Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mortgage Settlement Agreement

By now, most people have heard the term "robo signing", and also are aware that this practice has been widely challenged as a contributing factor to the current foreclosure woes.

Recently a settlement agreement was reached to assist homeowners who obtained a mortage with certain lenders.   The agreement has been approved in 49 states.

You can read more about it:  "Robo-Signing" Agreement Assists Homeowners

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sellers Seize Increased Real Estate Activity

Remember our blog post from January?  Winter Real Estate Market Heats Up

Well, apparently the sellers have noticed.  Recently sellers have also been feeling better about the market.  What does this mean?  The effect in our area is twofold.

First, sellers are pushing prices again.  Listing prices appear to be on the rise.  Will the sales price correspond with a similar increase?  Time will tell.  It's up to the buyers to let the sellers know if they are willing to pay more than, say, last year.  We've noticed some properties relisted this year that did not sell last year ... and they're selling!  That's good news!

Second, buyers are buying.  We're feeling that the buyers have a "sense of urgency" with this being the "window of opportunity" for them to take advantage of low interest rates and favorable home prices.  However, some buyers have already noticed the increased list prices and "balked".  It may not be too hard to push the buyers right back out of the market.

Our advice?  Sellers be careful.  Reasonable pricing is still key to getting your home sold.  And, remember --- there's still the important contract contingency of the appraisal.  The appraiser must appraise the house for the amount of the sales price.  Lenders may not be feeling this same upward pressure on prices, and that may, in the end, be the "check and balance" on home prices this year.