Three Housing Trends for 2013

Based on a variety of surveys, here are three trends in the housing market to look for this coming year:


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Based on a variety of surveys, here are three trends in the housing market to look for this coming year:

1.  Rising home prices.  Five years after the housing market bottomed out, home prices started rising toward the end of 2012 in many markets, and seem on track to continue in that direction, with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) forecasting that home prices will rise 5-6% in the coming year.

2.  More short sales.  As of November 1st, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued new rules on short sales, making short sales more accessible to both buyers and sellers.  That’s not to say that short sales will become significantly easier, but they should be more plentiful in 2013.

3.  Fewer foreclosures.  As short sales rise this year, you can expect to see foreclosures, especially at bargain prices to fall.  The FHFA and banks are selling off distressed home loans through other methods so you can expect to find less foreclosures flooding the market.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-856-6434.

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Five Things To Know About Purchasing a Foreclosure

Buying a foreclosed property can be a great deal, but it can also be confusing and stressful. Here are five things you should know to make the process easier.


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Buying a foreclosed property can be a great deal, but it can also be confusing and stressful.  Here are five things you should know to make the process easier.

Take it or leave it.  Foreclosures are sold “as is.”  In a normal home sale the sellers are required by law to make all kind of disclosures about issues that the home has had in the past, repairs made to the home, repairs that need to be made to the home, etc.  In the foreclosure process the banks make it clear that they don’t live in the home, have never lived in the home, and have no idea about the home’s history, so you won’t be getting disclosures of any kind.  The home is yours to take or leave just as it is.

Check out the neighborhood.  The neighborhood that the home is in can tell you a lot about the potential value of the home.  Are there lots of homes for sale in the neighborhood?  Are the homes primarily rental properties or are they owner occupied?  Are the homes and yards nicely kept or is the neighborhood falling into disrepair?  The answers to all of these questions can give you a good clue about whether or not you will be getting a good deal if you are to purchase the foreclosed property.

Forget contingencies.  In a normal sale there are all kinds of contingencies that you can write into your contract without worrying about potentially losing the deal.  One of the most common is to make your offer contingent on the sale of your own home, but there are many others as well.  In a foreclosure sale no contingencies are the way to go.  The less reason you give the bank to reject your offer, the more likely you are to get the home.

Use cash.  Or at the very least have all of your financing secured.  Pre-approval does not necessarily mean that the financing will come through quickly enough in the foreclosure process.  The less hassle you have to go through to get the money, the better it is.  Cash is always the best option.

It’s all on you.  Depending on the laws in the area of the foreclosure you may have a short window of time to have an inspection done before committing to closing.  In this case, everything is riding on you.  It is up to you to know what work needs to be done to the home and how much it is going to cost.  Again, this goes back to the fact that there are no seller disclosures when dealing with a foreclosure.  Hire a trusted inspector (consider having two inspectors look at the property) and follow-up by hiring any necessary specialty inspectors and/or contractors to give you as much information as possible before closing because uncovering potential problems is your responsibility alone when buying a foreclosed property.

Cooper Realty Associates are REO specialists in Sussex County.  If you’re thinking of buying a foreclosed property, give us a call and put our expertise to work for you – 302-856-6434.

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5 Things To Keep in Mind About Foreclosures

Interested in buying a foreclosed home? In today’s market foreclosures can be a valid option for many homebuyers. Unfortunately, there are many popular myths about buying bank-owned homes that make it difficult to really understand the foreclosure process. If you’re thinking of purchasing a foreclosed home, here are five things you should keep in mind…


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Interested in buying a foreclosed home?  In today’s market foreclosures can be a valid option for many homebuyers.  Unfortunately, there are many popular myths about buying bank-owned homes that make it difficult to really understand the foreclosure process.  If you’re thinking of purchasing a foreclosed home, here are five things you should keep in mind:

1.       Foreclosure Doesn’t Equal Cheap
Many homebuyers believe that they will pay less for a foreclosed home than for a similar home that is not bank owned.  Because banks want these homes sold quickly, it is true that they are usually priced slightly under comparable properties, but the key word here is slightly.  A foreclosed home might be a “steal” compared to what the former owner’s once paid, but it is likely that compared to similar homes in today’s market the price is not such a steep bargain.  You should also keep in mind that foreclosures often (not always, but often) need some work, so you should factor those costs in when consider price.  Shop around and compare foreclosures to similar homes for sale on the open-market. The foreclosure you have your eye on might be a great deal, but don’t believe that it is just because it’s a foreclosure, do your homework!

2.       Be Aware That All Foreclosures Are Sold “As Is”
Generally speaking foreclosures are owned by sellers who have never even seen the home (the bank).  This means that the home has most likely been vacant for some time, and the general care and maintenance of the home has not been kept up.  This could mean anything from a broken window to a leaky roof to termites or mold.  Keep in mind that banks will not want to issue the buyer credits the way a normal seller would, so if you’re interested in a foreclosure you need an agent who is aggressive and experienced when it comes to working with banks.

3.       Don’t Lowball
Banks understand the value of the homes they are trying to offload and it is does not make good business sense for them to accept an offer that is significantly less than market value.  Think about it:  if you had a million dollars sitting in a checking account, you wouldn’t sell something for $1,000 when you know if you wait for a month or two you can get $2,000 or even $3,000 – you just don’t need the money that badly!  That’s the position the bank is in.  Although it is true that banks do not want to own these properties, it is also true that they are not desperate enough to give them away at steeply discounted prices.  In fact, they want these homes to sell at as a high a price as possible in order to cut their losses.  So if you’re seriously interested in a foreclosed home, be sure to offer a fair price.  A lowball offer will most likely be trashed.

4.       You Can’t Cheat The System
A lot of people believe that if they can purchase the foreclosure straight from the bank before it goes on the market, they will get a better deal.  However, banks have no interest in handling business this way.  Why would they?  It is in their best interest to get the best price for the property and that means putting it on the market and seeing what kinds of offers come in.  If you really want to purchase a foreclosed home before it hits the market, you’re going to have to pay cash at auction.

5.       Get The Home Inspected
Many people believe that buying a foreclosed home means that they have to forego inspection.  It’s true that if you’re buying the home at auction you will not have the opportunity to have it inspected, however if you’re purchasing a foreclosed home that is for sale on the open market you can and should have that home inspected.  Even though you will be responsible for paying the inspector and fully funding any repairs that need to be made (if you go through with the purchase), it is ultimately in your best interest to have the home inspected.

Are you in the market for a new home, foreclosed or otherwise?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266!

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HURRY, SELLERS! DON’T LET THE WINDOW CLOSE ON YOU!!

To make it even more complicated, there is a flood of distressed properties (short sales/foreclosures) entering the market, and they are having a negative effect on property values, as they sell for a greatly discounted price.


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When I go out on listing appointments, part of the process is determining a price at which the property will sell within a satisfactory time period.  This part of the process is usually a very difficult one.  Obviously, the sellers want to get the most money as possible.   At the same time, the property needs to be priced in line with the competition.  To make it even more complicated, there is a flood of distressed properties (short sales/foreclosures) entering the market, and they are having a negative effect on property values, as they sell for a greatly discounted price.  Therefore, anyone needing to sell their home needs to do it NOW and price it in such a way that compels a buyer to buy it NOW!!!

I recently read an article that explains this very well.  Click HERE to see what the experts are saying, and then call us to help you sell your home, TODAY!!  We have a secret weapon that will help you save money!!  Call Cooper Realty to find out what we will do for you!!

Lewes:  302 644-2266   Seaford:  302 629-6693    Georgetown:  302 856-6434

Author ~ Connie Cooper- Cooper Realty Associates

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SHOULD I STAGE MY HOME?

We are still in a buyer’s market with more short sales and foreclosures coming on the market this quarter than we have seen in two years.


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 DO YOU NEED TO STAGE YOUR HOME IN ORDER TO SELL IT?


To stage or not to stage? When selling your home, home staging can help but it may not always be necessary. Realtor® Karen McKnight of Kirkland, WA says that staging a property can help it sell, but that a seller shouldn’t spend money staging if they need to make a choice between a price reduction or paying for staging:

The biggest issue in selling your home is being priced well for the market. If your house is clean and meticulously maintained, you may not need to spend the extra money on staging. I have been in the business since a friend of mine started the concept of staging, which was originally a lot simpler than what has evolved through the 2000s. We are still in a buyer’s market with more short sales and foreclosures coming on the market this quarter than we have seen in two years. What this means for you is that you (under the guidance of your agent) need to be watching the activity very carefully and making decisions based on your number of showings and whether or not buyers are coming back twice. If you have been at your price 30 days with no offer you are probably still too high. Short Sales and foreclosures sell at a 10% to 20% discount so that has the effect of lowering prices. You want to stay ahead of your competition. Make sure you are the best active listing on the market in the area, and that includes competition in nearby neighborhoods, because buyers usually look within a number of neighborhoods based on their commuting and pricing criteria.

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