Dear Bob: Please don't use my job name because I could lose my job as a mortgage loan officer for agreeing with your recent sugguestion of using a 30-year lease-option to avoid a mortgage lender's due-on-sale clause. Chances of a lender trying to enforce a due-on-sale clause in such a situation are one in a million. However, you should warn your readers that the way lenders learn a home has been sold without notifying the lender is when new names appear on the fire insurance policy. When we get a new insurance policy with a new insured's name, then we enforce our due-on-sale clause to raise our interest rate. No name please.
DEAR NO NAME: Thank you for sharing your inside knowledge. By using a 30-year lease-option, the insurance policy remains in the landlord-sellers name. The tenant-buyer can be named as an additional insured. When using a long-term lease-option, which is considered a sale for IRS tax purposes, buyer and seller should have a real estate attorney draft the 30-year lease-option to protect both parties.
DEAR BOB: The house next door to ours is for sale. The seller is very gullible. Some realty broker told her he can get $25,000 higher than I know the house is worth. I would like to buy the house at its real value. How can I convince the seller of its true worth? George D.
DEAR GEORGE: Iyou're willing to risk a litle cash, hire a professional appraiser to prepare a written market value estimate of the house. That report should convince the seller of the true market value of her home.
DEAR BOB: As a real estate broker I'm worried about (1) making a living since home-sales volume is down and (2) reports I hear of homesale price declines (although my area is holding firm on prices). Do you think home sales volume and prices will pick up soon? Mark T.
DEAR MARK: Being a real estate broker, you understand that real estate sales is a feast or famine business. From 1975 until 1980 , home sales volume and prices boomed. Real estate prices needed a slowdown like the one we experienced this past year.
The volume of home sales is down, but don't be fooled by some of the misleading price statistics you may have read. Due to the high cost of new mortgages, most home sales are now financed by buyers assuming existing mortgages and sellers helping out with various creative finance methods. These sales prices don't show up in government or lender statistics. The most reliable average home-sale prices are those compiled by the Realtors, and they show slowly rising home-sale prices.
There is unbelievable pent-up home buyer waiting for mortgage interest rates to decline to affordable levels. When interest rates will decline, or wages increase, I don't know. Except the next real estate boom when more potential home buyers can afford to buy.
We're now in the pause before the boom. It's a great time to buy, because many home sellers are offering excellent terms. Unfortunately, buyers don't realize this, so they'll wait to buy until interest rates drop and home prices go up.
DEAR BOB: We want to buy a home which the VA appraised at $93,500. The seller insists on receiving $97,500. Is it legal to pay the extra $4,000 in cash and still get the $93,500 VA loan? Jo A.
DEAR JO: Yes.
DEAR BOB: About a year ago we took your suggestion and financed our buyer's purchase of our home. She made a 10 percent down payment, took over our old VA mortgage and gave us a second mortgage for the balance of the price. Now she has lost her job and is two months behind in mortgage payments. What should we do? Herb C.
DEAR HERB: Begin foreclosure proceedings immediately. Major lenders, such as savings and loan associations, now wait only 30 days before starting foreclosure. They used to wait 180 days or longer. Your borrower has plenty of time to either bring your payments current to stop foreclosure or sell the house before foreclosure takes place. Waiting to start foreclosure only lets your buyer get deeper in debt to you.
DEAR BOB: As a real estate agent, I would appreciate your explaining how realty sales commission are split among brokers and salespeople. My clients don't believe that I usually only receive about 25 percent of the gross commission. Please confirm that I'm not a liar. Owen G.
DEAR OWEN: I believe you, and your clients should too. Most real estate salepeople have a 50-50 commission split with their broker. When their annual earnings go over a minimal amount, such as $15,000 or $20,000, then the split may go to 60-40. But if there are two agents in the sale, one representing the seller and the other acting for the buyer, then each agent earns less.
To illustrate, suppose you list a $100,000 home and the sales commission is $6,000. You represent the seller and I represent the buyer. Your firm's sales commission share is $3,000 and my firm's share is $3,000. If you have a 50-50 split with your broker, you get $1,500 and your broker gets $1,500. The same occurs on my side of the commission too. In this example, you take home only 25 percent of the gross sales commission.