Posted by: The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

153 responses to “New Listings Drop 25153 From 2012’s Already-Depressed Level”

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  1. ARDELL

    RE: corndogs @ 96

    Usually “underwater” is a term used only relative to the loan amount. There are many owners who paid more than their home is worth today.

    Just because they “can” sell it at their loss vs the bank’s loss, doesn’t mean they are more willing to sell it just because it is their loss and not “short” of the liens on the house. In fact, usually the opposite is true.

    People with skin in the game are more likely to stay or rent their home than those who are truly “underwater”, meaning the loss will be their lender’s loss vs their personal loss of all or part of the down-payment they made at time of purchase.

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  2. Kary L. Krismer

    By Erik @ 99:

    RE:
    I agree, this makes a lot of sense. I would love to buy a trustee sale house. I do not buy a trustee sale house because it requires all cash and I don’t have that kind of cash on hand. How do I buy a trustee sale house without paying all cash? Is there a way to get a loan for this sort of thing?

    There’s more than just financing issues. Unless the house was listed for sale prior, you’d likely be buying it totally sight unseen, unless you could somehow get the prior owner to let you check it out. But even if it checks out fine, the owner does not have to be out right away, and if it’s a tenant, they typically have even longer they can stay in possession (and the new owner collecting rent may be problematic, even assuming there is the legal need for the tenant to pay anyone rent). They could purposefully damage the property on their way out, because of course the fact that they had their property foreclosed was 100% the bank’s fault. /sarc

    There are also some odd situations sometimes where the foreclosure gets contested. The ones I’ve seen are where the owner files bankruptcy right beforehand, doesn’t let anyone know, and the sale occurs. Sometimes the bank has an argument that the bankruptcy wasn’t effective to stop the sale, and that might take some time to sort out. I’m not sure what the buyer’s rights to back out are in that situation.

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  3. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: ARDELL @ 1 – That is an interesting human trait. Assuming two houses are both owned free and clear, it’s usually easier to negotiate a 5% reduction in price from someone who is making money on the sale than from someone who is losing money. If they’re making a lot of money (e.g. they’ve owned for over 20 years), it may be very easy.

    You see the same thing in the stock market, where people who could sell for a gain are more likely to sell on certain news than people who would be selling at a loss. It’s the same news and same stock in both cases, but it’s easier to terminate ownership in something at a gain than a loss.

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  4. corndogs

    RE: Macro Investor @ 97 – “Dog boy, I think enough people have answered your question.” Corndog didn’t ask a question numb nuts. What are you talking about?

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  5. corndogs

    RE: ARDELL @ 1 – Very true, That’s why credit scores are BS, what we really need is for people to have skin in the game.

    The point I made is that people with mortgages underwater, who ‘allegedly’ CAN’T sell, according to @software engineer, are not the cause of low inventory. The fact is they CAN sell and they are selling.

    There is no correlation showing that people who owe more than their house is worth are causing low inventory. The opposite appears to be true.

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  6. Howard

    By Erik @ 99:

    RE: ray pepper @ 89
    I agree, this makes a lot of sense. I would love to buy a trustee sale house. I do not buy a trustee sale house because it requires all cash and I don’t have that kind of cash on hand. How do I buy a trustee sale house without paying all cash? Is there a way to get a loan for this sort of thing?

    Easy financing.. quicker approvals than a conventional loan.

    I am sure there are a lot more than you can find online, but if you just google trustee auction loan funding you will have a bunch to check out..

    Generally

    10-20% down, 12% annual interest, 1-2 points. All depends on your credit & if you are a owner occupy/flip/investor

    I have been using Datasnap Foreclosures for my data feed. Don’t use Vestus, they want to collect their broker’s commission. Matt and Datasnap is also an auction lender.

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  7. ray pepper

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 102

    Kary, using your own words…You don’t know what you don’t know! Financing is the biggest stumbling block. 20% cash down. Credit about 640 so you can refi out of the 12% (escape plan) in case house doesn’t sell because hard money loans are less then a year. Enough time for a flip if you may.

    Using Vestus or Datasnap and paying them ANYTHING is absurd but you will learn that after the dog and pony show dinners.

    Kary, this is absolutely incorrect: **you’d likely be buying it totally sight unseen, unless you could somehow get the prior owner to let you check it out**
    Over 90% of the time the owner is long gone. The homes are vacant. You should never buy a home that you do NOT get inside. Furthermore. The astute investor does NOT buy homes that have tenants living in them. Some of our partners do buy tenant/owner occupied homes, offer cash for keys, and you will be shocked how fast they are out for $2000 and a U haul paid day. They do this only after long conversations with the “concerned” tenant/owner of what is happening prior to the sale.

    I have never seen this in 13 years: “There are also some odd situations sometimes where the foreclosure gets contested”….Yes, and a Cult could move into the home the day of the trustee sale while your bidding as well ….because Kary………….anything could happen anywhere…and I remind everyone…Buying Trustee Sale properties is far easier then any conventional purchase….Do your DD and find out!

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  8. ARDELL

    RE: Corndogs @ 105

    No arguments on the credit score issue. I literally stood up in the real estate office and screamed out loud the day FICO scores became the be-all; end-all “measure of a man”. Unfortunately I was the only one standing up and screaming…me being the only East-Coast-Crazy Italian lady in the Manhattan Beach CA real estate office at the time. Everyone else, and most people everywhere, were completely unaware of the implications long term.

    On your 2nd and 3rd paragraphs…I’ll mix a little Ray Pepper and David Losh in there.

    You say “There is no correlation showing that people who owe more than their house is worth are causing low inventory. The opposite appears to be true.” Yes and no, and I agree with you. But Ray is also correct that for someone underwater, staying as long as the Powers That Be will let you, is the better result for that family. Still…there’s an end of the road, which makes your statement true, whether it’s sooner or later is the only question.

    Now to David’s mantra as to “where are the agents to knock on the door and find out if someone is wanting and willing to sell?” It’s a bit unfathomable for people outside of the industry to understand that someone might think about selling all day every day, but not act on that until a real estate agent knocks on the door and shows them the way. Same with buyers who wander into Open Houses forever without someone showing them how to go from “I like this” to “getting it on paper”.

    I am like Kary with regard to the latter. I never talk anyone into the idea of buying or selling unless they happen upon me and ask me to help them buy or sell. I don’t go out “looking for business”. I wait for people to come to that conclusion as to the idea of buying or selling, and then call me to assist them in that regard.

    BUT I work my butt off getting the house ready to sell, and most agents won’t do that anymore. Part of low inventory are the agents who won’t roll up their sleeves and help someone get the house ready for market. Let’s say you want to move, but you have a messy house. Lots of people in that category. Easier to stay than to do all that is necessary to get behind fifteen 8 x 10 color glossies of your mess showing up on the internet. It’s like asking a girl to take their profile pic on a bad hair day.

    Letting someone stick a sign out front in the old days was easy. One black and white photo of the front of the house in a real estate office “no one is allowed to have this” mls book. Today the decision to be on market involves your mother 1,000 miles away seeing your dirty underwear on the floor on the internet. All of your co-workers, including your boss, seeing just how good of “an organizer” you are NOT when it comes to your own home.

    David is right. While I will move heaven and earth and spend day after day getting reasonably nice photos of a reasonably nice house, I will not do one thing to help someone who “maybe wants to sell” reach the conclusion to actually DO it. I will say…well call me when you are sure about what you want to do, and I will help you with all the hard part of that decision. I will NOT “sell them on the idea” to sell their home. David blames low inventory on that, and he is clearly correct. What % of the market is that? Add them all up and you have low inventory.

    Now add that the goofy claims of low inventory do not account for the increased number sold. Someone is striking a day to count the inventory without including the 30 days prior of things that came on market and went pending. The numbers would not be nearly as OMG if you didn’t ONLY count what was left on the table after the good stuff was all picked out and sold. That’s like the guy who cries there no Halloween Candy left on the shelf at 7 p.m. on October 31st.

    Last but not least, EVERY YEAR for 23 years, in 4th Quarter and early 1st Quarter, I hear much whining and chest pounding about “low inventory”. If you want to be in a house by the end of January or end of February and start looking in November….no matter what year it is…you are going to have to deal with slim pickings, over-priced homes and at least a 70% chance that you will buy the wrong house in the wrong place at the wrong price.

    Off to work to get one more piece of inventory ON market for the good of the Country. :)

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  9. wreckingbull

    By ray pepper @ 107:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 102

    I have never seen this in 13 years: “There are also some odd situations sometimes where the foreclosure gets contested”….Yes, and a Cult could move into the home the day of the trustee sale while your bidding as well ….because Kary………….anything could happen anywhere…and I remind everyone…Buying Trustee Sale properties is far easier then any conventional purchase….Do your DD and find out!

    I am sure it is rare. That being said, this exact thing is going on with my neighbor. He is in year 3 of the fight. He won last year, but it was apparently appealed. Next hearing is in six months. It has cost him a fortune. I don’t know any more details, other than if you look up his parcel, it is still in the old owner’s name.

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  10. Howard

    By ray pepper @ 107:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 102

    Using Vestus or Datasnap and paying them ANYTHING is absurd but you will learn that after the dog and pony show dinners. anywhere…

    Datasnap no longer is operating under that method.. $50 a month, no strings attached. Easier than dealing with scamming off of Vestus. Liberty Capital will provide access if you are “true” investor.

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  11. One Eyed Man

    RE: Erik @ 99

    “How do I buy a trustee sale house without paying all cash? Is there a way to get a loan for this sort of thing? ”

    Lenders outside the traditional market place are available and known as “private lenders” if you like them and “hard money lenders” if not. If you’re willing to spend your fridays at the sales for about 6 months trying to be a winning bidder without taking absurd risks, after doing all the leg work and trying to learn all the risks of buying at a trustee’s sale, then you can wheel your wheelbarrel that you’ll need to move your big brass balls down to Zeke’s on Lake City Way and talk to Guido in the back booth. (Actually he probably has an office in a building in Bellevue, Kirkland or downtown Seatlle these days.) You’ll save money on the appraisal, cause Guido probably just does a drive by, but his origination fee is a few points higher than the commercial lenders and the loan term is probably only 6 months to a year so you’ll need to re-fi as soon as you can. And Guido might need you to set up an LLC (if he’s smart and has a good lawyer) and for you to warrant and represent that you are getting the loan for business purposes, cause he probably doesn’t provide Truth in Lending Act Disclosures that would be required for a non-business loan and might need to charge some kind of fees that would appear to violate residential consumer lending laws and maybe usury laws and be generally more repugnant in a “non-business” setting.

    Jillayne cited an article (I think on last weekend’s open thread) about two guys in Kirkland (licensed real estate brokers) who used to work for Vestus (a big player in the “we help you buy foreclosures” space) and now do hard money lending and help people buy foreclosures. Apparently they paid some aging Viet Nam Vet less than half the fair market value of his house to keep it from going to tax foreclosure. Ironically the Vet who I believe was over 65 years old could have probably stopped the tax foreclosure directly with the county due to his age and without paying until his death or sale of the property. They are now being sued by a prominent Seattle attorney in the consumer and foreclosure fairness area. Consider that if you used them to buy that house you might now be caught in the middle of a costly lawsuit, as a witness if not a party.

    If you default on your hard money loan they may use the normal foreclosure process, but the process might be slightly different than the normal collection procedure. They may have sold your loan to someone outside the normal secondary market. And you might get a visit from Joey’s Kneecap Collections. Joey probably don’t post a Notice of Default, and there may be a very minimal risk that the late payment penalty may involve your left nut (although most people say those days went out with Jimmy Hoffa and J. Edgar – it is perhaps possible that these things are under reported cause who wants to explain their missing anatomy to the officer taking the police report).

    You should check the article Jillayne posted the link to if you’d like to find a hard money lender and get a feel for the risks in dealing with them. Here are some other articles about people known to have been in that business on a bigger scale involving real estate developers (aka Mike Mastro and Tom Hazelrigg III):

    http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/search?q=Thomas+Hazelrigg+III

    http://www.dfi.wa.gov/sd/orders/S-09-003-11-CO02.pdf

    Caveat: I think that there are legitimate hard money lenders out there (I represented one when I practiced law) who follow the law but they are in that market to make higher than normal returns on their money, and lender is one more thing you’ll have to research in order to limit your risk.

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  12. Kary L. Krismer

    By ray pepper @ 107:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 102 -Kary, using your own words…You don’t know what you don’t know! Financing is the biggest stumbling block. 20% cash down. Credit about 640 so you can refi out of the 12% (escape plan) in case house doesn’t sell because hard money loans are less then a year. Enough time for a flip if you may.

    I didn’t attempt at all to rank the potential issues. I just pointed out that there are other issues. But in any case, I knew the general terms of this type of loan. I recently checked into it for a client.

    *you�d likely be buying it totally sight unseen, unless you could somehow get the prior owner to let you check it out**
    Over 90% of the time the owner is long gone. The homes are vacant. You should never buy a home that you do NOT get inside. Furthermore. The astute investor does NOT buy homes that have tenants living in them. Some of our partners do buy tenant/owner occupied homes, offer cash for keys, and you will be shocked how fast they are out for $2000 and a U haul paid day. They do this only after long conversations with the “concerned” tenant/owner of what is happening prior to the sale.

    I guess I don’t know what I don’t know! Prior to the foreclosure sale the bank cannot let you in. Only the owner would have that right. So just how do you propose getting inside to see a house if it’s not through the owner? Please keep it to legal methods. ;-)

    I have never seen this in 13 years: “There are also some odd situations sometimes where the foreclosure gets contested”….Yes, and a Cult could move into the home the day of the trustee sale while your bidding as well ….because Kary………….anything could happen anywhere…and I remind everyone…Buying Trustee Sale properties is far easier then any conventional purchase….Do your DD and find out!

    That is exactly the problem. Real estate agents only tend to see transactions where things go smoothly. The ones where something odd happens are rare. An attorney, on the other hand, sees mainly only the problem situations. I saw problems like that a lot in my 20 years of practicing bankruptcy.

    The thing is though, that when it’s the individual buyer, it doesn’t really matter that something bad only had a 1% chance of happening. If it happens to them, it’s bad.

    I’ve gone to one of those buying at foreclosure classes before–the ones aimed at agents and buyers. I don’t remember the name of the company, but their ignorance of the issues was staggering. They couldn’t even answer simple questions asked of them by other agents attending.

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  13. Kary L. Krismer

    By wreckingbull @ 9:

    By ray pepper @ 107:
    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 102

    I have never seen this in 13 years: “There are also some odd situations sometimes where the foreclosure gets contested”….Yes, and a Cult could move into the home the day of the trustee sale while your bidding as well ….because Kary………….anything could happen anywhere…and I remind everyone…Buying Trustee Sale properties is far easier then any conventional purchase….Do your DD and find out!

    I am sure it is rare. That being said, this exact thing is going on with my neighbor. He is in year 3 of the fight. He won last year, but it was apparently appealed. Next hearing is in six months. It has cost him a fortune. I don’t know any more details, other than if you look up his parcel, it is still in the old owner’s name.

    There’s also that case that the Washington Supreme Court decided last year. I cannot remember the name, but that went on for a few years and in the end the buyer lost out.

    I had one once take a couple of years going through the courts.

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  14. Kary L. Krismer

    By One Eyed Man @ 11:

    Caveat: I think that there are legitimate hard money lenders out there (I represented one when I practiced law) who follow the law but they are in that market to make higher than normal returns on their money, and lender is one more thing you’ll have to research in order to limit your risk.

    Even if you find a “legitimate” hard money lender, you need to determine your exit strategy before you go in. I believe there may be a period of time you have to wait after buying before you’ll be able to get a conventional loan, so that is something you’d need to check out. If you get locked into 12% interest and 2% loan costs for a period of six months, that’s something you should know before you buy, not after. Maybe it’s still worth it, but maybe it isn’t. I’m just saying determine your exit strategy.

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  15. ray pepper

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 114 – Kary again….You just don’t know..

    “you need to determine your exit strategy before you go in”…You the borrower can plan all you want. Day after day you can plan but its meaningless. The Hard Money Lender must qualify you with THEIR Exit Strategy or THEY will not lend you the money. The property, your credit, your 20%, and most importantly THEIR 80% DOES NOT GET LOANED if your EXIT strategy is not approved. They must be able to finance you in a conventional loan in case the property doesn’t sell or YOU GET SQUAT!

    “If you get locked into 12% interest and 2% loan costs for a period of six months, that’s something you should know before you buy, not after”…Kary there is no getting “locked”…You are granted the funds…9 month term with 3 month rider under special circumstances…Pay off loan in less then 60 days? 1 point back!

    “I’m just saying determine your exit strategy.”…Again YOU can determine all you want…It means nothing..Before they throw 80% at you THEY MAKE THE CALL and determine your exit strategy, if its feasible, with balancing the property purchase price as well. Don’t qualify? Then you “partner up” with someone who either has the “CREDIT” or has the “DOUGH.”…Don’t have a partner? Good credit? No 20%? Then your just another schmo at the Trustee Sale walking around sucking up space.

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  16. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: ray pepper @ 115 – Whatever Ray. I would assume the hard money lender would pull your credit and thereby attempt to determine your ability to finance your way out. I would not assume they would necessarily give you that information. They might prefer to loan money for 6 months than 2 months, and if that’s the case, there’s no reason that they would tell you you’re locked in for 6 months. Maybe most of them do, I’m just saying that the buyer should make sure they know that type of thing before they go in.

    But beyond that, I would never rely on a hard money lender to verify my exit strategy. They are not in the business of making conventional loans, and there are a lot of conventional loan originators who are in the business, but not very good at it. I’m dealing with two properties now that flipped due to financing. Both went about 45 days in before failing. I don’t know the circumstances of the one, but I do know the other and it was pure loan originator incompetence. That other buyer is reportedly extremely PO’d. Also, about two years ago I had a client that came with their own incompetent loan originator. We went from supposedly being able to close about a week early to needing a three week extension. At that point I brought in one of my people and he determined that the original lender’s backup plan would also eventually fail. So anyway, IMHO it would be totally asinine to rely on the opinion of a hard money lender on this topic, especially since they often make these type of loan decisions very quickly.

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  17. ray pepper

    Good God Kary! Wrong Again. The Hard Money Lenders work inconjunction with conventional Brokerages (Guild for exp) that will Pre Qualify you for a CONVENTIONAL LOAN UNLESS you can show you have 100% of the cash or reserves to pay off the loan within the granted time frame. Some Trustee Sale Buyers are looking for primary residences and some are rentals. I see Guild at The Trustee Sales every week passing out their literature to ReFi borrowers into conventional rates. If you choose anything other then a flip you are referred to Guild (seems to be the one of choice now) or various other Lenders as part of your Exit Strategy.

    If your credit is above 720 you must have 20% down. If its below 720 you must have 25% down. Then the Rep must QUALIFY the property purchase price. If you get your money in BAD you will lose your 20-25% but the Reps are pretty in tune before recommending 80% coming from their funding sources. If you do not pay off loan as agreed they will foreclose on you in a stream line fashion to secure their 75-80% back. 5 months and 2 points or 9 months and 4 are typical now.

    I really wish you would educate yourself on this side of the market before you offer ANY advice on anything related to Trustee Sales. Its getting me agitated.

    One more thing you should know in re to this:” They might prefer to loan money for 6 months than 2 months, and if that’s the case, there’s no reason that they would tell you you’re locked in for 6 months”…………The Trustee Sale companies and their Lenders are one in the same. They make their money when you buy and charge about 3% of the TAXED ASSESSED VALUE…The lending portion is a service to faciliate more Buyers being able to qualify to buy. The Lenders desire you pay them off the next day so they can Lend the funds out again and again. They do not want 12% for 9 months. They want their 2 points, a quick turn, 3 points up front on the buy side, and then the buyer to come back and do it again and again…Furthermore if you can understand this…The Trustee Sale Companies are also linked with Conventional Brokerages (Windermere)..They further get many of their clients listings which equate to 3-6% additional commissions coming into the Reps and their Brokerages. See where the money flows Kary. Its very lucrative and a VERY important side of the market for many years to come!

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  18. ARDELL

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 12

    Love this!

    Kary said: “Real estate agents only tend to see transactions where things go smoothly. The ones where something odd happens are rare. An attorney, on the other hand, sees mainly only the problem situations. I saw problems like that a lot in my 20 years of practicing bankruptcy.”

    Talk about shining a big light on the reason for difference in perspective.

    Going back to Erik’s “intuition” vs “thinking”. A good agent, via intuition, only makes a huge big deal of every tiny detail when their intuition kicks in that this could end up being a disaster if we don’t dot every i and cross every t. Have one of those going on now.

    Erik’s intuition theory is key to knowing when to rock the boat and when to not give everyone a huge headache (talking about me not you Kary) over the potential monster scary “could be’s”. That’s why I say the paper part of it is only to record “the meeting of the minds”. Without a true meeting of the minds, the “good on paper” doesn’t solve the potential for disaster.

    When the agent on the other side of the table starts writing things in the wrong direction, all hell breaks lose because intuition of that turning into the 1% being the end result is only apparent to the one who isn’t screwing up.

    Sorry…thinking out loud here.

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  19. Kary L. Krismer

    By ARDELL @ 118:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 12
    Love this!

    Kary said: “Real estate agents only tend to see transactions where things go smoothly. The ones where something odd happens are rare. An attorney, on the other hand, sees mainly only the problem situations. I saw problems like that a lot in my 20 years of practicing bankruptcy.”

    Talk about shining a big light on the reason for difference in perspective. .

    This might help too. For an attorney to evaluate whether a transaction violates the “Rule Against Perpetuities” they may need to assume a mass tragedy right after the transaction is set up, involving all of the participants and most of their families. ;-)

    Attorneys often think of worst case scenarios, because they’re trying to determine all the scenarios. An agent may only think about a successful closing. As I mentioned, if something bad only has a 1% chance of happening, that doesn’t matter if it happens to you.

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  20. Kary L. Krismer

    By ray pepper @ 17:

    Good God Kary! Wrong Again. The Hard Money Lenders work inconjunction with conventional Brokerages (Guild for exp) that will Pre Qualify you for a CONVENTIONAL LOAN UNLESS you can show you have 100% of the cash or reserves to pay off the loan within the granted time frame.

    Maybe you didn’t understand my points. 1. Those other two transactions I mentioned were conventional brokerages. They failed to deliver what they promised. 2. Given their short approval times, the take out part of the equation would be suspect. 3. I would never rely on a third party to determine my exist strategy.

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  21. S-Crow

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 116 – We actually told an agent about three weeks ago in a purchase they sent over under no uncertain terms to absolutely not have their client use “that” specific lender. Wha’d they do? Yup, and now it’s a mess. Meh, what hell do escrow companies know? All we do is push the green open escrow & green close escrow button. In other news from the trenches: we are still waiting on getting a commission disbursement form from an agent and their brokerage>>file closed just prior to Christmas……and still waiting. Agent inquired early this week and we said “still waiting.” Here it is Friday.

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  22. Kary L. Krismer

    By ray pepper @ 17:

    If your credit is above 720 you must have 20% down.. . .

    I really wish you would educate yourself on this side of the market before you offer ANY advice on anything related to Trustee Sales. Its getting me agitated.

    On the transaction I mentioned with my buyer client a couple of years ago, the credit score was not the issue. On a seller transaction, the buyer’s lender sent me an email saying we could close in five days, and then the next day he discovered the loan could not go through with that lender. Again not a credit score issue.

    I am sorry to agitate you, but people need to know the risks. Not being able to get out of a high interest rate loan is a risk.

    Finally, I purposefully said some lenders might want to keep a transaction alive six months. I’m well aware of their income from fees, and how that relates to 12% interest. That’s rather obvious, but that is not the only thing that would affect their decision.

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  23. ARDELL

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 19

    My portfolio of trusts and estates were almost always the exception to “The Rule of Perpetuities”. Talk about a fraction of 1% of the business. Still, I didn’t let my superior knowledge of the exception area cloud my judgment when dealing with the non-exception accounts. :) Trusts not subject to The Rule of Perpetuities was my forte and primary “job” in the 70s and 80s before real estate in 1990.

    What you carry forward into your real estate career from your previous career is good…to a point. Most people kick that habit after 2 years in the biz…or they never become a good real estate broker. #justsayin

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  24. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: S-Crow @ 21 – An escrow can probably assess lenders better than anyone, because of the higher volume. I would fine tune it down to the loan officer, just like for real estate brokerages or escrows you have to look into the person who will actually be doing the work.

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  25. S-Crow

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 124 – to an extent. However, many LO’s are not high touch (not all but MANY) involved after taking loan application. The most important person in financing is the processor and their competence followed by their company operational systems.

    I think one of the things that consumers really should question (and firmly) is why they have to pay fees for extensions on their rate locks. They have no idea what ‘really’ delayed their closing. In too many cases it is not the consumer but their processing (or lack thereof). I see it weekly.

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  26. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: S-Crow @ 125 – Thanks. I guess the LOs I sent people to are “high touch.” They stay involved through the whole process, and stay on top of the process. That’s why they are referred.

    I don’t see many extensions on my buyer clients. The last one was free even though it was clearly the seller’s fault we needed an extension, and not the lender’s fault at all.

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  27. Erik

    RE: ARDELL @ 118
    Yep, you are able to view the forest and Kary is only able to view a tree in the forest.

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  28. ARDELL

    RE: Erik @ 127

    Good thing we need both arborists and foresters. :)

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  29. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: ARDELL @ 128RE: Erik @ 127 – I know there’s the saying “cannot see the forest for the trees,” but I have no idea why anyone would think that applies here. Just because you can see details doesn’t mean you can’t see the big picture.

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  30. ARDELL

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 129

    Saying you don’t care about thumbs down is kind of like saying you don’t care about your clients wants and needs. You care more about “make a problem; fix a problem” and the trees of that, than you do about what people think and feel. And real estate is a think and feel business…not a paper pushing business.

    That’s why.

    Sorry…typed that quickly on my way out the door so it’s a bit terse. But hopefully you get my drift. Until you care about thumbs down…you can’t be a good real estate professional. Because you have to “care”.

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  31. Erik

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 129
    Kary, there are lots of other engineers at my work that are like you that are considered much more valuable than me. It’s not a bad thing at all to think like you for many things. I imagine you were a great lawyer and I would even guess you did pretty good in school.

    You gave me an example in the first thread we discussed this where you were able to see the big picture of a document you were analyzing. This is a perfect example of you analyzing all of the pieces of something until you get a clear picture. I’m sure you can see the entire picture, but in order to do so you must understand all the pieces. That is great! people like you are valuable to society in many ways. What I think you aren’t able to do is not understand all the pieces and still see the big picture. I work with very smart people like you everyday.

    Also, people like you have blind spots such as this one where you don’t even know that you don’t know. When you do see the big, picture I imagine it’s pretty clear, right? That’s because you’ve understood all the pieces. Everyone has weaknesses, and you should understand yours.

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  32. ARDELL

    RE: Erik @ 131

    I have come to call this type of agent when I run into them “a Kary” and that has helped me work with them, to some extent. They are busy with 10 trees….while the rest of the forest on the other side is burning down. Haha! I have to drag them away from the trees to help me go over and put out the fire. It makes a transaction 10X more difficult most of the time, for me and my clients…and their clients too.

    There are so many moving parts to a real estate transaction that if you obsess over 10 of them you miss 20 in the process. Learning to prioritize which 10 trees are most important in THIS transaction, by looking at the big picture first, is key to the client’s overall success vs merely “closing the sale” at hand focusing entirely on “risk aversion”. Risk aversion is usually not even close to the top 30 important issues in most residential real estate transactions. So risk aversion being one’s forte…rarely translates outside of Commercial Real Estate transactions.

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  33. Kary L. Krismer

    By ARDELL @ 30:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 129

    Saying you don’t care about thumbs down is kind of like saying you don’t care about your clients wants and needs..

    Not sure what that has to do with thumbs down, but what you just said is crazy. What do my clients have to do with the morons that post thumbs down here, without saying anything? I have a special relationship with my clients, which I treat as a fiduciary relationship, regardless of what the law says. I have no such relationship with the morons that post thumbs down here. Also, I really don’t like to have morons as clients, so hopefully the two groups are completely separate populations of people.

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  34. Kary L. Krismer

    By ARDELL @ 32:

    RE: Erik @ 131

    I have come to call this type of agent when I run into them “a Kary” and that has helped me work with them, to some extent. They are busy with 10 trees….while the rest of the forest on the other side is burning down. Haha!

    Wow, Ardell. That’s ironic because that’s how I would describe you! You don’t recognize problems at all, so you’re the type of agent that doesn’t see the smoke (or possible fire). Or in your case, you mis-diagnose the smoke as being something that is just fine!

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  35. Ira Sacharoff

    Kary said” Also, I really don’t like to have morons as clients.”
    You don’t like to have morons as clients, but at the same time, you gotta eat. What are you going to do, tell the client” I’m sorry, but I’ve already made my quota or moron clients earlier this year. You’ll have to find someone else.”

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  36. ARDELL

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 134

    Let’s play with smoke and fire, Kary. That “lawyer clause” that requires an offer to proclaim on day minus one WHO is going to pay “assessments”. A loosely defined term at best. The Agent for the buyer should of course say SELLER will pay them in full at or prior to closing. The Agent for the seller should then stand up on his highest horse and scream NO! The BUYER will pay them!!!

    I say…n/a…there are no assessments. I cross the whole thing out and say there aren’t any…until and unless the seller discloses that there ARE assessments. Except in the case of an obvious “special assessment”…that pesky long term Sewer Capacity charge.

    So you have a real test of egos about WHO is going to pay nothing, in most cases. I step around it and cross it out and say n/a when the reasonable expectation would be n/a.

    Why would a whole team of lawyers writing contracts used all over the State not think of adding a block that says “n/a”. Why would any buyer or seller agree to pay an undisclosed amount? Talk about a moron…let’s talk about every time you write a contract asking someone to pay an undisclosed amount. Anyone agreeing to that would be a moron…so what does that make the person who is asking them to pay this undisclosed amount?

    Add to that the fact that King County never says it is “paid in full” or there never even was one. They send a reply saying “nothing is due at this time”. Gotta love that.

    We do not have the privilege in our business to refuse to deal with “morons”. If you come to me with an offer on one of my listings…I would have to deal with someone I may on that day consider to be a moron because it is in my client’s best interest for me to do so. Likewise…vice-versa.

    In any given real estate transaction from start to finish…there will be a moron we MUST deal with and well, because our clients best interests call for us to do so. Consequently thinking that 90% of the population qualifies as “a moron” and saying you refuse to deal with “morons” pretty much puts you out of business…or at best, at loggerheads with the purpose for which you were hired. You were hired to deal with the morons…so that your client does not have to deal with the morons. You can’t refuse to deal with morons and call yourself “a fiduciary”.

    Speaking of Fiduciary, since you and I are among the few people who truly know what that means, NO ONE needs a “FIDUCIARY” more than “a moron”. Without a few morons…we would have no need for fiduciary powers at all.

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  37. ARDELL

    system duplicated comment

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  38. Kary L. Krismer

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 35:

    Kary said” Also, I really donâ��t like to have morons as clients.”
    You don’t like to have morons as clients, but at the same time, you gotta eat. What are you going to do, tell the client” I’m sorry, but I’ve already made my quota or moron clients earlier this year. You’ll have to find someone else.”

    I’ll fire a client, and no one should want an agent who would not fire a client because they’re concerned about their own finances. If that’s the case, an agent would also likely have many of their other decisions affected by their own personal finances. For example, maybe that item the inspector found really isn’t so bad. Or maybe the agent won’t point out defects in the house that the client really loves on their first visit.

    But let me be clear, this isn’t just about the client disagreeing with one of my opinions on an issue, or needing a lot of help in the process. I like helping people. It’s more about where they are beyond help.

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  39. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: ARDELL @ 36 – I deal with that in a different way, that is dependent on their answer (or lack of answers) in Form 17. You’ll get no argument from me that the NWMLS forms are not well drafted as it pertains to assessments due after closing.

    I’ve made this complaint before, but the NWMLS doesn’t circulate proposed forms changes before making a decision on the changes. In the attorney world there will be a rules committee, and proposed changes will be circulated to practitioners for comment prior to their becoming final. But the NWMLS treats agents as children, and doesn’t seek any input. Reviewing input requires time, but it gets you to a better result, in this case because agents see more transactions than attorneys.

    As to your proposal though, I don’t think N/A is perhaps the best answer, but it is something that could clearly stand some tweaking.

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  40. David Losh

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 139RE: ARDELL @ 136

    Well, this has certainly degenerated when Kary is picking up Ardell’s line about being a fiduciary. Fiduciaries may not seek personal benefit from their transactions with those they represent.

    The commission structure of Real Estate sales is a direct conflict with acting in a parties sole best interest.

    This thread was about a lack of inventory which I kind of dispute. It seems like Real Estate agents are still making sales, there are people still doing deals, but it isn’t translating into the NWMLS because of economic factors.

    We aren’t discussing the economy, or why people aren’t ready to move at this time, now we are discussing the NWMLS forms, and who will represent the client better.

    Ray’s talking about how people should look at the foreclosure auctions, which they should, but that isn’t being discussed either.

    We’re all here blogging for business, but this thread has run it’s course.

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  41. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: David Losh @ 140 – Do you really think all fiduciaries work for free?

    And no, we’re not all here “blogging for business.” First, only Tim is blogging. Second, I’m not here to get business–I mainly work off of referrals.

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  42. David Losh

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 141

    A trust charges fees on an ongoing business, rather than being paid for a sale.

    Yes Kary you are blogging, you refer to posts that you make. You bogging on another person’s blog doesn’t change the fact you are here drumming business.

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  43. Kary L. Krismer

    By David Losh @ 142:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 141 – A trust charges fees on an ongoing business, rather than being paid for a sale..

    Distinction without a difference. Attorneys can also be fiduciaries, and they charge based on what they do. Once again you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about, but once again, that doesn’t stop you.

    I can hardly wait until you’ve responded 20 more times, said absolutely nothing new, and then declare yourself the winner. /sarc

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  44. David Losh

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 143

    You don’t want to have this discussion with me Kary, that’s why you resort to insults.

    It’s never my twenty commnets, it’s yours. You just don’t want me to respond.

    Attorneys can charge fees within the trust as long as they are for the sole benefit of the trust. A Real Estate commission is an incentive outside of the clients interests.

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  45. ARDELL

    RE: David Losh @ 144

    No need to go back and forth on this one, David. Kary is correct and there really are no real estate agents who will ever understand fiduciary, if they were not acting as a fiduciary prior to becoming an agent. So having a discussion about it is moot.

    I only chose to talk with Kary about it because he and I both understand the concept from our previous careers, and I like talking with him about something we don’t argue about…once in awhile. Neither of us is having that discussion for business purposes. We are just chatting nicely…for a change. :)

    Now go enjoy the football game guys.

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  46. Kary L. Krismer

    By ARDELL @ 36:

    <Speaking of Fiduciary, since you and I are among the few people who truly know what that means, NO ONE needs a "FIDUCIARY" more than "a moron". Without a few morons…we would have no need for fiduciary powers at all.

    I would agree with that, but see my post on firing clients. Since fiduciaries don’t control their clients, but rather assist and advise their clients, their services can end up putting the client in a relatively bad situation. As I mentioned, some people are beyond help, and I don’t want to be assisting them making a bad decision, in this case buying into a bad situation.

    Again though, it goes beyond just buying a house I might not really care for. Clients don’t have to like what I like, or visa versa.

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  47. ARDELL

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 146

    I don’t run into that very often, and usually only when a client is referred to me by a local agent. You learn to “look a gift horse in the mouth” pretty quickly after the first time. Lucky for me the first time was in 1991. :)

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  48. David Losh

    RE: ARDELL @ 147

    Are you referring to the client I referred to you?

    I’m asking because as much as I support you they closed the week of Thanksgiving after looking at three properties with another agent. They closed with the same lender, no problems.

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  49. ARDELL

    RE: David Losh @ 148

    Of course not, David. That makes no sense. I did not know you in 1991. :)

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  50. David Losh

    RE: ARDELL @ 149

    Good because I would continue to direct people your way, and that is the point.

    Who would you recommend as an agent, based on what you read on this blog?

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  51. ARDELL

    RE: David Losh @ 150

    I don’t think I would make that type of decision “based on what I read on this blog”. I generally think that people should do their own research and make their own decision regarding choice of agent. I don’t generally believe in agent to agent referrals, as you know. Most of my “referrals” come from people who have bought and sold houses with me.

    Agent + Client is an important relationship and buyers and sellers need to be comfortable with the people they work with and should do the choosing. They sometimes travel a long and bumpy road together. The final choice has to come from the person who has to rely on the agent and their ability to communicate well with one another.

    Speaking of referrals, one of my clients who has moved out of State but got divorced in WA is asking if I know a good divorce attorney. I do not. Maybe you or Kary do?

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  52. Kary L. Krismer

    By ARDELL @ 51:

    RE: David Losh @ 150 – I don’t think I would make that type of decision “based on what I read on this blog”. I generally think that people should do their own research and make their own decision regarding choice of agent. I don’t generally believe in agent to agent referrals, as you know. Most of my “referrals” come from people who have bought and sold houses with me.

    Agent + Client is an important relationship and buyers and sellers need to be comfortable with the people they work with and should do the choosing. They sometimes travel a long and bumpy road together. The final choice has to come from the person who has to rely on the agent and their ability to communicate well with one another.

    Yet more things we agree on.

    Check your gmail for the attorney referral.

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  53. Distressed Inventory Shortage to Blame for Listings Drought • Seattle Bubble

    [...] take a brief follow-up look at new listings. When we checked in two weeks into the new year, new listings in the Seattle area were down 25% from 2012. The data from this post is largely [...]

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