Archive for January, 2013


by: Maria Hass –

I am often asked, “How do you make money in real estate?”

At the heart of it, the answer is pretty simple: “Go against public opinion.” In other words, BUY when NOBODY is buying. SELL when NOBODY is selling.

Investors who took the plunge in 2009, 2010, 2011 reaped big profits. This is the time when the market was down and NO one was buying. Now, we see the reverse. There is a 50 percent shortage of inventory because NO ONE is selling. Homeowners think that home values will continue to go up to the level they like. Just like they thought that the values would continue to go down when no one was buying.

Well, think again. When NO ONE is selling and everyone is buying, there is NO competition for sellers and prices go up tremendously — but only for a temporary period until more sellers come out to sell.

Home values will rise to a certain extent. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “What goes up, must come down.” This is exactly what real estate is about.

If you have more than one real estate investment including your primary residence, it is a good idea to build a relationship with a experienced, knowledgeable Realtor like me, who can keep an eye on the market for you and let you know when is the best time to sell your property.

January 22, 2013 at 10:21 am 4 comments

Real Estate Red Flags You Would Like To Know

by: Maria Hass –

A home in my neighborhood recently closed for a significantly lower price than I thought it could sell for.

It took around eight months to get the short sale closed. And the train of events that occurred from the time it was listed to the time it took to close appeared funny. Virtual red flags were waving in my head as I saw the house listed for a very low price.

Only six minutes after the home was listed, the status was changed from “Active” to “Active with Contingency” – meaning the seller had accepted an offer. An hour and a half later, the buyer’s agent compensation was changed from 2.5% to 1.5% which is unusual in any transaction.

My initial thought was, this deal was “made in heaven” prior to the listing, between the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent who works with a fix-and-flip investor client. I dug deeper into the case and found out that the buyers who bought the property are investors buying bulk properties to fix and flip or rent out.

This reminds me of a time when a Realtor called me asking for my future short sale listings. He worked for an investment group. His offer was to give his commission to me as long as his offer was accepted. Investor offers are relatively low.

It makes me wonder about the moral implications of such transactions and whether such arrangements are in violation of any real estate contract and Arms Length requirements set by the seller’s lender.

I took the matter to my broker, asking if such an arrangement in violation of the following:

1. Realtor Code of Ethics

2. Real Estate Contract between Seller and Realtor

3. Arms Length Requirement of the Seller’s Lender

In speaking with my broker, she said that with convincing proof, this transaction may qualify as a real estate fraud or scheme. It is fraudulent if the listing agent withheld any information from the seller or seller’s lender that is material to the sale of the home. This would include other offers, buyer’s intent to quickly resell the home and more.

If you suspect a fraud or real estate scheme has been committed in regards to a particular transaction, go to this website for information and to provide information to state regulators:

January 16, 2013 at 11:45 am 1 comment

President Signs New 2013 Real Estate Laws

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported a summary of real estate-related bills passed into law and signed by President Barack Omaba on Jan. 2, 2013. Many of these laws will affect the amount of savings any homeowner or investor will receive moving forward into 2013.

NAR said some of the provisions in the new laws affect areas including mortgage cancellation relief, mortgage insurance deductions, leasehold improvements, energy improvement credits, capital gains, estate tax.

Consult your trusted tax adviser to determine how these laws can work in favor of your situation. For the full article go to$B8GF&om_ntype=NARWeekly

January 4, 2013 at 9:27 am Leave a comment



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