Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pirates Capture Boca Raton!!

Did I say pirates? In Boca Raton? Real pirates? Like the ones with a patch over one eye, a pegleg and a parrot on their shoulders? ABSOLUTELY!! How can this be? The last time we saw pirates were off Somalia and they got knocked off by US Navy Seals. How could pirates possibly make their way into Boca Raton and capture the whole town without firing a shot?

Very easily. And this is where the story of pirates and real estate begins to make sense.

Every time we open our MLS, we are now subject to a new line in the criteria. It's called 'short-sales'. It's the new plague, the new scourge of real estate. It's worse than a disease. There is a cure, but it takes forever get the Rx needed. Short-sales are ticking bombs. They are negative in every way and slowly killing our real estate economy.

I've read recently in the media in general, that a full 60% of all current and active listings are either in short-sale status or bank owned. If they're bank owned, that's not so bad. We all know that we'll have an answer in a day or two or three. Worst case scenario? A week.

No so with short-sales. This rotten egg is a home sitting and waiting to foreclosed upon. In every sense of the word, it's a rotten egg getting more rotten by the day. It's a non-performing asset for the bank and a nightmare for the HOA that's not being paid their monthly dues. The bank has created this nightmare by not responding to hundreds of thousands of bona-fide offers from agents like you and me! They play the sit and wait game because as of two weeks ago, all accounting rules have been changed in their favor. They are no longer under the gone. No longer pressured to rid this bad asset from their balance sheet. It brings down values in the neighborhood and chances are, it's abandoned with a green/black, slime-filled pool in the backyard. Mosquitoes, anyone?

Short-sales can and will ruin your day. Short-sales take your great prospect, a buyer that's ready, willing and able to purchase a home...someone that seeks you out to help them find that perfect house, and puts them into a perpetual state of limbo. Make the offer, sit back and wait. And wait. And wait.

I'm not buying into this insanity. I recommend in the strongest possible terms to my buyers that they do not look at short sales under any circumstances. If they are serious buyers that want to be in their dreamhome within 60-90 days, they will respect the fact that you will not show them short-sales! I suggest you do the same. There are simply too many great homes out there on the market today owned by desperate people dying for an offer. Every day when I open my MLS, we're swamped with price changes down.

My advice for you: boycott the short-sales. Let them sit and rot. Let the banks lose more money and keep them on their balance sheets. Let the market take it's toll. The bank is unresponsive? Don't even make the offer in the first place. Pass. Next house.

Drop me a line and let me know if you see any pirates in your city or town. They have names like Captain BOA or Captain Wachovia, or First Mate Wells Fargo.
I have plenty of agents I can refer my buyers to that want to buy short-sales and waste energy and valuable time. Personally, I'd rather spend the time with my sons and my black lab.