About Kimberley Kelly

A professional polo play for 18 years, and a professional Realtor for the past 11 years, I have lived in the La Quinta area for about 25 years! I know the Valley. I specialize in listening, and am a huge believer in fairness and follow up. As with the game of polo, a Realtor has to work well with others, listen carefully to what is required in the deal, follow up, and if that particular play doesn't culminate in a "goal", have a back up plan. Keep your head down and your eye on the ball. Certified in Short Sales, both NAR and also the government HAFA program, I have been working with Lenders for years. I list, negotiate and close Short Sales without the use of a negotiation team or company. I keep my Sellers and Agents in the Short Sale loop at all times, so everyone knows where we are in the process. Standard Sales, Short Sales, Foreclosures in Land, Ranches & Residential..."I've got what YOU want!"

When is an offer too low to submit???

Lowball offers can break the link Will your offer break the Buyer-Seller link?

When is an offer too low to submit? 

I ran into this issue again just yesterday..in two different price points, and with two different results….

Offer #1:  This custom home has been languishing on the market for 390+ days.  It’s absolutely gorgeous, views, location, quality..literally everything.  Reduced in March and still no offers..My Buyers loved it, but as with ALL buyers right now, they want to purchase it for less than the List Price..much less. They are not looking for an investment home, nor a property to “flip”, simply a vacation home that they will own and live in for 1/2 the year.   The LP is over $1.5m unfurnished.  Our offer was much lower and Furnished (at least partially).  I called the List Agent because I’ve learned my lesson over these past crazy years.  Some Sellers will look at anything and respond..and some are insulted and it will just make them crazy.

The List Agent suggested that I “put it in writing”.  An offer in writing holds alot more water than an offer that is verbally tossed about.  In this higher price point, where the properties are plentiful and are sitting for a very long time, being reduced pretty regularly..I think the Seller would be wise to look at it and counter.  This is a shaky market and my Buyer is trying to be aware of that, but also make a good, solid, CASH offer that would give the Seller a solid profit.  We wrote the offer.  We’ll see how it goes.

Offer #2:  This Buyer is looking strictly based on investment potential and rental income upside.  The price point here is $150,000 or less.  This is the market that has pretty much settled, not alot of inventory and Investors such as my client will be up against first-time buyers, who are willing to pay a bit more because it will be their home.  The List Agent for the home that we wanted to write on, told me, “We got an offer just below List Price last week and the Seller turned it down.  He wants List Price”.  I cannot blame him.  At $96/sf and a great location and a home that is in good shape..he’s now above market.  We did not write the offer and are still looking. 

An offer is “too low” if the Buyer will NOT respond to it..period!!!  Listen to the List Agent, hear them.  They are in contact with their Seller and know their motivation and financial situation much better than anyone else.  If they tell you, your offer will NOT be looked at..believe them and move on.  This holds true for a Short Sale OR a standard Sale…

Home Buying Myths..or maybe Dreams???

#Home Buying Myths..or maybe Dreams????

Home Buying Myths..or maybe Dreams????  Whenever a first time home buyer thinks about buying, there is often alot of emotion tied up in those thoughts.  It’s a dream come true in many ways, and so many Buyers come into the process with unrealistic expectations and extremely high emotions.  If you’re looking to Buy, don’t let your heart control your head..this is still first and foremost..a business transaction.

1. “The Perfect home is out there!”  Not!  So many new buyers tend to focus on the one thing that’s wrong with a home instead of the 7 things that are right with it!  Buying a home is an exercise in compromise.  You can’t have it all.  Decide which items on your wish list are true “Deal Breakers.”

2.  “My Home will speak to me.”  Really??  Buyers so often get caught up in how the home “feels”.  Homes can be staged to evoke certain feelings.  Don’t overlook reality because of emotion.

3.  “But it says in the Listing discription..”  Listing agreements, agents, even tax rolls can be wrong.  Count the bedrooms and closets yourself, bring your tape measure and a notebook.

4.  “If they accept my offer right away..it was too high!”  This would be “Buyers Remorse”, and it’s common in our uncertain market.  If you are comfortable with that price for that house, stick with it.  In a business deal, the idea is to make all parties feel like winners.

5.  The Value of my Home will increase…eventually”  Not necessarily.  In fact, forget that when you are buying a “home”.  Unless you are an experienced Investor or Flipper, don’t expect your home to increase in value over a certain amount of time.  Buy it to live in, take the mortgage Tax deductions, and enjoy!

Short Sale Servicers; Many don’t know any more than we do!

Loss Mitigation departments Short Sale servicers leave us feeling like this…

Short Sale Service Departments; Nobody knows nothin..

well, this in tongue in cheek since some of the personnel I talk to do seem to know SOMETHING.  However, I’m going to relate a true story for those of you who may be calling your Loss Mitigation departments and actually believing what they tell you….

‘Chase Loss Mitigation..may I have your Loan # please?”

“Yes, it’s 9999888999. ”

“Thank you for that information.  Now if you’ll just answer some questions about the property…”

And so I do.  Loan #, Borrowers names, socials’, property address, living there or not…blah, blah.  Then my well-trained Loss Mitigation expert says, “Your negotiators name is Lisa P”

“Can you connect me to Lisa P?”

“NO, I cannot.  That’s outside our guidelines, but if you’d like me to leave her a voicemail, I can try that.”

“Well, may I speak with her manager”

“No, that’s outside our guidelines.  We are not able to give our manager’s names or contact information”

“May I speak to YOUR manager?”

Pause….”uh, no, that’s outside my guidelines…..”

Click.  I’m done with this one.  Re-dial.  Same number, same department, different voice.

‘Hello, this is Chase Loss Mitigation.  My name is Michael, how can I help you?”

Same exact information exchange. 

Michael:  “Your negotiator is Lisa P.  Let me see if I can get her for you and if not, I will get you to another negotiator for this file, since I can see it has been assigned quite awhile ago.”  Ah-ha!  I’ve struck GOLD with this one…

Michael comes back on…”Apparently, now your file has been transferred to Texas and I have another negotiator assigned, let me give you her personal name/phone # and fax #”….and so he does.  I thank him, hang up and call her directly…

You see the issue????  Hours on the phone/file is not unusual.  They hope, they want you to go away.  Tired and discouraged.  This article from today’s New York Times talks about how the new report has found that the Servicers indeed did awful thing sduring the Foreclosure mess but…..no penalties!!   And so it goes…http://tinyurl.com/6bnqh8n

What’s going to happen THIS year in Real Estate?

Shopping for your home Home Shopping; Skip the Predictions! 

What’s going to happen this year in Real Estate? 

As your Realtor, the best I can do is keep you informed…truthfully.  It is my job to keep up on statistics and this would have to do with the dire predictions regarding the dropping median price in our Valley.  I DO believe it will continue to drop throughout this year.  Why???  Because the median is where half the homes priced above that number sell and half the homes priced below that number sell..it is a floating number entirely dependent upon the price points of various areas.  Here in the desert, we are now experiencing a large drop in the higher end markets, thereby pulling the median down.  On the other hand, I know of developments where I have Buyers waiting to find that house in THAT development..they are waiting for the Short Sales and REO’s to come along.  The home they buy is not going to pull the median down because they will pay more..possibly having to raise their initial offer above List Price because there are other Buyers thinking exactly the same thing!

Stay Focused!  Keep your eye on the exact thing that you want..don’t be swayed by the media.  Follow the SOLD comps for a period of time with regards to what you are looking for.  If those SOLD comps are only making lateral moves, expect that price/sf to remain the same..perhaps even go up slightlyy because BUYERS are setting that price/sf. 

Stay Focused!  If you are buying in a higher priced market, and are willing to wait for that home that you have your eye on, you ay get it for less. 

If you are a Buyer that is very flexible with regards to floor plan, orientation of the home on the lot, upgrades in the home..you can sit and watch the market until the home comes up that suits you.  If you are a Buyer that will ONLY settle for a particular floor plan on a particular street in a particular development, then pull out that SOLD comps for the past 6 months to a year and study them.  Don’t wait too long..there is still pent up Buyer demand for many areas of our desert.

Your Local Lenders may serve up the tastiest Loans!

Shop your local Lender market Local Lenders may serve up the tastiest loans.. 

Local Lenders may be the answer for Borrowers..

I always ask all my Short Sale potential Buyers to be pre-approved by a local Lender, Franklin Loans.  I receive nothing extra from this, I get nothing from this referral other than the knowledge that the Buyers can qualify for their Loan through a Local Lender that I have worked with for many years.  Local Lenders have an eye for the local market.  If you’re an out of state or out of town or out of country borrower, it’s not as important to you perhaps, but if you do live locally, a local Lender can often really help you out.  If you have an extremely high credit score..again not as important, but so many Buyers now have dings, lower credit scores due to a Short Sale of their own in their past, a job loss or transfer..any number of variables…

Local Lenders tend to place more weight on factors other than credit score when assessing loan applications (from REALTOR mag.)  They look at how long applicants have been with their current jobs, how often they make deposits into their savings, do they have a history of late payments, of over drawing their checking, and many other factors.  This can often tell them more exactly whether or not this potential borrower can truly afford the Loan payments.  So..if you’re looking locally, why not shop around and use a local Lender that has been servicing and under-writing loans in your market for years?  You might be pleasantly surprised!

Short Sale, Foreclosure, REO; What’s the difference?

Short Sale VS Foreclosure confusion Short Sale & Foreclosure confusion.. 

Short Sale, Foreclosure, REO; what’s the difference? 

Wow has our world of real estate changed!  Most dramatically since 2007 when the term “Distressed Properties” started appearing in the media.  What the heck did that mean?   Your house was distressed?  It didn’t feel well, it’s plumbing was whacky?  What exactly was everyone talking about?    Most everyone now knows that the term “Distressed Properties” encompasses Short Sales, Foreclosures and REO’s..properties that are distressed because in the current market, the homeowners are upside down on their mortgages (owe more than they are valued at), and this causes the property to become “distresssed”.

A Short Sale is not something that I would wish on anyone, yet it is certainly the lesser of two evils when compared to the Foreclosure.  The biggest plus of a Short Sale VS a Foreclosure is NOT a lesser impact on your credit score.  That MAY occur if I can get the deal closed in 4 months or less.  But no matter how diligent I am, I cannot make the Lenders or my negotiator work any faster than they want to..and that sets the timeframe.  However..now that there is a history of Short Sale VS Foreclosure data out there, it has become apparent, that a Short Sale on your record vs. a Foreclosure is clearly different. 

 Should you go apply for a new Loan, the Lender looks much kinder upon a Short Sale (it shows that you took action BEFORE the lender had to repossess the property or sell it through auction).  Lenders will look at a home buyer with a Short Sale on their record for a new loan within approximately 24 months.  A Foreclosure is probably going to shut that door for approximately 7 years!  Fantastic reason alone to stick it out with a Short Sale.

SHORT SALE:  Before Auction.  Owner’s Lender agrees to sell the property for less than the amount owed against the property.

FORECLOSURE:  Before Auction.  Owner has stopped making payments, Lender has given notice of intent to sell at Auction unless payments are brought up to date.

REO:  Real Estate Owned.  Foreclosure property bought by the Lender at Auction when no other bids satisfied the Lenders’ note.  Lender normally sells these properties through their REO division, or a Broker.

In our Valley through 2010, approximately 50% of home sales were “Distresssed Properties”, so they are having a definate affect on our market.  It has been interesting to watch Short Sales move through certain neighborhoods of our Valley cities.  From the first Short Sale in a neighborhood approx. 4 years ago to today..there are fewer and fewer and more and more standard sales happening.  Are the markets appreciating?  Very few..but they are no longer depreciating in many, many neighborhoods and that’s a great sign.

A true Short Sale Story; this happened yesterday..

short sales can wear you out Give in to Short Sales! 

A True Short Sale Story; this happened yesterday. 

Chase may be one of the first ‘BIG’ lenders in 2011 to start digging into their Short Sale Cases and trying to figure out what to do to unload more of their non-performing assets..hmmm..what a novel idea!  They now have a “Pre-listing” team.  This means that Short Sale List Agents, can actually contact them BEFORE the home is active, and get the Short Sale ball rolling.  I haven’t done this yet, but am looking forward to trying to figure out this latest attempt to speed things up in 2011.

Something very interesting and unusual happened yesterday with CHASE.  I got a call to ME on my own personal CELL from a CHASE negotiator.  She didn’t have any of my files so it wasn’t anybody that I had been working with.  She was calling me on a Short Sale that CHASE had turned down in October because “your Seller is not in a Financial Hardship”.  On this particular file, I had brought them an offer approx. $20,000 ABOVE market value (CASH), and my Seller was bringing $10,000 more CASH to the closing.  As most of you know, if CHASE turned the deal down, the home (vacation) goes forward to the Foreclosure Sale.  My Seller turned off all utilities, pool and landscape maintenance, and stopped paying HOA’s.  Why should they continue to maintain a home, hoping to Short Sale it, when the Lender has determined that the home would be better off vacant, rotting and open to Vandals as it heads to the Foreclosure Sale???

So..to continue my story.  This negotiator asks me if my Seller would like to Short Sale this SAME home!  CHASE has apparently, “changed their guidelines for hardship”, and would like me to Short Sale the property.  Could this perhaps have something to do with the Foreclosure mess, (where IS that original note, Mr. Lender?), or has CHASE simply written off this loan as of December 2010, paid their CEO’s their Bonuses based on the inflated note values in their 2010 portfolios and are now willing to dump these properties without the hassle of foreclosure?  I’m just saying…

So..my Seller says “yes!”  I call the Buyers’ Agent, who, bless her, has already written 3 offers with this buyer on this home..each lower as time progresses.  She writes an offer $15,000 lower , (way to go CHASE!), and we’re off and running. 

That’s one file..then I ask this same mysterious and wonderful voice on the phone to check another rejected CHASE Short Sale for me.  One loan, primary Res, an egotistical maniac for a negotiator who would NOT order a new BPO even though his came in $125,000 ABOVE market value, and bless THIS woman..she looks at my next file.  “yes,” she says.  I agree.  (I almost stopped breathing at this point..who IS this woman?)  I will order a new BPO for this one, and we will keep this offer active and continue to work this SHORT SALE. 

 ”Understand,” I tell her. “My Seller is so disgusted, that she will NOT deal with this same negotiator, and if he is assigned to the file, you can pick up your keys on the front porch of ANOTHER abandoned home.” 

“This call is being monitored so I cannot respond to that comment, but I assure you, this Short Sale will be assigned to a different negotiator.” 

OK..so that’s TWO Short Sale files that were stuck in the Short Sale bank mud, and are supposedly moving forward again..fingers crossed, and eternally hopeful..I begin my daily follow up on my Short Sales with two NEW (not really) files..keep you posted…

Short Sale Agents; 5 things to expect from YOURS!



short sale information Short Sales DO require specialists 

Short Sale Agents..five things to EXPECT from yours. 


What exactly DO these “specialists” do that’s so “special?” 

1.  Certification:  OK..so lots of people get certified in their respective fields and all that means is they sat through a few hours of education.  But, that’s GOOD!  A Realtor that takes the time to go to the Board and pay the money, and then participate is bound to learn something about Short Sales.  SFR certification is recognized by the National Board of Realtors and a Certified HAFA specialist can’t hurt..the more info on these difficult transactions, the better.

2.  Short Sale Experience:  Everyone has to start somewhere..in anything, but in the treacherous world of the Short Sale, experience is absolutely essential.  In the four years I’ve been listing and closing Short Sales, the route has changed dramatically.  It’s one thing to list a Short Sale and then hand it off to a “negotiation company”…any Realtor can do that.  But can your Realtor actually handle your property on her own???

3.  Short Sale process understanding:  Your Short Sale Realtor MUST be able to explain the process of YOUR particular situation with YOUR particular Lender BEFORE you even decide to do a Short Sale.  Expect this.  Don’t wait for the “negotiation company” to simply get it done.  Sellers must understand what they are in for..and whether or not they’ll even qualify.

4.  Short Sale Processing Steps:  This is where the experience with diffferent Lenders comes in.  There are distinct steps to getting a Short Sale Listed properly, marketing it appropriately, taking the correct and strongest offer, and then packaging the offer as that Lender requests.

5.  Short Sale Follow-up:  Sellers must be told clearly what documents they need to supply to their Lender and in what steps.  Once an offer is accepted, it is my job as your Short Sale specialist, to keep Seller and Buyer’s agent informed WEEKLY as to the progress of the Short Sale.  This is the most CRITICAL and most often neglected aspect of a Short Sale. 

My Short Sale promise:  Information and follow-up regarding YOUR particular Short Sale will always be at your fingertips.  Just ask my Short Sale clients..


Ten things that irritate Real Estate Clients..

Rage at the Realtor Rage at your Realtor? 

 Here are 10 things that frustrate, irritate, and infuriate Realtors’ clients:

1. TARDINESS.  Being late is stealing the Client’s time–not to mention erroding their confidence.

2. FAILURE TO RETURN PHONE CALLS, IGNORING their needs & concerns, and spending EXCESSIVE TIME handling OTHER BUSINESS, and chatting on the phone with friends & family while in their presence.  When I’m with a live human being, I let my phone go to voicemail..period!  Call them back later..

3. OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE.  Language you cannot use in front of your child, your minister, your grandmother, or Nun IS LANGUAGE YOU SHOULDN’T USE.

4. LACK OF PREPARATION is obvious, offensive and costly.  It screams “This woman doesn’t think I’m worth the effort!”

5. CONSTANT SELF-PROMOTION is not professional, and CRITICIZING YOUR COMPETITOR is unacceptable.  My Clients want to know I am confident and competent, but beating them over the head with my resume, experience, credential, etc., IS JUST PLAIN BORING!

6. TALKING DOWN TO THE CLIENT is a BIG MISTAKE–implying that you know more than them is never good.  My job is to educate and guide my clients, but Buyers and Sellers are no longer ignorant of most aspects of the housing market.  The Internet has changed that.  People can check out almost anything via the Web..expect it.

7. MAKING PROMISES YOU CANNOT KEEP.   I  promise EFFORT, HONESTY and ATTENTATIVENESS TO MY CLIENT’S NEEDS, and I keep that promsie.  I do not promise closing dates, easy moves, and smooth closings; a good ways to get egg on my face. 

8. DIVULGING CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION [about the client or another party to the transaction]. 

9. ‘Be Slow to Speak” when it comes to expressing CRITICAL & JUDGMENTAL COMMENTS.  Remember your grandmother’s advice:  “If you can’t say something nice about someone, then don’t say anything.”

10. Learn to LISTEN.  This is the biggie.  LISTEN.  Hard to do, but clients will always reveal what they want if I can just LISTEN.

(Courtesy of R. Fred Cope via Activerain)

“Standard” Sales should pick up in 2011

short sale predictions

Happy 2011 for Sellers!

Past is prologue, they say. And that’s certainly true when looking forward to what the housing market will hold for home sellers next year. WalletPop’s predictions for sellers in 2011 are:

1. More Distressed Homes Come on Market, but ‘Regular’ Deals Have Cachet

The number of homes repossessed by banks dropped off pretty dramatically at the end of 2010, partly because of the robo-signing foreclosure freezes, and partly because the average time between initial mortgage default and foreclosure has stretched out to as long as 16 months in some states, 22 months in others.

Lenders appear to have slowed the rate of foreclosure filings in an effort to:

  • avoid responsibility for carrying the costs on some foreclosed homes
  • let soon-to-foreclose homeowners take care of their homes
  • avoid flooding the market with foreclosures

Most of the voluntary foreclosure freezes have now been lifted (exception: JPMorgan Chase), so we’ll start to see those homes with temporary reprieves come back into the foreclosure funnel.

Short sales and foreclosures will continue to constitute a large number of the homes being sold. Foreclosures and short sales made up 25% of the homes sold in the third quarter of 2010, which was a 25% decline from Q2, and a 31% drop from the third quarter of 2009.

At the same time, foreclosure activity–the homes which received notices of default and have their homes scheduled for foreclosure auction–rose in 65% of U.S. real estate markets. So next year, we’ll see an uptick in the numbers of foreclosures that make it onto the market for sale. (Fortunately, the numbers of new defaults are down, which assuming the job market also improves, could mean a deeper, overall market recovery coming down the pike–but way down the pike, like 2012.)

Those planning to sell their homes in 2011 should know that foreclosures and short sales will still be around, maybe even in larger numbers than they are now. And they’ll still be offering deep discounts; in fact, the most recent numbers show that the average foreclosed home sells for 32% less than the average non-foreclosure.

The saving grace? The robo-signing scandal has made buyers fear that they may not get a clear title if they buy foreclosures; the crazy delays in getting short sales approved by banks has turned other buyers off from those properties, too. So, individually-owned homes will continue to grow more attractive to buyers next year. But don’t expect them to be willling to pay more for them.

2. Sellers Learn to Manufacture Urgency

Anyone with an eye on the housing market’s ups and downs should feel drunkenly dizzy by now. But the most real hangover in the market this year was the drop-off in buyer urgency and home sales activity that happened after the tax credit expired (for real, this time) on April 30. Every month since then, sellers have escalated their list price cuts, slashing prices like a big box store on Black Friday.

In 2011, only sellers who need to sell will sell, in all but the few stabilizing and rising markets. The trend of sellers getting aggressive about cutting their list prices will continue, and truly serious sellers will begin to simply set prices aggressively low in the first place.

Sellers will continue to ditch the cutesy, kitschy “selling strategies,” like burying religious figurines in the front yard, and will get more extreme about differentiating their homes from the competition. Increasing numbers of home sellers will aggressively prepare, repair and stage their homes for sale, to set their homes apart from the bargain-priced short sales and foreclosures. And more sellers than ever will undertake creative transactional strategies to get their homes sold, from extreme incentives (like the couple who will throw in their Florida vacation condo if you buy their main Connecticut home!) to reverse offers.

3. Condos Become Even More Difficult to Sell

Homeowners’ associations have taken a hit in this recession–big time. When condo owners get strapped for cash, their HOA dues are one of the first bills they put off. And when units are foreclosed, the banks sometimes don’t pay the dues until they resell the place.

The problem: When more than 15% of an HOA’s members are behind on their dues, its unlikely that a lender will extend financing to a new buyer. From there, it snowballs: Units can’t sell (except to cash buyers and investors), the buyer pool shrinks, the values go down, and homeowners feel trapped or, even worse, more inclined to walk away.

Then, as more investors buy units, the harder it gets to sell others to anyone but investors. Why? Because many banks refuse to finance mortgages in a complex that has more renters than homeowners living on-site.

Complicating matters for HOAs are the challenges that buyers have in obtaining FHA approval on condo complexes.

Condo-buyers have relatively lower incomes and down payment reserves than single-family home-buyers, so FHA loans are the mortgage of choice. But the kibosh has been put on many a condo sale by the inability of the complex to obtain FHA approval. And approval guidelines are set to get even tougher in 2011.

The FHA is drawing a line, only backing loans on up to 30% of the units in a complex. If your complex is already at or beyond the 30% “saturation” rate, your pool of prospective buyers will be pretty slim–limited only those who can qualify for a conventional loan, and have 5% to 20% down (not FHA’s 3.5%). Accordingly, already tough-to-sell condos will get even tougher to sell in 2011.

4. Prices Bounce Along the Bottom, With Notable Exceptions

Remember those commercials from the ’70s and ’80s, where the little ball would bounce along the bottom of the screen, atop subtitled lyrics? That bouncing ball presages what housing prices will look like next year; they might be up a tad one month, but they’ll be back down the next. Many insiders are predicting as much as a 5% to 10% decline in housing values nationwide, but it’s tough to be that specific (and be right).

A caution here too: The real estate market is, now more than ever, highly localized. Nationwide data is interesting, but it’s just numbers. What counts is what’s going on in your specific neighborhood.

Some caveats: If the job market takes off and many more jobs are created, wary wanna-be buyers might hop off the fence, and home prices could begin to really recover, for good.

Also, in some of the markets that have had and will continue to have positive job growth and population growth–mostly Southern and Midwestern metros like San Antonio, Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City and Raleigh-Durham, N.C.–home prices will be stable or even on the upswing in 2011.

(Re-blogged from Hot Pocket..and worth it!)