first (19)

First-Time Homebuyers Discounts through FHA

People in the market for their first home can take advantage of a new offer from FHA. This new initiative aims to provide more information to buyers though classroom education and will reward them with a reduction in the premiums paid towards mortgage insurance.




HAWK to the Rescue

The name of the new initiative is called Homeowners Armed with Knowledge (HAWK). The borrowers are asked to complete a series of classes prior to buying the home as well as a few courses scheduled after the home has been purchased. At the time of this writing the classes are broken down in the following ways

* 1st class to be completed before the buyer completes a purchase contract

* 2nd class will be completed after a contract is signed and before the loan is finalized

* 3rd class will be completed within 12 months after the loan is finalized

Goals of the Program

Simply put, the HAWK initiative is hoping that people buying their first home will have a better understanding of the overall process thanks to the counseling and will be in a better position to make wise financial decisions in the future not only in regards to their housing but also to their other needs.

Monetary Benefit

Once the customer has completed the necessary classes their upfront mortgage insurance premium will be reduced along with the monthly premium that is paid as part of the mortgage payments. In addition, if the customer has no delinquent mortgage payments within the first 2 years of the loan the monthly premium will be reduced again.

Some Limits and Expiration Dates

Since this is a new program with no history to review the FHA is rolling this out with limits. The program is currently scheduled to only last for 4 years. In addition, not all FHA loans are going to be accepted under this program. At this time there is no news about how many loans will be allowed to use HAWK but FHA has stated that there will be a maximum number each year.

Class Time Requirement

For the class completed before the contract signing the prospective buyers will need to finish at least 6 hours of counseling and education.

The class that is conducted after the contract signing is a one hour class as well as the class that comes after the loan is closed.

Each class will issue a certificate to the students indicating that the course has been successfully completed. These certificates will be necessary in order to get the reduction in mortgage insurance premium.

In general, this is a great program that FHA is offering. It provides critical information to potential home buyers in order to better prepare them for a prosperous future and it rewards them by reducing the amount paid on their mortgage.

Take a look at --> Madison, WI Homes for Sale or browse through --> Janesville, WI Real Estate Listings!

Read more…

As blogged by Peter Christensen on Sunday December 8, 2013, a class action lawsuit was filed against and First Valuation LLC, First Valuation Services LLC and First Valuation Technology LLC for not having "true corporate separateness in their operation". Firms taking place in this suit are from Florida, Washington and Colorado  however, they were not named specifically.

The plaintiff is a real estate agent, Kathy Wornicki from Florida. She claims that she is owed about $880.00 for BPO work she performed in 2012 and 2013. Apparently she claims that the defendants breached their contract by not paying her on time. She is going further and claiming that not only have the plaintiffs not paid her but thousands of other agents across the country.


To read Peter's article yourself, visit his site at

Read more…
photo credit: reallyboring via photopin cc

Advice About Purchasing Your First Rental Home/Property
(Investment Properties: Part 1 of 5)

Before buying that first piece of rental property it is important that you answer a single question. This question has nothing to do with your credit score, your experience with real estate or how much money you can gather for the purchase. The question is quite simple: WHY are you buying an investment home?

The answer to this question will guide you towards the right kind of property and the right type of financing. Let’s look at some examples to get a better idea of reasons people use to start investing in homes.

Saving for College Tuition

This type of goal usually involves a term over a few years. Couples with young children will buy a home in an area that has shown signs of appreciating. A year or two before the child enters college the family will sell the home and use the profit to pay for tuition, books and other expenses.

In this particular scenario the couple is not concerned with making a large profit each month on the rent. They simply want to break even while keeping the home in tip-top shape to maximize the potential appreciation.

Using Cash Flow to Increase Monthly Income

Some individuals invest in rental homes because they want to earn a profit each month from the rent. In these cases it is extremely important to buy a home either for all cash or at a deep discount from the market price. Foreclosures and vacant homes are common for this example. Buying the home for cash or at a deep discount allows the landlord to charge a fair rent based on the current market conditions and pocket most of the money each month as profit.

Speculation about Future Values

Sometimes people simply buy a property at a slightly discounted price in hopes that the property value will escalate quickly due to a future event. For instance, a new shopping mall, new school or a new factory can greatly improve the value of homes in the immediate area. Buying a home in such a location and holding on to it for a few months to a year can yield a high profit.

Career Change

Some people want to begin their property investment as a means to escape their current full time job and start a new career. It is possible for people to invest in real estate as their main source of income. However, it is not a get rich quick scheme.

The most successful investors have clear goals and follow a proven formula. They buy homes in particular areas that exhibit desirable qualities. They only buy when the price is discounted heavily and they have favorable financing for the transaction. They also understand the rental rates for the area in comparison to the financing costs.

Buying a rental home can be lucrative and lead to good fortune. However, it must be approached with diligence and hard work, not pie-in-the-sky dreams.

Investment/Rental Properties (5 Part Series)

Read more…

Rarely Discussed Tips for Buying that First House

Lots of solid information is available online that discusses items for first time home buyers such as choosing the right loan, working with a reputable lender, and arranging a proper budget. While those items are very important, there are some other items that don't get the same publicity but deserve great attention.


Buyer Beware

It cannot be stressed enough: there is no such thing as a perfect home. One home that seems to have a great outside appearance may need significant work on the inside. Another home that is appealing both indoors and out could be located in a terrible neighborhood. Take some time to look over the home as closely as you can. Ask some friends or relatives to come by and inspect the place. If something looks wrong, consult with a professional inspector.

Don't Sign Something that is Unclear

Most people that are buying a home for the first time are not aware that there are LOTS of forms to sign. This does not mean you should sit at the closing and closely read every single word. Many of these items are simply legal documents designed to protect the borrower. However, it also does not mean you should be confused about the process. During the closing process, ask the closing agent or your lender questions about the paperwork that you are signing to be sure you understand everything.

Allow for Improvements and Vacations

Very few people buy a home and leave everything as it sits for the duration of their home ownership. Most people like to add variety by changing out the carpet, adding fresh paint and updating the appliances and light fixtures. All of these things take money, whether they are done now or 5 years from now. Don't pick a home that is at the edge of your affordability. Leave some room for making a few improvements as well as saving up for the occasional vacation.

Don't Buy With Just Your Heart

It is true that most people will live in a home for a number of years. For this reason, they need to be quite happy with the major features of the property. However, falling in love with a property that is over an hour away from your job will make your commute quite tough, and add misery to your life. It is important to find a home that makes you happy and is practical for your situation.


photo credit: joelplutchak via photopin cc

Avoid Unpleasant Features

Just as some people fall in love with a home and buy it based on one or two features, some people loathe one or two features of an otherwise suitable place. It is a bad idea to try and put up with something that makes you unhappy for the sake of owning a home. For instance, some people despise yard work. Buying a lovely modern home, with modern appliances, and in a good area may sound great until you realize the yard is monstrous. All those hours spent mowing the lawn, trimming bushes, cleaning around walkways and other items may actually irritate some people to no end.

Related posts:

  1. Tips on Buying Your First Wisconsin Home Tips on Buying Your First WI Home Getting that first...
  2. Tips for Buying a Wisconsin Short Sale Tips for Buying Your First Short Sale A short sale...
  3. Bad Choices People Make When Buying a Home Bad Choices People Make When They Buy a Home All...
  4. Tips for Picking the Right Wisconsin Home Tips for Picking the Right Home Finding the home that...
  5. Tips for Purchasing a Foreclosure Tips for Purchasing a Foreclosure The housing slump that has...
Read more…

The SMART Way to Buy Your First Short Sale

Buying a short sale in Madison Wisconsin is quite common right now. The impact of the financial recession has resulted in numerous foreclosures and has left some people with no option but to sell their home for less than the mortgage balance. Buying a Madison area Wisconsin short sale will require a bit of patience and a smart plan.

Understanding the Short Sale


Obviously, the best reason to buy a short sale is for the savings. Most of these properties are discounted as much as 20% off the market price. Buyers can save a considerable amount of money by negotiating the right deal with a motivated seller. However, a good price should only be one consideration. There are other things for the buyer to be aware of such as:

* In order to get a contract on a short sale, it is best to be the first person to contact the seller or selling agent. Being first puts you in more control of the transaction.

* Just because a property is being offered as a short sale does not make it a great deal. Some properties may need extensive work before they can be deemed a safe living environment.

* Banks typically frown on ridiculous low offers. A successful short sale will require you to offer a reasonable amount. This is where an agent can really come in handy.

* Based on the current number of short sales, banks are swamped with these requests. The process for moving the offer through the chain of command does not always progress in an orderly fashion. This requires the buyer to be flexible about a closing date.

All of this means that buying a short sale requires a solid plan; a plan that will get you in front of the right seller, with the right offer.

Putting Together a Good Plan

Follow this outline to help you develop a plan for buying your first short sale.


1. First and foremost, you need to meet with a real estate agent that has experience in short sale transactions. This will save you lots of time and trouble throughout the process. The agent can have a conversation with you to determine the type of house you need and look for possible short sale targets.

2. Determine a plan for responding when a short sale becomes available. Decide with your agent how the information will be communicated to you and how soon you can look over the home.

3. Set up a meeting with a local mortgage lender. Getting the financing secured ahead of time will help get your offer approved. A lender that is familiar with short sale transactions would also be beneficial since the closing may happen at any time and the lender will need to be prepared.

Understand that a short sale which seems like a good deal will likely draw attention from several buyers. The person that responds the quickest, with the best offer and the best plan in place, will likely win the bidding war.

Read more…

First Time Home BuyerThe real estate industry is just like any other major industry segment. The people that work within the industry use specific phrases and words that are not too common in other types of work. Understanding some of the common jargon will help first time buyers feel a little more comfortable with the process.


Mortgage – This is a loan that provides the financing for the purchase of a home. Buyers will sign a promissory note that explains the terms of the loan. The interest rate, amount borrowed and number of payments required to repay the debt are all laid out in this document. A mortgage is different from a car loan or a credit card since a piece of property is used as collateral for the loan.

Appraisal – This is a report that explains the home's value. A professional appraiser will inspect the home and then compare it to other similar homes in the nearby area. Based on common criteria such as location, square footage, age and amenities the appraiser assigns a market value to the property. This is slightly different from a home inspection. A home inspection is designed to point out any areas in need of repair or replacement. An appraisal simply decides how much a home is worth as it currently stands.

Contingency – These are requirements spelled out in the real estate contract that must be completed or met in order for the sale to go through.

For instance, most contracts will have a contingency concerning the appraisal. If the home is not worth the sales price then the buyer may be able to get out of the contract.

Escrow – This refers to the funds, assets or securities being held by a third party separate from the buyer and seller. The buyer will place funds in escrow as proof that they wish to go forward with the sale. Once the seller has met the conditions of the contract the funds will be released.

Disclosures – The buyer must be informed of various details by the seller prior to the purchase. Each area will have slightly different requirements for the disclosures in their location. An example would be the location of a home in a known flood zone. This would affect the homeowner's insurance and could affect the buyer's ability to pay.

Closing – This is the last phase of the property purchase. All parties involved in the transaction will meet at either an attorney's office or an escrow agent's office (title company). The seller, buyer, and any attorney will typically attend the closing. At the closing the seller will receive funds for the transaction and the buyer will sign the necessary documents for the loan. The deed will be transferred from seller to buyer. Finally, the closing costs will be paid based on the agreed terms in the contract.

Read more…


This call will also target owners and renters that are occupying homes at risk of foreclosure. More important, it cost almost nothing to educate hundreds if not thousands of people at on time.   Our first call was a success and we are looking to partner with agents around the country to do more. Please listen to the audio of the first call, in which 50 people attended.  This is better than any workshop I've held or seen when it comes to foreclosure.  May 25th, 2011 Audio

"The only way to bring about stabilization to our neighborhoods is to get valuable information out to the people that need it most. Workshops are not working." said Broker and CEO, Jonathan G Burgess. Burgess has overseen the sale of over four hundred foreclosed homes and short-sales over the last 3 years throughout the company’s California offices. Neighborhood property values, cities, counties and utility providers suffer the most when the wrong decisions are made by the occupants of these homes. Code 3 Realty & Mortgage Inc. has made equipping individuals with the necessary information to make the right decision concerning their situations a top priority.

Many real estate companies are hosting workshops for distressed homeowners to get much-needed foreclosure prevention information, however attendance to those events is usually low. “I’m not surprised attendance is low because this is a sensitive topic and can be embarrassing for many” said Burgess. "The majority of home owners struggling to keep their homes would rather not attend an open forum to discuss foreclosure. Telephone conferences are a discrete alternative."

Owners and renters can get valuable, free information about programs and options to assist them by joining these conference calls. This information must get out if we are going to bring about stability to our economy and restore property values in neighborhoods.

The first conference will begin on Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 at 7:00pm -7:30 pm.


Join our Group ON REO PRO Today!!

Read more…

What does it take?

With a new year, comes a fresh group of REO Agent hopefuls, scratching at the door of the industry ready to eat their own just to get that first listing. With this feeding frenzy comes all the questions like, “How do I get my first REO?”

Almost like tradition, each year I have tried to write a blog answering just that question yet, I don’t find myself invited as a keynote speaker to any conference, or quoted in anyone else’s blog or better yet, asked for my advice on some cable television news network yet, here I am, writing away and sometimes, I feel it’s into oblivion.

None the less, let’s sit down together for just a moment and discuss what it really takes for an Agent to get that first REO listing.

Now, before I share the secret to my success, we need to build up the reader with suspense and excitement. One way you can accomplish this is by talking circles around the actual answer causing the reader to build excitement through the anticipation. The reader begins to wonder will the next line hold the secret but, of course, we have to let the reader down and say something that leads the reader on another path, which may seem far away from the answer. Just another way to build up excitement, ooooh I just love this, don’t you?

Well of course, let’s remember what the REO industry is. We need to understand that the REO Industry is all about money. Yeah, yeah, you most likely already know that but, what you don’t know and why you keep reading is because you don’t realize that the REO Industry is all about MONEY!

Ok, that last paragraph may sound a bit silly but, let me explain. Many of these Asset Management companies see these vacant properties not as vacant properties but as non-performing assets. We call them that because when we say “assets” it reminds people that the vacant house isn’t just a vacant house, it directly represents a dollar amount, money. It keeps it real for us.

Let me ask you a question, who would you trust with your money? Seriously…..think about it for just a second, who can you actually trust with your social security number, your pin, banking account numbers, credit cards, debit cards (for those of us getting out of debt), etc…? Many of us may be able to answer that question with just one or two names. I bet most of you would say spouse and possibly your parents, that would be it……no one else? Why not? Ok…..I know that answer and you do to, it’s a rhetorical question. We don’t trust anyone with our money because it’s our money. That is the exact same mentality of the REO Industry and if you haven’t clued in to that yet, that is likely why you are still waiting for your first REO. Maybe I am being a bit harsh and cruel, maybe I have upset your sensibilities but, you asked and more importantly you continued to read this blog. J

Ok, so now, let’s move from the metaphorical to the realistic and ask another question, a more appropriate question and that is, “How do I get a Asset Management company to trust me with their money?”

Now, it’s important that you understand something, every single agent who currently has REO inventory can answer this question differently. This phenomenon is because, most of us got into the business uniquely. Truth be told, very few us got in just because we were selected from a list of random applicants with shiny resumes that smelled like Chanel and were written on pink paper (name the movie if you can?) It’s true, some REO agents can regale you with stories about how they just got a random call from Joe Schmoe Asset Manager Extrodinare however, most of us, I guess about 90% of us, are going to have a much more interesting story about how we met an Asset Manager at a conference or were referred to one by a friend or….something like that.

Ok, this blog it getting to be a bit longer than ususal so, let me cut to the chase. I know my readers and they are already wondering why I have taken so long to just get to the damn point already…..aren’t you?

If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times…’s Networking!

Ok, so the secret wasn’t so much a secret after all but, let me explain why so many of you aren’t working your Networks, building your Networks, making your Networks successful for yourselves.

First off, when you get up in the morning, you aren’t thinking about writing a blog, your thinking of getting the kids washed, fed and off to school, the husband / wife up, washed and off to work, yourself 1 hour on the treadmill, wash, fed and off to the office. By the time you reach the office, you are thinking of voice mail you have to return, which continuing education classes you need to take, how you are going to pay your office bill this month, explaining to that homeowner why you haven’t sold their home in 5 months or explaining to that buyer why he can’t get a loan. My humble point is, none of you make time to network or don’t have time to network or can’t network for this or that reason. This is exactly why you aren’t successful because no one important enough know you well enough to trust you with their money.

Let me say that last line once again because, I know many of you missed it.


Granted, it’s not just that simple but, that one line drills down to a foundation that answer the question you posed earlier and that was, “How do I get my first REO listing?”

I have written many….many blogs on how to network, where to network, when to network, what to say, what not to say and, still….I look back at some of my blogs and I see it appears they have been lost to the vastness of the blogosphere. Better yet, I get the wonderful question from the “default professional” who just joined REOPro and says, “How do I get a REO listing?”

Dear God, was I the first email you wrote on this network, was I the first name you saw, did you even bother to read some……3…..2…..or at least 1 blog?

No, you most likely didn’t, you most likely saw that I owned the network, assumed I was a fount of free flowing information, thought you would be bold and a go getter, sat down at your desk and wrote me a one line email, “How do I get my first REO listing?”

Let me just say, you would not be one I would trust with my money…..why on God’s green Earth would any Asset Manger trust you with his?

Read more…
Ok, first off….I am not going to share this agents information with you. If he wants to speak up…he can. In other words, don’t ask….lol. I just got an email from Christian Broadwell with Realty Pilot alerting me to the fact that one of our members got a BPO and in return the REO. Now, so that we are clear, this isn’t a “REOPro” assignment so much it was a bank who has been using the Realty Pilot for some time and noticed their coverage is growing…ie, REOPro members and happened to release a BPO to that Zip Code where this member snatched it up, completed it and in return that bank asked him if he wanted the REO. My point is, Realty Pilot is working for our members and yes, it wasn’t a “REOPro” assignment however, the way the system is set up, you as a member could get any assignment for any of the partner banks that Realty Pilot is already working with. Yes, REOPro will be assigning BPOs, REOs and Short Sales soon but, in the meantime, you could potentially get assignments from other cooperating servicers, asset management companies and lender who have their own Asset Management divisions. Don’t forget, on December 16, Realty Pilot will be launching their “Activity Counter” so you as agents can also see where assignments are and how much business is going out per zip code. This is a revolutionary concept in this industry and really puts more power in the decisions making process back into the agents hand. Good luck guys and if you’re not signed up yet, I highly, strongly encourage you to do so. I fully expect REOPro ourselves will be sending out business soon. I know soon is such an ambiguous term but, that is all I can say now without spilling too many beans. Just know, I am completely confident this is going to happen and it’s just a matter of hammering down technology, which Realty Pilot is working very hard at doing.
Read more…

Motivated Buyer

No doubt this has happened to you more than once but it is my first experience.I have been networking with several lenders doing funding expo's and first timehome buyer workshops. I was pleasantly surprised this week when I was givena lead from one of them. Her LSR was complete and she was searching for arealtor being dissatisfied with her prior agent. She'd been shown the only propertyshe wanted and needed to see it again and most likely make an offer.Her prior agent said it was not worth either her or the agent's time to write an offeras it would be a back up offer and it was a short sale 'possibility' (ie: not yet lenderapproved). Naturally I was willling to assist her and I asked her if she'd signed aBuyer/Broker agreement and she said she had not. I wanted to ensure she hadn'tas if the transaction did go through there was no reason to ask for trouble. At anyrate we saw the property and we did write an offer for her. She also signed aBuyer/Broker agreement to work with me exclusively through the end March 2010.Why is this important? She is obviously a motivated buyer and there is a greatpossibility she will not obtain the property she has her eye on. However, if shedoesn't I am the agent ready, willling, able and signed on to work with her. BTW,she is renting and her lease expires the end of November and she can only gomonth to month for 90 days. Sweet!
Read more…
The race is on to get FTHBs in contract....Negotiations continue for extension. What do you think? Will they extend this successful program?Any thoughts on why the Gov would end this type of insentive just as real estate is heading into the winter months which are slower for most areas outside the Southern states?Anticipated home sales have increased for seven straight months, the longest upward run since the National Association of Realtors (NAR) began its pending sales index series back in 2001, and now at its highest level since March 2007.NAR said Thursday that its forward-looking measurement of closed sales on existing-homes, which is based on contracts signed in August, rose 6.4 percent from July’s reading and is 12.4 percent above this time last year.Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, cautioned though, that not all contracts are turning into closed sales within the expected timeframe. “The rise in pending home sales shows buyers are returning to the market and signing contracts, but deals are not necessarily closing because of long delays related to short sales, and issues regarding complex new appraisal rules,” Yun said.Yun agrees with many other market observers that first-time buyers are rushing to put pen to paper to beat the deadline for the $8,000 tax credit, which expires at the end of next month. This run could very easily result in inflated pending sales numbers that don’t make it to the closing desk in time.Prospective homeowners in the western region of the country are the most eager to sign the dotted line, where distressed assets and plummeting property values make for extremely attractive deals. The pending sales index for the West surged 16.0 percent in NAR’s latest study.In the northeastern states, anticipated sales jumped 8.2 percent. In the Midwest the index rose 3.1 percent, and in the southern part of the country, pending home sales increased 0.8 percent.“Perhaps the real question,” Yun said, “is how many transactions are being delayed in the pipeline, and how many are being cancelled?”Yun also noted that the data sample coverage for pending sales is smaller than the measurement for closed existing-home sales, so the two series will never match one for one.Yun said the forecast for home sales and prices depends very much on whether a tax credit is extended. “All we can say for certain is sales will decline when the tax credit expires because we are not yet on a self-sustaining recovery path. It also raises a risk of a double-dip recession,” he said. “Extending and expanding the tax credit is the best tool in our arsenal to encourage financially qualified buyers to stimulate the economy.”
Read more…

As we approach the end of the federal tax credit incentive for the housing market, discussions are starting to whether or not extend the tax credit. I recent read two contradicted articles. According to a survey from CAR (California Association of Realtors), 40% of first time would not have purchased a house if it were not for the tax credit. In addition to that 70% of all buyers, first or second home, say that is was "very important" or "most important" in their decision process.On the other hand, a survey from Zillow shows that the tax credit was not a fact for most first time buyer when making a decision to purchase a home. Only 18% would be swayed to purchase a house in 2010 if the tax credit is extended. The discrepancies in the surveys is like water and wine. Who is right?
Read more…
The $8000 tax credit is a nice perk for first-time homebuyers. In my opinion, new Buyers should look at it as a perk, not as an incentive:1) Qualify for a home based on solid income, a certain level of confidence in job security, and ability to repay for years to come.2) Find a nice property that you don’t have to sell for at least 5 years, better if you can keep it for 10 years or more, possibly as a rental later on.3) Don’t let the pending deadline for free money lure you into a dump! First of all, market swings can wipe out that $8000 in a flash, even if you are buying a $150,000 property. Second of all, a dump doesn’t need the market to help wipe out that $8000 of free money. A dump can do it all by itself. See my blog “Top 10 Ways to Know Your Buying A Dump.”In certain locations there is a shortage of inventory and a feeding frenzy among first-time Buyers trying to beat the clock. Meanwhile cash investors are snatching up the best properties causing first-timers to battle for scraps.Yes, the $8000 tax credit is a nice perk. If you buy for all the right reasons, the credit is gravy. But buying a dog pile to get $8000 today and risk your future just makes no sense. Some times renting makes more sense. (OK now you can officially declare me the worst real estate salesperson ever.)For all its encouragement and stimulus, the government doesn’t even want you to buy a dump. Last I heard, they have not announced Cash-for-Clunkers Homes, and you don’t want to be calling Marilyn Mock of the Foreclosure Angel Foundation in 2011.Let the professional investors deal with risk. You too can be a pro some day if you make the right moves today.
Read more…

$8000 Homebuyer Tax Credit

National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said existing home sales will rise through the fourth quarter, but that the end of a federal tax credit that gives first-time homebuyers $8,000 will affect that pace if it expires in November. As per [FAR and Palm Beach Post]. I agree what is your opinion on the first-time homebuyers tax credit? I think they should leave it into play for another 6 - 12 months.
Read more…

REOPro’s First Year.

As of Saturday May 23, 2009 it will have been one year since I sat down at my laptop and decided to start REOPro. Looking back and reflecting on what has happened I am proud to see how we have grown. REOPro was started because I found it incredibly difficult to find reliable information about the Default Real Estate Industry and, it seemed no one wanted to help. Granted, I found all kinds of sites that made wild promises that for only $99.99 a zip code I could get hundreds of listings or for a monthly subscription fee of $299.99 I could purchase ad space with my picture on all the listings in my area. Needless to say, I lost a lot of money with absolutely no return. I was frustrated and discouraged by what seemed to be a consorted effort to take my money and, keep me out of the real business of REO. After making several Better Business Bureau complaints against a number of companies and reading complaints on other real estate open networking sites, I realized I wasn’t alone. Instead of feeling used, abused and thrown to the curb, this insight just made me angry and more determined to blow the doors off this industry and expose the frauds from the legitimate business. For those of you, who don’t know me personally, let me jump of topic a bit and share a personal story with you so you have a better understanding of how REOPro came into existence. I am a gamer or in other words, I love to play internet games like World of Warcraft, GuildWars or EveOnline. Most of these Massive Multiplay Online Games have huge networking clubs you can join to learn more about the game as well as get organized to actually impact your personal game play. I had personally organized several of these gamer clubs and had seen what kind of power these social networks had on the evolution of these games and the success they could propel players to within the gaming world. I am not exactly sure how I made the connection between taking the networking side of these games and applying that knowledge and experience to the REO Default Industry but, it happened. I guess you can call it a stroke of genius or madness…depending on your point of view. I simply asked myself, what would happen if I could organize REO Default Industry Professionals like I was able to organize several of my gaming clubs? I had several successful gaming clubs growing so why wouldn’t I be able to use the same set of skills and apply them to a professional environment? Well, I definitely didn’t see why I couldn’t, I only saw that I could….so, I did. First, I Googled “Professional Networking Platform” and several came up, NING among them. I then asked around and quickly found that NING was going to satisfy my needs. The next step was a catchy name. Well, I had seen several people calling themselves REO Professionals but, I wasn’t sure if that would work so, I made a beta site on a FreeWebs account, called it REO Professional Agents, slapped a Google tracking code on it and boom, it was getting hits within the hour. I had learned from gaming, that people like short, catchy, easy to remember names so, REO Professional Agent was fine but, I needed something a bit more catchy so, after about 2 days worth of thinking aloud and my partner’s invaluable insight, REOPro was born. REOPro is and will always remain a free professional / social networking site dedicated to the people who work in the Real Estate Default Industry. Currently we have over 1850 members who take advantage of their own REOPro page, comment walls, blogs, forums, picture sharing, video sharing, online chat and most recently Ask the Asset Manager. As far as I know, we are America’s largest free networking site dedicated to REO. I hope REOPro has been as much an asset to you as it has been to me. Thank you to each of you for your contributions and commitment to our success. I also want to offer a special thank you to Adam Cothron, the designer who came up with our logo. Adam is a integral part of our success and I look forward to working with him in making this site better. Good luck to each of you and thank you, once again.
Read more…
I've prepared this blog with the hope that it will educate and streamline the process for First Time FHA Buyers and their agents when writing offers on Fannie Mae REO's; of which we should see a large supply in the near future.Our market has changed and is not a traditional market any longer. As Realtors/Brokers & buyer's we all must adjust. Adjust to the fact that FANNIE Mae’s reo RPA supercedes all State RPAs (Residential Purchase Agreements). Fannie is also exempt from normal closing cost that a seller would be required to pay, Such as Title, Escrow, City/County X-Fer Taxes.1). So what does this mean to you as the buyer or buyers agent? It means you cannot assume that Fannie is going to pay for it even if you put it in your state RPA. You have to ask for it to be paid, and expect that total amount to be included as a portion of the total max of closing cost that the seller, Fannie will pay.It's an art to writing the perfect offer; however what is more of an art and much needed in this market, is educating your buyers. Sellers normally take the best offer, and Fannie Mae is no different. The best offer may not always be the highest offer and I have seen a lot of this lately. Buyers and their agents often question or wonder why their higher priced offer are rejected and lower offers accepted by the banks. The pecking order is CASH (We all know is King), Conventional, FHA, and Then VA. Why? It doesn't take rocket scientist to figure this out. We all know cash offers can usually close in 15 days and they are less likely to fall out. Conventional buyers usually have more money to put down and the lender guidelines/requirements for financing aren't deal breakers. FHA, less money down, and lender required repairs could be deal a breaker for a seller selling a property AS IS. VA, will just multiply FHA x 2 or 3 with no money down... If you were selling your property, what would your pecking order be in a declining, unstable market? Time is money, and if a property is tied up for 30-60, 90 days and falls out of escrow, a lot of money is loss. These days the banks are currently in the business of minimizing losses. We may see this change in an appreciating market, but not in a declining unstable market.2) So does this mean that FHA buyers won't get a chance to buy Fannie REO's at or near Rock Bottom Prices?No absolutely not. It means that buyers agents have to put together solid offers. Writing a contract 10 to 15K over list price on a Fannie Mae REO so that closing cost can be paid by the seller is an example of a poor offer, (Agents are u looking at comps when u do this, is this really in the best interest for your buyers?) Every Fannie Mae REO property has an extensive Broker Price Opinion (BPO) also know as a CMA, completed the listing agent as well as an appraisal. When the price is set, they are well aware of the value a property will appraise. Fannie Mae is also provided a monthly marketing update in which they are given statics to support lowing, increasing or mainting list price of the property. Writing an offer over the appraised value means the FHA deal is more likely to fall out should the appraisal come in low.When you see HomePath Financing! That’s a good thing it means the property will not have to be appraised (Fannie Has an Appraisal On File) and can be sold at list / offer price should you come to terms; however you have to use an approved Home Path Lender. A good way to go should this opportunity present itself.3) How do I present my best offer the First Time?Buyer's make sure you are Pre-Approved (preferably an institutional lender) Not Pre qualified. It’s also a good idea to show good faith by putting down a healthy Earnest Money Deposit (EMD). $1000.00 deposit with 3.5% down on a 150K is a poor example. I would recommend $2,500 to $5,000 if you want your offer to appear strong. When you read a RPA you can tell a lot about a buyer by their EMD. Cash offers are required to put 10% down as a EMD. As an REO listing agent I can only present to my client what you give me.If your a buyer or buyers agent that is doing FHA financing because you don't want to exhaust your savings account, show me!! Along with your offer and EMD your agent should be also including POF in your accounts. If you don’t tell me this I have no way of expressing or showing my client why your offer is just as strong as the next or maybe even better!! By doing this you increase your chances of direct competition with conventional offers, and you make it easy to select the best FHA offer.In closing I have just a few words of advice for agents writing offers.If listing agent instructions say preferred method to submit an offer is via Email. DO IT (In the subject line Enter Property Street & Buyers last name)Stack your Fannie offer as follows prior to emailing1) PRE APPROVAL LETTER2) EMD OR POF3) STATE CONRTACT4) FANNIE RPA (Signed/Initialed)If there is a Bank Addendum Attached in MLS. Have your buyer initial and sign it. Should your offer be excepted with the counter the terms can be written in and this streamlines the time it takes.Know that any lender required repairs after an agreement has been reached will be added to the top of the purchase price. Therefore do a complete initial walk through with your client before writing an offer, and ask for know repairs credits up-front if your comps don’t reflect the asking price with needed repairs. Remember the first offer received is not always the best offer so don't think you have to be first. Never write an offer without seeing the property, I actually check MLS and will request agents update their Dis Key's if an offer comes in too fast.This article is exclusive to Fannie Mae REO's; however the principals are universal and can be applied to all fields. Agents and buyers do your home work , comparable sales don't lie, so use them. My team of agents are trained to complete a CMA for buyer clients whenever their writing an offer. I would encourage others to do the same.Jonathan Burgess Broker/OwnerCode 3 Real EstateBroker/SAR/ IVAR/NARNFSTI Reo CertifedRes Net CertifiedReo Trans Certifiedwww.code3realty.comCode 3 Realty & Mortgage Inc.777 Campus Commons Drive Ste 200Sacramento CA. 95825Branch Offices In Tracey CA & Riverside CA.
Read more…

Pre-Approved Shortsales Breaking Out?

Well, I've bloged about this several months ago. Pre-Approved Short Sales!! I closed my first one 2wks ago and from list to close total time was 40 days. Yes 40 days, I recieved a list price 96 hours after submitting my BPO, which was priced 10K below my BPO value. I got multiple offers within he first7 days on the market and the property sold for 5K more than list price (Closer to my BPO value). My local board rules require us market any short sale as such, which in the past and sometimes hinders offers beacuse all of us know that there is nothing short about a traditional shortsale.This did not increase the time on the Market, as we advertised it as a HomeTeleos Pre-Approved Short Sale. This program has officially launched and you may see it in a City or County near you. Its true when you see HomeTeloes Pre-Approved short sale, then really are short sales. I'd love the hear from anyone else if they are doing anything similar or have heard of any similar programs launching. I think it will be a matter of time before others follow if they have not already done so.
Read more…
Okay, gang here's what's comming down the Pike!! When this program hits the streets short sales will truly be SHORT SALES.Anyway, myself and 4 of my agents were blessed with being selected and trained during the 5-Star Conference via Webinare, to be on the 4 front of this new program that will be comming to a city near you soon. When you see the words Home Telo's approved Short Sale , these properties will close in 30 days or less. Thats right lender approved short sales!! What a concept. Not all homes will qualify for the program and there will be a screening process. To some this up in a NUT shell this is how the program will work.A BPO is completed on the property within 72 hours of completing our BPO the lender will have had a 3 rd party apprasial or BPO conducted and sets a price at current market value they are willing to except for the home. The property will then be placed on the maket local MLS and where it can be bid on. Highest bidder assuming lenders price is met, will go into contract to close within 30 days.During the marketing time the home-owner has to maintain the home, remains in the home and is resposible for keeping it up for showing. The investors/lenders etc have finally figured it out!!!. It's cheaper for them in the long run to keep people in homes, maintaining them rather than them being vacant, and getting everything of value (A/C Units, Copper, Appliacnes, Light Fixtures etc) stolen.This should bring about some stability to the market and great opportunities for first time buyers that are overwhelmed when they step foot in some of the REO homes out there. They will have to be left for the investors to pick up at rock bottom prices,because they will be the only ones buying them when these short sales hit the market. This should be a WIN WIN for everyone.So Buyers Agents, When you see HOME TELO's you better act fast, because once this gets out , there will be 10-15 offers on each property, just like the turnkey REO's. That's my tip for the month...1 of 500 out of 135,000. If you were invited to the Round Up during the 5-Star Conference then you know what this means. For those of you that don't and would like to know shoot me an email if you can't figure it out..(Staci it was nice to see you at the Round Up!)
Read more…

I am back from 5 star!!!

As many of you know I was at the five star default convention last week and now I am back with my family and animals! I had 4 things on my 5 star to do list and I am glad I got them done and then some!With that being said I am sure you want to hear about my 5 star default conference adventure!! I arrived late Tuesday night. I was elbowed in the head on my plane ride by the man seated behind me but I know something of that nature would happen. Without fail I am a target everywhere of some kind! (wink! wink!) We stayed at the Hilton Anatole. I was impressed by the size of the hotel my husband was not impressed by them not having a shuttle. that's a whole other blog that I am not going to get into.Wednesday in the Am I went down to get my new badge cause mine was wrong. Everyone there had a color coded badge and the people who were wearing red, black or green where being hunted down like deer during hunting season. It scared me a little cause I was stuck on an a full elevator everyone was blue except the guy net to me. He was black and the minute someone spotted him he was attacked. I got off asap and didn't even look back.I ran into some Internet friends by the main info area! Nesli is from San Diego. We have talked several times and exchanged REO info back and forth. I called her looking for her and she was behind me. She was looking for my dark hair and didn't recognize me. No worries I got that all week. She is a great person and I am glad to have met her! There were sooooo many people it was hard to find anyone. I guess it doesn't help that I need a new eye glass prescription and couldn't tell who anyone was till I got close.I did have 1 class that was on my to do list and that was the reo trans class. I needed it to get certified. I have used the system before so most of the information was not new. I did however get to chit chat with the CEO. Very nice man and he helped answer a couple questions that I had that were not answered during the class. If he ever needs to buy in the OC I have a great realtor for him!

Wednesday eve were 2 receptions. I went to the first one and ran into a large group of people I chat with on yahoo groups. They are in my inbox everyday and was glad to meet them. They kept me laughing, entertained, and safe.The second reception was very very crowded and I got lost from everyone I knew and was approached by many interesting parties and was about to leave when I again found my friends. I had a great time! I also got some work done at the show. CA was 2 hours ahead so I was still getting questions asked.

Thursday AM was the awards breakfast. My phone died and I forgot my charger. I had no way of calling anyone and about 4000 people were waiting to get into the breakfast. I have night blindness (it was dark in the breakfast room) and I already told you I need a new prescription so I sat down at the nearest empty table I could. It filled up pretty fast so I was not alone for long. I was chit chatting with everyone. The man next to me and I where talking about Denver and Orange County. He then told me he was the CEO of one of the Asset management companies that was on my to do list. Once he told me who he was....all the agents at the table gave him their card. I wasn't about to give him mine and have him remember me that way. We had a great conversation about his company and he asked me my opinion on a couple things. I felt bad for him cause he kept having people ask him for his card while we were talking. He was very polite and told them to wait till he was in the booth at the expo hall. Anywho.....Breakfast was great and the people who got awards were well deserving! I was impressed!

Expo hall was a zoo!! I walked around and talked to some companies but I waited to come back till it wasn't so crowded. I soon realized that there were a ton of people there to get their foot in the door with REO. Many, many people where cutting in line and pushing and it was not a scene I wanted to be in. I did however get to borrow a iphone charger from a man at REDC. They are an auction company and they had Eric Estrada there taking pictures. I charged my phone and came back down to the expo hall. Less crowded and now I could talk to the people I wanted to without having to worry about someone cutting me off. I was talking to a rep at FirstAM REO and one of my fellow active rain friends recognized who I was. Thanks! It made me smile and the FirstAM guy will probably remember me for that!I was signing up online again w/ FirstAM cause the guy said the software changed. I am with them but he said it couldn't hurt. As I was signing up I had 3 more vendors come talk to me. I even had a auction company want to hire me as a project manager. I am going to stick to REO though...I am kinda good at it. I then moved out of the hall to go find some more Internet friends. As I was waiting I started talking to this man w/ no badge and found out he is w/ another direct lender that I was hoping to talk to. I guess I was at the right place at the right time again!! I soon had to get some work done online and get ready for First Preston Round up.FP was # 3 on my to do list and I was totally impressed by this company. I am so lucky and excited to be a listing agent for them. They are innovative and down to earth. They have a contract in the works with a bank to dramatically change the way short sales are looked at and done. Again, I am so lucky, happy, excited and fortunate to be a part of their local ambassadors.There was a man there that asked 2 really good questions and turns out he is another friend of mine who likes to play in the rain! Jon is a great guy and really nice to be around. He and I got excited about First Preston together!!!Friday was the lender open house and again a crazy mad house! I was so not going in the rooms so I stayed outside and talked to lenders as the passed. I was pretty much over worked at this point and ready to go home. I did have to stay and go to the cert class in the afternoon. I found Jon and his friend Mike and we sat thru the class together. They had a test at the end which was easy if you had used their system before. I was so tired and ready to get out of the hotel since I had been indoors for days i went out to the pool. Another Internet friend of mine from San Diego named Katrina and I chit chatted by the pool. My hubby was pretty tired of hearing about REO and I could tell he was more then ready to go home.I learned a some new things and I met some great contacts. I will defiantly go next a key note speaker!!! LOL!~Stacie
Read more…