of (52)


While it may seem as if it is hard to determine what is happening in the downtown San Jose condo real estate market, there are some majors metrics that are quantifiable that can help you see where the market is going. These markers include:


  1.      Sales to list price ratio
  2.      Days on Market
  3.      Months of inventory
  4.      Number of active listings vs number of pending listings.


We can learn something from each of these metrics.


  1.      Sales to list price ratio: When the San Jose condo market is appreciating, the sales price will be higher than the list price. In Jan of 2017 the sales price of Downtown San Jose condos is 101% of the list price. This is obviously very healthy, but in Feb 2015 the sales price on average was 105% of the list price which was a much hotter market.
  2. San Jose Condo market
  3.      Days on market is a very good way to look at how the market is doing. The stronger the market the shorter the days on market. In Feb 2016 the average days on market was 15 and it increased to 28 in Jan 2017. Things are obviously slowing, but the San Jose condo market has not tanked.
  4. San Jose condo market
  5.      Months of inventory: Months of inventory tells you how long it would take to sell all the homes currently on the market at the current pace of sales. When months of inventory goes up it means the market is slowing, most of time.  The months of inventory in downtown San Jose has been less than 2 all through 2016 and into Jan 2017. It has gone up to 7 months in Feb., but there have only been 2 days so we can not count that yet.
  6. San Jose condo market
  7.      Number of active listings vs number of pending listings: this one is my favorite. You look at the number of active sales and compare to pending sales. When inventory is low and sales are brisk there will be more pending sales than active sales. When there are 4 or more times as many pending sales as listings it is a really hot market. When there are more active listings than pending sales it is a buyer’s market, or trending that way. There are currently 21 active listings and 32 pending  sales of downtown San Jose condos.


So how is the market of downtown San Jose condos?


Looking at all the metrics I would say it is good, but slower than in the first part of 2017.


If you have any questions about buying or selling a condo in downtown San Jose please feel free to call me.

Marcy Moyer

Keller Williams Realty

Specializing in Probate and Trust Sales




Read more…

Masses of Marginal Agents

As a licensed real estate broker and professional Realtor® with an operating brokerage here in Nashville TN, I have experienced my fair share of marginal agents in my time. Truth is, it seems to have gotten exceptionally bad here recently with the Nashville housing market exploding as Freddie Mac ranked us #1 in the nation last month. It seems with this real estate boom, everyone and their granny is coming out of the wood work to help you buy and sell a home for the promise of fast, easy money. Unfortunately, the majority of the agents here in Nashville are either ignorant, immoral or just plain stupid. These marginal agents account for such a great number of practicing agents that they have a very negative impact on the consumer perspective of our industry and essentially myself.

The really sad part of this never ending nightmare is that I am not the only one who sees this problem and yet, nothing is getting done about it.  Even NAR the National Association of Realtors, which is this country’s largest real estate trade group put out a report a couple years ago where they admitted to the fact that…..

“The real estate industry is saddled with a large number of part-time, untrained, unethical and or incompetent agents. This knowledge gap threatens the credibility of the industry”…NAR DANGER Report

 ….so, as you can see, you don’t have to take my word for it. This industry is broken and when your largest trade group, representing over 1 million individuals and over 14,000 local associations comes out and says things like the quote above, bet your bottom dollar, “Houston, we have a problem.”

Just this week, I had a very interesting email conversation that you might find insightful, take a gander below for yourself…..

From: John Doe, Buyer’s Agent
>> Sent: Friday, August 26, 2016 12:09 AM
>> To: JGonzalez@LHRLLC.com
>> Subject: 574 Joyce Ln
>> I have been trying to contact you regarding the listing at 574 Joyce 
>> ln. I have a client that would like to make an offer on this. I need 
>> lead base paint discl and property cond. discl. as soon as you can get 
>> it to me. I have a cash buyer and we are ready to roll.

From: Jesse Gonzalez, Seller’s Agent,

On Aug 26, 2016, at 8:01 AM,
>> Thanks for reaching out however, this is the first correspondence I 
>> have from you. Not sure why but, the first none the less.
>> As for disclosures, they can always be found in the multimedia section 
>> of the MLS. If they aren't I apologize however, I did check the MLS 
>> this morning after receiving your email and they appear to be there.
>> Some friendly advice: When in a market like Nashville, where Freddie 
>> Mac has ranked us #1 in the country and properties can be sold in 
>> hours of them hitting the market, it's not in your clients best 
>> interest for you to wait on communication, forms, or anything else for 
>> that matter before you send their offer in. Just so you know, there 
>> are no statutory or common laws, rule or procedures that would ever 
>> prevent you from submitting a client's offer immediately. Not to 
>> mention, even if there had been, you can always make your clients 
>> offer contingent on those forms, rules or procedures being completed. 
>> The lesson here is, never....absolutely never delay in sending in your 
>> clients offer...for any reason. To do so could be argued that you 
>> didn't represent your clients best interest and at the very least could be
> argued as negligent.
>> With all that being said, attached are the disclosures as requested. 

From: John Doe, Buyer’s Agent
> Sent: Friday, August 26, 2016 9:53 AM
> To: Jesse D. Gonzalez Jr <JGonzalez@LHRLLC.com>
> Subject: Re: 574 Joyce Ln

> Thank you for your intended guidance but as an experienced and highly
> trained ***** agent I am choosing to represent my buyer in a professional
> manner and we wanted to gather all the facts before making an offer. Thank
> you for emailing me the disclosures and will be sending an offer your way
> shortly. Thank you and look forward to working with you.

From: Jesse Gonzalez, Seller’s Agent,

> On Aug 26, 2016, at 10:30 AM, Jesse D. Gonzalez Jr <JGonzalez@LHRLLC.com> wrote:

> Ok....well, that's good to know however, I wonder what your client would say
> if in the name of "professionalism" and being a "*****" agent you lost the
> opportunity to get their bid in on the home. Not to mention, by doing
> so....it could be reasonably argued you were acting negligently. 

> None the less....good luck. 

Here’s the lesson that Mr. Professional Buyer’s Agent Extraordinaire “John Doe” seemed not to grasp. As a licensed agent, we have a fiduciary duty to our clients. Specifically, that means, we exercise the highest standard of care when representing their interest. It was in this buyer’s interest to get his offer to the seller as quickly as possible however, the buyer’s own agent threw up a road block in the name of his brokerage and professionalism. This road block demonstrates a serious lack of competency as to his fiduciary / legal requirements to present his clients best interest by submitting his buyer’s offer immediately. It’s important to note, his duty to get that offer to the seller immediately, supersedes any and all self-imposed or brokerage imposed internal processes, procedures or for that matter, expectations. I argue that the agent is actually negligent in his duty and opened his client to unnecessary risk this his clients offer would not have been seen and for that matter considered due to the fact that in the meantime, the seller could have been presented a competing offer and essentially make a decision and therefore, his offer would have been…at the very least, held as backup, if not flat out rejected.

Here's the sad part to all this, I am positive the buyer has no clue what his agent wasn’t doing for him and thinks he’s working with the best agent in town…..what a joke.  

Read more…

Nashville's housing market is due for a correction. Ask any local agent and they will tell you, we have never seen times like this before. My point is, our local market is completely and utterly operating outside of its balanced, healthy parameters. The only time in our history that we saw markets like this, was back in 2006 / 2007. The local housing market correction will be preceded by a national market correction which I do believe will happen towards the end of 2016....if not sooner. So, what's happening?

 All of the measures used to prevent the total collapse of our economy in 2007 during the bubble burst, has done nothing more than further weakened our economic foundation. Sure, you may think I am sounding a bit like the sky is falling but, I have to tell you, I really do believe the Nashville housing market is overly blotted by speculation, lack of inventory, cheap money and greed.

As a homeowner or a potential buyer you need to be aware of this pending correction but, prepare for it as well.

#1: The stock market wipe out: Margin Debt - This measures the amount of money being borrowed to invest. What this reveals is that banks and wall street firms are leveraging their money at record levels. The last time we were this high, was in 2007. Essentially the stock market is going up because people are gambling with debt….not cash. They are borrowing money on credit to invest in the stock market.

#2: Participation Rate: This simply measures the volume of the stock market. Right now we are selling at extremely high evaluations but, astonishing low volumes. So, in other words, even though the stock market is selling at all time highs, very few people are actually investing. The biggest factor for this is because of stock buybacks. Essentially companies are borrowing money to buy their stocks back to increase their share prices even though their profit margins are falling. To make their business look healthier than it really is, they borrow cheap money, to buy their stocks back on debt and increase their share prices. For many companies on the stock market, their high share price has NOTHING to do with them increasing sales or making profit but, how much stocks they can buy back. VERY DANGEROUS.

#3: Price to earnings ratio: The measure of the stock of a company vs. how long it takes to actually a return on the investment. The Shiller PE Ratio is historically 16, right now it’s 27. The last time we saw this was in 2007.

NOTE: if the stock market drops 70%.....that will put us back to our 2009 levels. That will collapse real estate world-wide. Let me explain.

#4: Home Equity Slaughter: On average, prices are up about $40,000 per home. Some areas, are up much greater….100k+. The problem is, homeownership rate is at its lowest level since 1965, nationwide.  So…how is real estate so strong? Over 10 million people lost homes in 2007. This was s huge buying opportunity for private equity funds. In other words, big investment companies swooped in and bought  billions of undervalued / distressed nonperforming assets to drive up prices. We saw Fannie sell HUGE portfolios, worth BILLIONS, to these funds, like Blackstone or “NBS’s” aka Non-Bank Servicers, like OCWEN. They were tasked by this administration to “Save people from foreclosure” or “Preserve homeownership” and that’s exactly what they did but, by doing so, we created a nightmare of a situation where a select few companies own so much real estate, if they flood the market, they can collapse the housing market in a city, over night. Now, you would think that would never happen but, let me just leave you with one, spine chilling thought.

Mortgage rates are at historical lows. In fact, the prime rate can’t get any lower….it’s virtually zero. It’s a fair and valid argument to say, fast, easy, cheap money is causing buyers to come out of the wood work and that’s why housing is booming. With that being said, what happens when those interest rates go up to 6-8%, which is historically what we consider a balanced healthy market? You see, many, many people are getting 30 year fixed rate mortgages and because the money is so cheap, they can buy a bigger, more expensive home because their money goes further. When interest rates go up, that same money becomes more expensive and buyers who could once afford a 200k home, now can only buys a 150K home…..as such, this will account for nearly a 20-40% loss in home values.

Let me put it this way, the fact is, interest rates rise, buyers evaporate. The fewer buyers in the market, home prices have only one direction to go. When those prices start falling, all those private equity firms will begin off loading properties at unbelievable rates to cut their losses.  Don’t think it can happen…..well, HUD is already doing it, RIGHT NOW! That’s right folks, HUD has announced it’s MM3.7 winners and will be releasing hundreds, of foreclosed properties into the markets that are “booming” so they themselves can recoup their losses while the getting is good. Once it gets out that HUD is about to start driving down prices in “over heated” markets…..watch these equity firms start off loading as well. When this occurs, combined by the drop in the stock market this year…..2007 will look like a cake walk. We may be talking 2nd Great Depression.

Read more…

What is the Purpose of an Appraisal?


A mortgage has many specific pieces involved in it. Obviously there is the money supplied by the lender to pay the seller for their asking price. There are also many other items such as the title report and title insurance, a survey (sometimes), proof of homeowner insurance policy and an appraisal. An appraisal is actually one of the more important pieces and yet it still brings questions from buyers and sellers alike.

Required by the Lender

First and foremost, if a home is being purchased through the use of a mortgage then the lender will require a formal appraisal. A licensed appraiser works independently of the real estate agent and the lender to ensure that there is no undue influence on the process. The appraiser’s report will indicate if the home is worth the asking price.

Appraisal ordered after a Selling Price has been negotiated

The appraiser is contacted after the real estate agent(s) and all associated parties have worked out a price for the home. The appraiser will look at the contract along with a host of other items such as

* Square footage of the home

* Local property taxes for the home

* When the home was built

* General shape and condition of the property

* Average sales price of similar homes in the area

The price for the appraisal depends on the area of the country. Sometimes the appraisal fee is paid by the borrower up front and other times it may be paid as part of the closing costs.

Wise to Inspect First and Appraise Second

In an ideal world the buyer of a home would hire a home inspector to review a property before the home is appraised. The job of an inspector is to seek out any potential problems with the property. This can be as simple as finding a loose door knob to as complicated as finding out the entire heating and ventilation system needs replacing. Once the inspector has looked at the home the appraiser can approach the property with some idea of any possible short comings of the home and assign the correct value to the home. In a worst case scenario an inspection could lead a buyer to cancel a contract and look for a different home.

The Journey of the Appraisal

Once the appraiser has finished the report a copy will be sent to the mortgage lender and possibly the real estate agents. If the buyer paid for the appraisal up front then they too will get a copy when it is complete. Otherwise, the buyer will receive a copy at closing.

The lender, whether it is a bank or local mortgage company, will have their own process to review the appraisal and ensure the numbers look accurate. If the value of the home is much lower than expected then the lender may cancel the loan. On the flip side, if the home is determined to be worth more than the asking price then the buyer will have instant equity.

Read more…

The unrealized costs of overpricing a home

Sellers, there are more expenses to selling your home than commissions if you're not ready to sell. One of worst things a seller can do is overprice his/her home when it first comes on the market. A small overage is one thing, but when that overage hits 10, 15, 20, 30% and beyond, it's like burning dollars in your furnace to stay warm.

What are the unrealized expenses of overpricing a home? I only say unrealized because it seems that sellers are the last ones to realize the costs of overpricing. Let's assume the house is in good condition, ready to show and is in a good location, but it's priced too high. What are the unrealized costs?

  • The monthly expenses of maintaining a home that could be used in purchasing a new home. (Electricity, water, heating fuel)
  • The other periodic expenses that occur and need to be paid, such as: property taxes, insurance, maintenance costs, etc.
  • The expense of keeping the house ready to show. Who wants to keep their house ready to show seven days a week for six months, nine months or a year? You can never really take a day off from living in a museum.
  • The expense of having to pick up and leave the house for showings over and over. That may inspire more dinners out, more shopping trips and of course more inconvenience and more expense.
  • The expense of giving a neighbor an insight into what not to do when she's ready to sell. She watches your unsuccessful attempt to sell your house and then lists hers for 10% less. It sells immediately. You blame it on your lame Realtor, but the truth is it's your price. 
  • The expense of stress on the family. If you have children or pets in your house the above issues also affect them. Kids can't have kids over because they might have to leave at moments notice, dogs and cats end up crated for hours on end and neither can use the house the way they did before it was listed. 

A house that sells quickly is just as likely to sell quickly because it was listed well rather than because it was listed low. When you hire an Realtor to sell your house, make sure your hire one that you have confidence in and then listen to his/her advice and insights into the local market.

A buyer will likely buy another house that is similar if the price is lower. No matter how wonderful your house is, it's in competition with every house on the market. If your house is the most expensive one, it will likely sit longer than similar properties. Think about the unrealized costs of overpricing a home. When you're ready to list your home, give your Cornerstone agent a call for an honest assessment of your home and it's potential for a profitable sale in a reasonable time. 

Check out Beth Atalay's blog: You Are NOT Ready To Sell Your House Yet!! 

Read more…

Low home loan rates

What Kind of Mortgage Fits Your Needs?

No matter the state of the economy, each year the number of new mortgages underwritten reaches millions of homeowners.  Some are buying for the first time while others are downsizing or upsizing.  When rates drop, like they did over the past 2 years, many people seize the opportunity to refinance their home loan.  However, how do people decide on which mortgage to use for their specific need?  An online survey conducted by HSH.com points to some of the factors that influence consumer decisions.

Most Important Factor

It should come as no shock that the most important factor is the interest rate.  Regardless of the type of loan, the size of the loan or the customers home state, everybody is trying to get the best rate for their home loan.  In the survey mentioned above over 45% stated that the rate was the top factor for choosing a loan.

Other items, such as the length of the term and the fees also ranked high in the survey, but none was as vital as the rate.

Deciding How Much to Use for Down Payment

The ability to make a down payment equal to 10%-20% of the home’s price will give the borrower a range of products to choose from.  A large down payment and a solid credit score will usually allow a borrower to qualify for a conventional loan which has the best interest rates.

For borrowers that have a smaller down payment, their options will be limited to FHA, USDA or VA for qualifying veterans.

Choosing the Right Term

With rates at an all-time low many borrowers are actually paying more attention to the term of the mortgage loan as part of the decision process.  While the traditional fixed rate of a 30 year loan remains quite dominant more and more people are looking at different adjustable rate products.  Those borrowers that have refinanced in the past 2 years have often chosen to go down to a 15 or 10 year term in order to drastically cut down on their total interest pay back while also paying off the home sooner.

Brokers Still the Top Choice

When looking for the right mortgage loan a number of people still prefer to use the services of a mortgage broker over a local bank or credit union.  In the survey mentioned earlier over 30% of respondents claimed that they sought the services of a broker rather than another type of lender.  Since brokers typically have access to multiple lenders they can offer any type of mortgage loan and get the best rate too.

Obviously, none of these factors discussed the two biggest items facing a borrower; are they happy with the home and can they afford the mortgage payment?  Beyond those two items, the guidelines mentioned above should help any new borrower pick a loan that is right for their situation.

Additional Mortgage Info:
Home Mortgage Loans

Related Articles:

  1. Things You Should Ask a Mortgage Broker Things You Should Ask a Mortgage Broker Since buying a...
  2. Thousands of homes Foreclosed; Can you afford a Risky Loan? Thousands of homes Foreclosed; Can you afford a Risky Loan?...
  3. What is better for you: The FHA mortgage or the Conforming mortgage? What is better for you: The FHA mortgage or the...
  4. WHEDA Home Loan Mortgage Rates at Historic Low I receive daily updates on current mortgage rates in the...
  5. No Money Down USDA Mortgage Understanding the No Money down USDA Mortgage Buying a home...
Read more…

As blogged by Peter Christensen on Sunday December 8, 2013, a class action lawsuit was filed against BrokerPriceOpinoin.com 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 http://www.appraiserlawblog.com/2013/12/class-action-lawsuit-filed-against.html?m=0

Read more…
Purchasing Investment Property using an IRA (Part 2 of 4)
Using an IRA account to purchase real estate can be a great way to add to an existing retirement plan or simply diversify current holdings. Following the guidelines of the law for these types of investments can bring strong yields to the IRA owner.
Different Ways to Use IRA with Real Estate
photo credit: j l t via photopin cc
photo credit: j l t via photopin cc
There are actually several ways to use an IRA as an investment in real estate.
* Act as a bank – The money in the IRA account can be loaned out to individuals who offer up real estate as the primary collateral. In essence, the IRA account becomes a mortgage lender.
* Own property – Most people choose to use their IRA funds to outright purchase an investment property. The seller of a home enters into a contract with the IRA and the IRA becomes the owner of the property.
* Partner with others that own property – It is possible for an IRA to become a partner with investors such as other IRA’s, entities or individuals.
Property Value Requirements
Most IRA companies will require that the property has a report of market value in order to be accepted as an investment. Furthermore, some companies may require that a new value report be presented each year. This is to ensure that the correct property taxes are being paid. The report can come in the form of an appraisal or a market analysis completed by a real estate agent.
Basic Guidelines for IRA Real Estate Investment
* All transactions must be arm’s length – This means that the owner of the IRA cannot buy any property from the IRA. Conversely, the IRA cannot purchase one of your existing properties.
* The owner of the IRA cannot use the real estate – This means that you cannot live in the home nor can you use it as a second home or vacation property.
* The IRA account only invests for the account – The owner of the IRA cannot receive any type of immediate benefit from the investments.
* No sweat equity allowed – Any repairs or improvements made to a property must be completed by a third party.
How to Manage the Property
Once an IRA has bought real estate, the expenses for the property will need to be managed via the IRA account. The expenses can be controlled by a property manager or by the IRA owner. Once again, there are some rules to keep in mind.
* You are in control of decisions for the property – You have the say in which plumber to hire, who is allowed to rent the home and other similar decisions. However, you cannot do any physical work on the property.
* No personal funds used for the property – Your personal funds cannot be used to pay property taxes, secure insurance or anything else related to the property. For this reason it is always wise to open up an IRA account with a nice cash buffer to handle expenses.
This is Part 2 of a 4 Part Series.
Read more…

PDF Version of this article - 10 Underwater Homeowner Options

Slipping toward foreclosure can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and loss of self-esteem. Don’t give up. There are options available to help millions of homeowners rescue themselves from the brink. Since it is crucial to act before a foreclosure takes place, now is the most important time for you to review the following options and solutions.

As a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE), I am trained in assessing all foreclosure alternatives and pursuing the best solution for your own financial situation.

1) Short Sale


A short sale allows the homeowner to avoid foreclosure, minimize financial damage and move on from a burdensome, unaffordable mortgage. In many cases, a short sale allows the borrower to qualify for a new mortgage in just 24 months, as opposed to five years or more after a foreclosure.

A trained real estate agent can help facilitate a short sale with your lender if you have three qualifications. First, you must show some type of financial or personal hardship. Second, you must have a monthly shortfall, meaning your monthly expenses are greater than your monthly income. Finally, you need to prove that your debts are greater than the value of your assets (certain investments, property, etc.). These requirements may differ per lender, so check with a distressed property specialist for specific information from your mortgage company.

2) Reinstatement

A reinstatement is the simplest solution for a foreclosure, however it is often the most difficult for homeowners to achieve. The homeowner simply pays the total amount past due (including late fees) to the lender. This solution does not require the lender’s approval and will “reinstate” a mortgage up to the day before the foreclosure sale.

3) Forbearance or Repayment Plan

A forbearance or repayment plan involves negotiating with the mortgage company to allow the homeowner to repay back-payments over a period of time. The homeowner typically makes current mortgage payments in addition to a portion of the back-payments owed. This option requires lender approval.

4) Mortgage Modification

A mortgage modification involves the reduction of one of the following: the interest rate on the loan, the principal balance of the loan, the term of the loan, or any combination of these. These changes require lender approval and typically result in a lower payment for the homeowner and a more affordable mortgage.

5) Rent the Property

This option does not require lender approval, but does require the homeowner’s ability to rent the house for enough money to cover the monthly mortgage payment.

It is important to remember that there may be unexpected costs associated with the maintenance of a rental property in addition to the monthly mortgage payments. Homeowners should take this into consideration when deciding whether this option will work for them.

6) Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure

Also known as a “friendly foreclosure,” a deed-in-lieu allows the homeowner to return the property to the lender rather than go through the foreclosure process. Lender approval is required for this option, and the homeowner must also vacate the property. Deed-in-lieu can potentially lessen the damage to a credit score and future loan eligibility, and sometimes the lender will forgo their right to pursue a deficiency judgment, meaning the homeowner will not be responsible for further payments.

7) Bankruptcy

Many have considered and marketed bankruptcy as a “foreclosure solution,” but this is only true in some states and situations. This does not require lender approval, but you must have non-mortgage debts that you claim as a hardship.

Entering bankruptcy can be a risky and costly process. Be sure to seek the advice of a qualified bankruptcy attorney when pursuing this as an option.

8) Refinance

As opposed to mortgage modification, refinancing means you will be acquiring a new loan based on your current credit standing. If you have already missed mortgage payments, your credit score may make it difficult to find a loan with cheaper payments.

9) Sell the Property

Homeowners with sufficient equity can list their property with a qualified agent who understands the foreclosure process in their area. Unfortunately, many homeowners in today’s market have experienced a decline in home value and may owe more than what the home is worth.

10) Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

(Military personnel only)

If a member of the military is experiencing financial distress due to deployment—and that person can show that the debt was entered into prior to deployment—he or she may qualify for relief under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. The American Bar Association has a network of attorneys that will work with servicemembers to help qualify them for this relief.

Pull Yourself Back From the Brink

If you are on the edge, you have no time to waste. Call me today; I’m here to lend a hand.

CDPEReflectionLogo-300x300.jpg?width=300Place Your Confidence in CDPE

With the right assistance, the stress of facing foreclosure becomes manageable. CDPE- designated agents have received the knowledge and training necessary to assess all possible foreclosure alternatives and pursue homeowners’ best options. A CDPE- designated agent attends several days of intensive, thorough training on foreclosure avoidance and how to help facilitate a short sale efficiently and ethically. The highly regarded CDPE logo means you are working with the most informed, up-to- date resource available.

Michael Collins, CDPE, SFR, BPOR
Broker - Rock Realty

If you are wondering if a short sale might be right for your home, please visit our Short Sale Home Evaluation page.

Is a Short Sale right for my Wisconsin Home?

Read more…

Thousands of homes Foreclosed; Can you afford a Risky Loan?

The adjustable rate mortgage has been around for a number of years and it has helped a number of people afford the purchase of their first home. However, in the late 90’s and early part of the 2000’s some people took advantage of the low rates offered by ARMS and got in over their head. Before buying a home people should really look at all the factors involved with an adjustable rate loan and make sure it is right for them.

Fixed Period Varies

photo credit: nikcname via photopin cc

The vast majority of current ARM’s offer a well-defined period in which the interest rate is fixed. The defined period typically lasts from 3 to 7 years and can be as long as 10 years. After this defined period the interest rate will adjust based on the index used to calculate the interest rate.

Some people have well defined plans and can use the fixed period for meeting their goals. For instance, a military couple that has an assignment to a particular area could purchase a home using a 5 year ARM and use the time to live in the home with no worries about a change in interest rate.

However, people that are just looking at the low rates of the ARM’s and “hoping” that their income will rise in future years are taking a big gamble.

Rates Will Rise

Years ago when the ARM was first introduced it was always explained the same way. When the market took a dip the interest rate would lower accordingly and the opposite would happen when the market improved. However, the last few years have seen nothing but historically low rates. Getting an adjustable rate loan now ensures one thing; the interest rate will rise once the fixed period ends. The current rates cannot get much lower.

Thankfully, an adjustable rate mortgage will have some safeguards to protect borrowers. The amount of increase for the rate is usually capped each year as well as a cap for the duration of the loan. For instance, most ARM’s will not adjust more than 1% in one year and no more than 5% or 7% over the course of the loan. However, a 5% increase in rate on a $250,000 loan can increase a loan payment by over $700. Keep in mind that when the interest rate adjusts the new payment is factored over the remaining loan term. This can drive up the payment as well.

Plan Accordingly

All of this information points to one simple fact. People considering an adjustable rate loan need to plan accordingly. You should have some type of exit strategy in mind, whether it is selling or refinancing or paying off the loan in order to avoid some potentially hazardous conditions in the near future.

This communication is provided to you for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon by you. Rock Realty is not a mortgage lender and so you should contact a lender directly to learn more about its mortgage products and your eligibility for such products.

Related posts:

  1. WHEDA Home Loan Mortgage Rates at Historic Low I receive daily updates on current mortgage rates in the...
  2. Rising Rents Provide More Reasons to Buy a Home Rising Rents Provide More Reasons to Buy a Home The...
  3. New WHEDA Loan Programs Are you a first-time buyer? Do you want an affordable...
  4. 7 Key Questions to ask about your Mortgage Key Questions to Ask About Your Mortgage This week I...
  5. Fannie Mae: Qualifying for interest-only loans tougher Thanks to the Wisconsin Realtors Association for bringing this to...
Read more…

While prices are rising in the Silicon Valley there are still homes that are underwater and you may need to short sale your South San Jose home. If this is the case, don't wait!

Bank of America has instituted some new policies which can have a major influence on your South San Jose short sale.

Co-operative Short Sales: Bank of America has a program where they will let you know ahead of time how much they are willing to accept for you South San Jose home in a short sale. Once you agreed to do the short sale they would put a hold on foreclosure activity and give you some money at close of escrow.

The new policy is that there will be no holds on foreclosure until the offer is fully accepted by Bank of America. What this means is that if you can not make your payments  on your South San Jose home and want to short sell you can not wait. You will not be allowed to stay in your home for months trying to modify your loan and trying to get a new job. Once the notice of default has been recorded you will have 3 months to get your South San Jose home sold as a short sale before the notice of trustee sale is recorded. At that point you have another 3 weeks before foreclosure on your South San Jose home.

As any real estate agent familar with south San Jose short sales knows, they take time for approval. Even a Bank of America co-operative short sale can take time. 4 months is not unheard of to obtain approval on a South San Jose Short Sale, so if you can not make your payments, do something or you could lose your home to foreclosure.

If you have any questions about Short Sales in Santa Clara or San Mateo County please feel free to contact me.

Marcy Moyer

Keller Williams Realty



D.R.E. 01191194


Read more…

Many REO Realtors who were closing a record number of deals in 2012 may not be able to close that same number of deals, or anything close to it in 2013. This really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone considering, we have been noticing on dramatic pull back in REO now....for about 6 months or so, This all cumulated for many of us when Fannie Mae decided to fire all of thier outsourcers...or at least, the vast majority of them. None the less, this has many speculators out there talking up the "Rise and Fall of REO" and yes....make no mistake, it is definitely in declined however, let's not forget one, simple, truth. Home sales are directly correlated to jobs. No jobs = REO.

Now, it's true, short sales are playing a much larger role in the default real estate industry...in fact, as the article outlines, they seem to be up....much more than REO. In fact, from what I am hearing in the industry, many of these lenders and participants in "community stabilization" programs are seeing that short sales do a much better job at maintaining home values than REO ever could and as such, are holding back from foreclosing and giving bank directed short salesa much stronger look.

I have heard, the word on the street is, Fannie Mae and HUD are very likely going to be coming out with their own "Pre-Approved Short Sale" .... which isn't anything new however, it will have one dramatic change and that is, it will be bank directed. What that means is, instead of waiting on a homeowner, desperately trying to save their home, holding onto it from either desperation or flat out resolve, banks will hire their REO agent to go out, make contact, discuss options and give the REO agent a "Pre-approved Short Sale".

If you want to read the article, "The Rise and Fall of REO" I referenced it below however, make no mistake people, REO isn't going to fall....untill unemployment falls. These two are one in the same and as long as we stay over 7% unemployment, REO will, at the very least, level out but, it will stay strong.

By the way, for all you agent out there who are just hating the idea of doing a short sale, won't do a short sale or simply think its too much work for the money.....you might want to be changing that attitude because, as Corelogic reports, short sales had a banner year in 2012 and no one expects anything less in 2013.

To learn more about short sales, maybe even attende the industry's only Short Sale Symposium, you need to attend the Short Sale Specialist Symposium at Sea.

Link to: The Rise and Fall of REO

Link to: Short Sale Symposium



Read more…

I am so excited about this news! I know, it doesn't take much for me to get excited, but this is really big news in my opinion.

Up until now if you were involved in a Silicon Valley Bank of America Short Sale they did not take electronic signatures. This would have been ok if the bank could sit with you in your conference room and look at the offers. We all know this does not happen and the paperwork will often be faxed several times before B of A gets to see a document. Since they cannot accept illegible documents it made things harder for the participants.

Also, despite the sometime lengthy process of a short sale, Bank of America will often say they need a document now, and not being able to get electronic signatures is sometimes tough.

Now, for any new short sales, you can send all documents with electronic signatures. This makes me very happy. As a Silicon Valley Short Sale Specialist anything that can make a short sale more efficient is ok with me.


So if you have any questions about short sales in San Mateo or Santa Clara Counties please feel free to contact me.

Marcy Moyer

Keller Williams Realty




D.R.E. 01191194

Read more…

I was reading about short sales, as I do every Sunday morning on a great site for short sale information Short Sale Superstars. There was a discussion about a Bank of America Short Sale that had been approved, and then denied after the approval, a few days before closing. The reason:

The seller was a real estate broker and the listing agent works for the seller. The buyer used the listing agent to represent her.

Surprise Surprise, B of A said this is not an Arm's Length Transaction and rescinded the approval.

Blossom Valley Short Sale

There are multiple things wrong with transaction so let me see if I can organize the problems coherently.

1. All short sales must be an Arm's Length Transaction and an affidavit needs to be signed by all parties saying they are not related to each other in any way. The listing agent works for the seller so that is not arms length.

2. The seller may be offered a closing incentive by the bank, but is not allowed to receive any money from the buyer. Since the buyer is using the the listing agent who works for the seller and would have received commission for the sale, a portion of which would go to the broker, then the seller is getting money from the buyer.

3. Again, since the listing agent works for the seller and would get commission from the sale, a portion of which would go to the broker, the seller would be receiving money from the sale outside of the closing incentive.

4. The buyer has agreed to a dual agency and is entitled to the information that the listing agent works for the seller and that this can cause potential problems with The Arm's Length Transaction.

I do not know if the seller was trying to pull something over on the bank, or if he was just not familiar with short sales but this was totally avoidable.

Buyers: get your own agent to represent you.

Sellers: If you are a broker, get a different company to represent you. If you are an agent, get another agent to represent you, not your broker, and ask the bank if it is ok to be represented by someone else in your campany first, not after you are about to close.


If you have any questions about buying or selling a short sale in Santa Clara or San Mateo County please feel free to contact me.

Marcy Moyer

Keller Williams Realty




D.R.E. 01191194

Read more…

The Liability of a Preferred Short Sale Agent.

I had a conversation with a friend and colleague today that I want to share with you. As always, all of my conversations are confidential so, the names and vital details will be changed in order to protect the identity of everyone involved....except myself, of course.

So, she calls me up to tell me that she has been speaking with executives from the top banks, GSE's and largest default real estate portfolios holders in the country and as a result of those conversations, she had some questions for me. Flattered of course, I obliged and let her know I would answer any questions she had to the best of my knowledge and experience.

She starts by telling me what she was doing and why she was talking with these executives and as I am following along, I begin to understand why she is calling and realize, flattery is far from her mind and she needs real answers. She begins telling me that out of these conversations she was having, she has gotten the impression that many banks, GSE's and holders of default real estate portfolios are not only have trepidations about developing a "preferred short sale agent" list, much like how they have a "preferred or REO agent" list....they have outright hostility to the idea.

In order to further my understanding and get a better sense of the fear they have, I asked some probing questions and fortunately, I got some good answers...of which, I want to share with you. In no specific order, here is what I go....

Question 1: Why wouldn't the bank want a preferred short sale agent they can recommend to their default occupants / homeowners?

Answer 1: Liability.....too much liability.

Well, as you can imagine this answer wasn't good enough for me so, I had to break it down a little. Now, our conversation was nearly 2 hours long and I didn't record it so, I am going to summarize here for you.

The banks issues of liability revolves around some key problems that they can't seem to correct, fix or better yet, feel that they want to even be involved in fixing, those are...

1. Lack of Quality Agent Training:

From what I took away, I was impressed that many banks (let's use the word "bank" to refer to all of them....banks, GSE's and Default Real estate Holders, alike) know our industry has developed good education however, they have a few problems and they are...

                A. OUTDATED: Current education always seems to be outdated or not updated timely enough to positively impact the quality of the actual work completed by the agents.

                B. NO RETENTION: Even though the education may be good on paper, the retention of the agent is poor and by the time they need to use what they learned...they lost it.

                C. NO QUALITY ASSURANCE: You may have an agent who took the course, passed the exam but, has such poor operating processes and procedures that they fail to implement the best practices they were taught.

2. Severe Inexperience:

Now, for many of us who do short sales regularly, this was a bit of a surprise but, after I really thought about I came to accept that sure, a lot of agents out there just don't know how to do a short sale. What got me thinking was how this breaks down from a banks point of view.

                A. INCREASED PROCESSINGTIME: Due to lack of experience errors like, documents that aren't fully executed or not doing a preliminary title report, it ends up creating increased processing times, waiting for corrections.

                B. UNECESSARY ESCALATIONS: Because the agent hasn't completed enough short sales, they haven't worked through the common practices, procedures and processes of the bank or the short sale in general and end up getting frustrated and escalating which creates a back log for the bank.

                C. LACK OF PROMPT AND OR ACCURATE COMMUNICATION: Agents who don't understand the jargon or worse, set unrealistic expectations due to simply not communicating or not knowing how to effectively communicate cause delays and end up resulting in lost deals.

3. Fraud - Nepotism:

Sometimes it's not what you know or how well you work but, who you know and what they can do for you. Sad but, its true and yes, the banks see this as a problem they want to conquer however, not as easy as you may think.

                A. SAME DAY / SHORT SALE FLIPS: Regardless of how you come down on the same day short sale flip, the reality is the bank know this is happening and consider this a fraudulent act. I am not going to get into the details just why this is fraud however, its a problem for the banks and they are afraid that having a preferred agent list, they may open themselves up to this happening more often.

                B. UNQUALIFIED AGENTS: Have you ever wondered how that agent got that REO when you now beyond a shadow of a doubt they never worked a REO in their life? Well, it's likely because they made a great connection through a friend or at a conference and BAM, fast tracked to becoming a REO agent. This wouldn't be allowed but, not exactly sure how to stop it or prevent it seems to be the issue.

4. Severe Incompetence:

You can be the most trained and you can even be experienced but, we have all met those agents who just simply don't get it, completely, utterly incompetent and we are left scratching our heads and asking ourselves, "Who did they pay off?"

                A. BEST INTERSEST OF THE CLIENT: The banks have found that many agents just don't know what is truly in the best interest of the client or better yet, they don't know the law requirement or risk management strategy that will protect their client from any future liability.

All in all, my conversation was a good one however, it seemed to me to be a little late because for those of us who have been doing short sales for at least 4-5 years now, we have had these issues ourselves dealing with other Realtors or the banks themselves.

I don't really know what has spurred the action by many of these banks to finally look a little closer however, I am all for it. The reality is, this business is all about change and the moment you can't or don't change, you die. Truth is, I thrive in the changing environment because I have built my business around conservative fundamentals that have kept me nimble and flexible while others have retired early or simply gone bankrupt. Granted, I do believe competition is good and in a free market necessary but, I also believe a free market competitive environment gets rid of the wasteful, lazy, and propels the hungry and innovative to the top.....so, let's bring it.

Not sure what the result of my conversation will be but, I have a feeling you may end up seeing a survey from me shortly and if that is the case...please respond, let's us know your thoughts because, we may be able to effect some change.

Read more…

Anyone with experience in short sales and REO's know the bank requires proof in writing that the buyer has the necessary funds for the purchase of the property. If the buyer is paying cash I have always advised them to obtain a letter from their bank stating they have the necessary funds for the transaction.

In a recent short sale where I had the listing, the buyer submitted a letter from his bank signed by the Vice President of Banking which included his contact number and email.

Short Sale Proof of Funds

The negotiator with the bank would not accept the letter as proof of funds and asked for a copy of the buyer's account statment. His reason was the wording "access to cash currently on deposit". He said the buyer could move these funds from this account into another account at any time. I responded by saying the buyer could still move funds from an account after he gets a copy of the bank statement. He simply said "A bank statement would be different".

I understand an actual copy of the bank statement is a harder proof of funds, but if there is any issue, the negotiator could call the Vice President and get clarification. If the letter was truly a fraud then what would be the end game? Not closing? I don't understand why banks are making the process more difficult than it has to be. In this case, it ended up being an acceptable offer and went to closing.

Read more…

One of my REOs makes local news


This just in, a REO listed by Jesse Gonzalez makes the local news.


So, as the headline says, yes...it's true, a pre-list REO of mine made it on the local news last night. The scary part, I had no clue till a friend of mine who happened to see it last night told me about it.


Now, while watching this vide (be sure to hit the "watch video" option) keep in the back of your mind, I knew nothing....nothing till almost 24 hours later.



NOTE: My sign isn't in the yard because I was waiting for the grass to be mowed before I put it out, thank GOD because could you imagine them showing my name, sign and calling me for comment on their story?

Read more…

Mortgage Forgiveness is Currently Set to expire at end of 2012

One primary feature attracting many underwater homeowners to a short sale is the fact that the taxes are lowered thanks to a Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 provision. However, that credit is set to go away at the end of the year 2012. This means that homeowners who have put off selling need to get busy.

Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007

Basics of the Rule

When foreclosures were the primary topic of almost every news broadcast, Congress stepped in and offered this one time transaction. Homeowners could sell their home, for less than the existing mortgage, if the lender agreed to the deal. The outstanding balance would normally be taxable as earned income to the homeowner. However, the Mortgage Forgiveness Act wiped out the taxes on any unpaid balance up to a whopping two million dollars. This act applies to short sales that occurred between 2007 and 2012.

New Area of Expertise for Real Estate Agents

Many real estate agents have chosen to specialize in certain areas. Some people prefer to work with commercial property, while others may focus their energy on single family homes. The past few years has seen a rise in the number of agents that zero in on the short sales, and for good reason. Many banks are not open to the idea of a short sale coming straight from the homeowner. But with an experienced real estate agent, the situation changes. Banks realize that these agents are quite familiar with the local area and can accurately predict a home’s true value. Using an experienced agent can help homeowners negotiate a fair sales price and remove themselves from the burden of a mortgage that is no longer feasible.

Possible Change before End of the Year

It is possible that Congress could move to extend the Mortgage Forgiveness expiration. After all, the home purchase credit initiated a couple of years ago was extended twice to encourage more people to buy homes. However, it is too early to tell if this particular act will be extended so it is better for most people to err on the side of caution and begin negotiating a sales price with their real estate agent and their lender.

Getting Everything in Order for a Short Sale

If you are considering a short sale of your home then you will need to get a bit of information together. First, you must contact your lender and ask them for a 30 day payoff on your mortgage. If you have more than one mortgage, or Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC), then you will need a payoff amount for each loan. Once you have these figures you can call your real estate agent and ask for their professional opinion about the value of your home. The agent will be able to access sales of homes similar to yours in the surrounding area and provide you with an accurate value. Then, you will have a strong argument to present to the lender. The lender may ask that you have an actual home sale contract in hand before accepting your offer. But at least you will be on the track to selling the home once you have spoken to a real estate agent.

Original Email - Mortgage Forgiveness Act expiring soon

Read more…

The group this week hit a milestone I wanted to welcome all the new members and thank the first members for their posting of comments and keeping the group active and growing.

This group is to discuss Bank of America properties with Bank Of America and to share solutions to getting more business with Bank of America or getting in the door with Bank of America and to stay up to date on their requirements.

Website: http://reopro.ning.com/group/bankofamerica

Members:                            169

Read more…

Bank of America Assigns Short Sales

Ok.....so if you haven't heard Bank of America is assigning short sale listings in bulk......ie......65 at once? Now for many of us, this is crazy because we have been told for years that these banks and servicers do not assign short sale listings however, times are a changing. I have confirmed with a very reliable source that one guy.....one REO listing agent got assigned 65 short sale leads, per-approved, NO PAPERWORK! So, here is the skinny....... 1. Short sale are pre-approved, however we aren't sure how the actual appraisal works? 2. No paperwork, package is complete. 3. Have to sell with in 4% of bop price.... anyone got more information?
Read more…