Thursday, January 31, 2013

Faster Short Sales Benefit Fountain Hills Home Sellers

Fountain Hills home values gained ground during 2012, and there is reason for optimism during 2013!

Recent updates to the short sale process, along with an extension of the Mortgage Debt Relief Act, will enable distressed homeowners to sell their homes with less red tape and a quicker turnaround. This will help property values across the board! Here's what you need to know!

First, as part of the Federal "fiscal cliff" budget compromise signed January 1, 2013, the Mortgage Debt Relief Act has been extended! Without the extension, short sellers would have been on the hook with the IRS for any forgiven mortgage debt. The MDRA allows an exception to this tax rule through 2013.

Next, there is good news from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The new short sale guidelines that were put in place November 1, 2012, have reportedly cut down on short sale processing time by 50% to 75%! There are other advantages to the new rules, and here are a few of them:

1. Up to $3,000 in relocation assistance is available to distressed homeowners who successfully complete a short sale through Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.

2. Mortgage servicers can directly approve qualifying short sales without going to Freddie or Fannie for another layer of approval.

3. Mortgage servicers must acknowledge receipt of a short sale request within 3 days.

4. Short sales must be approved or denied within 30 days. In more complex cases involving a second mortgage or some other issue, the review process cannot exceed 60 days.

The above guidelines pertain to mortgages backed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Click on the respective links to verify if your mortgage loan is associated with one of them.

Please keep in mind that short sales are meant to help home sellers who are unable to keep their homes due to a personal hardship. However, you do not need to be behind on your mortgage to be eligible for a short sale. This is another rule change that became effective in November 2012.

Short sales are preferable to foreclosures because they are based on current market values, whereas foreclosures can be heavily discounted when they hit the market. Short sales prevent home abandonment and blight. And because home sellers have incentive to complete a short sale, they are more likely to maintain the condition of their home. All this adds up to healthier home values for everyone concerned!

Fountain Hills real estate has many positives going for it, and good housing polices like these should help improve home values throughout 2013!

Do you have questions about home values in your Fountain Hills neighborhood? When you are  selling a Fountain Hills home, put your trust in my 33 years of local real estate experienceContact me today for expert, reliable help!

Tina Nabers

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

6 Selling Strategies For Your Fountain Hills Home!

2013 is shaping up to be a year of opportunity for Fountain Hills home sellers! If you are thinking of putting your home on the market, now is the time! 

We have motivated buyers looking for Arizona homes all year around, and the winter months are an excellent time to sell!

In addition to the valuable selling tips I have on my website, I have a few home selling ideas for you here from AOL real estate. I've added thoughts from my own experience:

1. Instead of downplaying an unusual home feature, promote it towards a certain type of buyer. For example, if you have a two-bedroom home with a four-car garage, it could be perfect for a car enthusiast! Or, if you have a small second bedroom, it may be perfect for a nursery or home office. Decorate the room/area accordingly.

2. Include a perk in return for a full-price offer. Things like a golf membership, a home security service or home warranty can draw a lot of attention, and sweeten the deal for a buyer.

3. Accommodate showing appointment requests, even if it means some inconvenience. Being flexible can help you find the right buyer.

4. Beware of flashy marketing gimmicks that promise big-price offers. If your home cannot live up to its marketing when the buyers see it in person, the only one who "wins" is the advertising company.

5. De-personalize your home. It's hard to take down family photos, but since your goal is to sell and move on, you need to do this at some point anyway! Decorate sparse walls with tasteful, inexpensive artwork or photos of local scenery.

6. Do some home staging! You don't have to spend a bundle. A good technique is to pretend you are having a dinner party or other gathering. Display new guest towels and fancy soaps in the washrooms. Set the dining room table. Have a vase of fresh flowers on the table. Put out the little extras that say "welcome" to guests!

Looking for more home selling ideas? I would be happy to give you professional suggestions specific to your home! I will also tell you what improvements will pay off, so that you do not spend money needlessly. In the meantime, help yourself to my free e-book, "450 Ideas To Help Sell Your Home Faster!"

Getting top dollar for your Fountain Hills home also requires a comparative market analysis! I will be happy to evaluate your home's competitive strength in the Fountain Hills real estate market. There is no charge and no obligation!

Let my 30 years of experience be your home selling advantage! When you have questions about selling your home, call me for prompt, professional service! 

Tina Nabers
Nabers Property Management & Real Estate

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

5 Reasons for Optimism in Fountain Hills Real Estate During 2013

It's a New Year full of new opportunities in Fountain Hills real estate! Whether you are thinking of buying or selling a home, you can be optimistic during 2013. Here are 5 reasons why!

1. Mortgage interest rates are expected to remain low. According to industry analysts, rates are likely to remain less than 4% throughout the year.

2. Nationwide, home prices are expected to climb by about 3%.

3. New housing starts are predicted to reach 1 million units nationally by the end of 2013.

4. While the Federal budget debate is not complete and spending cuts may occur in the future, the worst-case scenarios in the "fiscal cliff" have been averted.

5. The Greater Phoenix real estate market closed 2012 with strong momentum! Median home prices in November 2012 were 31.9% than November 2011. This marked the 12th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains.

At the same time, distressed property sales in the Phoenix area show a steady decline. Bank-owned home sales represented just 17.2% of the market during November 2012. When you consider that foreclosure sales accounted for over 66% of the market in early 2009, we've made amazing progress!

Arizona real estate demand comes from domestic and international investors, retirees, relocating professionals, first-time home buyers and move-up buyers. In fact, the latter group is causing sales trends towards larger, well-appointed homes. We are seeing good sales activity in a variety of price levels, which further proves that the market is not being driven by distressed properties.

Some challenges will remain ahead of us during 2013. Mortgage loan approval can still be difficult for credit-worthy home buyers. Meanwhile, conservative home appraisals will keep the pace of sale price increases in check. Homeowners who wish to sell, but remain underwater in value, continue to wait for higher prices which keeps home inventory lean. All considered, real estate in Fountain Hills will be attractive for home buyers, but also very competitive!

Overall, Fountain Hills is positioned for home sales growth during 2013! We have the advantages of natural beauty, recreation, proximity to corporate centers, and ample shopping and dining. If you are considering a new home in Arizona, start by looking at the beautiful Fountain Hills homes available now!

Whether you are buying or selling a Fountain Hills home, put your trust in my 33 years of local real estate experience! I can help you make the most of today's opportunities in the Fountain Hills real estate market. I will also provide you the courteous, professional service you can count on! Contact me today for help with all of your real estate needs!

All the best to you in the New Year!