Why Use A Buyer’s Agent? Because You’ll Get A Better Deal

July 25, 2009

Another piece on buyer’s agents from Greg Swann:house

Are home-buyers best served by the vigilant efforts of an experienced buyer’s agent? Consider a transaction we have in play right now.

The buyers are a young couple, about to be married. They have about $10,000 in cash. With a conventional loan, they could put 20% down on a dismal starter home. Or, with Private Mortgage Insurance, they could put 10% down on a nicer home.

But with an FHA loan, $10,000 is 3.5% down on a $285,000 home. We can argue the wisdom of making so small a down payment, but the FHA loan program is the path to homeownership for millions of Americans. And $285,000 is too much house for our buyers. They found a nice lender-owned two-story home in the suburbs selling for $169,000. The down payment on that home would be $5,915. But the closing costs would probably run to another $5,000 — which comes to more money than they have.

They qualify for the $8,000 first-time home-buyer tax credit, but they won’t get that until they file their tax return. They also qualify for a state-funded grant program that will contribute up to 22% of the purchase price — but which can’t be used for the down payment or the closing costs.

Here’s the deal we put together. We offered $175,000, $6,000 over list price. In exchange, we asked the seller to contribute 4% of the full purchase price [$7,000 — FHA allows up to 6%] to defray the buyer’s closing costs. The down payment will be $6,125, leaving the buyers $3,875 in cash to pay for the endless expenses of moving into a new home.

And there will be about $2,000 left over after the closing costs are paid. This will be used to buy down the interest rate. The buyers will end up with just over 25% equity in the property for a cash outlay of $6,125 — all at a very low monthly payment. And they’ll still have their $8,000 tax credit to look forward to.

This is the kind of outcome a skilled buyer’s agent can achieve.

Right again, Greg. There are so many ways a knowledgeable agent can help you get a better deal, that is right for you, even when you pay full price or more.

Kim Hannemann, Samson PropertiesSamsonPropTag
Real Estate Consultant/Realtor
Cell: 703-861-9234 • Fax: 703-896-5055
Email: KimTheAgent@gmail.com
It’s Good To Have A Friend In The Business®

If you would like to discuss real estate questions, sell or buy a home in Northern Virginia – including Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton, Fairfax, Fairfax Station, Falls Church, Kingstowne, Lorton, McLean, Reston, Springfield, or Vienna – contact Kim today.

4.5% Listings with First-Class Service — Cash Back to My Buyers!

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If You Can Search The MLS, Why Do You Need An Agent?

July 24, 2009

homesalepriceFrom agent Greg Swann in the Arizona Republic:

Here’s an intriguing question: Given that it’s so easy to search for homes on the internet, why do you need a buyer’s agent?

Face it, if you use the MLS search tool on my web site, you’re seeing exactly the same listings I see. And you know better than I ever could what you like and what you don’t like.

By now, the home search process is at best a partnership between the agent and the buyer. In some cases the buyer and I will work together to perfect our search criteria. But many buyers simply search the available inventory on their own, emailing me the MLS numbers of the homes they want to see.

So why do those buyers need a buyer’s agent?

Realtors hoarded the MLS data for so long that even they came to believe it was the source of their value to buyers. But this is very far from the truth.

You don’t need me to search for listings, although I’m happy to do that. And you don’t need me to open lock-boxes. You need a buyer’s agent to guide you through what is in fact an arcane and perilous process — potentially a financial disaster. You might not need me to find your next home, but you need me to make sure that you get it — or that you pass on it, if that is what is truly in your best interests.

A skilled buyer’s agent will write the kind of purchase contract that will prove surprising to you at every turn, with every term and condition tailored to achieve your best advantage. Your agent will supervise the inspection process and negotiate the optimal solution to the repair issues. Your agent will be prepared for every pitfall in the escrow process.

If you bought and sold houses every day, you could do all these things yourself. It’s because you don’t — and because the seller and the listing agent are looking to take advantage of your naivete at every turn — that you need a skilled buyer’s agent as your steadfast champion in the home-buying process.

Greg’s post is right on the money. Personally, I like to help my clients search for homes, but that’s largely because as an agent I have access to information that can tell me, for instance, whether or not the property is already under contract even though it’s still listed as “Active” in the search they are using. I’m also looking for certain things that clients – no matter how savvy they may be – will not notice or understand. Still, it’s what comes after finding the property that is going to make a bigger difference to my clients, and makes my involvement crucial for them.

Kim Hannemann,  Samson PropertiesSamsonPropTag
Real Estate Consultant/Realtor
Cell: 703-861-9234 • Fax: 703-896-5055
Email: KimTheAgent@gmail.com
It’s Good To Have A Friend In The Business®

If you would like to discuss real estate questions, sell or buy a home in Northern Virginia – including Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton, Fairfax, Fairfax Station, Falls Church, Kingstowne, Lorton, McLean, Reston, Springfield, or Vienna – contact Kim today.

4.5% Listings with First-Class Service — Cash Back to My Buyers!


New Appraisal Rules – A Problem, or A Solution?

May 18, 2009

appraisalSaturday’s Washington Post Real Estate section featured an article by Ken Harney entitled, “New Appraisal Rules Come With Costs,” in which he posits the following scenarios:

  • The real estate appraisal that used to cost you $325 now costs $450, even though the appraiser doing the work is getting only $175 or $200.
  • Your appraisal-related charges may now be subject to add-on feessuch as $50 to $100 extra in “no show” penalties if you get stuck in traffic and miss your appointment with the appraiser, or an extra $50 to $150 if the property is worth more than $500,000.
  • Your mortgage loan officer requires you to pay for the appraisal upfront with a credit or debit card, rather than including the fee with the usual lender origination costs at settlement. Your card may be charged more than the anticipated cost of the appraisalleaving debit-card holders in a potential overdraft situation.
  • The person conducting your appraisal may be new to the fieldwilling to work for a cut rateand may not be as familiar with local value trends and pricing adjustments as an appraiser with more experience.
  • If your mortgage application is denied by one lender, you could be forced to pay for a second full appraisal because the new lender may not accept the first one.

The “new appraisal rules,” which go by the name Home Valuation Code of Conduct, were imposed May 1 by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and are intended to improve the accuracy of appraisals by eliminating pressure on appraisers from loan officers. The code pushes most large lenders to use third-party “appraisal management companies” that contract with networks of independent appraisers around the country who thus are not in direct contact with retail loan officers or mortgage brokers. The Code came about as a result of an agreement made between the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the New York State Attorney General. The intent of the agreement was made to enhance the independence of appraisers. The most relevant part of the code seems to be the following:

The lender or any third party specifically authorized by the lender (including, but not limited to, appraisal companies, appraisal management companies, and correspondent lenders) shall be responsible for selecting, retaining, and providing for payment of all compensation to the appraiser. The lender will not accept any appraisal report completed by an appraiser selected, retained, or compensated in any manner by any other third party (including mortgage brokers and real estate agents)

It used to be that a mortgage professional – whether working for a specific lender or as a broker – might have a “stable” of appraisers he or she could call on to provide services. Most of them just wanted a reliably thorough and competent job. However, and this is the reason for the new rules, some only wanted appraisers who were willing to find the right “comps” to hit a specific valuation necessary for the loan to go through. Under pressure to produce that number or perish, many appraisers buckled.

But are the new rules helpful or harmful to the more ethical mortgage lenders and brokers out there? Are they seeing big increases in appraisal costs? How about appraisal quality, now that they can’t choose one of their go-to guys? I asked several of the mortgage professionals I work with every day in Northern Virginia to give me their impressions about whether they find the scenarios suggested in Harney’s article to be happening here:.

We’ve actually been working under these rules for many years . . . All appraisals have been ordered through a 3rd party management company, and while we did have some communication with the appraiser (although not encouraged), we cannot any longer . . .

This is actually a good thing that is happening. Too many times appraisers have been bullied by agents, mortgage lenders and borrowers for not having the same opinion. This will take that opportunity away. This does NOT mean that you can’t call the appraiser, still meet them at the home, etc . . . this is so that lenders cannot contact the appraisers directly – even for a status, as this is seen as undue pressure. These appraisers are professionally trained, educated and have to uphold ethical standards just like all of us; yet no one challenges our decisions like these people.

[The fees and time requirements] are the same, for now. I bet the appraisal costs will go up, and they should. The appraisers can’t live on a “cut” and they have been required to do so many more compliance checks etc . . [Turnaround times] are longer due to volume.

This won’t change the quality . . . if anything the quality will improve because the lenders and agents are now separated from any undue influence.

Jennifer Duplessis, Prosperity Mortgage

Interesting article and I am happy to say we have not had the issues mentioned. [Local] appraisers have only added $25.00 to their fees due to some additional addendums that required extra research. Appraisal fees have ranged from $350 to $375 and now are $375.00 to $400.00 for under $1 million sale price, and they have always charged more for above $1 million – that is not new. Yes, loan officers are no longer allowed to directly pick the appraiser – it is an automated random selection of a pool of known appraisers in our local area.

I think the worst [problem] is the extreme pressure the appraisers are [receiving from the lenders] to include the foreclosures and short sales when determining values. During the recession In the early 90’s foreclosures and short sales were considered distress sales and discarded as [comparable to a] homeowner selling their property. In my opinion, this change in [guideline] has escalated the erosion of home prices. They should have allowed for an adjustment upward on the distress sale, but they did not, they are requiring the appraisers to use them thus providing for lower and lower values – how unfair to the normal seller is that?

Shirley Jones, First Savings Mortgage

I haven't experienced any true horror stories yet, but the new system will definitely change things. I think the appraisers will feel empowered to bring in property values at whatever they feel the value is, regardless of what it may mean for the transaction. The old system had a conflict of interest where (I believe) appraisers didn't want to ruin too many deals with a low appraisals since they were hurting their referral sources (potentially their future income) by bringing in the low appraisal. This new system will potentially change that, which ultimately will be a good thing, but could be painful. I think that will be the biggest change. I believe we will see more low appraisals (meaning appraisal comes in below contract price).

In the past we could choose appraisers and go with ones that we felt were "good appraisers." We now have less of a say. It also adds a layer to the process which usually means more time. I do agree with what the article said about the costs of the appraisals being higher. Mortgage brokers definitely kept costs down with the old system. Appraisals have gone up by about $100 over the past year I believe. I haven't noticed a big difference in the quality of appraisal, but it is still early in the process.

Overall I don't love the new system but the old system definitely had it's flaws also. I'm not sure I would want to go back to the old system even if we could.

Kevin Haddon, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

So on balance, it seems, in the Northern Virginia area the new rules are seen in an overall positive light by people who I believe to be in a position to know. Yes, costs my have increased slightly, and there may be a somewhat longer turnaround – especially as the system gets established – but I think the horror story scenarios drawn by critics are not reflected in the actuality. I do agree with Shirley's view about separating the distress sales from the normal sales – it's unreasonable, but it's not a part of the new rules, just a lender-imposed requirement. Appraisers should be able to reflect adjustments for condition, given the lousy condition of most foreclosures, but it's unlikely to fill the gaps.

Kim Hannemann, Real Estate Consultant/Realtor®, Samson Realty
Cell: 703-861-9234 • Fax: 703-896-5055 • Email: KimTheAgent@gmail.com

It's Good To Have A Friend In The Business®
samson-realty-and-bird

If you would like to discuss real estate questions, sell or buy a home in Northern Virginia - including Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton, Fairfax, Fairfax Station, Falls Church, Kingstowne, Lorton, McLean, Reston, Springfield, or Vienna - contact Kim today.

4 - 4.5% Listings with First-Class Service -- Cash Back to My Buyers!


April 2009 Northern Virginia Sales Info

May 15, 2009

April 2009 home sales activity for Fairfax and Arlington counties and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church and the towns of Clifton, Herndon and Vienna:

  • A total of 1,544 homes sold in April 2009, an increase of 6% over April 2008, and the ninth consecutive month of higher year-over-year sales. Terrific, but look at this – pending home sales, based on signed contracts, are 2,692, up 25% from last year! Pending sales have been up double-digits year-over-year for 13 consecutive months.
  • Active listings – homes on the market – decreased by 23% from last year, with 8,234 active listings at end-April. Fewer homes on the market usually means prices are poised to start rising. The supply of homes remains in the less-than-six-months “seller’s market” range.
  • Another sign of strong activity – the average days on market (DOM) for homes in April 2009 decreased by 15% to 85 days, compared with 100 days in April 2008.
  • Sales prices continue to remain lower than those realized last year. The average sales price in April fell 16% percent from April 2008 to $405,514, while the median price was $356,750, a decline of 14%. The average and median sale prices are again both higher than last month, however.
  • Agents continue to see a lot of multiple-offer situations on attractive well-priced homes in good condition, particularly in price ranges under $475,000. If you are looking for such a home, be prepared to act decisively.

StatsApr

Kim Hannemann, Real Estate Consultant/Realtor®, Samson Realty
Cell: 703-861-9234 • Fax: 703-896-5055 • Email: KimTheAgent@gmail.com

It’s Good To Have A Friend In The Business®
samson-realty-and-bird

If you would like to discuss real estate questions, sell or buy a home in Northern Virginia – including Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton, Fairfax, Fairfax Station, Falls Church, Kingstowne, Lorton, McLean, Reston, Springfield, or Vienna – contact Kim today.

4 – 4.5% Listings with First-Class Service — Cash Back to My Buyers!


Home Maintenance Costs

May 1, 2009

housequestionThe other day, I was out with a first-time buyer client and blathering on about cherry trees, house styles and what have you when she stopped me cold with a very important question I couldn’t answer right away:

“In your experience, how much should we budget for maintenance?”

It’s a great question. And not easily answered. “That depends!” is an answer of sorts, and it’s true, but not helpful. I Googled “home maintenance costs” when I got home, and from the usual 2,456,871 hits, I managed to sort out a few useful nuggets.

So, Jennifer, here are a whole bunch of great sources you can use to try to budget for maintenance:

homecomponentsLife Expectancy of Home Components is a 2007 study from the National Association of Home Builders, sponsored by Bank of America. It has a lot of good information on you guessed it, components and systems of a typical home, occupied by a typical family with 1.8 children no doubt.

Among the findings of the study:

  • Appliances. Of the major appliances in a home, gas ranges have the longest life expectancy, at 15 years. Dryers and refrigerators last about 13 years. Appliances with the shortest life spans are: trash compactors (six years), dishwashers (nine years) and microwave ovens (nine years). Some appliances don’t meet their life expectancy, however, because changes in styling, technology and consumer preferences may make newer products more desirable. Also, how long they last depends on how much they are used. [Duh.]
  • Decks. The life span of these can vary significantly according to different climates, but they should be around for a good 20 years under ideal conditions.
  • Faucets and Fixtures. Kitchen sinks made of modified acrylic will last 50 years, faucets will work properly for about 15. Bathroom shower enclosures can stick around for 50 years, although the shower doors could be in a serious state of decline in about 20 years. Showerheads last a lifetime, as will toilets, although tank components require some maintenance. The durability of whirlpool tubs ranges fairly widely – from 20 to 50 years – depending on use.
  • Flooring. All natural wood flooring, and marble, slate and granite will last for 100 years if they are well taken care of. Vinyl floors will endure for up to 50 years, linoleum about 25 years and carpet between eight and 10 years, depending on traffic and care.
  • Garages. Garage doors last 10 to 15 years, and light inserts for 20.
  • Home Technology. A built-in audio system will last 20 years, but security systems and heat and smoke detectors will only be around for five to 10. Wireless home networks and home automation systems are expected to work properly for more than 50 years.
  • Heating, Venting and Air Conditioning. HVAC systems need proper and regular maintenance in order to work, but even when they are pampered most of their components last only 15 to 25 years. Furnaces live for 15 to 20 years, heat pumps for up 16 years, and air conditioning 10 to 15. Tankless water heaters last more than 20 years, while an electric or gas water heater has a life expectancy of about 10 years. Thermostats usually are replaced before the end of their 35-year life span because of technological improvements.
  • Paints, Caulks and Adhesives. Interior and exterior paints can last for 15 years or longer, although home owners tend to repaint more often.
  • Roofing. Slate, copper and clay/concrete roofs have a 50-year life expectancy; asphalt-shingle roofs, 20 years; fiber cement shingles, 25 years; and wood shakes, 30 years. However, the life of a roof depends on local weather conditions, proper building and design, material quality and adequate maintenance.
  • Siding and Accessories. Outside materials typically last a lifetime. Brick, engineered wood, both natural and manufactured stone and fiber cement will last as long as the house. Exterior wood shutters are expected to last 20 years, depending on the weather. Gutters made of copper can last 50 years, of aluminum, 20. Copper downspouts last 100 years or more; aluminum, 30 years.
  • Windows and Skylights. Aluminum windows last between 15 and 20 years, while wooden windows can last upwards of 30 years.

calculatorHome Tech offers an interactive Remodeling Cost Estimator that generates an estimate of your remodeling project based on regional cost and pricing information. You enter your zip code and select from a variety of project types. The estimator then takes you through a series of questions about measurements, quality level of components, and so on, before delivering a dollar amount that in my estimation was on the high side. Your mileage may vary.

usinspectMy friends at US Inspect give us US Inspect House Facts, a great resource for learning about all that stuff in your house you currently know nothing about, and how to maintain and even repair much of it yourself. It’s a terrific one-stop home information resource.

warrantyLastly, I can strongly recommend a home warranty for those of you who want good control of your budget and relative peace of mind when it comes to major home repair costs. A home warranty is a service contract that covers the repair or replacement of many of the most frequently occurring breakdowns of home system components and appliances. I always arrange to get a home warranty for my buyers, and try to have my sellers offer one to reassure prospective buyers. It’s a no-brainer.

Most home warranties cover your home’s air conditioning system, central heating unit, ductwork, electrical system, ceiling fans, plumbing system, water heater, refrigerator, built-in dishwasher, built-in microwave, oven/range, garbage disposal, built-in trash compactor, washer, dryer and more.

How it works: the homeowner calls the warranty company, who arranges for the service call. The homeowner pays a service call fee – from $50 to $100 depending on the policy – but repairs and/or replacement (company’s decision) of the broken item are covered.

The most common complaints about these policies are that they don’t let you choose your own service company, and they occasionally question whether the problem was pre-existing (i.e., the appliance was broken before coverage was purchased). A recent report from a recognized home inspection service is usually accepted as proof to the contrary, if necessary.

There are several reputable home warranty companies who offer policies in Northern Virginia. Costs range from $350 to $500 per year, depending on coverage and deductibles. Try AHS – who has good home maintenance tips on the website; 2-10; or HMS.

tamingIf all else fails, try humor. I recommend Dave Barry – either The Taming of the Screw (hilarious illustrations by Jerry O’Brien) or Homes and Other Black Holes, illustrated by the late Jeff MacNelly.

Kim Hannemann, Real Estate Consultant/Realtor®, Samson Realty
Cell: 703-861-9234 • Fax: 703-896-5055 • Email: KimTheAgent@gmail.com

It’s Good To Have A Friend In The Business®
samson-realty-and-bird

If you would like to discuss real estate questions, sell or buy a home in Northern Virginia – including Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton, Fairfax, Fairfax Station, Falls Church, Kingstowne, Lorton, McLean, Reston, Springfield, or Vienna – contact Kim today.

4 – 4.5% Listings with First-Class Service — Cash Back to My Buyers!


Daventry – Springfield’s Showcase Community

April 28, 2009

daventryheaderYesterday I took a mini-vacation – I went about a mile from my home to take photos in Daventry. Late April, when the azaleas and dogwoods are blooming, is a great time to visit any Northern Virginia community, but Daventry is special, even on trash day. Everywhere I turned there were photo opps.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Daventry boasts variety of home styles. There are over 500 two-, three-, and four-bedroom colonial style town homes backing to woods, and most have garages. Over 200 elegant three-, four-, and five-bedroom detached homes are situated on gently rolling hills, surrounded by mature trees. Ramblewood at Daventry’s 160 one- and two-bedroom condominium units are convenient and affordable. Here is a selection of floor plans for Daventry’s homes:

Floor Plans


Townhomes

Auburn
Bedford
Dover
Eton
Fairmont
Justin

Single Family

Amesbury
Hampton
Promontory
Chesapeake
Potomac
York

Daventry’s common property includes walking paths that join an extensive network of paths owned by Fairfax County. On the east there is the Fairfax Cross-County Trail, which connects to Accotink Creek via a paved path running under Keene Mill Road. Other paths on the west side meander through Daventry’s homes. The community features a large outdoor swimming pool complex (with an award-winning Swim Team), lighted tennis courts and a multipurpose court, and four tot lots equipped with swing sets, slides, and climbing equipment for children. An elegantly decorated clubhouse is available for community and private events. The Daventry Homeowners Association actively and consistently pursues recreational, landscaping, safety and property appearance initiatives that both enhance residents’ quality of life and preserve community property values.

The Daventry area is served by West Springfield Elementary School, which is adjacent to the community, nearby Washington Irving Middle School and Robert E. Lee High School. Daventry parental support for all three schools is strong – every school function is well-attended by Daventry parents, many of whom are highly active in the schools’ PTAs.

Daventry offers easy access to the Springfield Metro Station, Virginia Railway Express, Interstates 95/395/495, and the Fairfax County Parkway. An official carpool staging area (slug line) servicing the Daventry-Pentagon route is located at the Keene Mill Road entrance to the community.

Kim Hannemann, Real Estate Consultant/Realtor®, Samson Realty
Cell: 703-861-9234 • Fax: 703-896-5055 • Email: KimTheAgent@gmail.com

It’s Good To Have A Friend In The Business®
samson-realty-and-bird

If you would like to discuss real estate questions, sell or buy a home in Northern Virginia – including Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton, Fairfax, Fairfax Station, Falls Church, Kingstowne, Lorton, McLean, Reston, Springfield, or Vienna – contact Kim today.

4 – 4.5% Listings with First-Class Service — Cash Back to My Buyers!


Will Foreclosures Flood The Northern Virginia Market This Spring?

April 22, 2009

forsalebybankJust in time for the annual Spring Home Buying Season, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are expected to begin filling the store shelves with a brand-new stock of foreclosed homes. Without fanfare, on March 31 they both ended the four-month moratorium on foreclosure sales and evictions they had imposed on servicers of the mortgages they own.

Fannie Mae said in a brief statement from spokesman Brian Faith that “Fannie Mae’s suspension of foreclosure-related evictions concludes as of March 31, 2009. The company has in place special foreclosure sale requirements that take into account the Making Home Affordable program. A foreclosure sale may not occur on any Fannie Mae loan until the loan servicer verifies that the borrower is ineligible for a Home Affordable Modification and all other foreclosure prevention alternatives have been exhausted.”

Brad German, a spokesman for Freddie Mac, said he was “mystified” as to how anyone could be surprised by the ban’s expiration. The idea behind it was to give the government time to create homeowner rescue plans, and that’s been done, he said. Neither agency also expects a flood of homeowners out on the street because the ban is being lifted, he added. “For all practical purposes, people will be in their homes for a while,” despite the ban’s expiration, German said. Fannie and Freddie will need time to approach tenants and homeowners and figure out whether they are qualified for help, he said.

Still, this raises the possibility of a sizable influx of such homes coming to the market beginning as early as the end of this month. I’ve been noting in my recent posts (here and here) that the local inventory is shrinking when one normally expect it to be rising – perhaps this is one reason why, and we may see increases in inventory soon.

Here are some other comments about the situation:

From a post by Ben Martin today on VARBuzz.com (Virginia Association of Realtors):

Anecdotally, we’re hearing that because of the dearth of foreclosure activity, there’s actually very little inventory in the DC metro area. We hear there are buyers galore, many of them incentivized by the dramatic reduction in prices, low interest rates, and the first time homebuyer stimulus package. But the foreclosure activity is so low (and many sellers are unwilling to list their properties for sale, knowing that they can’t sell for what they need to make from the sale) that there’s very little out there for buyers to choose from.

Many industry experts are expecting a dramatic rise in foreclosures over the coming months as Freddie and Fannie have recently halted their foreclosure moratoriums. As this action trickles down to the field, six months worth of foreclosures could flood the market.

About a month ago, Cindy Jones on VaRealEstateTalk.com:

Last fall Freddie Mac along with other lenders put a moratorium on new foreclosure proceedings until the economic stimulus packages worked their way through Congress. Only those properties that had already been through the foreclosure process made their way to the MLS and not even all of those have been listed.

For example one agent in my office who handles Freddie Mac foreclosures has just now received the go ahead to list a few of the properties that had been through the foreclosure process last October and November. Even more interesting is that in one case the owner of the property is still living in the property five months after the foreclosure. A quick look through RealtyTrac.com shows a few hundred properties with the title transfers to a lender, yet none of them have made it to the market. A recent Friday Washington Post showed close to 300 Trustee Sales at the PW Courthouse alone and those properties haven’t hit the market yet either.

From a comment from “Brooks” on a post from Frank Llosa about the problem on FranklyRealty.com:

washpostToday’s [4/21] Washington Post is actually kind of fat for a Tuesday edition. Then you realize that it sports a rather hefty Classified ads section. The “G” section is a solid 20 pages. But, almost all of it is real estate property foreclosure public notices. They start on page G1 and staggeringly run to page G19. They take up almost as much space as the 24-page “A” news and business section. However, employment ads take up less than one column on G19.

I saw this also, and today’s was pretty thick with them as well. Is this the start of a Sick Newspaper Alleviation Program (SNAP)?

My neighbors and I are all pleased to see that a foreclosed home on our little street sold early this week. Better to get them on the market and sold quickly than to have them sit empty for month after month.

Kim Hannemann, Real Estate Consultant/Realtor®, Samson Realty
Cell: 703-861-9234 • Fax: 703-896-5055 • Email: KimTheAgent@gmail.com

It’s Good To Have A Friend In The Business®
samson-realty-and-bird

If you would like to discuss real estate questions, sell or buy a home in Northern Virginia – including Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton, Fairfax, Fairfax Station, Falls Church, Kingstowne, Lorton, McLean, Reston, Springfield, or Vienna – contact Kim today.

4 – 4.5% Listings with First-Class Service — Cash Back to My Buyers!