Top 10 Short Sale Myths

Top 10 short sale myths

What are the top 10 myths about short sales? Many people give up hope facing foreclosure and believe a short sale isn’t possible. When in fact, short sales do indeed work. And in a variety of circumstances.

It’s an excellent solution for home owners who may be behind on their mortgage, stuck in a forbearance they can’t repay or just under market where the loan balance is greater than current values.

If you’ve heard that short sales don’t work, it’s usually based on someone’s bad experience who didn’t have the right resources. Or simply lack of information.

Outlined below find the Top 10 Myths about Short Sales that unfortunately stop home owners from reaching out for solutions:

1.    Short Sales are impossible and never get approved

Nothing could be further from the truth!

In the 12 years I’ve specialized in short sales, only a handful were not successful and those were in the midst of the mortgage crisis. Many fail, that’s true. But when I look into the history of those situations it’s because the right team wasn’t in place to help the home owner.

2.  Short Sales take forever

While the process is longer than a traditional sale, you can count on approximately 90 days as an average. With the right team negotiating, sometimes we can close sooner, depending on the bank.

With a strategy directed by a short sale expert, you can enter into an agreement with confidence in a smooth closing upon lien holder acceptance.

Once lien holder accepts, settlement must occur within 30-45 days depending on the bank’s terms. Within that timeframe, buyer and seller can agree on a convenient settlement date.

3. You must be behind on your mortgage to do a Short Sale

While it is true that initially some lenders wanted you to be in default (missed a payment) before they were willing to consider a short sale – this trend has almost all together reversed. Today lenders are looking for verifiable hardship, monthly cash flow shortfall or pending shortfall and insolvency.

If you meet these three requirements and are in a position where you will soon not be able to afford your mortgage, act now! Don’t wait until the countdown to foreclosure has started and you have even less time.

4.  Buyers don’t want Short Sales

This is a myth that potential sellers hear all the time.  In fact many agents are getting calls from buyers who say “I only want to look at foreclosures and Short Sales!” I personally have investors who want to help home owners, and recognize this can be a positive outcome for all in a difficult situation.

Short Sales and Foreclosures have become synonymous – not with issues – but with GOOD DEALS. International buyers specifically are interested in these properties as well.

5. Listing my home as a Short Sale is an embarrassment

It is understandable that you may have reservations about letting the world know that you owe more on your home than it is worth. However, please understand we are in the midst of a national pandemic that is affecting everyone.

It’s a national crisis, not a personal failure. You are to be congratulated for admitting you need help, taking action, and finding a professional who can work with you towards a solution.

6.  Banks would rather foreclose than do a Short Sale

We know you have heard this; you may have even heard it from an overzealous collections agent working for a lender.  The reality is that banks do not want to foreclose on your property. 

Banks do not want distressed assets on their books. It costs them less to resolve bad debt through a short sale than a foreclosure.

Luxury foreclosure in Villanova at 1425 Mount Pleasant Road. The bank would have netted much more with a short sale than through a foreclosure sale.

7.  There is not enough time to negotiate a Short Sale before my foreclosure

This is a myth that probably hurts homeowners the most.  Many don’t realize that foreclosure is a process and there is time.

The foreclosing party (in most cases a lender) can stall a foreclosure up to the final day of the auction.  Many lenders will stall a foreclosure with as little as a phone call from you letting them know that you are trying to sell.  Almost all lenders will postpone the auction date with a legitimate short sale contract in process.

8. Due to the CARES ACT, I won’t face foreclosure

Even with the moratorium on foreclosures under the COVID-19 CARES ACT, that doesn’t mean the lien holder is stopping their efforts. A foreclosure auction can happen quickly after many months, even years of no apparent action from the bank.

Taking proactive steps towards a solution before facing an auction date is the wisest choice. Don’t wait until the last minute when it might not be possible.

Unfortunately, much misinformation about forbearances has been prominent online, and from what should be trusted resources. Following bad advice about COVID forbearances has put many owners unknowingly at risk of foreclosure.

9. When I called the bank they offered a loan modification

This is one of the most confusing aspects of being in default. By law, the banks are required to offer loan modifications as an option. When home owners reach out the lien holder always says yes, even if they know it won’t apply for you. Offering this paperwork is a step in the process they are required to take, even if they know you won’t qualify.

In the short sale negotiation, our team will help you with the necessary paperwork to submit a loan modification application. To complete a short sale this is a required step.

The Real Estate Recovery Group are experts in this area, and if it’s possible they will help you get a loan modification done. However, most often this is a bureaucratic step in the foreclosure process that provides misguided hope when action towards a real solution is needed.

10. I can’t do a short sale if I have other properties or assets

I’ve helped many home owners who were given this false information. Clients who owned investment properties that were under water, luxury second and third homes and had other assets.

All of these short sale clients received debt forgiveness. As an example, one client had $400,000 in an investment account which went untouched. Another client owned 3 additional properties. Lenders cannot touch your IRA and 401K retirement accounts.

Even with additional assets, my clients did not have to contribute towards the deficiency. Debt forgiveness is always the goal with a short sale.

These can be scary and confusing situations. What’s most important to know is that help is available! Book your confidential appointment here.

Note: The information provided is for informational purposes. No legal advise is given or implied.

How to sell your home in a changing market

How to sell in a changing market

When real estate markets shift, as they always do, it’s confusing to know when to sell. Timing can make or break your success. Add to that a worldwide pandemic impacting different locations in dramatically different ways. It’s easy to understand why so many homeowners are uncertain about when to sell.

Move with the market

When markets shift quickly, this advise is hard to follow. Trying to move with market changes can feel like surfing on a big wave. You want to get on the board at the right time and make sure you don’t fall off.

We are seeing rapid shifts in different neighborhoods, some dramatically positive and some hurt significantly like Center City luxury.

I heard the quote “chasing the market down can feel like catching a falling knife” which is indeed true.

A tale of two luxury homes

During my first year as a full-time realtor on Kauai, I worked with two sellers who both owned luxury Bed & Breakfast properties. The market had escalated significantly due to the mortgage crisis.

These friends both decided to take advantage of the sizzling luxury demand. One listed his property for $1,750,000 and the owner of Aina Manu Place listed his at $1,650,000 with some friendly competition.

In 2005 values were still strong, but demand started to soften, with days on market increasing. We weren’t aware of the pending ‘tsunami’ devastation of the mortgage crisis. But it was evident that prices couldn’t continue to spiral upwards.

The owner of Aina Manu Place was willing to make price adjustments and we got it under contract at $1.5M. However, zoning violations came to light and that deal canceled. We worked diligently on solving the zoning issues, and SOLD it to the same buyers for $1,250,000 one year later in 2006.

Happy retirement in Florida!

This owner was wise to move with the market, and recognize his win rather than focus on the his original asking price.

He bought a distressed oceanfront property in Florida where his family is enjoying life.

Many sellers had a mindset that they “would wait for the market to come back.” What they didn’t understand was the spike in values was a phenomena, not “the market.” The second owner did not adjust his price, the property did not sell and those values have not returned.

Main Line and Center City shifts

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted real estate communities on the Main Line and in Center City very differently, as it has across the country. Suburban home values have escalated while Center City luxury markets are softening.

Market predictions and reports from national leaders repeatedly cite that today’s market is not the mortgage crisis, drawing the conclusion we won’t face some of the same challenges with economic uncertainties.

However, what is similar is that dramatic price shifts in both are driven by external phenomena, not directly related to real estate.

COVID driven market shifts

COVID has made us all look at “home” differently, causing massive movement in all market segments across the country. That’s driven record numbers of sales in some areas, and dramatic price increases with competing offers in others.

I don’t see the COVID driven buying dynamics decreasing until our post-COVID normalcy stabilizes likely in late 2021, or into 2022.

That new normal will not strictly be a return to our pre-COVID reality. Working from home is not going away.

What that means for suburban housing as well as urban values driven by commercial space and restaurants we won’t know in advance. But we can look forward learning from the past.

High demand with low inventory on the Main Line

On the Main Line where prices and demand have skyrocketed, owners who have considered selling should act now. The increase in values is a short-term phenomena driven by the effects of COVID.

Inventory will increase in 2021 and values will adjust as we move towards a buyers market. The new post-COVID market may very well reflect a different price range than we are currently experiencing.

No one can truly call a market until it’s with hindsight. But we can analyze facts at hand, learn from the past and create a plan for success.

If you are wondering about selling your home, get your instant valuation at HomeValuesbySusanna.com then let’s chat. I’ll share with you key strategies for success, including how to sell / buy safely during COVID.

Be sure to subscribe below to stay in touch!

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Pre-Foreclosure Market Update – Q3 2020

Foreclosure Market Report

September showed record breaking sales in Philadelphia, but what about the dramatic spike in pre-foreclosure distressed properties? Does the foreclosure market threaten to haunt real estate values in Philadelphia?

Multiple realities of quantum physics

Market reports are complicated with what science fiction buffs might call “multiple realities” – especially true in our current national economy. You don’t have to understand quantum physics, but there are many sides to the story of current real estate market trends on the Main Line and in the greater Philadelphia area.

You’ve probably heard me say this before, analyzing real estate markets is a lot like watching the ocean. What appears to be calm water, can have cross currents and under tows to be aware of.

Let’s start with the good news!

September was record-breaking month for both number of sales and median sales price for Philadelphia County.

On the Main Line, demand continues to exceed supply with values on the rise and days on market declining.

Due to changing buying patterns due to COVID along with the exodus from New York and other dense urban areas our small, quiet Main Line townships have literally shifted into prime destinations.

What about October?

In October the number of showings and new contracts declined. However, all indications are that values remain stable in most areas.

Analysts explain “markets despise uncertainty” and it appears people were holding off on buying or selling until after the election.

An “undertow” of loan delinquencies

Looking backwards at September data one might think that it’s time to surf the big waves and catch the ride of your life.

However, there’s an ‘undertow’ most analysts reporting on real estate are not addressing – a sharp increase in loan delinquencies.

The extreme spike in the number of mortgages delinquent 90+ days or in pre-foreclosure is at a level we haven’t seen since 2009.

Mortgage delinquencies spike in 2020 due to COVID

The “backstory”

What complicates delinquent mortgage reporting in 2020 is the surge of mortgage forbearances entered due to COVID-19 CARES ACT.

Incorrect information and bad advise early in the COVID pandemic led to confusing a mortgage forbearance with a deferral. What also wasn’t clear was the impact on credit and ability to refinance.

Many owners did not know full “balloon” payments would be due at the end of their forbearance period and are in a difficult situation confused about what to do as their forbearance ends.

Could the delinquent property data be incorrect?

What the graph above doesn’t address is whether the spike in delinquencies could partially be due to incorrect credit bureau reporting of mortgages in forbearance.

For instance, ConsumerFinance.org advises checking your credit report if you have a forbearance as it should not be shown as a loan default;

“Servicers may report that your account is in forbearance. However, if you were otherwise current on your account and have received relief as defined by the CARES Act, your servicer or creditor is required to report your account as current”

What to do now?

As you can see, I’m a fan of analyzing data. However, when it comes to deciding the right time to buy or sell it’s important to look at the big picture of your goals. History has shown real estate values survive market changes in the long run. It’s all about what’s best for you.

Please contact me for a confidential consultation. We’ll look at the micro-market trends for your particular goals and location.

And if you know anyone facing problems paying their mortgage who wonders what to do now, it’s time to get help! For more information about short sales and options to avoid foreclosure, visit FightTheBank.org.

Be sure to subscribe for future blog updates. Let’s talk!

How I sold a Queen Village luxury home sight unseen during COVID-19 shutdown

Queen Village Luxury

Buying sight unseen is a bit scary, to say the least. To do it during COVID-19 shutdown took some real courage from both buyers and sellers.

809 S 3rd Street in Queen Village – SOLD for $1,075,000

While I’ve helped clients buy sight unseen since 2008 using custom virtual real estate technology and video previews, this was a very unique experience navigating the COVID-19 shutdown.

In fact, we closed and I still haven’t seen the home!

Each home purchase is a journey, a unique experience. It’s an honor and privilege to be able to assist my clients, making dreams come true.

It’s not just a transaction – it’s a life changing move and I take my clients’ trust in me to heart.

What the journey looked like

This story starts before COVID-19. In fact, I first met my clients at an open house a few years ago. If you’ve met me, you already know that I’m not a high-pressure sales person but view my role as a trusted advisor with a passion to help people accomplish their goals.

They remembered me “because I was nice” and contacted me when they were ready to upgrade to a larger home due to a baby on the way.

While they have a lovely home in Queen Village, they needed more space but also wanted parking, first floor living area and outdoor space in William Meredith School district for under $1M.

Time to find that “forever” home to be filled with love, laughter, little people and years of happy memories.

Prior to the coronavirus we saw a few that might fit, but something wasn’t just right. When you have buyers that want what we fondly call a “unicorn” (a unique property that’s hard to find) it’s time to get creative!

Finding that perfect match!

You might call me a real estate “match maker,” connecting buyers and sellers to create success for both.

After doing extensive outreach, letter writing and research within their micro-market, I found a narrow selection of possibilities. One was of particular interest and a potential perfect match.

Both the owners and my buyers were flexible on timing, but the little one on the way wasn’t waiting for Gov. Wolf to lift the real estate COVID-19 shut down!

Buying sight unseen

By law, I literally could not physically do any real estate related activities – not even place a sign or lockbox.

The owners did not want to list their home, and in fact had no sense of urgency about selling. However, after a few conversations, emails and Zoom calls, they were open to a potential “match” with my clients.

After a Zoom call and walk through with both buyers and sellers, they loved it! I knew this one would be a huge regret if we let it get away.

Their inclination was to wait for the COVID restrictions to be lifted and then make an offer. We discussed the possibility of a sight-unseen contract but understandably that made them feel uneasy.

As an advisor, it’s my role to offer possibilities and explore options not previously considered. Recognizing that the market would be more competitive after the shutdown, and their rights would be protected by the “sight unseen” contract addendum, the buyers agreed to do what they never thought they would – make an offer without seeing the home in person!

How does a sight unseen contract work?

Because of COVID-19, I suggested to the owners they go under contract as For Sale by Owners rather than have me represent them. By law they could interact with the buyers in ways that I could not, and it would also ‘sweeten’ my buyers offer price by reducing their cost of selling.

We minimized any in-person contact throughout the process. The owner privately contacted the buyers for their walk through during the “sight-unseen” contingency period and they weren’t in the property again until our final walk through on day of settlement.

Home buying during COVID19

With all parties grave concern regarding COVID-19, I did not go in the home even at the settlement day walk through but stood by outside to answer questions. Once this pandemic is over, we will all celebrate in person and I’ll love seeing what they’ve done with the place.

I’m so happy for all involved! The sellers found a perfect new home and did a sell/buy double closing on the same day. Everyone was a delight to work with.

Happy ending

Putting my clients needs first is more than a slogan, it’s at the core of my personal and professional ethics. I’m only successful when it’s a positive result for my clients. Your success is my success!

“Susanna Kunkel did a wonderful job of finding our dream home in Queen Village! She went above and beyond in the time of the pandemic to find us a home that wasn’t even on the market. It doesn’t get much better than that! She is a thorough professional who knows the ins and outs of the business and with tons of contacts. In addition she has always been accessible to us and super easy to work with. She genuinely cares about her clients. We highly recommend her without any reservations”

To explore how you can buy or sell using “sight unseen” strategies, or at least minimize your risks during COVID-19, please contact me for a confidential consultation.

Open House signs antique? like typewriters?

After returning to an “open” business environment after three months, the future of Open Houses seems to be bordering extinct. Or more accurately obsolete, like the typewriter.

Can you write with a typewriter? Yes, but why would you? Can you have an Open House? Yes, but with all the restrictions necessary and appointments required, why would you want to go?

Open House Pivot

Pivot is a word often used to express the dramatic and rapid changes impacting the real estate market due to COVID19. Some changes were underway but became accelerated, like virtual selling.

Others, like Open Houses, have completely “pivoted” to something other than what they were.

The non-committal and casual nature of Open Houses was a way to explore local real estate without an agent, or appointment.

Virtual Open Houses were a work around during our COVID19 shut down, using video previously taken or with the owner’s cooperation via Zoom video conference.

The new standard is to present a virtual Open House on Zoom with the agent guiding a tour of previously recorded video or navigating the Matterport 3D layout. Appointments are required, and if you “stop in” late you miss the video tour.

While it’s better than nothing, and a way to get a “peak” at the interior of the home, it’s not the casual easy way to explore real estate that we have enjoyed for so long.

Virtual Selling – the new standard of practice

In today’s market, virtual selling should be a standard of practice. I’ve sold homes virtually using video since 2008. It doesn’t make sense to book an appointment for a video tour that I already have access to, or should.

Every listing should provide a video tour. For my sellers I do a marketing video, think of it like a movie trailer;

Then I do the actual walk through video which takes you through the home as if you are there.

The home buying process has “pivoted.” Home buyers used to wait to interview and hire an agent until they were ready to buy. Now it’s best practice to do that at the beginning of your search.

Likewise, your pre-approval is needed early in the process as it’s required along with a COVID19 form to book showings.

Open House Standards Due to COVID19

Now that physical Open Houses are allowed, understandably there are awkward restrictions. As an example, here are highlights of a current brokerage’s Open House guideline for agents;

1. Sales associates and all open house visitors must wear a mask.
2. Social distancing rules should be maintained.
3. Disinfect all high-touch areas prior to and between each group of visitors; provide hand sanitizer if possible.
4. Sales associates should limit open house attendance to one group at a time to maintain appropriate distancing and accompany them through their tour to minimize unintended touching of surfaces. Additional groups can be asked to wait outside and to maintain social distancing while doing so.
5. Maintain a record of everyone entering the property, including name and E-mail address or cell phone number.

COVID19 is “here to stay” – we must adapt

The Economist recently published – COVID 19 is here to stay. People will have to adapt :

“The worst is to come. Based on research in 84 countries, a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reckons that…without a medical breakthrough, the total number of cases will climb to 200m-600m by spring 2021.”

We cannot just return to “business as usual” as the battle against this pandemic is far from over.

Protecting buyers and sellers from unnecessary public exposure and utilizing current technology to present a virtual buying experience is now a necessary standard of practice – not just an option.

While our local market is now pushed to pivot in this direction, it’s long overdue in terms of providing the highest level of service to our clients.

Home buying is a journey – not a transaction

I provide information, support, advise and guidance from early exploration of the market through negotiations and closing as my personal standard of practice. Sometimes the answer is to not buy, which is perfectly fine. It’s all about what’s best for you!

The rush to provide virtual Open Houses has been a push to generate “leads” or meet prospective buyers. Open Houses have always been more of a networking opportunity for the agent than a true selling tool for the home owner. Virtual Open Houses provide marketing exposure for the agent but present an awkward experience for buyers.

Virtual Home Buying Service

Using virtual selling expertise, I create video walk throughs of properties throughout the home buying process to narrow down selections and fine tune the home search for my clients. That way, the showings we book in person are in reality 2nd showings. This saves time, protects home buyers and sellers from unnecessary exposure and streamlines the home buying process.

Open House Signs – an antique?

When I sold luxury real estate on Kauai, my open house signs were often stolen and used for fighting rooster sheds, an illegal but popular local sport.

One way of repurposing them but not a big demand on the Main Line!

While I haven’t thrown my Open House signs away, they are in the back closet for now! My ‘go bag’ is full of video equipment instead.

Top 5 new features to sell your home post COVID-19

How has COVID-19 affected home buyer demands?

The list of “must haves” has shifted. Buyers want their home environment to meet critical needs that arose during COVID-19 stay at home orders.

Preparing a home to sell means we must “stage” it to tell the story of your home emphasizing features in high demand from today’s buyers.

That doesn’t mean a major remodel – but it does mean taking a fresh look at how the areas within your home are presented.

Integrate these 5 “must haves” into the story your home tells in marketing for a successful sale in today’s real estate market.

Today’s TOP 5 new features on buyers’ demand list:

#1 – Multiple work zones

Multiple work from home zones are a must have with today's renters and buyers

No longer do people want an old fashion home office, closed off and perhaps near the front door. COVID-19 stay-at-home showed us the need for flexible space as well as multiple work from home zones.

Home office areas need to be light and inspirational. An empty bedroom can be staged as a home office.

One of my favorite easy solutions is to add a desk and chair to a large open space as an inexpensive and effective way to tell the story of multiple work spaces.

Easy home staging solutions for open extra home office space needed post COVID-19.
Easy staging solution to add a work zone

I recently hosted Christina Henck, owner of award winning Henck Design on my LIVE Broadcast who shared excellent home office design tips addressing COVID-19 work from home needs and demands.

Staging can be minimalist. Think of theatre – the stage isn’t furnished, just enough to tell the story and your mind fills in the details.

It’s about visual impact and creating a mental and emotional comfort for buyers that their needs are met.

#2 – Resort style outdoor space

Relaxing, working and entertaining outdoors is in top demand

Demand for outdoor space has become a premium! I hear from luxury agents across the country that it’s a must have for renters as well as buyers. If you have any outdoor space, it’s critical to showcase it and create an indoor / outdoor flow, with space to work, relax, host conversations and BBQ.

Both with work from home on high demand, and obstacles we face traveling for a quick getaway, homes now need to have a staycation element.

How can we tell the story of your home so that it feels like you’re in the Hamptons?

Main Line homes with pools are suddenly in high demand!

Pools are in high demand, but you don’t have to have a pool to successfully create an at-home retreat. From small decks to large yards, it’s important to open up the indoor / outdoor flow.

Changing window coverings, rearranging furniture inside and out as well as staging outdoor patio furniture will allow buyers to visualize working from home and soaking up Vitamin D without travel.

#3 – Grand central kitchen

Open flow kitchen with room for conversations and entertaining

We’ve all found ourselves cooking at home out of necessity during our COVID-19 shut down.

I’ve never understood why as an artist I didn’t feel creative in the kitchen. That broke through during our stay-at-home and I’m loving cooking!

Unfortunate for my daughter that this happened now, instead of when she was little. But it shows that no one’s hopeless. 😁

While restaurants are starting to open, cooking at home is a lifestyle shift for busy professionals that will stay. Meal prep is an event – part of open living with dynamic conversations, not a one-person chore.

Kitchens need to be stylish, inviting, polished, open and have space for fluid conversations.

#4 – Safe and smart tech

Smart technology, for safety and security are in high demand

Smart features of a home are in top demand. Both for technology connectivity as well as convenience and safety. If your home currently is not wired for today’s tech, let’s explore some modest updates to showcase your home for today’s buyers.

For instance, install a home security system with cameras. You can use a service and have them do the install. This also provides peace of mind while it’s on the market.

A smart app for front door access such as the August App won’t require a complete re-wire of your home but will greet buyers with high-tech security that they want.

While surround sound has been in high demand for new construction, the security and convenience of remote access and control is more important in today’s market.

#5 – Decompress zones

Yoga rooms are one of the easiest staging solutions

Personally, I cancelled my gym membership at the end of last year and while I thought about signing up in a new location during the New Year’s specials – I’m glad I procrastinated.

The future for gym memberships may be uncertain – but the demand for space to work out at home, and decompress is not going away.

Yoga rooms and home gyms along with mediations space are key demands for staging for success

Staging a yoga room is easy and inexpensive. I take an empty bedroom, or odd extra space – add a yoga mat and yoga ball, some calming art or zen like features and it’s done!

For larger homes often a challenge is too much furniture.

Move an extra chair into a sunlit area with a staged open book to attractively tell the story of a reading nook in a bedroom, or part of an open living space.

Staging isn’t an insult to your personal interior design taste. It’s literally theatre – setting the stage for buyers to be able to visualize themselves as the stars of their own show, instead of guests in your home.

When I work with my clients to successfully sell their home, I create a unique PR / Marketing plan to tell the story that will connect the best possible buyers to the home, maximizing exposure, creating sizzle and high demand from qualified buyers.

Our initial consultation can be done remotely using Zoom or FaceTime as we go through the home and construct a room-by-room marketing strategy for your success. Let’s talk!

1031 Tax Exchange Seminar – real estate investment strategies

Do you often wonder how does a 1031 Tax Exchange work? And if you can apply it with your investment properties?

Normally David and I host seminars with food and drinks. My apologies as we aren’t able to do that now – but please make yourself comfortable, and enjoy the LIVE webinar by clicking below.

Feel free to ask questions by contacting me. We are both here to help!

Click below to download David’s presentation slides.

Traditionally, a 1031 Exchange is used to defer payment on capital gains on investment properties. However, in today’s confusing market it can also be a strategy to minimize risk as well.

How has COVID-19 affected your real estate rental portfolio? Do you find that you are at risk of tenants not being able to pay their rent?

Are you considering taking advantage of the COVID-19 increase in demand for suburban rentals and wonder if a 1031 Tax Exchange can work during a forbearance?

There are several key strategies worth considering to minimize risk and maximize profit. One example is leveraging a forbearance to create a buffer of time to sell and transfer the proceeds into a less risky area, or a HUD guaranteed rental property.

For more insights for landlords and real estate investors, also visit my recent interview with Michael Daiello, Esq who shares key insights on What to do if your tenants can’t pay their rent due to COVID-19.

Let’s meet for “coffee” and discuss options – click on this link and pick a time that’s convenient for you.

What do luxury millennial buyers want?

Millennial buyers are a driving force in today’s luxury real estate market.

Millennial Home Buyers

Who are Millennial Home Buyers?

Millennials include anyone born between 1981 and 1996, and they’re quickly becoming a dominating force in real estate.

This group now outnumbers baby boomers, and what they’re looking for in a home is drastically different than what their parents wanted when they entered the market.

Main Line Luxury Living

“Time is the new luxury”

Now more than ever, luxury buyers are viewing time as a luxury. How does that translate?

Homes need to be move-in ready. It’s not just about the money. The time it takes to renovate is too “expensive” in terms of what it takes away from quality of life.

How to transition traditional to modern

So how do you transition a traditional home with stately architecture to attract a modern millennial buyer? My LIVE broadcast guest, Christina Henck, owner of award winning Henck Design shared some valuable tips and insights:

When we talk about “less is more” it relates to a key design element we artists called “negative space” – that’s the “blank” or “empty” space on a canvas surrounding an image, or the space between and around elements of a sculpture. The negative space is as important in design as the “positive” space (image, element – or in this case furniture).

Check out the clean design and flow created in this luxury home.

The “negative space” creates a visual flow as well as a physical flow for walk through traffic on home buyer tours as well as videos.

Both visual and physical design flow are important elements of creating the kind of “sizzle” you want to drive buyers demand.

Let’s talk! Please book a private consult on my calendar, and we’ll discuss ideas to maximize your home’s appeal for today’s millennial buyers.

Home Office Design Tips

What used to be a “like to have” on buyer’s wish lists has become a “must have” not only now but into the future as our way of life has changed due to COVID-19. Working from home, remote college classes and public schooling at home make this a very complicated, challenging part of interior design – and a must have as we face an ongoing battle over the next 18-24 months.

Award winning interior designer Christina Henck, owner of Henck Design offers Home Office Design Tips LIVE that can help even the most awkward home office convert to a functional, pleasant space. Check out Christina’s Portfolio of amazing transformations in Center City and the Main Line and click below to view our LIVE broadcast.

Complications of multi-generation home schooling and working remotely can overwhelm and challenge even the best planned home office.

I don’t feel so bad about my home office “studio” in the man cave when I see national late night hosts like Seth Meyers broadcast from his attic! 🙂

Having a well designed home office is no longer just a luxury amenity. Working with luxury buyers relocating from New York recently, we needed to find space for both parents and the kids to be able to work/school from home, along with space for music and art.

Luxury amenities like a home office and home gym don’t have to come at luxury prices!

Two examples for you – both under $300K!

Gorgeous move-in ready Germantown rehab offered for only $219K and includes finished basement perfect for home gym, plus 3rd floor loft that can function as a 4th bedroom or large home office.

For an urban, hip lifestyle – cherish the exposed brick and luxury details in this Fishtown rehab at 2360 E Harold St. Make the 2nd bedroom your home office, gym or art studio and walk to the best food, parks, bars and community activities that make Fishtown a #1 choice.

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How to host a virtual open house

Virtual Open Houses are likely to become our new “normal” even after social distancing directives are lifted. For now, working together virtually as business partners, we can successfully showcase your home online and create a virtual first “walk through” for interested buyers.

4 Tips for how to host a virtual open house during #stayathome:

  1. Communication – we will do a consultation first via Zoom going over how to prepare, what to expect and choosing a time that works for you and your family. We’ll prepare and discuss features you’d like me to highlight the day of the virtual open house.
  2. Coaching – I’ll teach you how to “host” using your phone’s camera connected through my Zoom account. My hacks and tips I’ve developed from over 12 years of doing real estate videos will make it easy for you!
  3. Preparation – cleaning and decluttering will be necessary just as you would for an in-person open house. Also, the day of the open house all lights should be on, and be ready to open and close cupboard and closet doors. Buyers will also want to see the basement and garage.
  4. Q&A – at the end we’ll leave time for questions and answers. In our coaching call, I’ll help you prepare how to address buyers questions if necessary.

Marketing is my speciality! I’ll create a Facebook event and promote heavily on all social media platforms, linked to an event site asking for registration. The Zoom link will be sent only to those people who RSVP.

You’ll be able to easily share the event with friends and family on your personal social media sites. My marketing strategy gives your property high visibility both to consumers and realtors, creating maximum exposure.