By Nobu Hata
With the down market and the inevitable mass exodus of “those” loan officers, you’d think we could rest easy knowing that the loan officers left would be – for lack of a better word – decent.
Holy Hannah, would we be wrong.
In the last couple weeks, I’ve had various buyers shop their loan around, including those using FHA. What I thought were set guidelines and fees isn’t what it seems. One particular buyer of mine asked for Good Faith Estimates based on the same home, price and mock closing date, from each of the loan officers he’d met with who’d pulled his credit, on my recommendation. Lo and behold, one origination fee was $1,100 more than the other. The rest of the meeting was an eye-opening study of mortgage v. mortgage.
Now, I’m not going to get into specifics of big bank versus broker, nor the merits and drawbacks of each. But what I will say is that there’s no better time to brush up on the new GFEs and fees associated with them. Fees and guidelines for all types of loan products are changing at a lightning pace, and while it’s largely up to our clients to perform their due diligence, it’s up to us to impart some insight. Continue reading »
By G. M. Filisko, contributing writer, HouseLogic
In today’s economy, there’s no shortage of potential buyers, but few have emerged from the recession without a few dings on their credit. Help potential buyers boost their credit with tips from the June “Get Ready to Own” bundle now available at the REALTOR® Content Resource:
1. Know your credit score. Credit scores range from 300 to 850, and the higher, the better. They’re based on whether you’ve paid personal loans, car loans, credit cards, and other debt in full and on time in the past. Buyers will need a score of at least 620 to qualify for a home loan and 740 to get the best interest rates and terms. They’re entitled to a free copy of their credit report annually from each of the major credit-reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They can access all three versions of their credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com and then review them to ensure the information is accurate.
2. Correct credit report errors. If buyers find mistakes on their credit report, they can write a letter to the credit-reporting agency explaining why they believe there’s an error. They should include documents that support their case and ask that the error be corrected or removed. They can also write to the company, or debt collector, that reported the incorrect information to dispute the information and ask to be copied on any materials sent to credit-reporting agencies.
Those are just two of seven tips buyers can use to boost their credit now available at the REALTOR® Content Resource. If buyers’ credit is impeccable, share tips on steps to take before buying a home, finding the right home, determining how much mortgage you can afford, understanding real estate representation, and keeping your home purchase on track, all of which are also part of the “Get Ready to Own” bundle.
The REALTOR® Content Resource, the new tool brought to you by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, is an exclusive NAR member benefit that entitles you to download free homeownership content in your consumer Web site, blog, or e-newsletter. HouseLogic is the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS’® no-topic-left-uncovered consumer website geared to helping home owners make smart decisions to maintain, protect, and increase the value of their home.
By Jonathan Osman
If you ever want to start a heated discussion among agents in my area, ask them their opinion of short sales. What will pour forth is the most draw-dropping tales of sheer lunacy; always ending with “I’ll never show or sell another short sale again.”
This presents a problem for me on a number of levels. First, to my own self interests, I list and sell short sale listings. While most of the agents I have interacted have not done business with my group, they are hesitant to jump back into one of these transactions with anyone…and I totally get that. Out of the four short sale contracts written by my buyer agents on other listings, only one closed. Today in the Charlotte area, we have more than a 13 month supply of short sale listings and only a 3 month supply of REOs. That may not say much until you learn that the actual inventory numbers for the REOs are slightly higher than the short sales; the results of those bad experiences.
Beyond my own interests is the interest of a home owner facing foreclosure. Due to any number of hardships, they now face the difficult prospect of losing their home, a future deficiency judgment, and possible bankruptcy if things don’t work out this time. Along with that home owner is a neighborhood with values that drop with every foreclosure, pushing another home owner to a short sale, strategic default, or walk-away. The most profound statistic I compiled through data in our local MLS and through the state was that last year, more home owners lost their home to foreclosure in my county (the largest in North Carolina) than agents closed homes through the MLS. Continue reading »