6 Tips For Realtors For Managing the Appraisal Process

In today’s active market it can take time for values to reflect all sales activity. Taking a proactive approach to the appraisal process will help the appraiser when it comes time to execute the report.

1. Schedule the appraisal as soon as possible. If you are going to be away, make sure you have coverage for the appraisal appointment. Keeping the process flowing helps avoid delays in the loan approval process.
2. Stage the home as though you are conducting an open house. Now that the property is under agreement, don’t let your seller get too relaxed. Make sure that the house looks as good as it did the day the buyer first saw the property. First impressions do matter, so keep the property showing well!
3. Make sure you get the fully executed Purchase and Sales agreement (P&S) to the lender right away. Appraisers are now charged with reviewing the purchase contract to determine that the property as appraised matches the property represented in the agreement. The appraiser is required to review the P&S before they can release the appraisal report. It is vital that the lender receives the agreement on time.
4. Always be prepared to support the sales price by bringing a folder that contains the comparable sold properties that you and the seller used to determine the list price of the property.
5. List any improvements made to the property since last sold. Especially those changes that are not so readily visible such as electrical, plumbing or roofing work. List all improvements made since the last recorded sale of the property.
6. If the appraisal on a purchase comes in low, keep an open mind and don’t panic. There can be ways to manage this situation that keeps both the buyer and seller in the transaction. It is important to work directly with your loan originator and together you may find solutions that work for all involved.
About Wintrust Mortgage: Wintrust Mortgage was created to assist in the realization of the American dream of home ownership. Our large volume and the ability to lend in all 50 states make us one of the largest mortgage bankers in the country. In 2015 alone, we originated $4.3 billion in loans. Wintrust Mortgage hosts over 190 retail, operations and bank locations across the country. Wintrust Mortgage is a division of Barrington Bank & Trust Company, N.A., a Wintrust Community Bank, NMLS# 449042. Equal Housing Lender. For more information visit the company website at www.WintrustMortgage.com, “Like” us on Facebook by visiting www.facebook.com/WintrustMortgage and follow us on Twitter @WinMortgage.

 

Share Button

If It Sounds Too Good to be True…

I am constantly amazed at the various techniques created to target vulnerable people out of their money or identities.  Yet, we are all susceptible to these destructive activities.
In the world of big data, we can be easy targets.  Consider this, on Facebook you can purchase targeted ads called sponsored posts.  For example, you can target your post to homeowners, over 50, within a specific geographical area.  Targeting allows you to market directly to a specific audience.
Someone who I trust and respect recently shared a “sponsored” Facebook post about discounted sunglasses being offered by a famous eyewear designer for one day only, as a fundraiser.  The post claimed that this is the year-end clear out and that all glasses normally priced over $100.00 would be $25.00 for one day only, and all sales would go to charity.  I was fascinated and decided to dig in and see if this offer could possibly be true.
I clicked through to the web site and it all looked to be in order, the logo looked legitimate, the site functioned well, the designs and names of the sunglasses were familiar.  The web site looked genuine to me yet there was something about it all that just felt off to me.  So I decided to invest the $25.00 to get to the truth.
Three weeks later my husband asked me what I ordered from over-seas, confused I found the box and remembered my sunglasses.  They looked like the ones on the site but they were definitely a counterfeit product.  I know because I actually own the same pair that I ordered, you can tell simply by the weight, quality of the materials and the slightly blurry logo on the frame!
Mystery solved, yes it was fraudulent, I think just to sell fake sunglasses, but I am keeping an eye on the credit card statement as well to be sure that there isn’t anything more nefarious going on!
As part of the banking industry we are required to take multiple, annual training classes on many subjects and one of those is social engineering or the types of attacks that can hit you through email, fake phone calls or other communication that comes with a request for a password, or other identifiers.  I am pretty good at spotting a fake, it has become a bit of a game for me.
How do you know when you are looking at the real deal as opposed to a decoy designed to cheat you in some way?
In today’s world of constant non-verbal communication, we think that we are talking with our friends and family when we are posting on social media, and we are.  But when it comes to sourcing a reference for an important transaction, do not believe what you read, even if posted by a trusted friend.  Pick up the phone and have a conversation.  In the end human connection is fulfilling and you can cover more ground and gather more information when talking through a situation with your friends, rather than relying on a social media post for your solution.

We’re here to help you and your buyers do more, learn more and grow more!

About Wintrust Mortgage: Wintrust Mortgage was created to assist in the realization of the American dream of home ownership. Our large volume and the ability to lend in all 50 states make us one of the largest mortgage bankers in the country. In 2015 alone, we originated $4.3 billion in loans. Wintrust Mortgage hosts over 190 retail, operations and bank locations across the country. Wintrust Mortgage is a division of Barrington Bank & Trust Company, N.A., a Wintrust Community Bank, NMLS# 449042. Equal Housing Lender. For more information visit the company website at www.WintrustMortgage.com, “Like” us on Facebook by visiting www.facebook.com/WintrustMortgage and follow us on Twitter @WinMortgage.

Share Button

An Offer Is a Contract – All Parties Have To Take It Seriously!

It’s silly season in real estate and that means spring!  Another year of low inventory with many motivated buyers who will seemingly do anything to get their offer accepted on the house of their dreams.  Buyers are signing all kinds of offers.  Some will waive their mortgage and other contingencies, while others may have escalation clauses built.  Such clauses dictate that the seller can accept a higher offer if one is presented.  Some buyers are simply jumping in to compete and then finding themselves in a regrettable situation later.
Recently, we saw all three of these scenarios come up.  This makes me wonder how buyers are being advised and counseled when they are making their offers.
For example, we have a loan approved with just a few final and minor conditions to be met by the buyer.  However, the buyer has gotten cold feet and no longer wants to buy the house.  They ask us if we could decline their loan so that they may get their deposit back.  This is not something we can do.  We have to report to our regulators our pre-qualification process, decline rates and any and all reasons for any decline.  We cannot simply decline a loan because the borrower changes their mind.  “What if I just don’t send in the documents you requested?” the buyer asks.  When you sign a contract with a mortgage contingency you agree to meet all conditions of the mortgage process.  If the borrower never sends in the required documents, we can withdraw the loan after we send out a ‘notice of incomplete’.  This notice gives the borrower a specific amount of time to respond before their loan is cancelled.
The standard mortgage contingency has an ‘apply by date’ to insure that the buyers perform in a timely manner.  This contingency forbids them from saying that they are unable to get their loan approved by the commitment date as a result of them not getting their information to the mortgage company by the dates in the original contract.
The time to make sure that buyers fully understand their contractual obligations is before the offer is made.  An offer is a contract and the purchase and sales agreement is a secondary contract, however once the offer is signed there is no guarantee that you can change the terms when you get to the purchase and sales agreement.
In another situation, we have a set of buyers approved to close on their new home.  There is an escalation agreement in their offer stating that the seller could continue showing the property.  If the sellers get an offer higher than the agreed upon price our borrowers would then have 48 hours to meet the new offer.  So, lo and behold, a higher offer comes in!  The agent negotiates the seller down a bit to keep the current buyers on track, but of course the current buyers are upset about having to pay more.  However, they did sign the offer and the worst-case scenario as outlined in that offer materialized.  Their only choice was to meet the higher price or start their home search all over again.
This same scenario also played out in a precedent setting lawsuit.  In this case, a seller accepted an offer but the buyers didn’t sign the purchase and sales agreement on the date specified in the offer, the seller then accepted a higher offer from another party and the first buyer filed suit and won.  The court determined that the original offer was a contract and had to be honored.
The bottom line is to not take any risks; make sure all parties fully understand what they are getting into when they make an agreement to purchase a piece of real estate.  Be certain that they know what they can and cannot expect as the transaction moves forward and they fully understand their legal obligations in the event they get cold feet.

Share Button