Upcoming free (& non-promotional) Home Buyer Education Classes:
Thursday,3/28 /15, from 10am-1pm
Marshall Community Center, upstairs conference room
1009 E McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver Wa (kitty corner from Clark College)
Saturday, April 11, from 9am-12pm
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)
Saturday, April 18, from 11am-2pm
Vancouver YMCA, conference room
11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver WA (corner of SR500 & Gher Road/112th Ave)
Monday night, April 20, from 5pm-8pm
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)
...if these dates/times don't work for you, we have others. Check out the website for more class dates, times, and locations. PLEASE always check the web site www.freehomebuyerclasses.com for any changes regarding the classes!
Remember...with reservation...we will throw in lunch, or dinner! :-)
And hello there this week!
Welcome to Spring! When the weather is bi-polar, and so is the housing market! The time of allergies, fast growing grass, homes that fly off the market, weather that is sunny once second & thundering the next, and just for kicks...let's throw in hail, and rainbows too! Know what I love best about spring....beside the daffodils? The rainbows because it reminds us that there is always beauty after a storm, cheerful yellow flowers after a winter, and good things to come. :-) Unfortunately, spring is also the time of scams in real estate.... this is the time to be aware...if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Always feel free to ask your agent questions about something you see. Let's start off where we see most of the scams....looking for homes....
So, where do you go to look for homes? Trulia? Redfin? Zillow? Craigslist? If you do, then you should know that all of these sites are marketing sites. They pull their information from one site, and often the information on these sites are incorrect, or out of date. For example, about a month ago I listed a really cute home up in the Heights area close to SW Hospital. The sellers are clients of mine, and I helped them buy the home 6 yars ago. They had just gotten married, and needed a 'starter' home. This was that home, but now my clients had a toddler, and another on the way, so it was time to sell their 'starter' home and buy the next one. We put their home on the market, and within 24 hours I was getting phone calls asking if it was for rent. I was confused..."No, I am sorry. This home is for sale. Where did you hear it was for rent?" Trulia....withing 24 hours of me listing the home, some guy had 'stolen' the pictures and put it on Trulia as a rental. :-( I contacted Trulia 3 times asking them to remove it....no answer. Then I had another call for this home as a rental, this poor couple had actually contacted the person, and this guy had asked to meet somewhere to sign some paperwork, and put down a deposit for the home. They drove by the home, saw the 'for sale' sign, and called me about it. This couple was nice enough to forward me the emails this scam artist had sent them so I was able to email this guy telling him to 'cease and desist'. Not surprisingly, it was shortly removed from Trulia. Sadly, for many of these so called 'find a home' sites...this is pretty common. A lot of the information is wrong, incorrect, and not up to date at all. These sites pull their information from the actual site agents really use. So, let's skip the middle-man, and go to the site that the agents actually use....RMLS.COM. Rmls stands for 'Regional Multiple Listing Service. In the Clark County, lower Cowlitz county you will find homes on the rmls.com. In Seattle area it is a different mls. The rmls.com is owned by agents, and when an agent writes up a listing agreement with a seller that agent has a limited amount of time to put that home on the rmls.com. If the agent receives an offer that gets accepted, and signed around, that same agent has a limited time to take that home off the market. So, if you go on the rmls.com what do the status's mean?
Active (ACT)...this home is active, and currently available on the market. This means that the home is available to be shown by your buyers agent. The agents information that is on the rmls for this home will be the sellers agent and is hired by the seller to represent them....not you. Call your buyers agent for information on this home. Your agent will be happy to set up an appointment for you to see this home, and get as much information as they can, on this home for you. This information may also include asking if there are any other offers on this home. Active means that the home doesn't have any accepted and signed around offers on it. There may have been an offer, or maybe an offer that is in counteroffer status, but not accepted yet.
Bumpable (BMP)... This home is a grey area...it IS still available for showings and offers, but (and this is a big BUT) there is an offer on the home that has been accepted. The current accepted offer is 'contingent' on something happening first...usually on the buyers getting an accepted offer on a home they have for sale. This is a 'domino' deal. You can see it, and make an offer (if you want). The seller then has to go to the current buyer and they have the choice to either remove their contingency and go forward, or back out. If the current buyer chooses to go forward and remove their contingency then the home will go to pending and you need to move to the next house. If the current buyer chooses to back out, then the seller has the right to either accept your offer, or counteroffer your offer.
Pending (PEN)... This means that the home you are looking at has a fully signed around and accepted offer on the home. Legally, per rmls rules and regulations, we are not supposed to show pending homes to a client. A pending home is no longer available.... Now, even though the home is pending sale, there will still be a sign in the yard. The 'for sale' sign is marketing, and won't be taken down until after the deal is closed, and the new owners get their keys. So yes, the 'for sale' sign might still be there, but if the home has an accepted offer on it, the home is considered Pending Sale, and we are not supposed to show it to another prospective buyer.
Short Sale Pending (SSP)... This home is a short sale where the seller has a 'working offer' on it to the bank. The seller received an offer, it has been signed around and seller accepted and has been submitted to the bank for their approval,or decline. In a short sale, the seller no longer has the right to sell their home, only the bank can accept, negotiate, or decline the offer. This can take anywhere between 6-9 months...or longer. The bank does not have to negotiate or accept any offer as the bank can just send the home to foreclosure. The listing price doesn't mean anything because the bank has not accepted that price. Short sales are like gambling...
Sellers Market... we are very strongly in a sellers market where we have more buyers on the market than we have homes on the market. Please expect multiple offers on some homes. Please expect the sellers to counter your offer. An offer is written by the buyers agent to/for the best advantage for the buyer. The seller (and the sellers agent) will look at that offer, and if it is acceptable they will sign it around. Most times the seller will want to negotiate a couple of items...it could be price, it could be closing date, it could be closing costs, or any number of things...maybe they want to exclude some items from the sell of the home that may otherwise be included.... Most of the offers I am making with my clients are receiving counteroffers, and sometimes my clients accept the sellers counter, or sometimes we counter their counteroffer. Anytime we are in an offer/counteroffer situation though anyone else can make an offer and yes, the seller can accept the other offer. A home isn't pending until both parties have agreed, signed, and the buyers and sellers agent have the paperwork. In real estate we have a very important phrase....Time is of the Essence. This means that everything is time related and contingent upon time. This is difficult for folks who need/want some time to talk about and discuss things. The market is moving fast.....faster than is comfortable for most people. However, please remember that this will be your home, and you need to be comfortable, and happy with it. No one else is paying the mortgage but you. :-) The offer/negotiation process can be frustrating, tense, stressful, and a bit scary....it can also be exciting, nerve-wracking, and fun. LOL :-D I guess it is a lot like the rest of the home buying (or even selling) adventure... a lot like a roller coaster, or driving down Mill Plain.
As your agent, I will do everything I can to make it as smooth a process as I possibly can. Most agents will do all we can to help our clients have as smooth an experience as possible. There are a lot of other folks involved in the adventure though, so I am going to hope everyone wants to play nice in the sandbox, but it isn't always the case. There are 28 people involved in the purchase/sale of a home...TWENTY-EIGHT! You will only see 4 usually....your agent, your lender, the inspector, and the title person. Most of these people are on your side, but there will be some you aren't. Your team will do everything they can to help you achieve your goal of KEYS, so hire the team that works best for you. :-)
One last thing you need to remember is that a real estate agent is not a sales person. It is not our job to 'sell' you anything. We are assistants, advisers , guidance, and help. You should not feel as if your agent is trying to sell you a home, or anything else, our job should be to help you in getting the home you want. This being said remember that you do not get T-Bone steaks for the price of hamburger...Look ONLY at homes within your budget. ALWAYS ask questions, and expect answers without a lot of lingo. I was always told that if you can't explain something in a way that the other person can understand clearly, it is because you don't understand it yourself. :-)
Information is power, and I hope that I am able to help you. Good luck, and as always...May the odds be ever in your favor out there.... If you are looking for a real estate agent, I would love to be able to help you.
As always....this is just a quick overview.... please remember that your agent, and your lender work for YOU. You drive the bus...we are merely GPS to help you get to your goals. Like the classes, this weekly blog email is to help you with your homebuying adventure. The goal is to be informative and non-promotional. :-) We are, however, hoping you will call and want us to help with your adventure.
If you have any questions about this, or something you have heard...or if you would like me to help you with your homebuying adventure, please call, email, text, or facebook me anytime. I am, as always, happy to help!
Thank you again for your business and your referrals!! ...and thank you for referring these classes to your friends, family, and co-workers.
. ..disclaimer...if you have already purchased a home, or would no longer like to receive these emails, please let me know and I will be happy to remove you from any further mailings...
Next Week: "Hidden" Buyer fees when buying a home
Last Week: Feeding Frenzy Time.....
Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon,
Real Estate broker
Re/Max - Van Mall
360/ 903-3504 cell
360/ 882-3600 fax
“Interested in free and non promotional home buyer classes? Go to www.freehomebuyerclasses.com for local upcoming classes, or facebook: Tracie DeMars Real Estate for my home buyer education blog.”
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be."
- Shel Silverstein, American poet, cartoonist and composer, (1930 - 1999).