Thursday, September 12, 2013


First Time Buyers Find Value and Security

Times are tough and home buyers, like all consumers are looking for ways to reduce the cost of buying and furnishing a home. Can anyone blame them? In this market buyers need to be assured that when they are spending their hard-earned dollars it makes sense to them.

This is why we believe that NOW more than ever, renters and all first time buyers in Southeastern Pennsylvania  will have peace of mind knowing their dollars can go even further.

There are many reasons to retain the services of Jean and John burns. Our experience in Real Estate sales goes back to 1988, over the last two decades we have experienced many of the markets UP's and DOWN's. As a client this will be an invaluable resource. As an added PLUS our clients will have the peace of mind knowing that our negotiating skills have been honed over these years in many different types of markets. JB REALTY SERVICE is a full service Real Estate firm.

 Our experience in working at the larger national firms taught us we could provide a more personal and detailed relationship and maintain a full service office.

There are many reasons to commit to a relationship with a Realtor or Real Estate firm. I would strongly submit that by accident is not the right reason. I believe that most Real Estate horror stories are the result of the consumer feeling obligated to a Realtor because they spent some time answering minor Questions or possibly showing them a property. The consumer would be well advised to understand the Real Estate documents they are being asked to sign and seek the advise of an attorney if necessary as the documents can be confusing. Jean and John are committed to providing the personal small town service we all deserve along with the skills and abilities of any of the larger firms.

Our business thrives on referrals. We hope our unique and forthright approach to Real Estate will not only help You with your home purchase, but potentially a Friend, co-worker or family member also.

Contact us now to start your customized home search and register for your FREE mortgage pre-approval. You can call 215-721-6300 or see our website also you may e-mail There is much to learn, we are Real Estate and financing experts that an educated client will make the right choice in a home purchase.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Short Sale

A Short Sale is the sale of a property which the owner owes more to the lender(s) then the property is worth. The seller makes no money on the sale. 

Short Sale agreements are contingent on the approval of the lender(s) to all the terms and conditions of the Agreement. This is a very time consuming process, sometimes in excess of 6 months depending on the different lien holders.

The Pennsylvania Association of Realtors has found it necessary to create an addendum for agreements to short sale properties. The addendum is very helpful BUT in most cases the buyers do NOT give enough attention to the addendum. Realtors should educate themselves in the Short Sale process if they are going to attempt a Short Sale. Buyers need to understand they are attempting to purchase a " distressed property" a heart beat away from foreclosure.

A "short sale" purchase agreement is first reviewed with the sellers. In the case of multiple offers the listing agent and seller will do their best to choose an offer to present to the lien(s) holder. The priority being the offer has the best chance of surviving the bank review and the time needed to complete the process. Price although a high priority is NOT always the determining factor. The agreement for sale has the option of many contingencies in an attempt to protect the buyer. Just a few are the mortgage contingency (dates for completion of certain critical parts such as the appraisal). Inspection contingencies, zoning, and on and on. The seller with their advisers need to understand the possible affect these contingencies may have on the agreement to survive until settlement.

The seller will be required to submit very detailed financial information to the lien holder to help them evaluate the seller(s) situation. The seller will be required to submit a hardship letter to the lender explaining why they are unable to continue making the payments as agreed. The lender will usually require updates to bank statements and other information several times to assure themselves the seller is truly distressed and that a short sale is the best option for the lien holders.

The lien holder will be very interested in the buyers ability to purchase the property and the buyers willingness to extend the time needed to complete this process. Each time a buyer gets frustrated and walks from their agreement the process has to start over again for the seller and the new buyer. All new documentation is required and even if a prior short sale was approved OR very close to being approved, this approval is NOT transferable even if the new offer is for more money.

In addition the lien holders are very aware of the temptation of investors, with the help of professionals, to try to take advantage of these situations. Lenders will do their best to be sure the sale is an " Arms Length " transaction another reason to fully process every subsequent offer. It is sometimes in the sellers best interest to try ensure an existing offer close settlement rather than start the process again with a new buyer.

In the time it takes to process a new offer the delinquent interest payments, fees, fines, and attorney fees are continuing to grow. There sometimes comes a point that the seller is better served to bring their own funds to the settlement, if possible, close and move on.

These are some suggestions when thinking about getting involved in a short sale.

- Do you have the time ?
- Do you understand the process ?
- Can you think somewhat like an investor ?( after all look at the potential savings )
in most cases the higher the reward the higher the risk.


Saturday, February 14, 2009


At JB REALTY SERVICE we are advising our clients to protect themselves from the up coming regret of fence-sitting and allowing the market to pass them by. Some Buyers are immobilized as a result of the fear of paying too much if they make a home purchase now. Their thought being that maybe if I wait the prices will go lower, maybe I can be the one to find the exact bottom of the market. This is very unlikely. Frankly this probably is the bottom for homes priced under $250,000. Another real reason for Buyers to hesitate is, with the current economy, they are worried about their financial status. Will I have a job? No one can blame a person for taking this into account. Our advice is, if you are unsure about your future employment, wait until you feel more secure.

Probably the most common regret we hear is from Sellers who wish they would have sold 2 or 3 years ago. "Wow, do I wish I would have listened". "We just thought we would have some warning". The fact is they did have warning. In most cases they did not act because it is hard to go against the trend. It is much easier to see yourself as a maverick then to be one.

Now is the safe time to be purchasing. Funny thing is it was not all that long ago that it was a clear Sellers market and the herd mentality had Buyers out in droves. They were rushing from property to property placing unreasonable offers, just to be beat out by another unreasonable offer but they felt safe in doing so, why? Because everyone else was doing it. Now, it is truly a buyers market, of this there is NO doubt. The regrets will come. Buyer after Buyer, I can hear it now "why didn't I listen". "There should have been a warning". "Why didn't somebody say something to me"? "If I would have known".

Where are the buyers? Scared. What can have them so frozen? Possibly the over excited media and their negative news and uninformed advice. Then sure, as soon as you let people know you are thinking of buying a home, they all have advice also. Of course with your best interest in mind, after all they are only trying to help. The buyer should listen and take notes. Verify what you hear, find articles, accumulate data.

Our web site is a good source for insights about Real Estate, mortgages and more. Read past blog posts that relate to the topics. Make an appointment with one of our experienced professionals and have them sort it out with you. The consultation is private and FREE.

We know this is a remarkable buyers market. Can the prices go lower ? sure. Can the prices go higher ? sure. The bargains are here now. Over time buying in a buyers market and selling in a sellers market is the best you can hope for. Buying at the absolute bottom and selling at the absolute top are nothing more than pure luck.

Quick Action is required. Shortly Buyers are going to be offered a stimulus of $8,000 to purchase a home before the end of 2009. Do you think this will result in lower prices or higher prices ? Answer this correctly and you will know what to us NOW and GET pre-qualified for the right loan for you. 215-721-6300 Jean and John Burns. or e-mail

Friday, November 28, 2008

In Pennsylvania Realtors work for the Seller

Most people interested in purchasing a home start by searching for the property. The internet seems to be a favorite start point as well as newspapers and Real Estate books. See our website at Another buyer choice is "open houses" and "new construction sites". A great percentage of consumers are not aware that the person holding the "open house ", new construction or not, is the agent for the Seller. Consumers need to be aware that any information they share with these agents can, and in most cases should be shared with the Seller. When the consumer is at the "open house" and/or construction site they will usually be presented with a discloser form titled "Consumer Notice". This form should be read carefully and taken seriously. The form will state that it is not a contract. This can lull the consumer into not paying ample attention. This form spells out the consumer's right to be represented by a Realtor that will have the Buyer's best interest as a proirity.
The next step would be to interview several Realtors to consider for a buyers agent. Choose wisely. Buyers Agency is best accomplished with the consumer entering into a contract with a Realtor of their choice acting as a "Buyer's Agent". In almost all cases the listing Agency shares their commission with the Agency representing the Buyer. Therefore the buyer does NOT pay a commission to the Buyer's Agent. Consumers that consider the home buying experience as a shopping trip and do not follow a procedure that respects the home purchase as a serious financial commitment can be at great risk. Most Real Estate horror stories begin here.
At JB Realty Service we have been praticing Buyer agency since before it was populer and understand the contracts fine points, using all choices to the Buyers favor. contact us at or call us at 215-721-6300

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Predicting the Real Estate Market

This will probably get me in a real fix...not a good idea to predict...Oh well the Lord hates a coward. The biggest thing to remember is that for the most part Real Estate is local. The Philadelphia area has historically held its own in Real Estate turn down cycles. The past has shown a typical adjustment in this region of about 10% . With some areas actually showing equity gains and others maybe deeper adjustments. We live in an area of diversified industries and job markets. This helps offset any major unemployment spikes. Any way back to the Real Estate market. As long as there is not a major change in the economy for any reason, it comes down to supply and demand. The inventory of homes for sale should start to dwindle over the next couple of months. The sellers who wished they would have sold two years ago will either SELL or decide not to and stay where they are. Although there may be a greater influx of short sales and REO sales the lenders will figure out some of the prices they are trying to get are not realistic...investors will be able to acquire them at a faster rate as the REO departments become better managed. Buyers can still get reasonable mortgages ...FHA is not new...we at JB Realty Service have been doing FHA loans for over 20 brokers and realtors just got lazy over the last few years and used the quicker and less regulated 100% conventional loans. They will need to become educated OR re-educated with these loans and the consumer wins. These loans have continued to be at the top of options for all qualified buyers. I think all is in place for us to see the bottom over the winter with a return to a normal Real Estate market next spring...Normal does not mean the hyper market of three or four years ago but more stable prices and reasonable sale times of 2-5 months. I will talk about interest rates next time....Watch out for interest rate spikes coming. In the mean time, check us out at

Lets end the economic down turn

It is my opinion that if two things were done NOW we would create an economic boom. ONE,,,, make the tax cuts permanent. TWO,,,, announce to the world, we have had enough .... we will start drilling for oil , tap the natural gas reserves and give massive tax breaks for all new technology leading to energy independence. I am having a difficult time believing this is that difficult an idea to grasp. Demand out paces supply...increase supply and decrease demand.....not either /or. I am sure there will be fifty reasons we will be told why it can't be done . Are we that weak a Nation we give in so easy? It should have been done years ago. So we can't go back...but we can start NOW.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

home values

For the purpose of a refinance and a sale, the property will most likely be appraised to judge its value for purpose of a loan. What consumers do not realize is that the appraiser works for the lender. The lender is the client not the home owner or the buyer.The consumer may recieve a copy of the report for limited use or just for their records. The lender, as the client of the appraiser, sets the scope within which the appraisal is performed. When the client (lender) asks that the scope of work include only the most recent transactions of the last 2-3 months this can result in great strain for certain properties. How can properties not decline in value under these strick conditions. Sales to use as comparables have been sparce. If sales are occuring they are most likely under distress. Now we have created a self fulfilling prophecy. Property values will continue to decline because of the enviorment that is being created. We all understand the mees the lenders are in nationwide...BUT...REAL ESTATE markets are local. The lenders are looking for safe loans. Understood. Wide sweeping guidlines are NOT the answer.