What is PITI in Your Home Loan Documentation?

Hey all – Here is another timely article from Joel McDonald, a real estate broker from Colorado, and owner of a large Boulder, Colorado, real estate firm. The PITI information is something you really need to know when p purchasing a home, particularly if you are a first time home buyer. Enjoy! Kent

Whenever you are involved with the purchase or sale of real property, there are many terms and definitions that you should know. Although it’s not practical for the average buyer or seller to learn them all, there are some that you should become familiar with for your own benefit and PITI is one of them. Here is a short explanation of the term.

P Is for Principal
The principal is the actual amount that you are borrowing from the lending institution in order to buy the property. This figure varies from one scenario to another depending on how much you put down on the home and how much you actually end up borrowing. The principal is almost always the biggest portion of the PITI total.

I Is for Interest
As with any transaction in which you borrow or pay over time, you are charged interest. This is the amount the lender earns from you as the price of loaning you the sum you need, based on the time value of money. It is expressed in percentages. Based on the terms you have, the interest rate can remain at a fixed percentage of the loaned amount for the entire term of the loan or it can vary, meaning it can be changed by published standard rates and other factors.

T Is for Taxes
Even when you are buying real estate, you can’t get away from paying taxes to Uncle Sam. Taxes on real estate typically go to local government jurisdictions to help education and infrastructure operate. The tax revenues collected from homeowners help medical facilities, recreational centers, local schools and other public facilities serve the residents. The taxes are usually included with your monthly mortgage payment and are prorated each month. The lender passes the tax share to your government authority.

The Other I Is for Insurance
You don’t want to own a home without being adequately insured. Your home is your largest investment and a good insurance policy is essential for your family’s protection. Depending on what your home is worth and where you live, there are various insurance policies from which you can select. The choices that are available to you will vary depending on how much you put down on a property. If you put down of less than 20 percent, lenders require that you buy a certain kind of policy that covers them so they get their money if something happens to your home or if you are foreclosed. Similar to the way it is with taxes, these payments are usually added in with your monthly mortgage payment as well.

This article was provided by Automated Homefinder, Colorado’s top Boulder real estate professionals.

Foreclosure Sizzlers

Happy new week all! This Foreclosure article concerns me. Not because it’s a bad article, but, because many now think they can go find a foreclosure and get in a bidding war on the home! Hello…. – this is how we got in trouble in the first place – folks going crazy on the issue of supply and demand – trying to outbid someone for another home. Read the article with this advice – don’t assume a foreclosure is priced cheaply… More on that later. Enjoy!

Foreclosure properties have become hot commodities in the current market. So hot, they are sparking bidding wars between first time buyers and real estate investors. There is a huge inventory of unsold homes, all throughout the U.S., and foreclosures are on the rise.

It’s becoming more common to see multiple offers on the same properties as buyers zero in on the bargains offered by distressed properties. This is especially prevalent in California, Arizona, and metro Washington, D.C. and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Even though there is a large inventory of foreclosures, the quality properties, still in relatively good condition, and in the $300,000 price range are going fast. It’s not uncommon for first time buyers to be repeatedly outbid by investors who show up with cash for these lower priced bargains.

There are still a number of markets with an large excess of inventory. Areas especially struggling with empty condos and vacant homes include South Florida and New York City. In Manhattan housing inventory has increased 32.5% giving them a 14 months supply, where most other areas have finally begun declining in numbers. In addition, banks have been backlogged with unresolved foreclosures, and many of these are expected to flood the market within the next few months. Lower than normal advertised prices of these homes sets a standard for the entire market, artificially lowering the price of regular homes.

The States with the highest foreclosure levels include California, Arizona, Nevada, Florida and Michigan. Most buyers are sorting through these types of listings first, leaving owners of regular properties waiting on the sidelines, refusing to slash their prices to compete with the banks. In Sacramento, CA, alone, two-thirds of March real estate sales were foreclosures. This represents about a one month supply of inventory before delving into non-bank owned properties which are 8 times higher in availability.

Sometimes a bank has held onto a property long enough and will cut the price drastically. Such was the case with a Norwich, Conn. duplex where the price was reduced to $73,900 from $144,900, prompting five offers. How does the regular guy down the street trying to sell his home compete with that?

Cherie Hunt of Prudential California Realty cites a recent case in West Sacramento where her buyer won against two other bidders for a three-bedroom home. They agreed to pay almost $220,000, which was almost $10,000 over the asking price. The same home sold for $405,000 in 2005.

Unfortunately this type of buying is having an opposite effect on some purchasers who after being out bid after offering tens of thousands of dollars over the asking price, are now throwing up their hands in frustration – swearing off bank-owned properties. Many get caught up in the bidding and pay more than the property is worth.

Ronald Peltier, chief executive of HomeServices of America Inc. claims this type of action is a good thing, claiming “We do need to flush out the distressed inventory, before the rest of the market can stabilize.”

It seems that the real winners are those who have the patience to wait for the right deal to come along and not get sucked into the competition of bidding.

Begin your search for Montgomery County MD real estate at LaurenKlineRealEstate.com. Her team will help you find the perfect Rockville MD real estate.

Article Source:http://www.articlesbase.com/real-estate-articles/foreclosure-sizzlers-884574.html

Vital Pieces of Your Foreclosure Rights

Happy Weekend all! Here is a good piece on knowing your Foreclosure Rights. It is always good to consult with foreclosure professionals if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation. Good reading!

Lots of things bear on your foreclosure rights and exactly how your foreclosure plays out overall. The foreclosure laws that rule your state, where you are at in your timing, who your bank is, what is occurring for you personally involving your finances. But the critical thing to think of is that all through all of it, you have options. You get to resolve what you are prepared to do and what you are not prepared to do. What you resolve to do and not settle to do make an affect on how matters work out for you.

This all begins before any foreclosure paperwork is even registered. It starts when that beginning payment is neglected. Some would contend that it commences the day that you closed on your house, specially if it was really a house which you could not afford. But heedless when or the way it led off, you are in the center of foreclosure and you need a way out.

Precisely like the way the selections you made landed you into the position you are, the selections that you make from this stage forward will control how your foreclosure turns out. One of the great rights in a foreclosure which you have some control over is the method by which you terminate it. What your individual position is dictates some of how matters go and what your bank is fit to offer you. However you do get rights when it gets to this point.

In several areas you get a right to cure your loan. This means that you pay back your bank all of the costs required to get your loan current. You can as well just work with your lender straight off to create this to take place. That is what I did with my house equity loan. This is forever an option with any bank so make sure that you consider the way this could work for you.

With the advent of President Obama’s foreclosure plan, you also have foreclosure rights if your home is worth less than what you presently owe on it and/or if 31 percent or more of your income goes to mortgage payments each month. Depending on who your loan is held by, this could be a terrific way to induce your monthly payments to be lowered. Not all mortgage companies are involved to help you with this program so be certain to ask your lender if they are providing help to homeowners with this program.

Some other important things to consider about your rights in a foreclosure are timing and the laws in your state. These two things go hand in hand as the timing of your foreclosure depends on the laws in your state. Understanding how the timing works in your state and where you are in the process is vital to knowing what your options are at any given point in your foreclosure. Knowing what the laws are in your state is also important to being sure that you can stop your foreclosure.

Getting informed about your foreclosure rights can go a long way in helping you figure out a way to stop it. Knowledge is power and knowledge gives you options, opening paths for you that you were not even aware were available to you. Find out more about those paths at http://www.Stopping-Home-Foreclosure.com/ForeclosureRights.html

Article Source:http://www.articlesbase.com/real-estate-articles/vital-pieces-of-your-foreclosure-rights-883169.html

Purchase Foreclosure Homes- A Real Estate Investment Opportunity

Howdy all! Here is a good article on Purchasing Foreclosure Homes. These are great times to be looking at purchasing a foreclosure or REO property. Enjoy!

The current economic scenario has created an increase in mortgage defaults which has put forth numerous foreclosed properties on the real estate listings. Thus, today purchasing a foreclosed property seems to be an ideal investment if you wish to make investment in real property.

Real estate is basically defined as immovable property such as land and the other properties attached to it such as buildings and houses. In legal terms it is also known as real property. The investment in the real estate to a large extent depends upon its opportunity cost i.e. the investment in the next best alternative opportunity. These help to earn rental income and can also be used as collateral security in case you want to sanction a loan.

Foreclosed properties being an essential part of the real estate have their own set of advantages.

- Tax Deductions- The cost of repairs and maintenance on buildings are subject to tax deduction.

- Better business opportunity- These prove to be better investment ventures as they can be availed at prices below the usual market rates.

Different foreclosure processes have their own advantages.

BANK FORECLOSURES- These includes the properties which have been returned to the lender (i.e. the bank) due to non payment of mortgage. Now, since they want to get rid of these troubled properties, they offer them at attractive discounts. This proves out to be a golden opportunity for the investors intending to invest in real estate.

GOVERNMENT FORECLOSURES- The loans that the government issues, if these are defaulted, then the government pays them off and the property is repossessed by it. These foreclosed properties can be purchased like any other property but there are specific guidelines and laws that need to be followed.

FORECLOSURE AUCTIONS- If you are pre qualified with adequate finance, then you can be in a good position to put forth your bid to purchase foreclosure properties at an auction. These auctions provide you with a good platform where you can own a nice house that would not require all of your savings to be spent. Just prior to the auction you can even enter into a pre foreclosure process that may help to increase your savings further.

Myself webmaster of http://www.lendermustsell.com – A source for buying foreclosure homes where you can purchase foreclosure properties ,find foreclosed homes listing , bank owned foreclosed properties and Bank foreclosed homes.

Article Source:http://www.articlesbase.com/real-estate-articles/purchase-foreclosure-homes-a-real-estate-investment-opportunity-883994.html

Online listing- Best way to find foreclosure properties

Happy Monday all! ;-) Here is a solid arcticle on how to find on-line listings. You may have noticed the recent addition to my site showing free foreclosure listings I think it’s a good time to look at foreclosure listings as the REO market in some areas is stabilizing, and there is a huge supply of bank-owned homes in many markets right now. Enjoy.

Are you well aware of the benefits associated with foreclosed properties? Have you made the final decision of buying foreclosed real estates but are confused about where to search foreclosure properties? If you wish to search foreclosure property, there are a large number of choices available. The primary key to search foreclosed property is through the medium of lis pendens lists, direct mail, friends, newspapers, real estate agents, lending institutions, real estate offices and not to forget the World Wide Web.

The Internet serves as a great destination to search foreclosure properties. There are various foreclosure listing portals available on the net that help the interested buyers to know the rates, location, neighborhood area, infrastructural details and see pictures of the search foreclosure properties available.

It has been observed that searching through these online listings is by far the easiest and comfortable way to search foreclosed property from the comforts of one’s home. As there are various listing sites that offer subscriptions to the interested users, it is always a wise option to ask for a free trail once in order to see the current search foreclosure property listings available.

Direct mail is another exceptional method to search foreclosure properties. This is due to the fact that the interested buyer can actually talk to the individual who is in the pre-foreclosure phase and can give tips regarding how to negotiate for nice discount on foreclosure properties. Newspapers are yet another place to search foreclosed property. It has been laid in the law that all states are needed to post public notification of auction in some or the other local newspaper for all the foreclosed properties available. This way, the interested buyers can look up at these notifications and then send the letter or call them.

Needless to say, real estate agents also serve as a great way to search foreclosure property. Generally, banks which end up with the foreclosure real estates hire these agents to represent them as the financial institutions are not in the business of foreclosure and are just concerned about the lending procedures. Also, as these agents have links with banks and other foreclosure property holders, they can offer great services of providing the best possible foreclosure deal to the interested buyers.

Myself webmaster of http://www.lendermustsell.com – A source of bank foreclosure houses where you can search foreclosed property and purchase foreclosure homes & properties.

Article Source:http://www.articlesbase.com/real-estate-articles/online-listing-best-way-to-find-foreclosure-properties-875127.html

How to Buy a Foreclosure

Happy Weekend all. Here is another good article on foreclosures. Do you want to take advantage of the current glut of REO homes on the market? There is good info. in here if you do. The main thing to do when considering a foreclosure is go above and beyond on your research. Know what you’re getting in to before you buy it.

As anyone with even passing familiarity with national news headlines is aware, the number of foreclosures taking place on a daily basis has shattered all previous records. While this is obviously a calamity for the homeowners losing their homes, it’s also a devastating situation for lenders who can’t afford to take so many REO properties back into their inventories. For real estate investors that know how to capitalize on this opportunity it is an unprecedented opportunity for profit – and a chance to help others at the same time. Here are three ways you can take advantage of the opportunities available in today’s red-hot foreclosure market:

• Foreclosure – Once a homeowner has defaulted on their mortgage loan, they’ve begun the countdown to foreclosure. At this stage, the homeowner has faced the reality that there’s a very strong possibility that they could lose their home. Some are holding out hope that a miraculous solution could materialize that will suddenly cure their financial problems, but many others are simply looking for a way out that will allow them to retain some of their dignity – and their credit rating.

A very good method of identifying these foreclosure opportunities is by scouring foreclosure filings and then contacting homeowners with a solution to their problems. You can approach homeowners in person, but a better way is to send a personalized letter explaining how you can help them and why you are the best person to help them out of their situation. You might give a brief explanation in your letter of how you propose helping them, but the most critical thing your letter MUST do is make a personal connection with the homeowner with a call to action. Ask them to contact you TODAY so you can explain all of the options available to the homeowner. Improve your chances of success with this strategy by following up with a phone call. Be relaxed, honest, and willing to help. The homeowner will appreciate your candor and will be much more willing to reward you with a go-ahead to help them.

• Post-foreclosure – Once the foreclosure is complete, the homeowner is out of the picture. Now the lender has an REO that they desperately need to get rid of – quickly. As a real estate investor, you’re in the unique position of being a solution to the lender’s REO problem. Lenders are saddled with so many REO properties that many of them are willing to discount them for as little as 40 to 50 cents on the dollar. Offers that lenders would have rejected with contempt a year or two ago are being accepted with gratitude today. So be professional – and ready to get a good deal. If you’d like free access to a tremendous resource in locating nationwide REOs and other bank-owned properties, go to www.REIconferences.com/resources.htm

• Pre-foreclosure – While I don’t teach pre-foreclosure strategies, some real estate investors have had success by trying to beat the competition to the punch and buying a distressed property before it shows up on foreclosure lists. There are several ways of doing this. One of the best is by advertising your willingness to purchase the home of a homeowner who may be facing foreclosure. Homeowners know before anyone that they’re in serious trouble, so if they’re facing an impending divorce, job loss, or payments they can’t afford, they know before they’ve even missed a payment that something needs to be done.

You can advertise for pre-foreclosures in the classified section of your newspaper, on bandit signs, or even Craig’s List. When these desperate homeowners contact you for solutions you can buy subject-to the existing financing, by utilizing partners, or even by doing a short sale. Your options are wide open. Listen to the needs of the homeowner and craft a solution that meets their needs – and funnels cash into your bank account!

Foreclosures are a tremendous way to build a portfolio of properties very quickly in today’s market. The opportunities are real – and the profits can allow you to generate instant equity and residual income that can help you make a generational shift in your family’s financial future.

For free tips, tools, and advice on how to capitalize on today’s foreclosure crisis, visit www.REIconferences.com.
Charrissa Cawley has a long standing reputation for excellence as a gifted speaker, real estate trainer and wealth coach. Her strength lies in training entrepreneurs in the areas of real estate, investing and financial literacy. Her passion is bridging the gap between learning and doing. She has helped thousands of entrepreneurs all over the world seeking financial growth by equipping them with the tools, resources and specialized knowledge to succeed. Charrissa offers accurate and proven strategies to investors of all different levels and is the founder of www.reiconferences.com, one of the fastest growing real estate investment training organizations in the US in addition to www.rewexclub.com, the top rated Real Estate Investor Community on the web today.

Charrissa Cawley has a long standing reputation for excellence as a gifted speaker, real estate trainer and wealth coach. She offers accurate and proven strategies to investors of all different levels and is the founder of www.reiconferences.com, one of the fastest growing real estate investment training organizations in the US in addition to www.rewexclub.com, the top rated Real Estate Investor Community on the web today.

Article Source:http://www.articlesbase.com/real-estate-articles/how-to-buy-a-foreclosure-872584.html

Need Help Buying a Home? 5 Critical Tips

Don’t let this down market fool you – many folks still need help buying a house. First time home buyers are notorious for making mistakes that cost them dearly in the long run. Here are 5 must-do strategies to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible on the home you may be buying.

1. Don’t let the realtor pre-sell you. I love realtors, but don’t assume the realtor is your best buddy – they are there to sell you a home. Maybe you really want a pool – never tell a realtor “we only want to look at homes with pools.” Why? Because a) You may find your dream home and it doesn’t have a pool; b) the realtor will leverage that against you. Yes – I said against you. Just keep it to yourself – the realtor does not have to know everything.

2. Know home values in the area before you make an offer. So, the seller is coming off his list price $12,000… he may have been $15,000 high to begin with. Do your homework – look at tons of MLS sheets and local flyers. Research your local Appraisal District. Simply put, place the burden on yourself to understand pricing in your market.

3. Don’t get sold on little features. Don’t major in the minors. So, the home has crown molding – don’t forget it needs $12,000 of new flooring – a far more important feature than crown molding. See No. 1 – never place too much emphasis on small features.

4. Be thick-skinned about offending someone. I say it again – don’t let a realtor control you or your situation. If you don’t like a home and you know it, tell the realtor, or owner “this one isn’t for me” and move on – quickly. More importantly – don’t worry about your offering price offending a seller or realtor. Don’t be afraid to ask for repairs to be made – in fact – demand it.

5. Let the appraiser be your friend. If you’re obtaining bank financing, you will most likely get to pay for an appraiser. Most are good and very knowledgable of their market. Take the appraisal report as good information, not as something that may “kill your deal”. You may disagree with the conclusion, but use it as good data for future reference, especially things like the square footage, flood information, etc.

In any market – up, down, or stagnant – new and experienced home buyers need helping buying a home. Do your research and be open to picking up new and old tips as you move toward buying a home.

Real Estate Investors CPR: 8 Effective Strategies for Avoiding Foreclosure

Hello all – Due to ongoing foreclosure issues facing us, I will be placing solid articles on various foreclosure topics here from time to time if I feel they will be beneficial. We are indeed in strange times now, but I think the market is stabilizing – hopefully it is.

Here is a good article on developing a strategy to avoid foreclosure and keep your home. In some instances, borrowers are so upside down, foreclosure is unavoidable, however, this is often not the case. Enjoy.

As a real estate investor, you’re constantly on the lookout for motivated sellers so you can acquire solid investment properties at steep discounts. You’ve gotten pretty good at picking a motivated seller out of a crowd – and you may even have a basic understanding of some foreclosure-avoidance strategies. However, when the person sitting on the hot-seat is you it can be very easy to get overwhelmed by your financial situation and forget what can be done in order to avoid foreclosure. First and foremost, don’t panic. It’s imperative that you keep your head screwed on straight so you can make sound business decisions. If you can keep your wits about you it’s possible to recover from this financial crisis and emerge on the other side in better shape than ever before. You’ll be a smarter investor, one who can think clearly even in the face of the most difficult circumstances. Here’s what you should do:

• Contact Your Lender Today – You have a much better idea of your situation than your lender does. Don’t wait until you’re several months behind on mortgage payments to pick up the phone. At the first sign of missing a pending mortgage payment, call your lender and let them know what’s going on. They’ll appreciate your candor – and they’ll be much easier to work with when you make the first call. It will also keep you in the driver’s seat, because your lender will realize that you’re a serious investor who truly wants to keep their property. This honesty can pay huge dividends because your lender will be much more likely to help you work through your financial difficulties. It could also delay further legal action on their part, which could buy you precious time to get caught up.

• Don’t Ignore Notices – Whatever you do, don’t bury your head in the sand and pretend this problem doesn’t exist. Take ownership of your real estate investing career by immediately reading all notices from your lender. Keep a file folder on your desk with a log of all paperwork received from your lender. Also document all telephone contact with your lender, including who initiated the call, with whom you spoke, and what was discussed.

• Know Your Rights – Read your loan documents carefully. You may have read them when you signed on the dotted line, but read them again. They explain in detail what your lender may do if you’re unable to make your payments. It’s also important that you refresh your memory about all applicable foreclosure laws in the state in which you live. www.mortgagelaw.org is a valuable compendium of information which explains the law and timetables of which you need to be aware. Knowledge is power – and you’ll need to muster all the power you can.

• Know and Understand all Available Options – While it’s important that you discuss your situation with your lender, you should also seek qualified outside help. Your lender will have foreclosure-avoidance strategies that they can explain in greater detail, but many of their strategies will protect their interests before yours. You can also receive free or low-cost loan counseling from HUD by visiting www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm

• Slash All Unnecessary Expenses – As a real estate investor you understand the importance of knowing and tracking all expenses. If you’re facing the possibility of foreclosure you need to take a close look at all of your expenses – personal and business – and eliminate all unnecessary items from your budget. Items that could very easily be eliminated include extra cell phones, cable or satellite television, eating out, etc. Go through all budget items line by line and cut the fat with the ruthless heart of a shrewd real estate investor. Remember, your survival could be on the line.

• Explore Utilizing Your Assets – What assets do you have that could generate fast cash? You may have a second vehicle, collectibles, extra furniture, or other items that you could get rid of. Clean out your garage and sell anything that you don’t need. Also look at your investments, although some may have tax implications. Weigh the pros and the cons and do what you think is right – after speaking with your accountant or tax advisor.

• Avoid the Sharks – At all costs, avoid the sharks. Everyone you encounter doesn’t have your best interests at heart – and some are sharply dressed con artists looking to swindle you out of your equity. True real estate investors are professionals who try to create win-win solutions, but when times get tough fast-talking criminals masquerading as real estate investors come out from underneath the rocks where they live and do their best to defraud as many hapless victims as possible. So be careful.

• Protect Your Primary Residence – While you’re a real estate investor and you want to do everything possible to protect your investments, remember that your primary residence shouldn’t be a pawn in a financial game of chess. Don’t jeopardize your home, regardless of how tempting it might be to do so. You don’t want to lose your investment to foreclosure, but it would be much better to let that happen than risk finding yourself living out of a cardboard box. You and your family deserve better. Protecting yourself from foreclosure can seem overwhelming. Remember, there are effective solutions available that can help you through the most difficult times. Real estate investing is still one of the best wealth creation strategies on the planet. Once you weather this financial storm you can recover and bounce back. Then you can pick up where you left off – as an investor in control of their destiny, creating solutions that will allow all of your real estate investing dreams to come true! Charrissa Cawley has a long standing reputation for excellence as a gifted speaker, real estate trainer and wealth coach. Her strength lies in training entrepreneurs in the areas of real estate, investing and financial literacy. Her passion is bridging the gap between learning and doing. She has helped thousands of entrepreneurs all over the world seeking financial growth by equipping them with the tools, resources and specialized knowledge to succeed. Charrissa offers accurate and proven strategies to investors of all different levels and is the founder of www.reiconferences.com, one of the fastest growing real estate investment training organizations in the US in addition to www.rewexclub.com , the top rated Real Estate Investor Community on the web today.

Charrissa Cawley has a long standing reputation for excellence as a gifted speaker, real estate trainer and wealth coach. She offers accurate and proven strategies to investors of all different levels and is the founder of www.reiconferences.com, one of the fastest growing real estate investment training organizations in the US in addition to www.rewexclub.com, the top rated Real Estate Investor Community on the web today.

Article Source:http://www.articlesbase.com/real-estate-articles/real-estate-investors-cpr-8-effective-strategies-for-avoiding-foreclosure-864669.html

Sell Your Home Quickly? Here’s How

Is there really a way to sell your home quickly in this market? You’ve been transferred, or worse, you’ve lost your job. You simply can’t afford your increasing mortgage payment anymore – you need to sell your home fast, as in yesterday fast, right? There is a process to sell your house quickly.

According to the National Association of Realtors home prices in the U.S. continue to fall, albeit at a slower decrease than in previous years. So, the first step of our 5 steps to a quick home sale is:

1. Be Realistic with your Price in a Down Market. This means everyone including you. Call a realtor active in your market right now. Tell him/her you need to sell your home quick and ask for a competitive market analysis (CMA) with this in mind – you need to sell your home within 60 days. Let them do their thing and get back to you. Also ask your realtor – what is a typical days on market (DOM) right now? In my market, it’s a stout 189 days (6 months) – so you must price your home accordingly for the house to sell fast!

2. Have a realtor friend or a knowldgable person go through your home with you and point out the Five Most Important Things you must do for this home to be more attractive. Don’t go crazy, but get yourself in gear and do the five things needed. Clean up your landscaping beds, paint that ugly bedroom a neutral color, get rid of that old couch, change out a broken light fixture. Again, be reasonable, but do it!

3. De-Clutter. This goes hand in hand with No. 2, but rent a mini-storage unit in your area, and clean your closets and junk out – right now! Get rid of seasonal clothes you don’t use. Get closets looking roomy, and get the garage straightened out.

4. Make sure your home information is correct. I provide a service teaching people how to measure their home for accurate square footage. Make sure your real estate taxes are current and there are no liens on the home. Find your old survey, or at least get a plat at your tax office. You don’t want slowdowns in critical areas like this.

5. Create a basic flyer for your home. List the square footage accurately, the bedroom and bath count. List everything you have done to the home in the past five years. Don’t wait for a realtor to do this for you – they may be too busy, or you may want to sell it yourself. Make it sell!

Now, don’t get overwhelmed – you can’t do all five things today to make your home sell quickly in this market. But, you can start and get moving toward your goal. Be realistic, but be aggressive – and you will be on your way to a fast home sell.

Putting Your Home up for Sale with Children

Hey all – I am including a very solid article from Joel McDonald, a real estate broker from Colorado, and owner of a large Boulder, Colorado, real estate firm. I found the article to be very insightful for those looking to put their home on the market.  Enjoy!  Kent

“Kids, keep quiet! Go to your room! No, go outside! Somebody’s coming. Pick up those toys! The agent is coming over with a prospect.” Sounds like the opening of a comedy show, or more like a tragedy if the Realtor is coming over with someone to evaluate your home. When you have children in the home it can be hard to keep the house in condition to show. Here are some things to take into consideration, to address this problem and still be in a position to show the home with a good outcome.

Many children tend to stockpile toys of all different types. They like variety. As a parent you might have gotten accustomed to the sight of toys tossed around in a mess, but a person who is not used to small children can not only observe it but have an unfavorable reaction. The first step, then, in getting your home ready to go on the market is to organize your children’s belongings so they can easily be put away and mostly out of sight. This may involve things such as toy chests, bookshelves, or big storage boxes. Find storage that can be used in the room without becoming too obvious. You don’t need to hide everything.

Organizing the outside of your home is what provides the initial impression and so it is very important. Find ways to store or arrange the children’s outdoor toys in a neat and tidy way to present the outside of your house well.

Giving It Up
The periodic practice of freeing oneself from possessions that are in excess of your needs on a regular basis such as donating to Goodwill, or having a garage sale, is just as pertinent to the children’s things as it is to your rest of the old treasures. This is a good skill whether you are moving. Decisions have to be made. Handling how to let things go is a necessary part of living. This process can be a learning opportunity for the children, though it will be important to get their participation and not force their decisions. That would only get in the way of the lesson to be gained.

Even if you cannot get rid of a thing, you can accomplish quite a lot if you do a good job of using smart storage. Besides, keep in mind that anyone looking at a home where a family is raising young children will generally be interested in a family home in the first place and will be alert to aspects of the home that are good for children. Demonstrating that the children’s rooms can store all of the toys and games can be a good means of showing off that feature of your home.

A little discipline will be necessary to maintain things in order after you get it all set. The task of keeping your home reasonably tidy after it is all fixed up can be difficult but not out of the question. Once you have appropriate storage, keeping everything straight will be much more manageable. Try to limit the number of different things your children are playing with while you are in the process of selling your home. One idea is to make the goal of keeping the house clean a game, or adventure for your kids. They may even help motivate you to keep your own things in their places as well.

There is no need to turn your home into a lifeless clean home where no children can play. Many people in the market for a family home are happy to see that a house is lived in, and some toys being in use is a comforting touch. Just be aware that it should be kept on the high side of normal. Perfection in the placement of all the toys is not expected.

If you have children who are spectacularly messy it might be a step-saver to buy a rug for them that can be picked up and put away when potential buyers come by. Keeping the little artists’ paints put away and out of sight while you’re trying to sell your home might be a good plan, at least until you move into your new home.

In summary, it’s not too difficult, is it, to allow the children to continue with their normal and healthy play while offering your home for sale in the attractive condition that a home sale requires. There is some gain to be experienced, in learning cooperation. A little patience and careful attention, along with regular attention to clutter, will make the sale of your home with little children in the picture much easier to manage.

This article was provided by Automated Homefinder, Colorado’s top Boulder real estate professionals.