Since Last Friday that is 7 days, I have attended three seminars and am now on OMG implement implement implement! I'm home, first time I've had a chance to breathe, and I don't have my notes so, I will do my best and I'll try to update this soon with the sited state legislation links laws and rules.
First- Eugene Marconi, Council for Connecticut Association of Realtors hit us with a shocker: When a listing is in the MLS we have to realize that the MLS is truly an offering site from broker to broker, not an advertising site- which we truly use if for. So- Atty. Marconi said- If you put an amount in the Buyer Broker Offering Field THE BROKER IS RESPONSIBLE TO PAY THAT AMOUNT when the terms are met, no matter what, even if in the comments you put subject to bank and creditor approval, or subject to probate approval or subject to anything. Therefore, Attorney Marconi directs us all to in these situations put ONE DOLLAR in the buyer broker-offering field, and in the comments write what the broker’s intentions are about splitting the commission
This is all quite interesting to me, when I called our attorney to let him know this, he told me that a few years ago when he gave us the language to put into the comments to protect the broker, seller and be transparent to the purchaser in a short-sale situation Attorney Marconi was the person that gave him the words and the directions to put the information clearly in the comments. Sounds to me like the MLS is only for the benefit of the attorneys in this situation.
Second – Meeting with the Department of Consumer Protection, Commissioner Jerry Ferrell Jr. Here is where Change is really taking off. I don’t have my notes I’ll try to update this during the week.
1. SHORT SALE NEGOTIATORS weather you are a REALTOR, or ANYONE, negotiating a short sale – you MUST now be LICENSED under the Connecticut Banking Commission. The only exemptions are attorneys. The cost of the license is $1,500. You also must be bonded for $40,000. This is so huge, there is a whole industry making a living buying and selling contracts et for a fee and now it looks like that is illegal in the state of Connecticut- and I say BRAVO! It was never a benefit really to anyone but the bottom feeders of our world. (not that I don’t enjoy a good catfish now and then) Now there will be rules and oversight, which in this case is a good thing.
2. This is scary – due to budget cuts-, the Real Estate Commissioners Laureen Rubino and Joan Emerick are taking early retirement- since they both worked 24/7 to verify licenses, approve classes, monitor us, the fox can now officially raid the hen house. So if you are one of those types that likes to say… sell real estate without a license, you have a lesser chance of getting caught for a while.
3. MORTGAGE BROKERS – now have to be licensed in the state of Connecticut, and be of good standing, credit wise, no bankruptcies and – no felonies, which in our state means no drunk driving arrests, so hopefully Bill McQue is a good boy or a lot of people may have to go work for Webster or Peoples. (love Bill Mcque btw- just an example)
Then our meeting with Attorney Larry Garfinkel, who we really respect, he is a practicing attorney with Bendette & McHugh PC, gave us the info on the new HUD rules and the new Pre-Approval rules for Banks and Mortgage Companies, and the New Respa rules and forms. I really love this – I don’t have my notes and I will come back and update this part but the pre-approval which used to be as good as toilet paper for the purchaser and the seller, now has value. Let me explain- Mortgage Brokers in my experience many times (not the good ones) would trap a buyer by promising a rate lower than the going rate- and then not deliver, and actually had no intention of delivering, and many times the buyer would not realize it until the day of closing. Bad bad bad bad bad – moving truck parked at the new house kids excited et- to be told ohhh by the way the apr is 2% higher than I told you because….um, you bought a new pillow and charged it. The buyer would cave into the pressure, facing possibly losing their deposit and close – NOW there are many new rules, they can all be found on the HUD website, but basically if the pre-approval says whatever it says it can’t be off by more than an eighth of a percent or the bank eats the difference. WOwser
ONE MORE THING - if you have not heard of the HAMP program, it has many names but it is also known as the OBAMA program- it is really great and from what I understand ANYONE owner occupied single family home owner can take advantage of it. If you are in over your head in a loan, your income isn't what it was, one spouse got laid off ect, this is a restructure loan that will reduce your payments to 31% of your gross income by reducing the rate and or lengthening the term. A lot of people are taking advantage of this and it is preventing foreclosures! To see if you have a Fannie Mae loan, check the website.