The Market Is What the Market Is…

Platinum
Group and Haymarket Real Estate Exchange in January

AMSHI
is charging $5,000 to buyers and $5,000 to sellers to negotiate short sales…short
sales are getting tougher – for example, Bank of America is taking forever and
in many cases sends you back to square one. 
Banks are setting unrealistic expectations for closing dates with
approvals on their short sales.  Banks
aren’t up to speed on lending rules and regulations when giving the approvals.  Employees at these banks are not educated –
fresh from college, calls are often outsourced, and they have not been trained
properly.  Bank of America is now using
Equator; therefore, there is no one person to speak with which makes the
process even more frustrating.

Foreclosures
are coming – it’s ground hog day – we keep hearing the same thing over and
over.  One agent has 6 in the pipe line;
another has 5 in the pipeline and 6 under contract and is getting about 1 every
2 to 3 weeks.  We are below the national
average as far as default rates and our inventory level is 33% distressed. 

We
discussed “shadow” inventory that we just don’t see, but the media continues to
talk about.  If banks are going release
foreclosures into the market, it will be a slow and steady release and not a
“dump” on the market scenario. 
Foreclosure filings were down 26% in Prince William County in 2009 –
stay tuned!

It’s
tough to find properties under $400,000.

We
are waiting on the FHA mortgagee letter to be released to hear about new
guidelines – increase in down payment with credit scores under 580, increase in
upfront mortgage insurance, reduced seller concessions, and the waving of the
seasoning requirements for flips – we shall see…

VA’s
max loan is now $758,000.

Inventory
levels are slowly increasing which give the appearance of things being slow,
but it really isn’t – especially in the lower price ranges.

Need
to build urgency in buyers – prices are affordable, interest rates remain
attractive, home buyer tax credit is still in place, and loan programs are in
place today that may not be available in the future.

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