“C-SOAP” (It’s Probably Not What You Think)

by Ross Kaplan on September 18, 2014

Real Estate Acronyms 101

Thrown by an unfamiliar acronym, I just got off the phone with Northstar MLS, who helpfully cleared things up.

It turns out that “C-SOAP” stands for “Contingent on the Sale of Another Property.”

The status isn’t new, just the acronym (in the last month, in fact).

MLS Status

So, “C-SOAP” refers to a home that is sold, subject to the Buyer being able to sell their current home (what Realtors call the “backup” property).

The typical Contingency gives the Buyer 60-90 days to do that, during which time the Seller can call the Contingency by giving proper notice to the Buyer (usually, to accept a non-contingent offer from another Buyer).

P.S.:  If you’ve got either young kids or a long-coated dog (I have both), “see SOAP” conjures up a very different image.  :-)

See also, “Daisy Chains, Dominoes, & Contingent Offers“; “Contingent Offers:  Getting (Very) Comfortable with the Backup Home“; “Compensating for a Buyer Contingency“; and “Lake Wobegone and Contingent Offers.”


Edina Realty Legal Update 2014

When you’re in charge of legal trouble-shooting for 2,200 active local Realtors, you don’t have the luxury of asking — and answering — hypothetical questions.

Real life serves up every possible legal permutation one could imagine.

Which is what prompted Edina Realty General Counsel Mark Christopherson, at the company’s Legal Update seminar Monday, to note that ”there’s no such thing as a hypothetical question” for Edina’s 3-man legal department.

All of whom know me personally.

And that’s a good thing, I might hasten to add . . .

P.S.: for everyone other than Edina’s legal dept., the question about hypotheticals is a famous, “insider” joke about law school and its Socratic method.


Deals on the Back of an Envelope . . .

by Ross Kaplan on September 16, 2014

 . . . & Written Statements via Text Message

I’ve never had a client buy or sell a home using the back of an envelope (though they could).

envelopeBut, my client just sold a home where the Buyer’s Written Statement — signifying final underwriting approval — was delivered at 5 p.m. on a Friday, before the noon, Monday closing.

Via text message (the lender was out of the office).

I got a screen shot of the message, printed it out, and put it in the file.


The deal closed smoothly and on schedule yesterday.

P.S.:  Normally, the Written Statement is delivered on lender letterhead, well before the closing.

See also, “Do a Real Estate Deal on the Back of a Napkin?  You Could“; “You Mean, There’s No Deal AND They Get Their Earnest Money Back?!?”; and “The Second Most Important Date in a Home Sale.


Market Shifts & “Long-in-the-Tooth” Listings

by Ross Kaplan on September 15, 2014

“Seller WILL Receive Feedback Directly”

“You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.”

–Warren Buffett

The housing market equivalent of Buffett’s observation would be, “you only (especially?) find out who’s overpriced when the market shifts.”

toothAs local Realtors will tell you, the Twin Cities housing market experienced just such a shift over the Summer.

From scarcity and multiple offers, we’ve now transitioned to a more balanced market — or even one that favors Buyers in some neighborhoods.

As a result, I’ve seen more expired and “long-in-the-tooth” listings the last month locally than I’ve seen in awhile.

With cold weather on the horizon, that means — at least for homes that are otherwise well-staged, photographed, and marketed — revisiting price.

Seller Beware, or, “What’s THAT About??”

Meanwhile, Sellers of such homes — who’ve been getting sporadic (or no) showings — should be skeptical if/when they inexplicably get a showing where the agent positively gushes over their home.

But that’s it — no Buyer or offer, just showing (or more likely Preview) feedback with lots of over-the-top compliments about how nice, well-priced, etc. the home is (note:  a Preview is when a Realtor views a home without a client in tow).

Especially if the showing feedback goes directly to the Seller, the likelihood is that the agent is angling to be the next Realtor to list the home, when the current listing expires.

See also, “How the Housing Market Shifts Gears“; and “Sell in May and Go Away?* Not If You’re (Also) a Buyer.


How to Stop ISIS Beheadings of Western Captives

September 13, 2014

Shameful, Self-Interested News Networks Here’s a not-so-crazy thought: Want to deter ISIS from beheading Westerners? In addition to degrading ISIS through military action, as the Administration now vows to do . . . STOP MAKING ISIS BEHEADINGS THE LEAD NEWS STORY EVERY TIME IT HAPPENS!! Rewarding Terrorism; Attention = Oxygen Each time such an atrocity leads […]

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Will Air Fares Follow Gas Prices Lower?

September 13, 2014

Rolling Back Big Increases (Or Not) Starting last winter, air fares started climbing precipitously due in part to rising gas prices. Now that gas prices have fallen 20% or more, I’m sure consumers can look forward to airlines passing along the savings in the former of lower fares. Yeah, right . . .

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Up-and-Coming Minneapolis Neighborhoods: Kingfield North

September 13, 2014

“Eat Street South” The stretch of Nicollet Avenue north of Lake Street — between Franklin & 29th Street — gets more acclaim as a food destination. But, its counterpart on the south side of Lake Street is the real surprise. Butcher, Baker and Candlestick Maker Coffee Shops The intersection at 38th & Nicollet now has […]

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2014 Edina Realty Legends Lunch

September 12, 2014

Reasons to Attend Why go to Edina Realty’s annual Legends lunch? (a perk for agents with the company 10 years or more). A. To get a (very) nice free meal. B. To buttonhole someone from Edina Legal with an urgent question (I found my go-to guy, Edina Realty General Counsel Mark Christopherson, photo above — and yes, […]

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