“This acquisition will accelerate News Corp’s digital and global expansion and contribute to the transformation of our company, making online real estate a powerful pillar of our portfolio,” said Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp.
“We intend to use our media platforms and compelling content to turbo-charge traffic growth and create the most successful real estate website in the US,” Thomson added. “We are building on our existing real estate expertise and expect to leverage the potential of Move and its valuable connections with Realtors and consumers around the country.”
In 1991, the National Association of REALTORS® made an “office of the future” video predicting what kinds of space-age technologies would change the home buying and selling process by the year 2000.
Jon Coile, broker-owner of Champion Realty in Severna Park, Md., dug this gem of a video out of the NAR archives for his presentation Wednesday at the Broker Summit in Atlanta:
Did NAR get the fashion wrong? Yes. (Is NAR really known for its fashion sense?) But how far off was the video, really?
Today we have AT&T Digital Life (the home automation mentioned in the video), Skype (video calls), thumb drives (mini discs), MLS with photos (home tour line drawings), smart appliances (“Microsoft Maytag software”), Siri (talking cars), and GPS (car navigation systems). “And they’re still going to need an agent – they got that right, too,” Coile said.
So this video begs the question: What does the next decade hold for the real estate industry?
Fort Worth officials say the city has ceased all demolition operations until it can figure out how two buildings that were not supposed to be demolished were torn down by a contractor despite city oversight.
“It was human error,” said Fort Worth spokesperson Bill Begley. “There were two different types of human error.”
The board of realtors had me over for a chat, wondering if there were any ideas they could implement to improve their standing and ability to assist our fellow realtors before being run over by the ZillowTruliaRedfin truck.
So I laid out my favorite, plus I’ll add two more here – but I have no expectation of anything being any different:
Step up to the public microphone and announce your commitment to stop short-sale fraud amongst realtors, which would immediately improve your reputation in the public eye.
Put imformative youtubes on the association’s website to educate the public.
Publish the sales history of each agent.
Of course, when I brought up the incessant short-sale fraud being perpetrated by realtors everywhere, the president of the San Diego Board literally said that she wasn’t aware of it, and then tried to coax me into filing a complaint – and missed the whole point. Just making a stand would improve your reputation, if you have a perp walk or two it would be icing on the cake.
The members of the local association in attendance, all of whom were busy working their phones and paying little attention, did give time to the one agent who complained that the emails sent from the association get lost in the hundreds she receives every day. She requested that they do something different in the subject line of each email to alert her that it is an important email, and not spam. These are the types of suggestions they really wanted, not ideas that would cause them to get off their duff.
Addressing a gathering of real estate journalists downtown, kickoff speaker Howard Gelbtuch, chair of the Counselors of Real Estate, sees some bright spots for retail space despite the growth in online marketplaces.
“The Internet may be killing retail in some places but not New York City, which has some of the highest retails rates in the world right now,” Gelbtuch said. Another bright spot is Miami, where space in the Bal Harbour area is $3,000 a square foot compared with $300 a foot elsewhere in the region.
Buying opportunities include Sears/Kmart and J.C. Penney sites that have locked up rates at $4 a square foot where averages are $8. There’s an opportunity to buy out these “dowdy” retailers, he said, and replace them with government offices, call centers or dividing them into several stores such as PetSmart or Staples.
Globally, the next growth markets may be South Korea, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Vietnam.
In Latin America, demand is rising for U.S. style offices.
“Africa is where China was 20 years ago,” Gelbtuch said, as the consumer class grows.
Climate change will continue to hammer coastal property markets, increasing the cost of homeownership and building as more safeguards are added. Gelbtuch recently priced a full-house generator for his home at $32,000.
It has been mind-blowing to find out that lenders and servicers have been offering defaulted borrowers up to $45,000 to work with them in a variation on the old Cash for Keys program.
But sessions at the recent SourceMedia Loss Mitigation Conference in Dallas made this development more understandable.
It used to be that lenders might pay a borrower to leave the property. This was called Cash for Keys and generally involved a payment of $2,000 or $2,500, something to allow the borrower to get a lease on an apartment to move into.
Nowadays, with people staying in homes for years after defaulting, it takes a lot more than $2,500 to get borrowers to leave. But the much higher payments aren’t wholly the result of calculation on the borrowers’ part.
Nowadays such programs are called Cash for Cooperation. The idea is to get the borrower’s cooperation in disposing of the property as quickly as possible, such as through a short sale. The borrower lists the property promptly and acts as a kind of property manager through the process. When the sale is made, she gets her check from the lender and moves on with her life (hopefully not using it as a downpayment on another mortgage!).
It’s good, though, that the lender and the borrower are cooperating to dispose of the property quickly and with the minimum amount of disruption. Lenders benefit by having their costs lowered. Attendees of the meeting heard that recoveries are at least $25,000 more on a short sale and in some cases over $50,000. Obviously these are properties that are still worth a fair amount despite their default status.
Attendees heard from Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, that short sales have nearly overtaken REO. In the first quarter of 2012, he said, there were 123,778 REO sales and 109,521 short sales, a boost of 25%. Short sales outnumbered REO sales in 12 states.
Prices, however, dropped 10% to the lowest since 2005. Short sales closed an average of 319 days after the foreclosure start, he said (that was as of the second quarter of this year).
Some of the states with the biggest percentage jumps in short sales include Kentucky, Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Of the 8.5 million foreclosure starts since the beginning of the housing crisis, REO still commanded 49% of the market, to 20% for short sales, RealtyTrac data show.
It’s clear, though, that the preforeclosure solution is the one lenders and borrowers prefer.
An excerpt fromcnnmoney.com, about respected Laurie Goodman, the current record holder for highest estimate of expected foreclosures across the country:
On top of the 2.5 million homes that have already fallen to foreclosure since the bubble burst, another 4.5 million mortgage holders have given up paying and are likely to lose their homes, she calculates.
Millions more are underwater — owing more than their home is worth — and may give up if things don’t improve soon. All told, Goodman warns that more than 10 million of the nation’s 55 million mortgage holders could default by 2018. If home prices fall much more than the 6% or so she’s projecting over the next 12 to 18 months, the picture worsens, as more foreclosures drive prices down further, in turn causing more sheriffs’ sales.
Goodman’s research into who defaults shows that many governmental and private efforts at saving borrowers — and reducing investors’ losses — by modifying mortgages weren’t helping because they only extended payments or reduced interest rates. They didn’t fix the fundamental problem of unsupportable debt loads.
Goodman found that investors lose as much as 70% when the homes underlying their subprime MBS are foreclosed upon. Lenders that tried to rehabilitate delinquent borrowers by reducing the principal (or total amount owed) by an average of 26% were far less likely to have to foreclose, and they actually provided MBS investors higher returns. “If you save a borrower, you save an investor,” Goodman says.
To avoid the “moral hazard” of rewarding foolish borrowers, Goodman recommends that lenders swap immediate principal reductions for shares of any gains on the mortgaged house when it is sold.
Many mortgage holders, including giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are refusing any kind of principal-reduction deals, however. Some don’t want to have to take the immediate write-downs that would be required, preferring to delay the financial pain and hope for a rebound.
‘One bailout = endless bailouts’
Many servicers refuse to consider them because their fees are tied to the amount of principal rather than to the ultimate payback to investors. And banks often hold second mortgages for the loans that they service. Principal reductions typically require them to take total losses on those notes.
In short, banks “are ridden with conflicts of interest” that pit them against the interests of borrowers and investors, Goodman says. “Many of the rules in place now are extremely large-bank-friendly, but borrower- and investor-unfriendly.”
Goodman’s firm, of course, is decidedly on the side of the MBS investor in this fight. Nevertheless, ideas she’s been advocating since 2008 are catching on.
The Treasury Department and several state attorneys general are encouraging lenders to offer principal-reduction options. And “shared appreciation mortgage” (SAM) modifications have won support from big thinkers such as Nouriel Roubini, the New York University economist who warned of a housing bubble in 2005. Roubini, who cites Goodman’s work in his own, recently co-wrote a report suggesting that SAMS could help “unclog the real estate and financial arteries and restore healthy circulation.”
At least one private servicer, Atlanta-based Ocwen Financial Corp., has started to try this “share the pain and gain” option. “Progress is slow,” Goodman says, “but I feel like I am getting some traction.”
Mortgage rates moved up significantly last week. Will rates continue to rise? Expect mortgage rates to go up this week closer to 3.1%. Freddie Mac will release the 30-year fixed mortgage rate tomorrow morning. Stay tuned.
Jim the Realtor is legit - I interviewed three brokers; he said list price should be $100,000 higher than the other two brokers; listed it with him and had all cash (no financing) offer in two days, five day contingency period, closing in two weeks - and it closed at his recommended list price. I could not recommend anyone more than I recommend Jim the Realtor.
When we moved to San Diego in 2005 we rented a big house on Mt. Soledad (La Jolla) with 180 degree ocean views for the same payment as a mortgage on a dump in Chula Vista. Clearly something was wrong. Yet, the media was full of the usual happy-talk nonsense, so I was glad to find Jim's blog. I've followed his honest assessments and data since.
We decided to sell and move to AZ at Thanksgiving. Dec. 1st we met with Jim to sell our home. We closed today (29 days later). Jim orchestrated a feeding frenzy -- we had 25 showings in 2-1/2 days, multiple offers, and sold for well over asking price. I'd say he earned his commission! We have owned and sold homes in 5 different States always using experienced, productive, full-time realtors. Jim outshines them all.
You don't decide to sell and close 29 days later over Christmas (with COVID lockdown) without some miracles. Donna was amazing at performing lots of those miracles and ensuring that everything was done right and on time. They are a terrific team with a very responsive and professional network.
Where do we begin..2020 has been a year for everyone. When COVID hit and shut down both my husband and my businesses, we were left with a mortgage and very little income coming in. We were stressed, scared and felt stuck. We made the hard decision to sell our home and move out of state. We contacted the Klinges' and spent a good hour going over what we hoped we could accomplish. Jim and Donna came over with comps in hand and suggestions on improvements to get our house ready for the market. It was overwhelming to think about, but Donna was there and one step ahead in every scenario. Basically we just approved what they suggested and Donna handled literally everything. We placed our house on the market and within the first day we had multiple offers well above asking price! We couldn't believe it. We were overjoyed! Jim countered the offers to weed through them, and everyone came back with way more. It was amazing, and we are ?? sure it was because of the staging and repairs the Klinges suggested we do.
Due to unforeseen dishonesty from the buyers lender, we hit a big hurdle when trying to close. We had already moved out of state and were shocked when three days before closing the lender dropped a bombshell on the buyers and us. However, Jim and Donna handled it like veterans, not afraid to play hard ball and represent their clients. After a few phone calls with us, and several between Donna and the lender, they had a plan B-Z to make sure we were taken care of. In the end we closed with even more money than we ever thought possible and with very little work from us. The Klinges handled this entire "2020" worthy event with the utmost professionalism and did everything in their power to not only make this as smooth as possible for us, but we also walked away with more money from the sale of the house than we ever hoped for. After working with Jim and Donna, you don't ever use anyone else. They are hands down the best team to represent you in any scenario.
Working with Klinge Realty Group was a great experience! They are very responsive, professional and knowledgable about the real estate market! I would definitely recommend Klinge Realty Group.
Jim and Donna Klinge made the sale of our condo extraordinarily easy. They know the market and gave us sound advice backed by details and very considerable experience, reflected both in the initial pricing and subsequent negotiations. They work together as a team and are always available to talk. We had a few challenges with our property and they were able to coordinate the resolution to everything, including items that I would not think would ordinarily be their responsibility to handle. They made the whole process effortless on our part. They are folks with high integrity and we cannot recommend them highly enough.
Review for Member: Donna Klinge
I cannot believe there are no reviews of Donna yet, ugh!! She is the secret sauce of the Jim Klinge/Donna Klinge combo! I will touch on Jim here, but Donna is why I'm so totally loyal to these two (no offense to Jim :)).
I consider myself a rather savvy buyer/seller. I've bought/sold 7 times in about 15 years. On the buy side, Jim is the PERFECT combo of: completely digitally savvy (he will pull data all day long until you feel comfortable with your chosen house, area, school district, anticipated appreciation rate...anything!), he's super well respected and known in the area by other agents, an amazingly cool but strategic negotiator, is totally devoid of desperation for a sale/commission, and more.
Then once you get into contract phase, Donna literally handles every last and final detail in a concierge-like manner -- totally shielding you from the daily back and forth, noodling and annoyances of the buyer's requests. She solves it ALL; it's miraculous what that woman accomplishes over and above what is even expected in a buy/sell transaction.
On the sell side, Jim and Donna do the same, but even moreso. Donna in particular truly takes everything off your plate: she'll manage getting the house painted, the carpets replaced, she'll go on site (as she Jim both did for me when selling our rental properties) to work with the renters and make sure the house is ready to show -- freeing me to have to take time off of work to do so. They work with A+ integrity, too, so you know you are serving all parties fairly and lawfully throughout.
A home purchase/sale is the most considered you'll ever make. HIRE A SAVVY AGENT, not a friend!, and get what you need out of the transaction. Jim and Donna are our agents for life.
Jim and Donna Klinge are by far the most professional, personable and responsive realtors I have ever worked with. They provide VIP concierge level service in every area of the process of selling your home. My home was marketed so successfully that we received an offer the day after our first and only open house. Thanks to Jim's pricing and negotiating, our house is now the highest sold in our community. Jim's vast experience means he has worked with several realtors and knows the market all over north county. Donna is AMAZING in processing everything in the transaction. She scheduled trades people to work on the house in preparation for the sale as well as the repairs needed before closing. She communicated clearly every step of the way about what would be happening. She took the weight off my shoulders for the whole process. I will always use Jim and Donna for my future real estate needs and I whole heartedly recommend them to anyone buying or selling a home.
Jim and the team at Klinge Reality are without a doubt the best in the business! Not only was Jim helpful and extremely knowledgeable, he was patient and determined to help me find my first home. Jim and his team have been in the business for many years, and it shows. Jim is a wealth of knowledge and was my biggest proponent despite the temperature of the competitive market. I ended up getting the perfect property in my dream neighborhood all thanks to Jim. From the day my offer was accepted, Donna was a real lifesaver. She was extremely helpful, responsive, and knowledgeable when it came to every minute detail, and held my hand through the process. As a first time home buyer I had no idea what the process would entail, but Donna curtailed every concern I came across and made the escrow process feel seamless. Jim and Donna provided me the best home buying experience, and I am very grateful for all they did for me. It was truly a pleasure to work with Jim and Donna and I am already looking forward to the next time we work together!
Review for Member: Richard Morgan
Richard is an amazing realtor! He has high integrity and genuinely cares about his clients and their needs. Richard paid close attention to what I was seeking in a home and was very patient in our search to find it. I would highly recommend Richard and will use him for future transactions. Truly a different kind of realtor experience!
Could not be happier with my experience with Jim and his team. He helped me sell a very unique and challenging property. Throughout the entire process he was always available, honest, transparent, trustworthy, and always put my interests as a seller first. A (rare) true professional! During close of escrow Jim went above and beyond to complete the deal. It would not have been possible without his experience, fantastic team, and pure dedication. Highly recommended!
Thanks Jim and Donna Klinge!