Jim Valentine: Miscellaneous real estate matters
In a dynamic market it isn’t unusual for buyers to try to get separation from the pack by writing a letter to the seller telling them how much they like the house, what it will mean to the family, why they are deserving, etc. These “Love Letters” can include photos of the family and therein lies the rub.
It recently has been determined that such letters, and especially those with pictures of children, family, etc., can be considered discriminatory and thus a violation of Fair Housing legislation. That considered, some real estate offices are establishing a policy of not presenting such letters when presenting the offers that they are accompanying. Overreaction? The penalty for a first offense can be $50,000. Playing it safe. Write a good clean offer and hope for the best.
Comparing loans. If you are being enticed to use a certain lender because of the great interest rate be sure to compare the closing costs to make sure you are getting what you bargained for. You can buy down your rate by paying points. Each point is 1% of the loan amount. Consider it pre-paid interest if you want. If you have a lot of equity the points can get lost in the closing costs very easily. Look at the detailed closing costs and be sure to ask your loan officer about things you don’t understand. You know how silly it is to compare apples to oranges even though they are both fruit. Lenders and their loan programs can be equally diverse in their costs even though they are both lenders competing with their rates. When all is done, compare their service. That’s where the wheat is separated from the chaff. In this day and age great service can be the difference between getting your loan and the home that you want, or not. We don’t experiment with lenders.
COVID practices have been faithfully followed by buyers, sellers, agents and all the contributing vendors since the virus first set upon us, but some have relaxed their masking and disinfecting of late. While we may feel safe in our Northern Nevada environment and its relatively low positive results numbers, the bug is still around and we have many buyers traveling in from out of state to look at buying our homes for their anticipated sanctuary.
We must still be careful for everyone’s sake. We must or we will be shut down and most won’t be able to buy or sell in that case. Be diligent, be safe, be considerate, and enjoy the process.
The Multiple Listing Service has made some policy changes lately, one of which may be reversed. The coming soon program is vastly different than the original purpose of the MLS system, but for some reason it was implemented. It allows agents to put listings in MLS that aren’t ready for the market. Photos are limited to one, and the time frame for the CS classification is limited to two weeks.
There are so many problems with it creating an uneven playing field thus defeating the MLS cooperation mindset. It has served to create frustration among agents and buyers alike so we look to see it modified, or preferably removed, in the near future. It is a lousy policy and serves nobody well.
If your home isn’t ready to market get it ready before you list it. If you are ready to market why wait to offer it to the public? If you have a specific situation where you need a delay there are provisions for a delayed start that doesn’t cause the consternation that a coming soon listing does.
Things are now changing faster than they have historically. In just a matter of days or weeks the real estate industry can have a whole new standard of practice implemented. This in an industry that evolved over many years rather than spawning frequent revolutions. What is different?
Mix a lethal virus with prolific information available on the Internet; new laws, policies and procedures; and a major effort to protect the public from themselves whether it be financial, emotional, physical or health related, and you have our new environment, the perfect breeding ground for revolutionary change.
If something is different from what you were used to or expecting, coordinate with your agent and roll with it. You might ask why for your personal edification but roll with it and focus on what is important – achieving your real estate objectives.
When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your Real Estate needs… Experience is Priceless! Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-3704. firstname.lastname@example.org