Free Home Buyer Seminars! Learn About the Housing Market, the Home Buying Process, and Financing Options

April 27th, 2011 by Marc

2012 UPDATE: Our next series of home buyer workshops starts Wednesday, February 15th. Click here for info.

Are you planning to buy or sell your home this spring? The real estate market has changed considerably. There are significant opportunities, and there are risks. Know your options! We have answers to questions like: What’s an “REO”? What’s a “short sale”? How do foreclosures affect market values?

We’ve scheduled a series of home buyer seminars around the Seattle and Bellevue area. We are co-hosting these events with Cobalt Mortgage. We’ll have complimentary refreshments, and we’ll discuss market conditions, mortgages, and paying real estate agent commissions versus paying a flat fee.

Is This a Seminar for First Time Home Buyers? Who Should Attend?

The seminar is for anyone interested in learning more about buying or selling a home in today’s market including first time home buyers, repeat buyers, and sellers.

Next Class:  July 20th Downtown at the WaLaw Realty Offices

2033 Sixth Ave., Ste. 990, Seattle, WA 98121
Click here to RSVP and get directions to the Downtown Seattle Home Buyer Seminar.
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Free Workshop for Home Buyers and Sellers

April 5th, 2011 by Marc

UPDATE: This class is finished. Join us for our 2012 Home Buyer Seminars (click for more info) at our Seattle office in Lower Queen Anne. Our next class is Wednesday, February 15th at 6:00 pm.

Are you planning to buy or sell your home this spring? The real estate market has changed considerably and it’s more confusing than ever. What’s an “REO”? What’s a “short sale”? How do foreclosures affect market values?

Know your options!  Join WaLaw Realty and Cobalt Mortgage for a free real estate seminar on Wednesday, April 13th at 5:30 PM to learn about the home buying / home selling process.  We’ll discuss market conditions, mortgages, and paying real estate agent commissions versus paying a flat fee. (more…)

REO or Bank Owned Homes Explained: Buying an REO Property Presents an Opportunity and a Challenge

March 22nd, 2011 by Marc

There are many “REO” properties on the market these days. For those who understand the process, an “REO” home may present an excellent buying opportunity. But understanding the process is essential because these properties also present unique challenges.

First, an explanation of the term “REO”: it stands for “Real Estate Owned.” This term is used in a bank’s balance sheet to identify properties owned by the bank other than properties it actually uses (like a branch office). Typically, the bank becomes the owner of such a property when the bank forecloses after an owner/borrower stopped paying the mortgage. At the foreclosure auction, the bank usually bids the amount owed. If somebody bids higher, then that bidder buys the property and the bank is repaid in full. If nobody bids higher, then the bank is the winning bidder and becomes the owner. (more…)

Buying an REO property? Consider legal counsel…

January 28th, 2010 by Marc

This is not legal advice. For legal advice consult an attorney in person, not a blog.

If you’re considering buying REO (short for Real Estate Owned — the term used to describe the asset on the bank’s general ledger) you should seriously consider hiring an attorney. First, some background.

An REO house is a property that has been taken back by the bank. In other words, its a bank owned property. Banks acquire these properties most commonly either through a deed in lieu of foreclosure (where the owner/debtor agrees to deed the property back to the bank instead of going through the foreclosure process) or at foreclosure (where nobody bids more than the amount owed). Once the bank acquires the property, the bank wants to sell it ASAP. Banks are in the money business, not the real estate business.

As a general matter, a bank is willing to sell for a lower price than a typical homeowner. Accordingly, REO properties offer the opportunity for good bargains. The listing price may be lower, or the bank may be more willing to entertain a lower offer.

But there are downsides. The bank will probably have its own addendums to the PSA, which will almost certainly protect the bank at your expense. The bank will not convey title by a standard Statutory Warranty Deed, which will reduce or eliminate your ability to go after the bank if there is a title issue down the road. Similarly, the bank probably will not purchase title insurance on your behalf, again increasing your exposure if a title problem develops in the future.

So how can you get a good deal while still protecting yourself? That’s easy — hire a lawyer to assist you in the transaction. Unlike an agent, a lawyer can practice law. This means that the lawyer can review the contract to assure it sufficiently protects you. The lawyer see to it that title is ordered (even if at the buyer’s cost) and review the title report to identify any possible issues.

But what about cost — won’t a lawyer set you back and cut into your savings? Nope, not if you use us. We will assist you throughout the process, and we can address those issues unique to REO sales. We do so for a flat fee (a total of $3195.00) and then rebate to you the commission that is paid to us as your agent. That can be up to 3% of the purchase price! Comprehensive legal counsel to protect your interests, and you save money too? Now THAT’S a good idea…