All There is to know about staging by Pixie Concepts
All There is to know about staging by Pixie Concepts
Hi everybody. Welcome to our Facebook live. Today we’ll be talking about three different parts of the real estate transaction, the real estate business and what’s happening right now. I’ve asked Marty and Kevin to join me and to share their thoughts about the mortgage and settlement side of things. And I’ll give you a quick overview of what’s going on as far as the real estate market locally here in Montgomery County. First, I’d like to take a minute to ask them to introduce themselves and to talk a little bit about their experience in their respective fields. And I’m going to start with you, Kevin.
Thank you, Harry. I appreciate you inviting us on today. As Harry mentioned, my name is Kevin Finnegan. Uh, I am with Vellum Mortgage. We’re a local correspondent lender based out of Fairfax. I have been a loan officer in the DC area for going on 20 years now. All spent, supporting DC, Maryland, Virginia for the most part. So that’s a little bit about myself.
Great. Thanks a lot. And Marty, what do you have to say for yourself this fine day?
Thanks Harry. It’s so nice to be on this call with you and with Kevin. It’s always great to work with both of you in real estate transactions, just working with the best. My name is Marty Stanton. I’ve been a title attorney, for, well, 20 plus years. All right. I don’t want to date myself too much. I’m barred and licensed to practice in, in Maryland, DC and Virginia. So any of you that have questions regarding all three jurisdictions, we’re happy to answer those. This is a great opportunity during these times to talk about, you know, the last six weeks, what we’ve been experiencing and things like that in the business, cause a lot has changed.
Harry Moore (11:54):
Great, Marty, thanks a lot. Well, I guess it’s my turn. My name’s Harry Moore. I’m an agent with Keller Williams capital properties and I have been a full time agent for almost 26 years. It’ll be 26 years in September. I have lived in the DC Metro area for most of my life, not all of it. And, I am presently a Kensington resident and, live in little house in Kensington with my kids, Hannah and Oliver.
So next, I just wanted to, take a minute to sort of talk briefly about what’s going on in the Montgomery County market. I’m going to take a minute to do my SlideShare and I’ll go through some of the stats to show you all what’s been happening in the market locally in the past 30 days
These are some summary numbers for the Montgomery County real estate markets starting with the 30th of March. That was the day that the stay in place order was instituted by the governor. So I’ll just go through some quick numbers. These numbers are as of the 26th, so as of Sunday morning when I put the slides together.
So the first is these are the number of active properties in all of Montgomery County regardless of property type 1,473 and in that 30 day or 26 day period, there have been 703 properties that went under contract, either as active under contract or as fully pending, which means there are no contingencies.
Then during that same period, 714 properties were taken off the market, either withdrawn, expired or canceled. And last 864 properties were closed. And settled during that time period.
Now a lot of those obviously went under contract before the shelter in place order was given by the governor.
So people might be wondering, well what do all these numbers mean? One of the things that I like to look at is what’s called the absorption rate. And that’s where you look at how much inventory is on the market and how long it would take for all of those properties to sell if nothing else came on the market. And that’s a sort of a simple barometer that you can use to understand the market. And so I just did a quick slide on that one. You can see 1,473 divided by 703 gives a little over two months worth of inventory.
Now just to give you some perspective, the dividing line between a balanced market and a seller’s market is generally considered to be four months worth of inventory. So anything less than that is a sellers market. Four months to five or six months is generally considered a balanced market and six months and up, would be a buyer’s market. So this shows you pretty clearly that even though things have changed and the tenor of the market has changed a little bit. It still does favor sellers at the moment.
So that would be the number one question is really how’s the market? And, inventory has gone down. Inventory has been moving down steadily for years and it’s gone down even more sharply. So it still does favor sellers. If you look at the people who are in the market, who by and large, it’s people who are really serious people who need to buy or need to sell.
So those people are still in the market. The rest, I would say other people who were just sort of dipping their toe or getting started have largely taken themselves out of the market.
Now the second question I get is how do you actually buy and sell houses in today’s market? And certainly everything is largely done virtually. I think that for years it’s been really important as a real estate agent to make sure that your listings have great photographs. And I have used 3D virtual tours and video tours for a long time because I think those are important, but they’re really essential these days. And, you know, there are a couple different ways that buyers can see properties. You can do that through a virtual open house largely done on Facebook live or some other streaming service where the listing agent will walk people through the house and answer their questions.
Another way to do that is through a FaceTime call, sort of a smaller group. Usually a buyer who’s particularly interested may have seen the Facebook live and is looking for something a little more personal or more personal tour, either by the seller or the listing agent or maybe their buyer’s agents depending on the situation. We could do that with FaceTime or Google duo.
Another way to do it is through a guided tour of the pictures or 3d tours are on the multiple lists and a lot of buyer’s agents are using that as a way to sort of help buyers get a better grip on what’s going on in terms of the market.
So those are, I guess sort of brief answers to the two questions that I get most often, which is how’s the market and how are people actually sort of navigating the market. And now I’d like to ask Marty some questions that he gets most often about what’s going on in terms of settlements.
So the first question that you said you get most often is what are the options for people to sign their documents? So why don’t you talk a little bit about that?
Marty Stanton (19:27):
Oh, sure. Harry. Thank you. Wow. The world has changed since Covid-19, our industry has really been put in a position where we’ve had to think about the health and safety of the buyers and the sellers, the agents, and our employees. Prior to this, everything was done in person, in front of a notary, signing documents, going through them in person. And so we had to really rethink that a bit.
Thankfully the market, our title insurers, you know, speaking specifically about Maryland, Maryland, actually through an executive order and then also through an administrative order of the court of appeals, implemented a remote online notarization statute, which was set to start in October of this year and actually had it go into effect immediately. And so what I mean by that is we now have an opportunity where people don’t have to physically see or sign documents in front of a person.
There’s all different variations of that and I’ll just go through some of them. When we’re dealing with sellers, we actually can use remote online notarization completely. And what that means is that we use a third party service that essentially through a video conference very similar to this. We actually go through, they authenticate that they are who they say they are. They provide the answer a number of questions that only they would have the answers for and they provide a satisfactory identification. And then we actually, rather than physically notarize documents with the person right before the notary, we actually do it via a video. And, we are doing that with most of our sellers at this point because it’s in their best interest and the health and safety of them, their agent, and those of us conducting the closing that they actually stay in the comfort of their own home, based on the fact that we have stay at home orders.
For buyers, especially buyers that are getting mortgages, which are the vast majority of buyers. So I’ll just speak to that right now. We now have, and certainly Kevin’s more of an expert at this than I, but Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which is a government sponsored enterprise that essentially is the conduit where many of our loans are bought and sold on the secondary market. Essentially had modified their standards for the times. And so for notes dated April 7th through May 31st, right now is the timeframe, and that a note is where the buyer, the borrower essentially promises to pay the lender back. So as long as your settlement date would be that date through May 31st, they’ve allowed the use of remote online notarization for certain documents, e-signatures for certain documents. And then there are a few documents like the note, the DDA trust, those documents that do need to have a physical, what we refer to as legally a wet signature, but even if a buyer really just wants to stay at home and not sign the documents or have any physical contact, essentially they can sign a limited power of attorney for an interested party to sign those documents on their behalf. And what we’ve done, Harry, in that circumstance, this is all very new, so it isn’t something that’s mainstream yet. But what we do is we have actually a video recorded, very similar to this video session with the borrower where we take them through all of their loan documents and they attest to the interest rate that they’re getting, the monthly payment, the cash to close all of those things.
So we know that they are 100% on board with the documents that the limited power of attorney are going to sign. And so I think depending on what happens, we may see more of this, but what I want everyone to know here is that, our industry, the real estate professionals, the mortgage professionals and the title professionals have been determined to be essential operations to the functions of our local governments. And our ability to essentially do business. So you are in a position to buy property, sell property, uh, and transact, uh, during these uncertain times.
So this is pretty new, this what you were just describing, right? That’s just in the past couple of weeks. Yeah. The use of limited power of attorney, it changed on March 31st is where they put out the provision Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
And then it took, lenders like Kevin a couple of weeks to, figure out what they were willing and comfortable to do, what the investors that purchase their mortgages on the secondary market were willing to accept. So really it’s just been like, I would say within the past week that we’ve had a some site type of semblance of what everyone will do.
And it’s not going to be one standard because remember, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are only a certain segment of the market. We have government loans like FHA and VA. We have nonconforming jumbo loans that don’t meet those requirements. So this is not one shoe fits all. This is going to be, it’s going to be different for every type of loan that you get. So the best thing to do is to have buyers check with their lender as to what their options are and then also with the title companies and what they are willing to do.
So does this mean you’ve taken the table out of the garage? We actually are doing settlements right now and thank you Harry for mentioning that a lot of people just wouldn’t feel comfortable giving a Power or Attorney, even though it’s a limited power of attorney. And even though all the protections are in place that I mentioned, they still just want to sign the documents on their own. And so what we have been doing, and I would say this is probably now a 95% of the settlements that we’re doing are what we call curbside settlements, where literally the people are able to pull into, depending on which location, we have locations in Maryland, DC, and Virginia. The one that Harry’s speaking to is the garage downstairs. So they literally pull in and park. There’s a table that is set up right there. If they choose, they can sign the documents in the comfort of their own automobile or they can sit down at a table that is now, I think it’s 10 feet long. So even beyond the CDC recommendations, very nice that’s doing the closings, fashion mask, I know all of you out there, that’s probably an improvement versus what you’re seeing right now.
But essentially we’re doing that and I think that that will continue during this time, because I think a lot of people just would rather sign the documents, see them, sign them on their own as long as we’re taking all those precautions and merit precautionary measures, which we are.
So the most important question from my point of view is what about the chocolate covered pretzels? Are those gone? They’re not gone. And I wish they were there. They’re all in here. And what we love to do is to have everybody eat them and even take them with them when they’re at closing. So some of us need to, we’ve been putting on a couple of extra pounds during these uncertain times.
Speaker 5 (28:04):
Okay. So the next question that you said you get very often is what are the valid reasons for you, for somebody to delay settlement due to covert 19. Oh, Harry, that’s, that’s a great question. So about six weeks ago when all of this was just starting to affect our industry, and it might’ve been even a little bit more than that. Um, there was a lot of, there were buyers and sellers that were essentially under contract, but we really didn’t know what was going to happen. Um, I mean, I had described before all three of us in our industries and our businesses are essential businesses, but it took a number of weeks for that to be determined. We didn’t know if, if you were going to be able to sell, if Kevin was going to be able to lend, or if I was going to be able to record documents for a period of time.
Speaker 5 (28:56):
So we created a Denda to address the issue. They’re referred to as coven 19 a adenda. And each of the associations address this issue. And what that is, it comes out of a legal, uh, term of art, uh, called force measure. Um, also sometimes they’ll refer to it as frustration of purpose. Um, but, but essentially the reason why I got into this contract, there’s an unforeseen event that has occurred and now that it’s occurred, I can’t perform. Um, and the idea is that if you can perform, uh, due to that reason, uh, you are not in default of the contract. And so we had an agenda that addressed that. And then we determined, I’ll specifically talk about the G car, a denim, which is the greater capital area association of realtors, uh, covert agenda that was used. And they stipulated a number of reasons as to why, what event would meet that term.
Speaker 5 (30:01):
And, and an example might be that I couldn’t record documents or I couldn’t be open for business. Uh, Kevin couldn’t lend, uh, uh, money so the buyer couldn’t perform. Uh, but we were also concerned about the transaction itself where, you know, if home inspectors couldn’t inspect the property or if, um, appraisers couldn’t get access to the property. And the great news is that all of those issues, all of the ancillary businesses that function in the real estate settlement, uh, per buying and selling a property, these have all been determined to be in Maryland, DC and Virginia essential businesses for people to practice. So a lot of the reasons why those agenda were put in place, many of those uncertainties are now certain. And we have been, and I thought the numbers that you had provided Harry early on, you can see the numbers of settlements that we’re doing just in Montgomery County alone, over 800 settlements, um, during this window of time.
Speaker 5 (31:10):
So I would say, uh, getting to the answer your question is really most people are not in a position. This is a pandemic like this or a force measure instance is not where somebody says, okay, I don’t have to perform. I can just get out of the contract. It really is meant to address. If I can’t perform right now, I won’t be in default. But as soon as I’m able to perform, then I must perform. And that’s the idea behind the legal arguments. So thankfully I have seen very few people, uh, actually try to make the argument to use it cause most people want to sell. Most people want to buy under some extreme circumstances where people have had second thoughts. Uh, people have used that as an argument and it’s really whether or not the other party wants to consider it as an argument and then we just negotiate a release agreement. But that has happened. Uh, I think, uh, once, uh, in my experience and that’s an operating in all three jurisdictions. Right. That’s impressive. So, um, well that’s great. So it sounds like things from, from your point of view, you’re seeing that the, the different gears, the different cogs in the machine, uh, have all adapted to, um, to our situation the best,
Speaker 1 (32:40):
you know, to the best of their ability and that things are still, um, moving forward.
Speaker 5 (32:45):
That’s right. And I’ll add one more thing. Uh, Harry, before you move on to Kevin, we did start to see you provide a great numbers, but just from our company standpoint, we had started to see purchase transactions start to normally during the spring market are gearing up to it. We see a line that goes like this, right? We started to see a level off and we started to see this, but since then we saw it level off and now go back up. And so I think this is a time where if, if it’s a seller that really wants to sell, it’s still a great market to do that. And if it’s a buyer, you know, shifting gears to Kevin, what a wonderful opportunity to buy. There might be fewer people, uh, that are interested in buying right now just due to the circumstances. So maybe less, less people out there to compete with and wonderful rates and programs to take advantage of in order to finance your dream home. So with that, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll turn it back to you. Um, and, and I’ll obviously stay on if there’s any additional questions in the chat and everything else.
Speaker 1 (33:55):
Great. Alright. Well, thank you very much, Marty. So, Kevin, you ready? Yeah, absolutely. Okay. All right. So let me see the, the questions that you had, um, said you are getting most often these days are first, um, people were asking you about for forbearance and sort of what that means and what it doesn’t mean. Do they have to pay back the, the payments? Um, how long does forbearance last, what the credit implications are, and should they do it? Well, there’s a big question there, but so why don’t you give us your overview of what’s going on.
Speaker 4 (34:38):
Yeah, absolutely. Thanks Harry. So, you know, the topic or forbearance really started to ramp up, um, with the passage of the cares act, um, because unlike back in 2008, um, with previous, uh, downturn in the economy and, uh, what was going on at that time, the, with the passing of the cares act, there was no need to show hardship for forbearance. Now, um, it almost was carte blanche, uh, that you could go into forbearance. So, uh, you know, the, the initial reaction to that was, well, great, I don’t have to pay my mortgage. Um, you know, I can take a little holiday for my payments. I’m worried about my job. Um, which is certainly not a bad way to think about it. There wasn’t a lot of information at first. Well, what I don’t think the government was foreseeing was how many people were going to look into this.
Speaker 4 (35:49):
Um, and it really snowballed very quickly in terms of people reaching out to their loan servicers about forbearance. And there was, there was and continues to be a lot of misinformation. It’s, it’s calmed down some now and there’s a little bit more clarity around it and the process. Um, but I still think there is a lot of, um, folks that are misinformed or misunderstand the process of the forbearance and what it can mean. Um, you know, the first thing I would say is if there are people in a situation, if they’ve lost their job or they’ve been furloughed and they need, you know, they need the relief and that would help them out. Don’t, don’t shy away from looking into it. Um, but make sure that when you contact your loan servicer that you’re having a thorough conversation. And why I say that is you want to make sure from loan service or to loan servicer, it is working a little bit different in terms of the forbearance process and what the longterm effects of that are when it comes to your credit, what the expectations for when the forbearance ends, what does that look like?
Speaker 4 (37:11):
Um, and as I said, it is a little bit different from from loan servicer to loan servicer, but in general you’re going to be allowed for initially a period of four to six months to not make your payments. Um, at the end of that initial period, you are allowed to look into extending that for up to a year. Um, which again, if you’re in a situation that you, you really need it and it would help your financial situation, then don’t, don’t be, don’t shy away from looking into it. If it’s a situation where you can continue to make your mortgage payments, even if it is a little little bit tough and maybe stretching your budget a little thin, you absolutely want to continue to make your mortgage payments. And the reason I’m saying this is at the end of that period, the payments just don’t disappear.
Speaker 4 (38:09):
The the lender’s not giving you free money, they are going to want their money at some point. The big question is when do they want that money and how much of that money do they want at any given time? And so what you will find in talking to your loan servicer is let’s say you are granted a four month forbearance in circumstances at the end of those four months. So month five, it will may not just be a situation where you’re paying one month payment. They may require you to catch up all for those previous months plus your current payment right then and there. So it could be a situation where you’re on the hook for five months. Well, if you been furloughed or you’ve been laid off, chances are you’re not going to be in a position to make five months worth of payments.
Speaker 4 (39:06):
So then what happens? Well, again, this is where it is a critical that you have a conversation with your loan servicer to go through that, um, to see, because technically, and Marty can jump back in from the legal side of things after, um, um, I wasn’t smart enough to, to go to law school. Um, so, but my understanding is because of the number of months that you haven’t been making payments, technically if you don’t catch up in month five and this is just one example again, then you could potentially be in default and they could potentially start the foreclosure process on you. Um, and that’s obviously a situation you don’t want to get into. Um, and that again is kind of this balloon payment and sometimes you hear this term balloon payment and that’s what that is, is they want this lump sum right then and there.
Speaker 4 (40:06):
In other instances they’re adding it to the back end of the loan. Uh, and that’s probably the best case scenario, um, in what that means is if, you know, if you had 30 months left on your loan, let’s say, um, and you go into forbearance for six months, once you start paying again, you will now have 36 months to go because it’s been added on the back end of it. Um, so again, that’s the biggest uh, thing I have been telling folks that I’ve spoken to and gotten calls about is to really, if you are going to inquire about the forbearance with your loan service or is to make sure you have a thorough conversation with them. The problem is it’s slowed down a little bit from the initial claims and request I guess is the better way to put it that were coming in, um, that E a B loans of researchers, you are calling into a call center and people weren’t getting the proper information.
Speaker 4 (41:09):
They were just being told, yes you can do this and people were signing up without getting all this information. So again, you just really want to make sure if you inquire about it, to what the, the processes with your loan servicer and make sure you really understand it, um, before you, you sign up for it for again, lack of a better way of putting it. Cause the other question we get is what is it going to do with our credit? And technically, again, as part of the care, Zack, it was requiring that it was not being reported as a late payment but that it, but at some point it is going to show up somehow. It may not technically be a late payment, but it’s going to show up as a forbearance, as a minimum. And because of the, as Marty was saying earlier, you have Fannie and Freddie, but then you also have other investors that lenders maybe putting their loans through in every investor is going to be a little bit different.
Speaker 4 (42:11):
Um, and so depending on how that ultimately shows up on your credit, it could create an issue if you’re going to either refinance ladder later or if you’re looking to purchase a new home later. And even potentially if you need a new car, any type of credit that you may apply for, we really don’t know yet what the lasting impact of the forbearance is going to be. Even though it was put out there that it, it won’t show up as a late payment and should not have a negative impact. The reality is it is going to impact it in some manner and that could be different from creditor to creditor that you may be trying to get a loan from.
Speaker 1 (42:56):
So I know, please correct me if I’m wrong, I think that it could even impact, um, for some people who have to maybe get security clearances and things like that, um, uh, when people are going to, to look for a new job, their credit score can be sort of factored into whether or not they’re offered employment. Is that true or not?
Speaker 4 (43:23):
That’s probably a little bit out of my realm of expertise that, you know, personally, not that I’ve been, luckily for me in my career, even though it’s been 20 years, I’ve only been with four companies for 20 years. Um, but I know as recently as the company bellum that I’m with now, most companies do do a background check, which in may include a credit check. Right. So it certainly could come into play with that.
Speaker 1 (43:51):
Okay. All right. Um, and I guess the other thing is that I, that I kept thinking when you were talking about this is that a borrower, if they’re gonna make some kind of agreement like that they really want to have documentation before they signed on the dotted line so that they have something, they have a paper trail. Uh, if things don’t go as they had anticipated that they can go back and wrestle with the lone star for service.
Speaker 4 (44:19):
Yeah. And I mean, unfortunately when this first started, you know, I think because the loan servicers were so inundated, the original information was, there wasn’t a lot detail. It was okay, you don’t have to show hardship. It’s what people heard was you don’t have to show hardship. There’s not going to be a negative impact on your credit report. And it just opened the flood Gates. And you know, some of the larger servicers I met, I forget the number now cause it’s been a few weeks, but I want to say one of the larger services or in one weekend got 80,000 calls. Well there’s no way a, I don’t care how large the company is that you’re going to facilitate 80,000 calls in a very responsible and thorough way. Right? It’s just not possible. So that’s where people were putting potentially getting into issues is you had the lack of detailed information and just being told, yes you can do this.
Speaker 4 (45:18):
You don’t have to show any reason and let’s just go for it. And so I over the last couple of weeks I think is more information has come out and people have explored it a little bit more. Um, they’re better informed. Um, but it’s certainly something that, again, I don’t want to lead anyone not to look into it, but just do your due diligence. Make sure you’re really having a conversation with your loan servicer. Don’t. If you do contact them, don’t let them rush you through it. Make sure you really understand. And as Harry said, have them send you something in writing. Right? You really know what the terms of the forbearance are. That’s what I learned in real estate. One Oh one. It doesn’t count if it’s not in writing. Right. So, um, another question that you had said a lot of people are asking is what sort of mortgages are available for people who might not have?
Speaker 4 (46:16):
I’m Sterling credit, shall we say. Yeah. So one of the questions we’re getting a lot cause there’s been a lot of information in the news is there has been some tightening on the lending side of things. Um, and again, this is going to vary from lender to lender, investor to investor, but you have started to see Mmm. Minimum credit scores requirements come up. Some, whether that’s on a government loan, an FHA loan, VA, USDA conventional loans. Um, you know, before this started you may have had some lenders on an FHA loan for instance, that may do a credit score as low as five 80. Um, well now for a lot the minimum has been raised to six 80. Um, it’s been on some of the conventional loans. I mean, we’re getting correspondence every day. I mean, it, it’s changing as fast as you read it.
Speaker 4 (47:12):
For instance, today I just got an update from one of our investors on cash out refinances there specifically on cash out refinances. They’re increasing the credit score again, so the credit is still available, but there’s definitely been some tightening in of, um, the credit scores and some of the loan, but rent value requirements. Um, with that said though, rates continue to be fantastic, uh, as low as they’ve ever been. If you are a buyer and you’re looking in a scenario where your loan amount is going to be less than 5,000 or 500, 10,000, um, you’re probably looking at a 30 year fixed somewhere in the neighborhood of about three and a quarter, um, which is just unbelievable. Um, if you’re above that five, 10, it’s still going to be in the freeze most likely. Um, so even though things have tightened up a little bit for majority of potential buyers, they are still going to have a great opportunity to purchase, uh, and get phenomenal financing.
Speaker 4 (48:25):
Um, with that said, there are some programs that it that have disappeared for the time being, um, you know, things that they call non QM, um, which is kind of going back to the days of what we called stated income type loans. Um, some of that has disappeared. Um, personally I don’t do a ton of that, so it really hasn’t impacted myself or a lot of my clients. Um, and even with that, I, again, it’s changing daily. Even some of the investors that pulled out of it three or four weeks ago are starting to dip their toe back in. Um, some same thing with some of the jumbo financing. So it’s still absolutely, uh, a great time to whether you’re purchasing or refinancing, uh, to inquire about the financing. Great. And let’s see, I think that, Oh, so now do you have your crystal ball?
Speaker 4 (49:30):
Cause you said, the other question that you get most often, which is no surprise to me, is what are rates going to do? Sure. Yeah. Um, so as I mentioned currently, um, if you’re, if you’re either purchasing or refinancing and you’re looking at a loan amount under that 510,000 threshold, you know, to get a 30 year mortgage at three and a quarter. Um, I would say the time to do something is today. Um, could we see them go a little bit lower possibly. Um, and you know, and I should probably qualify that rate. When I, when I speak rates, I typically am talking about a rate that you’re not paying any points for. Um, so that would be what we call a zero point quote. Um, so you could get below three and a quarter today. You may just have to pay some points for it.
Speaker 4 (50:19):
Um, which that’s a scenario that I work through with my clients to see if it makes sense. There’s a calculation we go through. I won’t bore everybody now, but it’s, there is a calculation that we work through to see if it makes sense to pay points. Um, but personally, if I was looking into my crystal ball, do I think we’re going to see 30 year at 2%? Probably not. Um, you know, so it’s, it’s a great time for rates. Um, even, you know, the, the jumbo rates are a little bit higher than they were prior to all this starting and that threshold in the DC, Maryland, Virginia market cause we’re in what’s called a high cost area. Um, so that from 510,400, it’s seven 65, 600. Those rates have been a little bit higher and haven’t been as quick to come back down. But a lot of what we’re reading, um, without getting too technical on things that go on that most people don’t see, most consumers don’t see on the back end of things. Um, most of what we’re reading is those will start to come back down as well. There’s a lot of things that impacted rates. Um, from a servicing standpoint, sheer volume. There was a lot initially those first two weeks of March, um, that did impact rates. But I think we will continue to see rates low and there is a very good chance we could see them come down a little bit more.
Speaker 5 (51:47):
Great. Okay. So we got a couple of questions from the audience. Here’s one for Marty. Um, uh, this is from Catherine. She asked what documents do we need to bring to settlement? Oh, sure. So the documents that you need to really bring to closing are, uh, just your identification and proving that you are who you say you are. So oftentimes a driver’s license or a passport is all that you would need, uh, in order to do a closing. There’s other circumstances where you would need to bring, uh, additional documentation. Like if you’re signing for someone, normally you’re signing with a, uh, power of attorney. So you would bring that type of document or in a situation where you’re serving as a fiduciary, like a trustee of a trust or a personal representative of the estate, you might bring the supporting documentation that would allow you to sign in that capacity. But for most people, you bring your driver’s license, you’re good to go. And your check your choir if you’re a buyer. Yes. And then you bring a check or, and the check has to be, uh, funds that are good and available at that time. So it would be a cashier’s check from the bank or you would work with us to, uh, to wire the funds in advance of settlement. Right. Okay. And then we have one from David for Kevin. It says, how long does it take to do a refinance these days?
Speaker 4 (53:26):
Um, so right now, uh, for specifically for myself and vellum, um, we are still right around 30 days. Um, you know, if for some reason it needed to be done a little bit quicker, we can certainly facilitate it. Um, the longest we’re going right now is right around 45 days. Um, with that said, we are doing our rate locks for 60 days, but still that way we have a little bit of a push in it. For some reason things dragged out a little bit, but I’d say on average, we’re still closing most of the refinances in 30 to 45 days. Um, and to piggyback that for purchases, um, you know, it again, it’s case by case. If something for some reason needed to move quicker, um, you know, we could do a settlement in two to three weeks if need be on a purchase, um, but for the refinances about 30 to 45 days.
Speaker 1 (54:26):
So it really has, that’s not that different dramatically than it was before. Right?
Speaker 4 (54:31):
No. Uh, there are some, um, there are some financial institutions that are, you know, one of the nice things with vellum is we are local, uh, lender. Um, so thing everything’s done in house. Um, we don’t have quite the volume of some of the national lenders. Some of the big financial institutions, you know, if you’re dealing with one of the bigger financial institutions, I’ve heard anywhere from two to four months, um, you know, so it definitely can vary from lender to lender.
Speaker 1 (55:06):
Wow. Four months. That’s a long time. Okay. Well, I think that that was it. Okay. As far as the other questions. So, um, I just wanted to say thanks to both of you for, um, joining and sharing your wisdom and information and, um, I, if I get any more questions that come in after the fact, uh, for you all, I’ll let you know.
Speaker 4 (55:35):
Otherwise, have a great rest of your day and stay safe. Thanks Harry. Appreciate the opportunity. Thanks Harry. This was great, Kevin. Great seeing you. Have a great day, everybody. Thank you guys. Stay safe. Bye-bye too.