Debt Relief for Short-Sale Homeowner’s–Set to expire Dec 31st this year–FISCAL CLIFF for Distressed Homeowner’s.

Below is a quote from a recent story from CNBC on the sun-setting of the Bush era “Debt Forgiveness” happening December 31, 2012. Your Realtors are fighting to continue the benefits of the Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation.  With the huge 250 Billion Attorney General settlements beginning January 1st, we are perplexed WHY the debt forgiveness would NOT be extended as the lack of this would undercut the settlement by making Short-Sales NO LONGER attractive for areas where the “bubble” hit the hardest; California, Nevada, Florida, etc.

We URGE you to take action and send emails, call, write, YOUR Congressperson and Senators. Here they are!


Barbara Boxer: 202-224-3553 or go to:

Dianne Feinstein: 202-224-3841 or


Mike Thompson (who will be representing MOST of Santa Rosa with the new re-districting of his area) 202-225-3311

231 Cannon Office Building, Washington,DC 20515

Lynn Woolsey (lame duck–Jared Huffman will no doubt win her seat) 202-225-5161

2263 Rayburn Building, Washington,DC 20515


Short-Sale Sellers and their Agents–Please! Get a grip on the transaction. Chronicles of a Frustrated Realtor Team.



Short-Sales in Sonoma County, California–WHOA IS ME!  I had a client call me yesterday with a list of three properties. I pulled up all three and everyone was a “Short-Sale”. This client is in that market “sweet-spot” of  $0-$250,000. But I’d also include ANYTHING under $300,000. There was a total of 5 photos between the THREE listings. This is, in MY humble opinion, complete and utter BS!! We are allowed 24 photos PER listing in our MLS. WHEN did it become the NORM for a “Short-Seller” to ONLY have 1 photo in the MLS? Do the Realtors NOT realize we use these sales for comparable sales? What does ONE photo do for us when we are using these properties for comparables? Secondly, is this a tool to DISCOURAGE offers? Is the property on the market simply to “Stall” foreclosure? Why do I say this? Two of the properties had showing times of 2-5pm on Tuesday and Wednesday ONLY!! Another, 24 hours notice! And this is a SELLER!! NOT a tenant!

So what gives? When did a Short-Seller become a “protected class” of Seller? No open houses, NO broker’s open houses, One photo, 24 hours notice, ONLY showing ONE DAY between 1 and 4pm. YES–this is OUR NORM when it comes to Short-Sellers. It’s frickin’ maddening!! Why is this? Because the Seller doesn’t really give a damm if they DO the short-sale.  They probably have NOT made a payment in months, given up on the property, but a CPA or accountant or FRIEND told them they could get OUT of their house, have little credit hit and walk away owing the bank NOTHING. You THINK this would be a great incentive but NO–they treat the process with disdain and indifference.

We have had Sellers selling “short” state they will NOT clean up their yard waste, debris, personal junk in the backyard. One agent actually writes an addendum stating this. I’m putting forth a Short-Sale Proclamation shortly-WHAT WE, as a team, will DO to sell your home as a Short-Seller and what we will NOT do! Stay tuned!!

Tale of two Price Points–Lack of Homes for Sale? Depends WHAT you’re SPENDING here in Sonoma County,Ca

Here in Sonoma County, California–Many Realtors are lamenting the LACK of inventory or homes for sale. I submit that it all depends on how MUCH money you wish to spend.  One of the most IN DEMAND price points is the 0- $250,000 price point. This has been the land of the REO (real estate owned) or bank foreclosed home. I fear this price point has “left the station” or is quickly disappearing. This price point is a natural for bank foreclosed homes AND Short-Sales. However, we only have 60 “Active” Short-Sales currently on the market. Take a look at the slide below and note we are DOWN -47% over last year at this time.  The question–is THIS the new reality of a surging market? We leave the lower price behind? Or is the market for this price point just stripping the shelves of all homes?  What’s going to happen to make this a stronger price point? MORE Short-Sales and REO’s. I can’t see a big wave of REO’s coming but Short-Sales can fill the need. We shall see if the consumer REALIZES they can SELL their homes short and get out from under a tough financial mess.

Now look at the NEXT slide–What a difference huh? Almost a 180 swing. The $1,000,000 price point is flush with listings having 40% MORE listings over last year at this time.  In between these two extremes we find a market still “starved” for inventory. The  next “range” of $250-$500,000 is down about -5% over last year but the next price point or the “mid-range” ($500-$750,000) which is gaining momentum is down about 21%.  The $750K to 1 Mil is +5%.  Knowing HOW the market inventory is before making an offer can determine WHAT you’ll offer and HOW you present your terms to the seller. KNOW your NUMBERS.   Feel free to call myself or Allison to give you analysis of YOUR price point.  707-799-3617.

Pete Phillippe, Loan Officer and old wizened one, of Princeton Capital, Joins us to discuss Interest rates,Paying your Home off Quickly and Qualifying!


Long time guest and friend of the Real Estate Hour, Pete Phillippe of Princeton Capital, will join us to discuss options which super low interest rates offer the consumer. With rates THIS low (3.25%) a homeowner refinancing may consider saving money while retaining a 30 year  amortized loan or choosing to opt for a SHORTER Amortization schedule be it a 15 or even 10 year loan. One would argue that at 3.25% it’s just cheaper to KEEP the loan at that rate. Why rapidly pay-off a 3.25% loan when you could use the money for reducing say, credit card debt, college debt, etc. MUCH higher consumer credit rates and keep the home rate low and affordable. These questions PLUS MORE!!

Pete’s contact information: 707-829-7490 Direct or 707-481-2737 Cell.




Third Year in Row, Sept sales Plunge! This year steeper because of previous Big Sales Months. Scarcity, low rates!

I was predicting that September Sales would drop from the higher summers months. I was right! But it just repeated what it had done in 2011 and 2010. However, this past month was real BIG compared to the highest summer sales in over 3 years. Those interest rates and folks finally realizing that we HIT bottom back in 2009, have spurred high sales volume. Sales fell 20+% from August indicating that even with 3.125% rates, folks gotta get back to work.

Three Year Sales

Some folks say the big DROP is because of lack of inventory. I don’t buy it. We’ve been tight now for 3 months with scarcity of inventory. Folks are back to work, schools in, the “new” seasonality?