Archive for June, 2010

Only Real Estate Agents should be Processing/Negotiating Short Sales in Utah!, by Inwest Title a Utah Title Company

Friday, June 25th, 2010

The Utah Insurance Department (UID) has confirmed that it considers an Escrow Officer that processes or negotiates any short sale transaction(s) in violation of the insurance laws and are putting their license in jeopardy.   The UID issued a June 21, 2010 Bulletin 2010-5 to put all Title Agencies and Insurers on notice of this fact.

The UID’s bulletin goes hand in hand with the Utah  Division of Real Estate’s (DRE) position that the negotiation of a short sale falls under the province of a licensed real estate agent, and that all others (except attorneys) conducting such negotiations are in violation of Utah law by acting as unlicensed real estate agents. The DRE has commented on this issue several times in their quarterly newsletters.

The UID Bulletin cautions any dual licensed individuals (those holding title, real estate, and/or law licenses) that there are clear boundaries on when a licensee can negotiate a short sale while also handling the title work.

We agree with both the UID and URE’s positions since real estate agents are professional sales advocates who are in the best position to negotiate the terms of a short sale transaction.

Utah Real Estate Market Conditions- Average Days on Market, Average Sales Price, Number of Homes Sold, by Inwest Title a Utah Title Company

Friday, June 25th, 2010

If you are interested in Utah’s market trends for interest rates, home pricing, monthly listings vs. sales, average home sale price per County, construction permit starts, and much more, then please download the Inwest Title’s Market Data Report from our website. Our report is emailed to hundreds of Real Estate, Mortgage and Title Insurance professionals twice a month.

If you are interested in being added to the distribution list please send an email to deborahs@inwesttitle.com or contact any of our Marketing professionals in one of our 12 convenient statewide locations – click here for report
http://bit.ly/9R5nxo

Are You Ordering a Preliminary Title Report when you should?, by Inwest Title a Utah Title Company

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Did you order your title report (PR) in a timely fashion?

Too many times we see listing agents who forget, or don’t think it is necessary, to order a title report prior to or at the time they take a listing. That could be a disaster. Yes, in most cases the title report will show exactly what you, as the listing agent, expect to see and will concur with what your sellers have told you. However, there are too many times when a title report has revealed a significant problem that will seriously impact the sale of what you thought was a great listing.

Take for example, the couple whose kids accidentally lit fire to a national forest while playing with fireworks. The couple was sued by the United States for the firefighting expenses and ultimately had a $300,000 judgment entered against them which became a lien against their home. They either didn’t know or didn’t disclose that to their listing agent who thought she had a great listing. The lien, together with the underlying mortgage debt, was far greater than the house was worth. The federal government won’t budge on what they are owed, so the couple was forced to withdraw their home from the market.

Ask yourself what you would have done if you had spent weeks marketing the house, had several showings, and finally negotiated a contract, only to find out the house for all intents and purposes couldn’t be sold? Now suppose the buyer’s agent is not too happy. After all they brought a “ready, willing, and able” buyer and are suing you for the commission. This would be an unfortunate situation and one that could have been avoided had you asked your friendly local title company to pull a title report (PR) at the time you listed the home.

Ok, so that may be a rare situation. What about the woman who has had you list her home? She originally bought it with her ex-husband, but years ago they divorced. She refinanced the house and paid him “his share.” Unfortunately, the deed recorded at the time of the refinancing wasn’t prepared correctly and the current title search shows the ex-husband is still owed 50% of the equity according to the divorce decree.

This could be a pretty messy situation if the ex-spouses aren’t getting along, since the only way to insure the property now is to have a properly-recorded deed which will require the ex-husband to cooperate with the woman who owns the home. What if you didn’t pull a title report at the time you listed the home, but had waited until the house was under contract and the buyers were in their due diligence phase? Everyone is expecting to close in two weeks and your seller is trying to track down her ex-husband.

Ok, that maybe doesn’t happen very often either, but one thing that happens often is your seller not being truthful about what is owed on the property. A title report will show the liens recorded against the property. Having that knowledge can keep you from listing what is really a short-sale candidate when you think you have a dream listing.

Knowledge is golden. Don’t get caught without the facts when you list that next home. Call us today or order your title report from our website at your convenience. It could save you and your sellers a lot of grief.

Lenders Use Technological Innovation to Improve the Short Sale Process, by Inwest Title a Utah Title Company

Friday, June 11th, 2010

As many in the real estate industry know being involved in a short sale can be a very lengthy and frustrating process.  Short Sale Lenders are difficult or impossible to contact and providing the necessary documentation for approval (usually via facsimile) is problematic at best.  This results in short sales dragging on forever, and then never making it to the closing table.

Bank of America, one of the largest lenders out there, has launched a new on-line system that both Short Sale Sellers and their Agents can utilize that is directed at eliminating these problems and streamlining the process to result in a fast closing.

The new online system allows both the Agent and Seller the ability to provide information and documentation electronically, track the short sale 24/7, and communicate directly with the lender’s short sale representative.  To that end Bank of America has released a detailed guide on how an Agent can sign up for this system through Equator as well as instructions for the Seller to sign up on Bank of America’s website.  They also provide helpful tips so you know what the bank expects and what they do not allow, so that you can avoid making mistakes that may delay your short sale.

We have had an agent provide details on using this system, and he stated that it was easy to use resulting in his short sale being closed in about 60 days.  Wow, what a refreshing change!!  It sure beats working on a short sale transaction for a year, only to have it fall apart as parties give up on the deal.  If all transactions moved this fast it would go a long way to save the sanity of Sellers, Agents, and Escrow Officers involved in the short sale process.

Housing Wire reported in a June 10th, 2010 article that “Bank of America said they are doing everything they can to put short sales ahead of REO, and they’re the biggest lender in the country”.  We are excited that this is their goal and we hope other lenders follow suit as this would benefit everyone.

If you learn of any other lenders using a streamlined process, please let us know the details, so that we can pass on the information through our blog.

Inwest Title Market Data Report- June 7, 2010, by Inwest Title a Utah Title Company

Monday, June 7th, 2010

If you are interested in Utah’s market trends for interest rates, home pricing, monthly listings vs. sales, average home sale price per County, construction permit starts, and much more, then please download the  Inwest Title’s Market Data Report from our website. Our report is emailed to hundreds of Real Estate, Mortgage and Title Insurance professionals twice a month.

If you are interested in being added to the distribution list please send an email to Deborah Cope or contact any of our Marketing professionals in one of our 12 convenient statewide locations.  Click here for report http://www.inwesttitle.com/market-data-reports/MARKET%20DATA%202010%2006-07.pdf

Real Estate Market Cycles, by Inwest Title a Utah Title Company

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Dr. Glenn Mueller of Dividend Capital has put together this analysis of the first quarter of 2010 covering 50 major cities including Salt Lake for Office, Industrial, Apartment, Retail and Hotel properties.  There are some very interesting statistics in this report on occupancy rates and how they relate to the current economic climate.