Wow, what Platinum Group today. Agents are feisty, fed up and frustrated with lenders. Issues were flying across the conference room fast and furious. The question was asked – How’s the market? Here is what came about – Financing problems are prevalent. Some owner problems by not disclosing full details – not telling agent about businesses, tax situations or other properties owned. But most seem to be lender problems – mainly, not telling the truth. One lender didn’t tell the agent the Visa expired, said application was in all paperwork submitted and nothing was turned in – contract and lender letter said conventional then switched to FHA at appraisal time. Lending guidelines are too strict, lenders are too ambiguous and regulations need to be relaxed to make well qualified, legitimate buyers home owners. We are held accountable to performing at a higher standard and the lenders are not – it is a huge problem! Lenders need to adhere to a business standard – develop one, make them sign it and if the lender doesn’t, don’t use them. They have no skin in the game, no accountability and no repercussions.
Agents have buyers coming out of their ears. Listings are being shown but there doesn’t seem to be any sense of urgency from the buyers. Move up buyers seem to be lurking out in the market as well.
What prices are selling? The lower price points are selling – mid price points are coming down and languishing on the market. Prices are up year over year but are dropping month to month since July. Keep an eye on this trend through the winter. Prepare sellers to price competitively from the beginning or the house may not sell or you will end up chasing the market.
Are foreclosures coming? Agents are not doing BPO’s, short sales are down, and notice of trustee sales in the papers is down so the answer is not now. Asset managers don’t have any idea of what is coming down the road either.
How are short sales progressing? One has been in process 2.5 years – has had 6 contracts and still not approved – it is a Bank of America deal…no surprise. We had one agent had 3 short sales drop out last week. Another one has 10 under contract and they are languishing on the market.
Is the loan limit reduction hurting your business? It has had only a limited effect on the agents in the group. Only one deal has had an impact with 10 agents and multiple transactions in process.
Agent’s years are about the same as last year. Their volume is up but units are down but overall, income will be the same – we will see how the loan limit reduction will affect us next year. How will 2012 be for you? Spring is going to be strong.
All the agents agreed that this was one of the best meetings we have had which is great. The energy was high, there was lots of passion and everyone left with enthusiasm.
Now, go sell something.