Scam Alert Signs

How to Avoid Real Estate Cyber Scams

Phishing, hacking, wire fraud – these are all ways people attempt to steal from others online.  As real estate searches and transactions move increasingly online, the chances of being caught up in a cyber scam have become even greater.

By now most people have heard of the Nigerian prince scams or phishing emails asking for social security or banking information, but many people don’t know that they need to watch out for possible scams when buying or selling their home.  Cybercrimes have become increasingly sophisticated over the years and the people perpetrating them focus on situations where a lot of money is changing hands, making real estate transactions an ideal target.

Financial Scam ConceptThe National Association of Realtors® recently warned its members and consumers about one example, a wiring scam during the closing stage of the home buying and selling process . Hackers will break into the email accounts of consumers and real estate professionals to get details about a real estate transaction.  The hacker will then send an email pretending to be the buyer, seller, real estate agent or someone else involved in the closing process and say there has been a last minute change and provide new wiring instructions; the instructions send the closing costs funds directly into the hacker’s bank account.

While it may seem like there are hundreds of ways for a criminal to take advantage of a consumer online, there are just as many ways consumers can protect themselves.

Here are a few tips from the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association to help home buyers and sellers recognize and avoid real estate cyber scams:

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Bank Appraisal on Home

Every Home On The Market Has To Be Sold 2 Times!

sold

Homeowners:  Your Home Must Be Sold TWICE!

That’s correct, every home on the market has to be sold 2 times, once to a prospective buyer and then to your bank (through the bank’s appraisal).  With home prices increasing, the 2nd sale might be even more difficult than the 1st.   Maybe your planning on jumping into the housing market sooner or later…  Well, sooner (now) remains a great time to sell and I’m going to tell you why —

 

In the current residential real estate market, where inventory is very low and demand is very high, property values are rising quickly.   Home values can appreciate by another 5%+ over the next year.   However, one major challenge a seller might encounter in this seller’s market is the bank appraisal.  Why is that?

 

The answer:  If prices are surging, it’s difficult for appraisers to find adequate, comparable sales (similar homes in the Bank Moneyneighborhood that have recently sold) to defend the selling price when performing the bank’s appraisal.  Every month in their Home Price Perception Index (HPPI), Quicken Loans measures the disparity between what a homeowner who is seeking to refinance their home believes their property is worth, as compared to an appraiser’s evaluation of that same home.

 

“While a 1 or 2% difference in home value opinions may not seem like a lot, it could be enough to derail a mortgage.  A homeowner (or a buyer) could be forced to bring more cash to closing in order to make a mortgage work if the appraisal is lower than expected.  On the other hand, if an appraisal comes in higher, they could be surprised with more equity than they had planned.  Either way, if owners are aware of their local markets it will lead to smoother mortgage transactions.”  (Bill Banfield, VP of Capital Markets at Quicken Loans)

 

The chart below illustrates the changes in home price estimates over the last 12 months.

Appraiser Home Values Chart

Let’s get together soon to discuss this and any other obstacle that might arise!

 

Congratulations Your Home Sold

Here’s Why You Should Sell Your Home TODAY!

If you are considering selling, you’ll wan to DO IT TODAY to take advantage of the current market.

The latest statistics from this year alone, to date, were astounding!

“Much of the country saw robust sales activity last month as strong hiring and improved consumer confidence at the end of last year appear to have sparked considerable interest in buying a home. Market challenges remain, but the housing market is off to a prosperous start as homebuyers staved off inventory levels that are far from adequate…”

– Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR)

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Housing Inventory Shortage

Low Housing Inventory is Still Posing a Challenge

The housing crisis of the past is finally in dissipating as the real estate market moves down the road to a complete recovery.  Home values are up, home sales are up and distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) are at their lowest mark in almost a decade.  This year has been great for real estate and it will continue.

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Have Buyers, Homes Needed

Now Is a Great Time to Sell!

We all realize that the best time to sell anything is when demand is high and the supply of that item is limited. The last two major reports issued by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed information that suggests that now continues to be a great time to sell your house. Let’s look at the data covered by the latest Pending Home Sales Report and Existing Home Sales Report.

THE PENDING HOME SALES REPORT

The report announced that pending home sales (homes going into contract) are up 2.4% over last year, and have increased year-over-year now for 22 of the last 25 consecutive months. Lawrence Yun, NAR‘s Chief Economist, had this to say:

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