Author Archive

When I am purchasing a property either for myself or with my student/partner, we determine which exit strategy is the best for both parties.  Knowing whether you want to wholesale a property for a small profit or rehab/retail it for a big profit is important.  Many investors start off with wholesaling the properties because they either don’t have a money lender or partner to help them rehab/retail the house and sell it for a bigger profit.  If this is you, then I believe you really should find a partner or money lender so you have more than one exit strategy.

When you purchase a short sale, some of the lenders will put a hold time for the new buyer requiring them to hold the property for 30, 60 or 90 days before they can resell the property for a profit.  In addition, they may tell you that you can only make a certain amount of money on the property if you sell it earlier than 90 days.   Holding doesn’t bother my student/partners or myself because we normally choose to rehab the property and retail it for a higher profit.  Read More→

Many Investors avoid working with Sellers in pre-foreclosure or making offers on short sales.  They all say the same thing, it takes too long!  I strongly disagree with this decision.  I have been working on short sales for years now and even though it does take a few months, it has been the best deal spread in profit that I have ever received on any type of deal.  Let me tell you why you should consider working with Sellers in pre-foreclosure and making offers on short sales. 

The Pre-foreclosure market will continue to flourish due to the adjustable rate mortgages, loan modifications and reverse mortgages that banks have provided to many Sellers.  A lot of the Sellers in foreclosure will have second mortgages that can be discounted to pennies on the dollar. Sellers that are doing a HAFA short sale program requires the second lender to take a maximum of $8,500.00 on their second mortgage.  Read More→

I have been mentoring for many years and have found that my best deals come from actually “speaking” directly to a Seller and working out a win-win situation.  Since I first started investing back in 1998, I have not purchased a property directly from the Multiple Listing Service.  However, some Investors would prefer not to talk to Sellers and would like to be fed deals from other Investors or from the Multiple Listing Service.  We each have different personalities and based on your personality and your personal preferences, I may be talking to you.  If this is your mind set, then I would recommend the following:

1) Find at least 2 Realtors that will be willing to set you up to receive listings that are emailed directly to you for your review, along with Expired Listings.  You will want them to do a search for some of the following key words:  TLC, Handyman Special, Must Sell, Seller Motivated, Short Sale, and REO.  Read More→

When making offers on properties as an Investor, you will need to have your exit strategies in place prior to purchasing the property.  What I mean by that is, who is your buyer and what type of financing are you going to allow the buyer to use when you sell the property.  Knowing this will allow you to maximum your profits.

When I look at properties to purchase I always analyze the value of the property and how long I will have to hold the property before I am able to sell the property for a profit.  The comparables that I use are through Realtytrac.com and also the Multiple Listing Service.  Realtytrac will give me the values in the area, however, the Multiple Listing Service “MLS” in addition to values will provide me with how the property was sold ie; Cash, Conventional mortgage, USDA mortgage, VA mortgage or FHA mortgage.  You can normally assume houses under $200,000 that many of the buyers purchasing at this price point are FHA mortgage buyers.  FHA mortgages are mainly used for first-time homebuyers.  The Mortgage Lender requires 3.5% as a down payment which attracts many first-time homebuyers.  Read More→

When I first started in real estate, I spent over $250,000 flying all around the world attending boot camp after boot camp, learning all the different ways I could get involved in creatively buying, selling and holding real estate.  It seemed like it was always the same group of people flying around the world with me and taking the same training.  The only difference I noticed was that many of the people who had attended these trainings had never even made an offer on a property.  They never used the knowledge that they received and just kept on going to more and more seminars.  And as we all do, we exchanged business cards with individuals we met at these meetings.  At that time it was my husband, step-son and I attending all of these trainings.  When I got home from many of the meetings, I would get telephone calls from individuals who still didn’t understand the process of the training they received.  Read More→

I am writing this article because I mentor so many people who desire to become successful in real estate; however, their life gets in the way of educating themselves.  Making offers on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a great way to find Sellers, yet, when you submit an offer to the Seller, the Realtor really doesn’t know the answers to the following questions.  Is there a mortgage on the property?  Are the Sellers in foreclosure (unless it is a short sale)?  Is it a probate matter and how many heirs are in the estate?  What permits have been pulled for the property and what dates were items like the roof or A/C installed (this information is sometimes provided in a Sellers Disclosure)?

After talking with a Seller and/or finding a Vacant Home, the research you do is a vital part of your business success.  I provide students with over 43 ways to find motivated sellers without using the MLS.  Knowing in-depth information about the Seller’s situation, ownership and mortgage balance allows me to negotiate and close more deals than just listening to what a Seller has told me.  In fact, Sellers normally tell you what they want and not what they NEED.  In order to make a deal work for all parties, we need to find out what they NEED, not what they want, then see how/if we can create a win-win situation.  Read More→

As an Investor, having a Realtor to work with is important in your business if you are buying or selling houses on the Multiple Listing Services.   Many new Investors rely on their Realtor to send them “good deals” to buy, hold, fix and/or flip.  However, a Realtor does not know what good deal means to an Investor.  A good deal for us could be the cash flow that you receive on a rental property or it could be the profit that you would receive from reselling the home.  As Investors, you are taught a MAO “Maximum Allowable Offer” Formula in which you use to make offers on homes for buying, fixing and reselling.  The formula varies based on your own situation.  The average formula used for Investors who have to get hard money to purchase the home would be:  ARV (After repaired Value) x 65% – Repairs = MAO.  Let me give you an example:  $100,000 (ARV) x 65% = $65,000 – $10,000 Repairs = $55,000 Maximum Allowable Offer.  This formula would then leave you with $35,000 for holding costs, cost of money, closing costs of purchase and resale, and then profit.  Your MAO formula would be different if you are purchasing the home as a Landlord and/or you have your own money to fund the deal.  You may be willing to pay between 70-75% of the After Repaired Value for the home – Repairs = Your MAO.  Read More→

Dealing with Untruthful Sellers

Posted on December 8, 2016 by

When purchasing a property, the Sellers of the property should fill out a Seller Disclosure which tells you about the condition of the property, any repairs made since the date of purchase and any problems that they are aware of on the home.  As an Investor, there are many times I will purchase the home without receiving a Seller Disclosure, and without a home inspection other than my own personal inspection.  However, I highly recommend that Investors obtain a Seller Disclosure and have a formal home inspection even though you are replacing a lot of things inside and outside of the home. 

Recently, a Partner and I were working on purchasing a property from a 4-member limited liability company who had purchased the property at a Tax Sale.  Their Attorney informed us that the members would like to just sell the property and had purchased the property as a Tax Deed.  They started the rehab on the property with the assistance of the Attorney but had not completed it.  Our only contact was with the Attorney, who was a silent partner, and informed us of the following:  That they wanted $48,000 for the property, that they have all new windows for the property that they would give us included in the purchase price, that there was an open roof permit on the property that just needed the facia to be painted to close out the permit and that all the material in the property was also included with the purchase of the property.  We submitted the offer to the Attorney on October 31, 2016 and we still had not heard from him about our offer.  We had called a couple of times reminding the Attorney that our offer was only valid for 2 days and now it was 7 days and still waiting on a response.  Read More→

The State of Florida and many other states were affected by Hurricane Matthew, leaving many Sellers with problem houses.  I am located in Oviedo, Florida, and being a transplant from Michigan, I have never been in a Florida Hurricane.  All of my houses were blessed with minor damage such as big trees down in the back yard, shingles flying off the roof, branches and trash everywhere. I am very grateful to God for these blessings.  Other Sellers were not so fortunate and my heart goes out to them.  They now have to deal with making a huge decision of fixing the house or selling the house.  Some Sellers may not even have insurance on their house.  However, if they do have insurance, let me explain the process.  

An insurance claim can be long and dragged out with many Sellers becoming very frustrated with the insurance company’s findings.  These are Sellers that may need your help with you buying their house.  First, let me explain the process on Insurance Claims.  Sellers will notify the insurance company of damage to the property along with providing them a list of items damaged.  If the Insurance Company and the Sellers can come to an agreement, then a check is sent to them in their name and the names of all mortgage companies that may have a lien on the property.  Pursuant to the terms of the mortgage that was signed by the Sellers, all insurance proceeds are to be used to re-build the property to make sure that the mortgage companies have an asset that is worth the amount of their loan.   When there are large claims of loss to the insurance company, they normally dispute the amount of the claim and the Seller will have to hire an independent insurance adjuster to assist them in disputing the claim.  Read More→

Fighting Value on Short Sales

Posted on October 10, 2016 by

The number one thing you need to understand about a short sale is that the short sale lender must realize the true market value of a property.  Recently we got a house in Sanford that needs everything and I mean everything redone inside and out.  The house has multiple types of siding, the tile inside the house has been pieced together, various sizes and colors, and is pushing up from the ground due to water damage, the rotted wall from the 3rd bedroom was removed which makes the house a 2 bedroom, the air conditioner is not working, doors, lights, fixtures are all missing, and the kitchen cabinets have mold all over them.  SPS is the servicer for the Short Sale Lender and they are really easy to work with.  In fact, they normally process a short sale within 30 days, so you need to be ready when you submit the short sale package to the bank and ask them to provide you with a Broker Price Opinion (BPO) or an Appraisal. 

We submitted everything into the bank and were very excited to immediately hear from a BPO Agent (Real Estate Agent) stating that she has been instructed by the Bank to go out and get value.  We scheduled an appointment to meet her out there.  We had everything ready in a BPO/Appraisal Package to provide to her.  We had the following items:  Purchase Agreement, Estimate for Repairs from a Contractor, Comparables and liens from the City for major code violations.  Read More→

As a Mentor, one of the biggest things I stress to my Students/Partners is that you can’t buy and flip houses in sloooow motion.  As soon as a Seller calls you, you should fill out a Seller Information Sheet and schedule for the following day (within 24 Hours) an appointment to see the house.  Most of the information that is needed on the Seller Information Sheet you can get directly from the Seller.  I have been asked “How long do you talk to a Seller about their home?”  Since this is your first communication with a Seller and you NEED to build rapport, you should be on the telephone for a long time.  What does that mean to you?

I would suggest at least 30 minutes on the phone to talk to the Seller about their home, their life, where are they going…anything and everything you can think that you might have in common with the Seller.  Sellers like to do business with people they like.  So, if you are only on the telephone for 5 minutes, then did you build rapport or even completely ask all the questions that are on my Seller Information Sheet?  Probably not.  Call the Seller right back and ask ALL the questions on the Seller Information Sheet so that you will know what he/she wants for the house, why they are moving, where they are moving and when they want to leave.  Read More→

The number one thing that makes an Investor successful is finding, buying and selling properties from a Motivated Seller.  As I have stated in previous articles, the only thing that makes Investors money is a Motivated Seller.  So … how do you find motivated Sellers when it’s a Seller’s market?  There are several ways to become successful and as an Investor the key to your success is having a marketing machine running all the time.  A Seller’s market means that when a property is listed on the Multiple Listing Service, the Sellers receive multiple offers from Investors, homeowners and landlords.  Obviously a homeowner is willing to pay list price or more for the house since they are going to live in the property and there is a personal attachment.  Landlords will pay up to 75% to 80% of the market value and Investors pay 60% to 65% of market value.  Yes, the repairs come into consideration for the Landlord and the Investor, however, the homeowner is more accepting of repairs needed to the home, as they are planning on making changes anyway.  Therefore, submitting offers on the Multiple Listing Service is very time consuming for an Investor and the rate of acceptance is much lower than for a homeowner.  Read More→

Still Crushing Short Sales!

Posted on July 13, 2016 by

Many Investors don’t think that they can short sale an FHA loan and still make a profit, due to the guideline that FHA accepts a minimum 88% of the appraised value. I am here to tell you about an FHA deal that will bring a Pretty Profit!! This house is a 3 Bed/1.5 Bath/1.5 car garage, approximately 1200 sq ft in Casselberry. From the beginning, it was challenging since we had non-paying tenants in the home that were not as cooperative as a Seller would be for access to the property. The best part of a typical short sale is that a lender will obtain a value that is good for 90 days and if you are in a Seller’s market, you end up with a higher profit, since the values are increasing based on the sales.

The Seller just wanted out of this house debt and didn’t know what to do with non-paying Tenants!! The lead came in from my office signage. The property was listed and an offer was submitted. It took the short sale lender about 90 days before they ordered the value on the property. We were very concerned about having access to the home when the appraiser came out from the short sale lender. On an FHA deal, the short sale lender requires an appraisal on the home which is good for 4 to 6 months, versus the standard 90 days for a BPO value. Read More→

Right now, in my office, I am receiving short sales from sellers who decided to do a loan modification which was only valid for 3-5 years.  In my opinion, this is the second wave of short sales that you will be coming across.  Many Investors stay away from short sales because they say it takes “too long” or they do not want to negotiate the short sale itself.  After speaking with them, I find out that they really don’t understand the short sale process.  So they miss out on BIG profits that are available by making offers on short sales that are listed and/or controlling the whole deal by finding the seller that needs to do a short sale, list it and have a title company process the short sale.  When you close and make your $thousands$, that would get you real excited about short sales!  The key to a successful short sale is making sure that the Short Sale Lender has the correct value on the property and this is where so many Investors and Realtors fail! 

Many title companies will agree to negotiate the short sale on the property for the cost of title work so all they need is the financial package from the Seller and a Purchase Agreement from YOU!  In fact, title companies are contacting the Seller directly, so you do not even have to obtain the information from the Seller when it is needed.  Why, then, are Investors not making offers???  I believe it is due to a lack of knowledge.  You have to know what to tell the title company’s negotiator to say to the short sale lender’s negotiator if you want to create a great discount.  My Home Study Course teaches you what to say and ask, in order to create your great discount.  Read More→

BIG Reminder:  Follow up, follow up, follow up is crucial for capturing real estate deals!  What makes any deal is a Motivated Seller.  There are 13 main Seller motivators such as a vacant home, in pre-foreclosure, loss of job, job relocation, etc.  But how do we know when the “price” of the pain of home ownership becomes more than the price they want for the house?  How do we know when they’ve reached that tipping point, therefore agreeing to take a discount to allow an Investor to purchase the property and make a profit?  You guessed it….we follow up. 

Over 1 year ago, I was tracking a pre-foreclosure vacant home and I went to the next door neighbor to find out if they knew where the sellers moved.  During my conversation, I was informed that they hadn’t seen the neighbor in years and really didn’t even know them.  The couple I was talking to was an elderly couple who owned their home free and clear.  I asked them if they were interested in selling their house and John told me that he and his wife just might sell it at the right price; however, he and his wife were going to the doctor’s and he would call me to talk about the home and set an appointment to see inside.  I also got his telephone number so I could follow up in case he didn’t call me.  My first thought was whenever I hear the Seller say “at the right price,” that they always want more than what the house is worth and/or retail value.  I did ask John what the “right price” was and he replied again that he will call me back.  Read More→

Short Sale… or Subject-To?

Posted on April 13, 2016 by

I recently marketed to people who have second homes and are either close to being upside down on the mortgage or they are in foreclosure.  So far, I’ve closed on 2 deals from this marketing.  One of the leads owned a house in Sanford:  1,050 sq ft, 3 bedrooms, 1 ½ baths, living room, kitchen with dine-in area, separate laundry room and 1 carport.  The house was in great shape. It was a block house and really only needed about $3,000 to $4,000 worth of work if I wanted to retail it. 

I partnered with one of my Apprentice Students and we reviewed all the facts about the house.  The A/C unit was only a couple years old, it still had a wall furnace that could be disconnected, it had newer vinyl windows and just needed a little TLC.  There was an outstanding mortgage on the home for $29,000 and my offer was $27,500.  The mortgage payment amount was $600.00 a month (PITI), principal, interest, taxes and insurance. 

I really wanted to take this house subject to the underlying financing and keep it as a rental.  I was dealing with an 80 year old Seller, via his children.  They just wanted to be out from underneath the home and didn’t want to keep the mortgage on the property.

After several changes to the contract, we agreed to purchase the property CASH for the mortgage balance ($29,000) and pay all the closing costs.  There was a family member living in the house and we couldn’t close until he vacated the property.  We filed an Affidavit of Purchase and Sale on the Property and chose not to show the house during the time we had it under contract, and we waited until it closed.  Read More→

I know that many of you believe that short sales can’t be short; however, on this deal, the time frame from beginning to end was approximately 35 days. The Seller had lived in the property for years and the foreclosure action had been going on for approximately 4 years. During the 4 year period, the seller attempted to do a loan modification and had never attempted a short sale. There was a Foreclosure Auction Sale date scheduled for December 15, 2015. We had to act quickly as there were two loans on the home.

We pulled title work and found out that the $80,000 second mortgage was discharged as so many second mortgages were, due to the Banks being fined for all the fraudulent things they had done to the Sellers.   This was a great break for the Seller, as now we only had to deal with one Lender with having a court date so soon.

The property was built in 1950 and was wood framed. The house had 2 Bedrooms, 1 Bath, 1 car garage, and 792 square feet in Madeira Beach, Florida. The home just needed some cosmetic repairs in the eyes of the Short Sale Lender. However, to the Buyer, there was approximately $20,000 needed to update the home to a “2015” buyer’s expectations. The property was listed in late October, 2015, and an offer of $100,000 was submitted to Ocwen for review. After we submitted a complete short sale package to the Lender, which consists of a Purchase Agreement, Proof of Funds Letter, HUD Settlement Statement, Authorization to Release Information, Listing Agreement, MLS Detailed Sheet, Financial Statement from the Seller, 3 months of Bank Statements, Letter of Employment, and Tax Returns, we found out that Ocwen had sold the Loan to Caliber Home Loans. Normally it takes the new Lender at least 2 weeks to 30 days to get the loan into their system so we could submit a package. We contacted the new lender and submitted a complete short sale package to them on October 27, 2015. Read More→

If you are working on a short sale close to the end of the year, you will find that they are approving the short sales quicker versus throughout the year. The Banks work on numbers every quarter giving us 4 quarters per year to get a short sale approved. The closer to the end of the quarter, the more likely they will approve the short sale and when it comes to year end, the Banks are known to take deeper discounts, just so they can get the property off their books. Did you know that the Banks are required to hold in escrow three times the amount of their bad debt? Liquidating debt, aka short sales, allows the Banks to open up more money to the market that they can send out into their banking industry and loan out. When they loan the money out to customers, they receive interest, origination fees and points on the money.

When you submit a short sale to the Bank/Lender, the HUD Settlement Statement shows the negotiator what the NET is going to be in order to satisfy the debt. The NET figure is different than the Purchase Price. In fact, when you are negotiating with the Bank, you need to clarify that the “magic number” you are discussing is the Purchase Price and not the NET figure to them.

The Purchase Price includes all of the fees associated with selling the property such as title work, Realtor commission, settlement fees, tax prorations, outstanding liens, second or third mortgages, homeowner association dues and any other closing costs. When the short sale is submitted, the negotiator will usually run an REO Net sheet based on the loan balance, status of where it is in the foreclosure action, and how long it would take to get the property to foreclose and become an REO (Real Estate Owned) by the Lender. This helps the investor who owns the loan to determine whether or not a short sale discount would allow them to profit more than an REO property, and which way is most profitable to liquidate the property from their inventory. Read More→

I have spoken with many Realtors and Investors who informed me that they are not interested in listing or buying short sales because the Short Sale Lenders are always higher than the actual value of the property.

I have stressed over the years how important it is to meet the Realtor or Appraiser that was sent from the Short Sale Lender at the house with the Purchase Agreement, Hardship Letter, Comparables, Crime Report of the Area and Repair Estimate for the property in order for the Short Sale Lender to have the actual value of the property.

The BPO Agent/Appraiser does not provide to the Short Sale Lender the Crime Report or the Repair Estimate on the property. This information is provided by the Listing Agent or the Negotiator representing the Seller when you have to dispute the value. In fact, a BPO Agent may only have 3 little boxes to include the costs of the repairs so they can’t always include all the repair costs that the house really needs.

The BPO Agent/Appraiser has been informed from the Short Sale Lender that they do NOT consider cosmetic repairs. So what are cosmetic repairs? Paint, Carpet, Appliances and updates of kitchens, bathrooms, roof and air conditioning unit that are functional. Read More→

The Meeting with the Mighty BPO

Posted on November 11, 2015 by

I have spoken with several Realtors and Investors who say that they don’t like short sales and I always ask them “WHY?” They tell me that the Short Sale Lenders never come back with a value that matches the offer that they have on the property. I always ask them did they go out and meet the real estate agent or the appraiser who was sent from Short Sale Lender to provide the value back to the Lender? Their answer is always “NO.” In fact, many Realtors who list short sales will list high because they are paid on commission thinking that the house should sell at list price. However, they never take into account all the repairs needed or the updates that are required to allow the house to obtain an appraisal at list price. Therefore, their short sale sits for months and ends up going to foreclosure sale. In fact, because they said they didn’t go meet the BPO Agent and just gave them the lockbox code or they have an electronic lock box on the house, the BPO Agent is able to get into the house and only spends about 5 minutes at the house.

As a Real Estate Broker who gets commission on short sales, I would always like to get as much as I can, however, not meeting the BPO Agent can cost me big time and big money. Read More→

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