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Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 193

Video Reviews Give You More Information

by TeamForYOURDreams

It is important for a Realtor to have reviews, so a potential client can see what the experience of other clients was.  However, written reviews are limited in their ability to convey the full impression of the writer.  In a video review, the viewer can get a sense of the person giving the review.  If you want to try it out, look at this review by Sarah Kirwan who describes her experience with our Team in a sale where her father died after the contract was signed. .  Which do you prefer, written reviews or video reviews?

Multiple Offers Representing Buyers

by TeamForYOURDreams

You can become frustrated making offers on properties that have multiple offers.  If you do not win the bidding war, your client does not get a home and you do not get anything.  The five top tips start with learning the most important thing about the situation: how many other offers are you competing with.  If there are a few, you offer a good price.  If there are many, many offers, you offer an amazing price.  Second, try to find out if there are any terms where you can win on something other than price. Third, before anyone else gets to the property, try to get it under contract to avoid the bidding war.  Fourth, consider an escalation clause to offer more than any other offer.  Last, if you lose, see if you can tie up the property with at back up offer.  For all the details, look at the article in Inman News.

Multiple Offers From the Seller's Point of View

by TeamForYOURDreams

 Since I wrote the book on real estate negotiating, Inman News has asked me to write for their online newspaper about negotiating, with an article on how to represent a seller who is receiving multiple offers.   The five top tips start with looking for the best buyer, who may not be the one offering the best price.  Next, make sure that the buyer you select cannot renegotiate the price after you sign the contract, mainly by using the appraisal. Tip three is to make sure that the successful buyer who pays top price is going to want to pay the seller back later in the transaction.  The agents make a difference in which buyer is selected, as the ones that are professional and good to work with are more likely to get selected.  For all the details, the article is at

Hurry, Because It is Going Fast!

by TeamForYOUrDreams

There have been so many false predictions of the recovery of the real estate market that every bit of good news is greeted with scepticism.  Oh, yeah, hurry because it is going fast!  As a result, many buyers are sitting there being sceptical while the market takes off and leaves them behind.  Or, they could look at the numbers and react to the reality while there is still time.

Across the nation, we used to have many to many homes for sale compared to the number of properties that were actually purchased.  If the sales continued at the same pace, it would take years to work through the inventory.  Now, ProTech Valuation Services May Home Forecast shows that there is a 6.3 month supply of homes for sale.  That means that if sales continue at the same pace, the current inventory will be sold in 6.3 months.  This is the lowest level since 2006.

All real estate is local.  In Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and the rest of the Triangle, the inventory is down and the number of sales are up.  As a result, the prices are starting to rise.

I enjoy the buyers agents I deal with who try to justify their outrageously low offers for homes in Raleigh, Cary and the Triangle by trying to reference the poor real estate market.  That is about as believeable as trying to convince Mrs. Lincoln that she and Abe had a wonderful time at the play at Ford's theater. 

The market still has some areas that are slower to recover.  However, the numbers show it is starting to change.  So, you should change to keep up with what is happening now. 

More Short Sales in the Triangle Means Less Foreclosures

by TeamForYOUrDreams

The more Short Sales in Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest and the rest of the Triangle area of North Carolina the fewer foreclosures. Every Short Sales is one less foreclosure.   I hope we can do the same in every neighborhood in the United States.  My method to spread the message is to send a video to my friends, neighbors and clients asking for them to help save their neighborhood from foreclosures.  I hope they tell anyone they know who is in trouble about short sales.  I used this video on YouTube.  There are a lot of people in trouble do not know how much Short Sales can help them out of trouble.  Without this knowledge, they let their home head toward foreclosure.  For certain people, the video gets a better reaction as it presents the information more personally than my Short Sale website .  The Short Sale website works for the people that prefer to study Short Sales in detail.  On the other hand, the video provides a face to face presentation.  The new short sale procedures are easier and faster, so they work better.  If you tell anyone you know who is in trouble, the real estate market will improve more quickly and America will recover faster.  Thank you for helping.

Raleigh Amphitheater "Gets Around"

by TeamForYOUrDreams

Raleigh's Downtown has gone through a renaissance with the creation of the Convention Center, new hotels and my favorite spot, the Raleigh Ampitheater.  It is a small outdoor venue that takes advantage of Raleigh's southern weather.  Preferred seating is in chairs close to the stage while at the back there is an elevated lawn where you can spread out your beach towel.  There is not a bad seat in the house, as it is an intimate venue.  The Ampitheater is in easy walking distance of more than a dozen restaurants from Italian to Barbecue.  The site has all the parking for the convention center, with three major lots within a couple blocks, so getting in and out of the Ampitheater is easy.  Judy and I went to Tuscan Blu restraunt in The Depot nearby and just walked from there.  By the way, Maurizio Privilegi, the owner of Tuscan Blu, is delightful with his Italian accent and wonderful stories.  The Beach Boys were playing at the Ampitheater, the perfect music for this aging surfer who grew up on the beaches of Southern California before moving to North Raleigh in 1996.  Since many people have relocated to Raleigh, I was not the only aging surfer who moved to the Triangle area.  However, I was surprised that most of the audience was young as they danced, sang and cheered.  Here is a video of the performance that shows the PNC Center with its condos on the upper floor (the tall tower with the pointed antenna), the Progress energy building (taller brown building) and the Convention Center with its high tech mural made of LEDs. The Raleigh Amphitheater will Get Around, just like the Beach Boys song.   Click on the video below and you can watch the beach balls fly throughout the audience. Who is that woman who smiles at the end of the video?


Remember when you could get any kind of a loan that you wanted if you had a credit score of 700?  Now, the average credit score for the loans made in the last six months was 750.  When you consider that the highest possible credit score is 850, you can see how incredibly high this is.  It is even more astounding when you consider that the average credit score required to get a loan increased by 10 points in the last six months.  Many people thought that the problem with the real estate market is that the lenders would not provide loans for anyone to buy a home.  Now you have the statistics to prove it.

Did you think the credit score was the only stringent requirement?  Remember when a 20% down payment was plenty to get any loan.  The average down payment for approved loans in the last six months was 24%, which increased 3% in the last six months. 

The other factor in making a loan is the debt to income ratio i.e. the amount of your fixed debts divided by your income.  For decades, you looked for a "front end" ratio of 28% and a "back end" ratio of 36% to 50%. Front end is household expenses and back end is total fixed debts including credit cards.  So, what do you need to get a loan now?  An average front end ratio of 23% and a back end ratio or 34%.  To visualize this, the total debt of the average approved borrower is about one third of their income.  In other words, you need to have two thirds of your income that you can save.  

So, with these nearly perfect applicants, the lenders could process them quickly, right?  After all, it used to be normal to be able to get a loan fully processed in 30 days.  Now it takes 44 days, and the time to get the loan approved increased by 10% in the last six months.

What did it take to get your loan turned down?  The average credit score of someone rejected was 699 i.e. one point below what used to give you any loan you wanted.  To get turned down, your down payment averaged 17% and your debt to income ratios of 27% and 43%. 

The Origination Insight Report by Ellie Mae gives the statistical information needed to answer the question "Why is the real estate market failing to improve even though home prices are low, interest rates are at record lows, employment is increasing and more people are moving to the area?"  The asnwer is that lenders are not loaning to mere mortals, they only loan to the super humans. 

So, you can not only thank the lenders for getting us into this mess, but for keeping us there. 


Help! The Lender Wants More Money From Your Short Sale

by TeamForYOUrDreams

What if the bank demands more money from your Short Sale?

If you have a contract to sell your home in Raleigh, North Carolina for $200,000. You might feel that the sale is hard enough to face when you consider that it was once worth about $215,000 .  When the mortgage is larger than the money you will get from the sale it is a Short Sale. You submit the package to the lender who says they are going to disapprove the Short Sale because your sale price is way below their opinion of the market value for the home.  Maybe your lender believes your home is worth more than a similar size home in Cary.

What went wrong?  The bank wants to aviod giving the property away, so it gets an appraisal or a broker price opinion (BPO).   Many times that price is too high.  This was such a big issue in California that they had to pass a law that makes it a crime for a real estate agent to intentionally put too high a price on the property.  Why was this necessary?  The BPOs are frequently created by the real estate agents who will be the ones to sell the property if it is foreclosed.  In other words, if these agents caused the short sale to fail with a high value in BPO, these agents could get to list and sell the home. 

What do you do now?  Don't lay down and play dead.  Nearly every lender has a way to dispute the value in the appraisal or BPO.  Let's look at the method that Fannie Mae uses.

The standard Fannie Mae messages from their Valuation desk says that the Realtor needs to submit a package to the loan servicer and they say

"Complete packages includes a completed Submission form in Excel format and agent documents which may prove a lowered FNMA value. The qualifying criteria for a value dispute is as follows:
When disputing Minimum Net Reserve, at least one of the following documents must be included in the submission for review:
-Appraisal or Buyer's BPO (BPO that the Servicer did not order)
-CMA Report (w/ comp photos and descriptions), Listing History & Realtor Comments
-MLS Sheets of 3 to 6 Comps, Listing History & Realtor Comments
-Inspection Report with photos of repairs needed
-Detailed Contractor's Estimate with photos of repairs needed."

The real estate agent who has the property listed for sale will submit any one of the above items.  If the house is in bad condition, the simplest thing is to get a contractor to bid the cost of the repairs.  Appraisals are costly, so real estate agents typically submit a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) with a history of the listing and some analysis by the real estate agent.  As an example, I have a Short Sale in Durham that is being reviewed by Wells Fargo.  The sales price in the contract is $100,000 and Wells Fargo believes the value is $115,000.  So, I sent them six comparable properties, three of which were sold in the last six months and the other three are for sale.  I included the showing service report of all of the times that the property was shown to a prospective buyer.  At one time, I had the property listed at $115,000, and  we had virtually no showings.  Every Realtor knows that if no buyer will even take a look at the property at that price, it will not sell for that much.  While real estate agents understand this, it is takes a little education to get a loss mitigation negotiator to believe it.

So, if your lender says it wants a higher price because its BPO indicates a higher value, that is not the final answer.  You challenge the value by furnishing the facts and figures like you see in the Fannie Mae procedure.  Then, you hope that the mistake will be corrected and your Short Sale will be approved.

For a more complete discussion of correcting BPO values in a Short Sale, go to

The more Short Sales that get approved in the Triangle area of North Carolina, the less number of foreclosures and the faster the market will recover.

Is the Real Estate Market Going Up or Down?

by TeamForYOUrDreams

Which way is the real estate market going, up or down?  That depends on whose statistics you believe.  The Case Shiller index says the market has gone down in value for the last five months straight.  It is not surprising that the Case Shiller index is favored by the default servicing industry, those that see the glass half empty.  In other words, if you are selling in Raleigh, Cary or Morrisville, North Carolina it is a buyers market.   On the other hand, John Burns Real Estate Consulting says that their analysis is outdated.  That firm conducted its independent research in 97 markets across America and found that prices were rising in 90 of them.  From January to March, 2012, the real estate consulting firm says that the average price increased by 1.1%   They say that in the last month, prices are up in 93 of the 97 markets.  These folks see the glass half full.  In other words, if you are selling your home in Wake Forest, Garner or Holly Springs, North Carolina, it is a seller's market.

How do you explain the different conclusions?  They collect the data differently.  Case Shiller takes its information from closed sales.  Most sales take 30 to 60 days to close. Then, it takes 30 to 60 days to collect the data.  The John Burns Real Estate Consulting survey uses properties at the point when the sales contract is signed.  The consulting firm claims that their data indicates what is going on currently, while the other studies review past history.  The consulting firm says that the housing market recovery is under way, but it could turn at any moment, particularly if the media publicizes the Case Shiller index's pessimistic view of the market.

So, if you are selling in Raleigh, Cary or Knightdale, North Carolina, you want to believe the John Burns Real Estate Consulting survey.  If you are buying in Wake Forest, Garner or Holly Springs, North Carolina, you want to refer to the Case Shiller index to support your offer.  Who is right?  It depends on who you believe and whose method of collecting data is more reliable.


Short Sales Should Speed Up with Lawsuit Settlement

by TeamForYOUrDreams

Triangle Short Sales Will Become Shorter

One of the difficulties with short sales in Raleigh, Cary and the rest of the Triangle area is that the buyer of a Raleigh, Cary or other Triangle home has to make an offer then wait and wait for the lender to agree to accept a short payment.  In other words, the thing that is short about a short sale is the payment to the bank not the time for the sale to be reviewed. There is a lawsuit brought by the Attorneys General of most of America's states that is being settled with all the major banks.  The lawsuit was brought because of claimed violations of foreclosure procedures by these banks.  One fortunate sidelight of the settlement of this lawsuit that was mainly brought to correct the sale of bank owned properties (REOs) is a requirement that will make short sales faster for sellers in Wake Forest, Holly Springs and the rest of the Triangle area.  The faster the approval, the more buyers will see the process though to completion and there will be an increase in the number of short sales that close.

The following is a quote of the article in Realtor Magazine that picked up a feed from Real Estate Daily News

 " As part of a settlement with state attorneys general, the five largest mortgage servicers are adopting new requirements for short sales, which is expected to speed-up what has been known as a lengthy process.

Here are some of the new requirements for servicers under the settlement: 

  • Servicers must provide borrowers with a decision within 30 days after receiving a short sale package request. 
  • Servicers will be required to notify a borrower, also within 30 days, if any necessary documents are missing to process the short sale request. 
  • Servicers must notify a borrower immediately if a deficiency payment is needed to approve the short sale. They also must provide an estimated amount for the deficiency payment needed for the short sale. 
  • Servicers are also required to form an internal group to review all short sale requests. 
  • Banks will be considered in violation of the settlement requirements if they take longer than 30 days on more than 10 percent of the short sale requests. Violations can carry fines of up to $1 million and $5 million for repeat offenses." 

This report is good news. The biggest problem with short sale's loss mitigation departments is that the departments are understaffed, so the overworked employees have a hard time handling their big case load.  With penalties of $1 million to $5 million, these banks should greatly increase their staffing to spend the money on negotiators who will get more accomplished for their firm instead of paying penalties. Since a lender makes between 20% and 30% more from a short sale than a sale of the same property after foreclosure, this increase in the loss mitigation department will be a huge benefit the lenders because there will be more short sales and less foreclosures.  Meanwhile, it will benefit sellers in Chapel Hill, Durham and the rest of the Triangle area who will get faster approvals, buyers who will get new homes more quickly and Realtors who will have a shorter processing time and an increase in closings. 

This sounds great to me.  What do you think?

Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 193

Contact Information

Photo of Team For Your Dreams, Inc. Real Estate
Team For Your Dreams, Inc.
REMAX United
7721 Six Forks Road, Suite 110, Raleigh, NC 27615
Raleigh NC 27615
Fax: 310-347-4041