October 18, 2009:
I hope you have a wonderful Sunday. Spend some time with your family! I'll see you tomorrow God willing.
October 17, 2009:
Good morning! I may stand corrected on short sales. My broker tells me that banks are getting much better in trying to work them out because they do not lose as much if they can head off a foreclosure. I'm still not all the way convinced though folks. I just try and look at things from a common sense point of view. And here's what I think, bet you're surprised I have an opinion :-).
Ok, maybe banks are more willing to short a property because on average they make more money than in foreclosure. That seems to be the premise. Well I don't know. I think it all depends on the market and as I've said before all real estate is local. What's happening in Florida is completely different than what's happening here. Here's what I know, and again I'm looking at this from a buyers perspective.
A bank is not going to "short" a property unless it's proven that it can't sell at market. So, and maybe I'm wrong but I don't think a seller can just put his house on the market and decide to "short" it because they are having financial problems. Two things have to happen and again this is from a common sense approach. The seller has had problems keeping up with payments and the home has been on the market a while to prove that it can't be sold at the market for more than is owed on it. What does this mean to my buyer? A lot of time, effort and frustration involved. You see folks, the market is the great equalizer. If that home stays on the market long enough to be proven a valid short sale then my guess is that by the time it's a "deal" you're going to have numerous buyers at the table you are competing with. I guess that's good for the bank because I sure don't see it as good for anybody else.
I could go on but to sum it up I believe in fair transactions. Nobody wins when properties have drastic discounts. Drastic discounts take years if ever to over come.
Hey, to move on. I've uploaded a new Downtown Greenville SC Video Tour for you at my Greenville SC Real Estate Home page. Check it out, it's a tour from the North Main area out to the West End! Have a great weekend!
October 16, 2009:
Good morning Folks, busy day yesterday. Closed one with a very nice first time homebuyer! I gotta tell you though what happened at closing. People are funny, you know? Anyway this home my buyer bought was a flip. You know, an "investor" bought it foreclosed then put some work in then resales it. Nothing wrong with that.
Let me go back to the beginning. I thought the house was priced high to begin with. We got the price down about $10,000 and put it under contract. My buyer also got some closing costs from the "investor". Well, the appraisal came in around three to four thousand dollars low and we gave the "investor" the opportunity to drop the price of the home to appraised price. He said he would, only if if we gave up the closing costs. I'm not going to get into all that but let's just we held firm and the seller finally agreed.
Well at closing yesterday, he goes on and on about how "bad" the appraisal was and what a good deal my buyer got. Folks, you know, I didn't say anything but he didn't have to sell the house at that price. He could have withdrawn when it didn't appraise and waited to get the price he felt was fair. When I hear people complain about stuff they freely do of their own will, I get .....well, you know. By the way, the appraisal was done by a local appraiser qualified to do FHA loans. So this "investor" is complaining to the mortgage officer there. I could go into a long rant here folks but isn't one reason why we've had such a financial mess in the housing industry is because of bad appraisals? Who are we trying to protect here? The seller or the buyer?
Now I do agree, you can take it too far but mostly I'm comfortable with the appraisals that I've seen coming in.
Got another good one too. On occasion I will get a request to see a home. Most people who contact me want a buyers agent but every once in a while people just want to see a home. I don't mind doing that but I always ask a few questions.
Do you have an agent?
Are you looking for a buyers agent?
Have you been pre-approved for a mortgage? See my 4 buying secrets
What is your time frame to buy?
Are you a first time homebuyer?
Folks, the reason I ask these questions before I drive out at 6pm at night is, if you have an agent then you should be calling them. If you are not looking for a buyers agent then I can't help because I only work with clients. Are you pre-approved, because if you can't qualify then there's no reason to waste your and my time. What is your time frame and are you a first time homebuyer because the deadline is Dec. 1. I get this response to my email.
I do not have an agent and I am not interested in getting an agent. Not only have I been pre-approved but was scheduled to close on a house on Oct. 2 but due to termite structural damage to the house I decided against the purchase. I am a 1st time buyer and I am completely aware of the time frame to close.
WOW. Folks, I'm more than glad to help but you know life's just too short. I love helping people but I just can't help with this. And thank goodness it's mostly all good. Especially when the buyers I do help find a great house for their family to call home. Ya'll have a good one!
A Guiding Force in Greenville SC, Max Heller
October 15, 2009:
Hey! Got a closing this morning so I've gotta run. I hope you have a good one. By the way, we have a new sales contract. I'll look it over and let you know if there are any major changes.... Thanks for visiting Greenville SC Real Estate and Realtor Home Page.
October 14, 2009:
Good morning! Had just a beautiful day yesterday! Got the rain back today and probably will be turning a little cooler. Anyway, had a good final walk through with a first time home buyer yesterday! We are set to close tomorrow morning and I know he is excited! Just put another one under contract with a first time home buyer due to close mid November and writing another offer with first time home buyers tonight. Again folks, how can you turn down $8,000 from the government?! Will it be extended, who knows but I got a letter from Senator Lindsey Graham who is pushing for it. Actually he is in favor of a $15,000 home buyer tax credit for all buyers! Man, can you imagine what that would do for the economy? Why waste money on "cash for clunkers" and put the credits toward something of meaning like real estate. Something that touches lives, not depreciating assets!
You know, the other day I mentioned how hard it is to get a bank to sell a home "short". Well my broker, Jim Fritzsche forwarded 3 good article to me to read and sho'nuff one of them had to do with the Treasury moving in to offer rewards for short sales. Yep, another classic move of a bunch of our money to be spent that will do virtually nothing. Get this......one proposal is to offer lenders $1,000 to go along with a short sale!! Folks, it gets even better, then they would give...Oh I can't even write about it, it's too ridiculous! Anyway so let's see, $1,000 is going to motivate a bank to let's say take $20,000 less than what's owned on the property when the owner is still trying to make payments? I don't know...the math just doesn't make sense to me....
October 12, 2009:
Good morning! I hope you had a great weekend. I was hoping to get by Fall For Greenville, but you know how it is when you are a buyers agent showing homes! I did have something crazy happen Friday night but first I want to give out a highly recommend. I forget to do this regularly and update my things to do in Greenville SC page but I promise I'll do that more.
I've got a highly recommend for Stax Peppermill. My wife and I stopped in there Friday for dinner. Stax Peppermill is one of my favorite Greenville South Carolina restaurants! I had the grouper and my wife had a steak. Just wonderful! Anyway if you're in town visiting, The Peppermill is located just off Haywood Rd. in Orchard Park.. Stop in and tell Michael hello. Seems like he always there. I'm hoping he will have Emile Pandolfi back for a little dinner music!
You're not going to believe this! On the way home I hit a deer. I have a little country road I drive on to get to my place and out of no where came a buck! I was barely able to hit my brakes and see below!
Now folks I'd hate to see the deer! It was about 10pm and I was able to make it back home. That's a big 2001 Toyota Landcruiser you're looking at and I probably was going 50! I saw him but barely felt him! I drove back the next day to get a picture and do you know someone had already picked him up. That's dinner on the table and probably a good rack to mount for someone. I'm just thankful I didn't run off the road.
So anyway, any good Greenville SC Real Estate stories to relate? Yep, you betcha, but I've got to wait and see how they play out. I do have one for you though that seems like it will work out ok.
Got a very nice couple that relocated here from Detroit. He got a job with BMW and they are first time homebuyers. We started looking last Spring before they got down here, then I just put them on auto listings until they got here. They relocated and rented, then we started looking for homes. We looked at a number of home and finally settled on one. This home is owned by a realtor. I think I had actually had a transaction with him years ago. He's been in the business a while. Anywho, we make an offer on his home and come to terms. My buyers are using FHA financing and as I mentioned before FHA is really getting crazy with appraisals so we decided to do the appraisal before doing any inspections. The appraisal came in $4,500 low! I was shocked! He was shocked! My buyers were ok and just wanted the seller to drop the sales price to appraised price. No problem, right? Well he's paying closing costs too and my buyers really need the closing costs. So to close this thing, he is going to have to bring about $6,000 to the closing table. Folks, that's not an easy thing to swallow!
But you know what? In this market, if you want to sell your home, you may have to do that. Now, don't think this is a usual thing for Greenville SC. Most of the time homes appraise and we don't have to face this. But, if you catch a neighborhood that has had some foreclosures in it you can really run into problems. The deal is though, have a Greenville SC Realtor and Exclusive Buyers Agent to help you get through this. Believe me, if it's not handled right, you the buyer can be starting all over and be out the appraisal fee.
I did have some time yesterday morning before the sun came up to walk Main St. before the sun came up. Took a few pictures for you but you know folks mostly they were uninspiring. Hey that happens, you know the light is not right, the sky not right or the perspective not right. That's ok though, it can't be right all the time.
Anyway, I'll say this to the naysayers, the economy in Greenville is still moving along with much new construction continuing. Below is an updated shot of the new Marriott Downtown I took yesterday morning. Can't wait till that complex is finished! Hotel, office space, upscale restaurant and a green area! I'll get a room there to review for you! Ya'll take care now and have a great day!
October 9, 2009:
Hope to see You at Fall For Greenville
October 8, 2009:
October 7, 2009:
Good morning! Hey we got the rain last evening. But it's going to clear off this afternoon and may get into the 80's. Folks, that's a little warm for this time of year. It will get clear and cooler tonight though. Got a busy day and I'm running late!
What's going on? Staying pretty busy, actually real busy which is good. A lot of first time home buyers trying to get it done before the December 1 deadline. Just ran into another case yesterday where we submitted a fair offer on a nice property and seller won't come down enough. We just can't go up because I'm afraid it wouldn't appraise and it sounds like the seller can't afford to come down. Would be time and effort wasted for my buyer. Hey though, I do have a number of transactions going well. It's just harder now with the market.
Let's don't forget about the big Fall For Greenville 2009, Friday October 9th through Sunday the 11th. I really hope the weather holds out. I know it's supposed to be beautiful tomorrow, hopefully that will last through the weekend. I'm ready for some pretty weather too! I haven't been out photographing as much as I normally do. And it's so pretty here in the fall! I bet we've got some nice colors already at the top of the ridge in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Did you know you can get to Table Rock in about 40 mins. from downtown Greenville? It's a beautiful drive.
So the question I mentioned the other day that buyers always ask me, "what do you think the seller will take for it?" Folks, I don't speculate on anything. You never know a seller's motivation until you make an offer. If they reject it, then not much...if they move a little, then not much, if they move a decent amount, then well you get the picture. I've had listing agents tell me the seller is very motivated and guess what? They hardly moved an inch. You just never know. Got to make that offer, put it in writing to see. Hope you have a good one!
October 6, 2009:
Good morning. I thought I'd check the Greenville MLS to see what's been happening in the market over the last month.
Hey, before I do that...I just thought about something when I opened the Greenville MLS, I saw a note on upcoming short sale classes offered through GGAR (greater greenville association of realtors). Folks, I don't know about you but I don't want anything to do with a "short sale". You hear a lot about them now. I mean, you know for goodness sakes we got "short sale" classes. Here's my opinion, and yes it's just my little ole opinion.
I've never attended a class so I assume short means the sales price is below the mortgage payoff therefore the payoff will be short, the bank will take less than is owned on the property to avoid full foreclosure. I don't know maybe it means you have to be a short person to buy the property....
Anyway, Ya'll do what you want to do but I don't waste an ounce of time on them with my buyers. Why?? And this is just my assumption. You are trying to buy a property that is offered below what is owed on it. It hasn't foreclosed yet and probably the owner/seller is still tying to make payments on it. Well let me ask you something. What's the incentive for the bank to take the offer when the owner is still making payments on the property? Why would you take the loss unless you absolutely have to? I mean I'll just relate a story a listing agent told me last year. They were trying to help an owner sell a property "short". The seller was having financial problems and wanted to get out from under the home. They had no less than 6 solid offers on the home over a period of time and not one of them ever got executed or accepted from the bank. And some of them were pretty close to the asking price!
You see in my opinion some banks, and to be fair maybe some are better than others, will drag it out and hope that the seller somehow gets better and continues payments. So let's talk about it from the buy side. Ok, I've got a buyer that wants to buy a home. They hear all this great stuff about "short" sales. Cause they think they are going to get a deal. Well maybe, if you can ever get the bank to respond. I put an offer in one time on a "short" sale, (never will I do it again) and the bank NEVER RESPONDED. Folks, have I ever told you I'm not into wasting time? That's the kind of response you're going to get. I mean why would you take the loss unless you had to? Now foreclosures are different. Generally banks are ready to get them off the books.
So anyway, over the last 30 days we had:
547 Closed Sales
High Sale $878,897
Low Sale $6,500
Average Days on The Market 110
Sold Price to List Price 95.3%
What's it mean, I don't know. What's going on in the market? I'm seeing more properties not appraise, unrealistic investors wanting way too much for their properties. Overall, Greenville is still doing very well. Again, volume is off but steady. Good properties are still demanding good pricing. What's hurting the market? Foreclosures, again Greenville has done pretty well but there are some out there that are effecting appraisal prices and eventually will curb are still decent growth is these appraisers don't have a change in heart.
I mean here's my thing, appraisers are taking into account any closing costs paid in closed sales to determine fair market value for appraisal purposes. Hey, Mr. Appraiser that's fine, but then take the closing costs the buyer is paying and add that to the home to determine cost too. I mean if you're going to do it on one side, shouldn't you do it on the other side or better yet JUST DON'T DO IT AT ALL. As an example. House A sold at $200,000 but seller paid $6,000 in closing costs for the buyer. So the appraiser determines the actual sold price at $194,000. House B in the same neighborhood sold for $200,000 but the buyer paid the closing costs. Hey appraiser, if you're going to be fair, then add the $6,000 paid by the buyer, right? I mean it is a cost to buy the home. Wouldn't you add it to the cost of the asset to determine basis? Maybe it's better on the conventional side but I'm really seeing problems on the FHA side and that's understandable because of the government.
So what's going on today? Just trying help a few buyers. Have a good one and stay dry!
October 5, 2009:
Good morning! I hope you had a great weekend. We've got a steady rain falling here. I'm glad though, we can always use the rain! I've got to get my pool covered, I'm starting to get a few leaves falling in there.
Anyway, I had a fellow contact me last week looking for a property. Folks, I'm a buyers agent. Actually, I'm an exclusive buyers agent who does not take any listings. And, I'm always hesitant to send out homes for people to review. Why? If you are interested in me helping you then we need to have a meeting in my office and put an understanding in place, an agreement. No other professional, ie, attorney, doctor, etc. would perform services without an agreement.
And the thing is there's so many different search engines available for you the buyer to find homes, that when I'm asked to do it for the buyer without and agreement then really the buyer is asking for opinions on "best available". Folks, information is valuable, experience is valuable. So generally if I ever send a list of homes to someone without an agreement, it's just what you'd find on the internet through realtor.com or at my real estate search engine.
I have a pretty good search engine. You can search by basic, advanced, map, address or MLS number. And the best thing is I don't and never have required you to log in to use it. Look all you want. But if you are serious about buying and actually want help in making a good decision, then we need to meet. Information and guidance are priceless.
So anyway, I send this fellow a few listings. He doesn't like them but asks me to keep my eyes open for him in case anything good pops up that he may like. One of the things I talk about in my 4 buying secrets is "engage an exclusive buyers agent", if I see a great value hit the market...who do you think I'll call first, the fellow who want's me to keep my eyes open for him or the committed client that is serious about finding a property and making a good decision? I told him I would be glad to help but we needed to meet first and put an agreement in place. Still waiting to hear back......
Hope you have a wonderful day!
October 1, 2009:
Good morning and welcome to OCTOBER! I'll tell ya, fall is one of my favorite times of the year in Greenville! The leaves are turning and the colors are just beautiful. Hey, if you're in town please don't forget to check out Fall For Greenville! Fall for Greenville runs from October 9th to October 11th. Fall for Greenville SC is a lot of good food, music and things to do and see. Friday you can hear music by JJ Grey & Mofro and Shooter Jennings. Saturday is The Lee Boy's and Big Sam's Funky Nation and Sunday catch some good ole Carolina Beach Music by The Swingin' Medallions and the Out of Towners.
Oh yeah, The Symphony Tour of Homes is running October 2-4. This tour will focus on the North Main area which is very close to downtown and features some of the older homes with much character and charm. If you'd like a tour of North Main or Augusta Rd., I'm just a call away at 864-335-8490!
Oh I almost forgot. The answer to the question asked on the 29th of my September Blog is "What do you think the seller will take for it?"
Ya'll have a good one!!
Greenville SC Real Estate home page.