Archive for the ‘bank owned homes’ Category

Checking in on what’s up. Or checking up on what’s in.

| September 12th, 2011 | No Comments »

It’s always good to know what’s happening in the real estate market regardless of whether or not you’re in the market. As I’ve learned over the years, there is sometimes a very quick transition from being out of the market to being in. I’ve literally had clients that were on a drive, saw a neighborhood they liked and put their house on the market 2 weeks later. So this brings me back to my point that it’s always good to know what’s up in real estate.

Here are a couple facts that you might find interesting. In our area (King, Pierce and Snohomish County) 1 out of every 8 sales is a short sale. In King County, 1 out of 4 is a bank owned sale; slightly more in Snohomish and Pierce County (1 out of every 3). What does this mean? Well obviously it means you need to go back and read my post titled Pop Quiz for a great explanation of short sales and bank owned properties because the chances are great that you will come across one of the two during your home search. Are they bad? Not necessarily, just different.

You also need to know that there has been a drop in inventory; homes are selling faster. Don’t be surprised if you have your heart set on a home, think you have plenty of time to make the offer and the home goes pending while you are still hemming and hawing. Having to tell your clients that their dream home was already snatched up is on my list of top 5 worst things you can experience as an agent (that is going to make a great future post…stay tuned!) It also means that prices are stabilizing. I repeat, less inventory leads to price stability.

While of course there are other happenings in real estate, I felt these two were the least boring to the majority of people. If I get too real estate-specific, I will lose those in my audience who are definitely not in the market. I like to stick to the generic events in real estate so everyone can enjoy my blog!

If you are dying to know more real estate news or simply want more clarification on anything I’ve just shared, you know that I’m always available! And that friends, is what’s up. Or what’s in. Either way.

Pop Quiz

| August 24th, 2011 | No Comments »

The more I work in real estate the more I learn. Actually the more I work in real estate the more I learn what people need to learn. Did I lose you yet? I have come to the conclusion that there are two aspects of real estate that I find most people either don’t know or aren’t entirely sure about. They are: bank owned properties vs. short sales and listing agent vs. selling agent.

Bank owned properties vs. short sales: A lot of folks think they are one in the same. Nope. Pretty different and here’s why. Short sales (or preforeclosures) are homes that are being sold for less than what is owed on the mortgage. The owner may or may not still be living in the home and the home may or may not be in good condition. Short sales are often priced low to entice offers because without an offer, a short sale is stagnant and runs the risk of foreclosure if too many months of missed payments go by. There are 2 problems with short sales. The first is that the list price is not necessarily the price the bank is willing to accept. The second is that there could be a long wait from the time the offer is submitted to the time the bank responds. And not long as in weeks but long as in months. When the bank finally does respond they may either accept the offer, raise the price or decide that foreclosing on the home is a better option. Bank owned homes have already gone through the foreclosure process and are owned by the bank. They are vacant and may or may not be in good condition. The price is still usually low but the list price is ultimately is the price the bank is willing to accept although there is sometimes room for negotiating a lower price. There is no lengthy wait time and other than having to use the bank’s forms to write the offer, they typically proceed like a normal sale. That’s bank owned vs. short sales in a nutshell.

Listing agent vs. selling agent: It still surprises me how many consumers don’t realize there are two agents in a transaction or that there is a difference between the two. Ok, let’s review. The listing agent is the agent that lists the property for sale; they represent the seller and their name is on the sign in the yard. The selling agent brings in the buyer to purchase the property; they represent the buyer only. The commission is split between the two agents. Can you use one agent for both? Yes, but think of it this way: can one agent have the best interest of the seller AND the buyer in mind? Impossible but it does happen. So if you are a buyer, don’t call the name on the sign (unless its mine!) Instead, get your own agent (me) to represent you! And just so you are all clear, a listing agent can also be called a “seller’s” agent and a selling agent can also be called a “buyer’s” agent.

Now that you’re all up to speed, take out your number 2 pencils and let’s begin the quiz…

So bad it’s good

| August 5th, 2011 | No Comments »

You know there is something not quite right when banks are bulldozing down homes that have been foreclosed upon rather than selling them. What does this say about the state of these homes and the state of the housing market? I’ll give you a hint…not very good. However, there is a bright side.

When these banks choose to hire a bulldozer instead of a real estate agent, some good does come out of it. For one, the land can be donated to local municipalities to develop or used for open space. It’s good for the bank because they no longer have to pay for the upkeep of these homes or the taxes. In some cases they may even get a write off for the donation. And it’s good for the neighborhood because these homes would most likely be sold at a discount and drive down the values of the surrounding homes.

So if you hear the unmistakable roar of a bulldozer somewhere in your neighborhood, you know what might be going on. However, you pretty much have to live in Cleveland, Detroit or Chicago for this to be the case. For a full link to this article click here.

Bank-owned homes: a few tips

| May 27th, 2011 | 1 Comment »

Tips on Bank Owned HomesBank owned homes can be full of surprises…and not the fun kind. A good agent can help you avoid these unpleasant surprises by knowing what to look for.

Because these are not standard transactions and the buyer isn’t dealing with a warm blooded person on the other end, there can be limited negotiating. Price, repairs or a buyer’s hardship pleas will most likely not matter. I always prepare my buyers for this and tell them we have to put our best foot forward and be prepared to walk away if it doesn’t meet our needs.

Secondly, the bank usually has very limited knowledge of the property’s condition so a thorough inspection is critical to make sure there aren’t any defects or red flags. Once you move in, don’t plan on calling anyone at the bank to ask where the mail key is or how to get the sprinkler system to work. They may even laugh if you do! It’s also wise to consider a home warranty or if I was your agent, I would buy you one. It’s a smart investment on a bank-owned property.

Title reports are a must and should be checked right away. If the title isn’t clear, it’s better to know in the beginning then to find out right before closing. My peeps at Northwest Title can help us with this!

Lastly, get new keys ASAP! I don’t mean to repeat myself but if I was your agent, I’d buy them for you. You never know how many other keys are floating around out there and you probably don’t want to find out the hard way.

So to recap: bank-owned homes can be full of the kind of surprises that aren’t fun. If you want to avoid these, make sure you have a good agent who will look out for you. In case you missed my subtle hints, I would love to be your agent and will promise to take good care of you!