Category Archives: Real Estate

Business Planning for 2017

https-%2f%2fcdn-evbuc-com%2fimages%2f25198982%2f31569451007%2f1%2foriginalHave you started your business planning for 2017? It is the first of December so you have one month till the new year begins. To insure you have a successful 2017 it is very important to start planning now. Here are some links to help you with this task.

Here are links to free templates for your business planning

A Free Webinar by Tom Ferry

Planning Essentials by Marketlender



Business Card I have had my licenses for several years now, but kept it with a holding company. I never saw any benefit to the additional cost to activate my license and to keep it active all year round. Many brokers require you join a Real Estate Board costing $300 to $400 a year then pay a monthly fee on top of that to the broker. I found out recently that Virtual Properties Realty has 3 different options for the level of agent you want to be that are all very affordable. I am under Virtual Properties Realty.BIZ. I pay a one time low fee for the year. If I have a transaction there will be other fees that I would owe at that time, but for someone not planning on having many if any transactions this was the way to go.

Having my license active doesn’t mean that I plan to run out and become a full time Real Estate Agent. No, that is not for me. I am good at what I do as a Virtual Assistant and having my license allows me to offer more assistance to my clients. In case of emergencies or vacations I can show properties and assist in open houses. I don’t want any of my clients thinking of me as competition because that is 100% not the case.

Yet, I will say that if a friend or family member were to ask for my assistance in purchasing or selling their home I would be more than happy to help them to do this. That would be an added bonus to having an active license.

Learning the Virtual Property Realty Way

VPRSo far, as a Virtual Assistant, I have been working mostly with agents that work with Keller Williams Realty. Prior to  becoming a VA, I spent 6 years working with a team of agents who worked for Keller Williams and because of that experience, I can say I am an expert at  KW’s compliance rules. Things are different between each individual Keller Williams Broker, as I have learned  working with several different Keller Williams branches,  but they are all using a system called DotLoop for their paperwork, a system I know very well. The differences between each KW branch I have worked for are minor and easily learned. I have worked with other Brokers besides KW, but so far as a VA for those individuals, I have not dealt with their paperwork compliance outside of emailing a copy of the paperwork to the Broker, which is not difficult. Well, today I was asked by a client who has recently decided to changes brokers to go to their agent orientation with her. The new broker is Virtual Property Realty. It is very exciting to learn a new company’s ways and master them like I have with KW. I am going to take all the classes a new agent would take with them to learn their system, and look forward to broadening my knowledge base so that I may offer my assistance to other Virtual Property Realty agents in the future.

Spring foward!

Spring Forward

Spring is right around the corner and daylight savings time begins this weekend!  If you have clients that are looking to sell their homes during the spring – summer sales season, now is the time to begin getting their homes ready to list! Let them know! When the flowers start blooming, buyers start looming! If you have any questions about how I can help during this busy season, please do not hesitate to give me a call.   


Real Estate Agents in Georgia, did you get this email?


The Georgia Real Estate Commission is proposing two changes to the current Rules of the Commission:

Advertising – The purpose of this change is to address the use of the Internet to advertise real property. This proposed Advertising Rule is a revision of an earlier proposed Rule sent to you previously.

Maintaining a License – The proposal is to increase continuing education hours from 24 to 36 over a 4 year license renewal period. Also, after July 1, 2016, continuing education shall include a mandatory 3 hours on the topic of License Law.

Note: This Rule will NOT apply to those individuals known as “Grandfathered Licensees” who were actively licensed prior to January 1, 1980. “Grandfathered Licensees” will continue to be exempt from continuing education requirements.

The proposed Rules are available for review and comment by going to  or

Click here to see the Advertising Rule Change

Click here to see the Maintaining License Rule Change 

Thank you,

Mortgage Products Offered by Homestar Financial Corporation

Homestar logoI went to a class this week given by The Ryder Team of Homestar Financial Corporation and it was very informative of the types of loans available and the details about the loans. I thought I would pass on this information. This information was good 11/21/2013.

Quick Reference Guide


  • If the borrower is pre-qualified for a USDA loan then the property has to be eligible as well. To find out go to
  • 100% Financing, 30 year term, not down payment
  • Need 45 days to close a USDA loan
  • No max purchase price but the loan amount can not exceed appraisal value
  • Eligible repairs can be included into the loan. Limited to the lesser of 10% of the purchase price or $10,000
  • To qualify for this loan the household income can not exceed the limits, which are determined by county and household size.
  • Closing costs can be included in the loan if it doesn’t exceed the appraisal value
  • Seller paid closing costs and gifts have no limit.


  • Down payment as low as 3.5% (can be a gift – not cash)
  • Up-front MIP Funding Fee – 1.75% can be included in loan
  • Need 30 days to close
  • Seller can pay up to 6% in closing costs/pre-paids
  • FHA Loan Limits are by County

FHA 203K

  • Same down payment and up front fee as FHA loans
  • Need 45 days to close
  • House must appraise for purchase price plus cost of approved repairs
  • Repairs have to be made or overseen by licensed contractor
  • Extra inspection fees will be charged to borrower
  • Money for repairs available no sooner than 31 days after closing
  • Buyer cannot get paid to do the repairs

VA Loans

  • 100% Financing
  • Fixed Rate 30 year loan
  • Lenient qualifying terms
  • Allows seller to pay most loan costs up to 4% as part of purchase agreement (borrower can NOT pay appraisal fee, attorney fee or doc. prep. fees: must be paid by seller) – t lease 2%
  • Minimum credit score is 620
  • Those available are – Veterans, Active duty personnel, Reservists/National Guard Members, qualifying surviving spouses

Conventional Loans

Fixed Rate Mortgage

  • Choose the loan repayment term of 10 to 30 years
  • Loan to Value of 95% so 5% down is the lowest you can go
  • Seller concessions are 3% of 90% or greater, 6% on 75.01 to 90% and 9% on less than 75% (investment is limited to 2%)
  • Minimum credit score of 620
  • Maximum loan amount is $417,000
  • Gift of 20% requires no borrower funds, less than 20% requires at least 3% from the borrower

Adjustable Rate Mortgages

  • Initial rates are usually lower than fixed rate mortgages
  • ARMs have an initial fixed rate for 3, 5, 7, or 10 years, then are paid off at an annually adjusted rate during the remainder of the 30 year term
  • Seller concessions, credit score, and loan amount are the same as Fixed Rate Mortgages

Georgia Dream Homeownership Program

  • Maximum Household Income: (Barrow, Bartow, Butts, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Haralson, Henry, Newton, Paulding, Pickens, Pike, Rockdale, Spalding or Walton Counties) 1-2 persons $69,00; 3+ persons $79,500  All other countries: 1-2 persons $59,500; 3+ persons $68,500
  • The sales price of the home cannot  exceed $200,00
  • This loan is available to first time home buyers, those who have not owned a home in the past three years and those who purchase a home in targeted areas.
  • Down Payment Assistance – use this loan in conjunction with a Georgia Dream First Mortgage Loan
  • Borrower(s) must complete credit counseling
  • Borrower(s) must contribute a minimum of $1,000 to the purchase – can be a gift
  • Down Payment Loan Options: STANDARD $5,000 PEN: Eligible home buyers who are employed in qualified public protection, military, health care or education qualify for $7,500 CHOICE: Eligible home buyers whose household includes an individual living with a disability qualify for $7,500
  • Plan for a 60 day closing
  • Must follow FHA Guidelines
  • The down payment assistance laon is an interest free second mortgage with no payments. this loan is NEVER forgiven. when the home is sold or the loan is refinanced the down payment assistance loan must be repaid.


Jack Waldrip Real Estate and Prudential Georgia are Merging!

“The merger brings together two of Gainesville’s most respected firms. Our companies share a similar philosophy, which makes this an ideal fit,” said Dan Forsman, president and CEO of Prudential Georgia Realty, which is based in Roswell and has had offices at 351 Jesse Jewell Parkway.

See the full artical by clicking here.

Inside Scoop on Foreclosure Listing Agents

I have worked as an administrative assistant for the past 6 years for a very prominent real estate team in Gainesville, GA. Before the market crashed, the agent I worked for already had her foot in the door with the foreclosure business. When we started to see the downward sloping of the market we hit that side of the business hard by applying to every company we could find to become one of their listing agents. This was the best move and is probably what saved me a job. As things progressed, foreclosures were primarily all we did and I don’t think that other agents out there truly understand what it takes to be a foreclosure listing agent. It is a lot of work and it is hard work. When I worked there I had so many agents get snippy with me and make rude comments about the agent I worked for and others in the industry and it always got me so upset. So I figure I would write about all the responsibilities of a foreclosure listing agent.

1. On the first Tuesday of every month is when the houses are foreclosed and sold at the court house. I have heard the term “sold on the court house steps”, and from what I have heard it really does happen. I have never gone so I don’t really know. So then on Wednesday and Thursday after the listing agents will get their assignments from the foreclosure company. Usually the agents deal with “Asset Managers”. The asset managers work for the foreclosure company and are usually assigned a certain area of the state. When the listing agent signs up with the foreclosure company they will apply to service certain areas of the state. This is how foreclosures are assigned.

2. Once you are assigned the asset, the first step is for the listing agent to preview the house to see if it is occupied or not. If it is occupied they have to try to contact the occupant to make them aware that the house has been foreclosed on and what their options are. If the occupant is not home at this time the agent must leave a brochure on the door with the occupant’s options and the agents contact information. Some foreclosure companies require the agent to take pictures of the brochure on the door or in the hand of the occupant as proof they have completed this task. the brochure with the occupant’s options usually includes what is called “cash for keys”. This is where they will pay the occupant money to move out by a certain date, leave all appliances and fixtures, and leave the house in broom swept condition. The amounts offered very from company to company and the amount of time it takes the tenant to get out. Fannie Mae used to make the agents pay the cash for keys and then the agent would submit a request for reimbursement. This can be a huge expencse for an agent. They have changed that now. If the house is vacant then the agent must contact a locksmith and have all the doors to the house re-keyed so the agent can gain access to the property. There is another scenario where things can get a little sticky. That is when the house appears to be vacant, but there are items in the house. The agent has to decide if the items in the house are worth $500 or more “Garage Sale” value. If they believe they are then they must report this to the foreclosure company and an eviction is put into place. If they decide it is not worth over $500 then they have the house re-keyed. You then have to report your findings back the foreclosure company. There are usually time limits to each task. For the “Occupancy” task, this usually has to be done in 24 hours.

3. After the house has been re-keyed they go back out to the house to look through the house, take pictures, and put a combination lock box on the house. The agents take pictures of everything to show the asset manager the state of the house. They have to remember to take pictures of all the damage and of some key shots required for the Broker Price Opinion (BPO). The key shots needed are a shot of the front of the house, back of the house and a picture of the street the house is on.

4. A BPO is similar to an appraisal, but real estate agents are not appraisers and cannot say what a house is valued at so this is just their opinion. It is done like an appraisal in that you have to pick 3 current listed houses similar to the foreclosure and 3 sold houses similar to the foreclosure. There are also restrictions as to how far away from the foreclosure those listings and sold houses can be and a time limit on how long ago the houses were sold. I could go more into a BPO, but that is a blog in and of itself. They take time to prepare if you don’t have appraisal software. They are given 3 to 7 days to complete these.

5. At this time, at least with Fannie Mae, the agent has to get the utilities turned on in their name. Some other companies have the agent put the utilities on in a third party company’s name. The agent is responsible for paying these bills each month and then submitting these bills to the foreclosure company for reimbursement. This can get very expensive for the agent depending on how many properties you are managing and how long they sit around being repaired and or listed on the market. The reimbursement process is also very tedious depending on the foreclosure company. Each one has different ways and rules for submission. Once submitted the agent will receive the reimbursement within 30 to 45 day. If the submission is done incorrectly or not in a timely manner it may mean more time the agent has to go without being reimbursed or no reimbursement at all. The agent is now out of pocket for that money.

6. In the meantime the house will have been “trashed out” by a company the foreclosure company has hired to trash it out and cleaned. This is done pretty quickly as those companies are given time limits to get it done or they are not paid. The agent has to go back out to the house to make sure the house has been trashed out and cleaned and it has been done well. If it hasn’t then the agent has to report that it wasn’t and why. At this time the agent usually takes a whole new set of pictures now that the place is clean. These pictures will be used for listing photos.

7. After the agent turns in the BPO to the foreclosure company the asset manager will look over the damages that the agent notes and request the agent  get “bids” from contractors to repair the damage. Sometimes they will ask for bids for all the repairs or they will pick a certain few they are willing to consider. The agent then has to type up a request for these bids and send them to venders for their bids. This part depends on the foreclosure company. I am more familiar with Fannie Mae’s policy and procedures. Fannie Mae has pre-qualified contractors that they want the agent to use and we have a certain bid request form that is filled out and sent to the contractor in our area. That contractor then sends it back with their bid. There is a time limit of 3 to 5 days. Once you get the bids back these are then sent to the asset manager and they decided which damages they are willing to repair. With Fannie Mae we are not notified which repairs are going to be done because they notify the contractors directly at this point. Once the repairs are complete the contractor is supposed to let the agent know and the agent has 3 days to go out check the repairs and report back to Fannie Mae. They are to check if the damages are repaired, repaired well, and if the house was cleaned up after the repairs were complete.

8. Once this is reported to the asset manager and repairs are complete, usually the asset manager will list the property. The property is put on the market like any other listing. Some foreclosure companies like Fannie Mae are very strict about the pictures used for the listing and the number of pictures used. I know that with Fannie Mae you had to have at least 5 pictures and the lights have to be on in each picture. They want the best pictures of the house and sometimes this is hard to do when there isn’t anything good about the property.

9. Now another agent like you wants to show the property and put in an offer. If you haven’t dealt with a foreclosure company before you would not know that a majority of them have an addendum of their own that has to be filled out and signed along with the State’s Purchase and Sales Contract. These addendums will overrule the State’s Contract where there are discrepancies between the two so I can’t stress this enough… READ THE ADDENDUM!!! I know you are familiar with your State’s Contract, but in these cases they are just used for formality. I have seen some agents try marking out sentences or paragraphs on the addendums, but the foreclosure company’s won’t accept that. The addendums are their guidelines and unfortunately there is no away around them.

10. If the foreclosing company decides to select your offer and make it binding you usually 10 day for due diligence. On Fannie Mae addendums this time starts from the day the contract is “verbally accepted.” That means the date you are called up or emailed that your offer was accepted you time starts, with or without a signed contract. Now is the time to get the house inspected. It is highly recommended that you get the house inspected because your buyer’s need to know what they are buying. Don’t be surprised when the inspector comes back with issues, most of these houses have issues. The inspection period is for your clients to do these inspections, but it in no way says that the foreclosure company will fix any of the issues found. I know that Fannie Mae will fix items that are lender required, make the house inhabitable, or unsafe. Let me ask you this, are you getting a good deal on the house? Well this is why. The foreclosure companies want to sell the houses, but the only way to do so is to sell cheap because of all the damages.  They do change these standards from time to time. I have seen it where they will repair to get the house sold and I have also seen where they would repair, but at the buyer’s expense. If they decide they will fix something don’t expect to happen quickly. The process of bidding for the repair has to be done and bids have to be approved before repairs are started and  completed.

11. The process of getting the repairs approved and complete is sometimes lengthy and this means you’re going to probably need an extension on the closing date. Don’t wait until the last possible moment to do this. The same goes if you are having problems with your financing and it is taking longer than planned. Get an extension at the first site of trouble instead of asking the very last day. Fannie Mae had put out a policy of not signing extensions if they were turned in after the closing date. It just puts a lot of un-due stress on people to wait until the last minute.

12. Once we are confident the closing is going to take place we have to send a lock smith out to the house to have them re-key the house again to a new key for the new home owner. The new home owner is charged a fee for this on their HUD statement. This is an area that always causes problems due to agents and clients not reading the Fannie Mae Addendum. We would also have people come in wanting to use their own choice of lock smith and Fannie Mae won’t allow this. I believe the reason is so they know for sure that the house will be re-keyed. They don’t want to be held liable for anything that may happen because the house wasn’t re-keyed. There are so many people that have access to the Fannie Mae key and if the house was not re-keyed those same people would have access to your clients new home.

13. Another problem we dealt with a lot was people moving in earlier than the closing. We have even had cases of people starting to paint bedrooms. First of all the buyer shouldn’t have a key to the house. They don’t own the house yet. Also what if something happens to the contract and it falls through? The buyer will be charged for the damages made. We have had some instances when the home owner gets mad when we re-key the house because they think they already have the house key.

Well anyway, I am trying to provide a little information from a different perspective. I hope it may come in handy for someone someday.

Fannie Mae Cuts Requirement to Refi

Refinance your home


If you owe less that $625,000 on your mortgage the banks want you to refinance at historically low rates.
Calculate New Home Payment

  • Refi rates hit 2.9% APR
  • Refi trick saves homeowners up to $145,000
  • Homeowners urged to refinance

Real Estate Marketing Has Changed

Selling Real Estate has changed so much in such a short amount of time. We have gone from the days where you posted a sign in the yard, put out some flyers, advertise in the local Real Estate magazine, held a few open houses and BAM you sold a home. That is not the case in today’s market. Then it was very hands on and now it is driven by the internet, but where do you find the time. Between phone calls and filling out contracts, sending out marketing emails and blogging doesn’t fit into your daily schedule. So that is where an assistant comes in, but are you ready to take on an assistant even part-time? You need help, but not sure you have even part-time hours to offer, then that is where I fit in.  I work for you when you need me and no more. From the smallest of tasks or one time use to long lengthy projects and a continued relationship I am the one for you. If this is something you may be interested in please contact me.