Author: Carrie B. Reyes

Frannie participates in California cramdown program

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (collectively Frannie) will soon participate in California’s Principal Reduction Program (PRP). This reluctant change of heart was prompted by the announced June 2012 removal of the rule requiring lenders to match any funds PRP offers homeowners. PRP has been around since February 2011 as one of the federally funded efforts of Keep Your Home California, but has seen little bank participation due to the requirement forcing lenders to match any funds PRP provides a homeowner receiving a principal reduction, otherwise known as a cramdown. To qualify for PRP, the homeowner must have a mortgage...

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Agents: what’s your rank?

Do you support a meaningful public ranking of real estate agents in your area? No (73%, 88 Votes) Yes (27%, 33 Votes) Total Voters: 121 Do you know that feeling, on the playground, when your classmates are picking teams and all you can do is stand there, waiting for your name to be called? It’s kind of the same feeling agents get when visiting NeighborCity.com, especially if the visitor is a real estate agent who doesn’t meet the site’s three-legged standard. The third-party web site combines data from multiple listing services (MLSes) across the country as well as other third-party aggregators, providing home listings and information about communities. It also ranks real estate agents and guides buyers to the “best agent” to assist buyers in purchasing their dream home. Agents are ranked based on how many properties they have listed and sold, how long their listed properties remained on the market and how the selling price compared to the listing price. Each agent is classified by property specialization (their experience with condominiums, multi-family housing, commercial property and even land), and given a number between 1 and 100 (100 being the cream of the crop). Sounds great! Wait, really? Currently, NeighborCity is facing lawsuits from two MLSes for using their information without permission, though NeighborCity claims as a registered brokerage it has permission to use MLS data on its web...

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Energy audits – good for the buyer, better for the seller?

How often does the buyer you represent inquire about a home’s monthly operating costs? Almost never. (72%, 28 Votes) About half the time. (23%, 9 Votes) Almost always. (5%, 2 Votes) Total Voters: 39 Of the 4.5 million existing home sales in 2011, a diminutive 12,000 Home Energy Rating System (HERS) audits were performed (that’s 0.3% of home sales, for anyone who’s counting). Though the program has yet to experience the widespread adoption it will eventually achieve, a HERS audit gives a home an all important numerical energy rating. The HERS rating is based on how a home’s energy...

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Test scores boost housing prices, reduce foreclosures

How important is a school district to your homebuyers? Very important; (86%, 36 Votes) Marginally important; or (12%, 5 Votes) Insignificant. (2%, 1 Votes) Total Voters: 42 When did you last check the test scores in your school district? Good schools are a benchmark of desirable neighborhoods, and high-rated school districts have fewer foreclosures than low-rated districts. The payoff? Higher home values. Purchasing property in a high-testing school district means sustained high property values and greater resale value down the line. This pricing difference is especially marked in metropolitan areas. Nationwide, homes located in urban public school districts with...

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Bankers, their crystal balls, future mortgage volume

What is your source for housing market forecasts? I formulate my own predictions. (34%, 18 Votes) first tuesday online journal. (23%, 12 Votes) A different news source. (23%, 12 Votes) I think market predictions are worthless. (21%, 11 Votes) My financial advisor. (0%, 0 Votes) Total Voters: 53 Bank risk professionals expect more of the same for mortgage delinquencies over the next six months, according to the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association (PRMIA). Most bankers surveyed believe: the level of mortgage delinquencies will stay the same or increase slightly over the next six months; 2012 will see a gradual...

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Zestimates are great conversation starters with sellers and buyers. Zillow has done more for our bottom line than NAR ever has or will. Don’t fight the current of the river, learn to run with it. Disruption is inevitable in any industry that is fragmented or inefficient. Granted, it does feel like armchair experts and platforms are plentiful in real estate these days, but when the tide rolls out we will see the value proposition of the truest professionals in this industry shine once again.

Justin Bonney, on Zillow’s impact on the real estate industry

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