More info…
Dear Blog Update,

Today, the automated messaging system used by your real estate sales agent, MIKE CARRAWAY, has stopped sending email to you because none of the email messages sent have been opened. For a mail message to be considered “open”, you must have clicked one of the links contained in the email and viewed the report your provider sent.

This message is an automated process designed to reduce the sending of unwanted emails. If you would like to continue receiving emails, please click here. Once your account has been reactivated you will begin to receive your emails immediately.

Thank you.


Lenders Now Hampered by Mortgage Insurance Companies

(Birmingham, AL) The most recent fallout from the mortgage crisis that began last summer is now rearing it’s ugly head in the form of Fannie Mae approved loans that cannot get insured by Mortgage Insurance companies.

Mortgage insurance companies, spurred on by recent recommendations in congress, are tightening their credit standards for providing insurance. Without mortgage insurance, borrowers are forced to provide a down payment equal to 20% of the purchase price of a home – something very few home buyers can afford to do. Just this past week, mortgage insurance companies raised their credit score requirement to 620, effectively cutting out 50% of home buyers from the home buying market. The move came unnanounced and without any notice to lenders or to Fannie Mae.

In fact, lenders are still approving loans that meet Fannie Mae guidelines for purchase in the secondary market, but then find, just before closing, that there is no mortgage insurance available to insure the loan. Without insurance on money loaned that is over 80% of the value of the property, the loan is declined. Buyers that have a “loan approval” from a lender should immediately ask their lender if the lender can get their loan insured. Otherwise, homebuyers could spend hundreds and even thousands in the days leading up to the closing only to find, at the last minute, that loan insurance is not available to them.

This move by the Mortgage Insurance companies will only add fuel to the fire that is the current US Housing market. By effectively eliminating more home buyers from the market, at a time when the housing market needs more buyers, not fewer, the mortgage insurance companies have put another nail in the coffin of the housing market. The resulting effect on the market will be an even bigger drop in home prices. The immediate impact of this new policy will be felt quickly in the market, not over time as has been the case with loan defaults, adjusting loan interest rates, and foreclosures.

Be forewarned: if you are a seller, drop your price now before the market itself forces an even larger price reduction. If you are a home buyer, your credit score must be above 620 or you cannot get a loan.


Post License Class

We are in our LAST DAY!  We take the test at 2pm and then we are done!
Mike Carraway
Broker/Owner
 
WEICHERT, REALTORS – Access Realty
1100 East Park Drive, Suite 104
Birmingham, AL 35235
1-800-840-0165
WEICHERT, REALTORS – Access Realty
Valleydale Branch
4500 Valleydale Road, Suite 160
Birmingham, AL  35242
205-995-3939
24/hr Info:  800-634-0511
24/hr Fax:  800-634-0511
www.Access1000.com
www.Weichert.com
www.AlabamaWebPage.com
www.TakeOurTest.com
www.BirminghamRealEstateSchool.com


Should You Start Off With A High Sales Price?

Because of the change in real estate market conditions, more sellers are competing for fewer buyers. So once again, it seemed important to challenge a long-standing “myth” of real estate.

“The initial listing price isn’t that important because the price can always be adjusted down later.”

Many homeowners believe this.
It is a myth.
Not true.

If most buyers first viewed your house because of a newspaper ad, a magazine, the internet, brochures, or the sign in your front yard, the initial listing price probably would not make a difference. The house would always be “new” to those seeing it.

But most buyers do NOT come to your house because of various types of advertising. That is the another myth.

Sure, buyers call on an ad, they often LOOK at that house, but not always. Once they talk to an agent, they may discover it isn’t what they need (or want) at all.

However, they ARE talking to an agent. That agent knows the current inventory and will know of other property that DOES fit their needs.

Those are the properties that buyers look at, and THIS is how most buyers end up looking at your house, too. Because of other agents, not because of your ad.

Hardly anyone buys the house in the ad.

As a result, you need to get other agents interested in your property, and this is where your listing agent comes in…and why a good listing agent is extremely important. The listing agent gets buyer’s agents looking at your home.

Those agents have clients who called in on other properties.

Buyer’s agents are not swayed by advertising. They look at the needs of the client, where the client wants to live, location, condition, and other details of the property…
And most importantly….
…price.

If your house is overpriced, agents are going to show similar homes that are priced more attractively. Your listing will get passed over.
Agents pay MOST attention to homes newly on the market. There are fewer NEW listings than current listings. It is easier to keep an eye out for what is NEW, compared to the vast number of current listings.

New listings are on the “hot” sheet circulated in real estate offices. The MLS computer identifies new listings. Your listing agent may hire a service to distribute fliers to all the buyer’s agents. There are office previews and MLS tours to showcase new listings. A lot of attention is focused on what is NEW.

With agent’s looking at newly listed homes so aggressively, a properly priced home gets attention.

An overpriced home gets passed over.

You may be thinking, “But I’m willing to negotiate!”

Buyers aren’t thinking in advance about how much you are willing to negotiate. They are comparing your asking price to other asking prices.

Plus, when your house is new on the market, you may not be willing to negotiate as much as you will later, once you’ve realized your error. Keep in mind that statistics show, quite often, the first offer is the best offer.

So what happens if you overprice in the beginning and get more realistic later?

You don’t have all those important Buyer’s Agents looking at your listing because it is NEW. A price reduction later in the listing cycle often gets overlooked. It is just one of many listings, not one of a few new listings.

As time passes, you could actually become desperate to sell because you’ve accepted a new job or because you have already bought a new home.

That is a recipe for receiving lowball offers, so you could end up selling for less than if you had priced the home correctly in the first place.

Agents know this stuff, but many sellers still mistakenly believe they should “price it high” because they can lower the price later, if necessary.

That is not the best strategy.

short sale magic