Twin Cities real estate market hits 10-yr high

Minneapolis, MN: The Minneapolis, St Paul area real estate market reached a 10-year milestones in June 2015, with signed purchase agreements rising 19.2 percent to 6,266. Last year, closed sales had increased 22% to 6,928.

Real Estate, Minnesota, Minneapolis, for sale, mortgage rates, interest rates
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This is all welcome news, because the last time demand was this strong was back in June 2005, according to a release Monday from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

The June 2015 median sales price climbed 4.7% to $229,900. This puts the AVERAGE home price to within just 3.5% of the record high set back in June 2006, which was at a then record median high of $238,000. Typical price per square foot, now at $128, is about 18.5 percent below its June 2006 record high.

The local real estate market continues to be a sellers market, because of the ongoing imbalance between the supply of homes for sale, and the number of active buyers looking to buy a home.

Sellers are getting on average about 99.6% of their last list price, with large numbers of homes selling within days, with multiple offers, and over list price.

For buyers, this means you need to be fully mortgage lender pre-approved, with pre-approval letter in hand, and ready to make an offer immediately on anything you love.

 MN first time home buyer programs


The importance of Mortgage Lender Pre-Approval

The Importance Of Full Lender Pre-Approval 

Initial mortgage loan pre-qualification and full lender pre-approval are two of the most important steps you can take towards owning a new home. In most areas, Real Estate Agents either won’t even show you homes, or for sure, will not let you make an offer on a home without a full lender pre-approval.

Basic Pre-Qualification

house_from_wordPre-qualification is the first step to securing a home loan. Essentially, it is an initial “how do you look”, and “feels good” start.  Pre-qualification is quick and involves answering only a few questions about your income, existing debt and accumulated savings. It is also important that we discuss your long-term financial objectives. With so many loan options available, we want to select the one that meets your goals. With this information and your consent, lenders can access your credit report and begin to determine which loans you may qualify for, how much house you can afford, what the payments might look like, and how much money you will need to make it all come together.

Full Pre-Approval

Full pre-approval is the next step up up from basic pre-qualification. In this step, the lender verifies your basic supporting documentation, like pay stubs, W2s, tax returns, and bank statements. Upon review, the mortgage lender will provide a written Pre-Approval Letter. While never a loan guarantee, this is written documentation showing that a lender have taken an application, reviewed your documents, and believes once you find the exact dream house, you will make it all the way through the underwriting process.

If you’ve never given any documents to your lender, you are NOT pre-approved.

With a pre-approval in hand, you can shop almost as a cash buyer! This gives you strong negotiating power because the seller will take your offer more seriously. A lender’s pre-approval will often convince the sellers to accept a lower offer for the home because they know the financing is in place and the deal is safe.

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Joe Metzler is a Senior Mortgage Loan Officer for Minnesota based Mortgages Unlimited. He was named the 2014 Minnesota Loan Officer of the Year, and was ranked #98 of the Top 100 Loan Officers in the Nation by Origination News. He provides Home Mortgage Loans in MN, WI, and SD. He can be reached at (651) 552-3681



How Real Estate Agents Risk their License everyday

Don’t risk your Real Estate License

Many Real Estate Agents put their license at risk on a daily basis without knowing it.  Generally this is by stepping outside of their official duties, and stepping into areas they shouldn’t.

Title Company Risk

Did you know that most states have insurance solicitation laws that may apply when you refer a client to an in-house title firm (or one with which you have a Marketing Service Agreement)?

That means that you might need a title insurance license to make certain referrals. The safest thing a real estate agent can do is to discuss title, what it is, and let their clients decide who to use.images1923532412

This includes real estate agents automatically ordering title services from their preferred title company without talking to clients and getting their permission.

Mortgage Risk

Did you know that mortgage laws also prevent non-licensed mortgage originators from discussing loans, loan terms, programs and interest rates?  A Mortgage Loan Originator License must be obtained BEFORE doing any of the following residential property mortgage loan activities: soliciting, originating a loan application, offering, or negotiating any residential mortgage loans.

Can are real estate agent refer a client to a lender or Loan officer?  You bet, but they need to be very careful if they suggest loan programs, or talk about interest rates. A real estate agents best bet is to simply tell the client that they are not a lender, and they need to ask the Loan Officer all mortgage questions.

CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)

“Solicit” means attempting to sell or asking or urging a person to apply for a particular kind of insurance or loan from a particular company, and no person shall sell, solicit, or negotiate any insurance or mortgage without a license.

Regulators at the CFPB are turning their heads towards Real Estate Agents, now that they have caused a lot of headache in the banking, mortgage, and credit card industries.  Just like giving legal advice,  it is generally best for real estate agents to simply avoid the potential trouble, and think before you act, even if your heart is in the right place by not giving advice and referrals.