Your financial health revolves around your credit score! Work with credit experts and proven system to eliminate any inaccurate, obsolete or erroneous accounts. Using your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act to your advantage,Financial Education Services helps you dispute the mistaken negative ratings that may be preventing you from obtaining new credit when you need it most. Lower your interest rates, avoid high late fees, save money and advance your credit opportunities. (Elsewhere $100+ per month for this single service)
Understanding how your credit score is calculated and how to read your credit report are the first steps in improving your current standing. The FES Credit Education Center offers a wide variety of educational services, credit tips and resources to help you take the necessary steps to enhance your credit score and manage your financial life. Improve your score by identifying the accounts that need immediate attention and understand the impact of the amount of credit you are using. Financial Education Services also offers a secured credit card to help rebuild credit or help build new credit for those just starting out. (Elsewhere $10+ per month for this single service)
Manage all your online accounts in one place, integrated with your credit and identity. You can use action buttons to ask a creditor a question about your account or a transaction. FES automatically tracks and update your account balances, bills coming due and transactions every day. access your interactive credit report, which is now easy to read and search or find anything quickly. It also includes your credit score, auto score, insurance score and even a hiring risk index for job seekers. Get alerts to your phone or email that someone opened credit in your name. Then use the action button to stop the thieves. (Elsewhere $25+ per month for this single service)
FES fixes consumer credit reports in a legal and trustworthy manner and fights abusive debt collectors — turning victims into victors as they step into an otherwise unfair fight started by debt collectors, creditors and credit reporting agencies. FES is focused on you and not just your case. FES lawyers and paralegals band together to analyze your case and situation from all angles to bring about the best result in the quickest manner. They will work with you to determine your case eligibility an aim to stop harassment and clean up difficult to remove credit report errors from your credit file. (Elsewhere $250+ per hour for this single service)
DebtZero is a clear guide on how to more efficiently pay down your debt. Taking into account your debt obligations and interest, the system will show you exactly how to properly allocate your money towards your monthly payments using nothing more than your current income in order to speed up your debt payoff. It will map out the thousands of dollars you will be saving in interest by paying off your debt significantly earlier than expected. Put more simply, it will show you the amount of hard-earned money you can save by eliminating unnecessary years of interest payments! (Elsewhere $50+ per month for this single service)
Proactively safeguard your credit, your finances and your good name with vigilant services that alert you of potential threatens before the damage is done. If identity thieves steal your personal information, they could take out a mortgage, commit tax fraud, open new credit accounts and a whole lot more. This technology searches for potential misuse of your social security number, name address or date of birth in applications for credit and services. You can choose alerts by text, phone, email or mobile app — and respond immediately to confirm if the activity is fraudulent. Lifelock through FES is confident in their ability to help protect your identity but no one can prevent all identity theft. If you become a victim of identity theft while a Life Lock member, up to $1 million will be spent to hire experts, lawyers, investigators, consultants and whomever else it takes to help your recovery. (Elsewhere $10+ per month for this single service)
The decisions you make for yourself and your family are important because you know whats best for you. Unfortunately, in the event that you aren’t able to speak on behalf of these decisions, someone that doesn’t understand your wishes can end up making them for you. Without an estate plan in place, these crucial choices regarding YOUR health, finances and family are suddenly out of your control. Many people disregard planning for unexpected events because they’re “too young” or it’s “too expensive.” Now you can have a comprehensive planning package, customized to your needs, covering each of the essential parts that make up a full estate plan. (Elsewhere $5,000+ for this single service)
If you’re like most families, one person is generally designated to handle the financial aspects of the household. If you’re single, you may be he only person who knows the type and location of your financial accounts. What if your loved ones suddenly found themselves in the position of taking over your finances without warning? Would they be able to locate insurance, bank and financial records in the event of an emergency? Financial Lockbox is an online solution that enables you to store your financial data in a single, secure, password-protected location for easy to access by you or loved ones that you select and authorize. (Elsewhere $25+ per month for this single service)
Posted in Community, Credit Repair, Foreclosure Tagged with: coldwell banker, credit building, credit repair, credit restoration, filing chapter 13, fix my credit, fixing foreclosure, grand rapids, home loan, how to buy a home, i want to sell my house, real estate, west michigan
I recently went to one of the monthly lunch and learns offered by Home Repair Services. And, wow! If you’re a homeowner in Kent County, this is an organization you NEED to know about.
Home Repair Services is a non-profit organization focused on strengthening Kent County homeowners post purchase. It offers a repair team for vulnerable homeowners, as well as DIY services for all Kent County Homeowners.
For example, low income homeowners could get repair assistance to replace a furnace, a roof — or even a leaky faucet — for about 15 percent of the cost. Homeowners, and also renters, with mobility issues could get help adding a ramp for easier access to their home.
Scroll down for more detailed information on each program and service offered.
Follow the links for:
Speaking of remodeling… the following is a short, but cool video on three Kent County homeowners who remodeled their kitchens DIY style, with coaching and discounted materials with Home Repair Services. Any Kent County home owner qualifies, as long as they reside in the home!
(Each heading is a link to its associated webpage)
Each working day, Home Repair Services sends professional service technicians into neighborhoods to handle minor or even the most urgent and critical repair problems facing qualifying lower-income homeowners. More info…
These are free financial coaching classes to any Kent County resident who can attend. The next set of classes begin March 1, 2017. Class titles include: 21 Day Financial Challenge; Cash is King; Managing Credit; Insurance; Foreclosure. There are no income restrictions. Download the PDF schedule OR get more info…
This is amazing! I want to recommend all Kent County homeowners take advantage of this service! It’s a free program in which the HRS Self-Help team will work with you to help plan for regular maintenance and home repairs. This routine maintenance and long-term planning will help save time and money, as well as maintain the value of your home. More info…
During the check-up you will-
Last year, HRS handled about 20 pre-foreclosure cases per month. They helped 112 people avoid foreclosure. Financial coaches assist in getting in contact with the mortgage company and working out a payment plans. There are no income restrictions. Flyer. HRS Financial coaches also spotted 20 households with 2015 tax exemptions and were able to help these homeowners get a refund for up to three years in over payment. More info…
Qualifying lower-income residents throughout Kent County with mobility impairments can request home access modifications from Home Repair Services. These include wheelchair ramps, bathroom grab bars, handrails and bathtub modifications. The copay for services is based on a sliding fee scale and ranges between 10% and 20% of a typical job’s total cost. More info…
HRS offers DIY classes in plumbing, electrical, drywall, ceramic tile, flooring and cabinet installation. All classes take place at 10 a.m. every Saturday, are free and open to the public. Download the PDF schedule of upcoming classes. There are no eligibility requirements. Just walk in and have a seat! Participants who complete all six sessions of our “Rookie Renovators” series will receive a certificate of completion. More info…
Thinking about remodeling your kitchen? What about your bathroom? Remodeling Together offers resources you need to do it yourself successfully and at a lower cost. There are no income restrictions. The program includes free in-home design support, hands-on classes, lots of time with experienced remodeling coaches and a large selection of high quality kitchen cabinets, countertops and tile with passed on discounts. If you own or are buying your home and are willing to do some home remodeling work yourself, then Remodeling Together is a great option! (Scroll up to see video posted earlier in this blog post) More info…
Posted in DIY, Foreclosure, Home Repair, Home Values, Homeowners Tagged with: affordable housing, cost of living, DIY home improvement, fixing foreclosure, for sale by owner, fsbo, getting my house ready to sell, grand rapids, home repair, homeowner, i want to sell my house, kent county, selling your home in foreclosure, stopping foreclosure, west michigan, west michigan realestate
If you’re trying to sell your home on your own, you’re a FSBO (For Sale By Owner.) That’s what we call you in the real estate biz: FSBO. Think of it as a term of endearment.
While your DIY desire is respectable, it might not be the smartest thing to do if you want to sell your property for the highest dollar and you want to do it fast.
Did you know that Colby Sambrotto, founder of ForSalebyOwner.com, which is one of the most popular and robust FSBO sites on the Web, ended up listing his home with an agent AND paying a full commission?
If he couldn’t get the job done for himself using his website, how effective do you think this approach will be in getting your home sold for the highest possible price in the shortest amount of time?
There are several reasons to hire an agent to sell your home. Firstly, a state-licensed realtor has worked hard to pass a difficult test in order to be licensed to handle real estate transactions. Secondly, they’ve invested a lot of money into practicing the trade, educating themselves on real estate issues and keeping their license current. Thirdly, you need a license to practice real estate in the State of Michigan. These reasons speak for themselves.
FREE RESOURCES FOR FSBOs
Here are 10 more reasons to list your property with a realtor:
1. Trust & Credibility – Qualified buyers know that FSBOs aren’t bound by the Code of Ethics that Realtors are. FSBO sellers could do and say whatever they want to get their home sold.
2. Safety & Showings – Because FSBOs don’t have lockboxes, that means the FSBO will need to be present for every showing. There are numerous challenges with this situation, the most important of which is safety. Is the person who wants to see your house legitimate or not? Even if you accept an offer from a potential buyer, how do you know whether the person meets the income and credit requirements to close the deal?
3. Negotiation & Documentation – Throughout a real estate transaction, there are many back and forth negotiations going on. This is because real estate agents are hired to best represent their clients, and to handle the complexities involved, including: the disclosures, offer, counter offers, addendums, closing date, financing terms, comps, appraisal report, inspection report, daily occupancy rate, and more.
4. Qualified Buyers & Sale Price – Buyer’s who are represented by an agent are more prepared and qualified to buy, and they are willing to pay for quality. On the other hand, a FSBO attracts buyers who are looking for deals. The result is that many FSBOs end up selling for up to 20 percent less on average as compared with sellers who hire a Realtor. I used to sell cars. If you visit Kelly Blue Book’s website, you can enter data about your used vehicle and find out how much someone will pay for your car if you were to sell it on your own versus the price a dealer could get for the car. The dealer gets a lot more. The same goes for real estate and using an agent.
5. You Pay Either Way – Most FSBO decide to sell on their own because they think they will be saving money by not paying a commission. But, a buyer might have a contract with a realtor that states that they will pay a buyer’s agent commission of 3% (for example) and if the seller does not pay it, then the buyer must. The buyer will factor it into the price of the house. FSBOs should state in their advertising what commission they will pay a buyer’s agent. FSBOs will get more buyer agents to bring their clients in. If there is a buyer’s agent involved, you will be paying her/him either as a straightforward commission or the buyer will deduct it from the price of the house.
6. Buyer Perception – Along the same lines regarding qualified buyers, it’s easy for buyers to question a FSBO. Buyers think a FSBO is broke; otherwise they would’ve hired a professional real estate agent. If the seller is broke, then what happens if the home doesn’t appraise for the agreed price? What if the inspection report reveals the furnace and roof are on their last leg and need replacing? FSBOs deter those buyers who are willing to pay top dollar. These types of buyers aren’t likely to purchase from someone who might have also cut corners on their home instead of paying a professional to fix the plumbing, electrical, roof, etc.?
7. Buyers seek rich content —
A realtor will list your property on the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is the primary tool used by buyer’s agents who can bring qualified buyers to see your home and make offers. In addition, an agent’s broker publishes your listing to hundreds of websites, helping your property stand out online.
8. Instant gratification —
Potential buyers searching the internet are seeking instant gratification. Most will only visit a website once and stay for 15-30 seconds. If a FSBO has no strategy for capturing the lead’s contact information or for immediately following up, the lead moves on to the next website. Even if the lead does contact the FSBO, unless the buyer gets back to the FSBO quickly, that lead is gone.
9. The needle-in-the-haystack effect
A major challenge for FSBOs is the needle-in-the-haystack nature of the internet. There are millions of websites including the hundreds of thousands of company and agent sites. Without search engine optimization, meta tags and a host of other branding strategies to achieve high Google search placement, the probability of the online buyer finding the FSBO’s single listing online is small.
Of course, you could post on sites such as ForSalebyOwner.com, ByOwnerMLS, or utilize the “Make Me Move” feature on Zillow. The challenge is that unless the buyer specifically wants to purchase a FSBO, it’s much more efficient to search on the brokerage or MLS sites.
The FSBO could also put his home on Craigslist. There are two challenges, however. First, the FSBO has to repost the ad regularly for it to appear near the top where it can be found. Second, there have been so many rental scams and unsavory people using that site to identify targets for possible criminal activity that listing there could be a major safety issue.
10. Internet leads are reluctant to share contact information —
Another issue FSBOs must face is that most Web buyers are reluctant to provide contact information to a stranger, especially during the search process. Instead, buyers identify homes they want to see and then normally contact a single agent who can show them everything they want to see, not just a single home. Buyers are actually more comfortable working through an agent.
(Portions of this post were adapted from articles published lightersideofrealestate.com: “5 reasons you shouldn’t buy a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) home” and on inman.com: “8 reasons FSBOs should list with a realtor.”)