Posted on 2. November 2011 02:28 by qmiskini

 

Last week we spent a full day with nearly 200 of the top REO sales and marketing teams from across the USA listening to the collective thinking of eight of the top asset managers from six asset management companies representing billions of dollars of foreclosed properties for both large and small banks and investors.  The information they shared was a stark commentary on the state of the housing market today and their best prognostication of the market to come.

They described the huge backlog of “grey or shadow inventory,” perhaps as many as 6 million mortgages in default or eminent default still to come to the market.  That number in itself is more than 10% of all mortgages nationally.  If the market is depressed today, imagine what would happen to the housing market and home prices if all these defaulting mortgages were foreclosed at once.  A huge quandary for banks and investors holding these defaulting mortgages: How to clear the inventory from their balance sheets, which hurts their financial health, without crashing the housing market.

Although it seems like a large portion of the resale housing available for sale today are foreclosed homes, a rising percentage of the distressed properties for sale in the Metro Atlanta market and across the country are short sales. These are properties whose mortgages are in default and whose owners are attempting to sell and also work out a settlement with their mortgage holder to repay less than what is owed and have the balance (called the deficiency) forgiven.

For sellers of short sale properties this is still, although a good alternative to foreclosure, a tough row to hoe.  Banks, investors and the asset management companies hired to manage the short sale negotiations are still woefully understaffed.  Processing and procedures vary widely from bank to bank, and federal and local regulations and restrictions on how Realtors can represent sellers in short sale transactions are restrictive and inhibiting.  Not a pretty picture out there.

The bright side of this gloomy picture is that industry professionals recognize what a mess the market and the process to clear out the glut of defaulting mortgages is.  But there is much work to be done to stabilize home prices and allow the housing market to help lead the nation out of economic distress.

As Realtors, the more we know about how to navigate the unclear and turbulent waters of marketing and selling short sale and foreclosed properties, and the sharper our understanding of the internal systems of lenders and asset managers when negotiating sales for our distress sale sellers and buyers, the clearer the housing picture will become.  Taking many months to unsuccessfully negotiate a short sale transaction only to see the property go to foreclosure helps no one.  Learning how to successfully bring a short sale offer to a defaulting seller’s lender and thread the eye of the needle in order to get the sale approved, clearing one by one the backlog of distressed homes from the market, can only speed up change in this otherwise dismal residential housing environment.

At the end of the day, it may well be educated and adept Realtors and their Teams, who have become expert at guiding defaulting sellers and bargain hunting buyers through the process, who will clear out the defaulting inventory and bring the market back to health.  We can help distressed home owners find financial relief, and help buyers anxious to find a good opportunity at the bottom of the market to find the “perfect home,”  stabilize neighborhoods, and do our part in forging a path toward economic recovery.

Until then, there’s is no telling how long this tough market will continue.

Remember… selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event; you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net

 


Posted on 13. October 2011 01:35 by qmiskini

 

In the Atlanta Metro Market, the high water pricing mark for all residential real estate was reached in 2007.  The Peak month was June 2007 when the average sale price climbed to just under $270,000.  By August 2007 the price had decreased seasonally to around $265,000.  At the end of August 2011, the average sale price for all residential properties in Metro Atlanta was a seasonally adjusted $173,000.  That’s 63.37% of the August 2007 sale price or… a decrease in value of 36.63%.   

Other markets like Las Vegas, for example have seen much worse declines.  But in Atlanta, those numbers are pretty stunning – especially for Sellers not selling distressed properties such as short sales and foreclosures.  The good news in all this is that sales have accelerated from an Atlanta Metro Market monthly low of 3,500 sold/closed properties in November 2010, and just over 4,000 sold/closed properties at the end of August 2010, to about 5,300 sold/closed properties in August 2011.  Lower prices fostered higher numbers of sales. Tough news for many Sellers.  Good news for many Buyers.

But here are some less evident statistics that add additional perspective to just how different the residential real estate market is in Atlanta…how much it has changed since the heady days of 2007.

In 2007 the number of sold/closed single family residential transactions with no “special circumstances” in Metro Atlanta, completed between January 2007 and December 2007 was just over 37,000 or 85.2% of the total sales.  The number of sold/closed single family residential transactions with “special circumstances” like foreclosures and the rare short sale was just over 6,400 or 14.8% of the total sales.  In 2011 between January and October the number of sold/closed single family residential transactions with no “special circumstances” in Metro Atlanta was 13,360 or 45.1% of the total sales year to date.  The number of sold/closed single family transactions with “special circumstances” like foreclosures and the now prevalent short sale was 16,250 or 54.9% of the total sales year to date.  It is a complete market reversal where in the residential single family market segment, distressed properties have become the dominant sale outstripping non-distressed single family residential home sales.  That’s a 60.6% rise is the number of distressed sales and a decline of 63.9% in non-distressed sales.  Those kinds of swings are dizzying.

In Cherokee County where our Realtors and Team assist many Buyers and Sellers the numbers are rougher still.  From January 2007 through December 2007 for single family residential properties with no special circumstances there were 2,418 closed transactions or 92.9% of the total sales in Cherokee County.  Distressed single family residential properties – foreclosures and a few short sales totaled 185 properties or 7.1% of the sales that year.  In 2011 from January to date non-distressed single family residential properties accounted for 701 sold/closed transactions or 47.6% of total sales while distressed single family residential properties – foreclosures and short sales climbed to 772 completed transactions or 52.4% of the total sales to date. That’s a more than 400% increase in distressed property sales and a 71% decline in the sale of non-distressed properties if sales continue along the same trend lines through the end of 2011.

Wading through these numbers can be mind-numbing.  But they are critically important when trying to both understand what has happened to our local residential market, and even more important to understand when faced with the potential for millions more short sale and foreclosed properties still waiting to enter the market across the USA over the next several years.  How we as real estate professionals parse these numbers, apply these vast market swings to our home pricing, and to our short to medium term market evaluations, can mean a great deal to our Buyers and Sellers.  Knowing how much the market has changed can mean all the difference between a Buyer choosing to take advantage of a glut of distressed inventory and low interest rates now, or waiting it out thinking the market may still drift even lower.  For non-distressed sale Sellers knowing the weight of the competition in distressed sale properties will help them to realistically price their homes for sale and not get slammed by the neighborhood price damaging short sale and foreclosed home sales that will certainly hit the market in 2012 and beyond.

These are challenging and interesting times.  Knowing how things have changed in our local markets can only help our Clients.

Remember… selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event; you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net

 


Posted on 3. October 2011 03:47 by qmiskini

 

Buying a home is a journey, not an event.  This mantra is repeated to every new Client and over and again as we work with our Clients.  Occasionally it is a sprint, but it should never become a marathon. Your Realtor and Team are there to guide you through that journey by helping you focus your wants, wishes and needs, and then as you step through the journey, add clarity to your criteria, but remain flexible enough to adjust when the “perfect home” is found… even though it may not meet 100% of your criteria.

Client #1: “I love everything about this home, but we will have to paint the dining room and replace the back splash in the kitchen and the master bath wall paper is just ugly.”  Client #2: “The rest of the house is just what we’re looking for, but we hate the front porch so much we can’t picture ourselves walking past it every day.” Client #3: “I want to be no more than 20 minutes’ drive from home to work and I timed the trip, it’s 25 minutes away.  Yes the house is perfect, but it’s too far from my job.”  No perfect home is truly perfect.  It is possible to find a home that meets your criteria, but rarely will it meet every one of your wants, wishes and needs. 

Client #1 wanted a move-in ready home.  They did not want to make changes until they had been in the home long enough to feel comfortable and settled.  That was a pretty big “want” on their list.   When they reviewed their criteria with their Realtor, and worked through the “inconvenience” of taking on some minor remodeling, they realized they had found a home that met all their major needs and most of their wants and wishes too.  The back splash really wasn’t that ugly, it would only take a day or two to repaint and change the offensive wallpaper. They focused on their needs and were flexible about a few of their wishes. Offer made, negotiated, accepted… purchase closed…everyone delighted.

Client #2 who loved everything else about the home spent an afternoon with their Realtor driving through the neighborhood to see what other similar homes with porches looked like, and what ideas they could come up with about making changes to the look of that offensive porch to make it more pleasing.  Other than the dreadful front porch, this home met every one of their very specific criteria.  After about two hours of comparing and contrasting porch aesthetics, they actually found the list of things they “sorta liked” about “their” porch was longer than the list of “flaws” they were seeing in the designs of their neighbors’ porches.  They became more focused on their needs and were flexible about one of their wishes.  Offer made, negotiated, accepted… purchase closed…everyone delighted.

Client #3 really felt the home fit all their needs.  It had a pleasing floor plan, needed relatively little clean-up and fix-up even though not was an foreclosed property, it was in the right school district, in a well maintained sub division.  Everything about it was right.  It met nearly all their criteria… except it was “5 minutes too far!”  Offer made… offer withdrawn.  This is the 6th home they made on offer on, and the 6th home not purchased.  Focused but inflexible…everyone disappointed – again.

Work with your Realtor early in the journey to develop your list of criteria with four separate categories.

Category 1 is your needs list: I need a basement for storage and expansion.  I need at least 4 bedrooms.  I need to be in the Pope High School District.  I need the price to be no more than $275,000.  Your needs are the things that are the “musts” in order to fit your family, space, location and price minimums. This is your primary list of needs criteria in your search.

Category 2: is your wants list: I want to be within 10 minutes of I-75 to make travel to work reasonably easy.  I want an oversized garage.  I want a level driveway. These are musts also, but musts that can be somewhat flexible. 10 minutes to I-75 is great but I can manage 15 minutes.  I can swap out the oversized garage for a level driveway.  Your ideas about perfection will change as you view homes in your search.

Category 3: is your wish list.  I want a nice rear deck but a screened porch would be wonderful.  I was hoping for all stainless appliances, but these black-front appliances are all new.  I pictured my perfect home with a big shade tree out in the front.  But I can plant my own tree and watch it grow over time.  This is how you balance your needs with your wants in your selection process.

Category 4: is your Flexibility list – this is your list of wants and wishes that become apparent as you focus your search.  It lets you decide what can be flexible about in order to not let peripheral details dissuade you from buying a home that, given a small amount of elbow grease or a few minor adjustments truly does meet your most important needs, wants and wishes.  This is , perhaps, your most important list… it is the list that will help you make the best decision and be happy with that decision long after you close the sale.

Remember… selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event; you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net

 


Posted on 21. September 2011 02:40 by qmiskini

 

 

Managing expectations is one of the most important tasks in delivering a successful short sale.  I say delivering because it almost feels like giving birth.  Over the past year a number of “safeguards” created to protect the consumer from unscrupulous real estate practitioners like MARS and the Georgia SAFE Act have added to the complexity of the process.  So whether you are a short sale Buyer in Marietta, or a short sale seller in Alpharetta, the Realtor you select to help you conclude a purchase or sale MUST be thoroughly familiar with the increasingly complex short sale process.

First and foremost all parties must understand that the time it takes to complete a successful short sale can be double, triple or quadruple the time it takes to conclude a retail sale or even a bank foreclosure (REO) sale.  There are some transactions that take even longer! Here’s a just a sampling of the real world tasks and issues that must be executed and solved, and the hurdles that have to be jumped.

The HAMP and HAFA programs set up by Congress and managed through HUD to help struggling home owners modify their loans or to assist short sale sellers in completing their sales are, for the most part, a failure.  It is not mandatory for lenders to even participate in these programs.  No question there are some homeowners who have modified their home loans, or benefited from the move-out program.  But most, like two recent clients who tried to modify their loans themselves with their lenders ended in failure. They spent months being passed from customer service person another, were repeatedly told their files didn’t exist, were lost, were wrong, and after all those months were ultimately turned down for modification or offered a modification program that was worse than the payment plan they started out trying to modify.  One fought the system right up to a week before foreclosure and lost their home having been told that they made too much money to modify.  A totally incorrect conclusion by the Lender but received too late for the home owner to take any other course.  The other pulled out of the process after a year with the same experience and no results, but did have sufficient time to place the home on the market as a short sale and his Realtor and short sale Team are working to complete sale approval with his Lender.

Even with a very experienced Realtor and the Realtor’s short sale Team, concluding a short sale is no easy task.  In addition to all the carefully crafted and targeted marketing that must be  done to expose the property to the right Buyers, the added burden of getting a reasonable and acceptable offer and hoping that the Buyer’s expectations are correctly managed by the Buyer’s Realtor, complicates the offer, negotiation, sale and closing process.  There are many excellent Realtors who have learned through tough experience how to navigate the stormy seas of a successful short sale.  But there are many who are woefully unschooled. They may have participated in one or two unsuccessful short sales and have no idea how to guide their Buyers through the process.  As a Buyer, if you think purchasing a short sale property can net you the best deal, be sure your Realtor thoroughly understands the short sale process before you start your dream home search.   Remember, the Seller wants to sell you their home… but is not in control of the process.  Their Realtor better be schooled, experienced and savvy or the sale process with the Seller’s Lender will fail.  Lose-lose.

Buyers must keep in mind the Sellers are losing their home.  They are under a lot of stress.  They have no control over a difficult situation, are being continually harassed by their lender’s customer service department or foreclosure department despite the fact they have a short sale in process in the short sale department.  They receive letters and phone calls regularly from disconnected clerks, lawyers representing the Lender, or collection companies representing the Lender (or the Investor in the background that actually holds the mortgage,) asking the Seller to pay up, make a deal.  When the Seller explains they are working on a short sale with the lender’s short sale department and ask “why don’t you know this, isn’t that information in your system,”   they are told it will be noted.  Then three or four days later another person calls and the same conversation starts all over again.

You would think after several years of short sale processing, the many lenders and investors who own or buy defaulting mortgage packages at discount prices in order to successfully profit from a sale would have developed a coherent system for short sale processing.  Unfortunately, for the most part they have not.  At the same time, with short sales having become such a large segment of the residential home resale market you would think Realtors would have learned how to correctly manage and execute a sort sale and manage their Buyers’ and Sellers’ needs and expectations.

Whether you are buying or selling a short sale property, the process is arduous, often disjointed and not always pleasant for either party.  So a word of caution, because with the right Team assisting you, your short sale can be successfully completed with a minimum of added stress.  When choosing a Realtor to guide you through the short sale process, be sure they are well schooled, experienced and backed up by a Team that has the track record of successfully closing short sales.  If they do, helping you through the process by both correctly executing each of the many added steps in the sale process and helping manage expectations with all parties will get the short sale job done.

Because selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event, you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net

 

 


Posted on 2. September 2009 09:07 by qmiskini

A great sigh of relief could be heard rising up from all the first time home buyers and their loan officers in the Atlanta Metro area who were struggling to get loans cloased before the looming June 30th Tax Credit deadline. At the 11th hour - just hours before the deadline - the US House of Representatives and Senate passed a bill extending the deadline to close contracts that had been consummated and agreed upon prior to April 30 to September 30th.

But what does this mean to home buyers who missed the April 30th deadline to have a home under contract in order to qualify for the $8000 first time home buyer credit or the $6000 move-up buyer credit? With an overabundance of housing stock, especially foreclosures and short sales, coupled with record low interest rates, buyers are searching for ways to take advantage of the depressed pricing - in some areas of Metro Atlanta prices have dropped as much as 35% below the record highs of 2008.

A buyer that is ready, willing and able to buy now can, with the help of a savvy Realtor, ferret out some great deals. But a key ingredient in the search is a relationship with a top-flight loan officer or motgage banker who can both plug you into one of a variety of good loan programs available and lock in a great interest rate. Just as important as finding a Realtor who has a keen understanding of the market, the schools where your dream house is located, and the value of the home itself, is your lender who can work with the Realtor and you to get you pre-approved as a buyer.

Buyers who have been pre-approved by their lender essentially are like cash buyers. That pre-approval tells sellers, especially banks selling foreclosures and short sale properties that your ability to close that sale is based on the value of their home and not the steadfastness of your credit. You have more negotiating power on price as well as leverage in maximizing the benefits of such a sale. The tax credit that helped many a buyer get into their first home may be history; but the opportunities to find a once in a generation deal on your next home means that if you can buy now, now is the time. But build your team first - Realtor, lender and all the support systems they can employ on your behalf.