A new weekly feature on the blog is "Weekly Real Estate News Links". Thanks to my fellow manager, George Head, who aggregates the best links on a weekly basis as a service to our agents to help keep everyone informed, educated and aware of "the news they can use!"
Market the $8000 Tax Credit
Lots of Information at Census Site:
Changes to Code of Ethics that Affect Your Business
Although the changes to the Code of Ethics for 2009 look small, they have a big impact on REALTORS'® business practices.
Standard of Practice 1-15, which interprets Article 1, was amended to read as follows (new material in bold):
"REALTORS®, in response to inquiries from buyers or cooperating brokers shall, with the seller's approval, disclose the existence of offers on the property. Where disclosure is authorized, REALTORS® shall also disclose, if asked, whether offers were obtained by the listing licensee, another licensee in the listing firm, or by a cooperating broker."
Essentially, the buyer's agent now needs to ask two questions: "Do you have any offers?" and the follow up, "Who are they from?" The listing agent must only disclose (with the seller's approval, of course) whether offers exist, but need not reveal the source of the offer(s) unless specifically asked by the buyer's agent. Both buyers' and sellers' agents and brokers need to be aware of this new practice
Daily Real Estate News | March 27, 2009 |
Fed Plans Spark Drop in 30-Year RatesBoston
The average interest on a 30-year mortgage fell to a 38-year low of 4.85 percent during the week ending March 27 from 4.98 percent the prior week, Freddie Mac reported.
The decrease came on the heels of the Federal Reserve's announcement that it plans to purchase another $750 billion in mortgage-backed securities and up to $300 million in Treasuries. President Obama says refinancing is now possible for 40 percent of mortgages and encourages home owners to reap the benefits of the record-low rates.
Source: Globe (03/27/09)
Rental properties to lead recovery, experts say
Housing experts predict that multi-family rental properties and apartments will recover fastest from the current downturn, followed by housing in cities that didn't overbuild. The market is likely to hit bottom in the next few months, says Bernard Markstein, senior economist and director of forecasting for the National Association of Home Builders.
"Next year will see slow but steady improvement, as homebuilders are controlling their inventory," Markstein says. Apartments and other multi-family residences will snap back quickly once businesses start hiring again, predicts Victor Calanog, director of research at Reis. Baby boomers looking for retirement homes and first-time home buyers also will lead the way out of the decline, predicts Bill Singer, a securities attorney and trader who is a member of Forbes.com's panel of financial experts.
Source: Forbes.com, Madalina Iacob (03/18/2009)
Hope Now Alliance Says Foreclosures Keep Rising
News on the foreclosure front continues to be discouraging and especially bad for prime borrowers.
Hope Now alliance of mortgage servicers says it helped 244,000 borrowers avoid foreclosure in February, but completed foreclosure sales reached 56,000, an increase of 86 percent compared to January.
Foreclosure starts on prime loans numbered 157,000 in February, a 25 percent increase over January.
Hope Now says that although it made more than twice as many loan modifications for subprime borrowers in February – 91,333 compared to 42,503 prime borrowers – a rising number of prime borrowers are getting repayment plans – 64,605 compared to 46,033 subprime.
Completed foreclosure sales as a percentage of foreclosure starts reached 46 percent. The percentage for homes with prime loans was 54 percent.
Source: Inman News (03/31/2009)
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