Saturday, May 31, 2008
A Little while ago I told you I would be posting the Video series published by NAR on the REALTOR Code of Ethics.
One of the oldest Codes of Ethics in the United States, the Code is a living document which breakes the obligations of REALTORS into three categories, Duties to Clients, Duties to the Public, and Duties to Other REALTORS.
This Video explains the First obligation of a REALTOR - the obligation of a professional to their Client
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Strictly speaking, every property is a pre-foreclosure property. The term however is used to indicate a home where the homeowner is in default under the current mortgage, and the next step for the lender might be to begin the foreclosure process. Once a lender begins the foreclosure process, they have taken steps to secure the property which was pledged as security for a debt which is now delinquent. In Pennsylvania, this process culminates in a Sheriff Sale. At the Sheriff Sale, the bank will bid an amount equal to the debt, the delinquent interest, the late fees and all of the costs incurred taking the property to the sale. If there is a third party who bids a higher amount, they will be the purchaser at the sale. The amount bid by the lender is not related to the market price of the property, but to the outstanding debt. Once the lender owns the property, they will evict any tenants (or former owners) and then price the property at a market price and begin to market the property.
Short Sales were formerly fairly rare, but with a higher level of delinquencies, have now become a portion of the real estate market. The actual of a short sale is a sale where title has transferred; where the sales price was insufficient to pay the total of all liens and costs of sale; and where the seller did not bring sufficient liquid assets to the closing to cure all deficiencies. As you can see, this is a situation where settlement has already occurred. More properly, what most buyers get involved with is a potential short sale, which is one where the listing (and/or selling) agent reasonably believes the purchase price may not be enough to cover payment of all liens and costs of sale and the seller is unwilling or unable to bring sufficient liquid assets to the closing.
These sales require a buyer with a lot of patience, a cooperative seller, and a listing agent with a lot of persistence since the process involves not only the agreement of the seller, but the approval of the lender, who is probably receiving less then the amount they are owed. Approval of a short slae by a lender may involve not only the primary lender, but possibly approval for other individuals who have an interest in the original mortgage loan, or possible releases from lenders who hold junior liens (liens that were recorded after the first delinquent loan). In the current market, many lenders are more responsive and more flexible then formerly, but the process still varies from lender to lender, and approval times can be anywhere from two weeks to as much as 4 or 6 weeks.
While I might not avoid a property that was a potential short sale, I would, as I said before, be prepared to be very patient, and to determine prior to making any offer, just how ready I was to wait as long as it takes to get an answer.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
In those pre-franchise days, where there were few national companies, every one's insurance agent, lawyer, tax man (accountant), and real estate agent was some body's friend, and that was how you knew then and why you used them. Today its a little harder. And advertising isn't the same as knowing someone or getting a referral from a friend.
Monday, May 26, 2008
- Felix Rosen, Infantry, WWII, one of the liberators of the Dachau Concentration Camp (and my wife's father)
- Colonel Aaron Ariff, B-24 Navigator out of Cerignola Italy, where he won the Silver Star and a Presidential Unit Citation (My Wife's Uncle)
- Captain Harry Lublin who served in the Signal Corps during WWII (my Dad's youngest brother)
- Isadore Krasno, who fought on D-Day and at the Battle of the Bulge (my Mom's Cousin, and the man who introduced my parents)
- James Walsh, who fought with the Marines at the Chosin Reservoir in Korea (my partner's father, who served in WWII and Korea)
- Sam Stein, my high school friend who died in Viet Nam, just days after arriving as a Marine Helicopter door guard.
For them and all of the others who fought to provide us with the luxury of freedom, take a moment to listen to a Canadian Song a called "A Pittance of Time. " Apropos for today. Just click on the link to my ActiveRain Blog
Sunday, May 25, 2008
I'm not real big on talking about charitable acts. I really think that an act of charity is its own reward, and doesn't need to be publicized to make the act better. So I'm a little torn about writing about our company's Annual Participation in Easter Seal's "Come Walk with Me" event.
For the past two years, CENTURY 21 Advantage Gold, has been a corporate sponsor of the Philadelphia, "Walk With Me Event" and both years were the 2nd largest CENTURY 21 fund raiser for Pennsylvania.
This year we will walk again on June 14th at the Philadelphia Art Museum to raise money for those who would find the walk difficult because they are struggling with physical issues that make their lives a challenge every day.
I know that times are tough for many people, but if you can, just for a moment on this holiday weekend, think about these kids, and help us help.
Friday, May 23, 2008
In the Words of my good friend Cliff Niersbach, "This weekend we honor the men and women who've made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Please remember them, as well as everyone serving on active duty - and their familes. They are the true American heroes."
Could anyone have possibly said this better?
God Bless all of them, and your family, whose right to enjoy their freedom these heroes fought to protect.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
NAR developed a wonderful set of Videos under the direction of the Professional Standards Committee for use by REALTORS, and to inform Consumers.
This is the first in that series. Over the coming weeks, I will continue to add these videos to the blog so that when I comment on individual parts of the Code, readers will have a ready reference to use.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Consumers that are bombarded by negative media coverage of the real estate nationally may be missing the boat by not moving forward to buy real estate in the Philadelphia market.
Philadelphia's neighborhoods have perhaps the most efficient housing stock in the nation. The Philadelphia Row house. Though older housing stock, the Philadelphia row house has 2 to 4 bedrooms (mostly three) either one or two full baths, and if the house is less then 60 years old, probably a powder room. If the property is less then 65 years old, there is probably a built in garage.
With low interest rates, and a 9 month supply of real estate on the market prices are good, mortgage rates are affordable, and the opportunities are ripe for buyers, because the basic reasons for buying property are unchanged in our marketplace.
Buyers who purchase a home for their family, will satisfy a need, pay less then it would cost to rent the same property, and will build equity and security, both emotional and financial over the long term (5 to 7 years). This is a hearkening back to the "old" real estate market (pre-2001) where generation after generation of Philadelphians bought a row home, which they later traded for a Semi-detached home, and perhaps, eventually for a single home in the suburbs. We're not even talking about appreciation here, and we don't need to for an individual or a family to receive the benefits of home ownership.
For investors, the row House offers a positive cash flow with as little as 10% down. And even if the property were only to break even each month, over a period of years, your tenant will pay down your loan, and leave you with an asset that can be used to pay for a child's college education, or to help with a wedding, or retirement. In any case, real estate as a long term investment still beats the pants off of everything else , and that with a minimum of risk.
Check out the details for yourself. Everyone has different needs, but there's a lot of opportunity out there, and the time to take advantage of it is now!
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
In our current real estate market, the job of the Agent to create traffic through their listing inventory becomes more crucial. If a property is not viewed by potential buyers, then it obviously has a harder time getting sold, so the job of the agent or their company is to someohow make the the listing stand out of the crowd, much like a shiny penny does in a pile of duller ones.
With that thought in mind, my company, Century 21 Advantage Gold created the 21K Gold Advantage Program. This program is based on two concepts -
- No one buys a home that they don't see
- No one Sees a home their agent doesn't show them.
To provide an incentive for agents to show well priced listings, the program provides an opportunity for agents to attend an event where a $21,000 Check is awarded as a result fo their participation in a fun contest of skill.On May 9th, at our first 21K breakfast, held at the Brookside Manor in Feasterville PA, Lorrie Scott of PFR Jenkintown, a Cooperating saleperson on one of our 21K properties was awarded the $21,000 award. Lorrie, who indicated that she will be searching for more 21K listings to show, said she would be using her award to pay for her daughter's college tuition.
For opportunities to search for 21K listings and learn more about the program click here.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Those of us who rent houses and apartments have long known that the Philadelphia rental market is one where tenants get a bargain compared to other Metro areas like New York or Washington D.C.
In a recent survey, Apartments.com recently published a list of the top ten best cities for recent college graduates to live.
The "Top 10 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates" list, Apartments.com weighted the entry-level job openings, rental prices for one-bedroom apartments and large resident populations of young adults in their early 20s to create their listing
Top 10 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates listed with Average Rent:
1. Philadelphia $962
2. Boston 1,343
3. New York $1,520
4. Phoenix $741
5. Chicago $1,029
6. Dallas-Fort Worth $755
7. Los Angeles $1,435
8. Houston $778
9. Detroit $699
10. Atlanta $773
I guess the part that amazes me here is not that Philadelphia is at the top of the list but that Los Angeles is listed at all!