Pending Home Sales Up

The job market might still be trying to find its footing, but with pending home sales at a nearly two-year high, the housing market at least seems to be heading back on track.


Home sellers can hurt their own chances…

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Home sellers find interest heats up in the spring as many families look to get settled in a new place before the school year starts in August.

But the traditional March-through-May buying season can be a dud for sellers who don’t deliver what they promise or who stand over buyers as they open cupboards and peek in bedrooms.

“Some sellers are their own worst enemies,” said Michael Citron, an agent for RE/MAX ParkCreek in Broward County, Fla.

Here are five things that turn off prospective buyers:

-A cluttered house or one that smells. When sellers have too many possessions, buyers have a hard time imagining themselves living there. Sellers should put their stuff in storage – or move out altogether, if possible.

Pet odors also are a big turn-off, as is a house that reeks of cigarette or cigar smoke. “If buyers smell smoke, they’ll walk out immediately,” said Jon Klein, an agent for Real Living 1st Choice Realty in Coral Springs, Fla. ….

HARP refinance program ready for upside-down mortgage holders

HARP refinance program ready for upside-down mortgage holders.

PHILADELPHIA — After months in the works, HARP 2.0 is available to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac borrowers who want to refinance but owe more on their mortgages than their houses now are worth.

HARP 2.0 — HARP stands for Home Affordable Refinance Program — is being billed as an improvement over the 3-year-old version that just about everyone acknowledges didn’t help anyone.

The reason for that failure: The original program had limits on loan-to-value ratio, the amount of a mortgage as a percentage of the appraised value of a property. If the balance of a mortgage exceeded the appraised value — say, $300,000 versus $150,000 — the borrower wasn’t allowed to refinance.

Recognizing that none of the borrowers the program was intended to help would be able to qualify, the limits were dropped when the new version of HARP was heralded in October.

Does that mean all lenders have agreed to no limits?………………..

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