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Most recent articles

Kitchen-Sink Foreclosure Avoidance

Hat tip to daytrip for sending this along:

Eric Mains is fulfilling a dream many Americans have had since the onset of the financial crisis seven years ago: He’s attacking fraud in the banking industry as aggressively as he can, using every possible tool under the law to achieve justice —and win some money back for himself.

Mains, a former team leader with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), has become so bitterly embroiled in a six-year dispute with his mortgage lender that he left the regulatory agency, fearing that he might have to eventually name it as a defendant in a federal lawsuit. He’s one of a small yet determined band of people still fighting foreclosure (the seizure of property) cases with obscure and sometimes arcane arguments, built on a simple yet mind-blowing premise: The true ownership of millions of mortgages issued during the housing bubble was fatally corrupted, and now it’s impossible to prove who actually legally controls those mortgages.

Recent Supreme Court precedent suggests that by rescinding his mortgage—canceling it, basically—Mains and people like him can put the onus on banks to prove they have the right to assets like his house in the first place. If Mains or his allies succeed, they would rip open a wound that virtually everyone in power has tried to stitch up and forget. But such a long-awaited victory wouldn’t make up for the years of stress and personal hardship Mains has suffered, including a failed marriage and now the end of his career in public service.

“I had to ask myself a question: Will I do this no matter if it hurts?” Mains told me. “I said yes. If I can afford to fight these suckers and bring this illegality to light, that’s why I went to law school.”

Mains has gotten divorced, lost custody of his kid, and wound up in the hospital – read the full article here:

Posted by on May 18, 2015 in Bailout, Foreclosures, Foreclosures/REOs | 4 comments

No Excuses

Recently a seller (through their listing agent) was justifying their full-price counter-offer with a pending model-match that they said was in escrow at $15,000 OVER its list price.

The pending listing was in an inferior location and had no obvious features that would compel someone to pay over list price.  It had been on the market for almost 3 months, was ‘re-freshed’, and then still took another month to find the buyer.

Last week it closed for $42,000 UNDER the list price.

Three thoughts:

1.  If it ain’t closed, it doesn’t count.  There could have been an excited buyer in the beginning who got suckered into paying over list, but when the market is getting a little crumbly around the edges, buyers are more likely to come to their senses a few days later.  However, that seller had likely told his neighbors about his good fortune by then, and the braggadocio spreads quickly.

2.  There are a lot of new agents.  Since the frenzy began, over 50,000 real estate licenses have been issued in the state.  These agents have only known a frenzy condition, and are used to telling their buyers to offer over list.  But they haven’t had much experience with keeping a deal together.

3.  Revelations about the sale are not required to be disclosed in the MLS.  There is a ‘Concessions’ box in the MLS for listing agents to complete when marking a listing sold, but it’s a suggestion, not a requirement.

Regardless of what actually happened, once the sales price is published, it becomes the #1 fact that buyers will use to make decisions about what to pay for the next house.  Zillow and the other portals don’t have an ‘excuse box’ for anyone to clarify what happened in a sale – and if they did, buyers would still want to shrug them off.

Putting a value on an house is an inexact science, and everyone has a different opinion.  Future buyers will always look to skew down the value of the comps – even if there was a good explanation for a low sale, it won’t get full traction.

Get good help!

Posted by on May 18, 2015 in Jim's Take on the Market, Why You Should Hire Jim as your Buyer's Agent, Why You Should List With Jim | 3 comments

Inventory Watch

I was gone over the weekend – thanks for a couple of days off!  The action remained hot and heavy, with 109 new listings, and 80 new pendings in the last seven days.  It was the first time since July that we had 100+ new listings three weeks in a row, but nobody is giving it away.

Of the 80 new pendings, only twenty of them sold in less than seven days – the average DOM was 40 days.

Click on the link below for the complete NSDCC active-inventory data:

Read More

Posted by on May 18, 2015 in Inventory, Jim's Take on the Market | 0 comments

More Real Estate Movies

Real estate videos are going Hollywood! They were asking $7 million for this one, but no takers:

This sold for $1,617,500 in March, 2014, and after some work it was relisted for $2,800,000 in December. It is still for sale, now down to $2,495,000:

Posted by on May 15, 2015 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, The Future | 1 comment

NSDCC 2015 Sales, First Third

Sales this year have been brisk around North San Diego County’s Coastal region.  In spite of higher pricing, sales in the time period from January 1st to April 30th are 7% higher than last year!

Here’s how the first four months of this year compared to previous years:

# of Sales
Median SP
% chg YoY

We saw HERE that the April median sales price was lower than the 4-month Median SP above, and the same thing happened last year. The early spring was hotter & higher, and now we’re settling in for an interesting summer.

Posted by on May 14, 2015 in Jim's Take on the Market, Sales and Price Check | 0 comments