3 Simple Ways to Release Emotional Ties During the Home Selling Process

Releasing Emotional Ties During the Home Selling Process

From time to time, I assist clients during a real estate transaction who are having a really difficult time leaving a home.  Sometimes, it is a home which holds a lot of precious memories.  At other times, circumstances have changed; perhaps a job transfer or loss which necessitate a move.  It is a really difficult thing to wrestle with the fact that deep down inside…you’re not really ready to leave…just yet.

Over the years, I’ve realised that there are myriads of reasons why people struggle to let go of a dwelling…even when they know they must.  One huge factor is fear for the future and the unknown.

Here are a few simple suggestions  that many of my clients have found very helpful in helping facilitate a successful transition.

Practical Solitude

Set aside some time to alone & quiet within your home…quiet your heart, be still.  Turn off the TV, listen, hear and re-live special moments.  Look, really look at your home the way you would look into the face of a dear friend.  Relish the moments that have been shared, the laughter, the tears, the good times, the bad…Listen to hear things that may still need to be resolved.  In the stillness you will hear this as well.  Take note


Express gratitude outloud.  Yes, these walls have heard a lot of things during your time within them. Why not your thanksgiving?

Thank out loud for the goodness & provision and shelter that your home has provided you.

Thank out loud for the many friends and family members who have found solace, refuge and friendship within it’s walls.

Thank out loud for the difficult lessons learned and the trials you survived.

Thank out loud that you and this home exist…many homes and people no longer do.

Thank out loud that your home will soon be transferred to new owners who will be the beneficiaries of the shelter your home has faithfully provided.

Release the Blessing of Peace

A final step is to release the blessing of peace.  I suggest that home owners go through each room while  releasing God’s peace into the space in preparation for the new owners.  This can be a wonderful time to envision the blessings that you desire for the welfare of those who will purchase the home.

Different blessings can be released for different areas.  For instance in the kitchen, you can release wholesome goodness in the food that is prepared & bless this center of life to be a place in which the family or individual experiences the joy of friendship and satisfaction. Remember we all reap what we sow.  What you are doing for others will eventually be returned in some fashion back to you.

Many have found these few simple steps to be very helpful as they prepare to move.  Even if it is not a difficult emotional transition, this process can be extraordinarily enriching.

A Few Simple Tips to Improve Your Odds in Selling Your West Michigan Home!

Probably the biggest source of angst that home owners in Grand Rapids, Michigan have about selling their home is knowing IF their home has a chance for a Sale.  Quiet turmoil mounts with the following irksome thoughts. 

 Potential Sellers silently question, “Will this Home Sell?”  or “Will anyone even want to look at my home?” 

I’ve been hearing many reports of homes now sporting 12 month listing contracts instead of the traditional 6. The fact is that many homes in West Michigan are not having ANY showings at all!

To improve your odds of selling, it is important to understand that having a good Pricing Strategy is crucial to your success.  Last month, approximately 680 homes Closed successfully in Grand Rapids.  This was 25% below the number of successful property closing during the same 30 day period in 2009. However, there is good news; the good news is that there were homes that Sold and to be successful, it’s important to focus on what successful home sellers did correctly.

Researching you area…

The days of simply guessing about the price at which to list your home, or asking your neighbor what they Sold their home for are over.  The former is a dangerous strategy and the latter often provides inaccurate data.  It’s best to get the facts.

This can be done by requesting a Market Analysis from a good local Realtor® or obtaining an appraisal. One of the most valuable tools available through our Grand Rapids Association of Realtors® MLS system is the ability to obtain a quick analysis of your immediate area by utilizing a proprietary mapping function which details accurate records of homes Sold within a variety of radius options and also gives us access to trends data.

Utilizing mapping and trends data can provide insights which can be easily missed when using the broad ranges which generally divide areas on on popular sites like Zillow or Trulia for property search purposes.  In addition to mapping tools and trends data, pricing strategy is enhanced by understanding how property has traditionally appreciated or depreciated in a local area.  This is where the experience of a good real estate agent can be invaluable.

In today’s market where less than 10% of homes listed for Sale are Closing in any given month, it’s important to improve your odds by understanding the issues and specific dynamics in your neighborhood. If you’d like to know more about creating a pricing strategy for today’s challenging marketplace and you live in the Grand Rapids, MI area, please contact us. 616-791-0511 or info@auduhomes.com

Are There Over 7 Million Foreclosures Coming?

This article was posted by Steve Harney.   It is excerpted with permission.  The issue of Shadow Inventory is already impacting the real estate industry throughout the country and is definitely a factor in the Greater Grand Rapids Mi area.    The percentage of homes Sold in distress sales  through during the month of June 2010 for the Grand Rapids was slightly below 50% of the total volume of transactions.  The total number of homes Sold in June (907) was already significantly lower than the two years prior.

It is critical that homeowners who intend to Sell their homes be aware of this issue when it comes to pricing a property for Sale.  As the article notes, there are a number of factors impacting the Shadow Inventory and as this is a fairly fast moving situation,  it is likely that there will be some significant variations and shifts in the days ahead.  If you’re interested in a more detailed analysis or a market trends analysis about the homes in your neighborhood, please contact Audu Real Estate.


Are There Over 7 Million Foreclosures Coming?

Article by Steve Harney ~ July 13, 2010

There have been some extraordinary numbers being bantered about when talking about the number of foreclosures that will be coming to market over the next 18 months. Different studies have estimated that number to be between 5-8 million. Let’s take a look at one of these studies today and see how these totals are being calculated.

The Financial Analysis Journal last month posted an article titled Dimensioning the Housing Crisis in which they break down how they arrived at the number of 7.13 million foreclosures about to come to market.

When looking at foreclosures, it is important to realize we are not talking about only those homes currently owned by banks (REOs) but instead the probable number that will be owned. To decipher that number, we must look at two things:

  1. The percentage of foreclosures and the percentage of homes in delinquency
  2. The probability of liquidation (cure rate)


The article breaks down the percentage of foreclosures and the percentage of homes in each delinquency category:

At the end of the third quarter of 2009 (last data available), a staggering 14.1 percent of mortgages in the MBA survey were in some stage of delinquency: 4.47 percent of units were in foreclosure, another 4.41 percent were 90+ days delinquent, 1.67 percent were 60 days delinquent, and 3.57 percent were 30 days delinquent.

These percentages put the actual number of homes in danger at 7.89 million.


Cure rates measure the percentage of loans exiting delinquency and returning to their current payment status each month. These percentages have plummeted over the last several years as the housing market has suffered.

The cure rate is most negatively impacted by unemployment and negative equity. Neither of these are expected to improve in the near future.


Below is a table using both the percentages and the cure rates to determine the number of potential foreclosures coming to the market.

The first column shows the percentage of homes in each category of delinquency. The middle column are the current cure rates for each category. The last column is the total percentage of each category that will wind up as a distressed property.

The study estimates 7.13 million distressed properties will come to market.

What does this mean to you?

Whenever there is an increase in supply of an item, there is downward pressure on pricing. The houses coming to the market will be sold by the banks at discounted prices. Home values will be impacted dramatically.

To read additional comments on this blog or other articles by Steve Harney, please visit his site.

A little goes a long way…5 Cheap Ways to Prepare Your Grand Rapids MI Home for a Quick Sale!


SEARCH WEST MICHIGAN HOMES FOR SALE – Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate Statistics

One thing that showing hundreds of homes through the years teaches you is this…Home Sellers can do a lot to show their home in a manner that gets it SOLD!

I have always found it mildly astonishing that homeowners who spend thousands of dollars in upgrades and improvements to their homes fail to invest time and effort in a few critical areas to ensure that their homes are perceived well in the eyes of potential buyers.

Some homeowners might be surprised to find out how far a little money will go.  Particularly when you put $500 against a backdrop of tens of thousands of dollars which are left on the table because a home does not sell or sells far below the listing price.

Here are just a few Simple Things to Keep in Mind when you are showing your home to ensure it shows Sold!

Show It!…

In a competitive market, there are hundreds of homes vying for a buyer’s attention.  There are some homes which don’t receive even ONE showing request in a 6 month period.  When you place your home on the market, be prepared to SHOW IT.  If you’re not…WAIT, until you are.  Yes, it may cost you a little in sleep and inconvenience, but in this market, if a real estate agent calls to show your home when there are 50 others like it…don’t count on being given a second chance.  COST:  Time & Effort ~ Dollars – ZERO

Clean It!

If you can’t clean your home…hire someone else to do it for you.  Why deduct Thousands of dollars from you life through a possible sale just because you can’t or don’t know how to clean a home.  Buyers love the smell of ‘clean’ about as much as they like the smell of ‘new.’  A good new home cleaning crew will cost about $250…loss of a sale or a discount on a home on the market for over 6 months…15-20 percent of your initial asking price.  COST:  approx $150 – $250

Clear It!

De-Cluttering is probably the single biggest thing that most homeowners can do fairly inexpensively to Show their Home Sold! Hire a storage unit…beg your friends to store stuff in their basement; whatever you have to do…get your stuff out!

But, to clear your home most effectively will require going beyond the basics of clearing out excess furniture and belongings and neutralizing.  Sometimes you need to do just a little more to be most effective…

COST:   approximately $50/month for storage if required

Stage It!

Hiring the Services of a professional stager to primp your home may be the best investment you can make in the home selling process.  Staging does not need to be an exorbitant cost.  In fact a good staging experience will probably save money  by attracting more potential buyers or creating a better response to your home when it is shown.

COST:  Initial Staging Consultation:  $75 – $150

Price it for the Market!

Today’s Grand Rapids Mi real estate market is changing so rapidly that even real estate agents find they must regularly check to verify that listing prices for homes are in line with the reality of the marketplace.  A decade ago, an appraisal was valid for at least six months.  Today, it  may only be valid for 30 days.

As a home owner, it’s important to invest time in getting professional counsel about how to price your home.  You can contact a real estate broker to get a FREE Certified Market analysis, or hire an appraiser for several hundred dollars.  What’s most important is that you ensure that whoever you hire does have the experience and proven results.  Hiring the right person is even more important in challenging times.  The wrong one can be a draining tax on time and resources.

COST:  FREE ~ CMA (Certified Market Analysis)  Appraisal:  $ 275 – $350


Quicker Sale

Less Time & Hassle on the Market

Better Offers

Moving on with your Life!

Think about this…What bank or investment fund would give this sort of potential return on your investment of $500?  Where else could you put in $500 and enjoy living in a nice, clean well arranged environment with the potential of making it back fairly quickly by a Sale?

Copyright 2010  Audu Real Estate All Rights Reserved

What to Do When Your Home Purchase Appraises for LESS than What You Offered to Pay!

Your nest egg...I can remember a time (seems like ancient history now) when a home appraisal was good for 6 months.   Today,  sometimes you feel you’re lucky if it’s valid for 60 days! Volatility in the real estate market in the West Michigan area mirrors much of what is happening in other parts of the country.  Home prices have declined at record levels due to the economic upheaval in the financial markets and continuing challenges in the jobs sector.

The recent changes in appraisal standards has impacted many new purchases and generated a lot of discussion in the appraisal community.  For home buyers, these changes have sometimes resulted in home appraisals which were lower than the market price arrived at through agreement in an arm’s length transaction between a home seller and home buyer.

For home buyers who find that the appraisal value is lower than the sales price, there are few options.  They may be able to walk away from the transaction without financial penalty if the transaction is funded through a FHA loan (Federal Housing Authority) and all parties to the transaction have signed an Ammendatory Clause Addendum or face a decision about making up the difference between the appraised value and the purchase price.  This essentially means that a home buyer will be bringing additional cash to close on a transaction.  A good real estate agent can be of valuable assistance in negotiating a reduction in the sales price to accommodate for a low appraisal.

There are a few things that a home buyer should keep in mind when faced with this situation.  Although this list is not exhaustive, it provides a basic framework of consideration if you find yourself in this position.

1.  Don’t panic!  Get the facts!

Ask to see the appraisal.  Afterall, you have paid for it.  Sit down with your lender and real estate professional to review the comparables used by the licensed appraiser.

2.  Submit additional data!

Sometimes there have been recent sales which have not been reported which the appraiser may be unaware of.  Appraisers are human and can make mistakes or miss things.  You can submit additional data or home comparisons to the appraiser for consideration.  A licensed appraiser is not required to change his/her report based on your submission, but it’s worth some additional effort if you feel you have some information which gives a more complete profile of the property.

3.  Know the Housing Values in the Area!

One of the biggest challenges in determining home values today is the large number of foreclosed and distressed/short sale properties on the market.  Your proximity to sale of one of these properties will impact the amount of money the bank is willing to loan you on a home although this number may not be entirely reflective of the true market price of the home.  When making an offer, it is important to factor in the distressed sale activity in a given area and make appropriate adjustments.

4.   Consult with Qualified Professionals!

Most real estate contracts will include a clause which advises that consumers obtain appropriate counsel from qualified professionals.  When dealing with Short Sales or Distressed properties, this can be especially valuable.   If you have questions about the terms and obligations on your contract, it is wise to seek counsel.

A successful real estate transaction today requires patience, extensive market knowledge, good negotiation skills and the ability to create solutions which make sense for all parties.  If you’re in the West Michigan area, the agents at Audu Real Estate are available to serve you and answer your real estate questions.  Please contact us @ info@auduhomes.com.

Dramatic Home Sale Increase in 2009 Grand Rapids MI Housing Market Over 2008!!

iStock_000006856473XSmallGood News on the housing front & just in time for the Holidays in Grand Rapids, MI. In a market which has seen the worst of times in recent years, arecent article in the Grand Rapids Press heralding an increase of 35 PERCENT in home sales over 2008 was more than welcome…local professionals are ecstatic!

It’s been great to touch base with so many agents who tell me they are busy again. We sold most of our inventory within the last couple of months and are “re-stocking the shelves.” The ‘HOT PRICE’ range is $100,000 ~ $140,000.

This has helped to increase the average Home Sale Price to $109, 826 which was 3.2 percent higher than the same period in 2008. But…year to date, home prices are still down by 15.1% over 2008, a number which can be attributed to the on-going issues with foreclosures and short sales in the local market.

Other noteworthy improvements in the Grand Rapids, MI market include the decreased number of Short Sales and Foreclosures in September and the possibility of the extension of the Home Buyer tax credit which served to enable over 200,000 new jobs last year according to a quote by Jerry Howard, President of the National Home Builders Association in this article.

Now, all this good news does not necessarily indicate we are totally OK. There are still huge inventory of foreclosed properties which have not yet been placed on the market and joblessness continues to be a scourge on the Michigan economy.  As we near the end of the year, what happens in these two areas as well as the credit markets will send strong signals about the on-going journey of recovery.

If You’re a Homeowner…

These past several months have created some glimmers of hope.  Inventory levels have declined and housing prices have inched up.  More importantly, Sales have increased substantially. One of the critical assessments that homeowners who need to sell a home can make is the OPPORTUNITY COSTS CALCULATION.  It’s a fairly simple calculation which aids in determining how long you should hold on to your home, if this is a time to sell your home and what your carrying costs without a Sale actually are.

An Example...Calculating the OPPORTUNITY COST

For example, let’s say your home is valued at $140,000.  You’ve been in the home for less than a decade and you currently owe approximately $120,000. The OPPORTUNITY COST is determined by taking approximately 10% of your current expected Sales Price and dividing it by 12.  In this case:

140,000 X .10 = 14,000

14,000 / 12 = $1,167 = OPPORTUNITY COST per month

That number $1, 167 is approximately what it will cost you EACH MONTH if home prices DECLINE another 10% over the next 12 months. This year, home prices declined approximately 15% overall from last year, and since 2006, there has been a 30% DECLINE nationwide.  So an improvement to a decline of only 10% is not unreasonable.  You can manipulate the numbers to see a range of options, but most experts seem to think that we can expect declines within the neighborhood of 6% – 10% in home prices over the next year.

An Example…Calculating Your Specific OVER-PRICING PENALTY


For example:  $1,167 + $1,100( est. Mortgage Payment) = $2, 267 (OVER-PRICING PENALTY PER MONTH)

OR…$27,204 PER YEAR

Adding the OPPORTUNITY COST to your current mortgage payment gives you a unique perspective of what it will actually be costing you to OVER-PRICE your house in today’s market.  If you’d like a detailed report about housing & pricing in your specific Grand Rapids, MI neighborhood, please give us a call at 616-791-0511 or e-mail us at info@auduhomes.com.

Care-free Condo Living! 1028 Ada Place Dr. SE GR, MI 49546

Care-Free Condo living! 1028 Ada Place Dr. SE Grand Rapids, MI
1028 Ada Place Dr. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546  PRICE REDUCED to: $125,000
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Broker:  Lola Audu, CRS, GRI, e-Pro
Telephone: 616-791-0511
MLS# 752130

Very nice setting & great condo living in Forest Hills Schools. This bright and airy contemporary unit is conveniently located to freeways, shopping and some specialty malls.

It’s an energy efficient 3 bedroom, 2.5 baths unit which includes a finished daylight basement that could be used as 4th bedroom or an additional family room.

This home features a private entry across from a one stall car garage, a gas fireplace in the living room and central air conditioning.

This condominium is located in the Ada Place Condominium project. While many condo projects do not allow pets, you can have cats and small dogs here.The Homeowners association fee is $150.  Contact us at 616-791-0511 for all the items listed in the association fee.

The complex is very nicely maintained and residents have access to a play area for kids and a pond.

*Pets must be registered