Monday, April 30, 2012

When Is a Short Sale Not Very Short?

As a Long Beach Realtor® I have been dealing with short sales for both buyers and sellers since 1995 and to this day, I am never surprised as to the confusion this term brings up.

When is a short sale not very short? I would have to say … most of the time; however because of a new federal policy change which is to go into affect starting in June … it is reported that short sales are about to become easier to finalize and close.

If the homeowner’s lender is owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the game plan is that the existing lender/servicer has 30 business days to respond to the prospective buyer’s offer with a final decision taking no more than 60 days. This is opposed to the way things stand now where most buyers shy away from looking at short sales because they are NOT VERY SHORT!

There was an article in last Sunday’s Los Angeles Times which spells out more information about this subject … so if you are thinking that a short sale may be an answer for you … let me know and I can go over all this with you.

Before you click off to another website, check out my video which can shed a little more light on the situation …

Short Sales as defined by Allison Van Wig a Keller Williams Broker Associate

Monday, April 23, 2012

2012 Housing Industry Confidence on the Rise Five-Year High for Pending Home Sales Long Beach Home Sales Outlook Brightened by National Report

With more than one million members, the National Association of Realtors® is the nation’s largest trade association. It’s no wonder that what it says carries a lot of weight. When a gargantuan outfit like this makes a prediction, its words may not always make headlines, but they do influence everyone whose job it is to forecast the future of the nation’s economic activity.

That’s why their most recent report dealing with 2012 Housing Industry and Five-Year  Pending Home Sales prediction put smiles on many of those one million members’ faces.

“The spring home buying season looks bright,” according to Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “If activity is sustained near present levels, existing-home sales will see their best performance in five years.”

Like all statistics, those he was describing can be looked at in more than one way. We know that some numbers are more reliable than others. This particular index is based on an unusually large sample: about 20% of all transactions for existing home sales. It’s a forward-looking indicator: in the past, it has signaled coming trends before they materialize. This index seldom produces a straight line of activity because of seasonal and monthly ups and downs, but this time a trend is evident that is “notably above the pattern from a year ago.”

 Our Long Beach home sales patterns are not invariably tied to national trends -- but they aren’t impervious to them, either.  So we are pleased when our own impression that the spring market is looking up is borne out by the experts who deal in the broader picture. “Based on all of the factors in the current market,” Yun went on, he expects to see “sales rising 7 to 10 percent in 2012.” 

Real estate is a famously local phenomenon, and although we keep an eye on the national and state markets, our real attention is always centered right here in Long Beach. If you havequestions about your own real estate outlook, call me anytime for a consultation focused on your neighborhood.  562-882-1581

Friday, April 13, 2012

Long Beach and Lakewood Property Listings Heed the Call of Spring

Spring Property Listings -- Reasons Why They Move

With spring in the air, notions of fresh starts and new horizons have a way of pushing into just about everybody’s consciousness. It’s only natural, whether because of the weather, school schedules, or everything else around us that seems fresh and new. And something else is in the air, too: if past history is any guide, now is also simply the most popular time of year to sell or buy in the Long Beach and Lakewood area property.

For those with a home to sell, this is traditionally the most active time to be in the real estate market. Homes entered in local property listings during springtime can be expected to attract buyers more quickly, and they stand a better chance of fetching a good price. With 60% of moves in America taking place during the summer months (most likely a reflection of the school year schedule), it stands to reason that spring is a great time to get your Long Beach or Lakewood property onto the market.

For potential homebuyers expecting to shop for a new home sometime this year, there is ample reason to swing into action sooner rather than later. Long Beach and Lakewood property listings can be expected to conform to the national trend: at a rapidly rising rate, Realtors® expect constant or higher residential prices in the coming year (73% vs. 62% just three months ago, according to the NAR). Following the past few years of price declines, it won’t be surprising if the market’s recovery brings a rapid rise in prices. Then the bargains people have begun to take for granted could quickly become tomorrow’s regretful “I could have bought that house for only $---” stories…that happens again and again. Those who know they are going to be in the market this year should seriously consider getting in the market!

For both buyers and sellers, spring is the most popular season for a number of reasons. Especially for families with kids in school, or anyone whose business is geared to encourage summer vacations, it’s also the most sensible time to act. Whether you will be adding your own contribution to our area’s property listings, or beginning to comb those property listings to zero in on a new home, do get in touch with me to help make this spring the one that makes 2012 your Year of the Big Move!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

It’s 9 O’Clock: Do You Know Where Your Listing Syndication Has Gone?

In an age where technology is king, the concept of free and widespread listing syndication at first sounded promising to agents and consumers alike. Listing Syndication” is the term used when third parties – including big Internet outfits like Zillow and Trulia -- take Long Beach real estate agents’ listings and put them up on their humongous national websites. Some agents like myself, are premium agents and pay a subscription fee for top placement of their listings.

Most real estate agents thought to themselves ‘Great! – now everyone in the country can see my clients’ home listing; we will get the word out nationally.’ And they were right about that, up to a point. But now some serious scrapping has broken out, and the details are something I think readers will find useful to think about. They affect what happens whenever you look for a Long Beach or Lakewood real estate property, or put your own property up for sale.

For Long Beach house-hunters, the biggest issue with syndicators is information that is either out of date or inaccurate. To any would-be homebuyer, sites like Zillow or Trulia hit them first: they’re always smack dab at the top of the Google or Bing pages when you look on the web. What isn’t apparent is that such websites don’t always offer all of the homes or data that might be available through a local real estate agent.

Rather than using feeds that offer each viewer the freshest information possible, syndicators lead those searching for a new home through a dizzy trail of listings. Moreover, if you have ever used them, you probably know that some of those have usually expired. Additionally, syndicators are real search engine hogs; Long Beach real estate agents have to battle against the Google-engineered pages to get a top spot. As a result, unless the listing agent dominates the Internet like I do, house-hunters may be unable to find what the Long Beach and Lakewood housing market has to offer.

Finally, it is not uncommon for consumers to experience confusion when it comes to listing prices. Syndication has in the past led to inaccurate information about prices to be published online, even duplicates with different prices. Yikes. 

Personally, I love the wealth of information this provides consumers.  Technology and free access to information are boons to us all.  To provide even more information to consumers, I offer a private VIP Home Search Service which is continuously updated from the Long Beach and Lakewood Multiple Listing Service … however, when it comes to buying a house in Long Beach and Lakewood, sometimes there’s no replacement for the human touch.  Call me anytime for the personal service only a local real estate agent can give you!
Allison Van Wig 562-882-1581