Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Market Update for San Jose Homes

When running sales statistics of home sales for San Jose homes, I was pleasantly surprised to see prices up across the board from last year. It’s interesting that the media is still telling the world how bad everything is in our area. When I look at inventory, it appears that there is less than 5 months of homes for sale in Santa Clara County. Less than 6 months reflects a seller’s market while over 6 months reflects a buyer’s market. I suppose that since we’re not seeing homes go up at a 20% per year clip, the media thinks of it as a bad market.

Anyhow, another factor soon to be playing a role: The stalling of foreclosures being repossessed by the bank. According to Steve Goddard, President of The California Association of Realtors®, certain banks in the state have ceased their foreclosure process to ensure that they are complying with certain laws and processes. In the short term, that may limit the number of homes coming on the market thereby increasing prices. Over the longer term, I suspect it will take until the end of 2011 for a large price surge, but it is coming. Take a look at the appreciation chart on my website. To see it, click on the link on the left that says “Appreciation by Area”. For the top 10 ways to get the most money when selling your home, call or click Gary Nobile at http://www.garynobile.com/ or (408) 247-4029.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

How to Protect Your Identity When Selling Your Home

How to Protect Your Identity When Selling Your Home
Most experts agree that the most important piece of personal information that identity thieves attempt to steal is your social security number. When selling a home in California, a seller is required by law to complete a form commonly referred to as “FIRPTA” (Foreign Investment and Real Property Tax Act). The form lets the title company and the buyer know if the seller is not a U.S. citizen. Not being a U.S. citizen will require certain withholdings from the seller’s proceeds, but that’s a story for another time. One of the pieces of information that can be asked on that form is the seller’s social security number.
When representing buyers, it never ceases to amaze me that some seller’s agents do not safeguard this information. As part of the disclosure process, I have been provided with a copy of this form (typically via e-mail) with the seller’s social security number in plain view. As the buyer’s agent, I must review this document with the buyer and have them sign at the bottom to acknowledge that they’ve received it. Then I provide them with a copy of what they signed. I like to think that all the clients I work with are honest and ethical. But what if they accidentally leave their folder of documents at a coffee shop? Things happen. Do e-mails always reach their intended destination? As careful as I try to be, sometimes I get an e-mail address wrong. What if that seller’s agent sent this form to an unscrupulous thief? That’s when the trouble starts.
As a seller, here’s what you can do protect this from happening. One thing the California Association of Realtors did right was change the form so there is no longer an area for the seller’s social security number on the form. Unfortunately, I still see plenty of the old forms being used by seller’s agents. As a seller you are asked to sign a ton of forms and while you should read everything you sign, you usually rely on your Realtor to tell you what the forms mean. But when it comes to filling in your social security number, stop! There is another preventative measure you can take so you can meet the requirements of selling your home and not run the risk of your social security number being advertised on the internet.
There was a little known law passed a year or two back to prevent this type of activity from occurring. As a seller, you can provide your social security number directly to the title company’s escrow officer instead of giving it to your agent. Under the new law, the escrow officer is a qualified 3rd party that can legally acknowledge the FIRPTA form for the buyer without the buyer actually seeing the form. The title company will need to record the sale and will need your social security number anyway so this saves you time and helps protect your identity.
For the top 10 ways to get the most money when selling your home, call or click Gary Nobile at www.GaryNobile.com or (408) 247-4029.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Don’t Skip the Vacant Home Insurance

Don’t Skip the Vacant Home Insurance
Often times homeowners are caught unaware that when a home sits vacant for an extended period of time it can trigger a ”vacancy clause”. This means that your home is now excluded from certain insurance coverage. Many homeowner policies specifically state that if your home is your principle residence (the one you live in) it must be occupied. The reason is that vacant homes are more likely to be vandalized. Are you selling a home that is vacant? If so, check with your insurance professional to make sure you’re covered. For the top 10 ways to get the most money when selling your home, call or click Gary Nobile at www.GaryNobile.com or (408) 247-4029.