Short Sale May Be the Answer

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People sell their homes for a variety of reasons. Among the toughest situations is the person who is behind or struggling with payments because of job loss, divorce or other problems. While the popular wisdom is that people can just abandon a home, walking away will lead to a foreclosure that sparks devastating long and short-term financial, tax and legal implications for the former property owner. An experienced seller’s agent can help you avoid such a desperate move. Among the options is a “short sale.” In a short sale, the bank allows you to sell your home for less than what you owe. The bank forgives the difference and you walk away with a smaller impact on your credit than you would with a foreclosure and nobody is chasing you for damages. In the past the banks were the biggest problem. Bankers had no idea how to handle short-sales. Files were missing, banks had no system for tracking documents and everything was hand-written. It was a mess and nothing was consistent. Things have gotten better and banks now have standardized the process. A short sale can happen in 90-120 days from application to closing, this is becoming more and more common. Another factor that helps get short sales done more efficiently is the use of a short sale negotiator. These companies have established relationships with the banks and have a very high success rate. If you or someone you know have gotten behind on your payments, a short sale may hold the key to responsible relief of your mortgage debt. Visit my website to find out what your home is worth and to contact me about your situation or you needs to sell your home.

A Guide to Property Value

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When buying or selling a home, several important factors determine property value – and it’s not just about a new set of cabinets or renovated tile work. Knowing which factors matter the most can help any home buyer or seller.

Location. There’s a reason the unofficial mantra of real estate purchasing is location, location, location. Everything from the area amenities, ave. income of residents, to the quality of schools affects your property’s value. List the assets of the property’s location before you buy or sell. Also keep the area’s flaws in mind. But don’t worry if you haven’t purchased a house in the Hamptons. You can sell potential buyers on renovated or hip new neighborhoods as well.

Bathrooms and kitchens. When it comes to interior renovations, kitchens and bathrooms punch above their weight. Cosmetic and structural renovations to these rooms can seriously impact property value.

Land. You don’t need to own an estate to benefit from the love affair people have with land. Even a small parcel dramatically increases the value of your home. When you post pictures of your home or host potential buyers, emphasize the back yard, side yard or other land attached to the property. Take care to improve or maintain these areas in order to significantly enhance the value of your property.

Source: http://www.cthomesllc.com/2011/12/19/a-guide-to-property-value/

Tulsa Ranks at #5 For Best Places To Own Rental Property

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Money Magazine has released its list of best places to invest in real estate and Tulsa, OK is ranked at #5! I frequently try to talk my friends into getting into the landlord game and to their loss they continually decline. But that’s ok. I know being a landlord isn’t for everyone and the thought of having to replace sewer lines and appliances is enough to send anyone running the other direction. But for that special someone who can see potential in a little elbow grease and has a little disposable income, there hasn’t been a better time since the 1980′s to buy rental property. Prices are at an all time low on foreclosures and short sales in areas that would normally be off-limits to investors due to price range. And the interest rates…holy crap! 6-7% interest on an investment loan is incredible and won’t last forever. To start looking for short sales and foreclosures you can go to my website and search for only those types of property. You can also have new listings emailed to you within a day of them coming on the market.

The link to CNN Money is here http://money.cnn.com/pf/the-year-in-money/real-estate/best-places-landlord/

Holiday Home Selling

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People sometimes ask me what I think about putting a home on the market at the end of the year or during the holidays. It is as good a time as any and often times better. Here are a few reasons why.

1. More people tend to be off work and have more time to look at homes.

2. New jobs tend to start at the beginning of the new year and those folks that are relocating are looking and are serious.

3. There tends to be less inventory on the market which translates to less competition.

and finally…

4. Only the serious buyers are out looking through the holidays.

So, the real question should be, why wouldn’t you want to list your house during the holidays?

You can find out what your homes value is by going to my website at Chris Harmon Tulsa Real Estate.

ForSaleByOwner.com Founder Uses Agent To Sell Home

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For those who feel they don’t need to hire a real estate agent to market and sell their home, you may want to think twice. The founder of the popular website forsalebyowner.com, which allows home owners to gain Internet exposure, recently used a real estate agent to sell his 2000 sqft apartment in New York. After sitting on the market for 6 months with little activity, he enlisted the help of a real estate broker who told him that the apartment was priced to low and wasn’t attracting the right buyer. After overcoming his resistance to raising the price, the apartment received multiple offers above the original list price.

You can find out what your home is worth by going to http://www.chrissellstulsa.com or http://chrisharmon.kwrealty.com

Beware of the Newest Mortgage Scam

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A friend posted something on his Facebook wall that inspired me to write this quick beware. The newest mortgage scam is targeting new home buyers and those who have just refinanced their home. The scam involves receiving a letter from an apparent loan servicing company and states that they have bought your loan and that you should begin sending your monthly payment to them rather than the original lender. The letters look official enough but there are a few things that can help you avoid becoming a victim of this.

When using a lender, more often than not they are just a loan “originator” who will sell the paper, or note, to what is known as a loan “servicer”. The servicer then holds the note until it is paid in full. The trick of the scam is that most lenders will let their customers know that they will be selling the loan to a servicer and to expect to see a letter from the new note holder. This is what the scammers are hoping for. What you need know is that before you receive a letter from the new loan servicer, you will receive a letter from the company or bank that made the original loan stating that they will no longer be servicing the loan and to no longer send them a payment. Once you have received that, you will get a letter from the new loan servicer stating such info and the letter will be accompanied by a coupon booklet to send in with your payments. All of these communication will have your original loan number on them which will be missing from the phony letters.

Sounds clear as mud, huh! Remember, if you have any questions regarding your loan or if you feel that something is wrong, call your lender and they can clear up any issues you have. If you are thinking of buying a house in the Tulsa area or any of its surrounding communities, you can contact me through my website at http://chrisharmon.kwrealty.com. I can recommend a great local lender and help you find the house of your dreams.

4.25 reasons to buy a house right now!

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If you need a good reason to take the jump into home ownership, I can give you 4.25 reasons. That is today’s current interest rate, 4.25%. Never before have rates been this low. Now that the debt ceiling debate is over and America’s credit is secure for the most part, we need to get back to doing what we do best, move forward. With these historically low-interest rates the time to buy is now. Here is why, it’s called buying power. As the interest rate drops, the amount of house you can afford goes up. So, compared to a 5.5% rate, which was not that long ago and probably not too far away, you could end up buying more house for the same payment. How much more, let’s say that you can afford $1500/month for your payment. At 5.5% you could likely afford to buy a house costing $184,500. At 4.25% interest the amount you could afford goes up to $203,000. That’s a difference of nearly $20,000.

To start searching for your new house today go to http://chrisharmon.kwrealty.com and register. You can save your searches and be notified when new homes come on the market that meet your criteria.

Benefits of Using Your Own Realtor When Buying a Home

People often ask me why they should have their own Realtor when they decide to buy a home. Why not just use the listing agent, I should get a better deal that way, right? Sometimes maybe, but that doesn’t really happen that often and here’s why. The listing agent has a contract with the seller stating that they have been hired to market and sell that home. The seller is paying a good amount of money to ensure that they get the best price possible for their home. That said, the listing agent is not there to help you as the buyer. In fact, they are there to try to get you to pay as much as possible for that home.
Here is the other major reason why you should always have your own real estate agent to represent you when buying a home. In Oklahoma, buyer representation is free! That’s right, you don’t pay a thing! The buyers agent (or selling agent) gets their paycheck from what the listing agent has offered to pay them. So the buyers agent doesn’t care about saving the seller some money. Their job is to negotiate the best price possible for you. But that’s not all they do. A good buyers agent knows several reputable lenders as well as inspectors, and can make sure that all things in the contract are preformed smoothly and within their designated timelines.

If you or someone you know is thinking of buying a home in Tulsa or any of its surrounding communities, send them a link to this blog or to my website http://chrisharmon.kwrealty.com

Home Prices Trending Up?

Are national home prices starting to make an upward trend? That seems to be the case according to an article in Realtor Magazine…for non-distressed homes at least. According to CoreLogics Home Price Index, the prices of non-distressed homes are back at 2009 levels. With a shrinking shadow inventory of distressed property this is good news for the real estate industry as a whole. You can read more on this article here http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2011/07/27/nondistressed-prices-bouncing-back-2009-levels

So what about Tulsa you say? What are our prices doing? For the most part Tulsa prices have stable in most areas with slightly lower prices in others. But overall as a major metro, Tulsa has remained one of the top areas to buy a home. Our average appreciation is just under the national average and since the crisis we have actually gained a little ground.

You can get a free Comparative Market Analysis for you home by going to http://chrisharmon.kwrealty.com

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