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October 15, 2004     Cape Gazette
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October 15, 2004
 

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42 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, Oct. 15 - Oct. 18, 2004 Cash today fiDr your home: Is it legit? Dear Ms. Lank: I've seen in my local newspaper firms offer- ing to buy homes right away for a fair price. I am interested in sell- ing my home quickly (not because I'm in financial distress, I just want out and don't relish the thought of strangers traipsing through my home, etc.). I'd like your opinion on this matter. I ac- tuall.y contacted one firm, and they. are interested. Are these firms legit? How would I check them out? I cannot locate them on the BBB Website and don't know who else to ask. -- G.C. Answer: It's important to un- derstand that the person who buys your home immediately for cash can't pay as much as someone who's going to live in it. Investors buy at wholesale and hope to sell at retail some time in the future. Meanwhile, they have their mon- ey tied up in the place, with ex- penses for property taxes, insur- ance, utilities and maintenance. They'll have legal costs of buying and selling, and possibly real es- tate commissions or payments of points to help a buyer get a mort- gage loan. Add in something for unexpect- ed problems and something for profit -- else why do it at all? You can see that what they consider a fair price may not be what you ex- pect. Perhaps you are ready to ac- cept a steep discount from market value in return for the conven- ience. In that case, your best pre- caution will be to work through your own lawyer. Don't sign any- thing until you've discussed it with your attorney. Prices in the ads Dear Edith: I read the letter from R.S., who wants property prices listed in classified ads, and thought "Hooray, someone else thinks as I do." Not only would it help to have an idea of the asking price, I feel that it should be con- sidered necessary. What's wrong with the phrase, "asking price ..."? Also necessary, in my opinion, would be to print the address so that prospective buyers could drive by and get an idea of the whole picture. After all, don't bro- kers say, "Location,'location, lo- cation"? When there is only the broker's phone number to call, do you know what happens? There is ei- ther a tape upon which to leave a message, and they never call back in time, if at all. Or a person an- swers the phone who either does- n't know the answer or is not per- mitted to give out information. I should think sellers would want as much help as possible in Superstars Continued from page 41 Wilmington Trust Company, Gilman Development Company, A.R. Morris Jewelers, Citizens Bank, EBC Carpet Services, George & Lynch, Inc., PNC Bank, WSFS Bank, Advanta National Bank, AutoTeam Delaware, Coventry Health Care of Delaware, Delmarva Broadcast- ing Company, Dupont, McBride Shopa & Company, P.A., Row- land, Johnson & Company, P.A., Summit Realty Advisors, LLC, BlueCross BlueShield of Delaware, Buck Simpers Archi- tect + Associates, Inc., DiSabatino Construction Company, EdiS Company, Guardian Environmerr- tal Services Inc., The Wellness Community-Delaware, Aloysius Butler & Clark and Delmarva. Broadcasting Company. The cost to attend the luncheon is $40 for members and $55 for nonmembers; tables of eight can be reserved for $320 for members and $440 for nonmembers. Register to attend the Superstars in Business Luncheon online at the State Chamber's website,, or call 302-655-7221 to request a registration form. INJURED ? We will provide you with professional find experienced legal representation. I THOMAS I. STUMPF, esq. BRIAN F. DOLAN, esq. I (The practice of these lawyers is primarily limited to personal injury claims, litigation and resolution.) Stumpf, Vickers & Sandy, P.A. 8 West Market Street, Georgetown, DE 19947 (302) 856-3561 HOUSE CALLS selling their house. I know that when the time comes for me to list a house, I will insist on hav- ing the information in the ad.!I would tell a prospective broker that's what I want and ask if thdy will do it. Unless I get a definite "yes," that broker will have no chance to list my house I would als6 follow up closely to be cer- tain this is carded out. Thank you for listening. -- B.B.  Answer: Of course a broker would follow your wishes about advertising your property. Obedi- ence to the client's instructions is one of an agent's legal duties By the way, though, the phraSe "asking price" is considered la no-no because it implies that the owners don't really think anyone I will pay that much. In the end, of course, they may agree to settle for less, but they wouldn't want to advertise that fact right off the bat. Meanwhile, perhaps we'll hear from some brokers about why they write ads the way they do. Keep it or sell it Dear Edith: My usually very well informed tax advisor says I shouldn't risk hanging on to my home for three more years by renting it out and then selling it at the end of that time. He says as soon as I rent it, it becomes an in- vestment and I lose the home- sellers exclusion. Also, if Congress makes a change in that law, we could be in trouble, too. We want to keep the house as long as possible as it is in a waterfront area that continues to rapidly rise in value, -- via e-mail Answer: If you rent your home out for less than three years, you will still have owned and occu- pied it as your principal residence for two of the preceding five years when it's sold. You could use the homesellers tax break on your gain (except for a relatively small recapture tax for depreciation ex- pense). You'd want! to be careful to arrange that the sale actually closed before you'd been out of the house for three years. Continued on page 43 LYNN O'DONNELL / 302 856 7394 302 856 7328 Practice primarily limited to: Real Estate Settlements Estate Planning and Administration Elder Law: Guardianships, Powers of Attorney, Medicaid Planning, MillerTrusts Member of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys UNDING Diversified Mortgage $eroices "Opening Doors to Home Ownership" Richard Ashby Branch Manager Speak directly with a loan officer 302-684-5670 107 Federal St. Milton, DE i"7- .... T T-! TF'- lIlI][rliiT[]lT'q['] ] VH]ll"Fff!llHl|lllmlilin|nl|imllmnllllii|llmnlllr,!InT! ]1 |[ -'-" ..... --i- i:rlmNl:nln ' f.Trlr'lll' 1  "-- 42 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, Oct. 15 - Oct. 18, 2004 Cash today fiDr your home: Is it legit? Dear Ms. Lank: I've seen in my local newspaper firms offer- ing to buy homes right away for a fair price. I am interested in sell- ing my home quickly (not because I'm in financial distress, I just want out and don't relish the thought of strangers traipsing through my home, etc.). I'd like your opinion on this matter. I ac- tuall.y contacted one firm, and they. are interested. Are these firms legit? How would I check them out? I cannot locate them on the BBB Website and don't know who else to ask. -- G.C. Answer: It's important to un- derstand that the person who buys your home immediately for cash can't pay as much as someone who's going to live in it. Investors buy at wholesale and hope to sell at retail some time in the future. Meanwhile, they have their mon- ey tied up in the place, with ex- penses for property taxes, insur- ance, utilities and maintenance. They'll have legal costs of buying and selling, and possibly real es- tate commissions or payments of points to help a buyer get a mort- gage loan. Add in something for unexpect- ed problems and something for profit -- else why do it at all? You can see that what they consider a fair price may not be what you ex- pect. Perhaps you are ready to ac- cept a steep discount from market value in return for the conven- ience. In that case, your best pre- caution will be to work through your own lawyer. Don't sign any- thing until you've discussed it with your attorney. Prices in the ads Dear Edith: I read the letter from R.S., who wants property prices listed in classified ads, and thought "Hooray, someone else thinks as I do." Not only would it help to have an idea of the asking price, I feel that it should be con- sidered necessary. What's wrong with the phrase, "asking price ..."? Also necessary, in my opinion, would be to print the address so that prospective buyers could drive by and get an idea of the whole picture. After all, don't bro- kers say, "Location,'location, lo- cation"? When there is only the broker's phone number to call, do you know what happens? There is ei- ther a tape upon which to leave a message, and they never call back in time, if at all. Or a person an- swers the phone who either does- n't know the answer or is not per- mitted to give out information. I should think sellers would want as much help as possible in Superstars Continued from page 41 Wilmington Trust Company, Gilman Development Company, A.R. Morris Jewelers, Citizens Bank, EBC Carpet Services, George & Lynch, Inc., PNC Bank, WSFS Bank, Advanta National Bank, AutoTeam Delaware, Coventry Health Care of Delaware, Delmarva Broadcast- ing Company, Dupont, McBride Shopa & Company, P.A., Row- land, Johnson & Company, P.A., Summit Realty Advisors, LLC, BlueCross BlueShield of Delaware, Buck Simpers Archi- tect + Associates, Inc., DiSabatino Construction Company, EdiS Company, Guardian Environmerr- tal Services Inc., The Wellness Community-Delaware, Aloysius Butler & Clark and Delmarva. Broadcasting Company. The cost to attend the luncheon is $40 for members and $55 for nonmembers; tables of eight can be reserved for $320 for members and $440 for nonmembers. Register to attend the Superstars in Business Luncheon online at the State Chamber's website,, or call 302-655-7221 to request a registration form. INJURED ? We will provide you with professional find experienced legal representation. I THOMAS I. STUMPF, esq. BRIAN F. DOLAN, esq. I (The practice of these lawyers is primarily limited to personal injury claims, litigation and resolution.) Stumpf, Vickers & Sandy, P.A. 8 West Market Street, Georgetown, DE 19947 (302) 856-3561 HOUSE CALLS selling their house. I know that when the time comes for me to list a house, I will insist on hav- ing the information in the ad.!I would tell a prospective broker that's what I want and ask if thdy will do it. Unless I get a definite "yes," that broker will have no chance to list my house I would als6 follow up closely to be cer- tain this is carded out. Thank you for listening. -- B.B.  Answer: Of course a broker would follow your wishes about advertising your property. Obedi- ence to the client's instructions is one of an agent's legal duties By the way, though, the phraSe "asking price" is considered la no-no because it implies that the owners don't really think anyone I will pay that much. In the end, of course, they may agree to settle for less, but they wouldn't want to advertise that fact right off the bat. Meanwhile, perhaps we'll hear from some brokers about why they write ads the way they do. Keep it or sell it Dear Edith: My usually very well informed tax advisor says I shouldn't risk hanging on to my home for three more years by renting it out and then selling it at the end of that time. He says as soon as I rent it, it becomes an in- vestment and I lose the home- sellers exclusion. Also, if Congress makes a change in that law, we could be in trouble, too. We want to keep the house as long as possible as it is in a waterfront area that continues to rapidly rise in value, -- via e-mail Answer: If you rent your home out for less than three years, you will still have owned and occu- pied it as your principal residence for two of the preceding five years when it's sold. You could use the homesellers tax break on your gain (except for a relatively small recapture tax for depreciation ex- pense). You'd want! to be careful to arrange that the sale actually closed before you'd been out of the house for three years. Continued on page 43 LYNN O'DONNELL / 302 856 7394 302 856 7328 Practice primarily limited to: Real Estate Settlements Estate Planning and Administration Elder Law: Guardianships, Powers of Attorney, Medicaid Planning, MillerTrusts Member of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys UNDING Diversified Mortgage $eroices "Opening Doors to Home Ownership" Richard Ashby Branch Manager Speak directly with a loan officer 302-684-5670 107 Federal St. Milton, DE i"7- .... T T-! TF'- lIlI][rliiT[]lT'q['] ] VH]ll"Fff!llHl|lllmlilin|nl|imllmnllllii|llmnlllr,!InT! ]1 |[ -'-" ..... --i- i:rlmNl:nln ' f.Trlr'lll' 1  "--