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Can God sell my house?

For those who know me personally, they know I say what is on my mind, based more upon logic than emotion, and they know I am a Christian.  I write this knowing those who know me will get it, and hoping that those who don’t know me will not take this blog as offensive to our God.
As a REALTOR, I help two – three dozen families each year with the largest financial decision their family will face.  Even outside of real estate, as a Believer, I hear the comment many times that if God wants it to happen, he will make it happen.  Over my 9 years in real estate, yes, I have clients tell me that if God wants their home sold, then he will make it happen, regardless of my effort, regardless of the market, regardless of lenders, regardless of current price!
As a Believer, I completely know and trust that God can make anything happen.  Anything!  He made this Earth and all it’s resources and inhabitants, including us.  He can do all things – Period!  But God’s abililty to make something happen can’t be questioned when He doesn’t make something happen.  Make sense?  There is a difference between having the ability to do something and actually doing it.
One of God’s greatest characteristics provided to us as humans, is our free will.  We have the free will to make a decision to follow Christ or not, why would we also not have the free will to make decisions that affect real estate, and other factors of our personal lives?  The greatest gift provided to us is eternal life with Christ, yet God doesn’t make us accept Christ and follow His will.  If God will not ‘make’ everyone accept him, and follow his every desire, as a dictator would, why do we sometimes throw it out there that God will make it happen if he wants to?  What is more rewarding?  Someone following you because you make them do it, or someone who chooses, based upon their own free will, to follow you?
Maybe I am what God has sent to you.  To guide you, protect you, and to use my knowledge and expertise for the benefit of your family, based upon God’s desire?  As Believers, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us, because we can’t do it on our own.  The Holy Spirit helps us, everyday, with discerning what is the will of God.  Do you believe that God puts people and activities in our path?  Whether to benefit from that interaction, or sometimes to suffer from it!  What about the Good Samaritan?  Should the injured traveler have rejected the services provided by the Samaritan and waited for God to deliver him personally? I can see the injured traveler now, “No thanks, I don’t need your help.  Let the blood continue to flow out.  No, please don’t get me out of the wilderness and into safety.  If God wants to save me he will show up himself.”
I am always nervous when I hear another Believer make comments, and act, on the theory that they can sit back and do nothing and God will make it all happen.  God never tells us to do nothing.  It is actually the opposite.  Throughout the Bible, God’s people were directed to action!  So why then, do Christians not listen to reason, or the current market data, or the professional opinion and direction of those who are possibly put in their path based upon God’s desire to help them?
As a side note, I guess this blog is intended for Christian clients.  I would assume that if you don’t believe in God, then you aren’t making the comments about if it is to be, God will make it happen.
Without a doubt, I truly believe that God has provided me with opportunities in real estate to guide my clients according to His will.  To provide them with honest intent for the betterment of their family, based upon their situation, without the influence of selfish desires on my part.  This doesn’t mean that God can’t make your home sell regardless of price ,or condition, or the local market.  Nor, as a buyer, get the perfect house for the incredibly low ball offer you submitted.  God can do all things regardless of efforts, direction, or influence from a real estate agent, the local market or third party entities such as lenders, appraisers, and buyers.  Trust me, I have seen some homes sell that it had to be God!  There was no logical sense why that home sold!
The good news is that God listens, and there are actions we can take to help our specific real estate needs.

  • Do pray for your house, whether it sells or not. Pray that every person who enters through your doors will sense God and will want to know him more. Pray for God to send buyers who will be blessed by living in your house and who will serve him. Pray that God will direct you to the right place for your own new home.  “Come to my aid, O God. O Lord, make haste to help me.  You promised those who ask, would receive, those who seek, would find, those who knock, would have doors opened to them.  Hear the prayers of your church, grant my requests, and pardon my sins. Amen.”
  • Don’t succumb to superstitions or seek “luck”. These are shortcuts which attempt to manipulate God so you can control your own life. Know that God is on your side as you put him first. That’s a whole lot better than all the luck in the world.
  • Pray that God will reveal Himself, and His will, to you.  Pray that God will give you the discernment you need to make educated decisions based upon the knowledge of those supporting you.
  • Don’t be embarrased to ask God for help with your real estate needs.  God is thrilled that you asked for His help to sell your home. “May the Lord grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed.” – Psalm 20:4.
  • Know that God cares for you.  1 Peter 5:7 “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you”, NKJV.  Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” NKJV.  3 John 2 “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” NKJV

Certainly there are many factors involved in selling a house such as current market, current pricing, state of the local economy, etc.  But as far as praying for a house to be sold, quickly, at the right price is concerned, it’s all about unwavering faith, that God will provide proper discernment and direction according to His will.  What matters most is having the faith that God hears and answers our prayers according to His will, and it is possible that God’s will is that the house is to sell based upon the current market activity, buyer demand, and professional instruction of a real estate expert.
So I don’t ‘preach’ to just clients, let me direct this to those who are real estate agents.  The above holds true as well.  Your success as an agent is something God could ordain without much action from you, but that is not likely.  Success as a real estate agent depends on your desire and will, and definitely not solely on your skill.  Seek discernment and direction from God on what you need to do to be successful as a real estate agent, not only to support your personal and family needs, but to serve the needs of those you come across and represent.
I had an agent of mine tell me one time that if God wanted her to close transactions, then God would provide her with clients and deliver transactions to her, without her having to do anything.  She is no longer in the business.  Maybe that was God’s will for her to not be in real estate.  Maybe she missed some incredible opportunities desired by God because she wouldn’t put a little desire and will into her own actions.

How accurate is Zillow & Trulia?

Today, many of my clients, sellers and buyer, ‘refer’ to Zillow or Trulia to try and pick up some knowledge about their local real estate market.  I agree that both of these sites provide great information about the buying or selling process, but relying on these two sites for accurate, real time, data on the local real estate market is a mistake.
According to a recent study, 36% of the ‘active’ listings posted on Zillow were actually no longer available.  It was 37% for Trulia.  These properties were either already under contract, sold, expired, or withdrawn and were no longer actively for sale.  For buyers, this means you are excited about a property that is no longer available.  Ever been told you can’t have something you really want?  It sucks!  For sellers, only the atual ‘sold’ price provides a true picture of what buyers, lenders, and appraisers, are giving for the home.  Just because something was listed for $200,000, doesn’t mean it sold, or appraised, for that.
In addition, this study found that Zillow only contained 79% of the local market’s active listings anyway.  It was 81% for Trulia.  Hey buyer!  Do you want to know about all the homes available for sale that match your family’s needs, or just 80% of them?  Don’t worry about the other 20%.  I bet they weren’t that good of a value anyway. Oh yeah, seller, don’t worry about the 20% fewer buyers who know about your house.  I’m sure that won’t affect your sales price or time on market much, well maybe by 20%, but that isn’t much, right? (20% x $200,000 = $40,000 less).  Chump Change!
Because Zillow and Trulia are third party, for profit, companies and not real estate firms or agents, they can not provide all the current, real time, information concerning active and sold homes.  Only a local agent, as a member of the local Multiple Listing Service, can provide real time, accurate date concerning your local market.  And local can mean your specific neighborhood.  Each neighborhood is different in style, in demand, in age, etc and each neighborhood has a different real estate market.  Just because a home only 1 mile away sold for X dollars, doesn’t mean your home will sell for X dollars.
Buying, or selling, a home is a family’s single largest financial decision and has great influence on all aspects of the family and its members.  Before making such a huge decision, I recommend that you get ALL the information….All the CORRECT and ACCURATE information, so you can make an educated decision.  Don’t make a decision based upon speculation, or partial data.  This could cost you greatly in the form of higher days on market, and incorrect ‘most likely sales price’.
 

5 Biggest Mistakes Home Buyers Make

5 Biggest Mistakes Home Buyers Make

Some home buyers fall for common pitfalls when purchasing a home. Credit.com recently featured some of the biggest mistakes home buyers often make. Their list included:
1. Trying to fix credit scores before buying a home.
Home buyers may do more harm than good if they don’t consult a financial expert first. “Even paying down credit card balances, which is a good thing as far as your credit scores and debt ratios are concerned, could be a problem if it leaves you short the cash you need to qualify to get the loan,” says Gerri Detweiler, Credit.com’s personal finance expert.
2. Not considering the future enough in their purchase.
Buyers should consider what they want out of a house not just for today but also five or 10 years down the road. Do they plan to expand their family? If so, they may need a bigger home and want a different location. Also, how long do they plan on staying at the home? That can help determine the type of mortgage that makes the most sense for them too.
3. Failing to research financing enough.
First comes the home and then the financing? Not in today’s market. Home shoppers should get prequalified for a mortgage before they start shopping for a home so they know what they can afford. “The time to make decisions about your mortgage needs is not during this 10-day window [after you sign a contract]; at most, this is time to shop for rates and fees and such,” says Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com. “Evaluating your credit, deciding on a product you prefer, how much down payment you feel comfortable making, whether you want to pay fees or points [and, if so, how much] and even shopping for a lender [getting preapproved] should happen well in advance of even wandering through the market looking at houses.”
4. Making the assumption that the Good Faith Estimate is always what you pay at closing.
The form lenders provide that estimates closing costs is not set in stone. Closing costs may actually be more, so buyers need to be prepared. Closing costs generally are about 3 percent to 5 percent of the loan amount. “Shop around and compare the Good Faith Estimate provided by the lender with that of two or three other lenders,” suggests Ryan Himmel, a CPA and founder of BIDaWIZ, a tax advice resource. “If there is a significant disparity in estimates, then request an explanation from the lender to determine if you would like to move forward.”
5. Failing to budget for home expenses.
Budgeting to purchase the home isn’t all new home owners should be squeezing in their budget. They’d be wise to not forget to budget for maintaining the home too. New home owners should budget for an increase in utility bills as well as for future maintenance and repair costs, such as repairing a furnace or roof.
Daily Real Estate News |      Wednesday, June 20, 2012