Life after the government support for real estate

Well, all the hype over the government’s propping up of the real estate market is over and where do we stand?  It may be too early to tell as it has only been one week but in speaking with lenders, title companies, home inspectors and  – oh yeah – Realtors too, the market continues to hum along.  Contracts are being written and accepted.  What appears to remain hot are the lower price ranges (those below $400,000) and the upper price ranges ($800,000-$1,000,000 in some areas) so it appears to be business as usual – so far – for these sellers. 

The sellers we are concerned about are the ones priced between $400,000 and $800,000 as it seems in many areas these housing prices haven’t found their bottom of the market yet.  Going forward it will be critically important to pay particular attention to this segment of the market as we are starting to see the beginning stages of the foreclosures being released into the market.   More BPO’s (Broker Price Opinions) are being requested, Bank of America has hired a third party vendor to help with their release of foreclosures and Notice of Trustee sales are flooding the papers.  And from what we notice, they are going to fall into the $400,000-$800,000 price ranges – not the lower end as we saw in 2008.  From all indications, we are looking at an alarming number of foreclosures hitting our market prior to the third quarter of this year – not as many as we saw in 2008 but close to those levels.  This will have a definite impact on prices.

As far as rates are concerned, mortgage interest rates hit a 6 week low this week suggesting that private investors have filled in for the government in their purchasing of mortgage backed securities.  In addition, there have been several reports stating that the government will continue to keep the Federal Funds rate at or near 0-.25% which should continue to encourage investors to buy these securities and keep rates low for home owners through the end of the year which is good news for housing.

How will the end of the home buyer tax credit impact the market?  In a recent survey of first time buyers conducted by SunTrust, they found that only 10% of these buyers purchased their homes because of the home buyer tax credit.  Low interest rates, affordable house prices, desire to own versus rent were the main reasons why decided to purchase over any other.  A good deal is a good deal.  If the market shows signs of slowing, let’s keep an eye on seller and builder incentives to lure buyers into their properties – right now, we don’t see any but only time will tell.  For now, we don’t believe our market will be severely impacted by this incentive ending.

Another bright spot in our market that will help us continue to sell houses is the “new and improved” short sale process through HAMP to HAFA.  These programs will help qualified sellers have the ability to get approval on short sales much more quickly than in previous years.  This streamlined process will not only help sellers avoid foreclosure but also help buyers get into homes and protect neighborhood values.  We are anticipating this to be a tremendous asset in selling houses going forward.

All things being considered, now is a great time to be a buyer or seller in the Northern Virginia Market.  It is important to stay on top of the trends that affect real estate, watch inventory levels and the type of inventory coming on the market, and lastly, track the number of buyers in the market place to help buyers and sellers make the right decisions when considering real estate.  Get it?  Got it?  Good!

What’s on the horizon?

Inventory levels on active listings are creeping up and they have been consistently increasing since the beginning of the year.  We have seen an escalation in the number of houses going on the market each week, week over week except one.  This is definitely something to watch especially as mortgage rates begin to rise.  We have seen a slight increase in interest rates – they have only increased 1/4% since last week this time but they are rising.  The good news is it isn’t as drastic as many predicted as the Fed eased out of buying mortgage backed securities but it is probably keen advice to give to your clients to lock in today and not play the waiting game here!  The saying is “rates take the escalator down but the elevator up”, don’t wait.

Another key factor to watch as inventory rises is the pricing of your properties…how is the activity at your listing?  Are you experiencing lots of buyers going through and have you had no contracts?  Have you had little to no traffic going through the house?  If so, the price may be high.  Check comps again, look at inventory levels in competing price points and the surrounding area.  How has the absorption rate been in and around your listing?  Do the research and price it properly today so you aren’t chasing the market tomorrow!  Many sellers hear the market has rebounded price wise in our area because of the recent article in the Washington Examiner and the brisk pace of sales recently but remember to caution them that the market is local and in many cases hyper local so be careful on pricing it a little high for negotiations.  Be the professional and let the numbers tell the story of the market.

So, what is on the horizon?

On Monday, upfront mortgage insurance on FHA loans goes from 1.75 to 2.25% – revise your buyer closing cost sheets as this will have an impact on their payments.  Seller contributions are reduced from 6% to 3% and down payments on FICO scores 580 and below are increased to 10%.

The short sale process – in some cases may get better after April 5th.  Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program affects home sellers with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae backed mortgages.  Not all properties qualify so check the websites of these GSE’s and see if the seller’s loan is with either one before proceeding or check to see who the loan servicer is on the property. 

Here are the guidelines accompanying the program: 

  • This program complements HAMP by providing a viable alternative for borrowers (the current homeowners) who are HAMP eligible but nevertheless unable to keep their home. HAFA alternatives are available to all HAMP-eligible borrowers who:   1) do not qualify for a Trial Period Plan;  2) do not successfully complete a Trial Period Plan;  3) miss at least two consecutive payment during a HAMP modification; or, 4) request a short sale or deed-in-lieu.
  • Property is principal residence.
  • Mortgage originated before Jan. 1, 2009.
  • Borrower is delinquent or default is foreseeable.
  • Borrower's total monthly housing payment exceeds 31 percent of gross income.
  • Unpaid principal does not exceed $729,750.
  • Homeowner demonstrates hardship. 
  • The program utilizes the borrower’s financial and hardship information already collected in connection with consideration of a loan modification.  The borrower must have applied for and been denied a loan modification prior to entry into this program.   Allows borrowers to receive pre-approved short sales terms before listing the property (including the minimum acceptable net proceeds).
  • Requires borrowers to be fully released from future liability for the first mortgage debt (no cash contribution, promissory note, or deficiency judgment is allowed).
  • Uses standard processes, documents, and timeframes/deadlines.  These deadlines include:  the borrower has 14 days from acceptance of services to return the Short Sale Agreement to their servicer in which they are granted 120 days to sell the house.  Once an offer is received, the agent must provide a RASS (Request for Approval of Short Sale) within 3 business days of receiving offer along with new buyer preapproval and all lien information to the servicer.  The servicer has 10 business days to accept the offer along with provisions to settle or deny the offer and they must provide an explanation of the denial.  Settlement must occur within 45 days.  The new buyers cannot “flip” or sell the property for 90 days and it must be an “arms length” transaction.
  • Provides the following financial incentives:
    • $3,000 for borrower relocation assistance;
    • $1,500 for servicers to cover administrative and processing costs;
    • Up to $2,000 for investors who allow a total of up to $6,000 in short sale proceeds to be distributed to subordinate lien holders, on a one-for-three matching basis.
    • Realtors cannot charge or receive commissions in excess of 6% and if the buyer or seller is a Realtor, they cannot receive a commission in connection with the transaction – including any side deals.
  • Requires all servicers participating in HAMP to implement HAFA in accordance with their own written policy, consistent with investor guidelines. The policy may include factors such as the severity of the potential loss, local markets, timing of pending foreclosure actions, and borrower motivation and cooperation.

There is opportunity here people…know the program and know the process and you can sell more houses!  On Monday, April 5th at 7:00pm Margret Kelly will be hosting a program with BOA on Equator and how the program works.  Watch it on RE/MAX University.

Also, in an effort to assist with the HAFA and HAMP programs, many banks have agreed to participate in the 2MP program.  The 2MP was designed to work in tandem with the Home Affordable Modification Program and is aimed at helping homeowners who have a second home equity mortgage.   The Treasury estimates, up to 50 percent of at-risk mortgages also have second liens associated with them.

To qualify for the program, homeowners must successfully complete a trial modification on their first mortgage. Then, if the servicer of the borrower’s second line in a 2MP participant, the servicer must offer to modify the second lien or accept a lump sum payment from Treasury in exchange for fully doing away with the second lien.

Her are the guidelines in which the 2MP program is designed to work:

  • Only second liens with corresponding first liens that have been modified under HAMP are eligible for a modification or extinguishment under 2MP.
  • Second lines originated on or before January 1, 2009 are eligible for a modification or extinguishment under 2MP.
  • A second lien may be modified only once under 2MP
  • A mortgage loan that is subordinate to a second lien (i.e.: third, fourth position loans, etc) is ineligible under 2MP. However, modification or extinguishment of such a subordinate mortgage lien in place of the second lien will not satisfy the servicer’s obligation under 2MP to modify or extinguish the second lien.
  • If a second lien is modified under 2MP, it is not eligible for payment of extinguishment incentives under 2MP
  • A mortgage lien that would be in second lien position but for a tax lien, a mechanic’s lien or other non-mortgage related lien that has priority is eligible under 2MP
  • A second lien on which no interest is charged and no payments are due until the first lien is paid in full (e.g., FHA partial claims liens and/or equity appreciation loans) is not eligible under 2MP
  • Borrowers may be accepted into the program if a fully executed 2MP modification agreement or trial period plan is in the servicer’s possession on December 31, 2012.

All servicers of eligible second liens may participate in 2MP. A servicer need not service the related first lien or participate in HAMP in order to participate in 2MP.


Here are some helpful links:

Interest rates

Interest rates are expected to go up but luckily it is not at the pace or severity that many had speculated.  The funds rate are set to stay at the 0 to .25% level to help keep mortgage interest rates low.  Once again, we are relying on Wall Street to step up and help create the secondary market to buy mortgage backed securities and keep rates affordable to consumers.  Let’s hope this short trend continues!

In our conversation with Paul Muolo at the quarterly meeting last week, he mentioned that there had only been one big purchase of bulk loans, well….there has been another large purchase this week.  To learn about the details, which is unbelievable to me, check out the article at

More good news

First American Core Logic has estimates that the Washington Region will be floating – out from being underwater by2015!  This is ahead of 10 other key markets.   There study was based upon an annual 3.3% reduction in loan balances coupled with 3% appreciation over the next decade.  They had estimated that 11.3 million or 24% of homes with mortgages were under water in Q4 of 2009.

As discussed before, today, more than ever, it is extremely important to stay educated on the market, what is coming down the road and know how to make the appropriate adjustments to thrive in any market.  You gotta learn more to earn more.  Get it?  Got it?  Good!

Now, go sell something!



Shopping for a Condo? Ask These 4 Questions before You Buy

Condominium homes have always been, and will likely
always be, an efficient and economical route to becoming a first-time
homeowner. They can offer the comfort, prestige, and even luxury appointments
that apartment living may lack, often at a cost that is not much different than
rent. With the current first-time home buyer tax credit and the deadline for
the move-up tax credit fast approaching, I advise you move fast on any condo
purchase you may be considering.

With my experience as Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I am well
aware that not all condominiums are the same, however, so make sure you ask the
following four questions before you buy:

What will you own?
Read the bylaws and be sure you understand what you will be responsible for and
what belongs to the condo association. Will you own the boat dock at the back
of your unit? Can you elect to build a spa on your patio? Generally, unit owners
own and are responsible for the interior of their condos, while costs for
outside maintenance including common areas and sewer lines are the
association’s responsibility.

Who lives there?
Are the majority of residents owners or renters? Owners generally take more
interest in proper maintenance and are more willing than renters to serve on
the association board and enforce complex rules and regulations–including the
regular collection of homeowner dues.

How effective is
the homeowner’s association?
Do they have legal counsel,
reasonable funds and a capable, caring volunteer board? One way to judge is to
check with residents about restrictions, oversight and timeliness of repairs
and upgrades. Another is to take a hard look at the grounds and be wary of
signs of neglect.

What about special
The association should have the power to special
assess for needed, one-time large expenditures. Otherwise, things that need to
be done may never get done at all, leaving the complex vulnerable to disrepair
and lowered property values.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to become a homeowner or to downsize by
buying a condo (remember, the move-up tax credit does not require you to move
to a larger or more expensive home).

The Numbers tell the Story

As many of you know – and as my DISC profile told me Friday – I like numbers to support my case.  Well, the numbers I am going to share with you are facts you need to know to help you in your business and show us trends in the business:


33% of agents have been licensed fewer than 5 years – just 2.5 years ago at the RE/MAX Broker/Owner Convention, that number was 59%!  In my predictions for 2010 I believe we will continue to see even more agents drop out of the business because of the continuous changes that are occurring and the specialization that is required of agents to serve their clientele.


53% of agents have been licensed fewer than 10 years – again, from the same conference just 2.5 years ago, it was 78% of agents were licensed fewer than 10 years.  The lower this number goes, the better it is for us ethical and professional agents.

And, in my opinion, you have to own what you sell – 91% of Realtors own a home compared with the national home ownership rate of 67%.


In a survey of buyers and sellers this information was gathered…the 3 things buyers want from their agent:


1 – Find them the right home to purchase.  Do you know what this means?  You have to listen!  Check out my blog from earlier this week… and while you are there, click the RSS feed in the lower right hand corner to subscribe to my blog site please – you don’t know what you are missing if you don’t register!  Oh yeah, it’s free!


2 – To negotiate the price.  Quick question…when was the last time you practiced your negotiation skills?  What new techniques have you found valuable?  Have you read any good blogs, books or magazine articles lately about negotiating?


3 – To negotiate the terms of the sale.  Hummmm sound familiar to #2?  Are you marketing yourself as a negotiator?  Do you have testimonials to back you up if you do?  When you meet with clients, do you have specific stories that relate to how you negotiated on behalf of a buyer in a particular situation?  Oh, by the way, listening is a huge part of negotiating!


Now, here is what the sellers say they want from their agent – see if you realize what is missing:


1 – Price the home competitively.  You have to know your comps, market conditions, and trends to know how to price accordingly.  Basically, do in depth research of the market to get it done for you seller.  What are the per square foot prices, pricing trends – are they up or down and how much, the correlation between tax assessed values and sales prices, number of competing properties, average days on market, and where to price it to get maximum exposure while on the market.


2 – Sell the home to sell within a specific timeframe.  Again, this requires you to price it to sell and what else?  Get it in the right condition and get it to show well…let’s see what is next!


3 – Find a buyer for the home.  Well, what do you need to know to do this?  You have to know where buyers go to find houses…other agents, and the internet.  Basically, you have to market your listings where the buyers go to find them.  Research the sites that get the most exposure, the most hits from buyers, what agents sell the most homes in the price range of the house you are selling, etc.  It’s not rocket science.


4 – Market the home to potential buyers.  As previously mentioned – you’ve got to know how to market on the internet – Social Media sites, your website, other real estate related sites, etc.  Also you need to know what they want to see when they get there – multiple pictures and in my opinion, videos.  Pictures and videos of the house, yard, views up and down the street, neighborhood, schools, and shopping centers – get creative!  Also, do your research on MLS and get your listings in front of Realtors who have buyers in your properties price range – get the word out!


5 – Find ways to fix up the home to sell it for more.  Have the listing pre-inspected to have the home in the right condition.  When buyers see one thing wrong, they begin to look for more things that are wrong and then pick at the price.  Have the home staged to have your stager recommend low cost items that get the biggest returns for your sellers. 


When houses are pre-inspected, staged and priced right – they sell in the timeframe your sellers desire.


So you ask, what was missing.  Well, in my opinion – negotiating.  If you can’t negotiate, you can’t get them to price it right or get them to get it in the right condition to sell it in the timeframe they want it sold within.  Also, you have to negotiate with buyers and agents to get your sellers what they want when they want it so learn how to negotiate and market yourself as a negotiator.  Have specific stories that tell sellers what you have done for others to get them what they wanted from the sale of their home.


The more you appeal to buyers and sellers through showing your experience in areas that are important to them, the more success you will have in our business.  Get it?  Got it?  Good!

The Clock in Running!

While you’ve probably heard a lot in the media about the government’s efforts
to rejuvenate the housing market with the first-time home buyer tax credit, you
might have missed the fact that the most recent expansion of the legislation
also includes a $6,500 credit for current homeowners who want to purchase a new
home…commonly referred to as “moving up.”

As a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I’ve worked with many
homeowners who have wanted to move to a new home over the past year, but have
stayed put due to a lack of confidence in the market. Now, however, thanks to
the tax advantages of the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of
2009, these homeowners are moving off the sidelines and purchasing the homes
they’ve always wanted.

But the time to act is now—there is only a short window of opportunity! The
move-up buyer credit expires in April of 2010, which means you must contract
and close on your home purchase by June 30, 2010. As you know, selecting a home
is not a simple process, so start your search now so you don’t miss the

starters, here are the key facts you need to know about the move-up buyer tax

1. A qualified current homeowner who wishes to move
to a different home (a ‘move-up’ buyer) must have owned and resided in their
residence for five consecutive years out of the last eight. It’s not enough
that you have been homeowners for five years—you must have been in the same
home for five consecutive years.

2. Single taxpayers with incomes up to $125,000 and
married couples with a joint income up to $225,000 qualify for the full tax
credit. According to Goldman Sachs, these income limits make approximately 70%
of current homeowners eligible for the credit.

3. The maximum credit amount for current homeowners is $6,500. Under the new
legislation, a tax credit may only be issued for homes purchased for $800,000
or less.

4. Even though the term “move-up” is used to describe these buyers, the credit
is not predicated on buying a home of higher value than your current home.

5. Move-up buyers are not required to sell their current home to qualify for
the credit. They must reside in the new home for at least three years, but they
can keep their existing home and either leave it vacated or use it for rental


These are just a few of the key facts surrounding
the move-up buyer tax credit. If you would like to find out more, including
whether or not you are eligible for the credit, please leave me a comment! Be
sure to forward this to all your homeowner friends so they can take advantage
of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

A Perfect Storm

I was
recently interviewed for the
Washington Examiner newspaper about the extension of the tax credit of home
buyers – here is a synopsis of our discussion:


extension of the home buyer tax credit will definitely spur housing sales and
here’s why.  It brings into play move up buyers as well as extends the
first time buyer credit.  On the move up buyer side, you have to have
owned and lived in your principal residence 5 consecutive years out of the last
8 years to qualify but it will bring “new” buyers into our market place. 
Over the last year, we have seen little move up buyers as a result of lost
equity; uncertainty of perceived value in the market as a result of
foreclosures and short sales, and consumer confidence has been low because of
reports on unemployment and news on the recession.  Therefore, our market
has been primarily first time buyers and investors with a few relocation buyers
and even fewer move up buyers thrown into the mix.  It is a matter of
education on the REALTOR’s part as well as the media to get the word out on to
our move up market on what an advantage this is to them and why they should
jump on this tax credit.  We have a perfect storm for buying real estate
right now – the tax credit, historically low rates, and prices are affordable
in many areas – especially in the move up buyer price range.  There are a
few restrictions that apply but not many.  The purchase of the new home
must be a principal residence that would qualify for the capital gain tax
exclusion of $250,000 for singles and $500,000 for married people
definition;  the purchaser’s income cannot exceed $125,000 for individuals
and $225,000 for a couple filing jointly on their tax returns; the home’s
purchase price cannot exceed $800,000 and the tax credit is equal to 10% of the
purchase price up to $6,500; you cannot purchase the new residence from a
family member;  the tax may have to be repaid if you sell the acquired
property or cease to use it as your principal residence in less than three
years of acquiring the property; and lastly, it is for contracts written
between November 9, 2009 and April 30, 2010 that must close by June 30,
2010.  The contract and settlement dates will also help builders or people
who wish to build on land they already own if people react quickly as most
builders don’t have inventory/spec houses available and the typical timeframe
to build locally is 4 – 6 months.


extension of the first time buyer tax credit has been modified slightly but it
is for the better.  The main difference of the previous tax credit and the
new one is the income qualifications – they have been increased to $125,000 for
singles and $225,000 for married couples.  The tax credit is 10% of the
purchase price up to $8,000 so it applies to homes purchased up to
$800,000.  The tax credit applies to homes that are purchased between
January 1, 2009 and April 30, 2010 and they too must settle by June 30,
2010.  There is no repayment of the credit unless you sell with three years
or cease to use the property as your principal residence within the three year
time frame.  If you purchase in DC, you can only use the tax credit and
cannot piggy back the with the District’s first time buyer tax credit –
sorry!  As a clarification, a first time buyer is anyone – including
spouses – who have not owned a principal residence in the previous 3 years.


In both
instances, buyers may claim their credit on their tax returns by filling out
IRS form 5405 and documenting the appropriate deductible amount on line 69 of
the 1040 for 2009 tax returns or line 67 for 2008 tax returns.  They must
also provide a copy of the HUD – 1 form proving the completed purchase within
the appropriate timeframes allotted by the guidelines.  Additionally, the
homes purchased must be a principal residence and do not apply to investment
properties or second homes.


our biggest challenge is inventory.  As an example, inventory levels of
existing homes are down 57% from the same week last year in Northern
Virginia.  Our inventory levels are at April/May of 2005
levels– lots of buyers and not many homes to choose from make buying a home
tough in today’s market.  The reasons for the number of buyers in the
market match the aforementioned perfect storm for home buying – the tax credit,
low rates, and affordable housing prices.  We expect the credit to
continue to encourage buyers to enter the housing market through the extension
dates, then the typical spring market should take hold and the housing industry
will help carry us further out of the recession if conditions remain
stable.  There are questions lurking on the horizon in the housing market
that question stability – not everything may be so rosy.  The uncertainty
is over; rate constancy after the government purchasing of mortgage backed
securities ends at the end of March, 2010 and housing prices being suppressed
by the implementation of the HVCC and lastly, the effect of foreclosures moving
forward on housing prices.


It is our
job to get the word out and help our clients take advantage of this
unprecedented opportunity.  Get it?  Got it? 


Now, go
sell something!

Numbers, Short Sales and Taxation…oh my!!!

ScottsCam 001

Wow!  Lots of great info was shared today at training
– numbers, top ten questions ready to be answered, short sales in any market
and then Aronson & Company notes on taxation of debt forgiveness.


Numbers (in Northern Virginia)


  • Active (Sales)                                      5414
  • Vacant                                                 1597
  • % of Market                                         29.5%
  • Month Supply (For Sale)                      1.8
  • Month Supply (For Rent)                     2.2
  • Month Supply Sold                              2.1



Top Ten Questions – ready
to be answered!


  1. Is the housing market getting better?
  2. When will housing bottom out?
  3. What signals should I watch to determine
    whether my local market is improving?
  4. How can I figure out the value of my home?
  5. Does it matter whether I’m ‘under water’?
  6. If I lose my home to foreclosure, how long
    will it take to repair my credit record?
  7. If I’m renting, is now a good time to buy a
  8. Can I get a tax credit if I buy a home now?
  9. Can I get a mortgage on attractive terms?
  10. Should I invest in foreclosed homes?



Aronson & Company


of debt is a taxable event

does protect from tax liability from a tax liability that occurred prior to

Deed in Lieu
of Foreclosure – similar to short sale – selling to third party with bank’s

Modifications can also result in cancellation of debt and the modifier may
receive a 1099 from the lender – be aware this is could possibly happen!

The discharge
of acquisition debt secured by the taxpayer’s principal residence is excluded
from income up to $2,000,000 until December 31, 2012.  This date is subject to change.

For a complete chart of
the implications of the Taxation of Debt Forgiveness handout we received call
or email me and we will get it to you. 
As is always the case – you learn more by listening, taking notes and
reading the materials than you do by reading my synopsis – get to training
yourself to internalize it more!  Get
it?  Got it?  Good!


Now, go sell something!

November Listing Exchange

Listing Exchange 004

We are experiencing short sale success!  One agent got a short sale approved with
clients being current on their mortgage, another one was approved in 3.5 weeks,
many are being approved with the commission negotiated with the sellers, and
one agent got one approved while sitting in the exchange – 6 months after
submission but it was still approved. 
Bank of America is now retaining the right to pursue a deficiency
judgment and letting the seller know that the MI Company may also pursue the
deficiency.  More banks may follow suit –
stay tuned!

Inventory is dropping all over Northern Virginia and the
market continues to be extremely price sensitive.  A home was listed at $275,000 received 3
contracts and the price was escalated up to $300,000 and appraised close to the
sales price.  As luck would have it, the
loan was denied due to fraudulent tax returns being submitted.  Property was relisted for $300,000 because of
the appraisal and 27 showings occurred with no contracts in 2.5 weeks so price
was reduced to $275,000 and two offers are coming in – price properties
correctly and they will sell.

At a recent Buffini
conference he noted:  in 2010 be a Go
Getter or be a Go Goner;   Be a stay
puter and be a bankrupter;  be a do
nothinger and be an out of the businesser! 
What are you going to be next year?

4 million foreclosures expected in 2010 – filings are
slowing down after 6 consecutive months of increases in foreclosure filings.        

Rates are at near low rates for the year.  MBS being purchased by the government will
stop in March – what will happen to rates? 
Who will be a buyer of mortgages at that time?  Right now, we are in a high 4’s market will
probably be in a high 5’s market now.  Again,
now is the time to buy a house!

FHA has reserves of .5% because of demand on their
insurance…what will happen?  Will we need
higher down payments?  Will upfront
mortgage insurance be higher?

In a recent survey of buyers, they felt that on a scale of 1
– 10, 10 being difficult to obtain a loan, getting a loan today ranks as an
8.1.  Lenders are requiring more
paperwork, analyzing loans more and are more difficult to get through.

As most of us know, the tax credit has been
extended…but most REALTOR’s and lenders are not explaining it correctly.  Take advantage of the opportunity and explain
it to your clients and ask for new business!

Upcoming events:

Food Bank ends Friday – please contribute

December 4th is our Quarterly meeting featuring
Dave Stevens – please register!

Breakfast with Santa is December 5th in the
Chantilly office – invite all of your clients!

At our events, the education is great, the food is plentiful
and the networking is awesome – you need to attend.  Get it? 
Got it?  Good!

Now go sell

Platinum Group – November


Don’t wait to put houses on the market – multiple contracts
at $875,000 in Lansdowne – needs work but 7,500 sq ft on three levels – people
waiting in line to buy

Reasons to list today – you know what prices are today, you
know inventory levels, you know what  rates are today, buyers who are looking this
time of year are serious buyers

Where do you price properties and why – psychology of buyers
or internet strategies of being on the number for search engines – when market
is hot, it doesn’t matter – analyze DOM and number of showings in first week in
same area at same price

Agents continue to be agitated over short sales when
expectations are not set up front.  When
expectations are communicated from the beginning agents are easier to work
with…also, don’t burn bridges with agents who pester you – don’t blow off agent
because they are keeping your feet to the fire.

CDRS – America’s Home Rescue Short Sale process is the
program to work with when dealing with short sales

Write addendum to contract outlining your process for
handling the short sales – communication the time frame, your communication
frequency and type, who communication is with and when and why then have buyer
sign.  Are you committed?  Are you sure this is the right house for
you?  Are you prepared for the process to
take several months?  Will you be ok with
not hearing from me, as the listing agent for sometimes weeks at a time?

The foreclosure report: 
sense from Kent Eley and Fannie Mae is 2nd quarter of
2010.  Administration is trying to be
gentler on folks and not kicking them out in winter and around holidays as well
as push loan modifications.  Also, money
given in stimulus package, banks were told not to foreclose by try and work the
loans out.  Other agents feel that it is
the ignorance of the bank and no one moving fast enough because no one is
giving them direction on what to do as banks are overwhelmed.

Is anyone specifically marketing to get move up buyers into
the market?  What are you doing to get
the word out because most people don’t know or understand what was in the
extension.  Email campaigns, newsletters,
phone calls – just do it. 

Quick analysis: 
Market on upswing, foreclosures coming in second quarter, MBS are going
to stop being purchased by the government in March, tax credit ends on April 30th
even though you have to close by June 30th – therefore you will make
a majority of your money in the first quarter of next year and you need to get
busy today to take advantage of the future market.

What happens to Fannie and Freddie moving forward?  Who will absorb the secondary market funds?



  • President has signed the Tax Credit.  It passed by a vote of 403
    to 12 in Congress and by a vote of 98 to 0 in the Senate.  Woohoo, it’s already done!  All the politicians in attendance broke
    bones over this – they broke their arms patting themselves so hard on
    their back voting to get this through when it was a no brainer to begin
    with in my opinion.
  • $6500 credit to people who have
    lived in their house 5 of the last 8 years.  $225k combined income on properties up to
  • These measures will spur growth
    but credit needs to be easier to obtain to boost rest of the economy
  • Commercial Real Estate and
    retail is a concern – Federal government is only real lessee in town
  • Raising funds for Metro Rail is
    and will be a challenge
  • Must be CRS to appraise
    properties over $1,000,000 – I hadn’t heard this before
  • Questions to ask appraisers
    • Do you have contact
    • Do you have comps
    • Do you know the neighborhood
    • Where are you located
    • How long have you been
  • One agent has not had a local
    appraiser in listing for 6 months – take on at State level
  • HVCC sunsets in June 2011 – I had
    not heard this before
  • Must deal w/ deficit issues
    head on and match our deeds to words to stay ahead of China
  • Leading Nations in the
    corresponding centuries
    • 16th – Spain
    • 17th – France
    • 18th – Britain
    • 19th – Britain
    • 20th – United
    • 21st – ???  (Let’s hope it’s not China!!!)
  • Local economy grew 3% Q3
    unemployment is less than 5% in our area
  • Stimulus $$ will benefit Tech
    and R&D industries in our area
  • Knowledge based economy has
    helped our area – no smoke stacks,  plants or factories
  • Heath care is a tremendous
    concern if you’re lucky enough to live long enough we will all have a pre-existing
    condition – things need to change
  • Analyzing how the politicians
    throw around Billions, ½ trillions and trillions like it’s not real money
  • Loan limit rate increase was
    extended through end of 2010 so it will remain at $729,750