Home Appraisals are (usually) Necessary When Buying a Home

Whether you are buying or selling, if the buyer is not paying cash (and on occasion, even if they are) the home appraisal is a one of the most important steps in the process and could make or break a deal on either side. So what exactly is a home appraisal?

A home appraisal is an expert opinion of a home’s value and it assures the lender that their loan will be in line with the fair market value of the property. A home appraiser is a licensed professional who has completed the required training, apprenticeships, and exams to carefully and impartially provide opinions about the value of real property, according to the the world’s leading organization of professional real estate appraisers.

This means your appraiser is not going to give a low estimate because they didn’t like your furniture. But rather, according to the Appraisal Institute, appraisers put together a series of facts, statistics, and other information regarding specific properties – then analyze this data, and develop opinions of value. The appraisal report will include recent sales information for similar properties (comps), the current condition of the property, and the location of the property as to how the neighborhood impacts the property’s value.

In most cases the buyer will need to cover the cost of the appraisal. Both the buyer and the seller should meet with their agent and find out what comparable homes in the area have recently sold for, which will give clues as to how much the property will ultimately appraise for.

If an appraisal comes in lower than you feel it should, the seller’s agent can use his/her knowledge of the area to challenge the appraisal. Home prices in the Las Vegas valley have been increasing so quickly that the comps that sold six months ago don’t yet reflect this improvement. There may not be adequate comps in your area, so the appraiser might have referenced comps from a less desirable community.

You have the right to see a copy of the appraisal report. Look it over as carefully as you look over your credit card statement each month you might just find errors or omissions and if that is the case the appraisal can sometimes be corrected.

If the appraisal is not adjusted enough to get to the original contract price, and both parties still want the sale to go through, it could make sense to split the difference, with the seller dropping the price a bit and the buyer adding cash to the down payment. For example, if the difference between the sales price and the appraised value is $10,000, the seller could lower the price by $5,000 and get the buyer to bring another $5,000 to closing. This solution depends entirely on the relative willingness and financial positions

of the two parties. Of course, neither party is obligated to compromise and if a new agreement is not reached, the buyer and seller can part ways and (most real estate contracts contain a provision that states) the buyer will have their earnest money returned to them.

When an appraisal comes in low, don’t panic. Remember to stay calm, assess the situation, and let your agent walk you through the process. Often, there is a fair and equitable resolution for all. It just may take some extra time.

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Summerlin attracting more Commercial Development

The office market in the Las Vegas Valley has been marching forward on the path to recovery after the Great Recession. The master-plan community of Summerlin, known for its award winning home development and Downtown Summerlin, is expanding the development of office space buildings due to a great demand.

The Howard Hughes Corp. expects to complete the six-story Class A office building in Downtown Summerlin this fall.  They already have many spaces preleased according to Summerlin president Kevin Orrock.  This is the second office building in the open air mall with many types of tenants like attorney offices, brokers and gaming technology companies.

Orrock stated “I think it gets down to what we’ve done here in Summerlin.  We’re providing an urban core.  We’re providing a place where people want to live, work and play- plus the sports venues that are here or will be here.”

A couple of miles away from Downtown Summerlin, the Howard Hughes Corp is almost finished with another office development for Aristocrat Technologies, an Australian slot machine maker.

The commercial submarket in Summerlin has seen less vacancy averages than other commercial markets in Las Vegas.  A senior director at Cushman & Wakefield said that Summerlin is the most desirable location for commercial consumers in the valley.  He also said that many employers are considering millennials predominantly when making decisions on the location of their offices.

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day…..Jeff

CapRock Partners from California Invest in Las Vegas

 

CapRock Partners, an industrial real estate firm from Newport Beach California has just acquired about 300,000 square feet of multi-tenant industrial space in the western and southwestern part of the Las Vegas Valley.

Taylor Arnett, vice president of acquisitions at CapRock, stated “An estimated 6 million square feet of industrial space is set to come on-line in 2018 and similar figures for 2019, with more than 90 percent of those projects estimated to be big box distribution space.”

CapRock owns and invests in multi-tenant industrial properties with smaller tenants and they see this type of property as hard to find in Las Vegas at the moment. A good reason for them to invest in the Las Vegas area, and they are looking at other sites to develop.

Brian Gordon, principal at Applied Analysis, agreed that most of the industrial ventures in Las Vegas are aimed at larger tenants. He believes that multi-tenant buildings can be a main component in the industrial market. With Las Vegas growing as fast as it is, having industrial space for smaller tenants can only be seen as a huge plus for companies that would like to move to our great city.

Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day…..Jeff

Commercial Real Estate Is Moving In A Positive Direction In Las Vegas

Look around the Las Vegas Valley, strip malls have more retail spaces filled (just a few years ago they were vacant).  The Boulevard Mall has converted space for offices that were once retail stores. The conversion of retail spaces in the mall to call centers has been very successful largely due to amenities in the mall and readily available parking.  In Downtown Summerlin the second office tower (Two Summerlin) is well on the way to be completed with lots of interest in available spaces.

Daniel Palmeri, senior director at Cushman and Wakefield stated “We’re kind of seeing a westward movement of companies looking to be in Summerlin or the west side of town.” Brian Gordon, principal at Applied Analysis, stated “The general feel is that the economy is remaining relatively healthy, and we’ve moved beyond the effects of the past downturn and looked more toward growth in the future.”

We are seeing a lot of new segments being added to the Las Vegas economy – Major League sports, the tech industry and an increase in tourism. The Golden Knights have already made an impact on the economy and the commercial real estate market.  There are more retail stores thriving around the T-Mobile Arena and adding employment opportunities.  The Raiders will be in Las Vegas by 2020 and more retail and office space will be filled by their employees.

The tech market has seen an increased local presence of national companies, as well as the acquisitions of local startup companies. This has made Las Vegas a credible hub for technology companies with more opportunity for upward movement for local tech talent and a good reason for more tech talent to move here.

Current Las Vegas market trends data indicates an increase of +2.8% in the median asking price per sq ft for office properties compared to the prior 3 months, the current median price of $176 per square foot in Las Vegas.  In the industrial market the median price is now $118 per square foot and retail space prices are still rising at a slower pace.

Do you need commercial space? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day…..Jeff

New Rules for Short Term Rentals in Las Vegas

Any landlords that wish to offer short term rentals through services such as VRBO, AirBnB & Homeaway are required to comply with Las Vegas Municipal Code Section 6.75.

To read the entire statute, click this link; https://goo.gl/bAwu5x

Here are what I feel are the highlights;
On June 21, 2017, the Las Vegas City Council passed Bill No. 2017-16 by a vote of four to three, requiring that all short term rentals be required to obtain a special use permit prior to commencing operations.
First, the owner must apply to the City Planning Department for that permit for each separate unit. Then, have the property inspected to verify the number of bedrooms and compliance with safety and other minimum housing requirements. Once the Conditional Use Verification is approved, the applicant is also required to submit a business license application and affidavit to Business Licensing by the next business day.

In order to secure the permit, owners are required to produce proof of liability insurance for $500,000.00 and install letter-size placards outside the properties with contact information and maximum allowed occupancy. Any until with more than five bedrooms is now required to maintain a resident manager on site during the term of the rental.

Other provisions of Municipal Code Section 6.75 state that the owner must collect and remit Room Tax and it appears you cannot require a minimum number of nights – even over big events like New Years Eve.

If you have a short term rental and don’t want to deal with the new rules, we will sell it for you quickly! Just call us at 702 SELL NOW (702-735-5669)

Shockingly good news; (IMO) It’s about time Green Tree was punished

As a real estate agent who has successfully negotiated many short sales, I eventually had my short list of horrible lenders to deal with. Green Tree Funding was on that list. Funny story; few years back, I was complaining over the phone to Green Tree about how horrible they were, the woman on the other end of the phone told me I was exaggerating, so I walked around my office with her on the phone and took an impromptu survey. Without explaining to my fellow agents who was on the phone, I asked several of them what they thought of negotiating short sales with Green Tree. As near as I can tell, most of them probably figured I was having a conversation with another Realtor, and they all in run either said that they had not dealt with Green Tree at all, or that they hated dealing with them. One agent, Paul, realized asked me (embarrassed) after he answered if that was Green Tree on the phone.

Well they were just formally punished by the CPFB (Consumer Finance Protection Bureau) for (allegedly) “mistreating borrowers attempting to avoid foreclosure on their homes.” The federal agencies announced last week that they will compel Green Tree to pay a total of $63 million – $48 million in “redress to victims” and an additional $15 million civil penalty – for (allegedly) refusing to honor loan modifications on mortgages transferred from other servicers, demanding payment for the provision of loss mitigation options, and charging borrowers “convenience fees” for pay-by-phone services while presenting those payment services as the only option. Later, Green Tree also (allegedly) withdrew from those same accounts for more payments even though the original payment had been presented as a one-time withdrawal. Green Tree also (allegedly) harassed delinquent borrowers with “anywhere from seven to 20 phone calls per day” when they fell as few as two weeks behind in their payments; these calls included threats of wage garnishment and arrest.

The feds have opted to allow Green Tree to refuse to admit wrongdoing in return for paying through the nose. Richard Cordray, CFPB director, clearly believes that this is the right option in light of the huge payday for the government and the victims. “We are holding Green Tree accountable for its unlawful conduct,” he said in a public statement about the settlement. In the meantime, all entities other than Cordray must continue to refer to the alleged misdeeds as just that, alleged, because Green Tree has not admitted or been convicted of bad behavior.

FTC blogger Lesley Fair recently wrote a column praising the settlement, pointing out that the move will encourage other loan servicers to actually service loans rather than “making misleading statements about what people owe, [causing] deceptive delays, and [making] unauthorized withdrawals from [borrowers] accounts.” Since many customer complaints hinge on Green Tree’s refusal to correct “iffy information” in new loan portfolios, the company also has promised to institute a “comprehensive data integrity program” designed to make sure customer accounts hold the right information and are being handled appropriately. I am not as optimistic as Lesley.

You know what aggravates me about Realtors®?

Realtors® agree to abide by a “Code of Ethics” as part of the process of becoming a Realtor. Specifically it says “Realtors® shall avoid exaggeration, misrepresentation, or concealment of pertinent facts relating to the property or the transaction”. Let’s face it, we (Realtors®) are regularly involved in what is the largest financial transaction that a person has ever been a part of, and to quote Spiderman, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” When I consult with a potential seller, I sit with them, show them how much I believe their house will sell for, and explain to them why they should hire me to sell their house, instead of the next agent they interview. Then, (sometimes) another agent makes an outrageous promise, that they either can’t keep, or don’t put in writing (or both), and that agent get’s hired, instead of me, because of that promise.

As an example, I had a seller once tell me that the reason he signed with “Jill” was because she told him she could sell it
for about 20% more than research showed it was worth, and she agreed to prove it by making the contract good for only 30 days. At first glance I was impressed with her approach; basically, she was saying “if I can’t deliver what I promise, quickly, you are free to hire someone else”. The reason I was impressed with that is because I offer my clients similar promises (actually mine can fire me any time if they are not happy because I am not delivering what I promise). However, “Jill” did not put her promise in writing. The reason I know this is that the seller invited me to call him in 31 days and if the house had not sold, he would hire me. He believed that the information I gave him about marketing and the value of the property, made a lot of sense, but he would be a fool to pass up “Jill’s” offer to get 20% more in only 30 days. 31 days later, I called the seller as I promised. As it turned out, the house was still listed with “Jill”.  I asked if he had signed an extension with “Jill”. He told me he had not heard from “Jill” since signing the paperwork (which is a horrible practice of many agents) and that he did not know why it was still listed. He sent me a copy of the agreement he had with Jill so I could tell him what it said – it said he had hired her for a year and there was nothing that allowed him to get out of it! I wished him luck and hung up the phone (because I am not allowed to continue to speak with him if he is actively under contract with another agent).

I seem to run up against this kind of agent a few times every year. Is it all of them? No way! Many of them take their code
of ethics very seriously. Unfortunately, it’s those that lie, or exaggerate that often end up getting a listing that they have no business taking. So how do you avoid those people (and what do you do if one of them already duped you)?

If you have already been duped, and you believe that person was unethical, you have the opportunity file a complaint against them with the Nevada Real Estate Division here; http://www.red.state.nv.us/compliance.htm
The RED takes these complaints very seriously.

If you just want to hire someone who will sell your house quickly, for top dollar, and not lie, deceive or mislead you along the way, you could hire me – but, let’s pretend that I am unavailable. What questions can you ask when interviewing an agent to ensure you are hiring the kind of agent that will look out for your best interests?

1. Ask the agent for references/testimonials. They should have plenty (maybe online). They should also have at least a few of those clients who wrote the testimonials that are also willing to be contacted to verify the testimonial (you probably have to ask for that separately). And yes, you should verify no less than 3 of them.

2. Ask the agent to put a provision in the contract that allows you to fire them any time you feel they are not doing their job. Most agents will not do this. They will tell you it costs a lot of money to list your house and that provision is not fair. They are correct. It is also not fair to force someone to continue to employ you when you are operating at a substandard level. Then, BEFORE you sign the contract, ask them to show you specifically where it says that.

3. Ask them how often they intend to contact you during the process. If you don’t like the answer they give, have them make a better commitment (even write it in the contract), and if they don’t stick to it, you can rely on #2 and fire them. Seriously. This is a big deal and you have the right to regular communication. If they don’t have any showings to report, they should at least be reporting what steps they are taking to get you showings and get your house sold.

4. Ask them their policy about photos and video. You probably don’t realize this, but buyer’s have become sophisticated and demanding consumers. Buyers expect to see no less than 25 photos and 83% of buyer’s last year said that they want to see video, yet less than 5% of agents are providing video.

Is that everything you should be concerned about when you put your house up for sale? No, it’s the big stuff though, and #2 will pretty much help you with the rest.