Short Sale or Foreclosure, What Should “I” Do?


TV, newspaper, internet wherever you turn you are hearing about this topic everywhere.  Those facing a short sale or foreclosure know it can be very stressful and often wonder where to turn.  I am here to tell you that “YES” it can be stressful, but once you have spoken with a qualified person that can give you direction, answer your questions and help you to make those first steps, this stressful feeling will subside and you will wonder why you waited so long to ask the question.  What most people don’t know right now, if you were to start asking around, you would be surprised at how many people are in the same situation you are in.  Why are we so afraid to talk with each other about our difficulties…remember when the teacher always said to us, the only stupid question is the one that was not asked?  Shouldn’t that apply in this situation also?

The worst thing you could have to tell your spouse or partner is that you may be on the verge of loosing your home.  Now what, how long will the process take, where do we go from here & most impotantly…where will we live & how long with this affect our credit scores.  These are more than just scary thought.  Depending on the action you have to take; short sale vs. foreclosure both will impact your credit scores but in two very different ways.

Short Sale: May stay on your record for 3-4 years.  How it affects your credit score is based on each situation individually as each of our credit scores are different to begin with.  After the appropriate number of years, you may see this come off your credit report.  If you have a second mortgage, this lender has up to 7 years to come after you for the deficient amount owed on that loan even once the home is sold.

Foreclosure: This will stay on your credit report FOREVER! It may affect the terms of any loan or credit card you try to obtain in the future. 

Neither of these procedures should be taken lightly, however, working with a qualified real estate agent will help guide you through the process and be able to direct you to the correct persons that you may need to speak with in order to make the correct decision for you.  When speaking with a Real Estate agent about how you should proceed, it is important to know that this person can not ethically give you any legal or financial advise on the decision you might need to make.  It is always in your best interest to speak with the appropriate persons for direction in these matters.  Your Real Estate agent should also not pressure you to make any impulse decisions on what you want to do.  Since this decision is going to affect you for many years if not a lifetime, take the time to make the decisions that feel best for you, your spouse and most definitely your family.

The other thing to remember is each situation is different and how the bank works with your agent will be different in each case.  So if you see an agent promoting themselves as an experienced or expert in either of these situations, remember that these designations are self-proclaimed and there is NO government or agency that gives these titles to an agent.

THE SPIRITS TO MOVE are here to assist you in all your real estate needs & questions.  Leave us a question if you have one and we will get back with a private response to you.  We are here to help move you in a professional & confidential manner.

Look Around YOUR Home For Ideas


Some are still putting away the holiday decorations, some already have them down and all are left staring at the large spaces that 20 days ago glitzy and gleamed.  Now what?

Are you sitting in this space wondering what to put on that empty wall space? Maybe thinking about that chair that just doesn’t fit the rest of the room or looking at the kids art work piling up and not sure what to do with all of it?

Let’s take a look at what we can create and do to change some of these dull or unfitting pieces.

That large open spot on the wall:   Have you been given some great dishes with unique designs on them?  Why not create a wall design that uses these?  You can get wall hangers for plates and such at any hardware store or large box store.  Hang the hangers-on the wall in a unique arrangement that will display these great pieces and make for wonderful conversation pieces.  How about some unique jewelry that you aren’t using any longer but still remember all the compliments and “OH’s & AH’s” you got when you wore it.  Why not get a frame and use this as a picture on a wall or in a stand on a counter.  This way you can still get that wonderful “OH’s & AH’s” and display these great pieces rather than hide them away.

Curtain tie backs: Rather than using the same old tie backs that all of us buy at the local store, then walk into our neighbors and see the same thing and think, “I WISH I HAD SOMETHING NO ONE ELSE DID”.  Again, use your old jewelry to create a unique & custom tie back that will create a distinguished look you are hoping for.  Use long pearls wrapped or tied back. Have a large necklace these work great also and can create quit a sparkle in any room.

That chair that just doesn’t fit: You painted the room and now that great chair doesn’t fit any more.  What to do? Why not repolster it or if it is wood, paint it and put a new cushion on it.  These are cost saving ways to update a chair and make it work in the room.  You can find easy instructions to assist in these projects on the internet.

Oh, all the kids artwork!:  What wonderful pieces your child has created and given to you.  Know what?  You have a one of a kind original that no one; no matter how hard they try will be able to get a copy of (unless you pass it along or copy for them)?  Why not put these pieces in frames and display them on your wall, end tables or frame stands around the house?  Your guests will love to see their work, your kids will love telling everyone what they were thinking when they created it  and you can rotate these so your pictures and decor are always changing.

Be creative and let THE SPIRITS TO MOVE help you to create new focal points, discussion points and save you money while doing it.  We all have many unique things in our own homes that can be used for more than it’s intended purpose, open your mind and see what you can create.

How is the Real Estate Market Looking


As we fast approach the end of the first week of 2011, many people are wondering what is going on with the real estate market.  Especially if you have your home listed on the market now.

Well, here it is in a nutshell. 

Records indicated that for the week of Dec. 25, 2010 sales were down 3.3% based on the same time in 2009.  There were roughly 379 purchase agreements signed during that week as well.  There have been 657 new homes listed for the time frame of Dec. 25, 2010 which is up 43.7% from 2009. 

There are currently about 21,161 active homes on the market.  This number is up 11.5% from the same week in 2009.

What does this mean for persons trying to sell a home?

A.) You MUST have an agent that is working with your best interest & motivation.

B.) Your home must look it’s best INSIDE & OUT!  Get rid of the clutter, keep the walk ways cleared of snow & ice, limit the orders in the home.

C.) Since it’s winter, clear the summer clothes out of the closets! Make the closet space look as large as possible.

D.) Make sure your photos on the internet are current.  If it’s wintertime, make sure your photos reflect this.  You can have other seasons pictured, but make sure you have some of the current season.

E.) Work with the buyers agents when it comes to showings! Remember, when you get a call, you have a possible buyer! Let them into your home at the time they want.  They will be looking at more than one home and if they can’t get into your home at their desired time, they may not make it back at a time that conveniences you & your family or at all.

F.) PRICE IT RIGHT! Although, you have a price in mind, remember, you hired an agent to help you and they are the trained experts in this area.  They are going to do market analysis, watch what is happening on a daily basis, and work to get you the top dollar for your property. 

When THE SPIRITS TO MOVE hit, remember numbers are what count, so watch them, study them and be on the right side.

Shopping and Homes…How are they related?


If you had your TV on lately, you have heard over and over again the reports saying that the holiday sales have increased compared to last year.  Is this really true or are they just hyping the public to get the shoppers to open their wallets?

Home sales are still on a slow decline in price and most people who I have talked with over the holidays or even now say that they have cut their holiday and daily spending way down.  Their fear is that the housing market is not recovering like experts predicted, unemployment seems to still be at an all time high, and gas prices have increased through the roof over that past month.  In Minnesota, some places are charging over $3/gal.

So how does all this related to the shopping malls? 

I can say personally that I have been out shopping lately before the holidays and just here recently and people seem not to be carrying the load of packages that I typically have seen over years past.  Are they buying more expensive smaller gifts or has the gift card finally taken over?  Here is what I have heard from some:
“I get money from my family, so there is no shopping required & I get more when I shop after the holidays as the sales happen then”
“It’s just me & my spouse so we just buy something big like a new TV or car for both of us and don’t exchange individual gifts”
“I do all my ordering online as there seems to be more deals via the internet”                                                                                                  

How does this relate to the housing market?

Home sales have struggled since the tax credit for buyers expired.  There is much data to show that people are not secure enough with the economy the way it stands today to purchase a new or existing home.  As mentioned earlier with unemployment at an all time high, talk of yet MORE foreclosures to hit the market, mortgage regulations changing & requiring a buyer now to provide some sort of down payment sales have declined.  With the decline of sales, comes the decline of prices to get the homes that are on the market sold.  Most sellers on the market now are at their bottom line for an asking price.  So indication shows that if people are not in the malls they are not looking at homes either.

Standards & Poor have just reported that homes sales in the major cities have dropped dramatically and expect to see home sales continue to fall through next year. 

How does this impact me if I want to sell my home?

Make sure it sparkles inside and out.  Think of it as if you were going out shopping.  There are two stores side by side and both carry what you are looking for.  However, the one on the right is dark, dingier and you have heard others say they are way over priced for their goods! What about that one on the left? Well, let’s look at it, when you walk into this shop there is someone there to great you, its bright & you feel the warmth when you walk in the door, everything here sparkles & shines and the prices are incredibly appropriate for the items they are selling.  Which one of these shops would you buy from or tell others about?  This is the way you need to think in a market like we are facing in order to sell your home.

Make it sparkle, warm & welcoming and price it accordingly.  This is not the market to be playing the start high and work my way to a sale.  THE SPIRITS TO MOVE hit people at some crazy times so be sure your home is ready when that mood hits.