Technology for Realtors – Are you being left behind?

Are you an old dinosaur Realtor, or do you use all of today’s advanced technology? Watch today’s video, then get you own free gift of technology for your iPhone, Blackberry, or Android phone from Joe Metzler at Mortgages Unlimited.


Don’t risk losing your Real Estate License

STOP risking your real estate license

Do you unintentionally give legal advice to your clients? Most real estate agents are very aware, and try to stay clear of giving any legal advice. Unfortunately, there are plenty of agents who have crossed that line, and are now facing plenty of headaches and lawsuits.

Have you ever instructed a client to stop paying their mortgage? You’ve given legal advice.

Legal advice is one thing… and rightfully most agents successfully avoid putting themselves in trouble, yet everyday they violate RESPA and the Truth in Lending (TILA) laws by giving mortgage advice.

Yes, mortgage advice. Punishable by a $10,000 fine and jail time!

If you have ever directed a client to a specific mortgage program? Maybe a program offered from “your guy” versus a program from another lender because you simply want to work with your guy versus the unknown loan officer??? Then you are walking a very dangerous line.

Have you ever given mortgage advice simply because you believe you are looking out for the customers best interests? Again, you are walking a fine line.

I have a mortgage originators license. I work 50 hours a week, and have for the last 17-years taking full applications, properly analyzing the clients financial situation, and directing them to the product that I believe best fits them. Even with that, a client can sue me for “putting them in the wrong loan.” You don’t have a mortgage license, and spend most of your time helping people buy and sell homes. Ask yourself. Do you really have any business giving mortgage advice?

The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, (RESPA) was enacted to help protect consumers when they buy and sell real estate, and to teach them to be better shoppers.

Prohibited practices for agents include many items. One of the most commonly violated section involves “shared expenses”. RESPA does not prevent joint advertising between two settlement service providers, such as a mortgage company and a real estate broker advertising their services on the same brochure or newspaper ad. However, each advertising party must pay for his share on a proportionate basis.

Another common violation has to deal kickbacks. Kickbacks of any kind are prohibited. Even small promotional items with the agent’s name on them can be considered a thing of value for the referral of business as it offsets the agent’s marketing expenses.

My advice? Learn the phrases “consult a lawyer”, and “consult a licensed mortgage professional” to avoid risking a legal headache and your license.

For more information regarding the Act, you can find it in Title I of the Consumer Credit Protection Act. The act is enforced by the Federal Reserve Board via Regulation Z (12 C.F.R. Part 226).


NAR fees are up, and I’m on a budget

NAR fees are up, advertising costs are up, real estate sales are down, but as a Real Estate Agent, you need to find more clients, and you need to do it on a budget. Here are a few simple tools to increase your business and make more money from Joe Metzler at Mortgages Unlimited, and the Mn Real Estate Daily Show.

Thoughts? Log in and Post!


IRS Reports First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Abuse


The IRS says there was significant abuse and fraudulent claims related to the $8000 First Time Home Buyers tax credit. Pretty shocking numbers… $29 Billion dollars given to 4 million people, and the fraud amounted to…

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Tough Real Estate Market? What are buyers and sellers supposed to do?

The real estate market today is one of the toughest in recent history. A large number of foreclosed homes on the market is marking it tough on the traditional home seller. While every market is different, most areas have seen a significant drop in value.

The mortgage industry has tighten lending, with a virtual elimination of all non-traditional financing and “creative” zero down type options (although VA and USDA are still around and great zero down options). Most programs today require 3.5% to 5% down MINIMUM and good credit. Gone are the days of easy lending.

Washington has tried “fixing” mortgage lending, but has essentially failed with bad programs like FHA Secure, Help For Home Owners, HARP, and HAMP. They’ve made industry changes that have cost home buyers more money, like HVCC, and LO Compensation. They’ve created more confusion with the new three page Good Faith Estimate, and the whopper of them all… Only requiring half of the Loan Officers to have a license!

Traditional sellers have the upper hand and an easier time in most cases in the “condition of the property” category versus a foreclosure, but it is still very tough when the banks are liquidating foreclosed properties, and the prices they are giving some of them away at.

So, what is a seller and buyer to do? How does a seller sell and a buyer buy in today’s market?

First, understand that because of the large volume of foreclosed properties, it is a great time to be a buyer, whether you are a move-up buyer or a first-time buyer.

For sellers, now is not the time to try and sell your own property. You need the help of a FULL-TIME, experienced Realtor to help guide you through the process. Buyers need the same help to guide them through the maze of properties, both traditional and bank-owned. Having a good agent is extremely important. Take some time to interview your Realtor. How long have they been in business? How many sales have they completed? How many buyers have they helped? Can you get references? Don’t just pick your agent from an open house, or use your sisters best friend who got her license last month.

For move-up buyers, you may have to give in to a lower than you like selling price, but you should reap a nice reward on any new home you buy. This is especially true if you are moving from the low $200k to the mid $300k range, as homes that were selling in the $400k range are now in the $350k. Therefore, even if you have to give up a little on your current sale price, you should more than make up for it on the buy side. Remember, a house priced right, and realistic, will sell even in today’s market right away. Furthermore, with today’s standard fixed rates hovering around 5%, you can still lock in historically great rates!

For first-time buyers, it is a great time to find aggressively priced homes, whether it is a bank-owned foreclosure, or a motivated traditional seller. Not all buyers are ready, or want to tackle “AS IS” foreclosures, so be sure to be honest with yourself about what you are doing to avoid a potential disaster down the road.

Today’s prices are again extremely affordable in the first-time buyer starter home category. Even though most zero down programs are no longer available, with proper negotiation, you can get the seller to pay most, if not all of your closing costs.

This means you can buy a $150k home for just $5250 out-of-pocket. With programs like FHA, the entire down payment can be a gift from family members, or community assistance programs. That is how it was always done prior to about 1999… and somehow people bought houses then, so don’t sit back waiting. NOW is the time to buy!

Finally, one of the first things you should do is get pre-approved with a quality lender who will discuss with you your qualifying ability and program options in today’s market. Someone who has the knowledge, expertise, and full range of programs (like FHA) to bring you to a successful no surprises closing. This is never the guy on the internet posting the lowest rate, or the unlicensed bank representative at the 1-800 number bank call center.

A word of caution. If you are shopping for a lender based on rate, be prepared to get screwed. Be sure to read these informative articles for more information: “Rate Shopping – How to do it right“, and “Lender Shopping – How to do it right“.

No matter what your real estate needs are, buying or selling, with the proper guidance of full-time professional Realtor and Loan Officer, you should be able to have your dreams come true.


How to have Real Estate Success in a down market

Look, there is no magic trick to being a successful Real Estate Agent. Winning agents in a down market don’t make excuses, they make the sales calls they need to make to generate new business. Partnering with a successful and motivated Loan Officer and Lender enhances your success. Watch this motivational clip by Joe Metzler of Mortgages Unlimited, St Paul, MN

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Grow Your Real Estate Business for Free if you know the secret

MN Real Estate Agents, Are you closing deals, making money, and growing your business, or are you killing your future business.

Learn how to grow your business with the right attitude and the right mortgage lending partners.


Realtors – Make more money, sell more homes. Free Idea

Let’s face it, times are tough in the Real Estate market right now. With so many Realtors chasing a much  smaller pool of home buyers (both first time buyers and move up buyers), agents need every edge to gain more clients, sell more homes, and make more money.

This short video tells Real Estate Agents how to stop giving away money to others, and start putting it in their own pocket!

Click the share button and send this to all your Real Estate Agent friends