Friday, December 27, 2013

N.A.R. Home Buyer Survery

National Association of Realtors did a survey of home buyers in 2013 and the results were interesting to me so I thought I'd share with you!

First step expected....searching on the internet for prospective homes. Use of the internet rose to 92%.

88% of buyers used a Realtor to help them, back in 2001 it was only 69%. Think buyers are getting smarter. 42 % said they found their agent by a friends referral or family. Surprisingly only 12% used an agent they worked with in the past. Bad agents or fickle buyers?

Most buyers searched for about 3 months and looked at about 10 homes. 38% were first time buyers. Seemed like more on both of these stats for my clients!

On the seller side ~ typical sellers stayed in their homes for 9 years. Most sold for 97% of list price and about half said they had to reduce their price at least once.

85% of sellers said their home was in the MLS, 3% more than that said they were represented by a Realtor. Of the FSBO's, 40% said they knew the buyer before they decided to sell.

A small 13% said they delayed selling due to the value of their home vs. mortgage balance. We all can relate to that.

Small portion of brand new homes were sold.....16%.

Typical buyer age? 42. Typical first time home buyer age? 31. Fifty-Two was the average age for repeat buyers. Yep, that all seems right on.

Most buyers utilized financing, typically 90%, with 10% down.

I found a few interesting, many very atypical due to market conditions. But, I presumed some of you would find the results worth reading.

Friday, December 20, 2013

If You're Thinking About Going Solo In The Sale of Your Home, Think Again

There is something called a FSBO (prounounced Fizzbo)....aka the For Sale By Owner.

We haven't had too many of these in years but I suspect they will start showing up again as the market changes next year. As sellers don't earn the same equity in 2014 as they did in 2013 they will seek ways to keep as much proceeds in their pocket as possible. Very reasonable.

That's a Realtors job as well. But, you knew that, right?

Did you know that a Realtor is the one that will really get you the most amount of money for your home possible? Want to know how?

Most buyers start on the internet for their next home. Online marketing isn't for the newbies. You need someone that knows how to create and follow through on the most effective internet marketing campaign to get your home seen by the most amount of prospective buyers. Right? Of course.

Basic information about a home for sale isn't quite enough. Different homes have different 'values' based upon their local market. Their local neighborhood. A seller will never have the information that a Realtor has to bring the best buyer to your home. Never.

Networking is the name of the game in many home sales. I had a buyer that had been searching for quite some time. We found a home, multiple offers, my client was selected due to a relationship I had with the listing agent. She wanted to work with an agent she knew, trusted, and would close the transaction on time. Another, same story, 9 offers on that one. My client was selected based upon my expertise known by the listing agent.  When representing sellers, I'll be the one that guides you on the reasoning for selecting one offer over another. Experience with the people that I work with, the years of reviewing contracts, the mistakes to be avoided. No seller will know as much as a seasoned Realtor will. Trust me. None.

Yep, it's one smart cookie that knows an Realtor will get you the most bang for your buck.

 Are you a smart cookie?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wow, Really? Buyers Don't Ask Their Lenders These Questions?

Well, some of my buyers may not as I likely have found out most of it for them and already told them just to be on the safe side!

But, that is my obsessive nature I suppose. And, the fact that I always want a client to know going in what's going on so there are no scares at the end of escrow!

Read this today as the things buyers forget to ask their lender:

1) What's your APR, Annual Percentage Rate? ~ Come one.....please tell me you ask? Well, you better now! It could mean big bucks in the long run! Don't get confused from one lender quote to another without asking the actual APR.

2) Impounds? What's that? ~ If you want to be paying your property taxes and insurance monthly instead of annually, could be a great scenario for you. Particularly if you aren't a good budgeter!

3) Can you get penalized for paying the loan off early? ~ I love paying extra on my mortgage. Makes me feel like I'm saving tons of money...which I am! You can get penalized on some loans. ASK!

4) What NOT to do until you close escrow! ~ Oh goodness, ask any of my buyers....pop quiz! DON'T GO SHOPPING OR CHANGE JOBS!!!

5) Who do I pay my mortgage payment to? ~ First month, oh yes, likely who you took the loan out via. 2nd? Hah, look for your loan to be sold....yessiree! Pay attention to those notes that come in the mail after you close escrow!

Okay, I think most of my clients would get an A+ on this quiz! 
What about you? How'd you score?

Friday, December 13, 2013

So Now It's Los Angeles To Sue Some Banks

The city of Los Angeles is filing lawsuits agains Citi, Wells, and B of A saying that these three behemoth banking institutions did discriminatory lending practices between 2008 and 2012 that cost the city of L. A. more than 1.2 Billion.

L. A. city attorney, Mike Feuer, said "These lawsuits send the firm message that we will use every tool at our disposal to fight for all Los Angeles taxpayers and neighborhoods."

He feels that the banks discriminated in their mortgages since at least 2004 by imposing different terms or conditions. The lawsuits charge all three banks with redlining and reverse redlining. (refuse a loan to someone because they live in an area deemed to be a poor financial risk)

Hmmmmm I say..... All of the banks, needless to say, are strongly denying this practice.

Now, I can't say I wouldn't be surprised if the banks didn't lend due to appraisal issues on bad properties. Nor could I say that I'd be even less surprised if there were loan brokers that did commit Redline infractions and those loans were then subsequently sold to B of A, Citi, or Wells.

Regardless, I understand the frustration, but I still believe that it will just trickle back down to the consumer even if the suits are won. As well, of course, as the cost to sue these big dogs.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Phew, Lots of Financial Changes Planned for 2014

FHA loan limits are dropping down. Fannie and Freddie are going to be charging more in fees. A new regulation, The Qualified Mortgage, comes along next year. The tapering of buying mortgages will likely happen in 2014 too.

Okay, so what does that all mean to you?

Quite obviously, it's going to be harder to buy a home in 2014 than it was in 2013. Not that it hasn't been hard to buy a home for the last few years though, right?!?!?

I'm such a glass half full Realtor! And, a glass half full woman. We can cry and moan about what it's going to cost, how much harder it's going to be, but many still will be able to buy a home won't they?

Maybe not the exact one you were hoping for. Maybe you'll have to spend a little less. Maybe it will cost you a bit more. But, with rentals still being pretty outrageous, home ownership is the way to go.

Okay, I'm done. Enjoy your day!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Foreclosure Activity ~ Curious?

I'm pretty sure I did a post recently about the decline in foreclosure activity in the beautiful Santa Clarita Valley. Less than 1/2 of what it was just a few years ago.

Sharing an article I read this morning to remind Californians that we are a non-judicial state and that the majority of the remaining foreclosure activity is in the judicial states. As in, you have to go to court to get a property foreclosed on. Needless to takes a whole heck of a lot longer. So more properties would still be locked up in the system in judicial states.

Click On The Link Below For Full Reading:

Now, you'll see (as I don't hide anything), that it right away says it's a bit longer than before. Well, go figure, the market has slowed down a bit so of course it will take a lengthier time to clear it all out. Just like with a standard sale right now.

Anywhohow ~ that's my share on the, getting to be old news, foreclosures in our fair valley.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Following Up On The Request For Repairs

Last week I blogged a bit about the Request for Repairs in a Real Estate transaction. Yep, today I have to follow up with the VP, Verification of Property Condition.

Nearing the end of your escrow, generally around the same day the buyer is signing their home loan docs, a final walk through is done at the property being sold.

Buyer(s) and their agent go to home to see it one last time before escrow closes. Unless changed, contractually it is within the last 5 days of the escrow period.

There are two most important reasons to do this walk through. Verify that the property is in the same condition as when the offer was written. Confirm that any agreed upon repairs have been completed.

Most of the time everything is done....most of the time everything is as it should be. However, once in a while, really maybe once a year, something is a bit amiss.

Maybe a curtain rod has been removed. Possibly the refrigerator that was to stay has been packed onto the sellers moving truck. Maybe not all the repairs agreed to have been completed.

Oh goodness, what to do! Not a biggie. Between the listing and selling agent we work it all out. I've seen some agents just freak out and make a 'mountain out of a molehill' about something amiss during the walk through. Soooo not necessary.

Now, I'm not going to kid you, being a Realtor is very stressful and I can get a bit attitudish (I know not a real word) once in a while. However, the VP is generally easily corrected and usually just a misunderstanding between the parties. One more walk-through may be necessary, so a little bit more time? It's worth the effort and worth the time.

Questions? I'm here to answer them for you! ~