Notes from Scott’s Desk

There are houses selling…2 contracts per listing of late – and
in different price points, $250,000 and $850,000.  The contracts came in close to list price even
though they were in competition.

Some agents like Equator, the new Bank of America short sale
portal – because of their quick responses and live chat, but some still have
repeated problems with acceptance of forms in particular formats.  Once in the final stage of approval, it takes
about 6 weeks to close, and they take precautions to stave off foreclosure.

Ask for 90 day short sale contingency approval – don’t pull
contract in final stages of negotiation, swap out contracts with same terms to
keep the ball rolling – you don’t want to have to go back to the beginning.

Short sale listings are finding agents – agents aren’t
pursuing them as much, they are just coming in.

Go back to database – reach out and talk to your people to
grow your business.  We are in a
relationship business – build those relationships deeper and your success will

What will happen at the end of April when the tax credit is
gone?  No, what will happen at the end of
March when the Fed stops buying MBS?  The
market will slow…buyers will be back on the fence…financing is tough enough –
hopefully the restrictions on obtaining financing won’t get any worse…rates
will increase – buyers will drop out of market – will prices drop?  Message to send out: look at the positive
side of things…rates are great, inventory is available, prices remain low, we
know what loan programs are available…we need to list out true picture of the
market, it’s our job.

How do properties not listed as short sales end up in hands
of investors prior to courthouse steps?  Are
these investors negotiating directly with the seller or going to the trustee at
the steps or are they going directly to the bank?  This is a question our group would like to
know the answer too.

Appraisers are asking to have snow removed from the roofs of
properties…appraisals are coming in low…fewer sales make appraisals a problem
this time of year…appraisers aren’t going into the house in some cases…on FHA
loans, the lender has the option of using the first appraisal or ordering a
second one, if you are caught in a low appraisal situation with FHA loans on
your listings, switch lenders…

Housing starts rise in January 2.8% – RISMEDIA, February 22,
2010—Nationwide housing production hit its strongest pace in the last six
months this January, posting a 2.8% gain to a seasonally adjusted annual rate
of 591,000 units, according to figures recently released by the U.S. Commerce

According to the latest indexes (Zillow and the Feds “flow
of funds report) negative owner equity has dropped as prices have begun to
increase and between the 1st and 3rd quarters last year,
home equity rose by $1 trillion as a combination of increased home values and
principal pay down.  Although this news
was good for a lot of the country, the sand states (FL, AZ, NM & CA)
continue to be viewed as a high risk factor.

Josh Burruss of Potomac Mortgage Group mentioned the
upcoming FHA financing changes and dates to keep in mind to create buyer

The following are some images from our monthly Real Estate Exchange in Gainesville. 



IMG_7869     IMG_7872 

IMG_7877     IMG_7878


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