Cape Coral house

Interested in buying a short sale in Cape Coral

Are you interested in buying a short sale in Cape Coral, but aren’t sure how? We all know of someone that has been involved with this type of sale and maybe had a nightmare transaction. Good news; the more you understand this process the easier it may be to easily navigate through it.

What is your time frame? How long do you have to wait for an answer?

Most short sales on average, take about 30-60 days to receive any kind of answer from the bank. A short sale is definitely not a quick solution if you lack patience or need to secure housing by a deadline. Many consumers are leery; they know or knew someone that had a nightmare experience. The short sale may have taken 6 months or more to close; if ever. That is certainly not the norm, but it can happen.

The next thing to consider: Choosing a Real Estate Agent

A knowledgeable agent is certainly the first step in a successful short sale process. Ask questions like “have you helped a buyer purchase a short sale before?” If so, ‘how did the process go?” Then ask, “Have you ever negotiated a short sale for a seller before?” and if so, “how did that process go?” Watch for the agents’ opinion of short sales. If an agent has had a bad experience with a short sale you’ll be able to pick up on that. If they feel like they are a waste of time you’ll notice that too. Then you need to find someone who understands the process and can help you through it.

Next: View the homes

When you are viewing the homes take special note of the condition of the property. Is the property occupied or vacant? Are there tenants living there? If so, when will their lease expire? Has the home been maintained? Has it been destroyed? Keep in mind that short sales are written on an AS-IS contract; that means the seller will not pay for repairs to the property. What you see is what you get. The AS-IS contract will be discussed in more detail later.

Ready to Submit an Offer: Make sure it is written up correctly

There is a basic method to making short sales as streamline as possible with regards to the buyer’s agent. Your agent should of course called the listing agent to determine the status of the short sale. Does the seller plan to accept 1 offer or many? Have any offers already been submitted? If so, what was the outcome? Was there a previous bank approval? What were those terms? Does the seller plan to sign an offer and then take the property off of the market or do they intend to keep it available for sale?

Your offer will consist of the following:

Far/Bar As-Is Contract: This is an approved as-is contract. It does not require for the seller to be responsible for any repairs. It does give the buyer the right to an inspection. If you are not comfortable with the inspection results you can opt out of the contract with no penalty.
Short Sale Addendum: This form outlines timeframes. You can give any number of days for the seller to obtain bank approval, as we discussed the average is 30-60 days. You can make the offer’s effective date good from the time of acceptance by the seller or from the time of receipt of written approval from the bank. It is often advised that you wait for written approval as to not lose money with inspections not knowing the outcome of your offer.
Approval letter if financing: This is a letter from your lender approving your financing.
Proof of Funds if paying with cash: This can be a letter from your bank stating “Mrs. Buyer has adequate funds available to close on said property for $this much money” or it can be a copy of a bank statement.

Earnest Deposit: Typically at least $1,000. The seller’s lender will want proof of this so go ahead and have it ready. It shouldn’t matter who is holding the escrow but if the seller is already working with a specific local title company it is best to have it placed there.

Seller Acceptance:

This often gets tricky for buyers to understand. The seller(not the bank) owns the property and must sign the offer before the bank will begin to process the file for approval. The seller should not take more than a couple days to sign. Keep in mind; the seller is only agreeing to sell the property if the lender agrees to a short sale.

Then you: WAIT for seller’s lender’s approval

Determine how often you’ll get updates. Do you want to know what is going on every week? Only when there is progress? Do you want to be called? Emailed? Communication is key. You and your agent should have a plan. Keep in mind that you and your agent are at the mercy of the seller’s agent. Your agent cannot call the bank for updates; he/she will only get the information from the seller’s agent.

Great News: Approval

Now your effective date starts. This means that your inspection period starts, your loan approval period starts. Make sure you work diligently on your financing because asking for an extension can be a real headache.

At Closing: One extra form

Most banks are now requiring the buyer to sign an affidavit of arms length transaction. This ensures that nothing funny is going on. Some banks are even doing background checks on buyers to verify this as well. Otherwise your closing will be handled like any other real estate closing.

Good Luck, happy buying… Check out the homes in Cape Coral for sale now that are short sales:

Buying a home in Cape Coral FL at any budget

Every year around this time, many of our Northern neighbors experience their first freeze.  The chill in the air prompts them to pack up their belongings and head south.  Our city will soon wake from its summer slumber and welcome back the snowbirds, vacationers and extend a warm invitation to our potential transplants.  Northerners; No need to pack up those Bermuda shorts and flip-flops just yet, come see what all the fuss is about.  If you are in the market to buy a vacation home or thinking of relocating altogether there is no better time than the present.  Home prices along with interest rates are at an all time low, with plenty of inventory to choose from.  No matter what your budget or criteria there is something here for everyone. Listed below is what you can expect within your budget.

What can you get for up to $100,000?

Well there are many homes available in that price range, 214 to be exact.  There will be an average of 1472 sq feet and 3 beds and 2 baths.  In this price range 17 of these homes do offer an in-ground pool. None of these homes have access to the Gulf of Mexico, but 4 are located on non-navigable fresh water canals, which is still a nice view.   There are 42 of the 214 homes available with the city utilities in and paid. The majority of the 214 homes are located in the NW, NE area of Cape Coral, which is a bit further from the heart of the city, but still a close drive to Pine Island Rd., where many great restaurants and retail stores are located.  106 of these homes are regular resale’s, 53 are foreclosures and 55 are short sales. In this price range many of these homes will not be considered move-in ready, but with some work will still be a great investment.

What can you get from $101,000 to $200,000?

In this price range, a lot of requests we hear from buyers such as; with a pool, 1800 sq feet minimum and access to the gulf can be met, but the price will be closer to the $200,000 mark.  There are 506 homes available in this price range with the average homes being a 3 bed two bath with 1,817 sq ft.   Out of the 506 homes 230 have in-ground pools (average price being $154,841) and 184 have the city utilities in and paid.  96 of 506 homes are waterfront but only 45 of the 96 are gulf access, some with closer proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and/or the Caloosahatchee River than others.  The average home price for the 45 gulf access homes with a pool is $189,900, a great buy for this type of home.   The number of homes in this price range that are regular resale’s are 378, 46 are foreclosures and 82 are short sales.

It is important to understand that some short sales and foreclosures at any price range may have been stripped of certain fixtures, left vacant for extended periods of time, or may have not been properly maintained.  It is really important to have a home inspection to make certain you account for all necessary repairs and to be certain there will be no major surprises after closing.

No matter what your price range or criteria, we are certain we can find a great home to fit your needs, it is just important to be realistic and flexible and all the rest will easily fall into place.  If we can help you find the perfect home at the perfect price please don’t hesitate to call, we look forward to hearing from you.

The Florida Future Realty Team


*Please note the figures here were obtained from the MLS( multiple listing service) on September 26, 2011 are figures are subject to change, feel free to call for updated statistics.

Selling your Cape Coral home?

It seems that buyers and sellers are still nervous about the housing market in Cape Coral. We are getting calls every day from people anxious with questions about selling their Cape Coral homes. “Is now a good time?” “What are my options if it doesn’t sell?” They speculate on
conditions improving with hopes they will get what they owe on their homes without having to put it on a short sale or worse, have it foreclosed.

The truth is, you, as a seller, will know when it is the right time. As real estate agents, we can assist you with your process, we can also answer your question, but we certainly don’t know
when you are ready to let go of your house. Sometimes, taking a “holistic” approach to home selling may work wonders for you. For instance, if you look at the home selling process in the big picture or the grand scheme instead of how it may affect you right at that
moment-it may  ease some of your stress about letting go of the house.

Big decisions like selling your home don’t come easy.
An experienced listing agent will know that and take your concerns and questions into consideration when you speak with them.  Here are a few tips to help you along the way:

1)      Interview Real Estate Agents

Ask questions that pertain to your specific needs. Decide what is important to you in a listing agent. Find out what credentials an agent has. Get references from past customers. Ask for testimonials from past clients. Check out Real Estate websites and Publications. Ask the listing agents to show you a marketing plan. A reputable agent will offer a CMA (comparable market analysis) on your home so you can make an informed decision about listing your home with them. You will know if you and the agent are a good match-after all, you have to work together.

2)      Get Your Home Ready

Pack up personal items such as family pictures. You can even rent a storage unit for a few months where your packed boxes of family treasures can be out of the way from the new home owners. Stage your home as if it was a showroom for customers to browse. If you need
assistance with staging your home, an experienced listing agent can offer advice on how to get started.

3)      Get Rid of Clutter

Remove books from bookshelves. Clean and organize shelves and closets in kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms. Put everyday items in a small bin in a kitchen or hallway closet for easy access. Put knick knacks away in a box and put in storage. Clean off kitchen counters. Think of your home as a model home.

4)      Make Minor Repairs

It’s not necessary to start remodeling the outdated bathroom, but it is a good idea to fix leaking faucets and cracked or broken tiles. Minor repairs can also include, patching holes in walls, replacing burned out light bulbs and fixing broken windows, doors and door

5)      Clean, clean, clean

This is the time to make your house appear shiny and new! A thorough cleaning of windows inside and out will be a welcome sign for potential buyers. A few more things to consider when cleaning and organizing your home: polish faucets, re-grout tubs and showers, get rid of pet odors, vacuum carpets, mop floors and replace worn out rugs. It is also a good
idea to make a clear pathway to your front door so that buyers feel like they want to enter your home.

6)      Outside Area and Curb Appeal

It is best to look at your house from the outside in. Mow lawns and cut down bushes or hedges that may be in the way of a clear path to the front door. If there is a pool, keep it clean. Sometimes it is best to hire a regular lawn and pool service if you can’t keep up with it
yourself. Other things to consider are to replace broken shutters, shine the door handles and pressure clean driveways. Scrutinize your home from a buyer’s point of view.

These are only a few suggestions to take into consideration. Again, an experienced agent will be able to go over any other areas of concern you may have.  Call the Florida Future Realty, Inc. office for a no obligation consultation on selling your Cape Coral or Ft. Myers home.  The office is open Monday through Friday and weekends by appointment.  

Yours in Success,

The Florida Future Realty Team