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CHANGING FACE OF REALTOR'S ROLE - Now Helping the Distressed, Rather than Fulfilling the American Dream!

SHORT SALES.  FORECLOSURES.  DEBT CONSOLIDATION.  FORBEARANCE.  HOW LONG WILL THESE CONTINUE TO DOMINATE A REALTOR'S DAY?

Real Estate seems to have changed quite a bit since 2005!

Back then, here in Chicago, encouraging conversations of selling your home at an appreciated price, and using the equity, quickly and reliably, to buy a newer, bigger, fancier home, were day-to-day.  Buyers had to make their choices quickly, and not risk losing their new-found dream homes or condos with ill-advised inspection repair or credit requests.

Their new homes cost more, but their current homes could sell for more, usually with minimal hassle and time-on-market.  The chance of a deal being accepted and finalized by the bank was high.  Appraisals always appraised.  All but the worst buyers - even those with poor credit and employment credentials - were usually approved.

That has changed quite a bit in 2009, of course!

According to Mary Ellen Podmolik, in her Real Estate Column last Friday in the Chicago Tribune, most Real Estate Professionals find conversations on staving off foreclosure, considering a short sale for properties where the mortgage balance exceeds present market value, or negotiating mortgage loan modification or forbearance taking up the lion's share of their day.

Buyer education classes used to be popular, while those discussing debt management and credit counseling services were sparsely attended.  Today, the opposite is true!

Help might be on the way, however.  President Obama's Recovery Plan, including a non-repayable credit of $8,000 for first-time homebuyers, is drawing interest in entry-level property. Continued low interest rates allow for those with good credit and down payment credentials to buy at the lowest prices in years in many Chicago Neighborhoods and Suburbs. 

But one key element stalling a housing market rebound involves jobs - and the likely availability of them.  Unemployment in IL now exceeds 7.2% statewide, and many employees are fearful that their job may be the next one to go.  That being the case, many fear making long-term commitments on a new home, out of fear it may be quite difficult to make those monthly house payments.

Indeed, if you're concerned on Friday about having your job on Monday, you're not gong to buy a new house on Saturday - yes?

And the high number of properties on the market as yet unsold?  High inventory, if not reduced, could further drive down housing prices until the market is balanced by the return of home buyers and investors in large numbers.

But many in the Real Estate Profession look forward to the day with the joys of home selling - and home buying - again become the biggest part of an agent's day.  Myself included!

DEAN & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

Posted: Sunday, March 01, 2009 10:07 PM by Dean's Team

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