Thursday, February 16, 2012

Neuman Defense Gets More Bizarre, Why Our Banking System is a Mess, Home Selling Advice

Attorneys in the high-profile murder case against Hemy Neuman said Thursday angels and demons resembling singers Olivia Newton John and Barry White told him to kill Rusty Sneiderman in the parking lot of a Dunwoody preschool.

Neuman admits pulling the trigger but said he did not know right from wrong at the time and should be sentenced to a mental facility instead of prison.
Click photo to watch WSBTV news report.

Click photo to watch WSBTV news report
 Why Our Banking System is a Mess
This week I learned, firsthand, another reason why our banking system is so screwed up.  I am representing a buyer who made an offer on a vacant property that was foreclosed on by Wells Fargo.  The property is clearly unoccupied, and I wouldn't hesitate to guess that it's been unoccupied for 3-4 months.  Nonetheless, Wells Fargo is insisting that my buyer initial the clause below.  Wells Fargo will not even consider the offer, which is very close to the list price, unless this clause is initialed. 

So if my client wants the property, which he does, the bank is forcing him to acknowledge, in writing, that a "bona fide tenant with a bona fide lease" is occupying the property.  How ludicrous is that?
We've been assured by the real estate agent representing the bank that this clause has not caused problems in any of the hundreds of transactions in which it has been a part of the contract, but it has given my client and I pause, and he even considered withdrawing the offer (which could cause the bank to hold onto the property for an even longer time frame, losing more money - in carrying costs - in the process. 
Another reason why our banking system is in the state it is in ...

Home-Selling Advice

If you are thinking about selling your here are three faux-pas to avoid.
1. Hanging out when buyers are viewing your home: Buyers stalk properties online and off, checking obsessively for price reductions and the like. But buyer-side home stalking is unobtrusive to sellers. On the other hand, buyers can feel personally stalked and stifled in their ability to fully explore or verbally process their impressions of a home when you, seller, hang out inside your home while it’s being shown.

As soon as a buyer sees you in the house, it instantly becomes much more difficult for them to”
(a) envision themselves living there (it’s your house, after all),
(b) be comfortable opening up drawers, closet doors, etc., and
(c) express their thoughts about how this house might be exactly what they’re looking for, if they can knock out that wall and get rid of those cukoo murals you so lovingly painted in your children’s rooms.

Sellers: If you want to sell your home, it’s best to not be around when buyers are looking. Give them some breathing space and a chance to truly walk around and consider what they like and/or dislike about your home without lurking and looming (and, let’s be real - eavesdropping) nearby.

2. Showing a messy house: Life gets hectic, and it’s easy for things like laundry, dishes and other house cleaning tasks to fall by the wayside. It’s also difficult to keep the home in which you and your 4 kids, 3 gerbils and 2 Labrador Retrievers live perfectly spotless for months at a time, while you’re waiting for an offer. But when you decide that you’re going to sell your home, it’s imperative that you make a pact and a plan with yourself and your family that the place will be in tip-top shape when buyers come knocking.

Remember: your home is competing with dozens of others, as well as with buyer’s HGTV-infused visions of what their next home should look like, so first impressions really count.

Sellers: Stuffing the closet is not the answer. (Buyers will be opening that closet door, after all.) Pack up your personals like you were moving (best case: you are), and put all but the essentials in storage, if needed. Get the carpets cleaned, do the dishes, make the beds, mow the lawn, dust, sweep and mop. Ask your agent to give you a gut check on whether your idea of clean is clean enough (better yet - ask them for the number of a house cleaner who you can engage to get the job done to showable standards).

This might all seem obvious, but agents and buyers alike are constantly amazed at the condition of some of the homes they walk into. Take my word for it; I’ll spare you the ‘ewww’-inducing stories.

3. Overpricing your home: Buyers already have lots to do before making the largest purchase of their lives. They have to wrangle their finances into order, jump hoops to qualify for a loan, collect the cash for down payment and closing costs, and invest sometimes hundreds of hours into market research and house hunting. With all of this already on their plates, the prospect of trying to negotiate down a crazily high asking price is just too much work (and too outside their comfort zones) for most buyers to deal with. The average buyer won’t even bother looking at your home if the asking price is clearly high and off base compared with other similar, nearby homes for sale; they’d rather sit tight and wait .

Sellers: Price to sell from the beginning. Work with your agent to determine a price that is supported by the data on how much nearby homes have recently sold for. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and anguish and get a lot more legitimate bites from serious, qualified buyers.


Sight Edman said...

I guess I misread the contract clause.

What it says to me is if it is unoccupied, it transfers unoccupied and the buyer simply moves in, but if it is occupied, for whatever reason, the buyer takes on the previous owner's responsibility as a landlord including honoring the seller's pre-existing lease with the tenant.

Bob Fiscella said...

Sight Edman,
Thx - I wish it said that!!!

Guy Houchins said...

If you're planning to sell your house, it is important to present a clean house to your prospective clients. However, keeping our house organized is a real challenge, especially if we have kids. In this regard, it is best to enlist the services of cleaning expert days before your scheduled meeting with your buyer to assure that your house would look neat and beautiful on the day of the inspection.

Guy Houchins

German Zollinger said...

Nobody wants to buy an untidy house. Before the viewing, the owner must see to it that everything is organized, neat and clean. If the backyard or the ceilings of the gutter needs repairing, do it beforehand. As much as possible, don’t let your buyer see that there are a lot of repaired things in the house you are selling. Remember, a clean house has a brighter spark for the buyers. - German Zollinger