Real Estate Information Archive


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Top 5 Ways to Sell Your Home More Quickly

by The Mike Parker Team

If your home is on the market, or if you're planning to sell your home in the near future, you might be discouraged by the national media's rampant reports of increasing inventory and languishing sales.

While there is, indeed, plenty of inventory currently on the market, there are steps you can take as a home seller to ensure your home sells more quickly, while still garnering the maximum sales price possible. As a member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I have many years of experience working with home sellers and have learned a few strategies that really work toward securing a buyer more quickly.

  1. First, for your home to sell more quickly, it must be exposed to the maximum number of buyers possible, so make sure your home is listed with a local brokerage that has a comprehensive understanding of your market area and knows how to employ technology to increase exposure. Find out how they will market your home online, what listing portals they will use, how they will utilize social media, how many pictures they will post, videos, etc.
  2. While it's understandable that you’d like the largest downpayment possible from a buyer, be willing to accept a smaller downpayment, provided the buyer has been preapproved for a loan. This can make a huge difference to cash-strapped buyers.
  3. Do some legwork and ask your real estate agent for a tour of competitive properties. This will help distinguish what features of your home you should highlight or what small changes you can make to give your home an edge over the competition.
  4. Choose your battles and understand where certain concessions might work in your favor. In a slow market, for example, it may be better to pay a "seller contribution" to help buyers offset closing costs than to lower the sale price. While a seller contribution may be smaller than a price reduction, it is often more attractive to buyers who need cash to close.
  5. Consider including some value-added items in the sale of your home, such as the swing set in the backyard, the washer and dryer, or items of furniture that buyers fall in love with and/or really need. A few freebies might be just what you need to close the deal.

If you would like to learn other ideas for selling your home more quickly, please contact me. Also, please forward this email on to anyone else in your network that has concerns about effectively selling their home.

How New FHA Changes Could Affect Home Buyers

by The Mike Parker Team

Earlier this week, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) implemented changes to the premium structures for an FHA-backed mortgage.

My membership in the Top 5 in Real Estate Network® requires that I remain committed to keeping my clients and consumers informed, so it's important that I let you know that these changes may make it more costly for home buyers to procure FHA loan products.

In the wake of the real estate decline and credit freeze of the past three years, FHA-insured loans soared as borrowers sought alternative avenues for securing affordable mortgages. The FHA loan is popular because its minimum down payment is 3.5%, whereas most conventional loans require a much higher down payment. Recently, however, housing experts have raised concerns about FHA's shrinking funds and its ability to handle increasing defaults, sparking the agency’s impending regulation changes.

According to, FHA reported that its reserve fund has dropped to 0.53% of its insurance guarantees, well below the 2% ratio mandated by Congress and the 3% ratio it had last fall. This fund covers losses on the mortgages the agency insures. FHA borrowers pay for the insurance that backs their loans in the form of an upfront premium and an annual premium.

The agency has seen a spike in delinquencies amid the mortgage meltdown. Some 14.36% of FHA loans were past due in the third quarter, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. To compensate for its rapidly depleting reserve fund, the following changes will be implemented to FHA lending:

  • Upfront mortgage insurance premiums will decrease from 2.25% to 1.00%.
  • At the same time, the 0.55% annual premium will be increased to 0.85% for mortgages with loan-to-value ratios up to and including 95%, and to 0.90% for loan-to-value ratios above 95%.
  • Borrowers will be required to have a credit score of at least 580 to qualify.

These changes in FHA lending may be paving the way for conventional financing with private mortgage insurance (MI) to make a comeback in lending for low down payment buyers. According to loan experts, both MI and FHA have their place, but borrowers should consult with their real estate professional and lender to determine what loan options are best for their particular situation.

For more information on FHA lending, please e-mail me, and please forward this email to others who might be unaware of how they may be impacted by these important changes.

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Photo of Mike Parker - CRS Real Estate
Mike Parker - CRS
HUFF Realty
60 Cavalier Blvd.
Florence KY 41042