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Buying a Home with Cash

Pros and Cons of Cash Buying

All-cash home purchases hit a record in the first quarter of 2014, reaching 43 percent, according to RealtyTrac, which has been tracking cash-buying trends since 2011. Home-Cash-PurchasesThis latest figure represents a 19 percent rise from last year—a number industry watchers attribute to stricter mortgage qualification standards coupled with high buyer demand and competition. If you're thinking about buying your next home with cash, you might be wondering how this option stacks up against a mortgage—not to mention, how you'll come up with the money.

Why Cash? Pros & Cons

On the pro side, using cash lets you sidestep mortgage loan qualifications and much of the paperwork and administrative fees. This accelerates the buying process and makes you more attractive to sellers who are eager to close. You have better odds of out-competing other buyers and better leverage to negotiate a lower price. Finally, the prospect of not having to pay monthly mortgage obligations and interest is appealing.

On the other hand, the cash you tie up in your house won't be as readily available for emergency spending. This could place you in a position of needing to sell or mortgage your home in the event of an emergency, and convincing lenders to extend a mortgage or equity loan could be difficult if you lack a steady income, a situation many retirees face. One way to address this issue is opening a home-equity line of credit after you buy your home to make sure you have emergency funds available. A reverse mortgage can also help in a pinch.

Another issue is whether the amount you save on mortgage interest might be better invested. Buying a house with cash amounts to investing in a bond with an interest rate equivalent to what you would pay with a mortgage. Compare this interest rate with other investment options to evaluate how buying your home with cash affects your long-term savings.

Finding Funds

If you want to pay for your home with cash but don't have a lump sum handy, how do you find the money? Options include:

  • Realtor suggests a few strategies, including investing in a long-term CD, a method that can be combined with CD laddering if you don't want to lock up all your cash.
  • For current home owners, another option is refinancing your existing mortgage into a larger one, known as "cash-out refinancing." Zillow recommends weighing this option against others, such as home equity loans and lines of credit.
  • If you're receiving regular payments from an annuity or structured settlement, you may be able to sell all or a portion of your future payments to a financial services firm and put the money toward your home purchase.

What About Taxes?

Paying for your home in cash precludes the tax breaks you would get from your mortgage interest payments. Use the calculator at Mortgage101 to estimate the potential tax benefits of a mortgage so you can weigh this against buying with cash.

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Working with Non-Profits to Generate Short Sale Leads.

After my last two blogs.... (See Links Below)....



I had a couple request for some more information on just how I work with non-profits to actually generate a short sale lead. So, this blog will do just that. It will be a longer blog than what my readers are accustomed to but, it's going to be full of good information.

First off, I have to admit, this idea really isn't unique to me. In fact, this method was manifested between myself and a friend of mine who was already working with a home crisis center here in Tennessee. You see, they were having a problem  with helping their homeowners who didn't qualify for any modification or home rescue program they had. Most of these people just ended up going into foreclosure and as many of you know, that wasn't what this non-profit wanted to see happen. In fact, their methodology, ideology and general operating standard was to move non-qualifying persons into short sale. They, themselves saw the benefit of short sale vs foreclosure and as such, elected to move these non-qualifying persons that route. The specific problem they were having was they couldn't find competent Realtors. In fact, it had gotten so bad and they had lost so many homeowners to foreclosure, they almost gave up the entire non-profit or at the very least, was debating to just dramatically reduce the number of people they were willing to help. This is where I came into the picture. To make a long story short, we turned it around and now, it's working very well for us all and in fact, we will be dramatically expanding with the help of a local bank.

So, based on my experience, you have two schools of thought. You can either start your own 501c3 based on rescuing people from foreclosure or, you can partner with a non-profit who is already doing just that. Now, the problem you will run into is, many of these non-profits will tell you that they can't have a preferred agent list or that they can't solely recommend you and that is for the most part, true however, not in all situations.

You see, many Realtors come to these non-profits with their hands out, like little birds waiting to be feed "free" leads and as such, these non-profits get nothing back in return. In essence, they are not willing to enter into an exclusive relationship because they have no benefit ...monetarily speaking. What I ended up doing was figuring out how these people got paid and from everything I saw, the grants they got were based on the actual number of people helped so, instead of coming to them asking for a lead handout and came to them giving them a lead handout. That's right, I flipped the script, which by the way, I am told I am good at.

What I mean by flipping the scrip is, I brought them leads. What I would do is, send out post card direct mailing to at risk neighborhoods...about 1000 - 2000 post cards at a time, so I was spreading a large net and out of those leads I captured, I referred them directly to my partner non-profit. This was great for them because, it ended up bumping up the number of people they helped and in return, increased their grant money. The deal was, every lead I send you....you must send back. Now, granted, I stayed in touch with my lead...I worked it, I emailed them, I called them, asked them how the loan modification was going or how the housing counselor was working with them so, they really didn't have to "send" anything back to me but, none the less, they knew if it was a Jesse G. lead, whenever the question came up about Realtor or real estate matter, the name Jesse G. flowed from their lips like milk and honey. In their mind, they weren't referring a Realtor, because the homeowner was already working with a Realtor (ME) when they sought out their assistance to save their home. So all they were doing was stating the fact back to the client, "Your Realtor, Jesse G. can help you with that." or "We will call your Realtor Jesse G. and let him know you are ready for short sale." etc...etc.... The best part was, they were happy to do that.

Now, the benefits to working with a non-profit that is already established seems pretty obvious to me but, let's go over some of those just to make sure you and I are on the same page.

Benefit # 1: No Cost

I had absolutely no out of pocket expense to get the full benefit of a certified, designated, industry respected home rescue non-profit to help my homeowners.  This was by far the biggest benefit, it cost me nothing.

Benefit # 2: Risk Management

Honestly, short sales will always have risk to the Realtor doing them however, because I am not involved in any of the Loan Modification aspect and hence, the realization on the homeowners part that a short sale is their best option, my risk is dramatically reduced. You see, I don't find myself having conversation with homeowners as to why a short sale is the best option and that is because, they have already exhausted all their other options through the non-profit. In other words, I don't get into sticky conversations or strange situations where the homeowner may feel that I am out to just short sale and make a quick buck. This way, my risk is managed through the use of the non-profit.

Benefit # 3: Ready, Willing and Able to Short Sale

By the time the non-profit is done working with the homeowner and it's come to the fact that they will have to short sale, by this time, the homeowner is ready, willing and able to list the home. In fact, when working with a non-profit, my short sale listing average is about 97%. Yeah, that's right, 97%. This is because the homeowner is much more ready, willing and able once they have spoken to someone who doesn't have a financial interest in the sale of their home and still end up being told, you need to short sale. At this point, many homeowners see it as a no brainer. Now, granted, some just don't get it, about 5% are simply going to stay in the home, not cooperate, get foreclosed on, get an eviction notice and about 3 months later, the Sheriff and the REO Agent move all their stuff to the lawn and lock them out. This is rare but, not so rare that I haven't seen it happen. None the less, 97% of the time, I get the listing.

Benefit # 4: Banks Cooperate

Because the non-profit has already worked through the banks home rescue programs and because most of these banks have policies and procedures that benefit homeowners who work with non-profits to save their homes, these banks cooperate. In fact, most of the time, my homeowners who have worked with the non-profit almost seem to get preferred treatment from these banks in the short sale process. Now, I haven't figured out completely why but, I really think it has a lot to do with the fact that these banks are regulated to "help" homeowners and if the homeowner works with a nationally recognized non-profit, like the one I work with, all of a sudden, they look good. So, when it comes time to short sale, they have all the necessary documents, they have crossed all T's and dotted all the I's. This was by far the biggest surprise to working with a non-profit, banks cooperate with them better than they did me on my own.

Benefit #5: No Additional Commission Splits or Referral Fees or Membership Fees

Because I am generating these leads myself, through my own marketing, I don't pay anyone for being a member of this network or that network, I don't payout a referral fee, I don't additionally split my commission.....all that I make is all mine.

Benefit # 6: Additional Leads Direct from the Non-profit

After a while, the non-profit and I had lunch and we talked about helping out the leads that I didn't bring in but they end up getting on their own marketing. Now, granted, for these leads, I couldn't be their exclusive agent, they had me on a list of 2 other agents but, guess whose name was at the top of that list.......yep, it was mine. Now, granted, I had to go out and win the lead but, it wasn't hard. Now, I can't say that the non-profit talked my up because, I really don't know, I am not a part of those conversations with the homeowner but, that 97% listing ratio includes ALL leads, mine and those exclusive to the non-profit....you following me?

So, that's the jest of how I work with an existing non-profit in my area. Keep in mind, your success still depends on you and the marketing you do. Granted, my marketing is something I keep close to my chest but, if you want to learn a little more about what I use for marketing...and yes, I only use one marketing strategy right now and yes, it works well, email me directly and I will talk to you about it. No, this isn't a solicitation by the way, I will share my strategies for free, if you can do the same.

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Due to recent developments in the default real estate industry, we (as default professionals) have seen an explosion of real estate schools offering default courses in specific niches like, Short Sale, REO and Loan Modification.

Of course, I am sure we all can agree, a quality education can be expensive but, well worth it however, why would someone pay a premium for a quality education? For many of us, this question is mute simply because know the benefits of such an education.

The problem I see in the default industry with these real estate schools is that many of them are over promising, under delivering or plain negligent and in some cases, possibly even fraudulent with their claims. We know this to be the case due to the increased number of professionals adding their voice to the chorus of complaints, negative blogs and outright hostility towards many of these real estate schools.

So, if I was in the market looking for an education, what would I look for to make sure, I am getting a quality education. Below is my list of requirements any school would have to offer to get me to write them a check.

  1. Books: If I am going to pay for a class, I want more than just a handout or screen shots of the slide presentation, I want a book. I want a book because, this lets me know that someone within in the school’s organization sat down and committed his knowledge and experience to paper. This is important to me because it commits the writer and instructor to a process of improvement and refinement. To be more specific, when students have a book, they are likely to go through, read it, question it and pose those question to their instructors and get answers. This Q & A process allows the instructor to refine the material, make changes to improve the material and becomes the single authority the class is built around. A book is very important.
  2. Experienced Instructors: An experienced instructor is invaluable and very well worth their weight in gold. The experience of the instructor, coupled with the knowledgebase of an actual training manual / book, creates an environment where learning is maximized. Experienced instructors give the book and class a level of integrity that can’t be and shouldn’t be discounted. As a student, I expect that if I were to ask a question about a particular subject matter being taught in class, my instructor should be able to answer my question or, at the very least, have a resource from his experience to get that answer with no difficulty.
  3. Uncompromised Integrity: The days of testing a students’ knowledgebase with an open book test are gone! If I am going to pay good money for a course, I expect that when I am done and it’s time to test my retained knowledge that I can’t just go and grab my book, open it up and look up the answer. I have never understood the purpose of these types of test. As a student, I took the course not to just get the “certification or designation” but, to actually better myself and increase my knowledgebase and likewise, I expect to be tested in such a way that evaluates my level of retention honestly so I may strive for success. Too many times I have seen agents walk into a training class with computers, IPads, mobile devices and the such because, the class was secondary to whatever else was going on. The class expectation was lowered because they knew the test was open book and all they had to do was be a warm body in a seat for a couple of days. This isn’t a class I want to be a part of.
  4. Certification / Designation: If I spend the time, money and energy to truly learn and become a subject matter expert in my niche, I better get a designation or at least a certification. For many of you, this may not be important because, many of you carry certification and designations that came from open book test. I am looking for a certification or designation that isn’t achieved by just paying my $499.99 onetime fee and my annual $99.99. Give us a certification, designation that means something, that was something I worked hard for and people know I worked hard for.
  5. Open Doors: People go to Harvard or Stanford not simply because they are good schools but, because they also know that those names on a resume will open a door. In other words, students know that paying $100,000.00(+) for a education will pay off as a long term investment, 10 (+) fold. Too many real estate schools are charging premiums for education yet, not a single door is ever opened with that education. Granted, I am sure that the majority of the time, the student can hold a good portion of the blame, when it comes to not making their education work for themselves but, I have never met a poor Harvard graduate. My point is, students expect that if they are going to pay a premium, it better be returned in business. I don’t think this is too much to ask, hell….I would expect it myself if I were looking for a default course to take. The reason many of these real estate courses out there today don’t open doors is because, they aren’t built around traditional education philosophies and instead are nothing more than money grabbers who make empty promises but, what is worse, the industry knows it and therefore, they do not open doors.
  6. Mentoring: After I pay my premium, take my test, graduate the program, I want to know that I have a forum, a site, somewhere to go to find advice or provide advice to others who follow. Mentoring is key to a quality education because it’s a part of the process to open doors. People who have made it and can contribute a portion of their success to their education can then turn around and bring others up behind them through a quality mentoring program. Granted, I don’t necessarily need a one on one mentor but, at the very least, I need a library of sorts that I can go to, look things up, chat with other members and further my learning by staying on the cutting edge of what is happening real time in the real world.
  7. No Annual Fees: I shouldn’t have to continually pay for my education, certification or designation. A education isn’t a service, it’s a product and therefore, should be priced around the idea that I will only pay once. I don’t got to the grocery store, buy a box of Macaroni and Cheese and then pay for it every week so, why would I do that with an education, I wouldn’t! Annual fees are nothing more than a education provider to milk his current students out of their hard earned cash because that provider knows it’s harder to obtain new students than it is to simply get current students to agree to give you annual fees when they sign up for your course in the first place. Annual fees allows education providers to become stagnate and lazy and I don’t want to pay them.

My point is, these 7 bullets are my concerns about what is happening in the real estate education industry. If I can’t get a majority of these 7 items filled, I don’t buy the class. Sad to say, really because, why can’t we have a choice where we aren’t looking to purchase based on these 7 points so much we are looking at the actual quality of education.

REOPro is launching our certification, designation for short sales this year and let me assure you, every single one of these points will be met. Granted, it won’t be cheap and many people may see the REOPro Short Sale Designation as cost prohibitive however, I promise I won’t ever offer a educational course unless we can meet every single one of the points I mentioned above.
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What is wrong with this industry?


"...if all of these REO companies are scaling back, why bother purchase AMP under res.net or get certified with REOtrans if we don't know if there is going to be enough work for those of us who can't get into any other company or the other companies are telling us that they are going to give their work to the preferred brokers ?" Anonymous

As I have always said and will always tell you, it's not the "company" you're with or the subscription level you paid for that is going to give you any chance at getting a REO.

The REO industry is the preverbal “boys club” and for those agents who don’t understand this concept, you will fall victim to false promises made by Asset Management Companies and Technology Platforms alike.

I have preached, revealed, screamed, wrote, published and explained to all of you through my blogs that unless you are actively contributing to this industry…..your success in breaking in is going to be less than stellar, if at all.

“Ned” our resident Asset Manager has revealed to many of his weekly column readers how to either break in or get more business. In fact, his most recent column is about this very topic yet, I didn’t but, 3 orders come in today for a FREE Agent Site, through the REOPro store, I only approved 2 blogs today and the forums seem dead today. Not to mention, I counted at least 4 articles in the Ask the AM archive on this particular topic or at the very least topics very similar and I have about 3 blogs myself I have written along with 1 blog that is nothing more than my top 8 blogs that any REO agent should read. So, with all that being said, why do we still get members who fall prey to the false and blatant lies running rampant through our industry like hungry lions on the plains of the Serengeti?

Granted, even industry juggernauts like REOTrans or RESNET seem to be participating in the “Realtor mop up” but, their lofty place as industry captains makes people like myself see these actions by them as shameless and disgusting yet, we still get agents who are clamoring, saving up thousands of dollars and purchasing higher and higher levels of “preferred status” for nothing more than the promise of a chance.

I read a recent forum thread titled “Valigent” posted by Janet Frederick on REOPro where one of our members Byron Guillermo copied and pasted a reply from an Executive with Valligent named Jeremy that said, Quote…

Lenders take advantage of the fact that many real estate agents in this economy are desperate for listings,”

HELLO! CLUE PHONE IS RINGING! It’s not just the lenders….it’s everyone in the industry. My point is, they can make the promise of a chance, with no guarantee and they will still make money hand over fist from the contract they have with the bank, to the “technology fee” you kick back and then your monthly membership fee and annual “preferred broker” fee. It’s a cash cow because of the very statement made by Jeremy with Valligent.

I am trying to explain to you, if you feel victimized, if you feel as if you have been taken to the cleaners, if you feel like no matter where you go, it’s more and more money……well, yeah, you’re right but, that’s because people are paying for it. Caveat Emptor my friends, or in other words, Let the Buyer Beware.

So, how do you avoid these people and scams, how do you break in……well, it’s as I have always said, it’s about developing relationships, providing a useful service and becoming an expert in your field. If you want to know more about my opinions on these things, read over my blogs, read the AM column this week and search through the archives.

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For many Asset Managers, agents calling with their problems rather than with their resolutions are some of the biggest headaches they get. Now, granted, someone might argue that the problem can only be rectified by the AM and in those few and far between issues, ok…I get it however, it’s important to note than many agents just don’t take it upon themselves to solve problems. Ok, I am not going to take the typical approach to this issue that you are accustomed to reading or hearing about. I am not going to tell you about how the AM is paid on a graduated performance scale and the more time he can spending closing deals, the more he gets paid and the happier we all are. My approach to this is a little different. It’s how your silly call about what you need to do with all the personal property left in the home caused my very important call from my Title Agent to go missed by the AM and now we have a buyer wanting to walk from the deal at closing! If you are one of those agents eating my AMs time because you don’t know what to do, how to do it, when to do it, go and get you some training. I don’t want to come off harsh or insensitive but, my AM doesn’t have time to teach you, he needs to close deals and the more deals he closes, the more successful I am so please don’t waster his time, it’s my money you are playing with! Get proactive, call with a resolution, leave it on voicemail and tell the AM to only respond if necessary. Take ownership, satisfy all parties, save as much money as you can but most importantly, don’t waste my AMs time, it will come back to benefit you….and me!
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AB 2678 (Núñez) was passed by the Assembly on a 44-33 vote on Wednesday. The bill needed 41 votes to pass. AB 2678 would require, among other things, that ALL homes and commercial property in California have an energy audit at point-of-sale, and that mandatory energy efficiency investments be made. While C.A.R. appreciates the goal of energy conservation, C.A.R. strongly opposes the point-of-sale requirements in AB 2678 because they are not necessary to achieve the bill’s objectives and such mandates will weaken the housing market. If enacted, AB 2678 could add thousands of dollars to the cost of purchasing a home, including up to $400 just to have the home audited. AB 2678 will next be considered by the state Senate. Stay tuned for a Red Alert on the bill.Here’s how Assembly members voted:Yes Votes: Bass, Beall, Berg, Brownley, Caballero, Calderon, Carter, Coto, Davis, De La Torre, De Leon, DeSaulnier, Dymally, Eng, Evans, Feuer, Fuentes, Furutani, Hancock, Hayashi, Hernandez, Jones, Karnette, Krekorian, Laird, Leno, Levine, Lieber, Lieu, Ma, Mendoza, Mullin, Nava, Núñez, Parra, Portantino, Price, Ruskin, Salas, Saldaña, Solorio, Swanson, Torrico, and Wolk.No Votes: Adams, Aghazarian, Anderson, Arambula, Benoit, Berryhill, Blakeslee, Cook, DeVore, Duvall, Emmerson, Fuller, Gaines, Galgiani, Garcia, Garrick, Horton, Huff, Jeffries, Keene, La Malfa, Maze, Nakanishi, Niello, Plescia, Runner, Silva, Smyth, Spitzer, Strickland, Tran, Villines and Walters.Not Voting: Houston, Huffman and Soto.
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