Carsonvalleyrealestate’s Weblog

An Agent Told Us She Had a Buyer So We Listed Our Home With her … We’ve Never Seen The Buyer!
December 22, 2008, 4:22 pm
Filed under: Buying Real Estate

We recently received a call from a property owner in our community who had an unpleasant situation occur with another local agent.  The agent told the property owners that she had a buyer for their property but needed to have a listing to protect herself before she actually showed the home to the potential purchaser. 


Our response … You are likely the victim of one of real estate’s oldest and cheapest tricks.  An unscrupulous agent will use this ploy to get you to list your property.  An agent with a serious Buyer that has an interest in your home will either have a Buyer’s Broker Agreement with the Buyer, or will ask you for a One Party Listing for protection, but an extended Exclusive Right to Sell Listing need not, and should not, be a condition precedent for such a showing. 


Understand, too, that such a showing does not mean you must list with that agent.  You should evaluate your listing agent in the conventional manner – considering their production, the type of property you have and the type of property the agents sell, the agents’ willingness to provide customer references from recent transactions, how you generally feel about the agents and their business morals, values and practices, and these days … are they full time agents?


Another old trick is to list at a high price, higher than all the other agents said they could get you, and then beat you up week after week for a price reduction.  Between their incessant pressure, the lapse of time from the listing date with no offers, and your increasing frustration and motivation to sell, you will begrudgingly accede to the reality of the market value of your home and reduce your price by either a listing price reduction or accepting a lower offer.  In the interim you lose time and experience unnecessary frustration.  You are truly a victim in this situation and you’ll never know it.


Our Advice:  This is a challenging market that needs competent professional services from professional real estate agents, not cheap trickery.  With many Sellers under pressure to sell, these unbelievable gutter tricks have resurfaced lately.  


One agent recently called the Sellers of a property that we have listed … properly listed with a sign, with brochures, in MLS, in our ad, and has been on the MLS tour! … and told them she had a Buyer for their home but needed a listing.  She was actually so bold as to leave a message on the Seller’s work phone at his office.  The seller called her back, reminded her it was listed, and even offered to pay her a bonus to bring her “Buyer” to boot!  He asked her to call us and arrange a showing … we are still (two weeks later) waiting for the call. 


If its time for you to sell be sure you work with one of the many great professional agents in the area, not one using old “tricks”.  If they trick you now to get your listing for their benefit … what do you think they’ll do when it comes time to sign a sales agreement … when it’s your money on the line?!  We believe they’ll “trick” you then too, not always considering your interest in the consequences of your selling decisions, rather only thinking of their gain in the situation.  Most agents will treat you courteously and professionally, but it is important to be aware of the predators and their ploys – “forewarned is forearmed”. 


An agent approaching you with a Buyer – whether you are a FSBO, or it is unsolicited – can be a good thing.  Pay attention to their approach and the representation of the parties.  Are you being properly represented?  It can and should be just fine – just be aware.  When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs … Experience is Priceless!  Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781- 5472.,


We Still Keep Hearing About Short Sales … Are They Real and Why Should We Do It?
January 26, 2008, 7:03 pm
Filed under: Buying Real Estate | Tags:

Short sales are very real but they have become as confusing as the market itself.  There are several aspects to a short sale when you are considering one.  The first is to make sure you qualify, i.e.- you owe more than the property is worth (call your agent for a current value – things are changing quickly), have limited other assets, inability to pay, don’t own other real estate, etc., in other words … you have a genuine need for debt relief. 

Once you’ve determined that (not hard if you are truly qualified!) the next step is to consider options – short sale vs. foreclosure vs. bankruptcy.  Each has it merits depending on your circumstances. Bankruptcy is usually the least desirable.  It can extend the time you can live in the home but has many extended adverse impacts on you, your credit, and your mind.  Foreclosure is the likely option, inevitable in some cases, if you can’t or won’t put together a short sale.  So what is the difference to you?  1. A short sale will typically last 3-4 years on your credit report.  A foreclosure will be there 7 years.  2. With a short sale your credit is not as severely impacted.  A foreclosure can reduce your FICO score up to 400 points.  A short sale will impact it 50-180 depending on how it is reported.  3. A short sale is a more dignified solution.  You sell your home to another person just like your neighbors do.  A foreclosure often results in the home being vacant for months, signs promoting the bank ownership of the property, dead landscaping, etc.  4.  It is usually easier to rent a home to move to with a short sale than after a foreclosure.  Most landlords check credit on tenant applicants these days.   

There is now tax relief due to a law passed last year and signed by President Bush in late December.  It does not help every individual that gets mortgage relief, but it will help many.  Regardless of the tax relief you get, or don’t get, it is generally better to control your own destiny and work to effect a short sale, or settled agreement with your lender.   

Our Advice:  The foreclosure option requires no action …don’t make your payment…wait until the date of the sale…and move out.  The short sale requires marketing your property, providing the bank with proper documentation of your need including a hardship letter, financial statement, pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements, etc. – work on your part, often unpleasant because of your present financial circumstances, but it is usually worth it for the long term positive effect on you.  Additionally, helping the lender out of their investment problem instead of forcing a foreclosure is something you can do to help the institution that committed to help you when you wanted help … when you wanted to buy your house.  Make every effort to implement a short sale … you will be happier in the shorter-long run. A short sale involves a lot of work by your agents, it also requires them to have specific knowledge of how to navigate the inevitable maze the corporate lender makes agents run through. If you are having difficulties making your payment call your agent immediately to explore your options.  Waiting won’t solve the problem.   

Experience is Priceless!  Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, or , email us at  775-781-5472 toll free at 800-814-8799 ext. # 254.

We Can’t Reduce Our Price Any More … What Can We Do? « Carsonvalleyrealestate’s Weblog
December 26, 2007, 11:11 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

We Can’t Reduce Our Price Any More … What Can We Do? « Carsonvalleyrealestate’s Weblog

We Can’t Reduce Our Price Any More … What Can We Do?

Whether you can’t, or won’t, reduce your price, we understand that it is frustrating to sit in this market without action.  The best way to generate action is to reduce your price to be the best priced property on the market for what you are offering.  Having said that, here are a few options available to you other than a price reduction.    

For some Sellers a lease/option can help you achieve your goal.  A lease option is in actuality a lease agreement, and an option to purchase agreement, that are tied together by language in the agreements.  A lease/option provides you with cash flow from the option consideration and monthly lease payments while you wait to see if the option will be exercised.  Since the price paid at the time the option is exercised is agreed to at the time the option agreement is signed, it is usually a higher than market price.  This is because of the extended term of the option period, typically 12-24 months, and the anticipated increase in market value at the end of the term.    

Lease/options can be a risk for both parties since nobody really knows what prices will do, but it gives the Seller cash and cash flow, and buys time for the market to change.  The Buyer can get in to the home knowing that they have the opportunity to buy it in the future.  This works well if they, too, are waiting to sell, repair credit, or any number of reasons that are holding them back from a normal purchase in today’s wonderful Buyer’s market.  The fact that Sellers today are considering lease/options is another sign that it is, indeed, a Buyer’s market.  

If you know where you want to go after you sell, look in that market for somebody that is looking to move to our community.  A simple ad in their local paper might produce a Buyer that can’t sell their home.  So what do the two of you do?  Trade your homes!  You might advertise your willingness to do so in your local Carson Valley advertising.  We’ve found that people looking to move to the Carson Valley look here in preparation for their move.  A needle in the haystack?  Yes, but with the right intention you just might beat the odds.  

Our Advice:  There are a number of other options, each with its own inherent risk factors, and one should be careful when considering such an option.  These include selling with a Contract of Sale, All Inclusive Trust Deed, or simply renting your home until the market recovers sufficiently to allow you to accomplish your next real estate objectives.  Auctions have a certain intriguing appeal, but have not proven very successful from our observation unless it is involves a distressed property, or a very unique and expensive property.  Be flexible and maintain a bigger perspective when weighing your options.  Remember, it is only money.  Don’t let yourself get so affected by this market that you lose your health or family … money can be replaced. 

Experience is Priceless!  Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, , 775-781-5472.    

Easily search the entire Northern Nevada MLS  or email Lisa and Jim with questions or for additional information.

So Many Stories … Who Should Buy in This Market?

This market isn’t for everybody, however it is a time of opportunity for many. With good credit scores and/or ready cash, it is a good time to buy Carson Valley real estate, Search Carson Valley Real Estate.

So who should buy now? If you are a nervous investor, it’s a good time. It’s kind of like voting early and not having to listen to the political ads anymore. If you buy a property that you want, you can stop listening to the doom and gloom media bombardment. You can be comfortable with your investment and know that whatever happens, you have it. Unlike stocks that leave you with a certificate when their value diminishes, you will always have your real property. Buy quality at a good price and relax. It may go down before it goes up, but you’ve made a decision and can get on with your life.

If you are a first time home Buyer, count your blessings that the market has checked. Today’s prices are much less than what you would have paid a year or two ago. In fact, you likely would have been priced out of the Carson Valley at that time. Are you going to wait and try to time the market drop, or are you going to buy now and start enjoying the many benefits of home ownership? Remember, you aren’t making a one year investment – home ownership should be considered with a longer hold perspective. Consider that in Douglas County 48.9% of the people lived in the same house in 1995 and 2000 – just about half the people didn’t move in five years!If you are looking to move up or down in the market you are really moving “sideways”, the homes you are selling and buying are relatively priced.

If you are moving up – do it before the prices rise and you will enjoy greater appreciation when they do with the more expensive property. Moving down? Do it before the prices rise and you’ll enjoy a lower loan amount and, possibly, rate, for the term of the loan. Don’t put your life on hold until “someone” says it is time to act – control your own life and real estate happiness by taking action now. Your buy and sell prices are even in their respective market segment.

If you are a savvy investor, this is a wonderful time to make your intentions known to your agent. Opportunities now appear on a regular basis. If your active agent knows your investment objectives, i.e.- a place for your child(ren), appreciation over five years, change portfolio location, etc., you have a much better chance of successfully achieving them in the next six months, or so. Be ready to act and stay open minded.

Our Advice: If you have a credit score below 720 it is probably in your best interest to work on increasing your score before you buy. If you don’t you will likely pay a higher interest rate and could very well get the run around when it comes time to fund your loan. When the market was soaring people looked past these negatives figuring that their anticipated appreciation would offset the higher costs of the loan. Today one can’t count on short term appreciation – plan on holding. Get yourself ready to act. When the market turns it will be like a dam breaking and you will have a lot of competition for the quality offerings that you don’t have today.Timing the falling market to catch it at the bottom is like the proverbial “catching a falling knife” … it is hard to do. If you know you want to live/invest here, and have confidence in the Carson Valley community, then you can buy with confidence … now.

Experience is Priceless! Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, , visit our websites at or call anytime at 775-781-5472.

We Are Renting and Our Landlord is Having Money Problems … What Happens To Us?
December 12, 2007, 10:43 pm
Filed under: Forclosures | Tags: , ,

One of the hidden casualties of the foreclosure crisis are the tenants.  When the landlord doesn’t make the mortgage payment and the property sells at a foreclosure sale, most leases are worthless.  Statistically, just over 20% of all foreclosures are rental properties.  A foreclosure will most often trump a lease – the note and Deed of Trust were in place before the lease agreement was signed. 

Regardless of how long you’ve rented your home, how early you pay your rent, or how much you have improved the property – if the owner of the house isn’t making the payments you have great exposure of being evicted with very little warning after a foreclosure sale.  Note: this does not occur in a conventional sale situation where the Buyer acquires the property subject to your lease terms and conditions. 

Some precautions you can take include looking at your owner’s information online at the County Recorder’s site – you can get the name of how they hold title at the County Assessor’s site.  If you see a Notice of Default, check the date.  You will have approximately 120 days after that date before the property will sell.  If you see a Notice of Sale, you have about three weeks.  Either way – call your landlord to see if they intend to correct the situation … and how.  He should understand that the consequences of his loss will dramatically affect you.   

If your landlord is in default you might want to pay your rent into an escrow account and contact an attorney who specializes in foreclosure property issues.  Other options: You can file a legal action against the landlord for non-performance on the lease, and try to recover expenses, damages and costs of relocating you incur as a result of the foreclosure.  You can also try to contact the new owner (after the foreclosure sale – they likely won’t talk before the sale) and try to negotiate a short-term occupancy offering to protect the property for them while you search for new housing. 

Our Advice:  Keep an eye out for signs that your owner might be in financial trouble.  Are people driving by looking at your house … even stopping to take pictures?  Is the property suddenly on the market at a low price?  Is your landlord suddenly screening calls?  If you have a friend or relative that is renting be sure to share this information with them.  Forewarned is forearmed.  Imagine finding out one day that you have but three days to get out of your home!  You will have to find a place, pack and move … or your belongings could be put on the street.  It is a tough situation, but it is legal and real.  Of all the proposed mortgage industry crisis solutions none so far have included remedies for non-owner occupied, investor owned, properties.  If your landlord is in trouble he had better have resources to solve his problem for there is little chance help will be coming any time soon to stave off an imminent foreclosure. No matter how good of a relationship you have with your wonderful landlord … desperate people do desperate things.  If they are being squeezed financially and it becomes you or his family that will feel the pain … start packing.  Be prepared and you will be fine. 

Experience is Priceless!  Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, , 775-781-5472.

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December 12, 2007, 10:23 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

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