You are viewing our site as a Broker, switch your view below:

Agent | Broker     Reset Filters to Default
Hanna Financial Driving Real Estate Transactions with Buy Before You Sell Program
Founded in 1983, Howard Hanna Financial Services provides consumers with mortgage, title, insurance, and escrow services. For many real estate firms, these services provide home buyers and sellers with a one-stop shop solution that delivers a tremendous amount of convenience. We have seen these packages of affiliated services propel many real estate firms to heightened levels of success by delivering compelling and differentiated services. Companies like Weichert, Long and Foster, Hunt Real Estate, Fox and Roach, Crye-Leike, Real Estate One, and others experience a tremendous market advantage when the consumer understands the benefits of accessing all of the services needed for a real estate transaction from a single conglomerate. One of the most successful programs offered by Howard Hanna Financial Services is the Buy Before You Sell Program. WAV Group studies the effectiveness of these services for many of the Realty Alliance firms, and Hanna Financial has seen enormous growth in this particular program. Duffy Hanna, President of Howard Hanna Financial Services, expressed that they have seen this particular program double in popularity from 2017 to 2018. Driving the popularity of this service is the scarcity of inventory available to home buyers. In a highly competitive buyer market, home buyers find themselves at a disadvantage when buying a home if they need to submit a home sale contingency. Sellers prefer and accept offers without contingencies more readily. The Buy Before You Sell Program is essentially bridge loan on a buyer's existing home that allows that buyer to buy their next home before selling their current home. There is no payment due for the first three months and then interest only for the next three months or until the home is sold. This program is driven by an understanding of market metrics. Real estate companies and mortgage companies understand the number of days that a home is likely to be on the market before it is sold. Duffy Hanna reports that the average loan term for the Buy Before You Sell Program is 70 days from inception to close. Across the seven states where Hanna Financial provides this program, they have originated about 11,144 loans totaling over $2 billion. Helen Hanna Casey, President of Hanna Holdings, provided some insights on the success that this program has had in converting buyer and seller leads. Many consumers want the certainty of knowing where they are going to move before they close on the sale of their home. It creates a tricky situation whereby the real estate salesperson is often challenged to synchronize a home purchase with a home sale at the same time. Often this puts the seller in a position whereby they feel compelled to accept lower offers on the sale of their existing home in order to secure the home they want to buy. With the Buy Before You Sell Program, home sellers have more latitude to allow the market to work for them by strengthening their buyer offer while not putting discounting pressure on selling their existing home. This program is a keynote of the listing presentations of Howard Hanna sales associates. As you can imagine, Howard Hanna not only leverages these creative programs to benefit consumers, but also articulates the strategic advantage of these programs in their agent recruiting and retention efforts. Howard Hanna agents who clearly articulate these programs to their clients convert more buyers and sellers. One stop shopping is a powerful offering. The execution of great strategy is the key reason why Howard Hanna and other Realty Alliance firms continue to profitable expansion in an increasingly competitive industry. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
MORE >
Update on Rocket Homes: Agent Referral Network Adds Consumer Home Search
Doug Seabolt, CEO of Rocket Homes (formerly In-House Realty), has been a busy guy in 2018. His company acquired ForSaleByOwner.com in the spring, and now In-House Realty has rebranded as 'Rocket Homes' to better connect with sister company Quicken Loans – home of Rocket Mortgage. Both Quicken Loans and Rocket Homes are subsidiaries of the fintech giant Rock Holdings. Rocket Homes operates a nationwide Partner Agent Network, but the company's new home search site is only available in its home state of Michigan today. The company plans to extend its home search site to 10 states by the end of the year.
MORE >
Rate Lock Will Worsen Home Sales
MORE >
The Digital Mortgage Is Here. What Does that Mean for You?
An industry steeped in structure and security is on the brink of transformational change. The factors needed to make a true digital mortgage (from application to close) a reality are accessible and organizations buzz about their ability to support the workflow. Yet we aren't seeing widespread adoption or scale. What is happening in the mortgage industry and what does it mean for you? In this educational blog series, we will dive into an ecosystem that is primed for change, the promises of change agents, and all the asterisks that complicate our shared transformation.
MORE >
Mortgage Data Turns Table in Buyer's Favor
MORE >
Rising Mortgage Rates Fail to Dampen the Buyer's Market
2016 was a stellar year for buyers, witnessing mortgage rates below 3.75 percent all summer on the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. With the steadily rising interest rates of today's real estate financing trends, currently at around 4.5 percent and climbing for the typical FHA loan, you'd think there would be some sort of sales slowdown – but that couldn't be further from the case. Flying High Home sales are moving on up – flying in the face of rising interest rates. This may slow increases in housing prices, but it's still expected to remain a seller's market across most of the United States for 2017. And because interest rates still remain historically low overall (despite multiple raises by the fed), 2017 remains a great time to purchase a home – and buyers are scrambling to take advantage.
MORE >
Down Payment Help for Military and Veterans; Q1 Homeownership Program Index
MORE >
Brace Yourself for Higher Home Loan Interest Rates in 2017
Historically low interest rates have finally begun to rise in recent months, and they are expected to continue this climb. How will this affect your real estate selling endeavors in 2017? Steady incline Housing and economy experts concur rates are not likely to go back down. Uber-low rates are in the rear view, with 30-year fixed-rates expected to stay in the 4 to 5 percent range by year's end. A rise to 4.5 percent is expected, with the worst-case scenario knocking at the door of 5 percent. This is expected to reduce home sales over the course of the year by about 200,000 homes. Buyer blowback As rates climb, buyers may feel pressure to act. At a certain point, their home ownership dream will be stretched to the breaking point, but we aren't there yet. At today's rental rates, mortgage rates would have to be in the 7-10 percent range to equate rental costs. Cooling "hot" markets In expensive markets (LA, NYC, Miami) interest rates will push out buyers already struggling to afford homes, even with historically low rates.
MORE >
What will a Trump presidency look like for real estate?
MORE >
Long and Foster Combines Mobile Search with Mortgage Pricing
There is an unsightly lack of holistic information that is being made available to consumers by full service brokerages. Until now, brokerage mobile applications provided plenty of information about properties for sale, but little information about brokers' other service centers in mortgage, title, insurance, commercial properties, and property management (rentals). Long and Foster partnered with Xome's Real Estate Digital division to deliver mortgage information to consumers through their real estate mobile application in an impressive way. For those of you who know Long and Foster, they provide a full array of real estate services through their company owned providers. Under the guidance of Long and Foster Chief Marketing Officer, Barry Redler, the firm is reaching across boundaries to provide consumers with "easy access to information" that combines comprehensive property search with mortgage calculation offerings. When Xome set the strategy of working with brokers, one of their touchstones was to advance mobile technology for enterprise brokers that think more broadly about the business that can be generated for mortgage and other broker service lines. In the case of Long and Foster, this application invites mobile visitors to the Long and Foster website to access the mobile application and get the same or greater access to information on their mobile device – including cost of ownership information like mortgage payment.
MORE >
Down Payment Programs 101: An Overview of the 3 Most Common Homebuyer Programs
MORE >
[Infographic] Homeownership Programs Across the U.S.
The 4th quarter 2015 Homeownership Program Index (HPI) found that there are now 2,406 homeownership programs available in the U.S., and 84 percent currently have funds available to prospective homebuyers, down 1 percent from third quarter. The HPI found 63 percent of programs include a first-time homebuyer requirement. First-time homebuyers are defined as a buyer who has not owned a home in the past three years. Across 15 percent of homeownership programs, specific incentives are available for community heroes. These programs include special benefits for veterans, educators, protectors, firefighters, healthcare workers and disabled homebuyers. Read the full index, including state-by-state data. To view the original article, visit the Down Payment Resource blog.
MORE >
Selling Tip: Dealing with a Buyer’s Down Payment Anxiety
MORE >
Why Real Estate Isn’t a Zero-sum Game
In recent years, housing has failed to move the needle in growing transactions or homeownership rates, which is causing some to believe real estate is a zero-sum game. We begin to think there will only be a certain number of transactions in a given year, and we're all just fighting for a piece of the pie. But, what about growing incremental sales? Isn't that the ultimate goal? Bear with me because it's the New Year and the time to be both reflective and aspirational. A zero-sum game A few months back, the Notorious R.O.B. (Rob Hahn) tackled this zero-sum game issue. We have a lot of respect for Hahn's industry insights and wouldn't want to have to match wits in a dark alley. To be sure, he is talking about the inability for technology alone to drive incremental home sales. Still, it got me thinking, does anyone have the ability to make more sales happen? Are down payments a core issue? Surveys such as the National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers find that first-time homebuyers are at a new low, and the finger's pointed at the core challenges of saving for a down payment, student loan debt and increasing rent and home prices.
MORE >
First Month Impact of TRID
MORE >
Real Estate Transactions Are Now on Top of the Stress List
It may or may not come as a surprise to most real estate professionals that it is now public knowledge that—with respect to stress—participation in a real estate transaction is now on par with death, terminal disease, divorce, airline travel and computer repair. An article published in the October 2015 edition of the Harvard Business Journal by Leonard L. Berry from Texas A&M University and Scott Davis from Rice University reports that services such as cancer care, airline travel, computer repair and home buying and selling can trigger powerful human emotions. Even more surprising is the fact that the vast majority of the entities and individuals delivering these services are not sensitive to the level of stress their consumer experience generates. Nor are they provided with the training necessary to either demonstrate sensitivity or reduce the amount of stress their performance is largely responsible for. By this point, some readers will be rolling their eyes and not so subtly pointing out: Hey, what's new? This is the way it has always been, this is the way it will always be and, as a hyper busy real estate professional, I can't be responsible for the client's mental health. Buck up, consumers! While there may be no lack of support for this macho position, hopefully there will be a few souls who will want to better understand the big picture, because there is one. Let's start with a few facts. First, this is not our parents' real estate marketplace. A strong argument can be made to support the idea that, as a market, we are in the last vestiges of that era in which real estate agents and sales representatives have the absolute power to design and deliver the consumer real estate experience. From a consumer and regulatory perspective, we are now in an new era in which the only thing that matters is what experience the real estate consumer gains from their buying, selling and transactional experience and how they can customize that experience to make it a positive one.
MORE >
Quarterly Homeownership Program Index Debunks 5 Down Payment Myths
MORE >
The real reasons millennials aren’t buying homes and what you can do about it
Part 1: The real reasons millennials aren't buying homes Many experts have argued that affordability, student loans or fear of being tied down are the primary reasons millennials are not buying homes. The real reasons, however, might be quite different from what the conventional wisdom suggests. Although many people believe that millennials don't want to be tied down with a home, a recent Redfin study indicates otherwise. According to Nela Richardson, the chief economist at Redfin, "92 percent of millennials who don't own a home say they plan to buy in the next four years." Richardson believes the big driver for homeownership is having children. In fact, the Redfin survey showed that 38 percent of U.S. millennials said they would, or have, put off a wedding or honeymoon to afford to buy a home. As Richardson says, "Mortgages before marriage." So what is keeping millennials from entering the housing market? Here are the factors at play: Student loans: not the real issue A study from TransUnion found that student loan impact on rates of millennial homeownership might be overblown.
MORE >
3 Down Payment Tips to Share with Homebuyers
MORE >
The Fine Art of Due Diligence
On June 24th of this year the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed a two-month extension of the effective date of its "Know Before You Owe" mortgage rules. The proposal, if approved by the agency's internal processes, will extend the effective date of the rules to Saturday, October 3rd. The rules, also known as the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rules, require easier-to-use mortgage disclosure forms that clearly lay out the terms of a mortgage for a homebuyer. The RESPA rules (circa 1974) speak for themselves. The news of the extension was met by the real estate industry with a number of responses. A significant segment within the industry didn't notice it at all, choosing to ignore the rules as they have done from their initiation some two years ago. Another segment within the industry simple elected to ignore the notice. Finally there is that segment that realizes that these rules will have a significant impact upon their businesses, but are as of yet, uncertain what actions to take. This piece is directed to this last group. If, after all of the information, commentary, and "wake up" calls that have been distributed, a brokerage firm or its management team still believe that the new rules will have no impact, then the foundations of one amazing surprise have been laid. Try not to gasp when you see the amount of the fine. The following information is provided for those brokerage executives and managers who recognize that they must take some action, and soon, to avoid a regulatory catastrophe.
MORE >
What’s the Average Down Payment?
MORE >
Homewonership Programs Not Just for First-timers
First-time homebuyers are a target audience for many homeownership programs, but don't overlook the number of programs available for repeat buyers. In fact, our Homeownership Program Index found that 37 percent of programs have no first-time homebuyer requirement. Moreover, down payment programs use HUD's definition of a first-time homebuyer—someone who has not owned a home in three years. That opens up opportunities for buyers who have rebuilt their credit and rented recently. A great example of one of these programs is the Illinois Housing Development Authority's (IHDA) new @HomeIllinois program that offers $5,000 in down payment help for credit worthy borrowers. It's available to first-time homebuyers, repeat buyers and homeowners looking to refinance. Available statewide, the program also offers competitive interest rates, lender paid mortgage insurance and tax savings. Eligibility is based on income, with annual income limits of up to $94,500 for households of two or less and $108,675 for households of three or more.
MORE >
Millennials and Misinformation
MORE >
The Rise of Peer-to-Peer Lending
Last week, I spoke on a panel about data and technology at LendIt USA 2015. As we began, our moderator asked the audience, "By a show of hands, how many people are using tech or data from any of the five companies on stage?" Not one person raised their hands. I immediately fired my VP of Sales. I jest. What did occur to me was that one of the major themes of this conference was peer-to-peer lending and that most of the audience worked for or owned these types of companies. This is an area that is blowing up fast and it was obvious from the discussion and reaction of the audience that there is still so much to figure out. What is peer-to-peer lending, anyway? Peer-to-peer lending, commonly abbreviated as P2PL, is the practice of lending money to unrelated individuals, or "peers," without going through a traditional financial intermediary such as a bank or other traditional financial institution. This lending takes place online through these websites using various different lending platforms and credit checking tools. A great example of this in real estate would be one of our partners and Startup Wars participants, Patch of Land. They market themselves as a Peer-to-Real-Estate platform whereby an individual can either invest in a real estate project or seek funding for one. It's an awesome model, but a new one. I think about when online trading came to market and the local bus driver could just log on and buy some Yahoo stocks before his daily route. The issue that quickly plagued this awesome idea was lack of access to data, knowledge and decision support. The bus driver lost money. Today is much different world. Today data platforms like Onboard Simplicity help solve this problem of access.
MORE >
9 Ways to Help Clients Improve Credit Scores
MORE >
Follow the Leader: Ken Moyle from DocuSign Leading Real Estate into Faster Transactions
DocuSign Chief Legal Counsel Ken Moyle isn't necessarily a person that many in the industry are familiar with, but without him, real estate transactions would look a lot different today. We all think of DocuSign as one of the leaders in digital transaction management, but few understand the pioneering efforts that Moyle and DocuSign have led on behalf of REALTORS®, home buyers, and sellers behind the scenes. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Moyle about these efforts and the future of online transactions. Simplifying FHA Transactions Over the past few years, the FHA has become a much larger force in the real estate business. As recently as 2010, the FHA lacked a process to handle transactions that were "DocuSigned." It didn't recognize the electronic signature as a safer, more effective, and more transparent way to fulfill the regulatory process. Moyle spent 18 months educating and discussing policy with FHA representatives, including acting Director of Single Family Vicki Bott and Commissioner David Stevens. Today, REALTORS® are able to electronically sign an FHA transaction due, in large part, to the diligence of Moyle. You might ask, as I did, how did he position himself so well to be able to have that kind of influence? Like anything, it came with hard work and persistence. Moyle had a leadership role in the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC). The group was formed to help individuals and organizations use secure, efficient, easy-to-use, and interoperable identity credentials to access online services in a manner that promotes confidence, privacy, choice, and innovation. Moyle also has been involved with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) mortgage eClosing conversations.
MORE >
In Her Words - Ginger Wilcox Joins Sindeo, Tackles Home Financing
MORE >
Are You Prepared to Launch Your Flight to Quality?
It is at best a bizarre situation. As this article is being prepared, the American residential real estate industry is but 213 days from an event that many experts believe may be the industry's seminal moment for the decade. The centerpiece and stimulus for all of this activity is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The 1,888-page RESPA-TILA (Truth in Lending Act) Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Rule issued in 2014 by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will probably not end the residential real estate business as we know it, but it will certainly change the way it currently operates. When the RESPA-TILA rule takes effect (currently slated to take effect in August of 2015) it will integrate information currently provided to consumers in four separate documents to satisfy the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), boiling it down to two documents: a loan estimate and closing disclosure. As most of our readers already know, the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act created the CFPB during the 2010 congressional session. The agency began operations in 2011. It hit the ground running with a campaign directed at debugging the national student loan act. Its noteworthy and unfettered staff includes an unusual number of young "go getters," many fresh out of college, without the "industry" baggage that has crippled so many prior efforts to "make a regulatory difference." During those first few years, it managed to find the time to draft, approve and implement thousands of pages of new procedures, rules and regulatory edicts. Even when assaulted by constant political attacks regarding the Bureau's purpose and methodologies, it quickly became an effective regulator and attacked some of the country's most outrageous consumer traps. The agency next went after the credit card, automobile loan and mortgage industries. One of its current targets is the residential real estate industry.
MORE >
Kamel Boulos Joins ClosingCorp as CTO
MORE >
Fewer First-Timers, More Repeat Buyers in 2014
This post comes to us from the Market Leader blog: Low housing inventories and über-low interest rates combined to make the housing sector the economy's comeback kid in 2013. Like a precarious stack of Jenga cubes, however, pull one leg out from under that delicate balance and the whole thing comes crashing down – or at least changes dramatically. If you prefer working with first-time buyers, be prepared to either diversify your client base or have a very slow 2014. Or so the news coming from housing industry experts indicates. Interest Rates The favorite mortgage of most first-time buyers – the 30-year fixed – may be unaffordable for many in 2014. Rates are expected to hit and hover at 5.5 percent, according to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. He chalks up the interest rate rise to the tapering of quantitative easing. Bankrate.com's senior financial analyst, Greg McBride, agrees, but feels that we won't see 5.5 percent interest rates until after mid-summer. Since each percentage point rise in the interest rate adds about 10 percent to a mortgage loan, higher housing payments may just kick some first-time buyers to the sidelines. It's definitely time to turn up the heat under any lollygagging buyers to get them into a mortgage and a home before they are priced out of the market.
MORE >
What's a Public Service App?
MORE >
Qualified Mortgage Rule Effective Friday; HFA Loans Exempt
You may know new mortgage regulations are on the horizon, but what will the impact be on homebuyers, Realtors® and lenders? Lenders have been preparing for the January 10, 2014 effective date of the Ability to Repay and Qualified Mortgage Rule. This rule is under the Truth in Lending Act and prohibits a lender from making a higher-priced mortgage loan without regard to the consumer's ability to repay the loan. The debt-to-income ratio (DTI) must be 43 percent or less and the rule includes a 3% cap on fees and points. It also establishes certain protections from liability for loans that meet the requirements of a "qualified mortgage." As our team has attended events and discussed with housing experts, we've seen a few key themes emerge: The majority of today's mortgage market is processed through the GSE online approval engines. If the loan makes it through Fannie, Freddie, USDA or VA, then it will be considered a QM loan, regardless of DTI. However, the agencies are already very close to the 43 percent DTI limit. On December 11, HUD released a final rule that sets the standards that FHA-insured loans will have to meet to be considered QM. Loans that do not meet these standards (FHA underwriting standards and 3% cap on all upfront points and fees) will no longer be eligible for FHA-insurance as of January 10, 2014.
MORE >
Regulatory Compliance: An Essential Skill Set For the New Business Model
MORE >
Expiration of the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act Will Have Little Impact
This post comes to us from myShortTrack: Now that the shutdown has passed, and the next 'fiscal cliff' is still a little ways away, the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act of 2007 is back in the news. The Act is once again set to expire at the end of this year, after being extended last year. And once again, people are starting to make a really big deal about its expiration. As I explained last year, it's all a waste of breath. It doesn't really matter if it expires. People are lining up predicting both its extension and its demise. On the demise side, there is the $1.3 billion/year in uncollected revenues, as projected by the Congressional Budget Office. On the extension side, people point to the $1.3 billion/year tax 'increase' of not extending it and claim that it will destroy the short sale market and borrower participation. Here's a short (less than two minutes) video describing the reality of the expiration of the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act. Let us know if you think it helps make things clearer, and if it's helpful to your sellers and owners facing foreclosure or pursuing a short sale.
MORE >
This Thursday: Learn How to Serve the New Generation of Home Buyers
MORE >
How do laws protecting consumer privacy affect your business?
This post comes to us from the PCMS Consulting blog: Consumer privacy – a quick overview Many changes are coming down the road in 2014 regarding the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) that both you and your mortgage and/or title partners should be aware of. Do you know what CFPB is? If you don't, you can visit their website to educate yourself about these new consumer protections. In short, the CFPB is an agency, created by Congress, designed to protect consumers after the financial meltdown of a few years ago. It is deeply affecting the mortgage and title worlds and may end up impacting brokerages, as well. Whether or not you have a mortgage and/or title relationship, you should consider positioning yourself as the brokerage who protects consumer information.
MORE >
The Future of Housing Finance on Horizon
MORE >
The How, What and Why of Buying or Selling Real Estate
RE Technology columnist Maya Paveza continues the discussion on consumer education for a better real estate transaction (see last week's post on this topic). Today, Maya talks about the "what"--the mortgage or method to pay for the purchase of real estate. Giving options, education and information provides a better real estate experience for your client.
MORE >
6 Reasons Why Down Payment Assistance Matters
MORE >
Down payment assistance helps bring business to real estate brokerages, too
Is Down Payment Resource (DPR) an up-sell feature? That's a common question (and misconception) from agents about DPR. In fact, those who subscribe to the services of one of our MLS customers have access to the entire DPR toolset as a core member service through their MLS. There's no additional cost to agents or consumers in markets where DPR is offered by the MLS. As one of our customers puts it: DPR is a public service app. Most often, DPR is licensed by local MLSs and/or local REALTOR® Associations. Real estate brokerage companies who subscribe to a local MLS with DPR can simply integrate DPR into their IDX website at no cost, bringing a tangible benefit to their entire team and generating incremental leads and sales. Access to DPR is always offered through the local MLS first, however if they choose not to integrate DPR, it can be a great added value to a real estate brokerage company looking for better ways to serve their market and homebuyers. In fact, we recently added our first brokerage customer — Arizona-based Long Realty. After initially accessing DPR in Tucson through TARMLS, Long Realty took the extra step to include DPR in its other markets, Phoenix and Sierra Vista, where the DPR service is now available exclusively on Long Realty's websites.
MORE >
The Role of Mortgage on Broker Dollar
MORE >
How Everybody Wins, Starting with the Consumer
This is the third in a series of four articles from RPR. Read the first, second, and third articles. As RPR expands its national coverage, and opens access to its high-value tools and features for all REALTORS® later this year, the goal is not only to enhance and support the REALTOR®'s value to the consumer, but to deliver RPR analytics to the mortgage market to meet the long term needs of critical participants "upstream" of the REALTOR®. Analytics are the key The valuation analytics created by RPR provide a unique understanding and synthesis of property data from numerous, disparate sources. This is used to provide RPR's REALTOR Valuation Model® (RVM®) to the mortgage investor backed by data that is: Comprehensive National database of assessor, recorder, mortgage, NOD/foreclosure, MLS, geospatial, demographic and other content Single record for each parcel in the U.S. Fully-authorized source of market data for collateral analysis through the RVM product
MORE >
The FTC MAP Ruling and How It Impacts You
MORE >
Boots on the Ground
This is the third in a series of four articles from RPR. Read the first and second articles. The REALTOR®'s role in the eyes of the mortgage industry is very important. As the "boots on the ground" resource, the mortgage market has expectations that the REALTOR® is well versed in their market. They are aware of market trends, have insight into the condition of a property, are knowledgeable in selecting appropriate comparable properties (comps) which can minimize risk, and are an ally when selling REO (real estate owned) or short sales transactions. In today's housing market, it's widely believed that many of the industry's transaction processes could use improvement. Short sales are anything but short, pricing REOs is tricky, and even in traditional home sale transactions, the appraisal may not always be as expected when given differing perspectives of the local market trends. By leveraging the partnership between the REALTOR® and the mortgage industry and utilizing combined analytical capabilities that understand the data, there is an opportunity to drive significant improvement. Through best-in-class BPO training, powerful appraisal tools, and the use of RPR's REALTOR® Valuation Model® (RVM®), REALTORS® have the potential to shorten the timeline of some transactions which can lower costs. This new, improved process can be performed at multiple points in the mortgage lifecycle to help all housing market participants keep up with rapidly changing dynamics and property conditions.
MORE >
Common Ground
MORE >
From Real Estate to Mortgage Collateral
One of the challenges for the housing market has been that the mortgage investment community and the government agencies that regulate it make policies and decisions that affect the entire housing market far from direct knowledge of the local market. Looking back over the last several years, it seems that many of today's housing market issues could have been avoided, if investors only had a crystal ball, or access to current data on house prices and valuations. With the proper information and analysis, the mortgage industry may have been able to foresee that we were heading towards a housing bubble that was about to burst. For example, a better understanding of the concentration of higher-risk mortgages in local communities, coupled with the expansion in the number of investor and non-owner-occupied properties, skewed the traditional supply and demand characteristics of many neighborhoods. What resulted when those loans failed was that their impact created a ripple effect through markets at large.
MORE >
Connecting the REALTOR® and the Mortgage Lender
MORE >
Focus on Core Services to Gain Customers for Life
If the ups and downs of the real estate market have taught us anything, it's that we must nurture our client relationships in order to stay afloat during difficult times. As a broker, you should be thinking of retaining customers for life – not just in terms of single transactions. One way to do this is to focus on core services. Core Services What do we mean when we're talking about core services? We're talking about looking beyond the sales of residential real estate and focusing on mortgage, insurance, title, home warranty, and commercial real estate. We're not saying you should stop selling residential properties – although, as we've seen, future generations may be renting more and buying less. Instead, what we want to point out is that it's what you do throughout the transaction and after the transaction is complete that drives business and client retention across all service offerings. Case Study: Howard Hanna Real Estate Howard Hanna is an excellent example of a brokerage that has focused on core services to cement their position as an industry leader. They position themselves as a "full service" company, explaining that they can support their clients through every single step of a real estate transaction (from appraisal to closing) in-house.
MORE >
My MID-life Crisis
MORE >
Federal Housing Finance Agency 2011 Performance and Accountability
Once again, Ted Jones provides valuable insights from the Stewart Title blog. The Federal Housing Finance Agency just released the 2011 performance and accountability report regarding their oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks.  Included in those reports were a few gems of information on characteristics of borrowers in the 1st half of 2011: FICO Score average at Fannie Mae for 1st Half Calendar Year 2011 was 760 versus 716 in 2007 FICO Score average at Freddie Mac for 1st Half Calendar Year 2011 was 753 versus 718 in 2007 New business loan-to-value ratio in 1st Half of 2011 greater than 90 percent was 9 percent compared to 7 percent in 2010 Much of the increase involved HARP loans with LTVs greater than 100 percent Average LTV for Fannie Mae in 1st Half of 2011 was 69 percent–not that much different from 75 percent in 2007 Average LTV for Freddie Mac in 1st Half of 2011 was 70 percent–not that much different from 74 percent in 2007 Conventional lending made up 63 percent of Mortgage Originations in 1st half of 2011—almost identical to 2003 (62 percent) FHA and VA have increased from 6 percent of Mortgage Originations in 2003 to 25 percent in the 1st half of 2011 1-4 family lending has plunged from $3.945 trillion in 2003 to $1.18 trillion (annualized estimate) in 2011
MORE >