Can I Negotiate Closing Costs?
Absolutely. Everything is negotiable!
With the Arizona Residential Resale Real Estate Purchase Contract, it’s not typical that buyers and sellers will itemize what closing costs they would like their counterpart to pay. It’s usually just asked for a lump sum amount or a percentage of the purchase price. There’s even a section in the purchase contract addressing what closing costs will be paid by the seller on behalf of the buyer.
Also here in Arizona in the current market conditions, it’s more common for buyers to ask for closing costs to be paid for them. There aren’t many sellers asking for their closing costs to be paid right now, although things can change and sometimes very quickly.
What can you expect to pay in closing costs?? There are an infinite number of loan programs out there, with different requirements, fees and costs, so talk to your lender (contact us if you need a referral to a great lender!) about what your estimated costs would be.
What Can I Do Right Now To Increase The Value Of My Home?
When you’re selling a home, a little curb appeal can go a long way! You could possibly start with some less expensive things such as making sure your yard (front and back) is clean and tidy. Consider putting in some new plants/flowers if it’s the right time of year. Your first impression can really make a difference.
From there you can follow suit inside the home and make sure that it’s also clean and tidy. If some cosmetic repairs are needed, take care of them. Air out the home frequently and make sure there’s adequate lighting available.
There are plenty of other things you could do, such as remodeling the kitchen and bathrooms. Try to make a great first impression with neatness and cleanliness and you might be surprised what that could bring you, without heavy remodeling expenses.
You’ve read that correctly. Time is running out to sell your home as a short sale – If you want to take advantage of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation Act.
As many Americans already know, Congress enacted a law to limit tax burden on homeowners who short sell their homes between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2012. Homeowners who sell their home as a short sale and their deficiency is forgiven, may be eligible to not have any tax burden if they meet certain criteria. Click here for the IRS explanation of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation Act.
Here is the critical point to keep in mind – It takes time to market and sell a home, not to mention negotiate the short sale with the lender that holds the note. December 31st, 2012 is the deadline to close a home. That means that a seller would want to get their home on the market no later than June of 2012 if they wanted to feel confident that they would get the home closed by December 31st, 2012. Time is really running out.
In most instances, without the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation Act, if a homeowner sold their home as a short sale and had a $100,000 deficiency, that deficiency would count towards their income on their taxes for that year. For example, if you owed $300,000 on your home and sold it for $200,000, you would have a $100,000 deficiency. $100,000 would be counted as income on your taxes.
If you are considering putting your home up for sale here in Arizona, or anywhere else in the country, now is the time to act!
We recommend consulting a real estate attorney and tax adviser regarding ramifications of completing a short sale on your home.
In an effort to help spread the word and protect consumers from fraudulent mortgage relief scams, I submit the following warning from AG Horne. Contact the Attorney General if you have any questions or feel you are a victim of mortgage fraud.
AG HORNE WARNS HOMEOWNERS: MORTGAGE LAWSUIT SCAM HITS ARIZONA
PHOENIX (Monday, August 22, 2011) — Attorney General Tom Horne today issued a warning to consumers to be wary of any notices or advertisements that claim to offer homeowners facing foreclosure “complete forgiveness of the loan” or other monetary relief if they join a class-action lawsuit. Such ploys are likely a pretext to collect illegal up-front fees for foreclosure assistance.
In class action litigation, consumers generally do not have to pay to join, and most reputable firms will not charge a fee for attorneys to review your case or to determine if you are eligible to join a lawsuit.
“The mortgage crisis is only made worse by predators who take advantage of consumers who are already facing the loss of their home,” Horne said. “State and federal law ban almost all types of up-front fees for foreclosure assistance. I am committed to prosecuting anyone who engages in this type of consumer fraud, and it is just as important that consumers be vigilant against these types of scams.”
The California Attorney General recently filed a lawsuit against California lawyer Philip Kramer, the Law Offices of Kramer & Kaslow, plus 19 other lawyer and non-lawyer individuals and companies, for deceptively marketing class action or “mass joinder” lawsuits. The defendants in that case are believed to have taken over $7 million in fees from homeowners in 17 states – including Arizona – after sending out hundreds of thousands of flyers advertising the program. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants advertised nationwide settlements against lenders that did not exist and that many servicers were not provided by lawyers or legal staff.
Notices may be mailed to homeowners or posted on their doors. Typically, the business claims that the fee they are charging is for a forensic audit of your loan documents to see if you are eligible to join the class action litigation. However, the Federal Trade Commission’s Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule (“MARS Rule”) contains a broad ban on requesting or collecting up-front fees for almost all types of mortgage assistance, including forensic audits related to foreclosure relief. Arizona’s foreclosure consultant statute also prohibits companies from collecting an up-front fee for assisting homeowners in foreclosure.
Foreclosure rescue companies may promise to refund your fee if you are not eligible to join the litigation. However, the Office’s experience with guaranteed refunds indicates that they are very difficult to obtain, or the company may disappear before the refund is paid. If you are facing foreclosure, refuse to pay up-front fees and instead contact the Arizona Foreclosure Prevention Helpline at (877) 448-1211 for free assistance provided by HUD approved housing counseling agencies.
If you feel you’ve been a victim of a class joinder scam or any other type of consumer fraud, please contact the Arizona Attorney General’s Office Consumer Information & Complaints Unit at (602) 542-5763 / (520) 628-6504 / (800) 352-8431. You can also file a consumer complaint online at: http://www.azag.gov/consumer/
Now you can have live access to all the available listings in the Phoenix Metro Area, including cities such as Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley and Tempe. You can use the very same interface all Realtors® in the Valley use when they do the home searching for you. Don’t waste your precious time on 3rd party websites that have all the old information that you don’t need!
THERE ARE ALTERNATIVES TO FORECLOSURE. You have options if you owe more than your home is worth and you need to sell, no matter what the reason. We are real estate brokers and Realtors® and have vast amounts of knowledge and experience with short sales negotiations. Our marketing expertise will get your home the maximum amount of exposure necessary to bring the right buyer. When your home is under contract, we have a team of attorneys working on your behalf to help you get the outcome that you require.