And remember, when you use Real-a-Save as your Buyer’s Agent you receive half of our commission at closing, that’s a whopping $8,610.00!! See all the details of our Denver and Boulder commission rebate program here.
Or, simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 303-415-2541.
Uncle Sam is indicating that he’d like to use a few of our tax dollars to finance billions in loans. Great. Now, I’m all for the current $8,000.00 tax credit as I’ve seen first hand benefits for buyers I’ve been working with in the Denver and Boulder markets. But this is a much different creature.
The program I’m referring to is the one announced today by the Obama Administration whereby the Federal Government will become the new buyer in the previously evaporated mortgage-backed security market, thus allowing state agencies to fund millions of mortgages. What? Basically, when the economy and housing market imploded last year the bond market for mortgage backed securities disappeared. This caused various HFA’s (housing finance agencies) to cease giving loans or raise rates considerably. So now Uncle Sam is Subprime Sammy!, your mortgage backed security expert and buyer extraordinaire.
All kidding aside- how is the potential of this program any different than what subprime lenders did over the last decade or so to “encourage” first time buyers to jump into the market? Aren’t we currently living through the aftermath of the collapse of just such a program?
Part of this program would allow first-time buyers to use the future $8,000 tax credit as part of their down payment. Another bad idea. This means that this new round of buyers will have the same amount of skin in the game as the subprime borrowers who got 100% financing in 2003. None. So there is no incentive to stay in the game, and we might as well look forward to another massive wave of foreclosures 3-5 years from now when some of these new homeowners realize that this is not their cup of tea.
I’m all for helping first-time buyers…we do it all the time at Real-a-Save. But if a potential buyer has ZERO dollars, then maybe, just maybe, they’re NOT a potential buyer after all. FHA loans require 3.5% down right now. That’s a pretty darn good deal. Why are we looking for ways to require zero down? Isn’t that exactly what got us here in the first place?
Email email@example.com if you have any real estate questions, or if you would like to know about our Colorado commission rebate program. And no, you cannot use a commission rebate towards your down payment;-)
You’ve got a contract on your home and you’ve just sailed through inspections without a hitch. All’s well, right? Maybe.
It used to be that once you get through inspections it was all downhill from there. Closing is just around the corner and unless the buyer decides to bail on the contract then the property should close (Incidentally, buyers are really in charge and have lots of protection in Colorado. More on that another time ). But with the way that the lending industry is reacting, and often overreacting, to the recent housing meltdown, there is a new hurdle that’s often more treacherous than inspection: The Appraisal.
I have no problem with an honest, experienced, reliable appraiser doing his or her job and placing a proper value on a home. And if that value is less than the contract price then so be it. Appraisers serve a very important function in the real estate world. And honestly, if there were more rigorous appraisals in years past then maybe we would have had the severe run up in housing prices we saw over the last decade or so…that’s debatable, but an interesting issue none the less.
The problem I have with the way that appraisals are currently done is that we are getting inexperienced appraisers who are often NOT familiar with the neighborhood trends and micro-market they’re working in. Does this sound like typical BS from a Realtor who just wants the deal to close? Sure, I understand skepticism like that. But all real estate IS local. And you truly need to understand how pricing works from one city and one neighborhood to the next if you’re going to put a proper value on a place.
What to do? Well, since there’s really no way for sellers to change appraisal laws/rules and force lenders to hire experienced, impartial, LOCAL appraisers, then we have to do the next best thing: make sure you have pricing support IN HAND at every moment when your home is for sale. Sounds obvious, right? Well, not to everyone. Maybe you’ve had your home listed for 9 months and you started out at $350k, and dropped to $345k a few weeks ago. You remember the comps from 9 months ago and they clearly supported a price of 345-350k, so you priced on the high side (which is not the best tactic anyway…). But it’s quite possible that the market has dropped significantly since then. And when an appraiser comes to value your home they’re only going to be interested in the last 3 months of sold comps. And there had better be about 3 of them.
So be sure you are constantly updating your sold comps as you sit on the market. Numbers don’t lie. If home values are dropping significantly in your area then it’s best to SET the market then to chase the market. Price just under what the numbers support, generate some interest and get your place sold.
Remember that www.realasave.com can help you save lots of cash on commissions with our Colorado commission rebate program and flat-fee listing service, so email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
So far, Real-a-Save has been providing services in the Denver and Boulder real estate markets, with the occasional deal in Colorado Springs, Summit County, and Fort Collins. But we have received some interest from agents in other states who would like to bring this concept to consumers in their area.
It seems inevitable that the real estate industry will undergo some serious changes over the coming years. I believe that the economic crisis will have a lasting effect on consumers in this country. People seem much more focused on saving money wherever possible. From groceries to gasoline to real estate fees. Our business seems poised to grow in this new economy.
When consumers are given the choice of two relatively similar products where one of those products offers significant savings, which one will they choose? There really is no difference between the services offered by a traditional Realtor and the services offered by Real-a-Save. Sure, we don’t hold open houses for our sellers. And yes, we ask our buyers to do some of the initial searching on their own. But that’s it. We offer an incredible level of service while simultaneously saving consumers thousands of dollars.
Let us know if you’d like to see Real-a-Save in your city or state. Email email@example.com with requests or questions.