June Stats Preview: Top of the Molehill Edition

It’s time yet again to check in on our monthly stats preview for King and Snohomish counties. Most of the charts below are based on broad county-wide data that is available through a simple search of King County and Snohomish County public records. If you have additional stats you’d like to see in the preview, drop a line in the comments and I’ll see what I can do.

First up, total home sales as measured by the number of “Warranty Deeds” filed with King County:

King County Warranty Deeds

Looks like we didn’t quite hit last year’s peak. Most likely we’ll be looking at lower numbers for the rest of the year.

Here’s a look at Snohomish County Deeds, but keep in mind that Snohomish County files Warranty Deeds (regular sales) and Trustee Deeds (bank foreclosure repossessions) together under the category of “Deeds (except QCDS),” so this chart is not as good a measure of plain vanilla sales as the Warranty Deed only data we have in King County.

Snohomish County Deeds

Snohomish managed to exceed last year’s peak, but since we’ve got foreclosure repossessions (trustee deeds) in the mix on this chart, we can’t really tell if plain-vanilla sales really beat last year.

Next, here’s Notices of Trustee Sale, which are an indication of the number of homes currently in the foreclosure process:

King County Notices of Trustee Sale

Snohomish County Notices of Trustee Sale

Still down month-to-month in Snohomish, but up a bit from May in King. However, both counties are down big from last year, for the fourth month in a row.

Here’s another measure of foreclosures for King County, looking at Trustee Deeds, which is the type of document filed with the county when the bank actually repossesses a house through the trustee auction process. Note that there are other ways for the bank to repossess a house that result in different documents being filed, such as when a borrower “turns in the keys” and files a “Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure.”

King County Trustee Deeds

Still ahead of last year, but judging by the trend, it looks like this may be the last month that we beat 2010 on this measure.

Lastly, here’s an update of the inventory charts, updated with the inventory data from the NWMLS.

King County SFH Active Listings

Snohomish County SFH Active Listings

Both counties got a bit of a a boost from last month, but remain well below their levels from a year ago.

Stay tuned later this month a for more detailed look at each of these metrics as the “official” data is released from various sources.

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About 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. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.

40 comments:

  1. 1

    Wasn’t last year’s peak tax credit driven?

    Interesting that there didn’t seem to be a rush to beat the new foreclosure legislation. I wonder if the effective date somehow made that impossible.

  2. 2
    Scotsman says:

    Snohomish County- the new Bellevue! Buy now or be priced out forever!

  3. 3
    Ed says:

    I moved my family out of Redmond to Austin two years ago (where we had been renting for the previous 3 years). I still find reading SeattleBubble to be a lot of fun. Strictly entertainment, of course. The entire Seattle area’s real estate market remains in denial. It’s even worse than Britain and Australia. It will only make reality that much more painful in the end. Isn’t anyone up there aware of how much cheaper nicer places are becoming…and will become. Federal loan guarantees are about to drop back down below 500,000 on white sand coastal properties in California. I’m not surprised Austin doesn’t affect the Northwest market, but does anyone up there realize there IS a relationship between Californian prices and those in Washington State? Someone up there still believes the pre-bust rhetoric. Foolish. Adjusted for inflation, prepare of ten more years of prices going nowhere…if you’re lucky. The new Real Estate Bust is about to hit Britain, Australia, Spain and China. California will see round two. Does anyone up there really think Seattle will deserve to be the last one standing? Eh…enough of this banter, I’m going home shopping. Down here, $450,000 gets you a 3800 sq. ft home on a 1/2 acre in the hills overlooking Lake Travis with 8 months of perfect weather (and a swimming pool for the other four).

    Of course it’s all about Microsoft, Adobe and Boeing…isn’t it? That’s true…Austin doesn’t have those. We only have nVidia, Apple, Hewlet-Packard, Google, AMD, Cirrus Logic, Cisco, eBay, Paypal, Intel, National Instruments, Samsung, Oracle, Freescale Semiconductor and IBM. Oh…and gigantic chunks of undeveloped land in the nicest areas.

    I’m not talking up Austin. I’m dissing Seattle. Just a heads-up. It’s going to be ugly up there.

    -eab

    p.s. Oh, all the houses down here are made of brick and yet we don’t have the mold and wood rot problems Washington does. What’s wrong with brick homes in Seattle?

  4. 4
    Toad37 says:

    RE: Ed @ 3 – No arguments here. Never made it to Austin but the few months I spent with WaMu in San Antonio made me realize that that area is not for me. A few buddies got some great homes in the 275k range that were pretty nice. I’ve heard great things about Austin. Enjoy your summer down there.

  5. 5
    Scotsman says:

    The light goes on over at CNN- let’s get this bubble deflated so we can get on with recovery:

    “CNN titled this piece, “No pain, no gain in housing market,” in order to make the point that the faster home values fall, the closer we will get to an honest recovery. They frame the statement with the ubiquitous “Some economists argue” the point, but there are few things more certain in economics that assets overvalued in bubbles have to return to rational valuation in order to stabilize their markets.”

    http://hotair.com/archives/2011/07/05/video-has-the-obvious-dawned-on-the-housing-crisis/

    P.S.- I love the comments on the HotAir thread- there’s still a pretty good sized group that doesn’t get it. HotAir, however, notes that growing jobs and incomes will be required before we see a turn in prices. Except, of course, in Bellevue- where everybody wants to live, and Microsoft powers pink ponies everywhere you look. . .

  6. 6
    Ed says:

    It isn’t about Austin at all. It’s about everywhere but Seattle! Wait until after the Federal loan minimum adjustment this quarter, then compare the median prices to costal properties in California. Why pay the same?

    It does get too hot in Texas in the summer though! That’s for sure. It’s 7 pm and 75 outside. And the pool in our backyard is too small, but what did I expect for $1600/month rent? Pretty sad for 2800 sq ft. And this with average incomes in our area running only 72k.

    I could play this game with just about any area in the US but Seattle. It’s going back to 1999, if not earlier. Late to the party hurts it this time. The 3 bed/2 bath places will hold up best. Maybe Microsoft will make good on those 10,000 new jobs we always heard about. Of course Apple hadn’t exceeded their market cap back then. Microsoft gives up 1/4 percent share of the PC market per year to Apple and they have nowhere to go but down – no more worlds to conquer.

    Start charging California for premiums for water. It’s your only hope.

  7. 7
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Ed @ 6

    If there’d been a back door to the Alamo, there wouldn’t be any Texas.

  8. 8
    ricklind says:

    RE: Ed @ 3
    Great post, Ed.
    In just off down town Seattle, First Hill, 450 K USD gets you a 2 bedroom condo (1000 sq ft) with an OK view, maybe.
    Oh, and lots of sirens. And good public transportation. And a 10 minute walk to the Pike St Market, if you want that. Or 10 minutes walk to my secret place of employment, and I want that.

    Bump to you,

    Best,
    Rick

  9. 9
    S. Marty Pantz says:

    RE: Ed @ 3 – Pravda, pravda, that is true.

  10. 10
    Jonness says:

    RE: Ed @ 3 – Even though all the things you said are true Ed, you have forgotten about one thing: Seattle is special!

    And apparently so is Spokane, Olympia, Yakima, Tacoma, the Tri-cities, and Ritzville. :)

  11. 11
    LocalYokel says:

    Ed,
    Where ever you go, there you are.

  12. 12
    David Losh says:

    RE: Ed @ 3

    Mildew. Houses in Seattle need ventilation.

    $450K seems like a lot for a house in the hills of Austin. $275K will be closer to the mark for what you are describing.

  13. 13
    redmondjp says:

    RE: Ed @ 3 –

    I love brick houses myself; they are more prevalent in other parts of the country where clay is more plentiful than timber. BUT, they have this nasty tendency to come apart during sudden earth movements which tend to happen here from time to time. Why people think that wood fences and decks are a good idea in our climate is another matter completely . . .

    And, comparing your locale to ours, one thing I definitely like about the PNW – we have really small bugs here! Everything’s bigger in Texas, including spiders, bumblebees, beetles, cockroaches, etc. The largest bugs that I have ever seen in my life (approaching 3″ in length) were in Georgia and Texas. So large that you can hunt them with a BB gun!

  14. 14
    jrc says:

    Austin is a great, fun, young and well educated city, very much like Seattle in many ways. The major problem I have with Austin is; well it is in Texas, where you can drag a black man from a truck or the cops can feel free to beat up queers in gay bars. I could go on for a while about the politics of Texas. It will most likely continue to get hotter in the coming years. But that is also good for Texas as Texas is it is oil rich. Again, Austin is great, Texas no thanks.

    Oh, brick houses, I don’t think that is a good idea in earthquake areas. Through some ice in that pool and enjoy.

    RE: Ed @ 3

  15. 15
    Ed says:

    Even though no one is reading this thread, anymore, I can’t let the Texas stereotype go unanswered. Your description of racial abuse and sexual prejudice going unpunished by the law in Texas is flat out wrong. You are describing the state of the bigot’s mind in 1978 rather than 2011. And I lived in Texas in 1978. Texas is even more of a melting pot than Seattle. There is definitely a much higher share of non-caucasian voters here than any of the places I lived in the PNW. There is a much, much higher percentage of non-caucasian police here. If you want to find the skin-head, aryan, intollerant types you described, it’s a better bet to begin looking in Idaho and Montana. Closer to your neighorhood than mine. That’s also where you go to get “off-the-grid” and learn how to fire an AK-47.

    Finally, don’t buy the Democrat vs. Republican nonsense with the rest of the world. The democrats and republican’s are both Keynesian. What you are looking for is someone who subscribes to the Austrian School of Economics rather than a Keynesian. That person gets my vote, regardless of party.

    Also, it’s much cooler this year than last year. Rain (and humidity) was higher in 2010, but the average temps are lower now. 2009 was the driest and the hottest since i’ve been here. And no hurricanes, darn it. Was kind of looking forward to one of those.

  16. 16
    ARDELL says:

    I’m seeing a trend where banks are not wanting to foreclose during “high season” and postponing the foreclosures to September from June vs 30 to 60 day. Apparently they think they have a better chance of the seller selling it short before September, than after all the red tape of foreclosing that might force them to be on market in October.

    Anyone else seeing June foreclosures postponed to September?

  17. 17

    RE: ARDELL @ 16 – There’s a limit to how long of a period they can continue a sale, and I suspect all you’re seeing is the bank having more time left to continue the sale. Intelligent banks would rather have the owner sell than obtain the property back. Unfortunately, collectively the banks have tainted the short sale process, making that difficult.

    My point is that you’d probably see the same continuances in January through April that you’re seeing today, for foreclosures at the same stage of foreclosure.

  18. 18
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 17

    Kary,

    From my end it seems that Agents have “tainted” the short sale process. Not the banks.

    They take Short Sale listings where:

    1) The Seller has not missed any payments

    2) The Seller has no “hardship” case other than their home is worth less than when they bought it. They still qualify for the mortgage at its current payment and still live in the home.

    2) The Seller has just filed bankruptcy and it needs to be discharged

    3) The Seller refuses to close if the lienholder doesn’t net out all of their unrelated judgments and tax liens and basically pay all of their bills in the process, property related or not.

    You speak of short sales as if they are all the same and if they can’t close it is the DUMB Bank’s fault. Some are destined not to close when the sign goes on the lawn. A DUMB bank would approve a short sale when the owner is still in the home and still qualifies to make the monthly payment.

    How would they be “intelligent” Banks to just roll over and play dead with no good reason to take less than owed other than the property value went down?

  19. 19

    RE: ARDELL @ 18 – I’ll agree some of those things are issues. But before you can have a successful transaction you need a potential buyer, and the banks’ delay in processing short sale offers (with absolutely no justification at all) has greatly reduced the potential pool of buyers.

    BTW, back in April 2008 I was critical of the then new Form 22SS. My thought was that the NWMLS should have tested it’s power and required the bank be on board prior to a short sale listing being listed. That would have dealt with a lot of problems.

  20. 20
    ARDELL says:

    “…with absolutely no justification at all…”

    I don’t believe that to be true. Everyone has a reason for everything they do…or don’t do. Whether or not you agree with that reason is different from one to another.

  21. 21

    By ARDELL @ 20:

    “…with absolutely no justification at all…”

    I don’t believe that to be true. Everyone has a reason for everything they do…or don’t do. Whether or not you agree with that reason is different from one to another.

    I didn’t say they didn’t have a “reason.” The reason is they are both arrogant and stupid. ;-)

    What possible justification would they have for not processing an offer for over 3 months? I’d ask the same question for 3 weeks.

    Keep in mind that the banks have had more than sufficient time to staff up, and that they’ve been laying people off in other positions.

  22. 22
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 21

    As I pointed out earlier, because an agent listed a short sale for a seller who has no justification for doing a short sale. Bank opens file, sees no late payments, sees mortgage of $200,000, income of $71,000, says WTF? Throws file in the WTF bin and moves to the next file.

    No answer IS “an answer”. Just not the one you wanted.

  23. 23
    ARDELL says:

    The owner who thought he would do a short sale “just because” and with NO damage to his credit was maybe “arrogant”. The agent who listed it for him was maybe stupid. So your adjectives may be correct…but not appropriately pointed at…”the banks”.

  24. 24

    RE: ARDELL @ 22 – Not replying and letting the parties know the decision is just rude. I haven’t heard of banks doing that.

  25. 25
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 24

    LOL! One of us worked in a Bank for 20 years, and one of us did not.

    If you walk into the store to buy a new laptop with three pennies in your hand, it is NOT “rude” for the salesperson to move on to the next customer after you tell them you only have 3 pennies.

    They open the file, see the borrower IS making their payments, glance at the Financial Statement and see income has not changed since they borrowed the money and is sufficient even under today’s qualifying standards. Takes 60 seconds. They close the file and say wtf? and go to the next file.

    No one is paying them to look at “idiot agent wantsa listing” files.

    If some idiot agent sticks a sign up front and a listing in the mls that doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of even getting a response from the lienholder…that is NOT “the bank’s arrogance and stupidy”.

    Someone in the room is stupid…but it’s not the bank. It’s called bottom of the pile…indefinitely. That’s the “wtf?” bin.

    Put your common sense hat on, Kary. If you owned a store, how much would you pay your employee to explain to the guy with 3 pennies why he can’t buy a laptop for that?

    If you go into a furniture store to buy an apple, people may look at you like you have two heads…but they may also say absolutely nothing and wait for you to “get it”. No answer IS “an answer”.

  26. 26

    By ARDELL @ 25:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 24 – LOL! One of us worked in a Bank for 20 years, and one of us did not.

    . . .
    No one is paying them to look at “idiot agent wantsa listing” files.

    Thank you for that damaging admission. ;-)

    Someone is paying them. Their employer is paying them and their employer is being paid by the entity that actually holds the loan. And the shoddy processing of short sales is costing the latter thousands of dollars because it means there are fewer offers made on short sales and thus greater losses.

    I think you have the three penny analogy backwards. The problem with the loan servicers is that they think they can do a shoddy job because they didn’t charge enough to do the job right (they charged three pennies). That is not a defense to being sued for damages, and I’m looking forward to the day some attorney takes them on.

  27. 27
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 26

    Kary…someone is arrogant and stupid. On that we agree.

    1) The bank is getting paid every month by the borrower…on time.

    Here’s how that conversation goes.

    Joe at Bank: “There’s someone on line 3 who wants to talk about his short sale file.”

    Ken at Bank: “How many month’s is he delinquent?”

    Joe: “None.”

    Ken: “Hang up and pick up line 4.”

    OR… “Give it to that new guy. He doesn’t know anything and he has no authority to approve anything, but he needs practice talking on the phone before we give him any “real” files.”

    2) No one INVITED the borrower to submit a short sale package. The Bank has no obligation to even OPEN that file just because some idiot agent wanted a new listing and didn’t take the time to figure out if the owner MIGHT qualify for a “short sale”.

    Here’s how that conversation goes.

    Owner calls Agent: “Do you do short sale listings?”

    Agent: “Yes, of course I do!”

    Owner: “Can you list mine?”

    Agent: “Sure, how much do you owe?”

    Owner: “$300,000”

    Agent: “OK, how much do you want to list it for?”

    Owner: “$250,000”.

    Agent: “OK…and then we’ll reduce it 5% every two weeks until we get an offer. OK?”

    Owner: “Is that how it’s done?”

    Agent: “Yes, I have am a ‘Certified Short Sale Expert’ and that’s how we do it.”

    Kary,

    Your pointing fingers at “the bank” for short sale delays is just ridiculous. The amount that CLOSE = The amount that QUALIFIED for a Short Sale. You just want them to BE “faster” without any rhyme or reason. The best use of the Bank’s time and money is on the QUALIFIED and ready to answer files first. The rest go to the bottom of the pile.

    Picture 350 files on your desk. You are going to approve 20 short sales today. You peek in one, two, three, four…bingo…file #5 looks qualified, let’s work on this one. One, two, three and four don’t exist today. No one “wastes their time” on the obviously incomplete or unqualified files.

  28. 28

    By ARDELL @ 27:

    Your pointing fingers at “the bank” for short sale delays is just ridiculous. The amount that CLOSE = The amount that QUALIFIED for a Short Sale. You just want them to BE “faster” without any rhyme or reason. The best use of the Bank’s time and money is on the QUALIFIED and ready to answer files first. The rest go to the bottom of the pile.

    At this point you’re just making things up. Many short sales fall through before the bank ever even looks at them because the bank took too long.

    BTW, you should also realize that banks shouldn’t require loans to be delinquent prior to considering a short sale. I’ve even heard that some banks don’t, but I don’t have personal knowledge of that. But for a bank to require that is another example of their being stupid (at least for first position loans against property in Washington state).

  29. 29
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 28

    LOL! You are too funny.

    OK Bank…I’m making all my payments, so I obviously make enough money to make them. But can you approve that short sale so I can use the money I’m paying you to take a trip to Bermuda, cause I moved into my girlfriend’s house and I don’t need to live there anymore.

    I want to ditch what I owe you without ruining my credit. OK? Is that OK with you Mr. Bank? LOL!

    Seriously…what are you smoking man?

    Do you know how many calls I get from people who want to sell their house short without ruining their credit “just because”. Do you see me sticking signs in front of those homes and praying to the short sale God?

    Yes…arrogance and stupidity are often behind EVERY UN-qualified Short Sale Listing…but it is NOT “The Bank’s” arrogance and stupidity. Actually…isn’t it against an MLS rule to list a home for sale…that CAN NOT be CLOSED! ???

  30. 30
    David Losh says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 29RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 28

    Seriously, Kary, what the heck are you talking about?

    Ardell has just very clearly told you how the process works, and you are saying it shouldn’t work that way. Well that’s the way it’s done, that’s the way it works, that’s the policy, and procedure for the past, at least 20 years, and nothing has changed.

    The Loss Mitigator has 350 files on the desk. The policy is a hardship has to be approved. In many cases it’s medical, medical is best. Then you have job loss, divorce, followed by loss of income, but they want to see your financials.

    That’s the way it’s done. It can also be done by loss of property value, but that’s usually for something like earthquake damage or a remodel that has run out of money.

    Geez.

  31. 31
    ARDELL says:

    RE: David Losh @ 30

    Thanks David. I think someone just wants the damn thing to close so he can get paid. LOL!

  32. 32

    By ARDELL @ 29:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 28 – LOL! You are too funny.

    OK Bank…I’m making all my payments, so I obviously make enough money to make them. But can you approve that short sale so I can use the money I’m paying you to take a trip to Bermuda, cause I moved into my girlfriend’s house and I don’t need to live there anymore.

    I want to ditch what I owe you without ruining my credit. OK? Is that OK with you Mr. Bank? LOL!

    Seriously…what are you smoking man?

    Do you have a memory problem too Ardell? Remember back when you were arguing repeatedly with Craig and myself over whether a foreclosure by a first position creditor would also prevent a second position creditor from suing on the note?

    Why do you think a bank in first position shouldn’t consider a short sale if their likely alternative is a non-judicial foreclosure where they can’t pursue a deficiency? Only a stupid bank would think along those lines. Do you think that they think: “Let’s see, get $250,000 for a house now, or wait 11 months without payments and get whatever we can get for the house then. I think we should wait!” Not taking the $250,000 now is stupid if the bank thinks the bank thinks the house is only worth $250,000 and the only reason to not approve the sale is that the loan is current.

    Also, don’t through credit score into the mix. I never said a single thing about a short sale not affecting the person’s credit.

  33. 33

    By David Losh @ 30:

    RE: ARDELL @ 29RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 28

    Seriously, Kary, what the heck are you talking about?

    Ardell has just very clearly told you how the process works, and you are saying it shouldn’t work that way. Well that’s the way it’s done, that’s the way it works, that’s the policy, and procedure for the past, at least 20 years, and nothing has changed.

    The Loss Mitigator has 350 files on the desk. The policy is a hardship has to be approved. In many cases it’s medical, medical is best. Then you have job loss, divorce, followed by loss of income, but they want to see your financials. .

    Thanks for making my point. If nothing has changed in processing short sales in the past 20 years, banks are being arrogant and stupid. In case you haven’t noticed, things have changed in the past 4 years.

    But tell me, just how does Ardell’s system work where the loss mitigation person knows which short sales are good and bad prior to working on them? Is this just a magical ability that only some people have, and banks hire only those people? I’ve suspected banks might look at higher value loans first, but I have no evidence to prove that. But beyond that, just how does a loan mitigation officer know by looking at a pile of files which homeowner has been making payments, or otherwise might not qualify for a short sale, and then pick out only those other files to process first?

  34. 34

    By ARDELL @ 31:

    RE: David Losh @ 30

    Thanks David. I think someone just wants the “golly” thing to close so he can get paid. LOL!

    I don’t have a lot of clients interested in short sales, but on the few we’ve done as buyer’s agents we’ve had pretty good luck. As you should know, there are things you can do to improve your odds.

    Anything else you care to make up out of thin air? You’re really on a streak this week.

  35. 35
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 32

    You are mis-remembering that, Kary. What I said was that the one legal case in hand did not address when the 2nd was the same entity as the 1st. An 80% 1st and a 20% 2nd from the same lienholder. But that is way off topic. As to the credit score issue, that refers to the person who wants to do a short sale who is still making his payments, thus proving he can make them. People do that to preserve their credit score all the while trying to explain in the short sale package that they can’t make the payments.

    In a Bank, a file that end ups in the Short Sale or Foreclosure unit usually has to pass through the Delingquent and Default departments before landing in Short Sale land. When a loan is one month behind, the person who calls is doing it from “collections”, not a department that can approve a short sale. The procedure for it getting to the short sale department is internal and not external.

    One notable exception, as David pointed out, may be a severe medical issue. Not a headache, not a back pain, but something more debilitating. Even then, the borrower usually needs to be at least 4 months behind before the bank responds in a meaningful way to a short sale offer.

    Can you walk into the Branch and ask the teller to approve your short sale? NO? Same with unqualified short sales. The Bank determines when the file gets to “a person of authority to make a decision” and if they are still getting paid, or there is any chance the owner will catch up on the payments, it doesn’t get to the department where there is someone with the authority to grant lienholder approval of shorting the bank.

    The individual does NOT decide which makes more money for the bank. What makes more money for the bank is for the borrow to make their payments. The individual determines if there is any reason to talk about something OTHER than “make your monthly payment”. That conversation doesn’t usually start until someone is 4 payments in arrears.

    That is WHY some agents are erroneously telling people to stop making payments…and if the bank can figure out from the financials and hardship letter that the owner COULD have made their payments, and just didn’t, they still have no reason to reward that behavior by granting a short sale.

    One of the first questions an agent should ask before listing a short sale is “How many months are you behind in your payments? If the answer is “none”, the agent should not be listing that as a short sale just because the balance due is less than the price at which it will sell. They should require some indication that the owner is eligible for a short sale.

    Of all the people I sent to an attorney at that point, not ONE was told to do a short sale by the attorney.

  36. 36

    By ARDELL @ 35:

    The individual does NOT decide which makes more money for the bank. What makes more money for the bank is for the borrow to make their payments. The individual determines if there is any reason to talk about something OTHER than “make your monthly payment”. That conversation doesn’t usually start until someone is 4 payments in arrears.

    So the bank won’t even talk until they’ve lost $5k+ in interest. Like I said, banks are arrogant and stupid.

  37. 37

    By ARDELL @ 35:

    Of all the people I sent to an attorney at that point, not ONE was told to do a short sale by the attorney.

    I think the reason for that is attorneys think short sales are low percentage options and they don’t see the benefit as being that great. Contrast that to real estate agents which see the benefits as being fantastic.

    BTW, most the attorneys I’ve spoken with don’t think much of loan modifications either.

  38. 38
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 34

    My clients are interested in the best house for them at the lowest price. I thought that was pretty much what every buyer wanted. If that’s a short sale, it is. If it’s not, it’s not.

    The #1 reason a short doesn’t close is the seller can’t see the benefit of jumping through the hoops. This often happens when they file for bankruptcy and have little or nothing to gain be selling short. The agents should pull those listings if the owner no longer has a compelling reason or desire to sell short. If the owner is not willing or motivated to proceed when they get an offer, they should not be in the mls and on market.

    In fact…usually the ONLY reason a house doesn’t sell…is because the seller doesn’t do what is necessary for it to get from listed to sold. That is true in most every case as there are no “arrogant and stupid” houses.

  39. 39

    By ARDELL @ 38:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 34 – My clients are interested in the best house for them at the lowest price. I thought that was pretty much what every buyer wanted. If that’s a short sale, it is. If it’s not, it’s not.

    Most my clients want to have some vague idea of when they can actually move into a house. That’s particularly important for people who currently rent (especially if they have a lease) or people with children.

    Further, as you note, short sellers often have little motivation to sell. If you get 5 days from closing and the seller won’t sign, you’re going to have a very disappointed client who has spent a lot of time and effort on a transaction, and also likely paid for an appraisal and an inspection–money and time they will not be getting back. If you add in the buyers have given 20 days notice to their landlord, you have a real mess. I have clients that make an offer on a short sale or REO sign a form that indicates they understand the risks of a short sales and REOs (as I have explained to them and also specify in the form).

    BTW, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy should typically make a short sale easier. The bank has no need to review any financial paperwork of the seller, and there would be no issues of a deficiency. The only thing added would be getting an order of abandonment.

  40. 40

    […] time once again to expand on our preview of foreclosure activity with a more detailed look at June’s stats in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties. First up, […]

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