Palisades Is Second Most Expensive Housing Market in U.S., Report Says

What is a Pocket Listing and is Ethical?

A pocket listing is a property that doesn’t come onto the Realtor-funded multiple listing system until it’s already sold — a practice that’s rarely defendable. In fact, it’s looked down upon so much that your local MLS may have rules against it.

pocket listings” do exist, but they are an unethical agent practice. A “pocket listing” is one which the agent keeps “in his pocket” and shows only to his best buyers. Since the agent has a fiduciary duty to get the highest price for the seller, he must publicize the fact that the house is for sale as widely as possible as fast as possible. If instead he only tells his favorite buyer to avoid another agent splitting the commission, he is acting against the interest of his client, violating his fiduciary duty to the seller. You should not deal with unethical agents who keep listings “in their pockets” either as a buyer or as a seller.

There’s no law against them, and even though most MLS rules require listings to be submitted within a certain time frame, those same rules usually permit the withholding of listings per a client’s written instructions. So pocket listings aren’t illegal, and even pass muster under MLS rules if authorized by sellers. If a seller wants a listing withheld from the MLS that’s his or her right.

The problem arises when listing agents don’t get informed seller consent to “pocket” a listing. Even in a hot market, the benefits of MLS exposure are hard to deny. A listing agent desiring a pocket listing should be upfront about this; some sellers will still be fine with pocket listings. But if your seller can’t see the value in keeping his or her property off the MLS, neither should you.

Short Sale Question & Answers

Short Sale Q & A

What is a real estate short sale?

A little-known alternative, once more commonly used in the real estate downturn of the early 1990’s is the “short sale,” which works like this: A homeowner falls behind on his or her mortgage payments, usually due to a job loss, rising debt payments, or both. Facing a situation in which the home value has fallen and cannot be sold for the amount of the mortgage owed. If the amount of the sale is for less than the amount owed on the mortgage, the lender gets the proceeds and discharges the remaining debt.

Also known as a real estate short pay-off or a pre-foreclosure workout, a short sale is an agreement with a lender to accept less than the amount owed by a borrower via a sale of the property to a third party.

What are the advantages of a short sale vs. a foreclosure?

While in both cases, short sale and foreclosure, the delinquent mortgage will negatively affect their credit rating, at least short sellers avoid having a “debt discharged due to foreclosure” on their credit reports. Mortgage and credit experts say that, after bankruptcy, having a foreclosure on your credit report is the worst result and will reduce your credit score by over 250 points. You could also have to wait up to several years to qualify for a mortgage at a reasonable rate.

Short sales show up on a credit report as a “pre-foreclosure in redemption” status and can result in a credit score reduction of 100 points or less or even complete being release all together. After the sale, the mortgage may show up as “discharged.” People who successfully complete a short sale may also qualify for a mortgage at a reasonable interest rate in as little as 18 months. So, if buying a home is a future goal, then a short sale is the better option for many families.

My mortgage payments are late and I may be facing foreclosure. Is the Short Sale option available to me?

We at Miramar understand as a homeowner unable to make your mortgage payment or dealing with the possibility of facing foreclosure can be a stressful experience and an emotionally painful time in your life. If you are currently behind on your mortgage payment – or predict that you will soon be unable to continue making your mortgage payments – you’re not alone: you do have an option.

We at Miramar will assist you to identify and implement the best possible short sale solution helping you to avoid foreclosure. After a thorough review of your situation by one of our Certified Short Sale Specialists, we will work your lender to come up with the appropriate solution. Miramar will diligently negotiate to secure a fair and equitable solution with your lender.

Will the Short Sale cost me anything?

There are no out of pocket upfront fees associated with the short sales. The borrower’s current lender usually pays for the real estate services provided.

What criteria must I meet to be considered in a “hardship” situation?

A hardship situation is one that is the result of some extenuating circumstance that forces the borrower into a position where they can no longer afford their mortgage payments. While every situation is different, some frequent examples of hardship include:

  • Decrease in the value of the home
  • Unemployment or loss of primary income source
  • Inability to work due to health crisis
  • Mounting medical expenses
  • Employment relocation
  • Failure of business
  • Bankruptcy
  • Death of spouse or significant other
  • Divorce or separation

What do I need to do to get started?

In addition to the homeowner proving hardship, lenders require a specific set of supporting financial documents to consider a short sale. Contact Miramar today and one of our Certified Short Sale Specialists will help you get started.

There are many more questions regrinding Short Sales; please give us a call at 310-488-6914 there is no obligation!

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Habit 1: Be Proactive

  • Synopsis: Take initiative in life by realizing that your decisions (and how they align with life’s principles) are the primary determining factor for effectiveness in your life. Take responsibility for your choices and the subsequent consequences that follow.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

  • Synopsis: Self-discover and clarify your deeply important character values and life goals. Envision the ideal characteristics for each of your various roles and relationships in life.

Habit 3: Put First Things First

  • Synopsis: Plan, prioritize, and execute your week’s tasks based on importance rather than urgency. Evaluating if your efforts exemplify your desired character values, propel you towards goals, and enrich the roles and relationships that were elaborated in Habit 2.

Habit 4: Think Win-Win

  • Synopsis: Genuinely strive for mutually beneficial solutions or agreements in your relationships. Valuing and respecting people by understanding a “win” for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution than if only one person in the situation had gotten his way.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

  • Synopsis: Use empathetic listening to be genuinely influenced by a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. This creates an atmosphere of caring, respect, and positive problem solving.

Habit 6: Synergize

  • Synopsis: Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals no one person could have done alone. Get the best performance out of a group of people through encouraging meaningful contribution, and modeling inspirational and supportive leadership.

The Last habit relates to self-rejuvenation:

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

  • Synopsis: Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle.

Fireplace safety tips / Space heater tips

Fireplace safety tips:

  • Have flues and chimneys inspected before each heating season for leakage and blockage by creosote or debris.
  • Open the fireplace damper before lighting the fire and keep it open until the ashes are cool. Never close the damper or go to bed if the ashes are still warm. An open damper may help prevent build-up of poisonous gases inside the home.
  • Never use gasoline, charcoal lighter or other fuel to light or relight a fire because the vapors can explode. Never keep flammable fuels or materials near a fire. Never store flammable liquids in your home.
  • Never use charcoal in a fireplace because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Keep a screen or glass enclosure around a fireplace to prevent sparks or embers from igniting flammable materials

Space heater tips:

  • Place the heater on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Keep the heater at least three feet from bedding, drapes, furniture and other flammable materials. Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
  • To prevent the risk of fire, NEVER leave a space heater on when you go to sleep or place a space heater close to any sleeping person. Turn the space heater off if you leave the area.
  • Use a space heater that has been tested to the latest safety standards and certified by a nationally-recognized testing laboratory. These heaters will have the most up-to-date safety features; older space heaters may not meet the newer safety standards. An unvented gas space heater that meets current safety standards will shut off if oxygen levels fall too low.
  • Make sure your heater is correctly rated for your home. An oversized heater could deplete the available oxygen, causing excess carbon monoxide to be produced. Keep a window in the room open at least one inch and keep doors open to the rest of the house to ensure proper ventilation. This helps prevent pollutant build-up and promotes proper combustion.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to provide sufficient combustion air to prevent carbon monoxide production.
  • Have gas and kerosene space heaters inspected annually to ensure proper operation.
  • Do not use a kitchen range or oven to heat your house because it could overheat or generate excessive carbon monoxide.
  • Be aware that manufactured homes require specially-designed heating equipment.
  • Do not use unvented gas space heaters where prohibited by local codes.
  • Have a smoke alarm with fresh batteries on each level of the house, inside every bedroom, and outside the bedrooms in each sleeping area. In addition, have a carbon monoxide alarm outside the bedrooms in each separate sleeping area.