Archive for the ‘Industry Update’ Category

Interview I did on KTAR recently

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Can Anybody Trust Anything Zillow Says?

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

www.zillowsucks.com was already taken.  Same for www.zillowsucks.net.  Already taken.  This is a company that is openly mocked and pretty much the entire agent community (their actual paying customers) dislikes them.  The people who might speak up in their defense are on their payroll.

They spew FALSE AND MISLEADING DATA almost non-stop and pretend like it is factual information.  This false information is not limited to their usually silly “Zestimates”.  Oh no.  In the months and years ahead I will document that the initially open (but now hidden) CONTEMPT that Zillow’s founder has for agents remains an interegal part of the make up of the company now.

I will take up the ACTUAL PURPOSE of Zillow and demonstrate why the PRICES THEY CHARGE WON’T WORK for their paying customers.  I will show, with specifics,  that they are PASSIVE-AGRESSIVE in most of what they do and say.

Every word or phrase that is capitalized in this post will be the subject of a future post.  And …. I promise to make each and everyone of them informative and entertaining.

http://zillowripsoffagents.com/can-anybody-trust-anything-zillow-says/

NAR Raises Dues. Yawn

Monday, March 21st, 2011

NAR Members VS Annual Sales

Oh sure.  Lots of agents will complain and bemoan having to pay more.  But I doubt NAR will lose any members (due to the dues increase) they weren’t going to lose anyway.  There is a very interesting relationship between how many members NAR has and the average number of sales per member.  Although some members are not directly or significantly impacted by this sales-to-member-ratio, it does have an impact on the average NAR member, regardless of if they think it does or not.

The chart above, showing NAR Members VS Average Sales is from the wonderful Gary Keller book, Shift.  Looking at the chart it is pretty easy to see a pattern: that there is a relationship between the number of members and the number of sales.  And that the number of members – when falling off – lags the drop off in the market.  Notice in this second chart, NAR Members VS Available Sales Per Person that because of that lag (NAR membership is at its lowest when the perception is “the market is bad” and highest when the perception is “the market is good”) there are times when the Number of Available Sales Per Person is much better for the members in the business.

NAR Members VS Available Sales Per Person

Right now is one of those times.  In my area, Phoenix, the market is on fire – with some months being record breaking months (December and February, for example).  Prices are at the very bottom – that is what is driving the buying frenzy – but the local media, quoting always behind the times local economists, are still pushing the “doom and gloom, things are awful” line.  So both agents and the public tend to believe things are awful – when just the opposite is true.

1. NAR does a lot of things wrong.  2. They do a lot of things right.  3. They do a lot of things that don’t matter much.  An annual dues increase of $40 would be in that last category – as far as membership retention goes.  How they spend that money and how effective that winds up being with regard to accomplishing the intended objectives will determine if the results are in category 1 or 2.

You’re welcome.

If You’re in the Short Sale Business Most of the Banks Are About to Take a Giant Dump on You and Your Clients

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

FNMA

It is no secret that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are tightening the reins on delinquent  borrowers.  What is looks like to me is Fannie is now going WAY out of their way to "find errors" and "mistakes" so they can can shove the foreclosure back on the originating bank and not have the loss belong to them.  FNMA has a long history of when making loads of money any profits belong to them (for their ultra-bright management) and the stockholders.  When they lose money – well yes, that’s on the taxpayers.

Now industry giant, Wells Fargo had the following sent out:

Subject: !!!URGENT!!! New Procedures Regarding Extension and F/C Sale Dates

Hello,

If you are receiving this email, I currently am working on your short sale file or have worked on your file in the past few months. PLEASE READ THIS WHOLE EMAIL AND FORWARD TO ANY PARTIES WHO MAY BE WORKING ON A SHORT SALE FOR WELLS FARGO.

Due to recent industry changes, we at Wells Fargo will no longer be granting any extensions for short sale close dates or postponing foreclosure/trustee sale dates. If you were issued an extension letter dated 9/14 or earlier, those extension letters will be honored, but no further extensions will be granted. Files must close by expiration date on the original approval letter or they will be removed. If your approval expires 9/15 or 9/16, you will have 48 hours to get me the final HUD for approval and close.

Please let me know if you have any questions! Thank you!

Thank*´¨)
¸.·´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)

***Please include the loan # and borrower’s name with all correspondence***
(¸.·´ (¸.·´ * You

Jessica Hubby
Loan Adjustor Specialist
Wells Owned/Private Liquidation
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage  |  1 Home Campus  |  MAC X2409-01F
Des Moines, IA 50328
Tel 515-564-3075
jessica.hubby@wellsfargo.com

Nice.  They trained the public to see how long they could stay in the house rent-free and now to "fix things" are simply not going to do any further extensions.  Yes, this is coming from FNMA (which is 80% of Wells’ loan portfolio) but 20% is theirs – and they will follow lock step in line with Fannie.  All the while chanting, "We don’t want foreclosures".  No, they don’t "want them" but will not act in accordance with "not wanting them".

Wachovia was first, now Wells.  In less than 30 days you will see an announcement from B of A saying the same thing.  It will be the new standard.  They are trying to quickly "retrain the public"  on how long they can stay in the house (now 7 months max) without paying.  Not a word from Wells about Fannie and what should be occurring.

A year ago I would have said that Well’s was one of the very best banks to do a short sale with and currently they are among the absolute worst.  Almost like they took lessons from how Bank of America was running their loss mitigation division six months to a year ago.  Not now.  B of A has made HUGE improvements and Wells has gone the other way.  Why can’t we get a short sale done before foreclosure?  Is it the buyer who is tardy with paperwork?  Is it the seller who won’t get papers back to us in a timely manner?  Nope.  It commonly currently takes Wells over 60 days to get back to us.

From where I sit, Fannie’s claim that they want to stop foreclosures and support neighborhoods rings kind of hollow.

Most of us usually judge individuals and companies by how they act.  Not by what they say.  At least not for long.

“what if you could really help – really make a life or death difference to a fellow REALTOR who seriously needs a hand up, not a hand out?”

Monday, September 27th, 2010

For Pat's Sake

I just received the following email from my good friend, Dr. Fred Grosse:

Dear Friends

Greetings to you all from springtime in New Zealand. We are writing to you with a different kind of message today, one that we very much hope you will support and which we also hope you will never need to use.

We would like to invite you to visit the following site: http://forpatssake.com

The site asks the question: “what if you could really help – really make a life or death difference to a fellow REALTOR who seriously needs a hand up, not a hand out?”

We encourage you to sign the “Bridge of Hope” petition and send it to NAR. The purpose of the Petition is to show the leaders of NAR that members of NAR want NAR to establish a benevolent fund to help its REALTOR family. To show NAR decision makers that this is something that needs to be done and that it is hugely supported by REALTORS around the country. Please take the time to read the information and to sign.

Once you’ve signed the petition and sent it to NAR, please would you email your friends and networks and ask them to do the same thing.

We feel this is an action whose time has come and we thank the Tuesday sisters and their male counterpart, Nick French, from the bottom of our hearts, for what you are doing. And we thank you, in advance, for your support.

Dr Fred and Victoria

I’ve signed the petition and think it would be great if every single person reading this signs it, as well. 

The site address again is: http://forpatssake.com/

CHASE Bank Has a Bully and Threats Division

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Chase Bully Division

It appears that Chase Bank has a division that continuously checks the net for any posts or comments about them. So it shouldn’t take them long to find this one. It didn’t take them long at all to find the videos that my friends and short sale competitors, Kevin and Fred had at their site, Short Sale Power Hour.

Then the lawyers for the Chase Bully and Threats Division got involved. The videos in question had Kevin and Fred talking about their experiences and interactions as short sale agents dealing with Chase. The Chase Bully and Threats Division didn’t like the videos of Kevin and Fred talking about Chase Bank’s short sale division but there wasn’t anything Kevin and Fred were saying in the videos that Chase could claim was false or untrue or that would justify asking for them to be removed or modified. That didn’t matter.

During a very lengthy (6 hours, I am told) conversation, the lawyer from Chase told the lawyer from Keller Williams Realty International that if the videos in question, mentioning Chase, were not removed from Kevin and Fred’s Short Sale Power Hour site, Chase Bank would pull every REO listing from every single Keller Williams agent! There are 80,000 Keller Williams agents. Every REO listing that was a Chase listing from every single KW agent anywhere in the world.

Now that’s a damn nice threat!

I want one! I want Chase Bank to threaten me. Here is how they can get in touch with me so I can be threatened too.

Wachovia Will No Longer Postpone A Foreclosure

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Money Gun

In an effort to stop sellers facing foreclosure from gaming their system, Wachovia has completely stopped allowing any postponement of a foreclosure or Trustee’s Sale.  I have long felt that Wachovia was not simply a good lender to deal with for a short sale – truth be told – they were the very best.

I’m being told that this new policy isn’t going to be a "bad" thing.  I don’t see it that way.  To penalize everyone because of  the bad actions of a few is seldom good (even if common).

Here is a copy of a response from Wachovia that was sent to me via the title company:

**IF THERE IS A FORCLOSURE SALE DATE SET – WE WILL NO LONGER POSTPONE THAT DATE FOR ANY REASON – if there is an active foreclosure Sale Date we MUST RECEIVE funds no later than 5 DAYS before that Sale Date, also if there is a SALE DATE set we must receive the full package 10 business DAYS prior to that sale date (and again, we will not postpone that date)**

FOR EXAMPLE:

If you are SUBMITTING A SHORT SALE PACKAGE on a property that has a SALE DATE SET FOR AUGUST 30th, the SHORT SALE APPROVAL WILL BE ISSUED with an expiration date of AUGUST 25th and we will NOT EXTEND the Short Sale approval or SALE DATE.

Sandra Villalpando
Short Sales Manager
Wachovia, REO

I’m hoping that this new policy from Wachovia is reversed.  I do understand that some lenders say they will postpone one and then go right ahead and foreclose anyway.  I’ve just always expected much better from Wachovia.  And rightly so!

Thank You NAR! Or Would You Prefer to be Known as a Used House Salesman?

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Thurmbs up NAR

A lot of blog posts have been written about what the National Association of Realtors is doing wrong or what they "ought to be doing" with regard to this or that.  I have written some of those posts myself.  I think it is important if one is going to find and point out things that are wrong that they also see and point out things that are right.

I believe that all members of the NAR have a debt of gratitude to the NAR.  Not just for the MLS either!  This includes all the various people who do nothing but find fault with whatever the NAR is doing – they do too.  I don’t know if what we have was by design or if there was a really really bright man or woman on some committee back in the day who realized the future impact of what they were doing or it was just a series of lucky breaks.  Either way, they did good.

Anyone who understands marketing (and there are NO exceptions to this rule) understands that you can be thought of by a public (whichever particular public you are marketing to – as there isn’t "a public" or "the public") just one way.  The result or "product" of marketing is owning shelf space in the mind of that person.  And you get to occupy precisely ONE slot.  They will think of you one way.  How they think of you may have nothing to do with how you would like them to think of you or it may be exactly how you want them to think of you – that all depends on the effectiveness of your marketing – which depended totally on who you were marketing to and how carefully you crafted the single way that public should think of you.

If not for the word "REALTOR" – which became our NAME, thanks to the individuals on some NAR committee a long time back, we would most likely be referred to by the home buying pubic as "Used House Salesman".  I like the title, Realtor a lot better.  I’m thinking you do too.  I’ve mentioned this to a few Realtor friends in person and thought it was about time I mentioned it to my friends here.

Thank you, NAR!!  Nice job.

Spineless Cowards at NAR Scandal.com

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

Breaking Scandal

Here is a link from an email I just received.  The people writing at this website http://narscandal.com/ may or may not have something worthwhile to say.  But there is pretty much nothing they will ever say that will get any applause from me.  Why?  Because they go WAY out of their way to hide who they are.  Maybe it isn’t a "they" but only a "he" or a "she" – pretending to be a group of "concerned people".

This isn’t a defense of NAR.  It is saying loud and clear – don’t take potshots or engage in name calling if you want to keep yours hidden.  Otherwise, you are just a covertly hostile weasel who can’t be trusted to tell the truth.

Nowhere on the site does it say who is writing any of it or who supports them.  I have nothing but contempt for the sort of passive-aggressive person who puts up a site like this.  You want to say something and be respected?  Simple: don’t hide who you are or who you work for.

Bank of America Achieves Surrealistic Central Status

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

BofASurreal

Maybe I should have titled this post, "Attention All Lawyers – Bank of America Has Lots of Free Money For You".  What you are about to read might seem like something out of a Franz Kafka novel or a Salvador Dali painting that was somehow brought to life.  Only it is verified and real.

It is no secret in the real estate community what Bank of America does (and doesn’t do) regarding short sales.  In fact, typing, "short sales bank of america" into Google has this post right on the first page of Google.  Bank of America has routinely forced homeowners into foreclosure when a short sale was possible.  But when you read the next paragraph and get to the bottom of that paragraph – you will go back to the top and read it again because you will think you’ve misread it.  It just can’t say that.

In many instances – where a trustee’s sale has been postponed in order to complete a short sale – once the short sale is successfully completed and title transferred to the new owner – Bank of America then forecloses on the new owner.  Investors who have purchased the home at auction will then go the house, change the locks or in some cases break in to the home, thinking that the former owners simply haven’t moved out yet. 

The following all happened in my office with my staff:

Apparently BofA has no system in place to cancel trustee sales after a short sale is completed. Our office is currently working on getting trustee sales canceled on 3 files that have closed escrow on a short sale with BofA recently. On one file we closed escrow 26th of January. The trustee sale was scheduled for February 4th and BofA would not discuss canceling the trustee sale until 2 days before it was scheduled. So on February the 1st (and 2nd, and 3rd) we spent over 5 hours trying to get someone at BofA to cancel the trustee sale. In exasperation on the 3rd day of this, we finally told them “go ahead and sell the house that you have no legal right to foreclose on and you can undo it after the fact”. At that point the supervisor urged us to calm down that they wanted to work it out and they couldn’t understand why no one was doing anything.

They told us that Recon Trust (their appointed trustee for sales) charges them $3800 per foreclosure and that they didn’t want to pay that to foreclose on a home that was already sold. We had already spoken to Recon Trust trying to provide copies of the HUD1 that showed the sale had been completed a week ago, but they will only take instruction from BofA (plus there is that $3800 per trustee sale – legit or not). So far we have gotten called off 2 of our 3 homes that are closed but still scheduled for a trustee sale. This has taken hours and hours of our time to get BofA to do a job that is theirs to do. Buyers are reporting notices of sales being posted, investors trying to break in and look at their homes, etc. all because the trustee sale is not halted. The only bank currently doing this to our knowledge is BofA.

Maybe someone from Bank of America reading this could alert someone in a position of authority to actually DO something about it?  I know a whole bunch of people who would be very grateful.