be a depreciation deduction if the entire home were being depreciated for tax purposes. (Depreciation is not allowed on a typical principal residence, so the square footage allotted to "residence" would not qualify.) Supplies and other expenses directly related to the home office are fully deductible.
However, all these benefits do come at a price. The tax law originally stated that if you sell your home at a gain, any depreciation for a home office will have to be "recaptured." That means that any profit on the business portion is taxable as capital gain.
On Dec. 23, 2002, the IRS issued new regulations concerning gain on home sales. As long as the home office was in the same structure and not separated from the home, only the depreciation taken for the home office after May 6, 1997, is subject to tax.
Still, that depreciation recapture amount could be a lot more than you expect. It may be worthwhile to simply work from home and not deem the space a "home office."

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mortgage rates retreat again

Purchase loan demand jumps ahead of FHA premium increases

Mortgage rates eased slightly this week, and demand for purchase loans picked up last week to the highest level in months ahead of a scheduled increase in FHA premiums, surveys show.
Freddie Mac's weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaging 3.98 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending April 5, down from 3.99 percent last week and 4.87 percent a year ago. Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages hit an all-time low in records dating to 1971 of 3.87 percent during the first three weeks of February.
Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.21 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last 3.23 percent last week and 4.1 percent a year ago. Rates on 15-year loans hit a low in records dating to 1991 of 3.13 percent during the week ending March 8.
For five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans, rates averaged 2.86 percent with an average 0.8 point, down from 2.9 percent last week and 3.72 percent a year ago. The five-year ARM hit a low in records dating to 2005 of 2.8 percent the week of Feb. 23.
Rates on one-year Treasury-indexed ARM loans averaged 2.78 percent with an average 0.6 point, unchanged from last week but down from 3.22 percent a year ago. Rates on one-year ARMs hit an all-time low in records dating to 1984 of 2.72 percent during the week ending March 1.
A separate survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed applications for purchase loans climbing a seasonally adjusted 7.2 percent during the week ending March 30 compared to the week before, to the highest level since Dec. 2, 2011.
"Applications for government loans increased by more than 10 percent over the week, for both purchase and refinance, likely spurred by borrowers seeking to apply before scheduled increases in FHA mortgage insurance premiums at the beginning of April," said Michael Fratantoni, MBA's vice president of research and economics.
For case numbers assigned after April 9, the Federal Housing Administration is increasing upfront mortgage insurance premiums on most purchase loans from 1 percent to 1.75 percent of the base loan amount.
FHA's annual premiums are going up 10 basis points, bringing the annual premiums for 30-year loans with loan-to-value ratios (LTVs) exceeding 95 percent to 1.25 percent, and 1.2 percent for others. A basis point is one hundredth of a percent.
FHA is also exercising its statutory authority to charge an additional 25 basis points in annual premiums for loans exceeding $625,500 effective June 11. Borrowers taking out loans of that size with LTVs above 95 percent will pay annual premiums equal to 1.5 percent, while others in that category will pay 1.45 percent.
When all the changes are in place, a borrower taking out a $200,000 loan to buy a house with the minimum 3.5 percent down payment will pay an upfront premium of $3,500 instead of $2,000. Annual premiums will be about $2,500, up from $2,300 a year before the changes.
A borrower taking out a $650,000 loan with the minimum 3.5 percent down payment will pay an upfront premium of $11,375, up from $6,500. Annual premiums for that borrower will be $9,750, up from $7,475 a year.
The premium increases are expected to boost FHA's mutual mortgage insurance fund by $1 billion, Federal Housing Commissioner Carol Galante said in a March 27 blog post addressing recent speculation about whether FHA will require a taxpayer bailout.
In another move to protect the insurance fund, FHA has also proposed new rules for seller concessions that are expected to have the greatest impact in higher-cost markets.
Under the proposal, the current 6 percent cap would be replaced by a maximum allowable seller contribution $6,000 for homes priced at up to $200,000, and at 3 percent of the sales price or appraised value for higher priced homes.
So under the new rule, the maximum seller concession on a $300,000 home would be $9,000 -- 3 percent of the home price -- half of the $18,000 allowed under the current rule. Comments on the proposed final rule were due March 26.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have long limited seller contributions to 3 percent of the selling price, while the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs allows 4 percent.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Another home put under contract in Cherry hill

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128 Sharrowvale Road
Cherry Hill, NJ
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Clients moving on to a retirement and new buyer beginning a family

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4 BATHROOMS (4 full)

JUST REDUCED $15,000....and ready for a quick settlement.!!!!The Yard will capture your heart. Truly a park like setting in one of Cherry Hills most sought after neighborhood. This Split level Wyndmoor model is ready for you to make this house your home. The sellers have lived here for fifty two happy years and are looking forward to the next chapter in their lives. As you enter this home you will notice the open bright floor plan with plenty of sunshine. The main level in an open concept with a living/dining room with a beautiful fireplace and a glass wall of sliders over looking the tranquil yard, deck and patio. The eat in kitchen features…

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