Home Buying in Akron>Question Details

Cindy, Home Buyer in Cuyahoga Falls, OH

does anybody have any experience in buying homesteps homes?

Asked by Cindy, Cuyahoga Falls, OH Sat Jan 10, 2009

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49
J R’s answer
So I think agents on Voices have a perfect opportunity to show her and other consumers that you are professionals who are here to help and who genuinely care about your customers and clients.

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I think we agents have done all we can, and answered many questions. Now it's time for Cindy to take the next step on her own, get a prequalification letter from a bank, then find an agent, sit down with them face to face, and get any other concerns addressed.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 21, 2009
i thought that was a bit fishy.
thanks for answering my question.
now, i am not sure what to do.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 15, 2009
Cindy, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are the quasi-government corporations that purchase mortgages from banks; as such, a bank loaning a borrower funds "sells" their loans and these agencies replenish the bank with more lending funds. Loans that were made under the FHA lending program, either through a bank or through a mortgage broker, belong to HUD, and thus, each of these have foreclosed properties. Fannie Mae has the "Homesteps" program and it is true that their homes tend to be in better condition and some repairs may have been made. HUD homes tend to be in worse condition but there are provisions on some for repairs to be allowed commensurate with a new loan loan taken out by the buyer such as an FHA 203B (minor repairs up to $5000) and 203K (major repairs). Each of these loan programs has advantages and disadvantages, and until you choose to work with a buyer's agent who understands these properties, financing options, and their differences, and until you start looking at the properties in person, you wont be likely to make the most informed decisions. A listing agent always represents the seller and their best interests (highest price and best terms for the seller, not you) and the buyer's agent works exclusively for you. Although you can work with a listing agent your options are limited as there is no one representing YOUR best interests. Some agents practice "dual agency" which means they work for both parties but in a neutral stance - from a point of practicality this is very hard to do and results in most of the lawsuits in our business since, as human beings, none of us can be truly neutral. My brokerage DOES NOT practice dual agency - I work ONLY for my client's best interests, and again, there are no fees to you as a buyer. And, maybe best of all, I REBATE 25% of my brokerage's commission to you at closing as is permitted by law! With my having a broker's license (not agent's license), 25 years experience and having received some of the most prestigious designations and awards in the industry, I feel confident that I can serve your needs. Thanks for your consideration - Don French, Broker, ABR, GRI, CRS, Lake Effect Realty LLC 330-327-1188. I will be available to talk to you today f you desire. Have a great day!
Web Reference: http://www.soldbydon.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 13, 2009
anita................are you from norwalk, ohio or nj?

so you are saying you are given a home to sell for homesteps. and you appraise it and decide the price to list it at? and you handle the preservation of the property. what does that mean?
are you saying they may make some repairs before listing it or never any repairs?

is it possible to see a homestep home before it goes on the market? is it true they wait several days before looking at any offers?
who decides whether to accept an offer or not? who do you work with at homesteps? they are out of state aren't they?
do you offer the price at the foreclosure price or different?
thank you
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 11, 2009
I recently helped a client go through the process. It was tedious, but not as bad as some people might think. Sometimes the savings is worth the effort.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 10, 2014
Oops should be savings are worth the effort. Sorry.
Flag Tue Jun 10, 2014
Don't Do It
They are the worst no origination lack of communications contractors do half ass work and are slower than molasses up hill in January. We have been trying to purchase a home since the beginning of march settlement was to be in 45 days do the math buy a home that is listed by the owner and save yourself a lot of head aches.
The funny part of the situation the listing said JUST REDONE heating pipes broken in wall I guess if you slap a cheap coat of paint on the walls it is considered just redone
They put new flooring on the kitchen floor the ends are not covered at any doorway and are uneven the center of the floor is blistering PORE CRAFTSMANSHIP must have been clearance materials
They must have gotten a truck load of ceiling fans at a discount every room had one and the one was not hooked up correctly good thing the home inspection uncovered it nothing like buying a home that could burn down after you just move in.
If you don't get so pissed off you walk away first!!!!!! Not telling you what to do just saying I will never ever again
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 10, 2014
homesteps has a home for 199.000 will thay take 135.000 so I can afford it thay only pad 110.000 for it at aucshion
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 20, 2014
It's "pay-to-play" here in Philadelphia -- even with Homesteps properties. Realtors cherry pick Fannie and Freddie homes by ignoring consumer inquiries until their friends and family or connected private investment companies can purchase them cheaply. I'm not sure how the realtors are in Ohio, but you have no chance in Philadelphia!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 9, 2013
Cindy, I close through a title company just south of Akron off I-77; they wil close anywhere (your home, office, whatever - anywhere in Stark, Summit, or Cuyahoga counties) at no additional charge; they do not charge a closing fee to my clients so long as the property purchase price is $100K or more, and they have none of the ugly add-on fees I so often see from other title companies - fees like "hold signature fee" that mean nothing, but pad the pockets of the title company. Since title insurance rates are uniform throughout Ohio, the only comparison of costs that can be made are what search fees and add-on fees are charged, and what is the closing settlement fee. I receive no compensation from the title company I recommend and therefore have no vested interest in working with them; you are welcome to select another company. Because this is a public forum, I regret that I cannot name the title company here in the forum. However, if you work with me as a buyers agent, I will guarantee that the firm I recommend has the lowest overall costs of settlement and therefore if you find a title company with lower published overall closing costs, I will absorb the difference and give you a $50 debit card to your favorite restaurant for helping me keep fees in line for all my clients, many of whom are repeat clients and expect me to watch out for their best interests. I am heading out on vacation tomorrow night for a week, so if you want to get the ball going, please do call me today. If we start today, I'll keep you busy next week with listings to look at, then will return to help you personally after the 31st. Have a great day! Don French 330-327-1188
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 22, 2009
DON------who do you close thru? do you have to do a loan thru them also?
thanks
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 22, 2009
Thanks to you and others JR for continuing to be valuable members of the Voices community.
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You're welcome Rudy! Thanks for all the hard work you (and Emily) do on Trulia!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 21, 2009
Cindy, the typical commission to a buyer's agent is 2-3% of the home's seling price and you would receive 25% of whatever that amount is, as allowed by the seller's conditions of sale. The commission is always stated in the Multiple Listing Service on each property so you will know what that is, prior to viewing a property or making an offer. Obviously a seller offering a higher commission has an advantage to you. There are many other financial factors that weigh into a home's purchase, such as repair costs, your ability to obtain financing, and closing costs, all which vary depending on who you work with. For example, if you choose to work with me on a $200K home and we can use the closing agent I recommend, you will have no closing cost settlement fee, a potential savings of $300-$800. But, some banks and other instututional owners (foreclosed properties) have their own required settlement agent and you'll be subject to their fees which will not be negotiable. Again, a good buyer's agent will explain all this to you once you commit to him/her and begin your shopping experience. Once you begin shopping you may decide not to look at homes that have high repair costs, a low commission, and dictated settlement fees by the seller, because those homes would "eat up your cash" more quickly than non-foreclosed homes from conventional sellers with traditional options that can keep your out-of-pocket expenses to a minimum. In most cases, buyers needing financing for a purchase have limited funds available and therefore more limited choices than buyers who can just pay cash for the property. And remember: in the Akron-Canton-Cleveland market there are over 500 professional buyers - seasoned investors- who are looking for exactly the same deal you are, and they can spot the best deals and snap them up immediately - often the same day as they come on the market - and they are "ready to buy" with either financing in place or none needed, and no contingencies for inspections; in other words these buyers may grab the property you want before you can even see it and they write a quick, clean, all-cash (non-financed) offer to the seller that the seller gladly accepts even if the offer is a low offer, because the accepted offer gets the property "off the books" of the foreclosing lender quickly. With respect to the 25% rebate, I am able to offer this because I do much Internet marketing and have little in the way of overhead costs, unlike larger brokerages who often have buildings, staff, training costs for new agents, and steep advertising expenses that require them to receive a certain level of compensation in order to stay in business. Some of the larger brokerages have "commission minimums" that might prevent one of their agents from showing you homes below a certain minimum price or commission. Most of the larger brokerages also have fees they charge to their buyers (averaging $150-$200 locally) but by comparison I do not charge any fees. From a buyer's perspective, working with a larger brokerage has few advantages so long as you can find an experienced agent elsewhere. I am going to trust by the nature of your questions that you do not have the experience of a professional buyer but if you work with a good agent, you will approach the market successfully and have a better chance of winning against your competition. You will also gain some experience, so that should you decide to become a profesional investor, you'll have some basic tools to begin a profitable experience.
Thanks - Don French
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 21, 2009
Thanks to you and others JR for continuing to be valuable members of the Voices community.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 21, 2009
why do you offer a 25% refund?
how much would that be on a 200,000 home?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 21, 2009
Cindy, it's time to pick a good buyer's agent for your needs Email is great but if you are serious about purchasing, it's time to move on. I recommend you go through the answers and choose someone you feel is best qualified. I appreciate that a previous answer I suppiled has now received a "thumbs up" from a member. Everyone here is trying to help you; now it's your turn to show the courtesy of being as serious in buying as we are in trying to help. If I am so fortunate as to be someone you'd consider, remember that I will offer you 25% of the commission I receive at closing, as permitted by law. Feel free to email me at lakemohawk@earthlink.net and I'll send you a list of references. Have a nice day - Don French, Broker, ABR, GRI, CRS, Lake Effect Realty 330-327-1188.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 21, 2009
Thanks for engaging the Trulia Voices community Cindy. Lots of good back and forth feedback.

I love seeing agents helping consumers and encourage everyone to be thoughtful in your responses to each other here on Voices. Sure, things can get heated from time to time and words, tone and intentions can be misinterpreted but at the end of the day, I do think we all are here to help each other. So I'd love to see us all do our best remain helpful and positive.

Consumers like Cindy may had had a bad experience or two with an agent. So I think agents on Voices have a perfect opportunity to show her and other consumers that you are professionals who are here to help and who genuinely care about your customers and clients.

That being said, I wish Cindy the best of luck and thank all the agents here for taking the time to share your expertise, knowledge and opinions.

Peace,

Rudy
Social Media Guru at Trulia
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 20, 2009
Cindy:

Please seek out an exclusive buyers agent in your area that can assist you with any foreclosures, short sales, freddie mac, VA and HUD homes. We all have access to the same information. Why would you pay the listing agent double commission when they represent the seller? You are not gaining any value for the commission that you will eventually pay when you do buy a home by dealing with the listing agent. Ohio law states that a dual agent has to remain neutral. No information can be disclosed that would put either at an advantage over the other unless authorized by the parties involved.

I think you will find that if you commit to one agent that he/she will have your best interests in mind and will earn every penny of their 3% commission.

Best of luck to you. Foreclosures are a tough market and you will not be successful in the good ones unless you act quickly. Very quickly!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 20, 2009
WRONG AGAIN............I USE ALL CAPS WHEN MY EYES HURT AND I HAVE TROUBLE SEEING THE SCREEN.
I WASN'T YELLING AT YOU OR ANYBODY ELSE.

AND I SAID A CROOKED REALTOR NOT REALTORS. I WAS SPEAKING OF THIS ONE THAT ACCORDING TO YOU GUYS IS NOT DOING WHAT HE IS SUPPOSE TO BE DOING.
I DID NOT LUMP THE REST OF YOU INTO THE SAME BOAT AS HIM AT ALL!!!!

IF HE IS NOT ALLOWED TO BE DOING THIS, THEN WHY WOULD I WANT TO REWARD HIM WITH A DOUBLE SALE?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 20, 2009
Cindy, you got great advice, and I've pointed out to you that the best way to get further information is to actually speak to a realtor face to face. For that I got yelled at by you in all caps, about crooked realtors. I'm beginning to think that just as there are people who are not meant to be parents, maybe there are some that are not meant to own a home. Isn't that how we got into this mess we're in in the first place?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 19, 2009
shame on me for stating the facts.
and i said one realestate agent not all of you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 18, 2009
Cindy, that was not fair. Good people were tying to help you and then you take a cheap shot on Realtors. I work very hard for my clients and they respect me later as a friend, and then you want to call us names, shame on you!
Web Reference: http://www.liveinakron.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 18, 2009
good call JR,we cant make em drink,huh.
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Apparently not. :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 18, 2009
Yes Cindy, I saw comments,etc..there a good value mostly,sounds like you ran into problem,sounds like lack of communication,Will this be your primary home?let me know doesnt sound like you got the contract.Good huntin.good call JR,we cant make em drink,huh.

tjroberts@remax.net
Web Reference: http://tjroberts.remax.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 18, 2009
WELL THEN SO BE IT. BETTER THAN PAYING A CROOKED REAL ESTATE AGENT.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 17, 2009
Cindy, my point is, you've been asking questions about this for over a week. Go talk to a realtor face to face and get all your questions out at once. My further point is by the time you have all your questions answered the home is going to be sold.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 17, 2009
WHY SHOULD I WAIT FOR THE SIX DAYS IF IT IS NOT RIGHT FOR HIM TO BE DOING THIS????
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 16, 2009
AKRON..........................so how can i make him take my offer and turn it in right away instead of waiting for six days to be up.
thank you
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Cindy, you need to hire your own agent. You aren't going to be able to get all your answers quickly enough here. By this time you could have made an offer and waited the 6 days.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 16, 2009
Cindy, do you have an address or MLS number so that I can check what is going on with this home? You can send to my email if you don't want to post it here in public.

david@davidc.com
Web Reference: http://www.liveinakron.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 16, 2009
AKRON..........................so how can i make him take my offer and turn it in right away instead of waiting for six days to be up.
thank you
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 16, 2009
it is a freddie mac home........................................
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 15, 2009
Cindy, I am not from your area, but I read all the questions and answers with interest. I saw your question and was wondering what a homesteps home was. :) My suggestion is to sit down face to face and have a conversation with an agent or two who are knowledgable about this type of sale. It will probably be more easily explained that way.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 15, 2009
Cindy, that is absolutely false. The day I list a Homesteps home is the day I can take an offer. I do not know why someone would say that. They could get kicked out of the program for that actually!
Web Reference: http://www.liveinakron.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 14, 2009
yes that was for you. i was told that a homesteps home is on the market but they will not accept any offers for 6 days to make it fair. doesn't seem fair to me.
or is this the broker trying to get the highest price and the highest commission??????????
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 14, 2009
If that ? is for me, Homesteps never states that, homes are sold just like a private owner would sell .
Web Reference: http://www.liveinakron.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 14, 2009
DID THEY SAY IN THE LISTING THEY WOULD NOT SEE ANY OFFERS UNTIL AFTER 3 OR 6 DAYS?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 14, 2009
Hi Cindy,
Yes-I am familiar with Homestep homes.
If I can help, drop me a note at jwirsing@kw.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 13, 2009
On the market 14 days Cindy.
Web Reference: http://www.liveinakron.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 13, 2009
akron...........how many days was the property on the market?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 13, 2009
To answer your question Cindy, Homesteps usually answers an offer the same day. I turned one in yesterday at noon and they countered this morning. HUD is also bid online but do not answer an offer as fast.
Web Reference: http://www.liveinakron.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 13, 2009
i am confused. i thought freddie mac was different than hud. is it or is it not??????????

will they take the first offer or will they wait to get several first before choosing one?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 13, 2009
Hi Cindy-
If you are interested in a Homestep home, they have a great program that ends the end of this month on a home that closes by March 14th.
This is called the "ASK YOUR AGENT" program. With this incentive, any Freddie-Mac owned home, you can receive 3-1/2% of the purchase price to be applied against your closing costs. There are no strings attached!.
Call me at 440-487-2193 or e-mail me at jwirsing@kw.com. My broker is a HUD approved browker. I would be able to show you the home, assist you in developing a fair market value, submitting your offer and representing YOUR interest.
Look forward to working for you.
John Wirsing
Keller Williams Realty Greater Cleveland
http://www.BestAreaHomeSearch.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 11, 2009
anita------------
i thought homesteps was freddie mac. if somebody had a freddie mac loan thru their bank, then the bank had to give the house over to freddie mac. and if the bank put the house deed in the name of freddie mac then why would the bank have the final say???
is it true that they will not look at the first offer, but wait a few days till they have more offers to look at one?
do you work in the akron market or is that too far away?
and if i would write an offfer with the listing agent, then can he still take other offers and write them up when he is representing me?
thank you
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 11, 2009
Hi Cindy,

I am from Norwalk, OHIO.

Homesteps is the asset management company for certain banks. They are like the "middleman/woman." When an offer is received the listing agent enters the offer into the computer on the Homesteps website. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO USE THE LISTING AGENT TO SUBMIT AN OFFER ON A HOMESTEPS HOME!! Any real estate can write the offer. There are representatives at Homesteps that handle all the Homesteps homes within assigned territories throughout the US. When an offer is submitted the representative at Homesteps has the authority to counter the offer but they do not have the authority to give the final acceptance. That is up to the bank. I do not show any Homestep homes until they are actually on the market.

As with all bank owned properties it may take a couple of extra days for the final acceptance, but I have found Homesteps to be one of the easiest to work with. The homes they have are in fairly decent shape and they make every effort to maintain the properties.

As far as an offer price it is no different that writing an offer on a property that is not bank owned. You can have the opportunity to negotiate unless it is a multiple offer situation in which case you must submit your highest and best offer because you only get one chance to be the buyer that they choose to work with. You will need to sign a multiple offer form saying that you acknowledge that your offer is not the only offer they are looking at.

I think I answered all your questions.
Web Reference: http://www.AnitaCundari.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 11, 2009
scott-------are you saying if the listing agent writes up my offer he really won't represent me, but will have the banks interests and not mine?

what if he writes up an offer for me. then lets say the next day someone else calls him to see it and make an offer. can he write up their offer too even tho he is representing me?
thank you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 11, 2009
akron.........why do you say they are maintained?
if they are foreclosures they don't go in and fix them up do they?
do they make all their houses with the same key like hud does?
what kind of deal will they usually give? do they answer right away?
is it true they won't take the first offer, but wait several days before they look at any offers?
thank you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 11, 2009
HI again Cindy. I am a Homesteps Realtor and have several for sale, also. I have the keys and can show any Homesteps home for sale at anytime. BTW, HUD homes and Homesteps are two different situations. Homesteps homes are maintained and the deals are very easy to make.
Thanks.
Web Reference: http://www.liveinakron.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 10, 2009
Cindy i would recommend to you, that you get a buyer broker who is experienced in foreclosures. Hiring a buyer broker should not cost you anything out of pocket as they get paid the fee offered in mls and paid at closing by the listing broker. This way you have someone looking out for you and can assist you through each step of the buying [process. After all the listing agent is looking out for the bank. The buyer broker can provide you a list of homes currently available and update you as new listings come out. Good luck with your search.
Web Reference: http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 10, 2009
Cindy, I would be happy to help; my brokerage is on the HUD approved sales list and I do have the keys to all their homes so we can see them anytime. My brokerage does not charge a fee to buyers, unlike some brokerages. I have been in the business for 20 years and have helped hundreds of buyers. The Homesteps program does require some special considerations that we should discuss in person before you take on the purchase of one of their homes; these homes are truly sold "as-is" and it is not usual that a buyer's lender wants the home to be in good servicebale condition; HUD will not necessarily co-operate to make repairs, so it's typical that the bulk of these homes are sold to investors who pay cash and do not need bank financing. But by contrast, you can get a good deal on a lovely home sometimes - last summer I sold a home that was only 5 years old, to a couple for $230,000 that had sold previously for $359,000 and all they had to do was replace some carpet to move in. I'm available this weekend if you'd like to talk - Don French, Broker 330-327-1188.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 10, 2009
I have experience as a listing and selling agent for Homesteps homes. When Homesteps receives a property to sell a real estate agent handles all the preservation on the property. The real estate agent will do a Broker's Price Opinion to determine a listing price. The real estate agent will also recommend any necessary repairs in order to make the home more desirable. Homesteps will not make all recommended repairs and their homes are sold "AS IS."
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 10, 2009
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