Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What is the Payback for Upgrading Insulation?

Estimating the Payback Period of Additional Insulation

Adding insulation in the attic of an existing home often results in a favorable payback. | Photo courtesy of Lieko Earle, NREL PIX 19612.
Use the equation below to estimate the cost effectiveness of adding insulation in terms of the "years to payback" for savings in heating costs. Years to payback is the time required for the insulation to save enough fuel from heating (at present prices) to pay for itself. A simple payback is the initial investment divided by annual savings after taxes.
The equation works only for uniform sections of the home. For example, you can estimate years to payback for a wall or several walls that have the same R-values, if you add the same amount of insulation everywhere. Ceilings, walls, or sections of walls with different R-values must be figured separately. Subtract the areas of windows and doors when estimating payback for wall insulation.
The cost of the energy source is also a key factor in determining payback. Energy prices vary widely from region to region and season to season. Other factors, such as the rate of production and inventories of fuels nationwide, can also affect local energy prices. The weather from year to year also varies, so your energy costs from year to year will vary as well. To figure the cost of energy, consult your local utility for a rate schedule, or save your energy bills and plug your specific costs into this formula:
Years to Payback  =  (C(i) × R(1) × R(2) × E)   ÷  (C(e) × [R(2) - R(1)] × HDD × 24)
Spray foam insulation fills the nooks and crannies in the walls of this energy-efficient Florida home. | Photo courtesy of FSEC/IBACOS.To calculate the payback, you must supply the following information:
C(i)  =  Cost of insulation in $/square feet. Collect insulation cost information; include labor, equipment, and vapor barrier if needed.
C(e)  =  Cost of energy, expressed in $/Btu.
·         To calculate the cost of energy, divide the actual price you pay per gallon of oil, kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity, gallon of propane, or therm (or per one hundred cubic feet [ccf]) of natural gas by the Btu content per unit of fuel.
·         To figure the price you pay per unit, take the total amount of your bills (for oil, electricity, propane, or natural gas) during the heating season, and divide it by the total number of gallons, kWh, or therms you consumed during those months. Use the following values for fuel Btu content:
#2 Fuel Oil = 140,000 Btu/gallon
Electricity = 3,413 Btu/kWh
Propane = 91,600 Btu/gallon
Natural Gas = 103,000 Btu/ccf or
100,000 Btu/therm

E  =  Efficiency of the heating system. For gas, propane, and fuel oil systems this is the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE. Typical AFUE values are 0.6 to 0.88 for oil or propane furnaces, and 0.7 to 0.95 for natural gas furnaces. Older systems are usually less efficient. Use E = 1.00 for baseboard electric systems. For heat pumps, use the Coefficient of Performance or COP for E; where E = 2.1 to 2.5 for conventional heat pumps, and E = 3.2 to 3.5 for geothermal heat pumps.

R(1)  =  Initial R-value of section
R(2)  =  Final R-value of section
R(2) - R(1) =  R-value of additional insulation being considered
HDD  =  Heating degree days/year. This information can usually be obtained from your local weather station, utility, or oil dealer.

24  =  Multiplier used to convert heating degree days to heating hours (24 hours/day).

We use HDD in our calculations because it is sufficient for homes in cold or moderate climates (which includes most of the country). For homes in hot climates, the payback calculation is more complex. To account for the full savings achievable year-round, try using a more advanced tool to calculate your energy savings such as the Home Energy Saver, created by DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

EXAMPLE
Suppose that you want to know how many years it will take to recover the cost of installing additional insulation in your attic. You are planning to increase the level of insulation from R-19 (6-inch fiberglass batts with moisture barrier on the warm side) to R-30 by adding R-11 (3.5-inch unfaced fiberglass batts). You have a gas furnace with an AFUE of 0.88. You also pay $0.87/therm for natural gas. Let's also suppose that you supply the following values for the variables in the formula.
C(i) = $0.18/square foot
C(e) = ($0.87/therm)÷(100,000 Btu/therm) = $0.0000087/Btu
E = 0.88
R(1) = 19
R(2) = 30
R(2) - R(1) = 11
HDD = 7000
By plugging the numbers into the formula, you obtain the years to payback:
Years to Payback  =  (C(i) × R(1) × R(2) × E)   ÷  (C(e) × [R(2) - R(1)] × HDD × 24)
Years to Payback  =  (0.18 × 19 × 30 × 0.88)   ÷   ($0.0000087 × 11 × 7000 × 24)

90.288   ÷   16.077   =  5.62 years
About the author: The above Real Estate was provided by Rob Alley, a leader in his field. Rob can be reached via email at roballeyrealtor@gmail.com or by phone at 434-964-8369. Rob has helped people move in and out of many Central Virginia towns for the last 8+ Years. Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise! I service the following towns in Central VA: Charlottesville, Keswick, Scottsville, Ruckersville, Stanardsville, Crozet, Ivy, Greewnwood, Albemarle, Louisa, Orange, Nelson, Fluvanna, Amherst, Bedford, Campbell, Lynchburg, Waynesboro, Fisherville and Augusta
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Xeriscaping – Minimize your water requirements by planting drought-tolerant plants

Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping refers to the conservation of water through creative landscaping.

Originally developed for drought-afflicted areas, the principles of xeriscape today have an ever broadening appeal. With water now considered an expensive and limited resource, all landscaping projects, residential or commercial, can benefit from this alternative.

Xeriscapes do not have a single look - almost any landscaping style can be achieved. The principles can be applied to all or part of a yard, in any geographic region of North America.                          

Xeriscape Benefits

Saves Water. 

For most of North America, over 50% of residential water used is applied to landscape and lawns. Xeriscape can reduce landscape water use by 50 - 75%.

Less Maintenance. 

Aside from occasional pruning and weeding, maintenance is minimal. Watering requirements are low, and can be met with simple irrigation systems.

No Fertilizers or Pesticides. 

Using plants native to your area will eliminate the need for chemical supplements. Sufficient nutrients are provided by healthy organic soil.

Improves Property Value. 

A good Xeriscape can raise property values which more than offset the cost of installation. Protect your landscaping investment by drought-proofing it.

Pollution Free. 

Fossil fuel consumption from gas mowers is minimized or eliminated with minimal turf areas. Small turf areas can be maintained with a reel mower.

Provides Wildlife Habitat. 

Use of native plants, shrubs and trees offer a familiar and varied habitat for local wildlife.

The 7 Principles of Xeriscaping

1. The fundamental element of Xeriscape design is water conservation. Landscape designers constantly look for ways to reduce the amount of applied water and to maximize the use of natural precipitation.
Before setting pencil to paper, familiarize yourself with the 7 Principles of Xeriscaping and take a tour of your local nurseries to see what drought-resistant plantings are available locally. Using graph paper, draw an aerial view of your property and begin your plan with the following considerations:
       
~ orient the plot by marking down north, south, east and west. Include any limiting features such as trees, fences, walkways or structures. Note areas of sun and shade, which will help you establish zones of differing water needs. You'll want to group plants with similar watering needs for most efficient water use.
        
~ study the natural contours and drainage patterns of the land. These contours can be easily developed into terraces, which add visual interest and help reduce soil loss and erosion due to rain or irrigation. Terraces can be as little as 3" and still offer visual appeal; terraces over 12" will require considerable support, such as rock walls or timbers reinforced with steel stakes.
      
~ consider the planned use of each area within the plot. Areas for seating, walkways, visual barriers, dining or play should be defined and incorporated into your plan.
       
~ areas to be left as turf should be designed to be easily mowed. Curved swaths are usually better than straight runs with sharp turns. Narrow swaths can be difficult to water with conventional sprinklers.
      
~ larger plantings, such as shrubs and trees, can be positioned to provide natural heating and cooling opportunities for adjacent buildings. 

2. Soil Improvement.  

The ideal soil in a water-conserving landscape does two things simultaneously: it drains quickly and stores water at the same time.

This is achieved by increasing the amount of organic material in your soil and keeping it well aerated. Compost is the ideal organic additive, unless your xeriscape contains many succulents and cacti. These species prefer lean soil.

It may be worthwhile to have your soil tested at a garden center or by using a home soil test kit. Most Western soils tend to be alkaline (high pH) and low in phosphorous. After the first year of gardening, essential minerals and nutrients usually need replacing. Adding bonemeal and rock phosphate or glacial rock dust is important in this regard.

 3. Create Limited Turf Areas.  

Reduce the size of turf areas as much as possible, while retaining some turf for open space, functionality and visual appeal. When planting new turf, or reseeding existing lawns, ask at your garden center for water-saving species adapted to your area. 

4. Use Appropriate Plants

For best results, select plants that are native to your region.
       
~ use drought-resistant plants. In general, these plants have leaves which are small, thick, glossy, silver-grey or fuzzy - all characteristics which help them save water.

~ select plants for their ultimate size. This reduces pruning maintenance.

~ for hot, dry areas with south and west exposure, use plants which need only a minimum of water. Along north and east-facing slopes and walls, choose plants that like more moisture. Most importantly, don't mix plants with high- and low-watering needs in the same planting area. Sunlight calculators are available which help you determine the ideal planting locations for your landscape layout.

        ~ trees help to reduce evaporation by blocking wind and shading the soil. 

5. Mulch

Cover the soil's surface around plants with a mulch, such as leaves, coarse compost, pine needles, wood chips, bark or gravel. Mulch helps retain soil moisture and temperature, prevent erosion and block out competing weeds. Organic mulch will slowly incorporate with the soil, and will need more applied, "top-dressed", from time to time. To be effective, mulch needs to be several inches thick. There should be no areas of bare soil. 

6. Irrigate

Water conservation is the goal, so avoid overwatering.
Soaker hoses and drip-irrigation systems offer the easiest and most efficient watering for xeriscapes because they deliver water directly to the base of the plant. This reduces moisture loss from evaporation. They also deliver the water at a slow rate which encourages root absorption and reduces pooling and erosion. In general, it's best to water deeply and less frequently. 

7. Maintain your landscape

Low-maintenance is one of the benefits of xeriscape. Keeping the weeds from growing up through the mulch may require some attention. Thickening the layer of mulch will help. Turf areas should not be cut too short - taller grass is a natural mulch which shades the roots and helps retain moisture. Avoid overfertilizing.
                                 

Drought-Resistant Plantings

Here are some popular xeriscape plantings; this listing is by no means complete. Consult with your local garden center for recommended local (native) varieties.

Flowers


  • Perennials
  • Arizona columbine
  • Artemisias
  • Asters
  • Baby's Breath
  • Blue pineleaf beardtongue
  • Columbine
  • Coreopsis
  • Delphinium
  • Echinacea
  • Gaillardia
  • Gayfeather
  • Iris
  • Lamb's Ears
  • Lavender
  • Pansy
  • Perennial Flax
  • Poppy Mallow
  • Purple Coneflower
  • Red Valerian
  • Sages
  • Scarlet hedgenettle
  • Sedums
  • Statice
  • Sweet William
  • Texas hummingbird mint
  • Tulips and crocuses
  • Yarrow
  • Yellow Black-eyed Susan
  • Yucca

Annuals

  • Cosmos
  • Desert Dragon
  • Desert PeaGanzania
  • Marigold
  • Mexican Sunflower
  • Pentas New Look
  • Phlox
  • Portulacca Sundial
  • Red Plume Blanket
  • Rose Campion
  • Santolina
  • Statice
  • Vinca Passion
  • Zinnias



Before planting flowers, improve the soil to foster root growth. Most perennials and annuals require full sun; only a few will flower in partial shade. Most flowers do poorly in heavy clay, due to lack of oxygen to their roots. Sandy soils may have poor water-holding capacity and be low in available minerals. If either extreme is true in your yard, do not plant perennial flowers the first year or two. Improve the soil with sphagnum peat or compost until the soil is easily worked and does not compact. Perennial flowers may then be planted.

Shrubs and Trees


Shrubs

  • Smoke tree
  • Washington hawthorne
  • Japanese black pine
  • Cinquefoil
  • Fragrant zumac
  • Mountain currant
  • Sassafras
  • Honeysuckle
  • Witch hazel
  • Rugosa roses
  • Bayberry              
  • Snowberry
  • Spirea
  • California lilac
  • Heather

Trees

  • Acacia
  • Aralia
  • Bottle Tree
  • Gray Birch
  • Common Pater Mulberry
  • European Hackberry
  • Carob
  • Monterey Cypress
  • Eucalyptus
  • Fig
  • Juniper
  • Osage Orange
  • Chinaberry
  • Common Olive
  • White Poplar
  • Black Locust
  • Siberian Elm
  • Gray Dogwood
  • Amur Maple

Succulents


Succulents (leaf color)

  • Aconium arborium - green
  • Cotyledon orbiculata -gray- green, red-edged
  • Crassula argentea - 'Sunset', yellow, tinged red
  • C. 'Campfire' - green, turns orange-red with maturity
  • Dudleya brittonii - chalky blue
  • Echeveria agavoides 'RubyLips'
  • - green, tips reddish brown
  • Kalanchoe pumila - lavender
  • Sedum adolphii - orange,bronze
  • S. rubrotinctum 'Aurora' - pink to bronze
  • Sempervivum tectorum - gray green, tipped reddish brown Senecio serpens - blue-gray
  • S. mandraliscae - blue-gray      
             

Succulents (flower color)

  • Aconium floribundum - yellow
  • Aloe aristata - orange-red
  • A.saponaria - orange to pink
  • A. vera - yellow
  • Bulbine cuulescens - lemon
  • Crassula falcata - deep red
  • C. multicava - pink
  • Delosperma cooperi - purple
  • D. nubigenum - golden yellow
  • Echeveria elegans - pink
  • E. imbricata - orange-red
  • E. pulvinata - red
  • E. Set-oliver - red and yellow
  • Kalanchoe pumila - lavender
  • Lampranthus productus - purple
  • L. aurantiacus - orange
  • L. spectabilis - pink, red, purple 

Tips for Growing Succulents:

• Provide good drainage. Well-aerated, unscreened gritty soil works best for succulents.

• Water more often in hot weather. Although succulents can tolerate neglect, they will look better when well-watered during the hottest weather.

• Choose plants which match your climate. Consult your local garden center for plants which favor your growing environment; damp coastal, cooler mountain or hotter desert climates.

• Use fertilizers sparingly. Fertilizing once or twice a year is usually adequate.

Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses are drought-resistant and low maintenance. When choosing ornamental grasses for your yard, consider the characteristics of each variety. They are categorized as:

Cool-season grasses grow best at temperatures ranging from 15 to 24 degrees centigrade ( 59 to 75 degrees farenheit ). New growth starts as soon as temperatures rise above freezing in spring, in temperate climate zones. Growth slows and flowers bloom by early summer.

Warm-season grasses prefer temperatures ranging from 26 to 35 degrees C ( 78 to 95 degrees F). New growth begins after the soil warms up to 16 degreesC. Growth slows and flowers start to bloom by mid-summer, and continue through fall.

Running-growth habit: Ranging from slow creepers to agressive spreaders, running grasses are useful for erosion control on slopes or as ground cover.

Clumping-growth habit: These grasses grow in tufts. They make fine specimens and are also effective planted in groups or masses. Most ornamental grasses commonly used in gardens today are clump-forming.

Tips for Growing Ornamental Grasses:

• Sunny spot. Most grasses prefer a sunny area, especially the more brightly colored varieties.
• Water new plantings. Drought-resistant grasses still require watering while getting established.
• Space generously. When planting, allow room between clumps for movement.
• Trim. Clump grasses can be cut back with a shears each spring to allow for fresh new growth. Grasses which turn brown in winter (deciduous) can be cut back to a few inches of the ground. Evergreen grasses, however, should not be cut back too drastically.
• Divide. Clump grasses may need to be divided if they get too big or have die-back in the center of the clump. Use a pointed spade (or a hand trowel for smaller clumps) to cut larger divisions; pull apart by hand into smaller sections. Be sure to water replanted divisions.

Xeriscape Tips

  • Check your local ordinances for landscape bylaws before starting. Some communities also have restrictions on turf grass plantings.
  • For best results with drought-resistant plantings, use regionally-specific, native plants. Exotic species can be extremely invasive and can spread into natural ecosystems by birds and other wildlife.
  • Find out what the annual natural precipitation is for your region, and how that precipitation is spread throughout the year. This will help you select plantings.
  • Windbreaks help keep the plants and soil from blowing dry. Use trees, hedges, shrubs or tall ornamental grasses as natural windbreaks.
  • Avoid watering during the hottest, windiest time of day. Early morning is usually best.
  • How much to water? Your plants should begin to wilt during the hottest part of the day, yet perk up as soon as it starts to cool.
  • Minimize the number of young plants. New plants need water more often than mature plants, which have deeper root systems. They also require more pruning.
  • Keep faded flowers picked or clipped off to prolong blooming time.
  • Practice "cycle" irrigation on turf areas. This refers to watering just to the point of seeing runoff, then pausing to allow the turf to absorb the water. Resume watering when needed.



About the author: The above Real Estate was provided by Rob Alley, a leader in his field. Rob can be reached via email at roballeyrealtor@gmail.com or by phone at 434-964-8369. Rob has helped people move in and out of many Central Virginia towns for the last 8+ Years. Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise! I service the following towns in Central VA: Charlottesville, Keswick, Scottsville, Ruckersville, Stanardsville, Crozet, Ivy, Greewnwood, Albemarle, Louisa, Orange, Nelson, Fluvanna, Amherst, Bedford, Campbell, Lynchburg, Waynesboro, Fisherville and Augusta

434-964-8369
roballeyrealtor@gmail.com

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Nine Ways To A Greener Home

RE/MAX Realty Specialists

Rob Alley
Realtor/Team Leader at Virginia Real Estate Solutions
Email
Phone: (434) 964-8369
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Net-Zero Home Design

Trying to reduce your environmental footprint? Consider integrating these green design principles into your home.
Net Zero: The idea is to balance the energy your home uses with an equal amount of renewable energy created. Not to be confused with living off the grid, net-zero homes may use energy from the grid one day and then sell an equal amount back the next.
  • Solar Power – Find out if solar power makes sense for your home with this solar cost/savings calculator.
  • Solar Hot Water – Upgrade your hot water tank to a solar system for considerably less than solar power.
  • Real-Time Monitoring – Install a smart energy monitoring system that lets you optimize your energy savings.
Energy Efficiency: Net zero works by minimizing the energy requirements of the home. This is done by eliminating costly energy leaks and switching to high-efficiency systems.
  • High-Efficiency Heating – Upgrade your heating or cooling system to a high-efficiency system.
  • Energy-Efficient Windows – Install energy-efficient windows to minimize heat losses or gains.
  • Insulation – Upgrade insulation to support your heating and cooling system.
Water Conservation: Strictly speaking, conserving water does not contribute to your net-zero profile, but it does follow the same principle of minimizing environmental impact by reducing consumption.
  • Low-Flow Water – Install low-flow showerheads and faucets, and switch to dual-flush toilets.
  • Rainwater Collection – Conserve water by harvesting rainwater for use in the garden.
  • Xeriscaping – Minimize your water requirements by planting drought-tolerant plants.
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355 W. Rio Rd. Suite 102
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About the author: The above Real Estate was provided by Rob Alley, a leader in his field. Rob can be reached via email at roballeyrealtor@gmail.com or by phone at 434-964-8369. Rob has helped people move in and out of many Central Virginia towns for the last 8+ Years. Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise! I service the following towns in Central VA: Charlottesville, Keswick, Scottsville, Ruckersville, Stanardsville, Crozet, Ivy, Greewnwood, Albemarle, Louisa, Orange, Nelson, Fluvanna, Amherst, Bedford, Campbell, Lynchburg, Waynesboro, Fisherville and Augusta

434-964-8369
roballeyrealtor@gmail.com

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Short Sale Lawsuits: Realtors Up Next?

Avoiding Short Sale Lawsuits

There is no question that in this economic down turn we have experienced over the last five years or so that short sales and foreclosures have become part of our everyday Real Estate landscape.
Call Rob at 434.964.8369 to get your short sale started today!
Every week there are countless new short sale listings that hit the market in Virginia. In many of these short sales the seller, not understanding there is a big difference between a traditional Real Estate transaction and a short sale hires any ole Realtor® they happen to come across to represent them.

On the other side of the coin, there are also plenty of Real Estate agents that see the growing number of short sales coming available for sale and realize there is a lot of money to be made.

The problem however, is that many of these agents are flying by the seat of their pants and have done nothing to educate themselves on the ins and outs of closing a short sale.

As a Realtor® who has been successfully closing short sales for almost five years, this is one of my biggest complaints! How anyone can look a desperate seller in the face and take on a listing to sell their home with no short sale expertise is just beyond me. It pisses me off when I see a new short sale listing hit the market and know the agent has no track record with this type of transaction.

There are many Realtors® that are putting the noose around their own neck. In desperate times people do desperate things. The end result is that on many occasions consumers get very poor advice that can cost them dearly.

Realtors® that do not have short sale expertise could really do themselves a favor by referring the business out to an agent that is qualified to get the job done.

You may be wondering why this has become such a passion of mine? The answer is simple. Short sales have become stigmatized because there are numerous Real Estate agents and buyers that have been involved in deals where the listing agent did not know what they were doing. The end result for a number of different reasons is a sale that didn’t happen. This leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. Going forward it makes it harder for the agents that do know what they are doing to find buyers for the short sales they are marketing.
Below I am going to touch on all the things you should look out for in trying to successfully complete a short sale whether you are in Virginia or another state.

Properly pricing a short sale

When you are short selling your home there is a good chance that you are not able to afford the monthly mortgage payments any longer. You may be just scraping by and know that next month you won’t have enough to pay your lender. When you decide to short sell your home and are no longer paying your mortgage pricing the home properly becomes critical.

The last thing you want to do is either overprice or underprice the home. For obvious reasons if you over price you will more than likely not be able to procure a buyer in a timely fashion.
If you underprice the home and receive a contract from a buyer, the lender is going to reject the short sale after reviewing the appraisal or broker price opinion that they order.

Both of these scenarios can leave you with nothing and that much closer to a foreclosure. A short sale should be aggressively priced such that you will find a buyer in a timely fashion but not so low the lender is going to reject the short sale contract.

The short sale contract

There are numerous Realtors® that are clue less when it comes to giving sellers advice on the short sale Real Estate contract. Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat….. When a seller signs a Real Estate contract it is almost always legal and binding as to the terms and conditions in the agreement.
Here are 4 short sale contract issues you need to be aware of:

  • Realtors® submitting multiple unsigned offers to your lender
  • Realtors® submitting low ball offers to the lender
  • Realtors® allowing home inspection contingencies after short sale approval.
  • Realtors® allowing an investor to negotiate the short sale
  1. When a Realtor® submits an unsigned offer to your lender YOU do not have a legal and binding contract. The buyer can walk at any point in time with no consequences to them! Does this benefit a seller in anyway? The answer is NO, NO, NO!  The Realtor® you hire should be looking to lock up the most qualified buyer who stands the greatest chance of getting to the closing table.

  2. If you sign a low ball offer you stand an equally strong chance that the lender is going to reject your offer and send it back. If you accept an offer that is nowhere near the market value do you really expect the buyer is going to agree to the price the lender wants? Not likely and again you will be back at square one after being off the market for an extended period of time.

  3. Allowing home inspections after the short sale approval is another big mistake. Do you really want to have your home off the market for months, get a short sale approval from your lender and then find out the buyer wants to back out due to inspection items? Don’t let the blind lead the blind. There is no reason for letting a buyer have home inspections after short sale approval. I find most buyer’s agents think they are protecting their client by trying to save them from spending a few hundred dollars. WRONG – what the buyer’s agent is preventing is the buyer from negotiating a pricing discount if there were issues discovered. Lenders DO NOT negotiate home inspections issues after short sale approval.

  4. Letting a buyer negotiate for a seller is clearly foolish. The investor only cares about the seller if they get the terms THEY want.  An agent who lets an investor take over a short sale transaction is asking for a lawsuit. Realtors should not let investors negotiate a short sale!
Short sale negotiations

This is clearly an area where you will see most of the lawsuit’s against Realtors®. There are agents who are engaging lenders in the negotiations of short sale approval but don’t have the knowledge and understanding of either short sale debt release and/or short sale tax ramifications.

Who do you think will get sued if a seller receives a 1099-C or 1099-A at the end of the year or gets stuck with a deficiency judgment by their lender(s) at some later date in the future and they were not informed up front about it?

There are many Realtors® who have negotiated short sales that misrepresented to their client that the short sale approval letter removed the short sale deficiency when in fact it did not.

Realtors® are supposed to abide by the Real Estate Code of Ethics but clearly there are many who’s judgment is clouded by the almighty dollar.

The Code of Ethics clearly states:

Article 11 Realtors® are knowledgeable and competent in the fields of practice in which they engage or they get assistance from a knowledgeable professional, or disclose any lack of expertise to their client.

Article 13 Realtors® do not engage in the unauthorized practice of law.

Speaking of giving legal advice, there are Realtors® who are guilty of telling their client to stop paying the mortgage to complete a short sale. While this may be the proper advice in 9o-95% of most circumstances with short sales what if the sale falls into the 5-10% where stopping payment was not necessary?

Most major lenders may require payment stoppage but some of the smaller lenders do not have that guideline. Telling a seller to stop paying the mortgage could have serious consequences on their credit that could have been avoided. Again Realtors® should not be giving this kind of advice. It should come from a lawyer.

The take home message here is to make sure you do your homework when hiring a Realtor to represent you in your short sale!


I am successfully completing short sales throughout the Central Virginia area. I work hand in hand with a local short sale Real Estate attorney who knows how to get short sales done! I will admit there is some luck involved in my success rate but the team I have put together does a stellar job.

About the author: The above Real Estate was provided by Rob Alley, a leader in his field. Rob can be reached via email at roballeyrealtor@gmail.com or by phone at 434-964-8369. Rob has helped people move in and out of many Central Virginia towns for the last 8+ Years.

Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise!

I service the following towns in Central VA: Charlottesville, Keswick, Scottsville, Ruckersville, Stanardsville, Crozet, Ivy, Greewnwood, Albemarle, Louisa, Orange, Nelson, Fluvanna, Amherst, Bedford, Campbell, Lynchburg, Waynesboro, Fisherville and Augusta
Realtor/Owner of Virginia Real Estate Solutions at RE/MAX Realty Specialists
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