Friday, May 27, 2011

Accurate Count of Active MLS Listings

I vented my frustration on Facebook the other day. About the number of wonderful buyers that I am working with and not able to get them closed on a property. HELP!!! I screeched in written format.

The post brought to head a funny little thing that many are presumably missing......

What shows as active in the MLS, isn't truly 'Active'!

How could that be you say? Hmmm.....well, an example here:

15 homes on my buyers favorites list. About 1/2 of them are showing as taking Back-up offers. Of those remaining ones that are supposed to be truly active they are (1) Appointment Only with Agent or Occupant .....and they never return your phone calls to show (2) Drive-By Only, Write offer subject to interior inspection...they always are. (3) So obscenely listed at a low price, to get any offer submitted to the bank, they get buyers unrealistic hopes up. (4) Or, they already have an offer at the bank and are closing escrow in 3 days the agent just neglected to change the status in the MLS.

So, when we see almost 1300 homes available for sale? Don't get excited....sorry. In a normal market, that would be a beautiful, healthy inventory. In this one? Hah!, maybe 700 - 800 are really available for sale......

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I Still Want To Live In Santa Clarita

As much as my personal residence has been hit by the housing bust, or whatever you want to call it today, I still prefer to live in Santa Clarita than other local to Los Angeles areas.

We have just about everything. I do think, and my mother would agree, that we are still a toddler when it comes to 'The Arts', but we are growing. I'm actually going to see another production at our local Canyon Theatre Guild in a couple of weeks. Not much in the way of museums, but we only live 30 miles from some great ones!

And, the article on my Yahoo home page lists all kinds of things that can increase your homes' value. And, guess what? We have all those things right here!

1) Schools - We have great schools!
2) Parks - Wonderful parks and we use them!
3) Golf Course - We have, I lost count....3?
4) Pond or Body of Water - Castaic Lake!

And, they didn't mention the people! Santa Claritans are some of the nicest people! Well, most of them! LOLOL

So, if you are thinking about moving away since your house has lost value? Remember, we still are one of the best cities to live in! And, if you have to move, at least know that people move here because we are a wonderful community and Yahoo just pointed it out for us!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sell an REO, Get a Bonus Through Freddie Mac

Okay, there has been some news around, not sure if it's been publicised much, but there are some Realtor bonus' to be had for selling a Freddie Mac REO. And, some buyer closing cost assistance from Fannie Mae REO's too!

Well, that's just dandy. Realtors that are working with buyers have probably already seen quite a few MLS agent remarks that reflect these added incentives. And, while I think that's super, I'd be happier if we just had more inventory to show. More REO inventory, less Short-Sale inventory. 

Really, more traditional inventory would make me tinkled pink!

But, don't think your agent will only show you REO's to get that selling agent bonus. There just aren't enough of them to go around. Do expect a better house-warming gift though!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's Tough Out There!

I get articles e-mailed to me by several different affiliates, agents, etc. Every day. And, I read them....every day. Along with those L.A.Times, etc. articles I read every day. Ignoring the Schwarzenegger saga and the Sheen mess though, what a waste.

At any rate, I received one this morning that I read, laughed out loud at, and decided to share one last line of the article with anyone reading my blog.

NAR said only 6% of its members claim real estate as their first career. 

NAR is the National Association of Realtors. So, obviously it covers our entire country. The article was about how, obvious again here, Realtors incomes have dropped in the last few years. Really! Of course, and so have a lot of other careers. It's Tough Out There. Everyone is having a hard time.

But, it also stated median incomes of Realtors, who is working, who is complaining, what some agents think is the miracle cure to more home sales...and therefor a more income!

And, honestly it was the last line that struck me...copied and pasted in red a few lines above....that only 6% claim Real Estate as their first career. My company? We have a heck of a lot of agents working, truly working, as Realtors. 

And, me? I claim Real Estate as my one and only career. I don't work at it part-time, once a month, or when the mood strikes me. I work a schedule that my Real Estate coach taught me. Prospect, appointments, listing and selling Real Estate.

Make sure that the Realtor you hire is prepared to work in a tough market. That they work in an 'easy' market. And, mostly? Make sure that Real Estate is claimed as their Full-Time career. Not a hobby.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Retiring? Buy a Home with Your Friends!

When I was younger one of my bestest friends, and her family, came to live with mine. We loved it! The reason wasn't a good one, but it was so much fun. She would call me and ask what I wanted for dinner. Our husbands watched sports together, we took the kids to the park together.

And, we always joked that at some point in our lives we'd buy a 'Dallas' (the old TV show) type house and they would live in the East Wing, we the West. Or vice-versa...can't remember ;o).

Reading articles this morning. Found one about retirement. And, knowing how stretched people are these days it was very on target. When people are scrimping just to get by it's hard to keep putting money in for retirement.

So one of the solutions was for two couples to combine living expenses, live together. Whether one of them owned a home or not. They would share the cost of maintaining one residence. Maybe rent out the other.

In my decade career, I've sold one home to a combining family such as that. And, it truly works for them. And they aren't even retirement age yet!

So, read the article below....and stop fretting about having enough money for retirement. Start planning on who ya gonna live with when your 70!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Seller Financing For Buyers With Poor Credit

In the next few years, we already have many, there will be people that want to buy a home that have a foreclosure on their financial history. Who is going to lend them money?

There have always been sellers that will consider holding a note for a prospective buyer. Generally when they are slightly desperate to sell and move on, with no traditional buyers interested in their home.

It's happening already. See the story below:

Sellers need to be extremely careful. Contracts need to be written with expertise. My thoughts are there will be viable options for seller backed financing in the next few years but the reason for the foreclosure really needs to be investigated. And, the most popular scenarios aren't really the types that I would want to hold paper on.

But, if we get an influx of the Shadow Inventory all of a sudden, there will be plenty of somewhat desperate traditional sellers that want to sell and they will be competing against huge numbers of available homes.

Better start thinking now about how holding paper on your home for a buyer will work for you. And, have a Realtor and lender in your back pocket to help you out with credit reports and contracts! And, an attorney?That is a really, really good idea too!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Where You Should Look For Homes

I'm eating lunch and reading articles. Always have to keep current on what's going on, what the home consumer is looking at.

There has been some chat today about how many errors there are on websites that prospective buyers (and some sellers) are looking at and how it affects my business. If something is listed as active and it's already sold kind of scenario.

Been a beef of mine for a bit, but I certainly don't lose any sleep over it.

However the article I read a bit ago prompted me to remind my blog followers about my favorite web program for home shopping.

LISTINGBOOK. It's completely attached to our local MLS. Updates information every 30 minutes. My clients can let it send them e-mails and they can also search on their own, 24/7! My favorite part of the program is the 'Favorite' section...and the 'Reject' section. We can communicate with each other on individual homes. Map and view photographs. Set-up showings, etc.

I have a lot of people that like to use and I just don't find them to be as accurate as Listingbook.

Keep in mind though, none are accurate at all if the information input isn't correct. If you want to take a peek, click on the link below.

It's best if I set up the first search parameters for ya though!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Why I Push Re-Sale When Working With ANY Buyer

I've been told that normal home-owners move every eight years or so. I've got clients that last two, and others twenty. So, I'm not one to say if that's valid or not.

However long my client thinks they are going to stay in their home one thing I always, annoyingly, do? Remind them about Re-Sale values. I may have touched on this before but the article on Yahoo this morning prompted me to touch on it again.

While you may not have good hearing, that railroad track might be considered loud to others. The electrical towers? A big turn-off for most. How about the barking dog next door? That one could move the next day so if you're okay with it, go for it. And, on the flip side, the beautiful cat that yawns in the neighbors window? Could be replaced with two huge Doberman's the next month!

But, since there are several things that are a turn off for everyone, listen to your Realtor when they keep shoving RE-SALE down your throats. They want your next move to be a good one too!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Holding Numbers

I read through the news this morning. All seems to be saying we are moving in an upward fashion on the home sales front.

Okay, still a tough challenge to get something closed, let alone an offer accepted. But, we are helping people, and that's what it's all about.

Stats measured this morning shows that we are holding together fairly the same. About 4 1/2 months of inventory.

1252 Active in Santa Clarita. 809 in Pending (or taking back-up offers). And 290 closed sales in the last 30 days. Still looking at a lot of Short-Sales. But, the banks are continuing to improve on the way home-owners in default are being cared for.

If we can continue to weed through the SS and REO's and close sales, all the better for the housing market.

Monday, May 2, 2011

State Bills Didn't Pass....But Will Try Again!

Read this today. While I'm glad the first one is going to get re-addressed very soon, the second I'm not so sure about. We'd end up paying it back somehow anyway.

Wanted to share this important information with you though!


California Foreclosure Bills Fall Flat with Committees

California legislators put two bills aimed at addressing the state’s foreclosure problem to committee votes this week.
Both failed to pass despite the fact that supporters of the proposed laws packed the hearing rooms at the state Capitol, but neither is completely dead. They have both been scheduled for new hearings.

The California Homeowner Protection Act (SB 729) would make it unlawful for a lender to move forward with foreclosure while evaluating the borrower for a loan modification – the common practice referred to as “dual tracking.” The bill states that borrowers must be given a decision on their loan mod application before the formal foreclosure process can begin.

With a 3-3 vote, the SB 729 did not pass the state’s Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee. The committee’s seventh member declined to vote.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), will be re-heard by the committee on Wednesday, May 4
Across the way in the other legislative chamber, the bill (AB 935) introduced by Assembly Member Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley) would have levied a $20,000 processing fee on banks and servicers for every foreclosure initiated in California.

The money would go into a “Foreclosure Mitigation Fund” and be disbursed to local schools, fire departments, and other community (government) service agencies in order to make up for lost property taxes and other expenses that arise from foreclosures, including maintaining the properties. Blumenfield says the statewide levy could generate up to $16 billion over the next two years.

AB 935 was voted down by the Assembly Committee on Banking and Finance, with four members voting against it, four voting in favor, and four members failing to vote. It will be heard again on Monday, May 2.
In the wake of the robo-signing scandal last fall, both bills have garnered strong backing from constituents, consumer advocacy groups, and grassroots organizations.