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Do you have sellers who are stuck? Here's how to set them free.

March 21 2018

Fear of the unknown can be paralyzing. Especially for home sellers who are uncertain if they will be able to qualify for a mortgage and be able to buy again after selling their home. If your clients don't know, they just stay put.

The Great Recession threw millions of homeowners underwater, meaning their homes were worth less than the mortgage debt tied to them. The number of seriously underwater1 homeowners has dropped nearly 50 percent in just four years, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.

Many major metropolitan markets are seeing home prices above their pre-Great Recession highs, and at Opes Advisors, we have access to more lending programs than ever. Since becoming a division of Flagstar Bank, Opes Advisors has become even stronger.

The Great Differentiator

One of the most significant benefits that Opes Advisors offers real estate agents is something no other lender can offer: our proprietary technology called Opes Advantage™. If an agent has a seller who is "stuck," this is one of the best tools that can help set their client free.

Opes Advantage is the first real estate decision technology that fuses mortgage lending services with financial planning. It provides both sellers and buyers with a personal financial model that helps them look at how buying or selling a home fits into their entire financial lifestyle and lifecycle.

Only Opes Advisors provides this service, which can be accomplished between 45 to 90 minutes depending on the amount of scenarios and questions your clients have. Our real estate decision analysts can put your client's entire financial life into a model to see the impact of major life decisions before they are made, like buying or selling a home. When sellers go through this process, they gain clarity about their financial future: their "what ifs?" are answered, and they often come out of the process ready to sell, as they now have the information they need.

It's not enough to just show your clients a mortgage calculator these days. For example, when they hear that interest rates are going up, they may automatically take themselves out of consideration. They may not realize that a 0.25 percent increase of a loan interest rate is only going to raise their monthly payment typically less than $30 for every $100,000 of the loan amount for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. When your clients can see these numbers in the context of their entire financial picture – not just a number on a mortgage calculator – it puts an interest rate increase in the right perspective.

More loan options

Once sellers have financial clarity, they also often need a financial strategy to figure out how to move from their current home to their next. Opes Advisors offers one of the broadest range of specialized products as a mortgage banker and direct lender. We can also broker loans which offer even more options to help sellers make their next move. From bridge loansbridge loans and home equity solutions to creative approaches, Opes Advisors can help clients turn analysis into action with a conviction to act and have peace of mind about their real estate decisions.

Sellers become buyers

Most lenders don't spend a lot of time focusing their energy on serving sellers. They focus on serving buyers instead. There are two ways real estate agents benefit from the extra service that Opes Advisors provides focusing on sellers and helping them get "unstuck." First, using Opes Advantage, we help drive new business to real estate agents by providing transparent information that sellers need. Second, the vast majority of sellers become buyers immediately, and that means more business for real estate agents.

That's what teamwork is about and why so many real estate agents are rethinking their relationships with plain vanilla lenders. They are looking for a local lender who can do more and offer more, and that's why Opes Advisors is becoming their first choice.

1 A loan is considered to be underwater when the total loan amount secured by the property is at least 25 percent higher than the property's estimated market value.

Sheila McGinn is a Real Estate Decision Analyst for Opes Advisors, A Division of Flagstar Bank.