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Will Anything Really Change In Washington?

by Leslie Edwards

When I heard that John Boehner invited the freshman congressmen to a meeting, I knew it would not be a welcome to DC, meet and greet. Many of the newcomers were not supported by the Republican Party and some Republicans still believe that if the Tea Party had stayed out of it, they would have won a few more seats.  Although I am sure that Boehner congratulated them on their victories, the real purpose of the meeting was to explain that regardless of what they ran on, this is how it really works if you want to get anything done in Washington.  And, of course, to shore up votes for the leadership posts which were predetermined by which old white guy's turn it is to lead.

We can hope that the freshmen will continue to stand up for the policies that got them elected, but it is hard to fight a decades in power political machine.  For anything different to happen in Washington, the old white guys have to be open to new ways of doing things.  The special interests have to stop buying votes and the congressmen have to stop allowing themselves to be bought.

Each bill should be about one thing instead of adding pages of pork spending to get others to vote for the bill.  The same pork projects should be handled by the appropriations committee and not be attached to a bill that is totally unrelated. When these projects have to stand on their own, a huge number would be rejected.

The Congress should be subject to all of the same laws they make for the Country.  If they cannot exempt themselves from certain programs and laws, they might actually read the bills.  If they read them before they vote, the outcomes would be different.

The Republicans have a terrific opportunity to cement their power for years to come, if they give Americans what they think they were voting for.  It will be evident very soon if it is business as usual in Washington.  If it is, and nothing changes, the People will rise up and organize a third party that will make the changes America wants in their government.

The Tea Party was extremely effective in sharing the consistent message of limited government, balanced budget and free markets and Americans rallied behind their candidates.  And that was just the first round.  Now that they have had lots of practice, think about the waves the Tea Party can make in 2012.

Republicans have this great mandate to change the way things are done in DC.  If they fail to deliver, they will be held accountable and 2012 will truly be the year of great change.

leslie edwards                                                                        Environmentally Aware, Socially Conscious, Politically Active real estate agent

leslie@leslieedwards.com    www.SOuthMetroAtlantaMLS.com

 

 

How Long Will It Take To Sell My House?

by Leslie Edwards

To figure out how long it should take to sell a home, I use a formula that will calculate the absorption rate of each neighborhood. Knowing the correct absorption rate for the neighborhood will help the seller determine a realistic asking price for their home. 

The absorption rate formula is based on past sales, days on market, and the amount of houses currently for sale in the neighborhood/area. This information tells us how many months supply of inventory is presently on the market, and therefore provides us with information that indicates just how many months it may take to sell a particular home.  

A 6 month supply of inventory is telling us that it may take a full six months or more to sell the house. In addition, a 6 month supply is considered a balanced market, but anything over 6 months indicates there are too many houses and too few buyers, indicating it may take up to a year or more to sell the house.  

A seller whose house falls into the category of 6 months or more should be willing to position their house, in terms of price, condition, and incentives, in a way that will give them a distinct advantage over their competition.

 Sellers have different needs, motivations and desires which typically determines how aggressive they should be on their asking price.     In today's challenging real estate market, because sellers are in a price war and a beauty contest at the same time, it takes aggressive pricing and staging to show the home at it's best.                                                                                                                                                               If you would like to discuss the absorption rates for homes like yours, call or email me.  I want to be your real estate resource. 

 

leslie edwards                                                                                 Environmentally Aware, Socially Conscious, Politically Active, Real Estate Agent                                                                                         770.460.9448                                                                                        CDPE Certified Distressed Property Expert                                                CRS   Certified Residential Specialist                                                       Epro  Certified Internet Professional                                                           ABR   Accredited Buyer Representative                                                    GRI    Graduate of the Realtor Institute Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider

Selling South Metro Atlanta including:Clayton, Fayette, Henry, Coweta, Merewether, South Fulton & Spalding Counties

All the towns and cities south of the Atlanta International Airport, including: Brooks, College Park, Fairburn, Fayetteville, Jonesboro, Locust Grove, McDonough, Newnan, Sharpsburg, Stockbridge, Palmetto, Peachtree City, Tyrone and more                                                                                           Moving Families Since 1978                                                                       Let My Experience Work For You                                                               fax:  770.460.0739 See all of the properties for sale in the Multiple Listing Service at www.SouthMetroAtlantaMLS.com                                                                                          .com                                              leslieedwards@leslie RE/MAX Around Atlanta.com/blogleslieedwardswww.

 Almost everyone knows someone who is behind on their mortgage payments and wants to avoid foreclosure to save their credit, relieve the uncertainty, and most of all, help their family.

Have them call me for Short Sale and Pre-Foreclosure Solutions and let's get started on the path to recovery.

http://www.leslieedwards.com/Blog/What-is-a-Short-Sale-and-Why-You-Might-Want-One

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Impact of a Foreclosure or Short Sale on One's Credit

by Leslie Edwards

The Impact of a Foreclosure or Short Sale on One's Credit

With today's real estate market driven by foreclosures and short sales, a common question today is how will a foreclosure, short sale, or loan modification affect one's credit score?  Below is some helpful information regarding each one of these areas.  To fully understand these comments, it is important to understand that currently there are no codes or mathematical algorithms that distinguish between a foreclosure, deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, or short sale.  Thus, current credit scoring models treat all three of these occurrences the same.  In addition, it is important to understand that every credit report is based on different variables and, thus, how much one's score will be impacted is impossible to gauge (i.e. someone with a fabulous long-term past credit history will be less affected than someone with a brief negative credit history).
       
Foreclosure

  • Remains on a credit report for 7 years.
  • Current Conforming guidelines require a waiting period of at least 5 years since the completion date of the foreclosure as well as a 10% down payment and at least a 680 credit score.  In addition, no 2nd home or investment property purchases are allowed nor cash-out refinances until the foreclosure has dropped off of the credit report.  
  • FHA guidelines require a waiting period of 4 years since the completion date of the foreclosure or 3 years if there have been extenuating circumstances.

       
Deed-in-lieu of Foreclosure

  • Although this is a "voluntary" foreclosure, it is reported the exact same way as a foreclosure on a credit report.
  • The Conforming guidelines are the same as for a foreclosure but require only a 4 year waiting period rather than 5.

       
Short Sale

  • Can be reported as either a charge-off, a settlement, or a type of foreclosure on the credit report (different creditors do it different ways).  
  • Thus, how much a score will be affected depends on who is doing the reporting and how they are choosing to report.  
  • Despite some reports to the contrary, there is no set answer to how much a credit score will be affected on a short sale.  It is a type of foreclosure, so it is best for one to expect the same foreclosure guidelines as above to be in effect for a short sale unless the foreclosing bank clarifies otherwise.  


Loan Modification

  • Under this arrangement, a lender simply lowers the borrower's rate and payment.  This solution does not reduce the principal balance nor is the lender forgiving any of the debt.  A loan modification is simply a method to avoid foreclosure and it is not considered as serious as the other methods above.
  • On the credit report, a loan modification is reported as a "Partial Payment Plan."
  • Credit scores will decrease with a loan modification but how much will depend on the other factors showing on the credit report.

                 
The bottom line is that clearly one's credit score will be adversely affected by any of the above occurrences, however, the exact amount of impact remains quite a mystery.

Save your credit, relieve the uncertainty, and most of all, help your family.

Call me for Short Sale and Pre-Foreclosure Solutions and let's get started on the path to recovery.

http://www.leslieedwards.com/Blog/What-is-a-Short-Sale-and-Why-You-Might-Want-One

leslie edwards                                                                           Environmentally Aware, Socially Conscious, Politically Active Real Estate Agent                                                                                        770.460.9448 

www.SouthMetroAtlantaMLS.com                               www.leslieedwards.com/blog                                           leslie@leslieedwards.com

RE/MAX Around Atlanta

 

Alternative to Airport Body Scanners

by Leslie Edwards

A great alternative to body scanners at airports . . .
  
The Israelis are developing an airport security device that eliminates the privacy concerns that come with full-body scanners at the airports.

It's a booth you can step into that will not X-ray you, but will detonate any explosive device you may have on you. They see this as a win-win for everyone, with none of this crap about racial profiling. It also would eliminate the costs of a long and expensive trial.  Justice would be swift. Case closed!

You're in the airport terminal and you hear a muffled explosion. Shortly thereafter an announcement comes over the PA system . . . "Attention standby passengers we now have a seat available on flight number 1234. Shalom!"

Home Prices Continue to Fall

by Leslie Edwards

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Home prices are falling further, suggesting a bottom hasn't been reached in many metro areas.

Millions of foreclosures are expected to pour onto the market in the coming years. That's likely to force prices down and hurt even cities that had begun to rebound. Investigations into banks' foreclosure paperwork could further deter buyers and weigh down prices.

The past few months have been the worst time in a decade for the housing market. Few people have bought homes, and among the small pool of buyers, many have purchased foreclosures and other distressed properties.

The impact was apparent Tuesday when Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller released its latest index for home prices in 20 major U.S metro areas. The average price for all markets fell 0.2 percent in August and 15 cities posted declines.

But the foreclosure problem is far from over. A "shadow inventory" of homes on the verge of foreclosure is bound to force prices lower well into next year. About 2 million loans are in foreclosure, and another 2.4 million borrowers have missed at least 90 days of mortgage payments, according to LPS Applied Analytics.

"It's like a never-ending supply" of homes, said Daniel Alpert, managing partner at the New York investment bank Westwood Capital. He expects prices to fall another 10 percent over the next year -- and not improve much after that.

Most troubled homeowners are concentrated in cities that have already been battered by the housing bust. One in 15 homeowners in Las Vegas received a foreclosure notice in the first half of the year, according to foreclosure listing service RealtyTrac Inc. In the Fort Myers, Fla. metro area, the ratio was one in 20; in the Phoenix metro area it was one in 23.

"If you're going down the hill, you tend to keep going down the hill," said Mark Fleming, chief economist at real estate data firm CoreLogic.

In Las Vegas, prices have fallen 57 percent from the peak four years ago. They are now at the lowest point since spring 2000. In August, they ticked up slightly -- 0.1 percent -- according to the Case-Shiller report.

Investors buying properties to sell or lease have helped to stabilize the nation's worst housing market. Demand is also coming from retirees, said Paul Bell, a real estate agent with Prudential Americana Group in Las Vegas, who noted that 45 percent of the city's buyers are paying cash

That's "helping to contribute to a floor" in the city's home prices, Bell said.

Some markets are doing relatively well. Chicago, Washington and New York have been showing consistent price increases since spring, though the pace of those increases faded over the summer. In the nation's capital, the large number of federal employees and government contract workers have kept the economy strong. New York has seen fewer foreclosures than other cities.

California may offer the most complex housing picture. Even though the state's major cities have started to show weakness, prices are well above the bottom of spring 2009.

The San Francisco area's home prices have surged more than 21 percent since then. Prices in San Diego have risen nearly 14 percent and had increased for 15 consecutive months before falling in August.

In Los Angeles they have increased by more than 10 percent in that period. Home prices would have to rise by more than 50 percent in each of the markets to return to their peaks during the housing boom.

It's still unclear how the allegations of lenders using flawed documents to foreclosure on homes will affect housing markets. Bank of America and Ally Financial Inc.'s GMAC Mortgage have started processing foreclosures again, after calling a temporary halt while they reviewed mortgage documents.

Some buyers are worried that the sale of a foreclosure could be contested -- or even canceled -- if the previous owner claims the foreclosure was invalid.

Stimulus Package Example

by Leslie Edwards

Stimulus Package, How it Works

 It is a slow day in the small Saskatchewan town of Pumphandle , and streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody is living on credit

A tourist visiting the area drives through town, stops at the motel, and lays a $100 bill on the desk saying he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs to pick one for the night. As soon as he walks upstairs, the motel owner grabs the bill and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.

 The butcher takes the $100 and runs down the street to retire his debt to the pig farmer. 

 The pig farmer takes the $100 and heads off to pay his bill to his supplier, the Co-op. 

 The guy at the Co-op takes the $100 and runs to pay his debt to the local prostitute, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer her "services" on credit. 

The hooker rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill with the hotel owner. The hotel proprietor then places the $100 back on the counter so the traveler will not suspect anything. 

 At that moment the traveler comes down the stairs, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, picks up the $100 bill and leaves. 

No one produced anything.  No one earned anything.  However, the whole town is now out of debt and looks to the future with a lot more optimism. 

 And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how a Stimulus package works 

 

 

 

List Your Home For Sale In Winter

by Leslie Edwards

Sellers will often take their homes off the market if they have not sold by Fall or they will wait to list until Spring because a common belief is that homes do not sell in the Winter months.

Although there are fewer buyers looking during the 2nd Season (Fall to Spring) than during what is considered the hot Selling Season, a lot of the people looking when the weather is nice and school is out, never buy anything. 

I have found that if people are looking at  homes during the 2nd Season (Winter) are serious buyers who intend to buy. Fewer showings but the buyers are ready, willing and able to buy. Since showings tend to follow the light of day, the showing hours are compressed and evening appointments are very rare. Fewer, more convenient and better quality showings are less intrusive for the family.

Since most Retail Sellers (not distressed, short sale or foreclosure) believe nothing sells in Winter, there is less competition for the buyers who are looking.

According the National Association of Realtors 1 in 4 home sales across the US involved a distressed property.  In some areas of South Metro Atlanta the number is much higher making short sales and foreclosures the biggest competition for Retail Sellers.

Recently, some of the largest mortgage companies, including Chase, announced that they were halting foreclosures until they work out some paperwork and process issues that could void some foreclosures.  Many mortgage servicers typically slow down on foreclosing during the holidays.

If there are fewer foreclosures on the market, there is less competition for the Retail Sellers.

Less competition, less intrusion, better quality prospects.... Three good reasons to market your home now. 

I am expecting a lot of 4th Quarter real estate activity so call me and let's get started.  I offer FREE Buyer and Seller Consultations with no obligation because I want to be your real estate resource.

If you or anyone you know is behind on their mortgage, call me.  I help people avoid foreclosure.

leslie edwards                                                                       770.460.9448

CDPE Certified Distressed Property Expert                                              CRS   Certified Residential Specialist                                                      Epro  Certified Internet Professional                                                      ABR   Accredited Buyer Representative                                                       Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider

Fax  770.460.0739

Selling South Metro Atlanta including: Clayton, Fayette, Henry, Coweta, Meriwether, Pike, South Fulton & Spalding Counties                                      All the towns and cities south of the Atlanta International Airport,

Including:  Brooks, College Park, Fairburn, Fayetteville, Hampton, Jonesboro, Locust Grove, McDonough, Newnan, Sharpsburg, Stockbridge, Peachtree City, Tyrone and many more

Moving Families Since 1978

Let My Experience Work For You

leslie@leslieedwards.com

RE/MAX Around Atlanta

 See all of the properties for sale in the MLS at www.SouthMetroAtlantaMLS.com

 

 

Top 7 Behavior Based Interview Questions

by

Top 7 Behavior Based Interview Questions

 

By Michael Pate, M.A., Organizational Psychologist in South Dakota & Guest Author at ILostMyJob.com

Behavior-based interview questions are becoming increasingly common as companies look for better ways to hire high-quality candidates amid the flood of applications that they receive. These questions, in contrast to theoretical interview questions that ask what candidates would do, ask candidates what they have actually done regarding important job characteristics. Companies that use behavior-based questions have often identified competencies, or groups of behaviors, that are important to success at a given position, and will ask questions about these competencies during in-person or phone interviews.

These question types are great because you have the opportunity to tell interviewers what you have actually done in a specific situation and the positive effects that your actions have had, rather than telling them what you might have done. However, these questions also require a different approach compared to typical theoretical interview questions.

Companies look for three parts when they ask behavior-based questions:

  • The situation leading up to your action.
  • The actions you took.
  • The results of you action.

For example, let’s say you’re asked the following question: “Tell me about a specific time when you remained calm during a stressful situation.”

A high-quality behavior-based answer to this question might be:

  • “As a store manager at ABC Office Supplies, I was in charge of every employee’s safety. One day, an employee accidentally cut her hand with an Exacto Knife and began bleeding profusely.” (The Situation)
  • “As the first person to reach her, I used a clean towel to stop the bleeding, called 911, and helped her remain calm until the paramedics arrived.” (Your Action)
  • “After seven stitches at the hospital, the employee was on her way to recovery, and because of my composure under pressure, the CEO of ABC Office Supplies wrote me a very positive note of recognition that went into my permanent personnel file.” (The Result)

In contrast, a low-quality answer could be:

  • “A couple years ago, I helped an employee that had cut her hand.” (No Situation and a very vague Action)
  • “The employee was fine and I got a pat on the back from my company’s president.” (A vague Result that underplays the recognition received by the candidate)
    • When asked a behavior-based question, always remember to include all three parts so that your interviewers have a strong understanding of the situation, your actions, and the positive results of your actions. If you don’t have a work-related example, you can use a work-appropriate example, e.g. when you were team captain of your softball team or when you served as music director for your church.

 

The following seven questions are frequently asked in a variety of forms and address some of the most common competencies that companies look for in candidates. For each question, I’ve provided tips on how to phrase your answer...

7. “Give me a specific example of when you had to start a task without being asked.”

For this question, focus on an experience where your initiative made the difference between a significant success and a harmful failure in your company.

For example, describe how you recently finished your weekly tasks early, so you started and finished the monthly report before its deadline. Unexpectedly, your supervisor needed the monthly report early for an important meeting with the COO, and since your initiative saved him from scrambling to get the report finished, you received a written thank you note from your supervisor because he was able to immediately provide the COO with the requested information.

 

6. “Tell me about a time you successfully worked with a difficult coworker to complete a task.”

Everyone has worked with a difficult coworker, so impress your interviewers by describing how you used teamwork to successfully complete the task while remaining professional. Feel free to talk about learning your coworker’s strengths and weaknesses, and respecting the differences in work styles or skill levels between your coworker and you.

5. “Provide a specific example of a time you had to juggle multiple projects simultaneously.”

Managing multiple tasks has always been, and will always be, essential to success in any position. For this question, describe how you managed multiple project/tasks/duties of differing levels and priorities.

For example, describe how you picked up two national advertisement clients while your coworker was on maternity leave. In order to balance these new clients with your existing clients, you came in an hour early each morning to prioritize your tasks for the day and ensure that all of your clients’ needs were met. As a result, both of your temporary clients agreed to extend their contracts with your company because of the excellent service they received from you.

 

4. “Tell me about a time you had to switch from one project to another without warning.”

Being adaptable is important, especially as more companies expect their employees to perform duties outside of their usual responsibilities. For this question, show how you effectively moved from project-to-project and completed your current project successfully.

 

 

3. “Describe a time when you succeeded at work because of your ability to communicate.”

Although communication-related questions can be redundant since interviewers will view your communication skills firsthand, it’s important to provide them with a specific example of how your written and oral communication abilities helped you succeed at work. Remember to describe how you communicated effectively by describing the results of your actions. This may be a good time to talk about commendations on any reports or meetings you led.

 

 

2. “Give me an example of a time when you caught a coworker doing something illegal.”

Be careful of this question. Nearly all candidates know that if you say anything besides “I reported my coworker’s behavior to my supervisor immediately”, your interviewers will assume that you are untrustworthy or negligent. Answer this question honestly, and choose an example where you either confronted your coworker on his/her behavior or reported his/her behavior to your supervisor. Good examples of results may include how your actions promoted increased awareness of company policies, improved workplace safety, or decreased lost revenues.

1. “Describe an instance where you made a significant mistake.”

This question is one of the hardest to answer. Often times, candidates do one of two things: they wimp out and say that they haven’t made a significant mistake (which is never true) or provide such a horrendous example that they are immediately removed from consideration.

To answer this question successfully, provide an example of a moderate mistake, what you did after you realized you made a mistake, and the result of your actions to correct your error. For example, describe how you overlooked an important project deadline, and upon realizing your error, contacted your supervisor to develop a solution to the problem. After deciding that the best solution was to work all-night to meet the deadline, you spent the next 12 hours working on the project. As a result, you made the deadline, and after recuperating from your all-nighter, identified several procedures to ensure that this oversight would not happen in the future. Although your supervisor was initially upset, he thanked you for taking responsibility for your actions, and ultimately, making the deadline.

STAR POWER

by Leslie Edwards

I spent the past several days attending the Star Power conference.  The information was terrific and helped many of the attendees get back their enthusiasm for the job of selling real estate.                                                                                        Keynote speakers included the always delightful, Howard Brinton, the founder of the Star Power organization, Alex Charfen, founder of the CDPE designation and new owner of Star Power, Dave Liniger, a true visionary who founded RE/MAX, Alex Perillo from Realogy and Dave Ramsey, the financial guru with an easy to follow plan to get out of debt.                                                                                                   The STAR speakers, agents who are currently working in real estate, were able to speak to current market conditions, share a wealth of ideas and encouragment. There was certainly something for everyone.  If you have never been to a Star Power event, plan to attend the next one.  It is totally different from any other real estate event.

If you have a referral to South Metro Atlanta, let me know and I will treat them as my highest priority.

                                                                                                                              leslie edwards

770.460.9448

CDPE Certified Distressed Property Expert

CRS   Certified Residential Specialist

Epro  Certified Internet Professional

ABR   Accredited Buyer Representative

Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider

Selling South Metro Atlanta including:

Clayton, Fayette, Henry, Coweta, Merewether, South Fulton & Spalding Counties

All the towns and cities south of the Atlanta International Airport,

including:  Brooks, College Park, Fairburn, Fayetteville, Jonesboro, Locust Grove,

McDonough, Newnan, Sharpsburg, Stockbridge, Palmetto, Peachtree City, Tyrone and more

Moving Families Since 1978

Let My Experience Work For You

fax:  770.460.0739

www.SouthMetroAtlantaMLS.com

leslie@leslieedwards.com

RE/MAX Around Atlanta

 

 

You Can't Change the World One Person at a Time

by Leslie Edwards

I watched a documentary last night on HBO called "A Small Act".  It was about a single woman, Hilde Back, who sent $15 a month to help a child in Kenya pay to go to school.  Education is the only way out of poverty in Kenyan and only the families with money or very smart children with scholarships get to go to high school. The boy she helped went on to graduate from Harvard and works with the UN for Human Rights around the world. He started an organization to pay for children's education by providing scholarships to the brightest students in Kenya and named it the "Hilde Back Foundation" although he had never met the woman who helped him.

While it is true that you cannot change the world one person at a time, if you help one person, you can change their world.

leslie edwards

environmentally aware, socially conscious, politically active

South Metro Atlanta real estate  770.460.9448 

 

Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 90

If you hear of anyone who wants to buy or sell in any of these areas, please mention me and then call me so I can contact them. I appreciate your referrals!