What if my tenants can’t pay their rent due to COVID-19?

Attorney Michael Daiello shares insights into options to avoid foreclosure when you can’t pay your mortgage.

“I have received a number of phone calls over the past several weeks about the duty of landlords to pay lenders on mortgaged properties. The obvious best outcome is when borrowers and lenders work together for a reasonable solution. But what options are available if negotiations are unsuccessful? Does the current environment trigger a “force majeure” event under a lending agreement?

In spite of the lockdown, there is no general law that grants a borrower entitlement to cease payment. However, the language of any Note, Mortgage or Security Agreement may vary from case to case.

Failing to pay a mortgage will eventually result in a lender initiating a foreclosure action. A property owner receiving a notice of foreclosure often wrongly assumes there’s nothing they can do. Some of the options include applications for modifications of the mortgage, a short sale, a deed in lieu of foreclosure or fighting the foreclosure case in court.”

This month’s guide is a quick reference sheet of potential options for foreclosure defense. Please share this month’s guide with any small businesses or professionals that are concerned about foreclosure.

For more information on how to avoid foreclosure whether it’s your primary residence, vacation home or an investment property, visit FightTheBank.org and let’s talk. I’ve been helping home owners successfully avoid foreclosure and negotiate debt forgiveness since 2008. #fightthebank #phillymarketminute

Home Office Design Tips

What used to be a “like to have” on buyer’s wish lists has become a “must have” not only now but into the future as our way of life has changed due to COVID-19. Working from home, remote college classes and public schooling at home make this a very complicated, challenging part of interior design – and a must have as we face an ongoing battle over the next 18-24 months.

Award winning interior designer Christina Henck, owner of Henck Design offers Home Office Design Tips LIVE that can help even the most awkward home office convert to a functional, pleasant space. Check out Christina’s Portfolio of amazing transformations in Center City and the Main Line and click below to view our LIVE broadcast.

Complications of multi-generation home schooling and working remotely can overwhelm and challenge even the best planned home office.

I don’t feel so bad about my home office “studio” in the man cave when I see national late night hosts like Seth Meyers broadcast from his attic! 🙂

Having a well designed home office is no longer just a luxury amenity. Working with luxury buyers relocating from New York recently, we needed to find space for both parents and the kids to be able to work/school from home, along with space for music and art.

Luxury amenities like a home office and home gym don’t have to come at luxury prices!

Two examples for you – both under $300K!

Gorgeous move-in ready Germantown rehab offered for only $219K and includes finished basement perfect for home gym, plus 3rd floor loft that can function as a 4th bedroom or large home office.

For an urban, hip lifestyle – cherish the exposed brick and luxury details in this Fishtown rehab at 2360 E Harold St. Make the 2nd bedroom your home office, gym or art studio and walk to the best food, parks, bars and community activities that make Fishtown a #1 choice.

Be sure to follow Facebook LIVE and subscribe to YouTube for future LIVE Broadcasts. And check out my Luxury LIVE interviews every Wednesday.

How to host a virtual open house

Virtual Open Houses are likely to become our new “normal” even after social distancing directives are lifted. For now, working together virtually as business partners, we can successfully showcase your home online and create a virtual first “walk through” for interested buyers.

4 Tips for how to host a virtual open house during #stayathome:

  1. Communication – we will do a consultation first via Zoom going over how to prepare, what to expect and choosing a time that works for you and your family. We’ll prepare and discuss features you’d like me to highlight the day of the virtual open house.
  2. Coaching – I’ll teach you how to “host” using your phone’s camera connected through my Zoom account. My hacks and tips I’ve developed from over 12 years of doing real estate videos will make it easy for you!
  3. Preparation – cleaning and decluttering will be necessary just as you would for an in-person open house. Also, the day of the open house all lights should be on, and be ready to open and close cupboard and closet doors. Buyers will also want to see the basement and garage.
  4. Q&A – at the end we’ll leave time for questions and answers. In our coaching call, I’ll help you prepare how to address buyers questions if necessary.

Marketing is my speciality! I’ll create a Facebook event and promote heavily on all social media platforms, linked to an event site asking for registration. The Zoom link will be sent only to those people who RSVP.

You’ll be able to easily share the event with friends and family on your personal social media sites. My marketing strategy gives your property high visibility both to consumers and realtors, creating maximum exposure.

IRS Extends Tax Deadlines

If you’re working on your taxes during #stayathome, there’s some good news from the IRS that can dramatically help investors. Please read the update from Pennsylvania Association of Realtors below:

The IRS issued guidance Thursday evening to grant deadline relief for both 1031 like-kind exchanges and opportunity zone investments that are already underway.  Both of these programs are designed to promote economic growth in communities, and NAR made the case that investors in these programs should not be harmed due to the effects of COVID-19.

1031 Like-kind exchanges.  If an investor has taken the first step of a like-kind exchange by selling the old property, and either the 45-day or the 180-day deadline falls between April 1 and July 15, the deadline has been extended to July 15.

Opportunity Zones.  If an investor who sold a capital asset planned to roll over the gain into an Opportunity Fund and the 180-day deadline to do so falls between April 1 and July 15, 2020, he or she can make the investment as late as July 15.  

Tax preparations during COVID-19

Also, sole proprietors who pay quarterly estimated taxes now have until July 15 to file their second quarter payment.  As a result of an earlier IRS notice, first quarter estimated tax payments had already been extended to July 15.  This means that any individual or corporation that has a quarterly estimated tax payment due on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020, can wait until July 15 to make that payment, without penalty.  

For more information on how investors can thrive in the midst of the COVID-19 economic chaos, contact me today and let’s have virtual coffee via Zoom.

Virtual Real Estate

Recent COVID-19 crisis “stay at home” orders have up-ended traditional real estate activity. However, sellers still want to sell and buyers need new homes.

Virtual showings now become a primary tool for both buyers and sellers to overcome the COVID-19 challenges and accomplish their goals.

For instance, the video below is a walk through preview I did for my clients last week during a brokers open house. There’s so much detail, sense of place and flow of the design one can get from a virtual walk through that you can’t get with profession videos or even the best photos.

Working remotely with both buyers and sellers was a foundation of my business while selling luxury 2nd homes in Hawaii as most of my clients were remote. Some buyers went under contract “sight unseen” based on video walk throughs I shared with them, and then flew in for the home inspection. Of course, that was based on our strong working relationship and clarity of their vision for their new home.

Now is the time when you need a realtor with cutting-edge technology skills as well as experience and expertise. Let’s have “coffee” via Zoom video conferencing and discuss what’s going on in your local market and various strategies to accomplish your goals.

Did you interview your buyers agent?

Are you out looking at properties, but haven’t had a business conversation yet with your agent? If so, I have one word for you – STOP!

Top tip for home buyers – who represents you is very important for one of the biggest purchases of your life. This is what they don’t cover on HGTV or on Google. In this video, learn from my first time home buying mistakes back in the 90’s:

Before we start opening doors, I sit down with my clients in our office, a cafe or their home to go over their home buying goals for lifestyle and financials, what’s their style of negotiations, review the highlights of the contract process and share with them tips for success. In essence, we interview each other and then make a decision to work together proactively to accomplish their goals.

Let’s set up a plan for your home buying success!

Your privacy and negotiation power is only protected by hiring a buyer agent with a Buyer Agency Agreement. I’ll go over this in more detail and explain how this significantly impacts your bottom line when we meet.

To start, enjoy my Home Buyers Guide with tips on what to expect and how to interview your agent.

Check out what my clients have to say about working with me – AskMeAboutSusanna.com then let’s talk!

What is smart marketing?

What’s the secret sauce to create the “buzz” and exposure needed to position your property in front of the right buyers, in targeted demographic areas? It’s strategic, or smart marketing. Please allow me to explain.

Traditionally, real estate selling falls into 3 P’s:

  1. Place on the MLS (or generic posts on social media)
  2. Put up a sign
  3. Pray for an offer

In a hot sellers market, this minimalist approach might work. And unfortunately, that reinforces the mindset that it is effective. I understand the thinking of For Sale by Owners, because if this is all that’s done, in effect the house seems to be selling itself.

When the market starts shifting into more of a buyers market, the truth comes to light that this strategy simply doesn’t work. Even in a hot sellers market, it doesn’t yield the highest net from market activity.

For my seller clients I create a personalized strategy to position the property in its best possible light, tell the unique “story” of the lifestyle of the home, and create a specific marketing plan to position the property in various ways to targeted buyer demographics. That’s in addition to extensive marketing to both consumers and realtors in local market segments as well as networking with realtors nationally.

For instance, I had an opportunity to help the seller of a new construction condo in Queen Village that hadn’t sold after being on the market for more than 10 months. The objections were the size. Analyzing the market, I felt the asking price was competitive but we needed to present the lifestyle and target specific types of buyers where the layout wouldn’t be an objection.

I created a multi-faceted marketing plan and re-listed it at the same price. The marketing included:

  • Staging the two decks emphasizing the outdoor areas
  • New video under 1 minute for use on social media
  • Multiple Instagram and Facebook ads targeting working professionals, technology, medical and education industries and showcasing “work from home”
  • Telling the story of living in Queen Village
  • Geographic areas targeted outside of Philly included New York – where the buyers ended up coming from!

We had competing offers and got it under contract within the first 3 weeks on the market without lowering the price!

For a detailed analysis and marketing proposal targeted to meet your goals, please contact me today.

Listing Price vs Timing

One of the most difficult decisions a seller needs to make is when to put their home on the market is when to sell. Putting too much emphasis on timing as opposed the appropriate price of the can be counterproductive and result in the property staying on the market for months.

THE TIMING FALLACY

It’s common to talk about real estate as a seasonal industry, suggesting that sales are related to the time of year rather than recognizing that any number of other factors can have a far greater impact than timing or season. No two years are the same and home sales can take place at any time of year.

Beliefs create reality right? And when agents tell their clients to wait until Spring, then that is when they will sell. However, homes sell throughout the year.

Each home and each micro-market are unique. It’s important to carefully analyze what’s best for you. We will analyze real buyer activity in your market, and choose the “bulls eye” for your goals.

This means that there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to the timing of a listing.

PRICING AND MARKETING

Pricing and marketing are the only two factors we can control. My job is to provide expansive, create marketing to make sure your home has the greatest possible exposure, to the best potential buyers.

For insights on pricing and marketing, visit SellWithSusanna.com.

How to transform your library

How to get the highest offer in today’s market? Staging is not just furniture, it’s about telling a story that makes the right buyers fall in love.  One of the mainstays of Main Line estate homes is a gracious library. Many of today’s luxury buyers no longer view a library as desirable. They look for technology based amenities, like Control 4 smart systems. Yet a library is a very positive feature if positioned creatively.

Too many design elements – need to simplify and lighten the room

How to present the features and benefits of a library, but also appeal to modern luxury buyers? Staging can transform the area making it attractive to both traditional and modern luxury buyers.

Spare elements on shelves, staging as open living area

Staging is not just furniture. It’s about re-packaging the property in the best possible way for today’s buyers.

How can we present your home to net you the highest price in today’s market? Let’s talk – I have solutions for you!

High demand for Main Line mid-century homes

You might be surprised to find a high demand on the Main Line for mid-century modern with simple, clean lines and open floor plans.

Three recent listings designed by Robert McElroy all went under contract in less than two weeks. Take a quick preview:

Where were these?

307 Jeffrey Lane, Newtown Square – listed for $749,000. 4 bd / 3 ba, on 1 acre with swimming pool & jacuzzi, built in 1972. Sold above asking for $749,850

596 S Bryn MawrAve, Bryn Mawr – listed for $710,000. 4 bd / 2.5 ba on 1.34 acres, built in 1963. Sold above asking for $730,000.

596 S Bryn Mawr Ave SOLD above asking for $730K

305 Highview Drive, Wayne – listed for $599,900. 4 bd / 2.5 ba, on 1 acre with pool, built in 1970. Sold for $580,000.

If you’d like listing alerts for homes built by Robert McElroy, contact me and I will notify you of coming soon and just listed mid-century homes.