Fox Business just ran a story on buyers and sellers working with Dual Agency. I’ve written about Dual Agency in Minnesota before and it is something that rarely gets discussed. If it does get discussed, it’s often brushed over. In Minnesota, we can work as dual agents meaning we represent both the buyer and the seller but both parties need so know that the role of the agent and the representation offered change.
If you have not discovered this tool yet offered by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors and powered by 10K Research, it’s a must if you want to stay on top of the statistics for your particular city. The reports are generated every month usually around the 10th or so of each month.
The Minneapolis Area Local Market Updates for over 200 communities. You’ll find:
- Median home sales prices
- Average home sales prices
- New listings
- Number of closed sales
- Days on market until sale
- Final sales price as a percentage of original list price
Trulia is one of the big real estate search engines that has seen rapid growth in traffic over the past several years. They, along with Zillow and Realtor.com to some degree, are seen as third party aggregators in real estate search. I’m a fan of Trulia and believe they have been very innovative in pushing the technology as well as usability of real estate search across the country.
Today Trulia filed for an IPO to raise $75 million. The ticker will be TRLA. No news yet as to what the overall valuation of the company is when they raise $75 million. JP Morgan Chase and Deutsche Bank are the lead underwriters. Accel Partners and Sequoia Capital are the private equity firms involved in originally funding the company.
According to the Associated Press story running on Yahoo! Finance:
Trulia, which operates both a traditional website and mobile apps, allows people to research home listings and neighborhoods, while helping real estate agents market their listings. In the six months ended June 30, the site had 22 million unique visitors. And as of the same date, it had more than 360,000 active real estate professionals, with 21,544 of those paying subscribers.
The company’s searchable database includes more than 110 million properties, including 4.5 million homes for sale and rent. Listings are supplemented with local information on schools, crime and neighborhood amenities.
It will be interesting to see the reception to Trulia’s IPO. Zillow, it’s biggest competitor, had a successful IPO a year ago and Zillow now has a valuation of over $1 billion.
In the Twin Cities we have been seeing signs of dwindling housing inventory for a year now. In most micro markets, inventory is down 20-30%. As that continues, it will inevitably put pressure on pricing. I don’t think anyone’s expecting a sharp rise in home prices, but it certainly will help the situation as it should minimize the price declines that we have gotten used to over the past 5-6 years.
Craig Kamman has a very good synopsis of some recent reports on inventory and home prices. There does seem to be some hope that prices might be up by 5-10% over the next 24 months. Every market is different of course.
There are many ways that we as agents look at the health of a particular real estate market. Given the crash we have lived through it’s easy to shy away from calling a bottom in the housing market because we’ve had a couple of false starts. While this, too, might be a false start, there are just too many market segments that are showing marked improvement over last year and the year before that it sure looks like the worst is behind us.
For example, in Medina, MN there is a beautiful luxury neighborhood called Wild Meadows. There was even a million dollar home that “sold before print” meaning the agents had it sold before they were even able to load it in to the MLS. We used to see a number of those kinds of sales pre-2005/2006 but not many since and certainly not for a million dollars. Right now there are 9 homes for sales priced between $700,000 to $2.1 million. 4 homes are pending priced between $800,000 to $1.4 million. (Pending means they have a buyer under contract who has gone through the inspection and been satisfied…now they are just waiting for financing and closing). 4 homes have closed already this year priced between $663,000 and $1.3 million. In 2011, only 2 homes sold and closed in Wild Meadows. One sold for $975,000 and the other for $1.7 million. In 2010, 5 homes sold priced between $650,000 and $1.2 million. If you would like to see any of these listings, please send me an e-mail.
The Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors has published data showing that closed transactions are up 50% in Medina so far for 2012 compared to 2011 and prices are up 15%.
Title-1 introduces an online tool that allows home buyers and real estate agents to get an accurate estimate of what it’s going to cost to close on their real estate transaction. Be sure to check out their Purchase CalcuRator!
Congratuations to Title-1. I think this is a fanstastic too!
No doubt this was a phenomenal Parade of Homes for the Twin Cities new construction market. According to the Builder Association of the Twin Cities, this was the best Parade since 2007. It probably helps that the number of builders who were presenting their homes is down substantially since 2007, but the foot traffic really was excellent and the sales were well beyond expectations. I recall at the top of the housing market that there were 1,100 to 1,200 homes that were being shown in the Parade of Homes. If I’m not mistaken, I think this year the number was less than 400. Those who have stuck it out are doing well!
First of all, congratulations to home town business giant, General Mills for being named the most reputable big company in America according to the story published in Forbes Magazine. Forbes partnered with the Reputation Institute to conduct the annual research.
Not surprising was to hear the news that my old friend, Freddie Mac was named the least reputable big company in America…closely followed by Fannie Mae and Goldman Sachs.
The least reputable company on the list this year: Freddie Mac. In dead last, for the second consecutive year, the home mortgage financier earned a pulse score of 26.01, which is 3.46 points less than last year. Fannie Mae did only slightly better with 29.52 points. Goldman Sachs proves the third least reputable company, with a score of 36.95.
I’m still involved in one of the worst transactions of my career right now with a Freddie Mac owned property. What a delight.
- Freddie Mac and Its Mortgage Servicing Companies Are Denying Short Sale Approvals in Redemption Period – Minnesota (johnmurphyreports.com)
- Here We Go Again – Freddie Mac Cuts Commissions to REALTORS (johnmurphyreports.com)
- Fannie Mae Serious Delinquency rate declines, Freddie Mac rate increases (calculatedriskblog.com)
- FHFA’s DeMarco: FHFA to make decision on GSE Principal Reductions this month (calculatedriskblog.com)
There are a number of properties that are in multiple offer situations right now. I’m working on a bank deal right now and we don’t know the final tally, but we know for sure that there are 10 offers on the property. That was within the first four days the property was on the market. It’s a newer town home in Maple Grove priced under $110,000. If it were priced at $120,000 it would not have garnered nearly the interest that it has just $10,000 lower.
Any home can be sold. It’s all about value. It’s not about the marketing. Trust me. When you see the “marketing” that the REO (real estate owned) agents do, you will know that marketing doesn’t sell homes. Is it priced aggressively? Is it on the MLS? If so, it will sell.
Remember when the airlines absolutely sucked? (Pardon my language but how else to describe?) Remember how awful the customer service was in the airline business in the 1980′s and 1990′s. They seemed to have no care for their paying customers. Service was terrible. Response times were terrible. Few if any seemed to go the extra mile to take care of an issue. It was terrible.
Well I think the banks are the new airlines. And when I mean banks, I don’t mean the front end of the banks – the retail side. Those are some of the nicest, most polite and pleasant people you’ll ever meet. I’m talking about the REO (real estate owned) and foreclosure side of the house. The communication is stunningly poor and ineffective. They are unresponsive. There is no appreciation for those of us in the field trying to “get things done” for our buyers on their properties. We are on an “as needs to know” basis and when we need a response, it might be days to get something back from them. However, once they send us something they DEMAND that it be turned around in 24 HOURS or the deal is potentially DEAD.
It’s difficult to know where the problem lie exactly. It could be the bankers themselves or it could be their asset managers that they’ve hired to “dispose” of their housing inventory.
They are now costing my buyers money because of their unresponsiveness and lack of attention to detail. The latter has really been incredible lately and it’s amazing anything gets done. If you’re reading this as an end consumer, you may not care in a broad sense what real estate agents get paid to put these deals together, but I would hope you care about your own particular agent. Freddie Mac has started to cut commissions to Realtors now I guess perhaps because their deals are so easy that Realtors shouldn’t get paid their 3%
Currently I’m working on a Freddie Mac property where they misspelled my buyers name. It’s a common name and they added a letter that should not have been there. They have to send it back to be revised. That was last Friday. It’s now Wednesday afternoon…5 days later…still no revised contract. It has to work its way through the bureaucracy for one letter!!! Meanwhile, this is costing my buyer money as interest rates slowly tick higher.
I’ve had other dealings with Freddie Mac and they would definitely get my vote as the worst bank in America to buy a house from. Bank of America might be a close second after the debacle I am currently working through right now. There are plenty of characters who might, on any given day, might earn the award of being the worst bank in America when it comes to buying REO property.
One thing is for sure, these parts of the banking business and asset management business charged with disposing of these properties must have taking their customer service training from the same folks who trained the airlines many years ago.
- WSJ: BofA to try Deed-in-lieu to Rental Program (calculatedriskblog.com)
- Here We Go Again – Freddie Mac Cuts Commissions to REALTORS (johnmurphyreports.com)
- Bank of America’s Rental Program (ilovevacaville.wordpress.com)
- Bank of America to reduce loans for homeowners (seattlepi.com)
- Do it right, or don’t do it at all (damniwish.com)
- Most Expensive REO in the U.S. Just Sold for $28 Million in San Francisco (johnmurphyreports.com)