Posts Tagged ‘Realtor’

It Sold! No it didn’t!

As I was walking through the neighborhood, I saw a client who had written a contract a few days ago.  He had hoped to purchase a particular REO property, as he wanted to help some friends by renting the house to them.  This was a multiple offer situation, and he wrote his cash offer above the listed price. 

Photo courtesy of Stockvault.net

I called to him and said, “I haven’t heard anything yet.”  He called back to me, “It sold!”  When I caught up to him, I asked what he meant, as it didn’t seem possible that it could have sold already.  “Oh yes,” he said, “I read it in the newspaper.”  I must have looked incredulous, as he asked me if I wanted to see the paper.  “Yes,” I said, “please show it to me.”  When he showed me the clipping, I saw that some recent sales were listed, and among them was the address of the home on which he had written the offer.  “It sold for more than I bid,” he said, looking at me with disappointment. 

Upon closer examination of the details in the newspaper I noticed that the sale date was January 10, 2010.  We had dated his offer February 9th, and so far had not heard back from the listing agent.  The list of sold homes was prefaced with the explanation that these sales were purchased through foreclosure by lenders.  When I pointed out to him that the sale reported in the paper took place in January, he looked puzzled.  You may be too.  This is what happened:

The prior owners lost their home to foreclosure.  The home was purchased in January by the loss mitigation department of the lender holding the note.  The lender paid $237,000 which was reported in the newspaper.  The lender then engaged a Realtor to sell the home, and as this home needs work, it was listed at $180,000, less than the lender paid for it.  Because this San Jose home was listed so low, multiple bids came in on the property, many of them above the listed price. 

We must wait to see what the sale price will be on this house.  That is not disclosed until escrow closes and the property has been recorded in the new owner’s name.  Will it be what the lender paid?  Or less?  Or more?  It could be any of these, but in this case, in this area, it’s likely to sell for a higher price.  In this troubled time in our nation, lenders would be happy to recoup what they paid, but they may not.  Lending institutions are in the business of lending money, not owning real estate, and their interest is in getting the REO property off their books.

Are You Ready To Buy a House?

So, you want to buy a house? Of course! It’s the American dream. You can paint the walls the colors you like. You can plant what you like in your backyard. Maybe you’d like a pool in your backyard. You can remodel your house to show off your style, to make it your own, to make it a comfortable and comforting place for your lifestyle. You can make it a home.

Okay, what’s the first step? Well, let’s find out how much house you can buy. To do that you need to talk to a lender and get pre-qualified. You can do that over the phone. But is that good enough to start shopping? Not any more. These days, now that lenders have suffering in their history, they aren’t as lenient or as open minded as they used to be. One Realtor said recently, speaking of that bygone era, “all you needed was to be able to fog a mirror to get a loan.” Those days may be gone, but the good news is that lenders are still in business to make money and they do that by selling loans.

Ask a lender to get you pre-approved for a loan. This entails enabling the lender to request and look at your credit report, and learn your FICO scores. You will also fill out a loan application form. He or she will ask you to bring in a couple recent pay stubs, bank statements, and tax returns. That lender now has a pretty good idea about your income, your debt, and your payment habits. Ask the lender to give you a pre-approval letter. Now you’re ready to call a Realtor and start shopping for your new home!

I’m Pre-Approved! Where’s My House?

Mr. and Mrs. First-Time Homebuyer have been out looking at homes, and they found one they like in their price range.  Okay, let’s write a contract to purchase that home.  How exciting!  “Honey, where will we put the big screen TV?”  Several days go by, and still no word from their Realtor.  “She said she would call when she had news for us.  How can there be no news?” 

“That house was pretty trashed; who would want it besides us?  Who has the vision we have for making improvements to that house?”  Well, apparently a lot of people are thinking that same way.  Much of our current inventory, especially at entry-level price range, is distressed properties.  Many have gone through the foreclosure process, and the seller, most likely a lender, realizes that many of these homes have had walls put up or removed, garages may have been converted into living quarters.  Sometimes light fixtures, stoves, faucets, even copper piping may have been removed from the property. 

 That’s part of the reason these homes are now priced so attractively.  They may be listed at several hundred thousand dollars less than they sold for three or four years ago.  We live in an area where there is great value in the land, therefore it’s not unusual to have even dozens of offers on a bargain property when it comes onto the market.  (This is why it may take a while before your agent receives news on your offer back from the seller’s agent.)  Many of these homes are being snatched up by investors, paying cash.  My advice to you is, keep writing offers.  You will win a contract!  And when you do you truly will be a winner.  Economics is cyclical, prices most certainly will come back–and there is value in that land!