Four Things You Need to Do After Listing Your Home

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on September 26, 2017

Five Things You Need to Do After Listing Your HomeWant to get the highest price for your home that you can? Well, just because it’s a seller’s market doesn’t mean you can relax. Buyers are moving fast, and they just know they are going to miss out on the perfect home if they don’t make an offer, so if you aren’t ready for them, they may just make an offer on the next home.

Once you have a sign in your yard, here’s what you need to be prepared to do to get the best offer on your home:

 

  1. Always say yes. It doesn’t matter if buyers want to see your home at 8am or 8pm, be ready for them. Any showing could be the last showing you have to do. Regardless of whether your buyers are preapproved or not, always say yes.
  2. Let the sun shine in. Brightly lit rooms look bigger, cleaner, and more inviting. Yes, it’s a drain on your electric bill, but leave all the lights on when you leave for work so that your home is show-ready. Every room needs at least three sources of light. If you are falling short, get thee to Target and buy some $20 lamps.
  3. Crank Your A/C. Get that A/C dialed down so that your home is literally a breath of fresh air. Not only will it feel like a relief this time of year, but there will be no question that it works.
  4. Stay Ready. Your home needs to stay show-ready. It will never fail that buyers will call at the most inconvenient times (See rule number 1) so you need to stay dusted, decluttered, and clean all the time. Yes, it’s exhausting, but it won’t last forever and it will pay off come offer time.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Real Estate and Civil Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

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The Way to Win a Short Sale

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on September 25, 2017

The Way to Win a Short SaleWith foreclosures now being called the “unicorns” of the housing market, many bargain-hunters are turning their eyes to short sales. Short sales are the incognito cousin of the foreclosure; It’s a foreclosure that could happen, but hasn’t yet.

A short sale occurs when a homeowner is underwater and has to sell. They know they can’t meet their obligation to the bank with the market price alone, so they negotiate a middle ground with the bank, with the bank agreeing to essentially take a loss, though not as bad of a loss as they would experience in a foreclosure. Short sale impacts the seller’s credit as badly as a foreclosure, but not for as long a period.

The tricky thing about short sales is that nothing is routine. The process is longer, more approvals are required, and different conditions are asked of the buyer. For this reason, you really need a real estate attorney, or at least a real estate agent who is very familiar with the process and has experience with REOs and short sales.

As with any home purchase, get pre-approved if you can’t offer cash. Cash is always best, but a strong pre-approved offer comes in a close second. You should also have a good chunk of cash ready for the earnest money deposit to show you are serious.

Second, take out all those contingencies. The bank simply won’t put up with them. Contingencies that protect you, such as for financing, inspection and appraisal, are fine, but be prepared to make repairs yourself if something comes up. For short sales, think of the inspection more as an FYI for you than a list of demands for the bank. The bank is looking for the easiest sale at the best price, and it can afford to wait.

Then, get ready to…wait. There will be lots of back and forth, lots of requests from the bank, even moreso than with a typical sale, and lots and lots of waiting. The entire approval process may take as long as three to four months, so don’t pack your bags just yet.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Real Estate and Civil Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

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Should I Offer on a Home I Haven’t Seen in Person?

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on September 22, 2017

Should I Offer on a Home I haven’t Seen in Person? The hot housing market is inspiring risky buying behaviors. A new study by Redfin showed that last year, one-third of buyers made an offer on a home sight unseen. But even if the market is moving quickly, is that a good idea?

Probably not.

First, not having toured the home will make a seller think you’re not serious, and that could hurt any offer you submit. Sellers consider more than which offer is first or for the highest price. They want to know that the buyer is serious, has the funds to complete the transaction, and that they will see the transaction through. Not seeing the home before you offer can trivialize your offer, even if it’s the highest price.

Second, even if you can’t physically be there, there are ways around not touring at all. You can have a local friend or your agent or real estate attorney give you a tour over Skype or Facetime. They can check things out for you and you can ask them questions as they go. Have them drive by several times to get a feel for the neighborhood. You can use Google maps to check traffic patterns around your new neighborhood at rush hour or at night.

If you want to be sure your offer gets attention even if it’s not the first or the highest, put down the most earnest money you can, and have your agent communicate with the seller’s agent to make sure your contract includes all the details the sellers want included, such as which items stay, a preferred closing date, and minimal contingencies.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Real Estate and Civil Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

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The Newest Real Estate Trend is Making an Offer Before You See the Home

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on September 21, 2017

The Newest Real Estate Trend is Making an Offer Before You See the HomeIn hot seller’s markets, a new trend is emerging: offering on a home sight unseen. Think that’s crazy? Last year, one of out three people who bought a home made an offer on it sight unseen. When you break buyers down by generation, the numbers are even higher. More than 40 percent of Millennials offered on a home without seeing it last year, along with 30 percent of Gen Xers, but just 12 percent of Baby Boomers.

There is a reasonable explanation for these numbers: for new-construction projects, buyers may tour a model and not see the home they purchased until it’s built. Some of these buyers may be members of a couple where one person did the hunting and touring and the other trusted their judgment. Some may have been investors, for whom it’s common to buy homes at auction below market value and not go inside until after closing.

But for a typical buyer, the current housing market feels a lot like swimming upstream. The pace is blistering, and prices keep climbing; the median sales price for a home in June rose 7.3 percent, and that same home was on the market just 36 days. That’s the fastest pace since 2010.

Buyers feel rushed—and they should, with homes flying off the market after just a few days. But it’s highly advisable that for those buying a residence for their family, that you visit the home in person. Don’t rely on photos or virtual tours. Drive by, walk around, look, smell and touch any home you’re considering purchasing. Buyer’s remorse is real, even in a hot market.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Real Estate and Civil Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

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Alleged Con Man Caught After Posing as Owners of Luxury Condos

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on September 20, 2017

 Alleged Con Man Caught After Posing as Owners of Luxury CondosAn alleged con man has been caught before he made away with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of luxury real estate.

Police say George French Jones’ strategy involved posing as a wealthy man and forging documents to first take control over luxury properties in South Florida, and then trying to take out loans against the properties. The victims include luxury condo and home owners.

One of the victims, Icon Brickell condo owner Ana Marzal de Bolivar, won a lawsuit against Jones in 2015 after he obtained a $441,000 loan by signing his and Bolivar’s names on fake documents. Jones now faces criminal charges after using more fake documents to try to gain control of a South beach condo, a Fort Lauderdale beachfront condo, and a Coral Gables mansion.

This isn’t Jones’ first run-in with the law. In 2013, he scammed hundreds of thousands selling fake season tickets and part ownership of the L.A. Heat and served just 16 months in a California jail. Jones is college-educated and attended a year of law school, and has more than a dozen arrests since that time, all for white-collar crimes.

It’s hard to protect yourself from real estate fraud, mainly because the perpetrators are confident, tricky, and know how to gain trust. Never share any information about your financial situation or details about properties you own, especially to people you just met. Never make verbal agreements or sign documents that will be filled in later. Keep legal and financial documents locked up and out of sight at home, out of view of visitors.

Another thing you can do to safeguard yourself is to conduct transactions in person. Get to know your financial advisors and bank staff by name, and conduct business in person as much as possible so that it will be suspicious if someone else is suddenly acting on your behalf.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Real Estate and Civil Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

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