Thursday, March 25, 2010

Real Estate Deadlines Are Approaching Fast

Deadlines Are Approaching Fast

Timing is everything in life, and it is absolutely essential for successful real estate transactions. Some things you have no control over, but there are many aspects of the real estate transaction that you can control. There are several deadlines or events approaching that may have a significant effect on the success of your transaction.

If you are a First Time Home Buyer, or replacing your primary residence, and looking for the Tax Credit, the deadline for being in contract is about a month away. You must have a signed contract by April 30th. To qualify for the Credit, you must close your escrow by June 30th. These are important dates – especially if you are shopping for a Short Sale property as those can take time to position for closing.

Some lenders are doing a very responsible and responsive job processing their Short Sale requests. Some lenders, however, take forever. The risk is too great for you to wait to close with “forever” lenders if you are counting on the Tax Credit. Caution – look at your transaction in its entirety without getting too wrapped up in the Tax Credit. If you are buying the property $20,000 under today’s market, that is better than buying something at market and getting an $8,000 Tax Credit. You might want to hold on to your deal even if you realize that there is a good chance you will be closing after June 30th.

HAFA is coming. On April 5th the new Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program will go into effect. HAFA provides incentives to both the lender and Seller in connection with a Short Sale or Deed in Lieu used to avoid foreclosure on a loan eligible for modification under the HAMP program. For example, Sellers will be given $1,500 relocation assistance. Under HAFA, if a Homeowner is found to be either ineligible for mortgage modification under HAMP, or been ruled unable to sustain payments under a trial plan, the lender must offer a short sale in writing to the homeowner within 30 days of either of the above occurring. HAFA will expedite Short Sales for those loans that qualify. Under HAFA, the lender must make a decision to accept the qualified Short Sale within ten days of receipt of a written offer.

If you are considering a USDA 100% Guarantee loan be advised that once the existing money pool is disbursed there is uncertainty as to when additional funding will be available. If you need/want that loan program to buy your home we highly suggest that you act fast in buying your home and getting your loan process underway.

Our advice: If you are buying or selling real estate today it is important that you pay attention to real estate news daily. Things change and your real estate success could be directly affected by a new program, the expiration of an old program, etc. Interest rates are rumored to be going up. Knowing that you can decide if you want to buy now … or wait. Your agent is working hard to stay current with events and trends and how they affect you so be sure to keep in close and frequent contact with your agent. Call your agent – ask if anything new has happened since you last talked that affects your situation.

If you are a Seller be assured that Buyers are buying right now. A Buyer? These are the good old days! Who thought we would ever see prices like this again? Don’t time the market drop … that’s like catching a falling knife. Buy the home you want at these great prices and interest rates and enjoy it. There is so much opportunity out there – embrace it. Do it before something changes for that is the only thing you can definitely count on … change itself. When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs… Experience is Priceless! Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, CDPE, SFR, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-5472.,