5 Reasons why you should list our home today!

January 28, 2013

5 Reasons You Should List Your House TODAY!

by The KCM Crew on January 28, 2013 ·

Many homeowners are waiting until the Spring ‘buying season’ to list their homes for sale. Here are five reasons why that might not make sense this year:

1.) Demand Is High

Homes are selling at a pace not seen since 2007. The most recent Existing Home Sales Report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed that annual sales in 2012 increased 9.2% over 2011. There are buyers out there right now and they are serious about purchasing.

2.) Supply Is Low

The monthly supply of houses for sale is at its lowest point (4.4 months) since May of 2005. The current month’s supply is down 21.6% from the same time last year. Historically, inventory increases dramatically in the spring. Selling now when demand is high and supply is low may garner you your best price.

3.) New Construction Is Coming Back

Over the last several years, most homeowners selling their home did not have to compete with a new construction project around the block. As the market is recovering, more and more builders are jumping back in. These ‘shiny’ new homes will again become competition as they are an attractive alternative to many purchasers.

4.) Interest Rates Are Projected to Inch Up

The Mortgage Bankers’ Association has projected mortgage interest rates will inch up approximately one full point in 2013. Whether you are moving up or moving down, your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.

5.) Timelines Will Be Shorter

The dramatic increase in transactions caused many challenges to the process of buying or selling a home in 2012. We waited for inspections, dealt with last minute appraisals and prayed that the bank didn’t ask for ‘just one more piece of paper’ before issuing a commitment on the mortgage. There are fewer transactions this time of year. That means that timetables on each component of the home buying process will be friendlier for those involved in transactions over the next 90 days.

These are five good reasons why you should consider listing your house today instead of waiting.

We need listings! If you are thinking of making a move, contact us TODAY!
http://www.homesbytony.com

GREAT Short Sale information

January 16, 2013

Avoiding the Dirty Dozen Barriers to Short Sale Success

by Brandon Brittingham on January 16, 2013 · 0 comments

Short sales often take three times longer than a traditional transaction and sometimes never close at all. By hiring an agent who knows to avoid these twelve barriers, the process can be less stressful.

1.) Poor short sale candidate
■Establish objective criteria
■Conduct an extensive interview with homeowner
■Ascertain seller is motivated and cooperative

2.) Agent lacks familiarity with the lender’s requirements and procedures to complete the short sale
■Harvest and maintain lender and investor guidelines
■Secure individual forms required for each lender/servicer

3.) Title exam not obtained in the beginning
■Identifies individuals on deed and mortgages
■Determines all lien holders

4.) Incomplete package submitted to the lender/servicer
■Focus on the quality of the package at time of submission
■Detail orientation is critical
■All docs completely executed
■Complete package allows process to flow faster

5.) Short sale not begun prior to receiving a contract to purchase
■Adds 30 to 60 additional days
■Lender never looks at buyer contract until seller candidate is approved and market value has been determined

6.) Complete package not maintained throughout the short sale process
■Must keep all required homeowner financial information current and forwarded to the servicer every 30 days

7.) Lack of communication with the lender
■Most negotiators overwhelmed by the number of individual cases they are working on
■Misunderstandings, loss of documents, and/or lack of familiarity with files are very common
■Agent must continue to follow-up with the servicer twice a week to reduce unnecessary delays

8.) Poor record keeping /documentation by agent
■High probability of changes in processing personnel
■New person often lacks familiarity with case.
■Has to rely on the quality of notes in the file
■Information is often lost or missing
■Agent’s role is to help fill in the gaps

9.) Professional relationship with the negotiator never established
■Stressful environment
■Lots of frustration
■Lack of respect and trust are common
■Begins with building rapport
■Can be a big game changer

10.) Failure to meet BPO/Appraiser at the listing
■Without a detailed inspection of the property inside and outside the value will be distorted
■Meeting BPO at property provides great opportunity to share information that might not otherwise be discovered

11.) Fair market value dispute
■Common in most markets
■Negotiators lack current relevant information on most markets
■Forced to make decisions based on the data provided by BPO and information in the lender package
■Agent must be willing to provide additional current, detailed, relevant information (ie. local market, economy, demographics, and property condition) that can have an effect on value.

12.) Failure to “escalate” to higher authority when communication breaks down
■Escalation is part of the short sale process
■Escalating to a supervisor can be the key to moving forward
■Upper levels of every lender’s short sale department are working toward one goal– avoiding another foreclosure

Avoiding these dozen pitfalls will increase your odds of success while reducing everyone’s time and stress

Warren Buffet Bets Big on Real Estate

November 1, 2012

Warren Buffet Bets Big on Real Estate.

Contact us for ALL your Real Estate Needs!

Short Sale vs. Foreclosure

October 8, 2012

It’s likely you’ve heard the term “short sale” thrown around quite a bit. But what, exactly, is a short sale?

A short sale is when a bank agrees to accept less than the total amount owed on a mortgage to avoid having to foreclose on the property. This is not a new practice; banks have been doing short sales for years. Only recently, due to the current state of the housing market and economy, has this process become a part of the public consciousness.

To be eligible for a short sale you first have to qualify!

To qualify for a short sale:
■Your house must be worth less than you owe on it.
■You must be able to prove that you are the victim of a true financial hardship, such as a decrease in wages, job loss, or medical condition that has altered your ability to make the same income as when the loan was originated. Divorce, estate situations, etc… also qualify.

Now that you have a basic understanding of what a short sale is, there are some huge misconceptions when it comes to a short sale vs. a foreclosure. We take the most common myths surrounding both short sales and foreclosures and give a brief explanation. LET’S BUST SOME MYTHS!!

1.) If you let your home go to foreclosure you are done with the situation and you can walk away with a clean slate. The reality is that this couldn’t be any farther from the truth in most situations. You could end up with an IRS tax liability and still owing the bank money. Let me explain. Please keep in mind that if your property does go into foreclosure you may be liable for the difference of what is owed on the property versus what is sells for at auction, in the form of a deficiency balance! Please note this is state specific and in most states you will be liable for the shortfall, but in some states the bank may not always be able to pursue the debt. Check your state law as it varies widely from state to state.

Here is an example of how a deficiency balance works

If you owe $200,000 on the property and it sells at auction for $150,000, you could be liable for the $50,000 difference if your state law allows it.

Not only could you be liable for the difference to the bank, but in some situations you could also be liable to the IRS! Although there are exemptions (mostly for principle residences) under the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act, there are times when you could be taxed on both a short sale and a foreclosure, even in a principle residence situation. Since the tax code on this is a little complicated and I am not a CPA, I advise always talking to a CPA when in this situation as you are weighing your options. Hard to believe? Well, believe it or not, the IRS counts the difference between the sale and the charged off debt as a “gain” on your taxes. That’s right-you lost money and it’s counted as a gain! (I didn’t make that rule, that’s a wonderful brainchild of the IRS). Banks and the IRS can go as far as attaching your wages. Not to mention if you let your home go to foreclosure you will have that on your credit, as well.

Guess What? A short sale can alleviate your liability to the bank, in most situations. There are also exceptions to this, but in most cases banks are releasing homeowners from the deficiency balance on a short sale.

2.) There are no options to avoid foreclosure. Now more than ever, there are options to avoid foreclosure. Besides a short sale, loan modifications along with deed in lieu are also examples of the many options. In most cases (but not all) a short sale is the best option. Either way, there are more options today than there have ever been to avoid foreclosure.

3.) Banks do not want to participate in a short sale, or, it is too hard to qualify for a short sale. Banks would rather perform a short sale than a foreclosure any day. A foreclosure takes a long time and creates a huge expense for the banks; a short sale saves both time and money. Banks have more foreclosure inventory than ever before, and certainly do not want any more. Banks more than ever welcome short sales. Qualifying for a short sale is easier than you think, you need to have a true financial hardship, or a change in your finances and your house has to be worth less than what you owe on it. Not only do consumers, but banks also now have government incentive to participate in short sales.

4.) Short sales are not that common. At this present time, short sales range from 10-50 % of sales in various markets and it is predicted that in 2012 we will have more short sales than any other year, to date. Due to economic changes in the last few years, this is something that is affecting millions of Americans. Short sales are in every market, and are not just limited to any particular income class. This has affected everyone from all facets of life. A short sale should be looked at as a helpful tool, not a negative stigma. That is why the government is offering programs that actually pay consumers to participate in short sales. It is not just affecting one community; it is affecting communities and consumers across the nation.

5.) The short sale process is too difficult and they often get denied. Though the short sale process is time consuming; it is not as difficult as the media would have you believe. The problem is that most short sales are denied because of a misunderstanding of the process. It is true that if the short sale process is not followed correctly there is a good chance of getting denied. An experienced agent knows how to avoid this. Short sales require a lot of experience, and a special skill set. If you are looking to go the option of a short sale make sure your agent is skilled and experienced in this area.

6.) Short sales will cost me money out of pocket. A short sale should not cost you any out of pocket money. In fact, you could get between $3000-up to $30,000 to participate in a short sale. In many ways, a short sale may put you in a better financial position than prior to the short sale. Almost every short sale program now has some type of financial incentive for the home owner, as long as it is a principle residence, and we are even seeing relocation money being paid on some investment/second homes. As a seller of a property you should never have to pay for any short sale cost upfront to any professional service. Realtors charge a commission that is paid for by the bank. In most communities there are also non-profits and HUD counselors who can help you with foreclosure prevention options for free. The only potential cost you could incur is if the bank would not release you from a deficiency balance in the short sale, which is happening less and less now.

7.) If I am behind on my payments, I can perform a short sale any time. The farther you get behind on your payments, the harder it is to get a short sale approved. The closer a property gets to a foreclosure the harder it is to convince the bank to perform a short sale. As they get closer to a foreclosure sale more money is spent, thus deterring them from doing a short sale. If you think you need to perform a short sale, time is of the essence; the sooner you start the process, the better. Waiting too long can trigger the ramifications of a foreclosure, losing the ability to do a short sale as a viable option.

8.) I have already been sent a foreclosure notice so I can’t perform a short sale. For the most part just because you received a foreclosure notice or notice of default it does not mean that you do not have time to perform a short sale. The timeline and specifics do vary from state to state, but having done short sales all over the country, I have seen banks postpone a foreclosure to work a short sale option as close as 30 days prior to the scheduled foreclosure auction, but the longer you wait the less chance you have. If you have received a legal foreclosure notice, please reach out to a professional right away. The longer you wait, and the closer you get to foreclosure, the fewer options you have. If you have received a notice to foreclose this means the bank is filing paperwork and starting the process to take legal action to repossess the house. You still have time at this point to prevent foreclosure, but do not hesitate! The closer you get to the foreclosure date the harder it becomes to negotiate with the bank for whichever option you choose.

9.) I was denied for a loan modification, so I know I will get denied for a short sale. Short sales and loan modifications are handled by two separate departments at the bank. These processes are totally different in approval and denial. If you got denied for a modification you can still apply for a short sale; in some cases you can get a short sale approved faster than a loan modification, as some loan modifications are denied because they cannot reduce the loan low enough based on the consumers income.

10.) If I go through a short sale I cannot buy another house for a long time. The time to buy another house depends on your entire credit picture and can vary from 12-24 months. There are even a few FHA programs that allow for a purchase sooner than that. I have worked with clients who went through a short sale and bought another house in less than 12 months.

These are just a few of the common myths surrounding short sales and foreclosure. With the options available today, no homeowner should ever have to go through foreclosure, and hopefully this information can help a few more homeowners think twice before walking away from their home not realizing the possible long term ramifications a foreclosure can have.
by Brandon Brittingham

New Listing in Lakeville

September 24, 2012

Image

Wonderful former model in Spirit! 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, large entertaining spaces throughout! New paver patio with fire-pit, new fenced in backyard, new trees, new carpet, plus MUCH more! Nothing was overlooked!

5 Confessions of this summer’s sellers

July 31, 2012

This summer’s sellers are a different breed. If you engage them the right way, this could be one of your hottest summers ever in real estate. If you don’t, you’ll miss out on the many higher-dollar commissions to be made from working with consumers looking to move-up or move on.

Here are five seller confessions taken from NAR’s Annual Buyer and Seller Profile to help you counsel these important clients in a potentially tough selling environment and generate your next commission while you’re hard at work.

1) I purchased near the peak

Price isn’t what it used to be and research from the National Association of Realtors shows today’s average seller purchased there home in 2004 near the housing peak.

Today, many of your seller-clients may be facing a loss or barely breaking even. That means, for most, their motivation to sell is much stronger than their need to make or save a dollar.

As an agent, you need to identify the primary motivation or life goal attached to the sale. Use that focal point to periodically remind them that they are reaching ahead to the next phase of life and not losing out to a merciless market when things get tough.

2) I need help pricing

The research showed the second most popular area where sellers expect help from their agent is pricing.

Today one of a seller agent’s largest responsibilities is to offer sound pricing advice. At the end of the day, your comparables are your best resource for pricing, but you need to sell that price to your clients. Market data from Trulia Local and other reliable resources that show context can make your job easier when giving sellers the pricing education they need.

3) I want a larger home

In all of the humdrum news about the market, the silver lining for some sellers is that this market is the perfect opportunity for an upgrade. The same NAR report showed 46 percent of sellers were getting rid of their home to trade up to a larger space and today’s housing affordability is the major motivator for almost 25 percent of today’s sellers.

As an agent, you need to remember that there’s a difference between larger and better. When you’re talking with your seller, be sure to find out both the selling points and dislikes are related to their current home. Knowing your clients’ dislikes puts you in the perfect position to be their agent for the next deal. After all, you’ll already know what they’re looking for.

4) I’m a little wiser

Today’s sellers are more experienced than in times past. The data showed average sellers were a bit older by about four years and for 68 percent of them, this wasn’t they’re first real estate transaction.

For agents looking to work with these clients, your reputation is going to mean more than ever. Make sure your real estate resume is up-to-date on your Trulia Profile to catch the attention of these clients. They will look you up online and the information they find could make or break you when they’re ready to select an agent.

5) I’m shopping for two

More and more consumers are not only buying, but also selling in pairs. In fact, 77 percent of today’s sellers are married. That means you, as an agent, need to be prepared to deal with multiple opinions.

While this can seem like additional pressure, it could result in additional leads.

Remember that clients of today are the recommendations and referrals of tomorrow. Don’t forget to follow-up after you’ve closed escrow to ask each or your clients to write and share a positive business review after the deal is done, in order to grow your network.

These are a few things we learned about today’s sellers from the NAR’s research. What are you learning about today’s sellers from your day-to-day experience?

Jovan Hackley

5 Most Powerful Words in a Home for Sale Listing

April 4, 2012

5 Most Powerful Words in a Home for Sale Listing

According to a study done by Professor Paul Anglin from the University of Guelph in Ontario, there are certain words used in home listings that have a magical effect on a home for sale. These are the most powerful words in a home for sale listing that help the owner sell quickly and/or get a higher asking price.

Of course, the most powerful words in a home for sale listing must be met with honesty. You can’t write things about your home in your listing that aren’t true. But nevertheless, use these five most powerful words in a home for sale listing coupled with a sound reality and your chances of selling your home will skyrocket.

Most powerful words in a home for sale listing #1

Beautiful / gorgeous
Using words that speak to how attractive the property is helps it sell faster that speaking to its value or worth via the price. Of course, the general consensus was that these homes were beautiful in the eyes of most home buyers.

According to Anglin’s study, homes that were called “beautiful” sold, at average, 15% faster. While most home buyers are thrilled to get a bargain, they still put a major emphasis on the condition of a home and its esthetic appeal.

Most powerful words in a home for sale listing #2

Move-in condition
“Move-in condition” tells a home buyer that your home needs no repairs, changes or moderations; it is perfect and ready to be lived in as soon as you hand over the keys.

“I have visited ‘move-in condition’ homes and time and time again, they really meet the criteria,” says Derek Gilmore from Calgary, Alberta. “And this is the magic word for me; the moment I see ‘move-in condition’ I know that the owner is not using the expression lightly.”

And while “move-in condition” is typically used by flippers who essentially makeover a home before they sell it for a profit, Gilmore admits that most homes he has bought over the years come from residential homeowners who have lived in the home prior to selling.

Most powerful words in a home for sale listing #3

Turnkey
An informal survey among my own colleagues and home buyer friends revealed that the word “turnkey” also denoted images of the perfect home that is in immaculate condition.

“Any time I see the word ‘turnkey’ the pictures that go with the listing tend to reveal a home that is in perfect condition,” revealed Stacey F., who has been searching for a home on ComFree.com over the last couple of weeks. “Another word that also catches my eye is ‘immaculate’; tell me a home is immaculate and mean it, and there’s a good chance I will want to check it out.”

Again, keep in mind that if you use this word, your home must live up to it.

Most powerful words in a home for sale listing #4

Curb appeal
Keeping up with the Joneses is typically a difficult feat, so when a home for sale is listed with the words “curb appeal,” many home buyers perk up with anticipation. There is something very encouraging about a home that looks amazing from the outside.

Words like “landscaping” also did well in the survey and it’s because a home that is beautiful from the inside out appeals to the masses. So if you’re home has curb appeal with a paved driveway, beautiful trees and grass so green that people are constantly remarking on it, use it to your advantage when listing your home for sale.

Most powerful words in a home for sale listing #5

Gourmet kitchen
There is no doubt that the kitchen is one of the most important, if not the most important room in a home. So it is no surprise to learn that words like “granite” and “gourmet kitchen” translated into a higher sale price.

The issue here is that if you don’t actually have these things in your home, you can’t very well make it up; the pictures and the visit will reveal the reality. So if your kitchen isn’t a gourmet one, then your best bet would be to do minimal upgrades and use another big sell with homeowners: “newly remodeled.”

Using the most powerful words to list your home for sale

I know that I have been saying this ad nauseum by this point, but it’s important to understand that fudging your listing will not win you any fans. Be honest about your home but use the right words to pique their interest.

by Rosy Saadeh

Facebook

March 21, 2012

Thank you for LIKING our Facebook page…

https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Tony-and-Lori-Ashworth-Real-Estate-Page/117876894938412

I love Happy Clients

February 22, 2012

One thing about this industry, like most, we are never as good as we think we are. We are only as good as what our past clients say we are.

Here are what a few past clients have had to say about working with us…

 

Tony,

Following is our testimonial to working with you…Thank You!

The following is a testimonial relative to our experience with Tony Ashworth. After having our first home on the market for over a year with a different real estate agent, we decided to make a switch to Tony. When we started with Tony we were selling a high-end home while we were building another one.  We hired Tony originally to sell the first home and then contracted with him to sell our second new home as well.  Due to an extreme downturn in the Real Estate market where we saw home values consistently declining month over month we had a tremendous challenge on our hands to price right in order to attract attention.  Tony was extremely knowledgeable and coached us through it all.  Additionally, given the level of these homes, we asked Tony to be present for all showings which was an incredible sacrifice on his part.  Never once did we lose a showing because Tony couldn’t make it!  Through all of this, Tony exhibited an incredible patience and willingness in explaining the workings of the market, and what to do when the market is moving backwards.  With each interaction, Tony maintained a professional demeanor and worked hard to help us understand the options and how to get the sale done. Mostly though, he has become a friend who we trust and appreciate for his understanding of the market, his honesty, caring and his ability to sell.  In the end, we closed on the sale of our homes with a smile and a warm handshake…We have the utmost confidence in Tony to work with him again as we re-enter the market in the future.

R & L

 

 

            Whether you are buying a home or selling your existing home, you need to consider Tony Ashworth.  Tony helped us with both of these transactions recently and I was extremely impressed.  He is a true professional and I consider him a trusted advisor!  In this market, you need to work with the best and Tony is without a doubt a cut above the rest.  Thanks Tony!!!

G & K

 

It was a pleasure to work with Tony and Lori Ashworth in both the sale of our existing home and purchase of our new home.  Throughout the process they were both, in every way, the consummate professionals: knowledgeable, responsive to our needs, diligent, courteous, committed, and able to get things done. 

We were taking advantage of a military program in the sale of our existing home.  Tony was diligent in understanding the program requirements, working with program administrators and ensuring that all details were met to ensure us the full benefit of the program.  He illustrated a great understanding of contract details, negotiation etiquette and documentation.  I greatly appreciated Tony’s calm reassurance and expert advice throughout the entire sales process.

As we searched for a new home Tony’s attention, care and insight into our needs was excellent.  He offered an objective viewpoint on each house we toured, thereby helping us with our final decision. Tony was always expedient in returning my calls, searching for properties, and setting up tours. I found Tony to be knowledgeable about aspects of realty that surpassed just the legalities of buying and selling properties.

Tony’s high ethical standards and integrity are evident in his work.  On top of that, he is genuinely warm and friendly, with a great sense of humor.  Best of all, Tony Ashworth is a Realtor who makes it his job to help you meet YOUR GOALS rather than his own! 

I highly recommend Tony and Lori Ashworth and Homes by Tony Realty.

Respectfully,

JB

 

 

“We couldn’t have been more pleased with the way that Tony and his staff handled our listing. Pure professionals, down to the last details. Everything was resolved immediately, suggestions were helpful, and in the end, we sold our house even more quickly than we had hoped. We would recommend Tony & Lori Ashworth and the whole Coldwell Banker Burnet team to all of our friends.”

                                    M & M

 

If you’re looking to move, and want the best realtor in the area, look no more! From the first time we met with Tony Ashworth, we were impressed by his work ethic, knowledge of the market and experience. Once we decided to sell, his wife Lori came over and gave us wonderful ideas for showing our home in the best possible way. Was it a lot of work? Yes! Was it worth it? Definitely!! Her help in staging our home was an integral part of how quickly it sold. Tony is a proactive agent, who listened to us, and helped us every step of the way. You can’t beat the Tony & Lori Ashworth team–they’re the best!

N & L

 

The Ashworth team was incredible throughout the process of selling our home. The made us feel as if we were in control of our sale and decision making, and they did all the work! Tony and Lori are truly professionals in every way.

 

D & C

 

We appreciate the kind words from these any many others. If you are looking for an agent, we would love to earn your business as well. Traditional listing or a short sale….we have you covered. First time home owner to a Distinctive Home – we work them all!

Contact us for ALL your real estate needs!

 

Happy New Year!

December 31, 2011

December 31, 2011

As I think back on this past year I am thankful for many things!

So often we look back on our lives and are too often only thankful for the good things that have happened to us. This year as I reflect, I am thankful for the low points!

The past few years in the real estate industry have been trying to say the least! If you have not heard – the real estate industry is NOT what it used to be! I have been at “forks in the road” that I never thought that I would be at. I have been forced to make decisions that I never pictured myself having to make. As I have made these decisions I realized that I was growing through each one. I never appreciated the valley when I thought I was on top of the mountain! But it is in the valley that I have appreciated so much more in my life. I am thankful that I have been forced to go through the fire as it has refined me and made me who I am today!

I am thankful for my faith! I believe that God has given me all that I have, and helped show me what I no longer need!

I am thankful for my family! Being the father of four small children and the husband to a great wife is a blessing that I can’t describe!

I am thankful for my friends! We are fortunate in our business to have friends that are clients, and more importantly, we have clients that become friends!

I am thankful for you! Your business and your referrals are what continue to make us successful in our industry!

As you go into the New Year appreciate where you have come from; appreciate the trials and low points because once you get through them you will soon realize they were not as low as you once thought!  

I hope that 2012 is an amazing year for you and I hope that it brings you all that your heart desires…

If moving is in your plans for the coming year, I hope that you keep us in mind as we would love to earn your business!

Happy New Year!

Tony


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