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Short sale listing agents: don’t quit your day job

Short sale listing agents have had a rough few years and much has changed since housing crashed, but it isn’t time to throw in the towel yet, and here are three reasons why.



short sale

short sale

Favorable April jobs growth report

With the news last week about the favorable April Jobs Growth Report and with the Dow jumping to over 15,000 just last week, real estate professionals throughout the United States are cheering that the recession is entirely behind us. In fact, many short sale agents may even be thinking that it’s time to look for a new area of expertise.

Three reasons to list short sales

Not so fast! Here are three reasons that short sale agents should still continue to see opportunities in the short sale world.

  1. Underwater Mortgages. According to the fourth quarter Zillow Negative Equity Report data, as of the last day of 2012, 27.5 percent of all U.S. homeowners are underwater. While we have seen some large-scale changes to the housing market in the last few months, there are still a significant number of underwater mortgagees that may need to sell today.
  2. Mortgage Re-Defaults. The Making Home Affordable Summary Results (through February 2013) on Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) state that there have been 862,636 Active Permanent Loan Modifications. Sadly, however, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) notes that 312,000 (36.18%) of these permanent modifications are currently in default. These folks in re-default will soon be seeking other remedies, and may not be able to keep their homes. That’s where you come in.
  3. Circumstances Change. Despite the fact that the economy is improving, with such a high percentage of borrowers still underwater, there will still be people that want or need to sell their homes today. Prospective sellers could include the unemployed, the underemployed, those upsizing, those downsizing, or those needing to relocate for other reasons. Because people will still need to sell in the next few years, there will still be short sales.

Things have changed, but don’t throw in the towel

Additional reasons that short sales will probably be around for quite some time include investor buyers, government cuts, and housing inventory issues. The way in which the huge faction of investor buyers has swarmed and will likely sell when the going is good may really change the economic climate. Government cuts resulting from the sequestration will hurt homeowners. And, many cities have low housing inventory and lots of multiple-offer situations; this inventory issue might be a recipe for a short-lived increase in property values.

There is no question that things have changed greatly since 2008. Many short sale listing agents now close traditional transactions in addition to their large portfolios of short sale listings. Nevertheless, for all of the reasons, if you are a short sale listing agent, I wouldn’t throw in the towel quite yet. By all means, don’t quite your day job; continue to polish your listing skills and take more short sale listings than ever before!

Melissa Zavala is the Broker/Owner of Broadpoint Properties and Head Honcho of Short Sale Expeditor®, and Chief Executive Officer of Transaction 911. Before landing in real estate, she had careers in education and publishing. Most recently, she has been able to use her teaching and organizational skills while traveling the world over—dispelling myths about the distressed property market, engaging and motivating real estate agents, and sharing her passion for real estate. When she isn’t speaking or writing, Melissa enjoys practicing yoga, walking the dog, and vacationing at beach resorts.


Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?



Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.



aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.



zillow move

zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub,, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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