Modesto, CA Real Estate News

By DAdrea Davie, Stanislaus & San Joaquin Short Sale Agent
(Keller Williams Realty)
The Holiday Cheer is here! At this time of the year, I always get excited and think about others that are less fortunate. There are so many different charities that we all can contribute to and because it's the Holiday, we tend to give more time and money to these charities. So in the spirit of giving, I have decided to make volunteering my time to a local organization a part of my business plan. I am not exactly sure which organization ( I am currently doing research), but it doesn't take much to give a little of your time. I also thought this would be something my son and I could do together. He is about to turn 14 years old and it is important that he understands that helping others benefits us all. It will not only benefit the community, but your spirit. I am leaning more towards wo...
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By Nick Cameron
(Keller Williams)
                                                         In a very woe is me Edgar Allen Poe way, I find it hard to believe what is taking place in the local California Market. For those of you who have not heard yet, the title company with the largest market share in Northern California have shut their doors, 2 weeks before Christmas and in the midst of the holiday season. Part of the problem could be they have bounced checks to their landlords for the last 3 months!             The reason I find this very hard to believe is quite frankly I thought people had business sense, but I am sadly mistaken. In the heyday of quick sales and refinancing every weekend, Alliance title went and purchased all escrow officers that they could, giving huge signing bonuses and raising their fees in turn...
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By Matthew Zgonc, Realtor, CFS, CVS
(Aksland Real Estate)
Big mortgage companies going out of business left and right and requirements changing constantly.  Foreclosures at record levels. Buyers panicking that the bottom is not here yet.  Sellers losing their homes. Scams happening left and right.  So how do you survive as an agent? That is the question.  There is no easy answer since each part of the country is experiencing different issues.  In my part of the country, Modesto, California, the scenario above describes the issues I have been facing on a daily basis with a foreclosure rate close to 1 in 75 homes.  Your situation is likely different so take part of what I say with a grain of salt, but the other part could help keep you in business.  1.  Increase marketing through WOM (word of mouth), utlizing your SOI (sphere of influence) and a...
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By Matthew Zgonc, Realtor, CFS, CVS
(Aksland Real Estate)
The number one thing that can help a person be successful in a down market is customer service skills.  Many people tell you, you have to have them, but what exactly are the most important qualities customers are looking for? The answer to that is very easy, all you have to do is remember the issues you encountered when you were buying a house before you were an agent.1. Find out your customers spending limit and don't deviate from it.  As a customer, I hated it when an agent would try to push me into a house that I could not afford.  If my limit was 225,000 and they showed me a 235,000 property, then I could negotiate, but not a 400,000 house.  I would instantly drop the agent and find someone else.2.  Listen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! By listening to your customers needs and wants you can find th...
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By Matthew Zgonc, Realtor, CFS, CVS
(Aksland Real Estate)
Many people are talking about the possible government intervention in the foreclosure crisis that would freeze rates at 5 years for people expecting increases. The thing most people do not know is that if the government does intervene that these freezes would not be mandated but voluntary.  Mortgage companies would elect to do so and not be forced to. So will these freezes occur? Who knows? The better question to ask is will it make any difference if these freezes are in place. I was reading a blog earlier, which showed statistics from a major loan lender that the majority of foreclosures are because a person lost their job and with subprime lending instead of foreclosing after two or three months, they can do it after 37 days without a payment in some states. That is barely enough time...
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By Matthew Zgonc, Realtor, CFS, CVS
(Aksland Real Estate)
As I have read on Active Rain, I am realizing that real estate agents have a bad reputation. If reputation is all you have, then we need to show people that we are not snobs but people who care about our community. Which brings me to my topic what makes a good agent? The following is a list of traits that I believe an excellent agent has.  Feel free to add more to this list or disagree with it entirely. 1.  Ethical:  Is honest and forthright and does not lie. 2.  Passionate: Enjoys real estate and isn't dreading the next deal.3.  Discloses: Makes sure buyer and/or seller understands the faults of a property.4.  Service-Oriented: Puts the needs of the consumer first, not their pocketbook.5.  Able to Negotiate: Can handle any type of negotiations. Experience does not necessarily mean good...
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By Matthew Zgonc, Realtor, CFS, CVS
(Aksland Real Estate)
When is the best time to buy? That is the question that is plaguing many many people as the Holiday season is upon us.  Do we wait until January? Do we wait until the market plunges another 5-10,000 lower on home prices? Do we buy now? It is no wonder that consumers are inundated with these decisions when buying a home, especially when in a lot of markets there are bargains to be found left and right. The right answer to these questions depends upon the individual. for some it is best to wait, others the time is right now, and for some it could be in a year. My advice to buyers is do what you feel is best, but remember the market could make a quick correction. Right now there are lots of deals out there and it is perhaps the best time to buy in over 6 years.
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By Matthew Zgonc, Realtor, CFS, CVS
(Aksland Real Estate)
After reading many, many blogs on active rain in the short month that I have been here, I have come up with a short list of blogging tips that could be useful to members of active rain that are new to the scene.1.  Keep it short.  Keep you blogs to a maximum to half a page.  Although some people might disagree with the half page, I personally hate reading through a blog that spans the entire length of the page.2.  Stay on topic.  Many times people get off track on their points.  I am guilty of this as well, it helps to outline what you are going to say ahead of time.3.  Don't fill your page entirely with graphics. Using graphics is absolutely fine, but don't have smileys or graphics covering every square inch of white page that you are not using.4.  Know people can and will take other v...
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By Matthew Zgonc, Realtor, CFS, CVS
(Aksland Real Estate)
Almost every realtor here knows about short sales and the long time process that some of the banks can take to respond to any offer. Most consumers may not be willing to wait the time period necessary to get a response, and some short sales are listed too late to get a response prior to being auctioned. What do we do? The answer is inform.  Many times in a short sale situation, the house is selling for a substantial reduction in price than it originally did. If buyers know that they are getting a $500,000 house for $350,000 if they wait an extra week or two, then they might be a little more patient about the whole process. Everyone wants a transaction completed ASAP, especially during the holiday season.  Buy informing and keeping the client appraised of the situation, we create consume...
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By DAdrea Davie, Stanislaus & San Joaquin Short Sale Agent
(Keller Williams Realty)
 Happy Holidays! With Thanksgiving 2007, being a pastime and Christmas around the corner, being in the market can be a challenging time. If you are currently looking for a home, it is important that your budget is put into full effect. We all know how easy it is to overlook our saving habits and spend money on Holiday decorations, gifts for family & friends and even spend extra money on ourselves, but we have to crack that whip and remain discipline.Here area some tips to help budget during purchasing or refinancing a home during the holidays. 1. Do not overspend. Budget! Budget! Budget!Write down your current monthly income. Estimate your monthly withholdingsEstimate your current fixed expenses (rent, insurance, savings, etc...)Estimate your current flexible living expenses.It is impor...
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By Matthew Zgonc, Realtor, CFS, CVS
(Aksland Real Estate)
In my area, I am astonished as to how many agents do not have a separate website that promotes their name. I do realize that some agents may be new and may not have the advertising dollars to spend money on creating a web site or do not have the expertise to maintain one.  I also realize that some agents may be forbidden by their companies to have a website that is not associated with the company. But a good, clean website is extremely important to making a positive impression on your clients. It needs to be easy to use as well as be sufficient to support all the needs of potential clients. If you make it a one stop service area, then they will not have the need or desire to go to a different website.  Keeping them at your site is important to securing a good qualified lead. By keeping ...
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By Matthew Zgonc, Realtor, CFS, CVS
(Aksland Real Estate)
Every one tries to target customers or consumers.  But many people don't ask the customers what annoys you? What do you like? What misconceptions do you have about real estate?  In order to best target your audience you need to know what they are looking for, right now and be one step above them.  Some of the best marketing campaigns failed miserably. Why? Because they did not emphasize the product that was being sold, or consumers failed to see the benefit of the product out there.  Is that how customers see you?
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By Matthew Zgonc, Realtor, CFS, CVS
(Aksland Real Estate)
I ran into an unusual situation about a month ago, with an REO property.  In my area there have been a lot of scams, with people ripping off mortgage companies and couples buying homes.  After spending about an hour of research, I found that it was indeed a legitimate property and the realtor was confirmed to be the listing agent. Which relieved my clients.  However, they are frustrated as to the delay with the investor getting back to them on the property.  I know companies are swamped, but if you are the selling agent, do the other agent a favor and don't claim to be able to get the response within a week or two (unless that is the track record for that company), if the investor is swamped with short sale offers. My experience with REO's is that it takes them a minimum a month to get ...
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By Nick Cameron
(Keller Williams)
We had a great weekend raising money for the San Diego fire victims. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those that came out this weekend and contributed. We raised around $1000 dollars this weekend, and although that is not a lot, I for one know every little bit helps.
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What a lot of people do not yet realize, this is the time to purchase foreclosures in real estate. Banks are going to need the write-offs when the first of the year rolls around. In order to get the write-offs most are going to negotiate a little bit more, or come down in price a little bit more. When approaching the banks with the intent to purchase make sure who actually is the one servicing the loan. Once you find out, for example, Countrywide, you will want to get pre-approved, or pre-qualified through them. The reason for this is if they get to keep the "paper", loan with that compnay, they are not going to lose as much money, if say Wells Fargo, or Bank of Americahad the loan. Moreover, do not ask for a lot of work to completed on the property. Granted, they may do it, but at what...
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By DAdrea Davie, Stanislaus & San Joaquin Short Sale Agent
(Keller Williams Realty)
Buying a home is a huge responsibility with an enormous advantage in return. A potential buyer will have to set and have patience on reaching the goal of purchasing a house. Knowing what you can afford is essential to being a successful homeowner. Once you understand what you are bringing in and determine where your money is going, you can begin to accumulate the needed funds to get pre-approved for a home loan. If you are burdened by debt together we can determine what is the best way for you to bring that debt down. With some discipline and creative strategies you can probably come with more money than you think.  First you need to check your current finances and investigate ways to save and raise the extra funds. Here are a few tips on budgeting for homeownership:  1.    Write down ...
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By Micheal Content, "Your Lifetime Mortgage Consultant" - #253594
(Summit Funding)
A direct lender doing Conventional, FHA and VA loans as well as HomePath.   I also work with the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) first time homebuyer programs and the local community Downpayment Assistance Programs for low income first time homebuyers in Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Merced Counties.
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By Don Ward
(BROKER)
IF YOUR A MODESTO HOME SELLER AND YOU REALLY WANT TO SELL YOUR HOME, PLEASE READ THIS !This is not the time for Sellers to panic, not the time to dwell on negative news coverage nor listen to hype from ill-trained and inexperienced real estate agents making promises they just cant keep, promises, such as, you can list your home at a higher price and then reduce the price later. Such a strategy simply will not effectively work in today's market and results in your home actually finally selling for less then had you listed it at the right price the first day it went on the market.Avoid agents that will agree with you on "your" selling or asking price rather then actually showing you the comparable market price for your home and then listing it for sale at a price that will result in an of...
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By raman kandola
(kandola mortgage services)
     Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke few weeks ago blamed loose lending for the recent turmoil in the mortgage market and told Congress that "it's worth looking at" the idea of creating a law against certain lending practices.  Is fit a sign that the congress would bail out the family's who are in foreclosure.  Or they are trying to create "emergency fund" for coming disaster to come.  Thirty-four percent (34%) of the homeowners don't evenknow what kind mortgage programs they have.  The housing boom, made mortgage lenders loosened lending standards and offered more and more so-called non-traditional and subprime loans to borrowers who needed the extra leverage, but who also often couldn't afford the payments that later adjusted upward.
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By raman kandola
(kandola mortgage services)
     Short term real estate valuation has been down, since it has peaked last year.  The house prices has been down 30-40% from their all time high.  Added the foreclosure, and themortgage tightening of the market.  To those people who are looking for a "pinch hitter" or a "home run" market.  We would have to wait for a while.  The tide is now againt us, we would not be able to see the market coming up, some time in the future.   Some argue that home prices will just flatten out, instead of actually falling. Their reasoning seems to be that home prices have never fallen in the U.S. before -- not exactly something I can keep under my pillow to help me feel safe at night, if you know what I mean. It's kind of like saying there will never be a major global nuclear war because there's never...
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