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Lucid Realty Launches 100% Commission Rebate Program For Home Buyers In The Chicago Area

Monday, April 2nd, 2012 by Gary Lucido

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) April 02, 2012

Today Lucid Realty announced the launch of their 100% real estate commission rebate program for home buyers in the Chicago real estate market. Designed to offer unprecedented choices for consumers to maximize their savings in purchasing a home, this new program allows home buyers to optionally pay an hourly rate to Lucid Realty for assisting in the purchase of a home in exchange for a 100% commission rebate at closing. The full commission, which is paid by the home seller, is given to the home buyer in the form of a closing credit or a check.

The 100% commission rebate plan is the logical extension of Lucid Realty’s normal real estate commission rebate, which is paid on a sliding scale – a higher percentage for more expensive homes. The new plan will be more attractive for consumers who are buying more expensive homes or who feel that they don’t need as much attention.

“This 100% rebate plan solves two long standing problems in real estate,” said Gary Lucido, President of Lucid Realty. “First, clients who require little assistance in buying a home are basically paying for clients who require more assistance. Second, real estate agents can spend a considerable amount of time engaged in low value activities, earning very little on an hourly basis. Home buyers who opt into this new plan will have an incentive to use their agent more effectively. It should be a win-win situation.”

Gary also pointed out that Lucid Realty did not really invent this new structure. Their clients have been asking for an alternative like this. In fact, Lucid Realty is currently piloting this program with several clients.

Gary went on to contrast the 100% rebate program with Koenig & Strey’s recent announcement that effective today they will begin charging home buyers a fee to work with one of their agents: “We understand why Koenig & Strey introduced this fee. They are trying to solve the same problem that we are trying to solve. The main difference is that the Koenig & Strey solution ends up costing home buyers more while our solution should cost them less.”

Initially, Lucid Realty is offering an introductory rate of $75 per hour under the 100% rebate program in order to generate more interest. As Gary explains: “Compare that to mechanics, plumbers, and interior designers who all charge $100 per hour. This is a bargain.”

About Lucid Realty, Inc.
Lucid Realty, Inc. is the Chicago area’s full service, discount, real estate brokerage. Lucid Realty distances itself from traditional brokerages and provides a better value to the consumer. It is a full service broker, offering substantial savings to both buyers and sellers, providing services by employees not independent contractors, working as a team instead of competing against one another, with professionalism and high standards of customer service.

Villa Taj, BACK ON THE MARKET!

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 by Sari Levy

Around a year ago, I wrote about a 30,000 plus square foot home fit for only a king, Villa Taj in Burr Ridge.  In February, with a potential client trying to buy the place for $6mm, I learned that the seller wasn’t entertaining any potential buyers who can’t back up their interest with a $10mm documented net worth.

As of August 13 2010, the auctioneer has listed the property on the MLS for $13mm.  My guess of the place selling for $12mm may not be so far off.  As suspected, the co-op commission is listed as 1%.  That means buying the place using a traditional agent, the buyers agent gets paid $130k.  We think that is a bit much and under our model we’d rebate at least 50% of that amount to our client who closes on the purchase of this home.

Chicago Real Estate Market Shows Growing Short Term Weakness

Monday, September 20th, 2010 by Gary Lucido

In the aftermath of the homebuyer tax credit, Lucid Realty’s August Chicago Real Estate Market Summary shows growing short term weakness but longer term strength.

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) September 20, 2010 - Today, Lucid Realty, Inc. announced the results of its August Chicago Real Estate Market Summary, compiled from 4 different data sources. The real estate market summary contains 7 different indicators of the residential housing market.

“For the fourth month in a row Chicago’s real estate indicators have remained negative. This is the logical consequence of the ill-advised government intervention in the housing market ending. It’s only a matter of time before these negative trends are reflected in lower short term prices”, said Gary Lucido, Lucid Realty co-founder and President. “However, we believe the longer term outlook is still positive, given record low mortgage rates and home prices well below the long term trend line for Chicago.”

Read more about the Chicago Real Estate Market Summary

HAFA: Great For Banks – What About Consumers?

Monday, June 14th, 2010 by Randy Whiting

On June first of this year Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac released guidelines that propose to govern the short sale process flow for loans that are owned by either of these two institutions. The recent Home Affordable Mortgage Alternatives Program (HAFA) guidelines for GSE mortgages (mortgages held by Fannie or Freddie) do display marginal improvements over the HAFA guidelines for non-GSE mortgages launched back in April of this year. However then and now these guidelines can be likened to that beautiful storefront in your town built a couple years ago that no one can afford; gorgeous facade, vacant inside.

A little background on mortgages: There is a primary and a secondary market for mortgages. Banks such as Chase loan money to consumers (primary market), then sell those loans to secondary mortgages holders such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. This provides Chase with money to continue offering loans to additional borrowers; the cycle continues. Even though Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac own a majority of the mortgages out there, they still enlist the help of banks to service their loans. For example: Chase may give you a mortgage and then sell the mortgage to Fannie Mae. At that point it is very common for Chase to act as a front for the loan, providing you, the borrower, customer service, the ability to monitor your loan, etc. This also gives Chase a chance to retain you as a customer and market additional services to you; a win-win for the banks. It is also important to note that if Chase wants to resell your mortgage they have to make sure that they lend you money based on guidelines set in place by the secondary mortgage company who will be buying it; in this case Fannie or Freddie. If Chase plans to keep the mortgage themselves, they do not have to conform to these lending guidelines.

HAFA Shortcomings

Opt-In

The HAFA program is opt-in for non-GSE mortgages. After the guidelines were put into place, there was an almost nonexistent response from banks who were already slammed with too much work. As a result, very few banks leapt at the idea of completely re-working the procedures they have been hacking together like a patchwork quilt for the past year or so; especially with one that has no track record to prove a direct benefit to their bottom line.

Learning Curve

Since the policies and procedures of these guidelines are largely untested they are constantly going through revisions. If anything this will discourage banks from participating until the revisions taper off, if ever. There is no way to test these policies except in real life scenarios and selling a financial institution on the stability of standardization, while simultaneously enduring frequent revisions, will be tumultuous at best.

Inconsistent

The fact that the HAFA guidelines for Fannie and Freddie have variations from the HAFA guidelines for non-GSE mortgages is a mistake that needs to be remedied. How can you wave a banner of standardization while at the same time have variations under the same name? Also, banks that service Fannie and Freddie loans will be required to conform to the GSE version of HAFA on loans they wish to resell and continue to service. One question that lingers unanswered in my mind is: If Fannie or Freddie strikes a deal for a bank to service a loan that wasn’t originated by that bank (common), will that bank need to be GSE HAFA “certified” on all of their loans? The answer is important, because if Fannie and Freddie require banks that service their loans to be GSE HAFA accountable, it would be a huge boon for the efforts to standardize the industry as a whole. If the answer is that banks servicing Fannie or Freddie loans can opt-out on all non-GSE short sales this would impede movement toward standardizing the short sale process, which is supposedly the goal of both HAFA programs. If the new GSE HAFA guidelines do not require banks that service their loans to be consistent with the way they handle all of their short sales it opens huge doors for banks to rob consumers out of their portion of the HAFA guidelines depending on what’s best for the bank.

Banks Have Too Much Control

On many mortgages, it may be financially beneficial for banks to opt-out of HAFA. For example: The proposed incentive is $1500 given to a bank for conforming to HAFA guidelines on a short sale ($2200 for GSE HAFA). These guidelines also protect Realtor commissions up to six percent, but given that even a one percent reduction in commission can save the bank many times that amount depending on the purchase price, how attractive are these incentives? Also when compared to the enormous amounts of money the lending institution is losing when they agree to a short sale, the $2200 seems like a drop in the bucket. Combined with the fact that banks are allowed to opt-in on a case-by-case basis, it seems like HAFA is encouraging banks to keep their ad-hoc guidelines running in parallel with those of HAFA. What this will allow them to do is analyze whether or not it is beneficial for them to go HAFA or not; regardless of what’s best for the consumer that is experiencing a financial hardship. If it works out that the bank can save more money by choosing not to go HAFA, then the consumer loses out on the relocation assistance money that HAFA would have awarded them to find a new place to live. Also because the HAFA program puts a cap on the money that junior mortgage holders are allowed to be awarded and many banks hold both the first and second mortgage on a given property, this will be another incentive for a bank to opt-out if they feel that they can recoup more money by doing so. Another thing that may push a bank to opt-out is the fact that with HAFA they can no longer go after the borrower for a deficiency judgement which in some cases is could be a huge loss for them. With regard to the time it takes to process a short sale, HAFA may make things take even longer as now banks have even more risk to analyze before moving forward one way or the other!

No Enforcement

As an optional program, initially there were few banks that chose to be the guinea pig for these guidelines. Many bank workers still have no idea what HAFA is. Anyone working on a short sale right now has undoubtedly encountered this lack of awareness. For many banks that did decide to get involved with HAFA it ended up being on a case-by-case basis rather than a company-wide policy. What is the point of implementing standard procedures if they are not standard across the board at a given institution? What this is turning out to be is more of a way to for banks to work the system by utilizing HAFA when it is financially beneficial to them and avoiding it when it is not. This may bode well for their bottom line but what about the consumer? What happened to focusing on Main Street not Wall Street? The fact of the matter is that in order to accomplish what HAFA claims to, the industry must adapt these guidelines as enforceable regulations, and a governing body must be created to evolve, educate and enforce said regulations with the power to enact penalties for noncompliance.

Prognosis

HAFA is a weak start in a long race.  While trying to regulate and streamline an already laborious process, it seems to accomplish the antithesis.   For now it’s more of a conversation piece than a tool to help us climb the short sale mountain.  At the very least (and not much more) HAFA gives us bloggers something new to BS about.   Until the revisions taper off and an agency to enforce these regulations is implemented, we’re like a hamster with two wheels in our tank… either one we choose, we’re just running in place.

Getting Real Is Moving To Chicago Now

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 by Gary Lucido

Effective tonight we are moving the Getting Real blog (you may not have known that was it’s name) to Chicago Now. Chicago Now is a Chicago focused (duh!) online community, owned by the Chicago Tribune and comprised of over 200 blogs which are hand picked by the Tribune folks.

So why are we doing this? Because Chicago Now has at least 500,000 unique visitors per month and we want to get our word out to as many people as possible.

Sari will continue to occasionally post here but Gary will be doing all his posts at the Chicago Now site. Old posts will be archived here.

The new URL for the blog is http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-real-estate-getting-real/ or you can also just type in chicagonow.com/gettingreal

I’m going to try to move the RSS feed over but in case I’m not successful you can subscribe to the new feed at http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-real-estate-getting-real/atom.xml



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