Newsflash: (discussion) attn: Lenders / RE sales-persons min business with Zillow. Recent ‘investigations’ regarding splitting marketing costs.

Two lenders that we partnered up to split some monthly expenses (1/3) to be marketed with our premiere agent page was just told by their mortg. company to recuse themselves due to questionable issues with CFPB/RESPA.Has anyone else had issues or experience with this? My contact at zillow said as follows,”Hi ******Unfortunately, there are some lenders that are reacting to this without knowing all the facts. If a lender is billing up to 50% of agents spend they are fine.Zillow said in its Q1 quarterly report that we’ve been responding to requests from the CFPB. We have provided the CFPB information about our co-marketing product. We don’t yet know the results of their review. We are cooperating with the CFPB, and we are continuing to offer our co-marketing program, because we believe it allows you to comply with the law. Co-marketing – whether on Zillow or in direct mail and other non-digital channels – has been an important tool for agents and lenders for decades, and we took great care in constructing our program. We also support RESPA, which gives great protection to the consumers that we all cherish. I hope this helps.”Thoughts??


New Story Just Out: Scientists Pinpoint How A Flamingo Balances On One Leg

Yet another interesting headline in the world of health and well-being. Scientists Pinpoint How A Flamingo Balances On One Leg
What appears to be a feat actually requires almost no muscle effort from the bird. The researchers found even a dead flamingo’s body will fall into a stable one-leg balance if positioned vertically.

Read the full story here

Newsflash: Newbie Realtor here: any recommendations for a post card company that makes quality designs at decent price

I’m in Michigan. Any Realtor who can recommend a good print shop to get post cards printed. I work with a very known agency so I’m sure they would have their logo. Reason why I’m asking is because the print shop I use does not have a nice variety and there are so many in the web that the good ones are crowded out by these expensive outfits. A link to their website would be good. Thanks.


Newsflash: Is it unrealistic to buy a house remotely? (OR)

We’ve been looking to buy a home in the Pacific Northwest but don’t have the opportunity to travel there immediately. We have a realtor who offered to give us a video tour of some homes, but has only scheduled one in five weeks and then cancelled it (she decided the home was too close to a noisy road).We have a list of potential homes a mile long, some which our realtor provided and others which we’ve collected from Zillow and checked against Google Maps, FEMA flood maps and various school rating sites. Our realtor has not been as responsive as we would like, but we recognize that searching remotely probably makes things harder for her.We’re pre-approved and serious about buying immediately and hoping to close before school starts in the fall, but it feels like we’re not making any progress.Is this an unrealistic way to proceed? If we were to schedule a trip for my spouse or I, how long should we plan to stay?


Newsflash: Help with expectations in showing property we are currently renting

Hi Folks,I have a few questions about our current living situation. We have been renting a townhouse for about 2 years and the lease recently expired. The lease states it automatically renews to “month-to-month” after the end date. This is fine considering we just agreed to purchase a new construction home and we were approved for the mortgage. The landlord says we can rent for as long as we want (nothing in writing) and is aware we will be moving out in about 90 days. The twist is that during our lease, the owner has moved a considerable distance away many states away.About a week ago, the owner informed us that one of their local family members will be putting up a for sale by owner sign in the yard. The owner has been 100% reasonable so this wasn’t a problem. There has not been a single issue from either party since we started the lease. We are hoping for some insight and suggestions on how to handle the showing of the property to perspective buyers but have yet to discuss this with the owner.I do not know what will happen when someone calls the owner and asks to see the property because I do not believe the owner will travel to be present for every showing. The logistics of this will not work unless a family member does the showings after we let them in. Even if that were to happen, I am not sure how to ensure that nothing is stolen, damaged and so on.We are afraid that if we do not host showings the owner will be upset and end our month to month agreement to allow them to sell the property quicker. If this were to happen, we would be out of the street until our home is constructed.Thanks in advance for any suggestions or ideas!


Newsflash: [IL]. Should we fire our buyer’s agent?

We just recently started looking for a house. We are first time buyers, so we aren’t in the know on what is part and parcel in the Real Estate business.We’ve been looking for about a week. We started with an agent off of a referral from a friend. The agent typically works in an area about 20 miles away from the municipalities we’re looking at, but did indicate that they dabble in the municipalities we are interested in.We’ve looked at a few houses, and saw one that we thought we could like well enough, for the right price. Its location was similar to what we had in mind, but the house needed some updating. The asking price was 300k. Given the cost of updating the place and fixing up some stuff, in our gut we had thought 260k might have been a reasonable price, but realized we don’t know what the going rate would be. But we wanted to look at it again before making any kind of final determination. She mentions that there are other people who have been looking at the house who are going to put in an offer on the house, so we will want to do our second visit ASAP.We see it again, and we ask the agent about where we would price for an offer, mention that we think 260k would be where we think we would want to go based on our budget, and the agent tells us to do an initial offer at 270k. The agent indicated that they felt that if you go higher in your initial offer you’re more likely to get a better counter-offer, and that at the end of the day it would amount to such a small amount different per month that it doesn’t really matter.The Agent did not show us any sold properties with which we could compare prices.Again, the Agent re-iterated that the property had other people who were interested, and if we wanted it, we needed to put in an offer THAT NIGHT. We want to sleep on it first, because this is the single biggest purchase we’re going to make in our lives. They ask us to prepare offer paperwork that night, but will hold off on submitting it until we sleep on it. They say that we need to be first on an offer. We agree, because we are fools, and we are kind of tired at that point.We wake up the next day with a feeling of “what did we just do?!” and decide against submitting the offer. We think about one of the other houses we looked at and thought, “Well, maybe.” We ask the agent what price we should go in at. From our gut alone, with an asking price of 300k, we thought 270k might be a good starting point. But again, we were making that number out of a vacuum. We talk to our agent, and they recommend we start at 275k.Again, no comparables. Again, they urged us to get an offer in that day.At this point, we’re tired and decide we are going way. too. fast. So we ask for a few days to think about things.In this time, we look at this other property, realize it’s been on the market since last year, and they haven’t touched the price in over a month. It’s not on the Redfin hot list. There’s really no need to put in an offer this second.After resting on it for a few days and talking it over with family and friends, we realized that realtors regularly prepare houses that are comparable to the house in consideration for purposes of getting the right offer out there.Our question is – is this a warning sign? Are these red flags for which we should run away? Here’s a list of our concerns that we have realized in the past few days. Are these part and parcel for the home buying process, or are we potentially getting taken advantage of due to our naiveté?No comparables were presented to us of houses that actually sold. For two houses. Agent not super familiar with the market in the areas.Both houses had the agent trying to push us to increase our initial offers. In a vacuum.They literally used every line in this blog post on us to encourage us to put in an offer NOW, and to increase our initial offer because it just doesn’t matter.They tried to change our mind on bidding wars (we won’t do them.) using the lines in point 3.They wanted all offers NOW NOW NOW. Even for houses that had no objective need.So my question is; given the issues we’re seeing – are they par for the course when buying a home with a buyer’s agent? Or are the warning signs that maybe this agent isn’t so much on our side as much as they’re on their side?It is worth mentioning that they did steer us clear of a few really problematic houses like houses in a flood zone or houses with a cracked basement that was not professionally sealed.TL;DR: Agent tried to push us into making an offer, push our price up, and didn’t provide any sort of comparables for the basis of making an offer. Is this normal? Should we find another agent?


Newsflash: Buying Former Affordable Income Housing (CA,USA)

Hi everyone, I was wondering if anyone has had any experience buying formerly affordable income housing. There’s a few condos in my area that are for sale that are no longer subject to those restrictions. Are there any potential downsides? The condos are part of a new development that is quite successful in my area and honestly are the ideal size and price for me personally (all the other condos are huge 2000sqft+ units). Thank you for your assistance.


Newsflash: Seller wants me to cover repairs under FHA before closing.

(MI, USA) I’m looking at a house and it has everything I want for the price, but as part of the offer, the seller wants me to cover the costs for any repairs needed prior to closing. Is this common?They were only asking 80k for the home and that seems to be less than neighboring homes. Our current offer stands at 79k with 5k in concessions contingent the inspection, seller to make repairs before close. They already stated they will not make any further repairs or negotiations.As I said, I do like the house and didn’t notice anything immediately wrong, but just worried I’ll pay for the inspections and be out $350 when it comes back with something major. Is it also possible that I accept this offer, begin paying for repairs then the deal somehow falls through? I know the house isn’t mine until the keys are in my hand so slightly worried. Any advice?!


Newsflash: How much longer do old SF buildings have until they need to be torn down?

I’m in the market for a condo in SF and many of these buildings were built in the early 1900s. How much longer will these buildings last before they need to be torn down and rebuilt? Can they last indefinitely with proper maintenance?