Last week I called our Centralized Showing Service to make appointments to show properties in our Lake Norman area for one of my buyers. Two of the properties were foreclosures. I got a call from one of the listing agents letting me know that I wasn’t able to show the property because the bank had pulled it off of the market that very day and that he had absolutely no idea what was going on.
I was able to show the second bank-owned property and my buyer wrote up an offer. When I submitted it on the 13th (last Wednesday) I was told by the listing agent’s staff that they had no idea when we would hear back. (Normally a bank will respond in 24-48 hours). A few hours later I got a call for the listing agent telling me that the offer had been rejected and no offers would be reviewed or accepted until GMAC released the property. He told me his crystal ball had fallen off his desk and shattered so he had no idea when it would be available. At least he had a sense of humor about the whole thing!
This is the reality of most of the foreclosures in our Lake Norman real estate market. Right now, foreclosures or REO (real estate owned) properties make up 18% of our Conditional Sales, 29% of our Contingent Sales, 35% of our Pending Sales and 20% of the closed sales in the past month. Will most of the active contracts be cancelled?
Our Lake Norman real estate market simply can not afford to loose 20% of our sales. I agree with the housing experts who have been quoted as saying that the foreclosure freeze “may due terrible harm to what is left of housing…”. If there were errors made in previous foreclosures, then they certainly need to be corrected. However, based upon the foreclosures I have sold in the past year, my guess is that they were all valid. When you see homes that have been sitting vacant for years, were abandoned by builders or homeowners who have long since moved away, as in the case of the two foreclosures showed this past week, there is little doubt that these were not improperly processed.
All we can do is sit back and hope that this latest mess is sorted out very quickly!