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Total Properties Listed: 13,482
Month / Month Chng: 0.00%
Avg Days on Market: 90
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Median List Price: $275,000
Month / Month Chng: -1.43%

The StarHarborRealty.com Indianapolis Real Estate Blog

Sellers Benefit to using a REALTOR

Seller Benefits of using a REALTOR:  Key factor to selling your property is being informed of the comparative market analysis, terms and conditions of the sale, financing accepted and listed price of the property.  Anything will sell if it is priced right!

Over 50% of Real Estate sales use the assistance of a cooperative broker.  The listing REALTOR will pay other REALTORS what is known as a buyer’s agent commission which is a percentage of their agreed listed commission. On the BLC (MLS) this in noted in the BAC section.

Now getting back to why you need a REALTOR to help sell your home. Your REALTOR will suggest to you repairs that will enhance the salability of the real estate.  Being the marketing coordinator for the sale of your real estate may come through the BLC (MLS), flyers, open house, e-flyers, or other marketing networks that Real Estate Agents have shown to work to present your property in the brightest light possible. 

82% of Real Estate sales is generated through previous contacts your agent has had with clients, other referrals, friends, family, personal contacts and business contacts.  I personally will contact lenders that I have come in contact with, give them the property information and ask if they have any client’s that are pre-approved for a loan and looking in this area of the listing or for the style of home that is listed?  You need to be creative with your contacts and utilize every source you have.

Security is a huge concern when you list a home.  How many times do we hear of people gong into a home during a for sale by owner showing and have some item come up missing.  When you list with a REALTOR, the home will never be looked at unless the listing broker or the possible selling broker is in the home with the clients.  Card Lock Box is used to store the key to the home and a special card is used to open the box.  The REALTOR will take responsibility to make sure the home is secured as soon as the clients leave the home.

A REALTOR will assist in negotiations to get the most value possible out of the home as well as negotiating inspections, financing requirements and issues that may arise from the appraisal.  This is what REALTORS do, they negotiate for their customers and they do it a lot.  The REALTORS eyes are trained to look for specific statement in the purchase agreement and are there to educate you along the way on the sale of  your home.

There are a number of factors that take place from the time of listing your home to the official closing.  As questions come up, your realtor can help.  You may not have had a title search done in a long time and low and behold, when the title  search is ran, the title company finds clouds or liens on the title work.  You can not pass clear title until all liens, judgments, and clouds are cleared.  This process can take an amazing amount of time and you may not know how to get in touch with everyone or what to do.  Your REALTOR will assist with helping you clear the title.  Now you can sell your home and pass clear title to the new owners.

To give you a complete breakdown of the process, I will start with you contacting a REALTOR or a Real Estate Company like Star Harbor Realty.  We will come to your home, walk through the home, make a list of what we think could help you sell your home, even if it is to de-clutter.  We will take measurements of the rooms and then talk to you about your ideas for selling the home.  The price you have in mind and what time frame you would like to be able to sell the home in.  We will leave you with a copy of the listing contract to read over as well as a Sellers Real Estate Sales Disclosure to fill out about the condition of the home.  We will take this information back to the office with us, do a comparative market analysis, compare tax records and then return to see you, share our information and then hopefully agree on Star Harbor Realty listing your property to sell.  If the contract is agreed upon, we will take pictures of the home and put it on the BLC (MLS) along with the other information we may have to trigger interest from the public.  We will schedule an open house and from this point forward, market your home aggressively.  When we receive a Purchase Agreement from a client, we will meet with you to discuss the pros and cons of the offer.  After tight negotiations, will keep close contact with the buyer to make sure they are not running in to any problems.  We will keep you informed of appraisals, inspections, additional walk through, etc  You will be walked to the closing table with peace of mind that your REALTOR got you the best deal they could get!. 


Short Sale Information

A SHORT SALE is not so short even though as of June 15, 2012 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac implemented new guidelines to assist the process.  These changes require mortgage services to make the short sale acceptance decision within 30 days of receiving a short sale offer.  Pre-approval short sales will also have the same timeframe.  There may be times when the lender needs more time to make the decision.  Remember that you may have one short sale for an answer but the lender will probably have several deals on their computer and/or desk.  If in the event that the short sale answer needs extended, the lender must give the borrower or borrower’s representative weekly status updates but the decision must be made within 60 days of the initial short sale application.  The lender may have needed the extension of time to do a price opinion on the home or to get the approval of the mortgage insurer.

SHORT SALES are more complex than the routine home sales.  There may be a couple lenders involved in a first, second and possible third mortgage plus the distance from each other so negotiations are done online, by phone, via fax, in person and possible all of the previous. 

Someone may question the reason behind the SHORT SALE but other see this as a better alternative than foreclosure.  In a SHORT SALE, fees are smaller, the property transfers ownership at a faster pace and you also eliminate all the problems that come with a home left vacant after foreclosure.  

If a homeowner is considering a SHORT SALE, you may want to consult with a REALTOR to assist with marketing the home and bank negotiations.  The components of an effective SHORT SALE package include from the seller, (1) a hardship letter informing the lender of the problems that arose to cause the loss of income.  This can be several reasons but the ones I have seen most as a Broker for Star Harbor Realty are divorce, medical bills, and/or loss of income or job.  (2) A completed financial form of your credit/debt ratio. (3) Completed Form 4506-T (Request for tax transcriptions).  (4) Copies of your last 2 months bank statements for all accounts.  (5) Copies of most recent pay check stubs for one month of all mortgagors or verification of Un-Employment, Disability, Pension, Social Security income.  (6) Copies of signed complete Federal Income Tax returns for the last two years, including all schedules. (7) Authorization signed for all third parties listed on the Note, for your account to be discussed with your REALTOR, attorney, relative, spouse, etc.  (8) A copy of the Real Estate Listing and the BLC (MLS) print out.  (9) Copy of a ratified sales contract upon receipt-subject to investor and/or Mortgage Insurance approval.  (10) A net proceeds sheet which has been prepared by your agent, a title company, or attorney.

Please be aware that the collection and foreclosure process will continue uninterrupted unless your lender decides to stop the process while you are working on the short sale.  Otherwise, your timely response is essential and you will need to be aware of the additional requests the lender may need to make the final decision.  Again, Collection and Foreclosure procedures will continue until a written agreement is signed.


Financing Home Loan Repairs

I was reading an article in Fast Track MIBOR SPOTLIGHT about Niche Mortgage Product for home buyers in Indianapolis.  As a note, the article is a second of a quarterly series from the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership. 

Here is the situation, someone is trying to sell a home that is in okay conditions but during the appraisal or inspection, some issues are identified such as needing paint, possibly a new furnace, roof issues, electrical problems, or a host of other than desirable problems that could break the deal.  Now, the seller is confronted with the problems identified in the appraisal or inspection but can not afford to make the repairs without taking a major loss.

Now comes in the Indianapolis Neighborhood Partnership to step in and utilize the Revive Indy mortgage loan.  The repairs that have been identified in either the appraisal or inspection can be rolled into the first mortgage if the buyer is financially approved and willing to use this mechanism of financing as well as do some of the work themselves.  This program gives buyers the control they would not have with the government rehab programs.

Loan details as given in the article:.....Inspection is required.  180 days max of loan closing for any health and safety hazards.  Marion County Property ONLY.  Property must appraise for the full loan amount and the buyer will need to qualify for the acquisition and rehab cost.  Buyer income limits apply.

For more information you may visit inhp.org


Condominiums still in the game

Like the California Condors which were recently rescued from near extinction, the American Condo is likewise making a comback, although they are not yet soaring quite so high.  Since the mortgage crisis descended upon the nation and the mortgage industry virtually self destructed, real estate sales have been slow to say the least.  Condo sales have been even slower.  That is due in large part to regulations imposed by Fannie Mae and FHA soon after the mortgage crash.

FHA regulatiosn restrict condominium financing to developments where there are no more than 50 percent rentals, no more than 25 percent of the space devoted to commercial use, and no more than 15% of the units are more than 30 days late on their homeowners association dues.  Fannie Mae imposes the same requirements as the FHA with regard to the HOA dues, but it also requires that no one entity own more than 10% of the complex and no more than 20% of the space be used for commercial business.  These restrictions have kept most mortgage lenders from loaning money on condos, because to do so would make it impossible for them to bundle them and sell them in the secondary market.

However, the Federal Housing Administration and Fannie Mae have begun to lighten their restrictions, but on a case by case bsis.  Consequently, some major lenders are beginning to return to the condo market.  one of those is U.S. Bank.  Others will likely follow soon.

So whose buying condos and how have they done it?  To begin with, not many condos have been sold in recent years.  Those that have are primarely situated in highly desirable locals such as Miami Beach, or San Diego.  Where condos in hightly desirable locals are concerned, wealthy investors have purchased them with cold hard cash and purchased at fire sale prices.  The luxury condo market has been open season for those with cash and patience.

Notwithstanding the forecasted easing of mortgage restrictions, condominium owners would be well served by an association that can marshal contol over their HOA dues and the ownership divisions.  Well managed condominiums will likely survive, while those that are poorly managed will likely spiral into the vacation rental abyss.  High end luxury condominiums generally have less trouble with these issues, but they are not totally immune.

Still, condos continue to be a popular choice for those who want maintenance free living or a vacation home in a desirabe location.  Many are betting on a comeback and are jumping in with both feet now.  While the future of real estate is still somewhat uncertain, it is still a good bet that the market that everthing else is built on will recover in the future.

The national median existing-condo price is $157,200.00 as of mid year 2012.  That is up 3.4 percent over the first quarter of 2011.  Thirty-four out of 52 markets surveyed showd declines in sale prices.  Eighteen markets showed strong increases.  Economic forces all but halted construction of condos over the past six years and therefore supply of available condo units have fallen.

To the extent that current condo sales are made up of second home or vacation home purchasers, the typical buyer of those investments are 50 to 59 years of age.  Economists and market watchers believe that sales of real estate for the immediate future will be made up of largely younger first time buyers or well vested seniors with the financial wherewithal to do as they please.

Condominiums continue to serve a purpose and attract buyers as banks continue to loan money for their purchase, albeit under strict limitations.  The condo, like the California Condor, will be a survivor, but it will take strong HOAs to protect the bottom line.


Carmel may be number one

Carmel Indiana is not the home of any former U.S. President, nor the birthplace of any great invention, or the site of a famous civil war battlefield, but it is, none the less, a very special place for a very special reason.  Carmel Indiana just may be one of the best places in the country to live.

Consider this, between 2000 and 2010, the United States Census reports that the population in Carmel, Indiana rose by 42,000 to its current population of just over 79,000 residents.  Forbes Magazine named Carmel Indiana the number one place in the United States to raise a family.  In 2010, CNN Magazine voted it the 14th best place to live in the United States.  The U.S. Conference of Mayors even awarded Carmel with its Climate Protection Award for its development of 80 roundabouts, which replaced 78 stop lights and made a huge step forward in making this Midwestern city a greener place to live.

So, many have spoken in one way or another and cast their vote in favor of Carmel as one of the best places to live in America.  Carmel has become a model city and Mayors around the country are sitting up and taking notice as they try and immulate the success of this amazing little corn fed city.  The chorus of praise is almost overwhelming.

Carmel began its existence as a small farming community.  It sits about 10 miles south west of Noblesville, the county seat, so it has never factored prominently in its own county from a governmental point of view.  It has, however, factored in prominently because of its ever expanding property tax base fed by its ever expanding development.  The growth began in earnest in the early 1970's when new unscale neighborhoods were developed south of 116th street and east of Keystone Avenue.  Sales of these new homes were robust and enthusiastic.  More development followed, which built on that early success.  Carmel was fast becoming the place to be for affluent executives who desired a suburban family lifestyle in contrast to their urban management work life.

As Carmel grew in popularity and notoriety, Carmel's Mayor and city council began to build on this success.  They began by encouraging development of the City's assets and expanding city services.  As the City's assets and services developed, more residential developers entered the game.  Residential and City development seemed to be competing for honors and both seemed to be winning.

As of 2012, Carmel has grown into an amazing place to live.  It has a 24.5 million dollar water park and fitness center, a 300 million dollar state  of the art concernt hall with more than 2300 seats, an art and design district, a centralized bicycle and pedestrian trail connecting it to neighboring communities, world class golf courses, one of the best public eductation systems in the state, a rebuilt downtown shoppintg district designed with a neoclassical influence and populated with quaint shops, boutiquess and restaurants, all of which combine to give the place a unique spot on the map of classic Americana.

Crime rates are low, the population is diverse and affluent, the cost of living reasonable and if that isn't enough, the residents of this little slice of American Pie need only drive a few miles south to Indianapolis to find even more world class amenties.   Professional sports, world class auto racing, incredible restaurants, exciting nightlife and entertainment.  The list goes on.

So with all this, you might be surprised to learn there are some critics of this grand experiment.  Most criticisms have focused on the ever growing budget of city govenrment.  As Carmel's city leaders move forward on more ambitious projects, the residents feel the pinch in their wallets.  Others have complained that the city, in its effort to create some utopian world, have overstepped their bounds on local codes and ordinances, making the city much too restrictive for anyone to have any real since of freedome.  In the final analysis, however, those detractors are a quiet minority drowned out by the overwhelming hoopla of those who send up an enthusiastic cheer for this all American city.  By most accounts, Carmel Indiana may be the best place in the countyr to live, if not the world.


US Bank Condo Loans

If you are interested in buying a home and you need a mortgagePaul Davenport of US Bank has several years in the mortgage industry and is wonderful to work with.  Contact Paul at (317) 201-6360 


Beautiful Day to Look at Homes

Wow, the sun is shining and you know it is a great time to be at Geist.  Go ahead, look at the available properties and then call Star Harbor Realty to schedule a showing.Cool