3 Ways to Respect Home Sellers While Negotiating Deals

Approaching clients with the humanity and the respect they deserve will grow not only your business, but also your reputation. When sellers remember you as respectful and kind, others will seek you out in their time of need.

View the full article: 3 Ways to Respect Home Sellers While Negotiating Deals on The BiggerPockets Blog. This content is Copyright © 2017 BiggerPockets, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

With This DIY Sporting Goods Catch-all, Game Day Is No Sweat

This project will help you organize your garage and become the LeBron James of DIY projects. With all your gear in the same place, you’ll always be prepared when someone yells, “Where’s my basketball?” (Or volleyball, hockey stick, tennis racket, etc.)

See how it’s done, then follow the step-by-step instructions to build one of your own.

1. Find a bookcase

Choose a bookcase with at least three wide shelves so you can store gear in a variety of sizes.

2. Add locking wheels

Attach locking wheels to the bottom of the bookcase so you can easily move it around the mudroom or the garage.

3. Drill holes

Drill evenly spaced holes (about four or five, depending on the width of the bookcase) along the top surface of one of the shelves. You’ll want the holes to be fairly close to the edge – about one-half inch away or less.

On the underside of the shelf below, drill holes to match up exactly with the holes on the shelf above.

4. Attach bungee cords

Place the bungee cord hooks in the drilled holes, and arrange the cords vertically so they create a net. You want the cords to be pretty taut, so be sure to get the right size for your bookcase.

5. Mount peg boards

Frame the sides of your bookcase with 1x2s to support peg boards that have been cut to size. Secure the peg boards with a few nails on the top and bottom.

6. Customize with hooks and holders

Place hooks and holders on the peg board so you can hang your tennis rackets, baseball gloves, jerseys, helmets, and more.

7. Load up your catchall, MVP!

Grab your gear and organize the bins like you’re Russell Westbrook going for another triple-double. Now all you have to worry about is scoring the winning goal.

Originally published September 12, 2017.


  • Regain Your Garage: Simple Tricks for Getting Organized
  • DIY Backyard Fire Pit: Build It in Just 7 Easy Steps
  • DIY Weekends That Work

Real Estate Crowdfunding: Should I Invest?


One of the hottest trends today in the real estate industry is real estate crowdfunding. But just because it’s hot, does that mean it’s a good investment? In this episode of the #AskBP Podcast, Brandon Turner shares his thoughts on the truth behind crowdfunding and how to get started with that niche. Stay tuned!

View the full article: Real Estate Crowdfunding: Should I Invest? on The BiggerPockets Blog. This content is Copyright © 2017 BiggerPockets, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A-Frame Cabin With Creekside Soaking Tub – House of the Week

Talk about a midsummer night’s dream. 

When Ryan Southard and his wife, Val, moved from New York to the Pacific Northwest in 2013, they wanted a retreat from the hustle and bustle of their East Coast lives.

They found their perfect escape in an A-frame nestled among the evergreens of Mount Rainier National Park and dubbed their little slice of heaven the Little Owl Cabin.

Photo by Ellie Lillstrom.

The couple spent about a year gutting and renovating the rustic hideaway, giving it a Mid-Century Modern feel. They hunted down vintage pieces at area flea markets, hung antique skis on the wall, and added pops of crimson to the paint and furniture.

Photo by Ellie Lillstrom.

Built in 1976, the home has 2 bedrooms, including an upstairs loft with views of an old-growth forest. A second bedroom features custom-built bunk beds that can sleep up to three people comfortably.

Photo by Ellie Lillstrom.

Outdoors, a 200-square-foot deck and outdoor fire pit are perfect for endless summer nights under the stars. String lights illuminate a cedar soaking tub, and there’s a hammock to nap on as you listen to the sounds of Coal Creek, just 20 yards away.

Photo by Ryan Southard.

Sandwiched about 2 1/2 hours from both Portland and Seattle, the cabin is roughly 5 miles from one of the entrances to Mount Rainier. Hiking, skiing and wineries are all within driving distance.

Photo by Ellie Lillstrom.

The home is currently available as a short-term rental.

Photo by Ellie Lillstrom.

Top photo by Ellie Lillstrom.


  • A 200-Year-Old Log Cabin That’s Anything but Old Fashioned – House of the Week
  • 10 Cozy Cabins for $300,000 or Less
  • What You Need to Know Before Buying Your Dream Cabin

5 Myths (and 5 Truths) About Selling Your Home

Everyone has advice about the real estate market, but not all of that unsolicited information is true. So when it comes time to list your home, you’ll need to separate fact from fiction.

Below we’ve identified the top five real estate myths – and debunked them so you can hop on the fast track to selling your property.

Myth #1: I need to redo my kitchen and bathroom before selling

Truth: While kitchens and bathrooms can increase the value of a home, you won’t get a large return on investment if you do a major renovation just before selling.

Minor renovations, on the other hand, may help you sell your home for a higher price. New countertops or new appliances may be just the kind of bait you need to reel in a buyer. Check out comparable listings in your neighborhood, and see what work you need to do to compete in the market.

Myth #2: My home’s exterior isn’t as important as the interior

Truth: Home buyers often make snap judgments based simply on a home’s exterior. Therefore, curb appeal is very important.

“A lot of buyers search online or drive by properties before they even enlist my services,” says Bic DeCaro, a real estate agent at Westgate Realty Group in Falls Church, VA. “If the yard is cluttered or the driveway is all broken up, there’s a chance they won’t ever enter the house – they’ll just keep driving.”

The good news is that it doesn’t cost a bundle to improve your home’s exterior. Start by cutting the grass, trimming the hedges and clearing away any clutter. Then, for less than $50, you could put up new house numbers, paint the front door, plant some flowers or install a new, more stylish porch light.

Myth #3: If my house is clean, I don’t need to stage it

Truth: Clean and tidy is a good first step, but professional home stagers have raised the bar. Tossing dirty laundry in the closet and sweeping the front steps just aren’t enough anymore.

Stagers make homes appeal to a broad range of tastes. They can skillfully identify ways to highlight your home’s best features and compensate for its shortcomings. They might, for example, recommend removing blinds from a window with a great view or replacing a double bed with a twin to make a bedroom look bigger.

Of course, you don’t have to hire a professional stager. But if you don’t, be ready to use some of their tactics to get your home ready for sale – especially if staging is a trend where you live. An unstaged house will pale when compared to others on the market.

Myth #4: Granite and stainless steel appliances are old news

Truth: The majority of home shoppers still want granite counters and stainless steel appliances. Quartz, marble and concrete counters also have wide appeal.

“Most shoppers just want to steer away from anything that looks dated,” says Dru Bloomfield, a real estate agent with RE/MAX Platinum Living in Scottsdale, AZ. “When you a design a space, you need to decide if you’re doing it for yourself or for resale potential.”

She suggests that if you’re not planning to move anytime soon, decorate any way you like. But if you’re planning to put your home on the market within the next couple of years, stick to elements that have mass appeal.

“I recently sold a house where the kitchen had been remodeled 12 years ago, and everybody thought it had just been done because the owners had chosen timeless elements: dark maple cabinets, granite counters and stainless steel appliances.”

Myth #5: Home shoppers can ignore paint colors they don’t like

Truth: Moving is a lot of work, and while many home buyers realize they could take on the task of painting walls, they simply don’t want to.

That’s why one of the most important things you can do to update your home is apply a fresh coat of neutral paint. Neutral colors also help a property stand out in online photographs, which is where most potential buyers will get their first impression of your property.

Hiring a professional to paint the interior of a 2,000-square-foot house will cost about $3,000 to $6,000, depending on labor costs in your region. You could buy the paint and do the job yourself for $300 to $500. Either way, if a fresh coat of paint helps your home stand out in a crowded market, it’s probably a worthwhile investment.


  • Quiz: Should You Renovate Your Home or Sell?
  • 9 Listing Photo Do’s and Don’ts
  • Small Updates, Big Return: 5 Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value

Originally published April 1, 2014.

June 18: Sales & servicing jobs; compliance, construction products; Atlantic states legal changes for lenders

Rumors continue to swirl. Will a top-10 bank really terminate hundreds, possibly a thousand, of its retail originators in late July/early August for not meeting minimum production standards? Is Houlihan Lokey out there marketing a well-known company (a provider of compliance outsourcing solutions to lenders and servicers) to Radian, Black Knight, or overseas firms? Are hundreds of lenders engaged in small-scale unpublicized layoffs to eliminate overstaffing? Maybe I am merely making this stuff up. Maybe not.

Employment & promotions

Royal Pacific Funding is pleased to announce the promotion of Michael Turturro to the position of Vice President, Sales. Michael has been an integral part of the phenomenal growth of Royal Pacific Funding since he joined the company in mid-2016. He has achieved the Top Producer award for both 2016 and 2017 and is on a path to do the same in 2018. Michael Clary, COO, noted, “This promotion marks a stepping stone for Mr. Turturro and his plans to grow a dynamic team of top producing Account Executives. I’m watching the current growth trajectory of his team and looking forward to what the future holds. Congratulations to Michael on a very well-deserved promotion.”


“If you are ready to utilize your loan servicing knowledge and strong management skills with a new opportunity, Republic Bank would like to chat with you. We have an opening for a Director of Loan Servicing based at our downtown Louisville KY Corporate Headquarters. As a leading regional bank and a 2018 Best Places to Work Award Winner, we value our commitment to our clients by setting high service standards. If you have a passion for loan servicing and administration excellence, we’d like to talk. Competitive candidates will have a minimum of 10 years of banking or related experience coupled with at least 5 years of senior level management in mortgage servicing. Please apply at www.republicbank.com/careers. Questions can be directed to Maggie Reimer. Republic Bank is an Equal Opportunity Employer EEO M/F/Disability/Veteran.

XINNIX, the mortgage industry’s premier provider of sales and leadership performance programs, is expanding its team and looking for two National Sales Executives regionally located in the Midwest and Texas. Each National Sales Executive is responsible for having a strategic plan for each client, implementing that strategy and managing the client relationship. Want to join a dynamic team with award-winning culture and a passion for transforming the industry? Send your resume to Kevin Knaus, VP of National Sales.

Lender products & services

The American Bankers Association announced its endorsement of Built Technologies, a Nashville-based fintech company focused on simplifying the administration of residential and commercial construction loans through secure, cloud-based software. Built’s construction loan administration and business intelligence software was specifically designed to complement a bank’s core system(s), reducing the cost of servicing, increasing interest income via faster draw processing, and introducing unprecedented credit and collateral risk management capabilities to banks of all sizes. “We are delighted to be chosen as the ABA endorsed provider for construction lending technology,” said Chase Gilbert, CEO, Built Technologies. “We were impressed by the ABA’s due diligence process when choosing to work with us and it’s great to know we’re completely aligned on what their members need to solve this important problem.” This endorsement is the latest step in Built’s continued focus on bringing construction lending into the digital age.

“With another record month on the books, Strategic Compliance Partners is busy growing our Onsite Compliance solution for lenders. SCP Onsite Compliance is a total compliance management system, located at a Lender’s location, supported by SCP staff and industry leading compliance technologies. Lenders find themselves no longer worrying about compliance, or the costs of non-compliance. Better yet, clients have raved that savings are pouring in from the restructuring and expertise leveraged by partnering and SCP. Simply email Leslie Benjamin to schedule time to discuss your current program and how this program can fit into your organization. Looking to hire a Compliance officer? We can help with the top five must-haves for your next hire!”

State lending law changes – mini-CFPBs springing up?

Federal regulations that impact residential lending everywhere are one thing, but when each state is making changes it makes it tough, and expensive, to be a multi-state lender and track all these changes. If you’re lending in only one state, do you think the lending laws are tough? Try lending in many states and keeping track of all the changes. And this is especially the case as the CFPB, or whatever its name is these days, shifts its model – plenty of states are willing to create their own CFPB-style regulatory body. Whack a mole?

Transitional licensing is now applicable to New Jersey. The MBA of New Jersey lobbied for the bill known as the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, which deals with a variety of issues. Section 106 of the bill provides for transitional licensing that permits MLOs meeting specified requirements to originate loans when moving from a licensed company in one state to one in another state or from a depository institution to a state licensed company for a period of 120 days, while the MLO goes through the licensing process.

NJ’s bill requests that the CFPB give clear and authoritative guidance on several provisions of TRID. “Qualified Mortgage” status is provided to portfolio loans originated by banks and credit unions with less than $10 billion in consolidated assets. The status does not apply to loans with interest-only or negative-amortization provisions, loans with points and fees above the 3 percent cap, or loans with prepayment penalties that violate current QM requirements. HMDA is amended in Section 104 of the bill to expand exemptions on itemized disclosures to HMDA added by the Dodd-Frank Act. Exempted from these disclosures are closed-end mortgages and open-end lines of credit for banks and credit unions which originate fewer than 500 such loans or lines of credit in the last two years, respectively.

Connecticut has modified its provisions regarding reverse mortgages to increase protections for consumers effective as of October 1, 2018. A new section has been added which prohibits any state or federally chartered bank or credit union from accepting a final application for a reverse mortgage or assessing any fees for such mortgage until it has informed the prospective applicant of the requirement to attend reverse mortgage counseling. The lender must also provide the applicant with a list of independent housing counseling agencies approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and receive a certification, signed by both the applicant and the counseling agency, confirming that the applicant has received counseling in person or by telephone from an approved independent housing counseling agency. The certification must include the date of the counseling session, and the name, address, and telephone number of both the applicant and the counselor. Counseling agencies are prohibited from receiving any compensation, whether directly or indirectly, from the lender. Any violation of these provisions constitutes an unfair or deceptive trade practice.

Maryland has enacted House Bill 78 which amends the provisions of the Maryland Foreclosed Property Registry effective January 1, 2019. Current law requires the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation to establish an internet based Foreclosed Property Registry to be utilized by the purchaser at foreclosure of a residential property. Bill 78 adds to the current provisions the requirement that any changes to the information required to be submitted to the registry be provided within 21 business days of the change becoming known to the purchaser. Further, the bill requires that the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation promulgate notice of the change to the authorized users of the database including those from the county and municipal corporation.

Maryland’s Senate Bill 755 amends provisions regarding the establishment of escrow accounts for utility assessments, effective October 18, 2018. SB 755 allows a lending institution, at the request of a borrower and at its option, to create an escrow account for a loan solely for the payment of water and sewer facilities assessments. Senate Bill 755 defines water and sewer facilities assessments as a fee or charge that is assessed to an owner of residential real property that is served by public water or wastewater facilities that have deferred water or sewer charges to cover or defray the costs of the installation or maintenance of said facilities. The fee or charge is required to have been established by a recorded Covenant or Declaration and the fee shall be paid to the lienholder of the lien recorded on the property.

Maryland also has amended its Consumer Protection Statute with House Bill 848 allowing a consumer to bring an action or proceeding against a consumer reporting agency. HB 848 also alters the method by which a consumer may place or remove a security freeze on his or her consumer report. The bill requires consumer reporting agencies to develop procedures to use secure connections to receive and process consumer requests to place a security freeze on a consumer report and to remove a freeze on a consumer report in an expedited manner. Agencies are required to register annually with the Commissioner of Financial Regulation of the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation using the form promulgated by the Commissioner. It must also file a bond or bond alternative with the Commissioner unless granted an exemption by the Commissioner. The Commissioner may require the consumer reporting agency to register with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System. House Bill 848 also allows a consumer to file a written complaint against a consumer credit agency with the Commissioner.

Florida recently passed House Bill 193, which exempts certain individuals from the state’s mortgage loan originator and broker regulations, under certain circumstances. This bill will become effective on July 1, 2018. The new provisions exempt a securities dealer, investment advisor, or associated person registered under Ch. 517, F.S. from regulation as a mortgage broker or loan originator under Ch. 494, F.S. To be exempted, he or she must meet the specified requirements. The bill adds that any solicitation or referral made pursuant to the exemption must comply with the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, Ch. 517, F.S. and any applicable federal law or general law of the state of Florida. The Office of Financial Regulation believes that any loss of licensure revenues will be insignificant.

Maine has modified provisions under its Probate Code including its Uniform Power of Attorney Act. These provisions are effective on July 17, 2018. Sec. A-2. 18-C MRSA includes the following: Article 1 General Provisions, Definitions and Jurisdiction. Article 2 Intestacy, Wills and Donative Transfers. Article 3 Probate of Wills and Administration. Article 4 Foreign Personal Representative; Ancillary. Article 5 Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings. Part 9 Maine Uniform Power of Attorney Act. Article 6 Non-probate Transfers on Death. Article 7 Trust Administration. Article 8 Miscellaneous Provisions. Article 9 Adoption. Maine Uniform Power of Attorney Act §5-902(7) defines power of attorney as “a writing or other record that grants authority to an agent to act in the place of the principal, whether or not the term ‘power of attorney’ is used.” The validity of power of attorney executed in Maine is determined by the date the power of attorney is executed.

Capital markets

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said US economic growth faces a slowdown as effects of President Donald Trump’s tax cuts and a $300 billion increase in spending fade over the next two years. Bernanke said the stimulus comes at the “very wrong moment” because of low unemployment.

Looking at interest rates, it is relatively quiet out there. The 10-year dropped to 2.92% to close last week amid reports that President Trump would call for the imposition of a 25.0% tariff on $50 billion worth of goods imported from China. Chinese officials responded with a 25.0% tariff on $34 billion worth of imports from the United States to be imposed on July 6th while a tariff on another $16 billion worth of goods could be imposed later. Additionally, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index Expectations Index declined to its lowest level since the start of the year due to less favorable prospects for the overall economy, which were tied in part to higher inflation expectations.

This week’s U.S. economic calendar is relatively light on data with updates on housing, the current account and Markit PMIs. With the Federal Open Market Committee meeting out of the way, however, “Fedspeak” ramps up, with speeches this week from both the incoming and outgoing NY Fed Presidents, Draghi, Kuroda, Powell and RBA’s Lowe in a policy panel at the ECB’s Forum on Central Banking in Portugal. Kicking off today’s calendar is outgoing NY Fed President Dudley who will deliver opening remarks at the conference. The NAHB Housing Market Index (June) will be released at 10:00am with expectations for an unchanged reading of 70. Atlanta Fed President Bostic will speak on the economic outlook and monetary policy at 1:00pm in Savannah. Tomorrow we have housing starts and building permits. We start the week with rates a shade lower than last week: the 10-year is yielding 2.90% and agency MBS prices are better a couple ticks – mostly due to the trade war hurting the economy.

I picked up a hitchhiker yesterday.

He said, “Thanks for picking me up but how do you know I’m not a serial killer?”

I replied, “The odds of two serial killers being in the same car are statistically astronomical.”

Visit www.robchrisman.com for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “The Plight of the Small Independent Lender.” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.


(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2018 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

Relocating? Here’s a few services that might come in handy.

Relocating? Here's a few services that might come in handy.

Relocating isn’t easy.

For one thing, it usually happens quickly, and, for another, there are a ton of different logistics to consider. It’s easy to see how people can get overwhelmed trying to manage this process.

That said, though, with the right tools at hand, it’s absolutely possible to get through your move without breaking a sweat.

With that in mind, we’ve brought you a list of relocation resources that you can use to help put your mind at ease. Read on below to learn more about how each one can assist you in your move and to sort out which ones will work best for you.

Relocation resources

Relocation Coordinates International

Relocation Coordinates International is a great choice for those who want to make their move a one-step process. The Relocation Managers at RCI will take the time to talk to you about your specific needs for the move and then coordinate the details on your behalf. They offer a range of services including home sale assistance, new area tours, moving help, and even employment coaching.


SuiteAmerica is a midway solution between a full relocation service and short-term housing. They offer both housing options and destination services, meaning that they will help you get settled in your new locale. They also come with a unique concierge service that will help you take care all the small details of your move, right down to having groceries in the fridge by the time you arrive.

City Data

Want to get the scoop on your new area? City Data is a great resource for finding out about the area you’ll soon call home. It includes numeric stats on factors like population growth and median income.

Neighborhood Scout

Once you’ve done your search on City Data, you can start to narrow in on specific neighborhoods using Neighborhood Scout. This website provides data on crime rates, school district rankings, and local real estate values.

Short-Term Housing

Churchill Living

Churchill Living is an apartment search website with a twist. They specialize in short-term, furnished housing. With a presence in multiple neighborhoods throughout Southern California, users can search for their ideal rental based on filters like location, budget, and amenities.


UNIROOM is a month-to-month housing resource that offers hotel-like flexibility. Rather than signing a lease, users can select the specific dates of their stay and are given a per-night price for apartment-style living. The only catch is that all stays must be longer than 30 days.


A more legitimate alternative to Craigslist, Flip allows users to search through available sublets in order to find one that suits their needs. It also offers an additional level of security in the form of provided rental agreements and secure payment options.


You’ve already heard of Airbnb for vacation rentals, but did you know that they also offer monthly stays? If you’re looking for a short-term housing solution where everything is included in a single fee, Airbnb is often a much more affordable option than standard corporate housing.

Furniture rental

Brook Furniture Rental

Brook Furniture Rental makes furnishing your home easy. You can either select individual pieces to rent or have them build a custom package for you based on your aesthetic preferences.

Fashion Furniture Rental

Fashion Furniture Rental is unique because it offers both furniture rental and staging options. They also simplify the selection process by allowing you to select rental packages by room or for your whole apartment in one go.

Court Home Furniture Rental

Those who are moving rather quickly should consider using Court Home Furniture Rental. This nationwide service boasts a 48-hour delivery guarantee. There’s also a variety of discounts available for students and military families.

Is homebuying a part of your relocation? Use Open Listings to house hunt 24/7, book tours on-demand, create offers, & get back an average of $8,500+ when you buy with us.

Make the Front Porch a Selling Point

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

The front porch is making a comeback. And more builders are adding them back into new home designs.

The front porch was once a mainstay in home designs in the early 1900s. But over the years it has gotten swapped out for those street-facing garages. Also, homeowners sought more privacy and started favoring decks in their backyards than expansive front porches facing their neighbors.

Now, we’re seeing those iconic front porches coming back.

And the younger generation is bringing a different spin to this idea of “porching.” There’s this growing movement called “Porchfest.” This is where neighborhoods across the country are holding events, like music festivals or even a speaker series, right from homeowners’ front porches.

So if the listing you’re staging has a front porch, make sure to take advantage. Add some rocking chairs, a porch swing, or outdoor furniture–complete with cushions and pillows–to show it off as a place to sip lemonade, relax, and mingle with neighbors on a warm summer day.

Look at how some of these designers on Houzz used the front porch to boost a home’s curb appeal.

from Styled, Staged & Sold https://ift.tt/2LYjmlG

BiggerPockets Money Podcast 25: Raising a Family While Seeking Financial Freedom with Chris and Debbie Emick

Chris and Debbie Emick have two daughters—AND are well on their way to financial independence through a combination of local and long distance real estate investing coupled with frugality and conscious spending.

View the full article: BiggerPockets Money Podcast 25: Raising a Family While Seeking Financial Freedom with Chris and Debbie Emick on The BiggerPockets Blog. This content is Copyright © 2017 BiggerPockets, Inc. All Rights Reserved.