About Low Ball offers for a Cape Coral Property

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The basic of a Real Estate transaction is obviously a seller willing to sell to a buyer willing to buy. Once you have those terms agreed upon, you are half way to closing.

But if the seller have to settle for a low ball offer from a buyer, everyone involved in the deal may lose time and money. This is where a clever agent can use valuable skills to negotiate the deal and make it happen all the way to the closing.

One thing I use to do is really showing the temperature of the market to  my buyers. I think it is important that they acknowledge how the today’s Real Estate market in Cape Coral is reacting to. I compare sold pricing instead of listed pricing, and this can be valuable to sellers as well in order to ask the right price instead of waiting an offer forever. Once my buyer understand the market, of course, it is ultimately their decision on what to put in their offer. But at least they know the potential result.

Also, I like to compare what’s comparable. I recently visited a seller. It was a “by owner” and his price was close enough to what the neighborhood was asking for. However, the features of his home were very different and a realistic price should be much lower. That’s why it’s still for sale with no showing today, after months on the market. So, I show only similar features home for comparing and make a wise decision about the offering price.

Low ball offers usually waste buyers’ time. And that time is valuable. If a buyer is offering low ball offers on 20 properties and getting denied each time, offering a decent price at the first one would most likely had given equity by now to that buyer. Not only he had money in the property, but he is an owner instead of nothing, hoping for “the best deal” to happen. Make low ball offers if you don’t need to buy, not if you are looking for a roof to live under.

Now, if you see a property bought around 2005-2007, when the Real Estate was at peak, chances are the seller is selling at lost. He knows that and it is already difficult for him. Showing a low ball offer right there is to shoot yourself in the foot. This is something I have the need to emphasize for the health of a transaction. Sellers are people with families they have to take care of, not just a number. Ultimately, again, my buyers have the last decision about their offer.

Low ball offer

Low ball offer

But let me tell you something that happened in the last few months when a buyer from Pennsylvania emailed me asking for a “good deal” foreclosure. I had several of them and even if I explained that the market is bouncing back, often with multiple offers, this buyer wanted to get a bargain in a location where everything was dirt cheap.

I found a nice pool home located in the SE of Cape Coral with access to the gulf of Mexico. It was a foreclosure well priced at $179,900. He told me he would pay that price when he saw the other similar sold properties I sent to him. But he wanted to “grab a deal” and he made an offer at $150,000, hoping a counter offer in the mid $160K from the bank. The scenario I told him just happened. They was a counter offer, but to another buyer who offered $175,000 and who ultimately close on that property. At this time, there is no more gulf access pool home in SE cape under $200K. No need to say the buyer made an easy $25K equity in one month. My buyer? He closed on a lovely property with a nice pool for $195,250. He does not have access to the gulf of Mexico. He’s on a fresh water canal. He knows he missed it.

So, if you are thinking of low ball offers, just know what to expect. And don’t make me wrong, I make low ball offers myself time to time, but I don’t have to buy. If I close it, great. If not, oh well, next…Not a big deal :-)

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Comments (0) Apr 25 2012

Do you really need a Real Estate agent to purchase a property?

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Do you think you can write an offer on a Cape Coral foreclosure for sale without the help of an agent? The answer is a big YES!

If you think about it, my guess is you want to save the typical 6% commission that we make. If it’s the case, you are completely mistaken. First, our commissions are not set to be 6%. It’s negotiable. And in the foreclosure and REO world, it’s the bank that decides how much they really want to pay. Most agents doing foreclosure make about 1 to 2% of the closed price as the seller representative. So the buyer’s agent is really doing something like 2 to 4%. In that case, if you represent yourself for that foreclosure home purchase, you’re really saving about those 2 to 4% commission.

Now, prepare yourself to get an accepted offer on that Cape Coral foreclosure house for sale. You will need a few things checked with the listing agent, and I have been in contact with most of them, they use to be very difficult if they are not in front of another agent because they think they’ll have to do all the work believing that you won’t be able to do your part:

  • What kind of paperwork do they want?  Typical is proof of funds, pre-approval letter from your bank, etc…
  • How many offers are on the property? Maybe it is a multiple offers situation already.
  • Is there a mandatory minimum MLS marketing time?
  • How do they want to receive your offer?  Fax, website or email.

So, once you have all that done, you’ll be able to put a good offer but you will need to know something important: the price. Don’t google that. You will not be able to rely on sites like Zillow or Trulia for pricing. They are not accurate. Hire an appraiser instead, especially if you do not have access to your local MLS. The point here is that you don’t want to pay too much or too little. Too much and you may overpay for the property and too little,you may lose the home to higher bidder.

You can also read this buying a foreclosure in Cape Coral post for more tips.

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Comments (0) Sep 26 2011

Virtual Staging Software for Real Estate | Do it yourself

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I wrote an article about virtual staging for Real Estate few months back, using a virtual staging software. I was explaining the advantages of using a software to stage an empty home instead of renting furniture to stage it, which is more expensive.

Today, I did receive some updates from the company doing the software (Virtual Staging Solutions) and they have added a few more options that can greatly help to generate a very nice layout. The best use in my opinion is to vitually stage your empty listings, get the results on your website and let the buyer’s agents where to go to see how nice the property can be once furnished! It will bring a clear idea of the transition from a house to a home in your buyer’s eyes. It can be the difference between losing your time showing a property and an offer! Your vacant listings will sell faster.

The first new feature is the choice of furniture available. They said on their website that they were working for more than a year with designers in order to bring the brands of furniture available in stores! So you will be able to browse a furniture gallery.

Secondly, they have worked on a personalized way to have your documents out there. They have especially developed those pages for the mobile use. So, your virtual staging listings will be ready to be seen on all mobile devices out there, which is very convenient knowing that it’s easier to bring a cellphone or an iPad with you instead of a laptop.

And last but not least, your presentation of your virtual staging will be in video mode instead of just plain pictures. Today, the video is almost the next big thing.  People are leaving the world of blogging to enter the world of vlogging!

I had an email the other day, asking me questions about the virtual staging software. But honestly, since I’m not involved with this company, it’s probably better to ask directly to them. They website is www.virtualstagingsolutions.com . They have a help sections where your can find email address, phone number and a bunch of frequently asked questions. They offer several plans from $197, which is most likely much cheaper than renting furniture to furnished a living room, a family room and 2 or 3 bedrooms!

For more details, visit their website at www.virtualstagingsolutions.com and get your empty listings sold fast :-)

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Comments (0) Sep 17 2011

What home buyers want in a Real Estate Agent.

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I read an write-up I got in my inbox this morning. It really is an fascinating thought about what buyers are searching for in a Cape Coral Real Estate agent. Here are the 5 points they were asking to explain.

1. Honesty and Credibility

Win them over using the truth!
When these buyers talked about honesty and credibility, it frequently came with anecdotes about recent bad experiences with realtors. The stories were about agents attempting to push them towards a far more costly purchase and a powerful dislike for the false sense of urgency they feel agents develop in relation to placing an supply on a residence. Buyers have expressed how difficult it’s to trust everyone in today’s actual estate market so it is much more important for agents to help them feel comfortable.

2. Region Familiarity

Do your neighborhood homework!
These buyers location a high importance on locating an agent who not just sells houses in a certain neighborhood, but also knows that neighborhood well. They want an agent who knows all about the schools, local parks, safety, restaurants and even the secret gems the neighborhood has to supply.

3. Great Follow By way of

You say it, you do it.
Throughout the conversation our buyers continuously verbalized their stress with brokers who didn’t do what they said. E-mail me, call me and send me the points you say you will. It seems like such a little factor to ask for. Do what you say, combine it with some honesty, and you’ll be an agent buyers feel comfy working with.

4. Organization

Maintain it in order.
You are honest, you know the area like the back of your hand, and you attempt your hardest to follow by way of but it is just so hard to help keep track of your to-do lists and return each and every telephone call. Buyers are expecting agents to be organized and put together. You’ll find a ton of tools available to help with this. (We adore Evernote!)

5. Good Listener

Everybody is distinctive. Treat them like it!
Users want an agent to listen to them having a blank mind. I heard phrases such as “pigeon hole”, “judge”, “they aren’t listening”, “tell me what I want”…etc. come up in our discussion. Users don’t want an agent to assume they will need A just since they hear B. They want an agent who listens to what they want and will ask as a lot of questions as necessary to truly understand who they’re and what they’re seeking.

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Comments (0) Jul 07 2011

Is IDX working FOR you or AGAINST you?

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I love IDX. Not only it’s a tool I use daily but it looks like my IDX page is bringing more than decent traffic.
I have leads from it every week. I use it to get sellers calling me and I send buyers to use it for search.
It’s very effective. Maybe too much.

Regularly now, I have phone calls from agents. Basically, they call me saying their buyers were surfing the web, got to find my IDX page, made some search and called them with the property details. All they have to do is calling me for more details.
Obviously, my thought is, if you as an agent get to that position, you are not working properly for your clients.
I explain that’s IDX, I’m not necessarily the listing agent, and so on…
Now, some of them, once they get in touch with the real listing agent, they explain that their buyer found it advertised in another agent’s website. And this is when I got the listing’s agent phone call: “You advertise my listing without my authorization, I want you to remove it and I’m emailing your broker because you’re misleading the public saying you’re the listing agent”. That agent has been licensed since 2005, so she’s not new in the business, as I thought she had to be. Plus, we all know that IDX listings always show the famous “Courtesy of [Brokerage's name]“.

So, what gives?
Let’s say you do not what is IDX. Let’s suppose you never heard about it.
Don’t you want to have your listings to be seen in every single Real Estate websites for free? Don’t you want all and any kind of advertising for your listings out there, free of charge?

Of course, I explained that it’s not easy to just remove her listing alone. I sent her an email to apologize but also to explain the benefit of it. Hopefully she’ll get it. It looks to me that more and more agent are working part-time or not at all unless they find a buyer somewhere. Those, I guess, have little continued education and missing few important thing for their career.

Now, fellow Realtors, don’t even think about asking me permission to advertise my Cape Coral listings. Just go ahead. You have not only my authorization, but also my benediction to proceed. Use newspapers, internet, TV ads, put a sign on the moon, hire D. Trump to talk about it, spend millions of dollars to put a banner of my listing with your phone number on every cabs, every cruise ships, every aircrafts, in every cities in the world. Oh, and since you’re at it, try to make my listing in your IDX in bold or, even better, blinking, Las Vegas style. In short, just do it! Because at the end of the day, no matter how was your advertising, I’ll be paid!!

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Comments (0) Jun 28 2011

Chinese drywall in Real Estate

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I have a certain number of phone calls from out of state potential buyers. They’re looking online for Cape Coral properties and usually, they can see low price homes that look very nice. When I check them, most of them have defective drywall. And most of those buyers have a vague idea of what is defective drywall, most commonly called chinese drywall.

Most of the time I can explain the issue, but recently, I was showing few properties and came across a home showing the effects of the chinese drywall. I took the opportunity to shoot a few photos. A picture worth a 1,000 words :-)

The next 3 pictures show the 2 copper water pipes underneath the kitchen sink. The corrosion of metal in general and copper in particular due to the defective drywall shows a black substance on the copper. The first pictures is the actual 2 pieces of copper. On the second one, you can see my finger is clean while on the 3rd picture, I touched the pipe and got that black substance on my finger.

chinese drywall copper pipes

chinese drywall black substance on copper

chinese drywall black substance on copper pipes

The next pictures is the lightning fixture in one bathroom. You can see how the metal coat is pealing badly due to the defective drywall.
chinese drywall effect on bathroom lightning fixture

You can also see the effects of the chinese drywall on the silver behind mirrors. I try to catch a few pictures of mirrors where the silver is pealing behind, showing a kind of black stain.

chinese drywall effects on mirrors

chinese drywall on mirrors
defective drywall effects on mirrors

Here is a picture of an electrical outlet where you can see the screws all blackened and any part of copper wiring out the plastic cover is balck as well.
chinese drywall effect on electrical outlet

Another picture where you can see the metal is pealing.

chinese drywall effects

Of course, I’m only a Real Estate agent. For confirmation of what can do chinese drywall, you should talk to a drywall specialist. He or she will be much more qualified to explain the effects of chinese drywall.

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Comments (0) Mar 17 2011

Foreclosures in Cape Coral, Florida : Get ready before to buy !

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Today I break two records since I have my Real Estate license, about 10 years ago now.

The first one is I made, so far, more offers than days in the month. We are Nov 18 and I made 19 offers so far.

The second one, and most important for me, the last offer passed the limit of the 10% higher than asking price. Last year, offers were about 2% to 5% below asking price for those foreclosures in Cape Coral. Last spring, they were about on the asking price. Since last summer, buyers had to go higher than asking price for any Cape Coral foreclosure. November and I had an offer at $301,000 for an asking price of $272,900

Now, what’s amazing is my client has been outbid! Someone offered an even higher price for a foreclosure. That’s a very good sign. We were in a buyer’s market and we are entering a very strong seller’s market.

Of course, everything is not lost. My clients are cash buyers and very motivated to buy. So tomorrow will be another offer for them. I’ll have to suggest to pass the 10% above asking bar though, but they know that already :-)

I often have newer buyers calling me about foreclosures in Cape Coral. When I explain that an offer at asking price or below is just not enough, some of them are a bit sceptical. Some believe I’m bluffing to get more commission, other will try another agent, just to hear what they want to hear. The remaining buyers will try several times below asking until frustration appears. Then, they will remember what I said and will try full asking price offers. Most of the time, if not every time, they will be outbid. Usually, the number of offers at asking price is lower than the previous offers at below asking price. They seems to understand faster. That’s when they hit the third level, and honestly, they can be frustrated as well.

  • - If you are interested to enter the Cape Coral foreclosure jungle these days, be prepared.
  • - If you need a loan, you are already in trouble but it’s not necessarily an impossible mission. Just get you loan paper works ready and handy. Your best chance will be to make an offer the very first day. However, you have 50% chance to be outbid by an all cash offer!
  • - If you try asking price or below, 99% chance you’ll be outbid. Don’t waste your time and start above asking price right away.
  • - If you are a cash buyer, make sure to have your solid proof of funds with you, in your pocket, ready to get it at anytime.

The prices of the foreclosures in Cape Coral, Florida, are increasing, little by little. The demand is there and starving for “good deals”. The best time to buy a foreclosure in Cape Coral was last year and winter-spring 2010. The market is rebounding and for those who didn’t catch the train will regret soon or later.


Today is March 29, 2011 and I wanted to give some updates.
Last November, when I wrote this article, there were more than 1,000 foreclosures in Lee County. Today, there are only 389! That’s mean we are going forward the end of the foreclosure crisis. And, banks realize that they can get more money now for their properties. The good prices we saw in 2010 are not there in 2011. I hope you bought your foreclosures last year.

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Comments (3) Nov 19 2010

Moving out of state? Are you in the lenders’ “job black list”?

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It seems that the key phrase ‘job black list’ is somewhat a secret quote used in the lenders and mortgage industry.

I had no clue of its existence as an agent until my last buyer, moving from another state. He was pre-approved by a lender, and I wrote pre-approved, not pre-qualified. He had a top number on that document and I was sending listing with what he was looking for within his price range. So far, so good.

Once we had the right property, he came down, driving 11 hours, had a good few hours look at the property, made an offer, which has been accepted, made an inspection and survey. Everything was going smoothly when he suddenly got the news: his job is on the lenders’ “job black list”

So, what do you need to be part of that list exactly? You need a job, a career or a position that is making money only in the area you are practicing and which could make no money elsewhere. Let me give you some examples:

A self-employed individual who build his business locally and getting business from local advertising, as mortgage broker, plumber, electrician, lawn, Real Estate agent, insurance, painter, A/C maintenance, pool maintenance, and more…

Lenders have denied my buyer because leaving his state to move into another one, will put his income in jeopardy!

So, make sure that your out of state buyers are REALLY approved before putting any offer in writing. That moves can save time to all parties.

You can find helpful mortgage material HERE. This can help you the understanding behind the ugly scene :-)

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Comments (0) Feb 20 2010

FSBO letter.

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Years ago, I was using a letter to target FSBOs. This letter had several updates time to time, making it better every time.
Now, I don’t use it anymore since I have been better, in a “on-the-spot” situation, to list FSBOs. I now list 4 on every 5 FSBOs out there without any material. You can learn that here.
But I think it can be very useful for other agent looking to hit FSBOs.

Greetings Mrs. & Mr. Jones, (check owner’s name in tax roll and make it personal)

My name is you name and I am a REALTOR® with your firm and I specialize in the listing and selling of homes in neighborhood name.

While out showing some properties in neighborhood name, I noticed that you are marketing your house on your own. I’m sure you have a good reason for doing this and I respect your decision. If you would like some information to help you with pricing, I would be happy to drop off a “neighborhood name analysis” for you. This analysis will give you a good idea of what’s currently on the market and what has recently sold in your area. If this interest you, then give me a call and I will get one over to you.

Selling real estate can be very confusing and complex. I have good connections with Mortgage Brokers and Title Companies that can help you through this process. If you do find an interested buyer, give me a call, and I’ll connect you with the right people.

I also have an excellent “For Sale by Owner Help Kit” which offers tools and advice on selling your home. I’ll forward some of this kit to you over the next few weeks. I think you will find the information very helpful. In the meantime, go check out my for Sale by Owner page at your site url.

If I can be of any assistance give me a call me on my direct line at your phone number or via email at your email. You can reach me anytime. If you get a voice message leave me a message and I will call you right back. I promise.

Make it a successful day!!!

Your name, REALTOR®,

We want to keep inviting them to call. “Call to action” phrases need to be in everything you do.

1. We let them know we are active in their neighborhood.

2. We offered them free stuff.

3. We let them know we understand the decision they have made, to go it alone, no push.

4. We made ourselves available, to help with info, if they find a buyer.

5. We let them know that we have connections in the business.

6. We told them we would be staying in touch and sending them more info.

7. We invited them to call us, again.

8. We will put pictures and.or virtual tour of their home in our site (with permission).

Notice I’m not trying to sell them. One of the keys, with FSBOS, is to remember that they are going to sell alone because they probably don’t like agents or they may have had a bad experience in the past that has clouded their thinking. Or they just don’t want to pay us. Whatever their reason I have found that just offering to help them is a very non confrontational way to start with building trust.

Your goal with the letter is to get them to call. Once they call, you want to make the appointment.

Then when you are in front of them you can “sell” them. It sounds simple but a lot of Realtor® make this mistake. They are selling when they should just be making an appointment. There is a time and a place for everything.

This is a way to list FSBOs but slower than what I teach in my eBook.

Good luck!

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Comments (1) Jan 17 2010

Real Estate agent: documents you need for your short sales.

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First of all, understand the short sales.

A short sale is a transaction that happens when a homeowner is owning more money on his/her home than what it is worth in today’s Real Estate market, and when the bank or the lender is willing to take less than what the homeowner owes.
Most of the time, that bank or lender will be able to collect more money with a short sale than if the homeowner goes into bankruptcy or foreclosure. That’s why they will be listening to short sales under certain circumstances.
For the homeowner, the short sale transaction is a better situation than going bankrupt or foreclosed. They credit will be hurt for 2 or 3 years instead of the 7+ years in a foreclosure situation.

Secondly, here are a list of documents you will need in order to prepare the short sale transaction with the bank representative:


  • ~ Signed letter of authorization from seller authorizing you to negotiate with the lender on their behalf.
  • ~ Letter of facts about the property. Everything that is wrong with the property and why it is impossible to sell it at a higher price.
  • ~ Current Market Analysis. Highlight comparable sales that reflect the lower value.
  • ~ Photographs. Remember, the photographs aren’t to highlight a charming house. Photograph evidence of damage, bad location, etc…
  • ~ Evidence of all showings and feedback. Explain to lender results and conversations you’ve had while trying to sell the property.
  • ~ Copy of listing contract/MLS Listing/MLS history.
  • ~ Current “AS IS” CMA.
  • ~ Copy of purchase contract if you have one.
  • ~ Preliminary HUD
  • ~ Make sure the seller has a detailed, tear jerking letter of hardship. See an example here
  • ~ Sales and services Quotes

Also, insert copies of the following if any:
1. Code Violations
2. Fines
3. Hearing Information regarding the maintenance of the property
4. Evidence of lawsuits the City is filing against lenders
5. Evidence of pending litigation or changes in the law
6. Insert Tenant / Landlord provisions if it helps your case
7. Evidence of the town / city’s enforcement of fines against other banks
8. Latent Material Defect
9. Sexual offenders and predators


    -Two years tax returns and W-2′s.
    -Three months bank statements.
    -Pay stubs for last 30 days.
    -Detailed monthly budget.
    -All mortgages with account numbers.
    -Copy of the deed.
    -Copy of the note and/or mortgage
    -Pending bankruptcy, or other action/judgment or lis pendens.
    -Tear jerking hardship letter. See an example here

Buyers generally get a lot more house for their money in a short sale situation, because these properties are usually very competitively priced in order for the sellers to unload them before they end up in foreclosure. It’s a very good situation for them. The only downside I see is often the multiple offers situation for those short sale properties. But there are a lot of short sale properties available in the Cape Coral Florida market than in other parts of the country, so this area is the place to buy!.

So, if you are thinking of buying a short sale, here are 3 tips:

1 – Find a Realtor with short sales experience. There are many rigorous short sales and foreclosure training programs available to real estate agents, including the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and the Short Sales and Foreclosures Resource Certification (SFR). If you wish to purchase a short sale property in Cape Coral, Florida, or anywhere else for that matter, you will greatly increase your chances of getting your deal to closing if your agent is experienced and comfortable with short sales….either through a short sales certification program, or through hard knocks experience in the field.

2 – Get pre-approved. No short sale offer will be considered without a pre-approval or a proof of funds letter. If you have not yet been pre-approved by a local lender and are not sure who to call, your real estate agent is a good source of referrals. The pre-qualification process generally takes less than 30 minutes, and can be done over the phone, however, a pre-approval takes longer but is better than a pre-qualification. Make sure you work with a local lender – today’s wild & woolly finance environment means that you greatly increase your chances of closing a deal if you use a local lender with a good reputation. All short sale offers must be submitted with a pre-approval letter, or with a proof of funds, as bank’s statements, in the case of a cash transaction.

3) Submit your highest and best offer the first time around! Lenders generally do not counteroffer….they will either say “Yes” or “No”. So if you are going to go through the process of waiting 60 days or more to hear back from the lender, you will greatly increase your chances of hearing that “Yes!” if you submit a good, solid offer with no contingencies.

Once you submit an offer that is approved by the seller, the seller has to submit your offer to their lender to see if the lender will accept the offer as well….remember, in a short sale situation the lender is agreeing to accept less than what the homeowner owes on the mortgage…..and the lender is going to do whatever they can to minimize the amount of that loss to their bottom line. Parting with their profits is not something that comes easy to lenders…..so it takes awhile to find out if they are willing to take the level of financial beating that is inherent in the amount you are offering. Sometimes the wait can be up to 90 days….sometimes much more (the amount of the wait often depends upon which lender holds the paper).

Look at the frustrating wait time as the price you pay for getting the chance to get a home you might not otherwise be able to afford.

If you want to receive listing from banks, this program will give tremendous help to get in the game as well.

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Comments (0) Dec 31 2009

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