Meet the Pushy Realtor

by Rodney Forbes on May 22, 2009

Hopefully you never have to meet this guy! We can do better.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Beach County area, specifically Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and West Palm Beach, please visit my Forbes Realty website. For frequently updated information on foreclosures, short sales, real estate news and market conditions visit my South Florida Real Estate Report blog. There are many free reports as well as free access to MLS listed properties. You can also call 561-337-4810.

 

Rodney Forbes is a licensed Realtor®, certified short sale/REO specialist and broker for Forbes Realty of South Florida Inc.

{ 0 comments }

Banks getting the short sale message finally!

by Rodney Forbes on May 22, 2009

 

The following excerpt from an article in the Press-Enterprise is welcome news for people who have been trying to facilitate short sale transactions. Whether it’s the buy, seller or Realtors involved, short sales have a bad reputation when it comes to getting the sale complete.

I guess the banks are finally stating to realize short sales are not going away any time soon so they might as well deal with them as best they can. An expedited process is good for everyone.

A short sale has an advantage over foreclosure for the homeowner because it is less embarrassing and does less damage to his or her credit. And for the lender, it is less costly than having to repossess, market and maintain a vacant property.

Also, keeping a house occupied can help preserve a neighborhood.

However, because of the complexity of such transactions — including the need for approval of a sales price by lenders, investors and mortgage insurers — the sales often fall apart. Real estate agents complain that by the time they get an answer from the bank on an offer, the potential buyer has lost interest.

At Bank of America, the nation’s largest mortgage servicer, more than 60 percent of approved short sales do not close, which is why the bank wants to streamline the process, said BofA Senior Vice President David Sunlin by telephone Thursday.

Sunlin, who manages short sales for the bank, said the bank’s first goal still is to negotiate a mortgage modification that will let a borrower keep his home. But he said during those negotiations the bank can simultaneously obtain the documentation needed to qualify the borrower for a short sale if the modification doesn’t work.

In the past, Sunlin said, the bank did not begin the lengthy process of qualifying a borrower for a short sale until it had received a purchase offer.

To expedite short sales, Bank of America has enlarged and updated staff training and set up a phone line dedicated to short sales that borrowers and their agents can use.

Also, Sunlin said, in 60 to 90 days the bank will roll out a Web program it will use to find and track the short sales of houses with mortgages that it services. He said the Web portal also will accept qualifying documentation from clients wishing to do short sales.

Sunlin said it typically takes 45 to 60 days for the bank to tell a client if a short sale offer can be accepted, and up to 90 days if an investor must approve it. The goal, he said, is to shorten the wait to a week.

“By doing this, we should see more private sales instead of more sales of bank-owned (houses),” he said.

Sunlin said short sales will also benefit from an amendment to President Barack Obama’s Making Home Affordable program announced last week that will standardize short sale application and acceptance forms. It also provides monetary incentives to servicers and helps cover relocation expense for homeowners.

Source: The Press-Enterprise

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Beach County area, specifically Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and West Palm Beach, please visit my Forbes Realty website. For frequently updated information on foreclosures, short sales, real estate news and market conditions visit my South Florida Real Estate Report blog. There are many free reports as well as free access to MLS listed properties. You can also call 561-337-4810.

 

Rodney Forbes is a licensed Realtor®, certified short sale/REO specialist and broker for Forbes Realty of South Florida Inc.

{ 0 comments }

Pending Home Sales Continue to Increase

by Rodney Forbes on May 21, 2009

This video from the National Association of Realtors highlights the continuing increase in pending sales for the US. In the real estate industry this index is seen as a leading index of the market to come

WARNING: Videos with economists are not full of special effects and sexual content! But they are informative. Just get yourself a cup of coffee.

Pending home sales rose with many first-time buyers taking advantage of historically good housing affordability conditions, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index,1 a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in March, increased 3.2 percent to 84.6 from a level of 82.0 in February, and is 1.1 percent higher than March 2008 when it was 83.7.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said it should take a few months for the market to gain momentum. “This increase could be the leading edge of first-time buyers responding to very favorable affordability conditions and an $8,000 tax credit, which increases buying power even more in areas where special programs allow buyers to use it as a downpayment,” he said. “We need several months of sustained growth to demonstrate a recovery in housing, which is necessary for the overall economy to turn around.”

NAR’s Housing Affordability Index2 remained near record highs. The affordability index was 166.7 in March – down from an upwardly revised record of 174.4 in February due to higher home prices in March. The index remains 30.8 percentage points higher than a year ago. The HAI is a broad measure of housing affordability using consistent values and assumptions over time, which examines the relationship between home prices, mortgage interest rates and family income; tracking began in 1970.

Source: Realtor.org

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Beach County area, specifically Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and West Palm Beach, please visit my Forbes Realty website. For frequently updated information on foreclosures, short sales, real estate news and market conditions visit my South Florida Real Estate Report blog. There are many free reports as well as free access to MLS listed properties. You can also call 561-337-4810.

 

Rodney Forbes is a licensed Realtor®, certified short sale/REO specialist and broker for Forbes Realty of South Florida Inc.

{ 0 comments }

In a story that continues to go back and forth, it seems first time home buyers will be able to use the $8,000 federal tax credit for up front costs including down payment. Until now the tax credit could only be claimed when filing taxes.

The tax credit has been partially responsible for a rise in first time home purchases, but the government wants to do more and actually let buyers use the tax credit up front for down payments and/or closing costs.

The following is an excerpt from the Wall Street Journal.

Now U.S. housing officials are working on a plan that would essentially allow some first-time buyers to purchase homes by paying little money upfront. Rather, they would be able to put an $8,000 income tax credit for first-time buyers towards their down payment on loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration. The idea is to allow home buyers to “monetize” the tax credit. Right now, home buyers must wait until they file their taxes to receive the credit.

The FHA is finalizing a program that would allow approved lenders, non-profits, and state and local governments to fund short-term loans that could be used as down payments to be repaid once the borrower received the tax credit. Once they received their tax credit, they would pay off the short-term loan and put equity into their home.

The FHA requires a minimum 3.5% down payment on loans backed by the agency, which means that buyers could put little or nothing down on homes up to $230,000. “It is close to having nothing down,” says Thomas Lawler, an independent housing economist.

The proposal, hailed by home builders and Realtors, is drawing some comparisons to the no money down programs that the FHA has worked to shut down. Congress ended a program last year that allowed home sellers to fund down payments to home buyers through nonprofit groups, and the FHA has blamed that program for an outsized share of loan defaults. Under that program, nonprofit groups would “gift” the 3% minimum down payment to a home buyer, often funded by the seller of the home. Buyers would move into the home without paying any of their own money for the down payment.

There is no definitive answer as to when this will be official, but it seems clear the government will pass the measure.

{ 0 comments }

Mother’s Day Salute to Fallen Heroes

by Rodney Forbes on May 9, 2009

On Mother’s Day we always give thanks to the person in our lives that always seemed to give so much and always asked for so little in return (Thanks Mom!).

What we probably don’t think of are the people who can no longer say “Happy Mother’s Day” that died protecting their moms, family and country.

As we get to discuss the ups and downs of the real estate market, how much our 401k may have slipped this year or how much we pay in taxes, don’t forget those who can no longer think of those things because they were defending your freedom to do so.

So as you’re enjoying a weekend at the beach or barbequing in the backyard, remember the sons, daughters and spouses of the moms out there who can’t enjoy it with us.

Below is a link to all those with ties to Florida that have given their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. Please take a moment to visit and says thanks. I know their moms will.

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/content/news/databases/fla_war_dead.html

{ 0 comments }

Get Your $8,000 Federal Tax Credit This Year

by Rodney Forbes on May 8, 2009

The popular First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit of 2009 has a slightly interesting twist that most people don’t know about. Even though the credit is for homes purchased by December 1, 2009, the tax credit can be claimed on your 2008 tax return! This is a great incentive for those still sitting on the fence about a home purchase.

From the Palm Beach County Real Estate Council, the following tips:

First-time homebuyers those who haven’t owned a principal residence in the past three years can file to receive a tax credit worth 10 percent of their home purchase, up to $8,000. The credit is claimed on the buyer’s federal tax return and is refundable, which means the consumer receives a refund for the amount of the credit less his or her tax liability.

Request a federal tax extension: The tax credit can be applied to homes bought this year before Dec. 1. But what if your purchase is after the April 15 federal filing deadline? You could request a six-month extension to file by Oct. 15. This is faster than waiting to claim the credit on your 2009 tax return.

Know your limits: The tax credit comes with income limitations. Explore these if your purchase decision is based on the credit. Married couples are limited to modified adjusted gross income of $150,000 to qualify for the credit. Single buyers need a modified AGI of $75,000 or less to access the full credit. Those earning above those limits may be eligible for reduced credits.

Source: Boca Raton News

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Beach County area, specifically Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and West Palm Beach, please visit my Forbes Realty website. For frequently updated information on foreclosures, short sales, real estate news and market conditions visit my South Florida Real Estate Report blog. There are many free reports as well as free access to MLS listed properties. You can also call 561-337-4810.

 

Rodney Forbes is a licensed Realtor®, certified short sale/REO specialist and broker for Forbes Realty of South Florida Inc.

{ 0 comments }

This is the daily south Florida market update. Today’s update is for West Palm Beach. Market activity has really picked up due to record low interest rates, home prices at 2003-2004 levels and the efforts by the federal and state governments to get first time home buyers to make the move.

Short sales and distress, bank owned properties are still making up to 60% of all pending sales in West Palm Beach. If you are in the market to buy make sure you have a Realtor experienced in short sales and bank owned foreclosures.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Beach County area, specifically Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and West Palm Beach, please visit my Forbes Realty website. For frequently updated information on foreclosures, short sales, real estate news and market conditions visit my South Florida Real Estate Report blog. There are many free reports as well as free access to MLS listed properties. You can also call 561-337-4810.

 

Rodney Forbes is a licensed Realtor®, certified short sale/REO specialist and broker for Forbes Realty of South Florida Inc.

{ 0 comments }

Get Your Home Sold Faster with Home Staging

by Rodney Forbes on May 7, 2009

Good video about the benefits of using home staging to get a home sold faster. You can either hire the professional home stager or read up on home staging tips if you want to do it yourself.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Beach County area, specifically Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and West Palm Beach, please visit my Forbes Realty website. For frequently updated information on foreclosures, short sales, real estate news and market conditions visit my South Florida Real Estate Report blog. There are many free reports as well as free access to MLS listed properties. You can also call 561-337-4810.

 

Rodney Forbes is a licensed Realtor®, certified short sale/REO specialist and broker for Forbes Realty of South Florida Inc.

{ 0 comments }

This is another great testimonial for Rodney and Toni Forbes and the team at Forbes Realty of South Florida. Ron Wilkes, a retired business owner from Boston, wanted to find the perfect home in south east Florida.

Working with Rodney and Toni, he finally found the perfect home that fit his lifestyle and budget. Ron says he’ll be referring people to Forbes Realty of South Florida for a long time.

Thanks Ron, and congratulations!

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Beach County area, specifically Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and West Palm Beach, please visit my Forbes Realty website. For frequently updated information on foreclosures, short sales, real estate news and market conditions visit my South Florida Real Estate Report blog. There are many free reports as well as free access to MLS listed properties. You can also call 561-337-4810.

 

Rodney Forbes is a licensed Realtor®, certified short sale/REO specialist and broker for Forbes Realty of South Florida Inc.

{ 0 comments }

Rodney Forbes with his daily market update for the south Florida real estate market. Today’s report is on Palm Beach Gardens for May 5, 2009. Information on homes for sale as well as activity and foreclosure/short sale numbers.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Beach County area, specifically Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and West Palm Beach, please visit my Forbes Realty website. For frequently updated information on foreclosures, short sales, real estate news and market conditions visit my South Florida Real Estate Report blog. There are many free reports as well as free access to MLS listed properties. You can also call 561-337-4810.

 

Rodney Forbes is a licensed Realtor®, certified short sale/REO specialist and broker for Forbes Realty of South Florida Inc.

{ 0 comments }