I remember the good old days when you could take a client out and find a home that you like and make an offer and if everyone was on the same page, the client could move in within a month or so. No more. sales go on and on and on since a lot of them are bank sales or sellers are still holding on to older prices. The banks are not at all interested in contract timelines or contingencies. Negotiations may take months or just disappear into the void where someone (who knows who) is evaluating a good offer. No wonder buyers walk and move on to other prospects in frustration. Appraisals have to be renewed every three months and should there be a compliant seller they have to renew their information to the bank every 60 days or so.
So 2011 has been interesting. I have seen properties where sellers have been living in bank owned homes a year after the bank has owned the property. The sellers are still trying to sell the home and the sellers agent is representing the seller! I showed a home the other day and the seller informed me that they were planning to take everything in the house that wasn’t nailed down when they leave and a lot of things that were nailed down. Another seller I spoke to has no where to go and no plans and my buyer’s loan funds in two weeks.
Crazy world. The reality though is that insurance, health costs, commodity prices and gas prices are going up. So what did Betty Davis say; “fasten your seat belts, we are in for a bumpy ride.” The foreclosures are by no means over. I ran the loan to value ratio in an upscale town home complex not that long ago and guess what — one in four people had equity in their property. So if anyone there loses a job or changes their financial situation there are predicted foreclosures.
Plus there is my conscience. It’s no fun to work with people that are having huge financial problems. Consequently, I have found just about every legal way to help sellers in default and will continue to help with financing counseling and problem solving and trouble shooting loan modifications. Most people need support and gradually get educated on the changes to their financial picture so that they can move forward with life in 2012.