I personally don’t have a problem with creating urgency to buy – I think that by now, most people can see the writing on the wall – if you want to buy some real estate in Santa Cruz, now is a fine time. … The idea is that you do such a good job interviewing the client and finding out what they really want, you can save everyone a lot of time by only showing them properties that they have a good chance of actually buying. … I do encourage folks to drive by on their own, because most of these “well priced” properties turn out to be not so well priced when you discover there’s high tension power lines, or the neighbor has his front yard littered with broken down cars, or the odor from the sewage treatment plant is just a tad too ripe. Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to show each buyer no more than three properties, because the Keller Williams people do have a point – there’s little point in showing property that you are fairly certain the client will not buy.
I think they expanded the digit count because the MLS is growing, it won’t just be the five counties around here (Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Monterey, and San Benito) but will expand to include the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. Another thing that’s happened release with “Release 3.8” of MLSListings.com is that you can now search for bank-owned REO properties. … The thing is, of course, that the agent has to manually set that flag, and agents are not the most detail-oriented people in the world – especially busy REO agents, who often put no comments or pictures on their REO listings. We’ll see how well that works out – but no matter, because I have my own weekly Santa Cruz REO and Short Sale list that I send out, which I find by manually reviewing all the listings that come on the market each week and send the list out to subscribers.
Or, if their asking prices are reasonable, more often than not, it’s a short sale, which means that the contract and price are subject to approval of the one or more lenders which have loans outstanding against the property. … That leaves bank-owned “REO” foreclosure properties (not all of which are actually priced to sell) and those few not-overly-encumbered homes with enlightened sellers who realize where their homes need to be priced in order to actually be in the market and have a decent chance of selling. So when you look at homes that are actually in the market and priced right, there really is not a good selection of these kinds of homes. … Beyond the fact that the seller, a bank, already said it was an as-is sale and no repairs would be made or credits issued for same, there’s another salient point: there were three offers on the table.
You know me, I never look a gift horse in the mouth – if the boss is going to give me an opportunity to be in front of a bunch of potential real estate buyers, I’m there! … I know about all kinds of real estate aside from foreclosures, but I imagine they’ll let me chime in if I have something I feel needs to be said on another topic. … The panel discussion will be held on Thursday, May 8th at 6:00 PM at Santa Cruz Title Company in Capitola – 1955 41st Avenue , just three doors down from Starbucks (behind the Burger King, Citibank, and various other corporate logos ). … They say “Space is Limited, Call now to Reserve a Seat” – but I don’t imagine the fire marshall will be on-hand to shut us down if we should exceed the rated capacity from the room.
And it is also better than getting woken up by the morning news, especially in these dark days. You may have heard this one on the drive in to work, or perhaps they were bantering about it on NBC’s Today Show or something: [From Bloomberg.com: Worldwide ] U.S. foreclosure filings jumped 57 percent and bank repossessions more than doubled in March from a year earlier as adjustable mortgages increased and more owners gave up their homes to lenders. … Read on: [From Median home price drops to $650,000 – Santa Cruz Sentinel ] The switch pushed the median price of a single-family home down in March to $650,000 from $682,500 in February — but not as low as $599,000 in January, when 33 percent of homes sold for less than $500,000. … According to the article: Ganges doesn’t specifically track REOs but he found 12 of the 28 homes sold in Watsonville in January, February and March were bank-owned. … I included Watsonville and the outlying areas (but not north Monterey county), and counted houses, condos, and multi-residential properties (actually, I don’t think any multi-res sold in that time period).
There are short sale gurus out there all over the place selling seminars and CDs and books to Realtors on how to do short sales – I spent a weekend in one, and actually it was pretty interesting.
…Realtors are getting burned out by loss mitigation departments who are uncooperative, buyers are turned off by the uncertainty and delay that is involved with a short sale, and of course, sellers are often totally burned when they cannot complete their short sale and get foreclosed on, which is happening a couple of times per week at least in Watsonville right now.
…It helps if the seller has already had an offer that maybe didn’t come together, and that they are in contact with the lender’s loss mitigation department and have perhaps worked out an agreement with them already, and you can just walk in, furnish the missing contract, cash, and loan, and be on your way. Other than that, you’re probably much better off finding a nice bank-owned REO property, or (suspend your disbelief here, just for a second) buy a house from a buyer who isn’t totally distressed and facing foreclosure.
I cobbled together a PowerPoint presentation, about 20 slides or so, about some market statistics and the opportunities that are there for investors in Watsonville who want to buy short sale or REO real estate. I had 30 minutes to talk, it actually ended up being closer to an hour because there were a lot of questions from the people who were there.
It’s kind of amazing how much opportunity there is for investors down in Watsonville, but there’s so few people right here in Santa Cruz who know what’s going on down there.
… Anyway, I had fun doing the presentation, and I’m going to try to do some more such presentations at other investment clubs in the area.