Los Angeles Real Estate By Carrie Bryden

My Secrets To A Successful Short Sale

A lot of stars need to align properly for a short sale to be successful. I have represented both buyers and sellers in the short sale process, so this post is full of my opinions for a successful transaction for both parties. Afterall, it takes both a buyer and seller to make this happen.

First things first: A seller MUST have a qualifying hardship to sell short. A change in income, an inability to refinance or modify with an upcoming rate increase, a divorce, health problem, etc. No one wants someone to have these problems, but unfortunately this is what qualifies. It is advisable that a seller find an agent with a qualified team on their side to negotiate the sale with the bank. There are a lot of companies out there touting their “short sale negotiating department”.  A lot of times, these “departments” charge 1% additional commission and sometimes want to charge this to the buyer! It is hard enough to find a buyer for a short sale due to the length of time it takes to process the sale. Most buyers willing to endure the long haul of a short sale are looking for a deal. You better believe they aren’t going to be willing to pay 1% in additional costs.

Enter my team. I use a non-affiliated escrow officer and short sale negotiator that charges $0 for the negotiating process. That’s right. Nothing. We work together and very hard to make things happen. It is important to have a qualified negotiator on your side as a seller, to push through and go back and forth until a deal is made, especially if you have a second mortgage. 2nd mortgages are NOT non-recourse loans, meaning any remainder of the balance could become a deficiency judgement. We want to work hard to avoid this, or negotiate that amount to as little as possible.

As a short sale seller, you want your property marketed, and well. Who would’ve thought? I see countless short sales hit the market with no photos, or photos of poor quality. No open houses, no attention to detail, just flat out no marketing. We’re at a time crunch here people! You better believe I’m going to market your home the same as if it were any other home I was selling. That includes professional photography, open houses, color flyers and major internet marketing.

Ok, now what? We need a buyer. A buyer comes in and they write an offer. In California, we have what’s called a Short Sale Addendum. With this addendum the buyer gets to choose whether they will begin inspections immediately after acceptance of the offer by the seller, or to begin after short sale approval. A buyer also gets to choose whether they would like to submit their good faith deposit and open escrow immediately, or to wait until short sale approval. I recommend submitting your deposit and begining inspections immediately after seller acceptance, and here’s why:

The people working for the bank do not care about anything but a crisp clean file and that is a file that is ready to close. A complete file with a buyer in escrow and ready to close will be processed before those that do not have these components. Also, as a buyer, typically when you buy a home, you have inspections and ask for repairs or credits if need be. Once a short sale is approved by the bank, good luck getting a reduction or credit for repairs. We’re way past that point. So as a buyer, it is to your advantage to inspect early and negotiate the price before bank approval. With your inspection report, this is proof for your reduction in price when the bank asks.

As a buyer, if you’re not willing to do these things, you’re not likely a good candidate for a short sale. When a seller is in distress and they accept your offer, they are counting on you, in good faith that you are committed to buying their home and that you are their saving grace from foreclosure. Some people might think buying a short sale is taking advantage of a bad situation, but really a buyer of a short sale is making a bad situation better. When a homeowner sells short, as opposed to foreclosure, they have the potential to improve their credit in a much shorter time frame with the possibility of homeownership within 2 years afterward. So as a buyer, you are helping that seller rebuild their life. Also, by preventing a home from going into foreclosure, you’re helping prevent the neighborhood from further decline and disrepair. Which I think is a good thing.

Yes, short sales take time. 3 to 5 months from start to finish, but for the right buyer, they can be a good option for homeownership.

The 5 RE’s In gREening REsidential REsale.

Being a green designee through NAR, I get a lot of people asking me how they could make green updates to their home without spending a fortune and losing their minds through a remodel. Well, it’s easier, and less expensive than you might think!

Repaint: A fresh coat of paint always makes a house look better, but you can also increase your indoor air quality by using eco-friendly paints. A few years ago there weren’t a lot of options, but more and more paint companies are jumping on the bandwagon and are offering eco-friendly choices. I’m also a true believer in supporting the local mom n’ pop, so try Jill’s Paint in Atwater Village. They carry several options, so while you’re increasing your indoor air quality, you’re also helping sustain the local economy.

Reglaze: I’m a big fan of reglazing. Did you know that several companies offer Eco-friendly reglazing? Here’s the deal: by reglazing your tub, tile, shower and even your countertops, you cut down on waste without compromising your indoor air quality and have brand new looking space that’s toxin free for less than the cost of a complete renovation. Now that’s smart!

Resurface: Granite Transformations offers recycled glass countertop resurfacing. Don’t go for the granite, as granite off gasses radon. Basically, they fit a new, recycled glass countertop cut to cover your old countertop without removing the old one. I like this, because again, you are cutting out waste. A lot of people want to make a green choice when remodeling, but don’t think about where the old stuff goes. With these tips, you’ll cut down on what goes into the landfill and feel so much better about your project!

Reface: Did you also know that there are companies that offer cabinet refacing with eco-friendly choices that have finishes with no or low VOC’s? Refacing your old kitchen cabinets with this option again, cuts the waste you would have with a complete kitchen renovation and improves your indoor air quality as well as reduces cost.

Refinish: If you have wood floors, do what you can to repair and refinish them with a non or low VOC finish. You’ll have brand new looking floors without the cost to your pocket and to the earth of replacing them.

If you’d like more tips about green remodeling, email me @ cbryden@deasypenner.com

3632 Division Street Los Angeles, CA 90065

 Are you tired of looking at lofts for live/work space and finding the HOA dues excessive? Welcome to 3632 Division Street in Mount Washington. This 2 bedroom, 1 bath 1950’s tree-house with fantastic open beamed ceilings has great mid-century modern flair with a HUGE over-sized 18’x29′ garage just waiting to be turned into work space. No HOA dues here! Sweet hillside views and a private patio with a 5000 sqft lot that has potential for terraced landscaping for further use of the land. Additional value includes the Mount Washington Elementary School District! Offered at $359,000.

Driving around up and down, Division Street…. Punch and Judy by Elliott Smith