Wow - what a difference a year makes. Yes, we are experiencing a very strong purchase market here in MA, complete with bidding wars and frustrated buyers.
In fact today many agents are telling us ..."we don't need new buyers, we don't have enough inventory to sell as it is!"
Now is a great time to reach out to your past buyers (preferably all of them over the phone not via email) and talk to them about their mortgage financing.
As we all know mortgage rates are at rock bottom. Many of your clients may no longer know someone in the mortgage industry so they could be looking for a referral. Many may believe that they cannot refinance because their value has dropped.
Perhaps now is a good time for a buyer of yours to consider a second home purchase or the purchase of an investment property. Get on the line and offer solutions for clients looking to invest their money or reduce their interest rates or change their lives.
Helping our client's helps to grow our business so don't be afraid to make these calls. We have seen homeowners who cannot refinance choose to sell and buy new - there could be listings in your database that you have not found because you are afraid to reach out. As the saying goes...Just do it!
We can shout this from the mountain tops but no one seems to be listening! The mortgage industry in MA is overwhelmed with application volume. Not only are rates so low that many people are refinancing AGAIN, some for the third time, BUT purchase business is strong.
When putting together an offer to purchase all parties HAVE to consider mortgage processing timelines. Yes, there are lenders out there promising the world, but we all know how that works.
This market requires TRUTH in order to continue with the rebuilding of TRUST. The TRUTH is that appraisals are taking a minimum of 3 weeks and we anticipate that time line will only grow longer.
Assume 4-6 weeks for mortgage approvals if you want a smooth transaction with satisfied sellers and buyers.
Appraiser Stats! State appraiser licensing statistics are released each February:
- From 2/10 - 2/12 there has been a decline of 39% or 1569 less licensed appraisers in the state.
- In the past year we lost another 160 appraisers in 12 months!
- In 2011 the state issued 53 appraisal trainee licenses which was a decrease of 30, apparently 83 trainee appraisers did not renew their credentials.
The barriers to entry in the appraisal industry are extreme. New regulation no longer allows for trainees to perform certain functions that they use to be able to perform. This has made it harder for appraisal companies to grow and train new staff since they can no longer perform any tasks that would merit compensation. The hands of appraisal companies are tied!
Steve Sousa, Executive Vice President of the MA Board of Real Estate Appraisers (MBREA), explains;
"Where before many certified appraisers might have one or more trainees out performing supervised work, now you have very few, almost none at all, trainees engaged in the process. There are pretty severe restrictions on licensed appraisers as well, forcing many out of the profession... between 2011 and 2012 the number of certified residential and certified general appraisers fell for the first time. Age is beginning to take its toll as a significant number of appraisers are approaching retirement age."
How do you train an apprentice if that apprentice is not allowed to perform most functions needed to facilitate the training? How do we replace an aging workforce if the barriers to entry are too prohibitive?
As an industry we need to lobby our representatives and regulators to get some of these restrictions eased before we have another crisis on our hands.
In the meantime, it is our professional obligation to educate buyers, sellers and all involved in a real estate transaction about the real time necessary to complete the transaction, and that patience is a virtue, and a necessity!
Allow enough time for all to get their jobs done in order to achieve the goal of a happy buyer and seller at the closing table.