Learn about Utah, the suburbs, neighborhoods, schools and the real estate market here. This blog is authored by real estate experts from all around Utah. If you're looking to stay updated on Utah's Real Estate Market, this is the place for you.
Buyer Beware…You might want to reconsider that decision and go with a Mortgage Lender the next time you buy a home in Utah. I want to share a recent experience I had as a Utah Real Estate Buyer’s Agent.
This was for a purchase of an owner occupied home that was less than $150,000. This buyer got approval from the broker back in September 2010. We wrote an offer at the end of September and were under contract within the first few days of October. We should have closed on this client’s home last week.
As of today, we are still waiting for formal approval from the broker. The loan officer has communicated that he/she has done everything possible to speed up the process. My client is now at risk of losing thousands of dollars in deposits and inspections due to the broker not closing the loan on time. Every week, we were told that everything is OK and it should only be another day or two. It has been more than 3 weeks in underwriting. Is this an isolated problem that does not happen that often? No. Let me explain.
A couple of years ago, mortgage brokers were put on a pedestal by the banks and their loans were given priority. After the collapse of the banks/lending, banks started to push mortgage brokers out of the way. Many national and local banks shut down their wholesale lending operations (these were the divisions that handled mortgage brokered loans). In the past I was a California & Utah Mortgage Licensee. I have had experience in working with both brokers and lenders. I understand what it takes to get a home loan and close on-time.
Since my move to only being a Utah real estate agent, I have never had deal not close on-time. I went back and looked at the financing my clients used to purchase these properties. NOT ONE was with a mortgage broker. They were either with a Utah lender (bank, credit union, in-house lender) or cash. Then I went back and looked at all of Zoom Real Estate’s closed purchase transactions for the previous year. I looked at if the deals closed on-time and if they used a broker or lender.
I am writing this blog post today to warn Utah home buyers to beware of mortgage brokers if you want to close on-time. It is difficult for brokers to close on-time because they do not have the resources to do so. Lenders have in-house underwriting, control of the loan file, and better access to the team working on your file (AKA..your home loan).
If you are being given the run-around from your mortgage broker, give me a call and I would be more than happy to recommend several local UTAH lenders to help you with your home purchase.
Three different lenders I work with contacted me today about home loan rates. All three of them are able to do a 30 yr fixed rate FHA or VA loan at 3.75% (apr 3.99%). WOW! With the loan rates getting even better today, you can save an estimated $72 a month (see example below).
Saving $72 a month on your Utah home payment is great, but how does $72 a month = $25,000 in savings? Look at the total interest paid over the life of the loan as given in the example below. In addition to the lower payment, you will save thousands in total interest paid. What a great day to buy a home.
Loan Amount: $250,000.00 ~
Term of the Loan: 30 years
Monthly mortgage payments: $1,157.79 ~
Total interest paid over the life of the loan: $166,804.04
Loan Amount: $250,000.00 ~ Term of the Loan: 30 years
Monthly mortgage payments: $1,229.85
Total interest paid over the life of the loan: $192,745.91
Buy more home today than yesterday. Contact me today to find out more about these rates and loan programs. 801-792-5040
If you have a steady job and decent credit, you may be a home owner before the end of the year.
According to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. Consumer Reports, Money Magazine, State Supreme Courts, and many leading consumer groups…A buyer who relies on the listing or seller’s agent does not receive the same degree of legal protection as that afforded by an agent acting solely on behalf of the buyer.
For argument’s sake, suppose you see a Salt Lake property that is “just perfect” and you don’t have an agent yet. Do you make an offer with the listing agent to save the money of not having a buyer’s agent or to negotiate a better deal with the seller? (No, I’ll explain in a moment – nothing is saved)
Most Utah real estate deals have two agents involved. The listing agent markets the house and represents the seller. The buyer’s agent represents the buyer. The seller pays the same commission to the listing broker REGARDLESS if there is a buyer’s agent. If only the seller’s agent is involved (that is, he or she finds the buyer and represents the seller) then such an agent gets 100% of commission instead of 50%.
Listing agents who show you homes don’t represent your interests. They work for the seller, and their object is to sell the house at the highest possible price. If you haven’t figured out the trick by now, I’m telling you that you do not save money when you go through the listing agent.
Before the home is listed for sale, the seller has already contracted a fee with the listing agent. This fee is not reduced if a buyer decides to not have representation and use the listing agent to make an offer. Not hiring a buyer’s agent may cost you thousands. If a home was priced at $250,000, you may be overpaying by $25,000 or more on a typical sale if you use the listing agent! You pay nothing for my services as a buyer’s agent. Remember, the seller has already contracted a fee with the listing agent. The listing agent will split part of their fee with me.
When a buyer goes through the listing agent to purchase a home, this is called limited agency. What is limited agency?
A Limited Agent represents both seller and buyer in the same transaction and works to assist in negotiating a mutually acceptable transaction. A Limited Agent has fiduciary duties to both seller and buyer. However, those duties are “limited” because the agent cannot provide to both parties undivided loyalty, full confidentiality and full disclosure of all information known to the agent. For this reason, a Limited Agent must remain neutral in the representation of a seller and buyer, and may not disclose to either party information likely to weaken the bargaining position of the other; such as, the highest price the buyer will pay or the lowest price the seller will accept.
If you accept a limited agent, you are accepting you do not want the best price on a property. In Utah, it is common for buyers’ agents to negotiate price/terms at 5%-10% less than list price. Do you want to be limited when negotiating? In simple terms, the sales commission to be paid has already been agreed upon in writing when a home is listed with a broker for sale. The sales price has yet to be determined. Why have a limited agent handle your side of the sale when they cannot disclose the lowest price the seller will accept?
Why should a buyer have their own representation?
* No-cost to the buyer.
* To negotiate the best terms and price on your behalf.
* For your protection.
What are your rights as a buyer? What does the seller warranty? What if somebody else makes an offer on the property as well? How do you get your earnest money back if things go wrong? Under what circumstances can you get your earnest money back? What if the home inspection reveals unpleasant surprises? What if your lender can’t get your loan together on time? When can you legally take possession of the property?
Don’t leave money on the table and go through the buying process without representation. Hire a Zoom Real Estate buyer’s agent today. “You can’t have partial loyalty. An agent either works for you or works for someone else.”
What should a home buyer do?
Speak to a Zoom Real Estate buyer’s agent BEFORE you go out looking at homes. Secure your representation first, and you won’t have to concern yourself with accidently being represented by a listing agent. We have buyer’s agents ready to represent you in all areas of UTAH. If you are looking to buy real estate in Logan/Cache Valley, Ogden/Davis & Weber county, Salt Lake county, Utah county or even St George give us a call.
Contact me today to discuss hiring me to represent you as a buyer’s agent.
Call Kris/ Zoom Real Estate (801) 792-5040
Is this a realistic headline? No.
Everybody is looking for a deal, so there’s a lot of competition in purchasing distressed or bank owned properties. Good deals often average less than 7 days on the market because they have been priced to sell fast. There are many buyers who are pre-approved or have cash in hand, waiting for new home listings to be announced. Don’t miss out because you are not prepared for what homes are selling for in the zip code you are searching.
What do I mean?
Let’s talk about unrealistic home buyers.
Naturally everyone wants to get the most home they can for the least amount of money. This is in opposition to the home seller, who wants the most money for their home. This conflict is one of the things that make real estate sales challenging at times. When the market starts a shift in an opposing direction, this conflict stands out. Starting back in 2006 the shift in Utah real estate was starting to occur. It has been almost four years and it has been our experience that home sellers in Salt Lake, Utah, Davis, Weber, and Washington counties are becoming much more realistic.
While it used to be quite common to hear sellers say things like, “But my neighbor’s home sold for “x” dollars last year!” sellers seem to be getting more realistic when it comes to their home’s value. They are letting go of the attitude that their home needs to sell for what their neighbor sold for the year before. A year is almost an eternity in the Utah real estate market.
Home buyers on the other hand seem to be losing their grip on reality. Yes, there was a time when buyers were able to get significant savings off of the list price. While there is room to negotiate, we have not seen low-ball offers succeed in our local markets. We often negotiate price discounts up to 10% – 20%, anything more is unrealistic in Utah. Our market has stabilized from past volatility.
Here are some examples of recent conversations we have had with Utah buyers:
* We’d like to offer $40K under list price on a $175,000 home.
* We just short sold our home last month and are looking to buy now.
* The bank is out of state and doesn’t know what the property is worth, let’s offer $100,000 less.
* I need a smoking deal on a bank owned home or short sale. I’m willing to pay 60% of list price.
* I refuse to pay a dime over list price on a short sale or bank owned home.
The answer for all of those comments above is “you can’t do/get/buy that”. You might be asking yourself “why would I pay more for a short sale or bank owned home?” Because there are multiple offers from buyers who are all looking for a good deal. These homes are typically priced below market value to induce multiple offer situations. This is why these homes often sell for more than list price.
Much of this type of thing comes from simply not understanding what is happening in the real estate market. And by “the real estate market” I am not talking about what you hear on network news or even your local evening news / newspaper. You need to understand what the market is doing in the specific area you are interested in. The term “real estate market” is just too broad and real estate is local.
Our agents at Zoom would be happy to provide you at no charge, specific pricing statistics on local Utah zip codes or a specific property.
As a home buyer, you may not know the details and current trends about your local real estate market. Most people buy a home every 7 – 10 years. We are up to our necks in this stuff every single day. This is what we do for a living and helping people understand the details of their local real estate market is what we get paid for.
Give us a call today to discuss your local market.
You may reach Kris, Zoom Real Estate Realtor at 801-792-5040