5 Common Short Sale Questions

1. What is a short sale?

short saleAccording to Freddie Mac, a short sale “occurs when a property is sold at a price lower than the amount the homeowner owes on the mortgage, and the homeowner’s mortgage lender(s) agrees to the “short” payoff.”

Usually the homeowners is experiencing some sort of financial set back or troubles and requires assistance from the bank to end their mortgage contract and paying a lesser than owed amount. The homeowner can call the lender and attempt to initiate a short sale, or a private party with the permission of the homeowner can negotiate with the bank on their behalf. Even if a homeowners’ attempts to reconcile with the bank have failed in the past, the third party should still be considered, because oftentimes they have more leverage than the homeowners’ themselves.

2. What are the downsides of a short sale for the homeowner?

The homeowner will lose their home and walk away with nothing from the sale. The bank will be accepting a lower payout that what was owed, but sometimes moving expenses can be negotiated. The homeowner’s credit will be affected similar to if a foreclosure had taken place, but not as severe. There is also a possibility of dealing with deficiency judgments if they are not specifically addressed before the completion of a short sale. A deficiency judgment is when the bank comes after the homeowner for the portion of the loan they have not paid. Before you initiate a short sale, ensure you have in writing that your lender will not pursue a deficiency judgment. Finally, short sales are painfully slow. It is beneficial to the homeowner to use a third party service to deal with all of the paperwork, phone calls, and emails, so that the process is completed in the most timely manner.

3. How can a short sale be beneficial to a homeowner?

The homeowner will walk away from the property with less of a hit than if they had gone through a traditional foreclosure. They will also be able to walk away from their mortgage obligation and have a fresh start. The homeowner’s credit will be affected much less than a traditional foreclosure, and they will avoid a costly foreclosure litigation and lengthy trial. The average person conducting a short sale is able to buy another home in 2-5 years. According to How Stuff Works, “from a lender’s perspective, it’s better to recover a portion of a mortgage loan than to absorb a total loss,” so lenders will err on the side of the better outcome and work with the homeowner in most justifiable situations.

4. Do I qualify for a short sale?

There are four qualifications that are considered for a short sale to be initiated. If you do not meet all four, check with your lender or a local short sale expert to determine your eligibility.

A. The home’s value has dropped

The comparable homes in a neighborhood may significantly decrease and the amount you paid for your home may no longer be relevant. This is referred to as being “underwater.” This is a hard situation to recover from and usually takes a turn in the market to overcome completely, which could take a few years or even a decade.

B. The seller has fallen on hard times

Hard times may include divorce, medical emergencies, death, unemployment, sudden illness or bankruptcy. Hard times usually do not include bad purchase decisions, unfriendly neighbors, buying another house, pregnancy or moving into an apartment.

C. The mortgage is in or near default status

The homeowner may be behind on one payment or six months worth of payments. Both situations are eligible for consideration of a short sale. It’s important that you talk to your lender immediately when you determine you can no longer afford your mortgage. If it is a temporary situation, they may be willing to work with you to refinance your mortgage to account for the missing payments.

D. The seller has no assets

As part of the short sale paperwork and process, the lender may request to see tax records and financial statements. If the homeowner has any assets, the lender may deny a short sale, under the assumption the homeowner has the ability to repay the rest of the mortgage. According to HomeBuying.About.com, “if the seller has cash in a savings account, owns other real estate, stocks, bonds or even IRA accounts, the lender will most likely determine that the seller has assets. However, the lender might discount the amount the seller is required to pay back.”

5. What documents are needed from the homeowner?

According to Fortune Builders, the lender will require a “hardship letter, expense worksheet, tax returns, pay stubs and a bank statement.” If these documents are not up to the lender’s standards, they can reject the offer and proceed with a foreclosure.

Click here for your short sale document checklist: http://www.realtystore.com/short-sale-guide/chapter-12-your-short-sale-document-checklist-2869474

 

 

 

Resources:

http://www.freddiemac.com/purchasemarket/ssfaq.html#a1

http://home.howstuffworks.com/real-estate/selling-home/10-benefits-of-short-sale-over-foreclosure1.htm

http://homebuying.about.com/od/4closureshortsales/qt/112707_QualSS.htm

http://www.fortunebuilders.com/6-common-short-sale-questions-you-should-know-the-answers-to/

Selling Your Home? Use These 7 Marketing Strategies

We all want to sell our house as quickly as possible without spending an arm and a leg on professional marketing. The good news is, there are many ways we can utilize the internet, events, signage, and other media to get the word out about our properties.

1. Post ads on Craigslist.

Craigslist is a hot spot for buying and selling in today’s society. It is wise to utilize this high traffic market by posting ads. Posting ads on Craigslist is free! For information on how to post ads, visit http://www.craigslist.org/about/help/how_to_post. Once you have created an ad, be sure to renew it as often as possible for the most view time (once every two days is a good idea). You will also need to create a new ad every 30-45 days.

2. Use social media.

Social media buttonsPretty much everyone uses Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram on a daily basis. Why not use this opportunity to advertise your property? It only makes sense that the most interest on your property will be generated when it is exposed to the greatest amount of people. You never know if your old college friend is moving to your area and needs to buy a house like yours. A shared listing post could sell your house.

3. Send out ads on Postlets.

Zillow has produced a website called Postlets that allows you to create home selling and rental ads that they will send out to over 20 different websites. Among these websites are Zillow, Trulia, Yahoo Homes, HGTV Front Door, and MSN Real Estate. Posting to Postlets will save you hours you could have spent posting individually to real estate websites. Again, a greater audience tends to generate greater interest. You can check out Postlets and how it works at the following link: https://postlets.com/how-it-works.

4. Host an open house.

Real Estate AgentWhile this may seem more old-fashioned than the other strategies, hosting a great open house will often give you greater success than any of the above options. People who visit a house in person are more likely to picture themselves living there and are more likely to make an offer. The problem with open houses is that they are much more involved than posting an ad online. You will really want your real estate agent to help you host this to ensure it is a success. A half-hearted attempt at an open house is usually a waste of time. For more information on how to host a great open house, check out our previous posts Make Sure Your Agent Gives you the Best Open House Ever and Having an Open House? Do These 8 Things to Ensure You Receive an Offer!

5. Purchase and put up signage.

It would be a shame if your neighbors didn’t know you were selling your house because you didn’t have a sign in your yard. By putting up signs in and around your neighborhood, you can more easily engage those who live around you. Your neighbors can (and often will) recommend the area, and even your house, to their family and friends who may be looking to purchase new home. However, if you don’t advertise to your own neighborhood, you will lose those allies.

6. Post to the Multiple Listing Service.

mls-logoThe Multiple Listing Service is a service where realtors from all over the country can post about real estate listings. You, as the home seller, will not have direct access to MLS. However, your real estate agent will. Make sure they post your property listing on MLS. By having your property listed on the service, you have just given thousands and thousands of realtors access to your property’s information so they can suggest it to their clients if it seems like a good fit.

7. Create newspaper ads.

This method may seem old fashioned. However, by only posting on internet media, you may exclude a whole group of people who prefer paper media. Many people still read the newspaper on a daily basis. By advertising in newspapers, you ensure that local people know that your house is for sale. This can often generate even more interest in your property. Be sure that the ads you or your realtor create represent your property well. Often the quality of your ad will reflect the quality of your house in the mind of the reader.

These Seven Marketing Strategies are sure to give you the advertising variety and broad reach you are looking for as the home seller. Selling a house can be a long, arduous process, but by effectively using the advertising avenues around you, more interest can be generated quickly. If you are looking to sell your house in Louisville, Kentucky, quickly, as is, and for cash, or are looking for a real estate agent to partner with, don’t hesitate to Contact Us here at LST Properties. Call today for a no-obligation offer!

12 Qualities to Look For in a Real Estate Agent

We all know the hassles, decisions, and stress that come along with selling a home.

It’s frustrating trying to pack boxes, have open houses and showings, and maintain a normal work and life schedule all at the same time. The home selling process can become even more of a headache if you have a lousy real estate agent on top of it all. Yes, it can be hard to find an agent that will be cooperative, successful, available, and conscientious all at the same time. But don’t give up hope—there are some specific things you can look for in an agent to ensure you pick a good one!

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 3.44.42 PM1. Make sure the agent has many recently closed properties.

If they aren’t selling properties, then there’s no point giving them a second thought. You want to make sure they are getting houses SOLD, not just put on the market. An agent that closes houses often and quickly will most likely know what it takes to get your home sold, as well.

2. Check out references from recent clients.

It may be to your benefit to speak with the agent’s recent clients. What did they like/dislike about the agent and the process? What could have been different? How long did it take them to sell? Did they meet their goals as the home seller?

3. Check out their current properties.

What is the quality of the listings? Make sure the pictures are well done. Make sure every aspect of the home’s information is completed fully and accurately. Also, you want to make sure that the agent is web savvy and has a good online presence. If they know how to advertise their properties well, they are worth pursuing.

4. Ask for testimonials from family members or friends.

Few things are better than a direct reference from a trusted friend or family member. If they have had a good experience with an agent, you are likely to have a good experience with them, too.

5. Interview several agents and compare.

It is wise to look at several different agents and compare. The greater variety will give you a more realistic perspective on real estate agents and the different methods of home selling.

6. Check their network.

Make sure they work with a good brokerage. You want them to be able to refer you to the right inspector, repairman, appraiser, home insurance representative, and mortgage broker.

7. Make sure they live locally.

You want an agent who is familiar with your residential area. Do they know about the school systems? Do they know where the best shopping centers are? If they are living and breathing the local culture, they will know how to market and price your home a lot better.

8. Check what type of real estate they deal with the most.

If most of their sold properties are a lot like yours, it will likely be a good match. You will also want to check their licensing and credentials. From BankRate.com, here are a few examples in credential differences that may impact your decision:

A. CRS (Certified Residential Specialist): Completed additional training in handling residential real estate.

B. ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative): Completed additional education in representing buyers in a transaction.

C. SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist): Completed training aimed at helping buyers and sellers in the 50-plus age range.

9. Make sure the agent is knowledgeable.

If they know how to maneuver many different home selling situations and conflicts, they will be a huge asset to you as you work together to sell your home quickly and for a profit.

house-sell10. Make sure they are realistic.

If they don’t have a realistic timeline, price, or perspective on the home selling process, you probably don’t want to work with them.

11. Make sure they are busy, but not too busy.

You want to know they are desired as an agent and hard-working, but you also don’t want them to be too busy to take your calls and schedule your showings. Make sure you are a priority as a client. You also want them to be able to keep you updated on the progress of the transaction as often or as little as you desire.

12. Make sure they are experienced.

You will want to know how long they have been working full-time. How many homes have they sold? Do they have enough experience that you are confident they can sell your home? Experience can often add to their knowledge base, as well.

Even though no real estate agent is perfect, there are many, many great ones out there. This list is sure to help you find one who will not only ensure a hassle-free process, but also who will benefit your financial future as the home seller.

If you are selling a home in Louisville, Kentucky, be sure to Contact Us here at LST Properties. We have our real estate license and we have lots of experience with residential properties here in Louisville. Check us out today!

We Buy Houses: Our Process and Timeline

According to the Wall Street Journal, almost 5 million homes are sold each year. That means 5 million households must decide when, how, and to whom they will sell their property. The options may seem overwhelming at first. You must decide if you want to work with a realtor, sell by owner, or sell to an investor. Once you decide that, you must familiarize yourself with the process and timeline of your selling your house. Many people have worked with realtors and understand (at least vaguely) their process. However, very few people know the process and timeline of an investor. Working with an investor can be one of the greatest financial steps you take regarding your property, and understanding their process can be highly beneficial to your future decision making. At LST Properties, we have created a hassle-free methodology that helps sellers to sell their house quickly.

Step One – Call Us4-ways-to-cash-out-of-house-1-intro-lg

Call Alex or Matt at 502.822.3633 so we can learn about you and the house. During this call, we will explain the process and answer any questions you may have about our company. Also during this call, we jot down basic information about the property—how many bedroom and bathrooms? How long have you lived in the home? What repairs are needed? Do you have a mortgage on the property? This information will help us become familiar with the property and enable us to do preliminary research on the property to see if we will be a good fit for your selling needs. We will also set up an appointment to see the property. The whole call should be 10 minutes or less.

Step Two – We Take a Look at Your House

We want to put a name to a face and see your property in person. We will set an appointment to come to your property on the first call, so we can see it as soon as possible. We work with you to find a time that’s best for you, and we will come having done more research on the property to familiarize ourselves. While we are at your house, we will get to know you and take a look around. That way, we can determine if repairs need to be made. (Don’t worry – we will take care of any repairs!) We might take a few pictures or a video to help us come up with an estimate of your house. During this appointment, we also answer any questions you may have about our company.

Step Three – We Make an Offer

If we think your situation is a good fit for us and that we can offer you what you need out of the deal, we can make an offer on the spot! Sometimes, we need to do a little more research first, but either way, we will make you an offer on your home in its “as is” condition as soon as possible. If you are happy, then we can sign a purchase & sale contract right then and there!

Step Four – We Pay Cash and Close!

business-handshakeWe agree on a closing date. Since we are paying cash, we can close in as little as 7 days, but if you need more time, no problem. Bottom line, we can close on your time. It’s as simple as that!

The whole process could take as little as 7 days or as long as several months—depending on your situation and time frame. We want to help you get out of financial distress and walk away from the closing table satisfied and able to face your financial future with excitement and hope.

We know this process works because we have had many success stories. Below are a few words from our previous clients:

“Thank you Matt and Alex for everything you have done for us. Throughout the entire transaction, you explained every stage and we always knew what to expect. They were a step ahead and very patient in dealing with all of our questions and concerns. We thought we had no other option in selling our house as we owed more than what it was worth. They negotiated with the bank and got the deal closed like they promised. Without you guys we wouldn’t have know what to do because we didn’t have the money to close. They took care of everything as our bank certainly wasn’t helping us. Thank you and I appreciate your ethical, professional, and hard working manner.”

Nathan & Lisa – Louisville, KY

“LST Properties, I am so grateful to your company for helping me out of a very difficult situation I was having with a couple houses I owned. I wish I had called you earlier in the process because you took care of absolutely everything for me. Thanks again.“

Jennifer – Prospect, KY

If you have decided to work with an investor, LST Properties would love to help you! Feel free to Contact Us and call us at 502.822.3633 for a no-obligation offer!

Selling Your Home? Working With an Agent versus Selling to an Investor

You’ve decided to sell your home. Now what?

As with many decisions in life, one decision quickly leads to another. You must now decide how you want to sell your house and who you want to work with. Most people just assume you should work with a real estate agent. Some choose to go the “For Sale by Owner” route. Yet almost all people overlook the last option: working with an investor.

Both working with an agent and working with an investor can be beneficial to your financial future, but the success of the venture depends a lot on your selling situation. This article will dive into the specifics of when you should list your home with an agent and when you should work with an investor. Becoming an educated seller will ensure the easiest, most lucrative route to getting a sold sign in your yard.

When to list with an agent:house-sell

The goal of a real estate agent is to market your house at its best to sell it for the highest possible selling price.
Realtors bring a lot to the table in terms of expertise. They know how to sell houses. Realtors have access to great marketing resources as well as a variety of methods to get your house sold at a good price. They will be able to give you a realistic perspective on selling prices (because they don’t have emotional attachment to the property like you do.)

Another plus to working with a realtor is that they will negotiate for you. They know how to persuade and finagle offers to get you in the best financial situation possible. Realtors will also plan all your showing and open houses—just another thing you won’t have to deal with as the seller. They will connect you to their network of professionals and will help guide you through the closing. Overall, working with a realtor will help you stay on target financially and chronologically through the home selling process. But, of course, you’re paying for it.

If working with an agent sounds appealing to you, you probably want to start getting opinions from friends and family of the best realtors to work with here in Louisville, Kentucky.

When to sell to an investor:cash-for-home

The goal of an investor is to have a win-win situation. Yes, they want to make a profit, but they also want to make sure you get what you want and need. Investors won’t buy just any property. They will buy properties on which they can make a profit. Usually this includes situations where the seller is in some sort of financial distress or urgency. The benefit to working with an investor is that they will buy your home as-is with cash. Working with investors is also a quick process and very hassle-free. Closing can often come within a week or two of the offer if desired. This not only relieves the seller of the burden of repairing and updating the property and the burden of having the property sitting on the market for months and months, but it also relieves the burden of closing costs and realtor fees on the seller.

Working with an investor is not for everyone, but it is a huge relief to those who need the convenient and quick house sale.

Listing with an agent and working with an investor both have their perks, but you must decide which option is best for you and your home selling situation. Below is a table that will help you decide which option is best for you.

List with an agent Work with an investor
·         Home is in good condition.

·         The seller has no urgency and doesn’t necessarily need to sell fast (seller is okay with letting the property sit on the market).

·         The seller cares about getting the highest possible selling price for the house.

·         The seller doesn’t mind paying realtor fees, closing costs, and other fees (beware, these can add up quickly).

·         If the home is in bad condition, the seller doesn’t mind spending money on repairs and updates to get the home back into good condition (in other words, seller doesn’t need to sell in as-is condition).

·         The seller doesn’t mind the possibility of the buyer backing out of the contract because of inspections or financing (again, the seller isn’t in an urgent situation).

 

·         Home needs work.

·         The seller isn’t willing to fix up the home (wants to sell as-is).

·         The seller might be in financial distress or an urgent situation where closing is important.

·         The seller doesn’t want inspection or financing contingencies.

·         The seller is willing to sell the house significantly below market value.

·         The seller doesn’t want to pay realtor fees, closing costs, commissions, or other fees.

 

Low Stress Transaction Properties can help you in either of these home selling situations. Not only are we investors, but we also have our real estate license and would love to work with you to get your Louisville, Kentucky home sold in no time!

You have decided to sell your house. Hopefully now you will be able to decide your next step to financial freedom and future real estate success.

Don’t hesitate to Contact Us with any questions or concerns regarding your home selling needs!

Facing Foreclosure? Learn About Your Options, Now!

Hearing the diagnosis “foreclosure” evokes so many fears, frustrations, confusions, and feelings of hopelessness. But what if foreclosure doesn’t have to end in financial obliteration? There are many different options that can rescue you from foreclosure.

BuyingForeclosure_largeAs a homeowner in Louisville, Kentucky, there are a variety of factors that influence your decision regarding foreclosure. Your home isn’t just a piece of property to you. It holds memories, it has been arranged to your liking. Because your home is important to you, it would be foolish to throw it away without weighing the options wisely.

First, you must decide if you want to SAVE your home or SELL your home.

If you decide your home is well worth the effort to SAVE, you will have the option to either modify or refinance your loan.

To modify a loan in times of financial distress, you must negotiate with the bank to restructure and change the terms of your mortgage so that it is affordable to you. It is a good idea to hire someone to speak to the bank on your behalf, someone who knows the situation and has your best interest in mind. This can ensure you will get a loan that is modified to your ability to pay.

The second option is to refinance your mortgage. Refinancing a mortgage is basically getting a new mortgage to replace the old one. By refinancing, you hope to obtain lower monthly payments and lower interest rates. Refinancing your mortgage is a little trickier than a modifying your mortgage because it is a completely new loan that you are creating. With this new loan comes additional fees, and if you aren’t careful, you can end up with even higher monthly interest rates. It is important to also hire a legal professional to help you work through the paperwork and help you get the perfect new mortgage.

If you decide to SELL your home and move forward physically and financially, you will have the option to either list your home with an agent, sell it to an investor, or pursue a short sale.

To find the perfect real estate agent for your situation, start by asking for recommendations from friends and family. You can also look at online reviews (but know that these reviews aren’t always completely accurate). Interview several agents to ensure the one you choose will be a great fit. Don’t be afraid to ask the agents questions about their prior listings, experience, and credentials. The more you know, the more information you will have on which to base your decision. Your agent will then help you sell your home before foreclosure can ensue.

The next option is to sell your home to an investor here in Louisville, Kentucky. Investors are looking for a good deal, but they also want you to get what you need out of the deal. Selling to an investor has the benefits of selling quickly, selling for cash, and selling in as-is condition—investors are easy to work with. Because of the flexibility of investors, you will be able to move out and move on before the foreclosure can catch up to you. Another benefit of selling to an investor is that your home will be well taken care of and typically restored to beautiful condition.

foreclosure-1Finally, you have the option to perform a short sale on your home. Basically, if you owe more money on the house than it’s worth, you are in a short sale situation. You will need to work with your mortgage lender to come to an agreement on the situation. With a short sale, the lender will agree to write off part of the mortgage as a loss instead of having the borrower default on the loan. This is beneficial to both parties; borrowers can avoid having a foreclosure appear on their credit report, while lenders can avoid substantial fees associated with foreclosure. The benefit of a short sale is that you have the opportunity to completely eliminate your mortgage debt. Also, your credit will not be as negatively affected with a short sale as it will be with foreclosure. You will be able to buy another home more quickly going through a short sale rather than foreclosure.

To get started, Contact Us. We have had hundreds of experiences with short sales and can walk you through each step of the process. Also, to learn more about the specifics of a short sale, refer to our article Short Sales, Put Simply.

While all these options might be overwhelming, you need to know that there is hope in the midst of foreclosure. We here at LST Properties can help you with each of these options and answer any questions you may have. We can help you negotiate with the bank to modify or refinance your mortgage. We can list your property since we are licensed. We, as investors, can buy your property quickly, with cash, in as-is condition. We will also help you negotiate a short sale. We want you to thrive and experience financial freedom. Don’t hesitate to Contact Us today, and check out our sister website at www.ForeclosureLouisvilleKY.com  for even more information!

Having an Open House? Do These 8 Things to Ensure You Receive an Offer!

Are you a real estate agent or a homeowner looking to host your own open house?

Open houses are a great way to show off properties and generate interest in a property quickly. However, many people end up wasting time and energy by hosting unsuccessful open houses. Sometimes no one shows up. Sometimes the house is poorly represented. How do you ensure that the execution of the open house is beneficial and worth the hassle?

broker-open-houseFirst, you must get people to your open house. No one will be interested in your property or want to place an offer if NO ONE SHOWS UP. To prevent this, you must advertise. A great place to advertise is online. Posting to MLS (if you have a real estate license), Craigslist, Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, homefinder.com, and openhouses.com are vital to generate interest in your open house.

Of course, another great way to advertise is with signs. While it may seem a little old fashioned, placing signs is a great way to bring people into an open house—especially people from around the area. Place signs in the neighborhood, and at nearby intersections and businesses. The signs can be standard open house signs, handmade signs, or other unique ads—the more variety the better. Especially on the day of the open house, you want to purchase at least two Open House signs (which you can buy from Lowes or Home Depot). Attach helium balloons to the end and post at the end of the street or at a nearby intersection. It’s also a good idea to spread the news by word of mouth. If you know any of the town gossips, be sure to tell them first, and your event is sure to be a success!

Now that you have people walking in the door of your house on a Sunday afternoon (which we have found is the best day, especially 1-3pm or 2-4pm), what can you do to get them to stay and think about placing an offer? There are several small tips that can help:

  1. Before the open house, hand out flyers to all the neighbors and invite them to be a part of the event. Encourage them to bring a friend. It is super important to get the neighbors on your side. They can help prospective buyers feel more comfortable and confident with people in the neighborhood.
  2. If you haven’t already done so, open all the blinds and turn on all the lights to bring in as much natural light as possible.
  3. Make sure the temperature is set at 70 degrees. You don’t want any of your guests to be uncomfortable.
  4. Bake cookies or bring refreshments (Lemonade and cookies are always a safe bet.)
  5. Stage the property properly. Do a walk through and make sure nothing looks overly cluttered or dirty.
  6. Have a packet with you that includes a beautiful marketing flyer with pictures, the listing price, and basic information on the property. This packet should also have comparable properties, a sheet that includes any recent updates or renovations that have been made to the property, and a sheet that has a map and nearby points of interest (schools, malls, parks, stores, etc.). These will come in handy for serious prospective buyers who have serious questions.
  7. Bring a sign in sheet. Have a pen and clipboard with columns for name, email, and any other information you would like to have. That way, you can send out an email blast afterwards thanking everyone for coming and enticing them to make an offer.
  8. Lay business cards out on popular surfaces (if you’re an agent).

Realtor with documents smiling outside house

As you run the open house, remember to greet people warmly and smile. Dress professionally and stand near the front door to greet people as they walk in the door. You are the representation of your property, and you want to make a good impression on the prospective buyers. It’s a great idea to have your greeting at least somewhat thought out. Say something along the lines of the following:

“Hello! Thank you for coming to our open house. My name is  _____________ and I am representing the seller. (say this regardless of if you’re an actual realtor, because if they know you’re the owner, they will hide their thoughts and not be as open) Come on in! Here’s the sign in sheet and a packet of information. Feel free to show yourselves around. There are some refreshments in the kitchen. Take your time and let me know what questions you have!”

As people explore and leave, try to gauge their interest level in the property. What do they love? What are they not crazy about? What do they want fixed?

After the open house, you should have a better grasp on the reasonability of the listing price, as well as the extent of interest on the property. Hopefully you’ll even have an offer or two before it’s all said and done.

And THAT is how to have an awesome open house! For more questions on selling your home, continue to explore our site. Happy Home Selling!

Make Sure Your Agent Gives you the Best Open House Ever

“Don’t forget to clean your room before we leave!”

“Honey, where’s the Febreze?”

“Straighten up the basement.”

“Hide the baskets of dirty laundry!”

“Move the lamp in front of that hole in the wall, Susie.”

“Oh Jonny, why’d you have to let the dog in the house? He just got mud all over the floor!”

“Mommy, why do we have to leave the house for 3 hours?”

open-house-tipsAre you living in the chaos and stress of selling your home? Yes, open houses can be hectic. They cause even the most organized families to scramble and stress over the houses’ appearance. But why do we have them? And if they’re so important, how can you make sure your agent hosts a great one for your house?

Here are some great tips to help you support your listing agent as they host an open house for your property in Louisville, KY or elsewhere. Even though your agent will do the majority of the work, there are many things you, as the homeowner, can do to make sure your open house is a huge success!

While it is true that some of our open house anxiety is excessive, presenting a property in the best way possible is one of the best ways to get the house sold, and QUICKLY at that. Why are open houses so great? Here are a few reasons:

  1. It gives prospective buyers a chance to fully examine the house and ask questions.
  2. If the house is staged, it gives prospective buyers an idea of what it would be like to own the house and have people in it. Familiarity with the house will produce more excitement and confidence within the buyer.
  3. Prospective buyers are forced to acknowledge the competition (competing offers can help drive up your selling price).
  4. Visiting a property can give prospective buyers the opportunity to check out the neighborhood and other nearby areas, which can give them more confidence in their decision to place an offer (if they decide to make an offer, it will likely be a serious one; if not, they weren’t a motivated buyer anyways).
  5. It gives you (the home seller) the chance to get away on a Sunday afternoon and do something fun, leaving the realtor to deal with all the questioning and picky home buyers. (Or you may get stuck simply driving around town for three hours with your whining, loud children, so I guess this one could go either way).

Now that we’ve established that having an open house IS indeed important, let’s discuss how to help your agent have an awesome open house that will leave you with offers and the possibility of never having to clean that house ever again.

Here are some other tips on having a great open house:

  1. Clean your house (if this isn’t obvious enough already). Get rid of your clutter. Put away your laundry. Make your beds. Vacuum.
  2. Spruce up your curb appeal (trim the bushes, spray off your driveway, pick up your dog’s poop, etc.)
  3. Speaking of dogs…take them with you. A barking dog at an open house is not a good thing.
  4. Don’t restrict any area of your house. Yes, we know you have 27 loads of laundry that need folded that are stuffed in the upstairs closet, but if you restrict access to that closet, people will assume the worst.
  5. Set the table.
  6. Get a doormat.
  7. Use Febreze. No one wants to live in a smelly house. You may even want to bake cookies before you leave to create a welcoming aroma for the open house guests.
  8. Open all the blinds and turn on all the lights—the more natural light, the better.
  9. Leave the thermostat around 70.
  10. Make your house generic. Take down any photos, art, or posters that people may not agree with or that may hinder someone from imagining the house as “theirs.”
  11. Make sure that you are accessible during the time of the open house. Your agent might have questions asked that only you can answer. If someone is truly interested and has serious questions, you want to be able to answer those as soon as possible.

At the end of the day, a successful open house will not only be beneficial to you, but also to the neighbors and prospective buyers. These few tips will help you help your listing agent represent your house in the best way possible. Yes, it may be a hassle, and it may take every ounce of your energy to get the kids and the dog out the door for three hours on a Sunday afternoon; just rest assured knowing it will be well worth the effort.

For more questions about selling your house, keep reading our blog, or contact LST Properties directly on our Contact Us page.

What Can LST Properties Do For You?

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 5.34.44 PMSelling your house can be a stressful and confusing process, especially if you are under pressure to sell quickly or have a home that could use some work. Low Stress Transaction Properties can simplify all of this for you by giving you a one-stop real estate solution to your Louisville, KY real estate problems. LST Properties will pay you cash, close quickly, and buy the property in as-is condition. What this means for you is that you get out of your situation fast and quickly with little-to-no stress. LST Properties is a locally-owned real estate investment company that has been in Louisville, KY for several years.

Explore our website or contact Matt or Alex directly at 502.822.3633 with any questions and to ensure you are working with an official, local licensee.

Benefits of working with LST Properties

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 5.35.59 PMLST Properties has been a real estate investment company in Louisville, KY for several years and has had its fair deal of transactions. Last year LST Properties bought and sold 14 different houses so we are very knowledgeable about the transaction side of buying a house. If you are behind on your monthly mortgage payments or owe more on your house then the house is worth, we can help save you from foreclosure. There are ways to stop foreclosures and stay in the house; get more information at www.ForeclosureLouisvilleKY.com. Refinancing and loan modification are just a few common ones that we can help you with. By calling 502.822.3633 and talking to Matt or Alex, we can save your home!

Situations we can help homeowners with:

  • Pre-foreclosure
  • Mismanaged Rentals
  • Bankruptcy
  • Loss of Job
  • Failed Business
  • Failed Rehabber
  • Little or No Equity
  • Behind on Mortgage Payments
  • Divorce
  • Outgrown House
  • Retiring to another state
  • Job transfer
  • Death of Family Member
  • Inherited Property
  • Property Sitting on Market
  • Moving away
  • Vacant Property
  • Title Problems
  • House Needs Repair
  • Bad Credit
  • …And much more

How we can help

1. We buy in as-is condition

If your house is outdated, needs a new roof, needs new windows, needs electrical or plumbing repairs, or needs new floors we will take it off your hands without you doing any improvement work. Whatever your case is, we can help you get out of your house without you spending your time and money to try and fix the problems. As-is condition is just like it sounds: your problems become our problem. After we close on your house, you just leave and we do the rest. We know that everyone has a busy life and most of the time there are other things on your agenda besides repairing a house. That is why we enjoy lending a helping hand and paying you in the process. Call Matt or Alex today at 502.822.3633 for a free evaluation of your home.

2. We can close fast

We can close in as little as 7 days once a contract has been signed. This is because of our ability to pay cash at the closing table and not have to go through all the time-consuming bank processes. We pride ourselves on fast responses and over-delivering on customer service, and by putting your needs first we can make a quick and stress-free transaction for you during your real estate transaction.

3. We will pay cash

Lastly, we will put cash in your hand and your home is sold!

How do I get an offer on my house?

Follow these three easy steps for selling your home to us.

  1. Step One – Call Us
  2. Step Two – We will Take a Look at Your House
  3. Step Three – We Make an Offer
  4. Step Four – We Pay Cash and Close!

For more information on how to sell your house or buy a house from us call Matt or Alex at 502.822.3633!

Short Sales, Put Simply

What is a Short Sale?

“Short Sale.” We have all heard that dreaded phrase before but not all of us understand it. This article breaks the term down so that you know exactly what it means and what your options are.

Simply put, when someone is in a “short sale” situation, they owe more on the house than the house is worth. You might be wondering how someone gets into this situation in the first place.

Short sales have been popping up all over the country, not just in Louisville, KY. When the housing economy tanked in 2008, home prices everywhere dropped. Someone with a large mortgage and a house that then dropped in value from $200,000 to $170,000 could have easily ended up in a situation where they actually owed MORE on the house than what the house is worth.

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 4.48.28 PMIn a short sale situation, a seller is facing a threat of foreclosure. Instead of foreclosing, the seller can work with the mortgage lender (usually a bank) to come up with an agreement. With a short sale, the lender will agree to write off part of the mortgage as a loss instead of having the borrower default on the loan. This is beneficial to both parties; borrowers can avoid having a foreclosure appear on their credit report, while lenders can avoid substantial fees associated with foreclosure.

Therefore, a short sale is an alternative to foreclosure and may be an option if:

  • You are behind on mortgage payments
  • You owe more on your home than it is worth
  • You are ineligible to refinance your mortgage
  • You are facing a long-term hardship (divorce, medical bills, etc.)
  • You can no longer afford your home

What are the benefits of a short sale?

The benefits of entering into a short sale are huge for the seller. For one, you can greatly reduce or even eliminate your mortgage debt. Even more importantly, however, is avoiding the negative impact of foreclosure. Foreclosure will show up on your credit report and impact your credit score in a major way. Entering into a short sale can stop this credit damage from taking place. Furthermore, you may be eligible to purchase another home sooner (in as little as two years) than if you went through foreclosure, which can keep you from homeownership for another seven years.

How do I get started?

If you think a short sale may be the answer for you, your first step should be to contact us. We can help you market and sell your home and work with you and your mortgage company to properly:

  • Set the sale price
  • Collect financial information and negotiate with other lien holders
  • Review and analyze offers
  • Agree to the terms of the sale and write a contract once a buyer is in place
  • Work with your mortgage lender to finalize the sale

Short sales are not as scary as they seem. They simply offer an honest way for a home seller to avoid the frustration, sadness, and headache of foreclosure.