8z Covid-19 Updates and Action Plan
The health and safety of our clients and all 8zers are our top priority.
8z Real Estate, 8z Mortgage, 8z Title, 8z Rentals, and 8z Insurance are monitoring updates from the CDC, state and local health authorities; NAR and state and local industry organizations for additional information and guidance.
Stay Current: Latest Updates
Eighth Amended Public Health Order 20-28 “Safer at Home” Allows for Open Houses Under Strict Guidelines – July 1
The new amended order, dated June 30, 2020, states: “All Field Services, including real estate, may resume operations, in accordance with the requirements of this Order including Appendix B . Real estate includes in-person real estate showings and marketing services which must adhere to Social Distancing Requirements with cleaning and disinfection between each showing. Open houses must follow the Indoor Event requirements in Section I.H.4 of this Order.”
Realtors are expected to follow the 6' rule and agents are expected to navigate/control this.
- 1 group at a time
- Face coverings required
- Avoid touching surfaces
- Disinfect and wipe down surfaces after groups leave
- Guests MUST log in (a great way to follow up)
Still Serving Clients
BUYERS | 1,839
LISTINGS | 1,259
YTD UNDER CONTRACT
BUYERS | 1,806
LISTINGS | 1,160
BUYERS | 1,467
LISTINGS | 1,007
BUYERS | 216
LISTINGS | 92
Stats updated Thursday Nov. 19th 11 am.
Additional Info & Guidance
Available at the following 8z Offices:
Arvada, Boulder, Denver Central, Parker, Littleton, Longmont, Loveland, Windsor
1. Reach out to your 8z Title professional to schedule closing.
2. A secure link containing your closing documents will be sent prior, allowing you to familiarize yourself with the content. Your 8z Realtor will review your settlement statement and other key documents prior to signing. Your 8z Title closer is available for questions over the phone.
3. All required signature lines will be highlighted.
4. Once you have arrived at the closing location, call your closer to let them know that you
5. We will then meet you curbside and ask that you hold your driver’s license up to the window so a picture can be taken.
6. We will also bring sanitized pens and the first of two sets of documents to sign, and then go back inside. You can sign this set on your own without a notary present.
For a buyer taking out a mortgage, this can be 80 pages.
For a seller or a cash buyer, this can be 10 pages.
7. If you have any questions, make a note and your 8z Title professional can answer them when they return to your car.
8. Call when done signing these documents and we will come back out to your car.
9. We will then give you a second set of documents. These require a notary present, so
they will stay while you sign. This is a smaller set.
10. After signing, we will then take all the documents back inside and do a quick audit to make sure everything was signed properly and completely.
11. If funding authorization from a lender is required, we will obtain funding authorization. 12. We will then call you and let you know that everything is complete and you can leave. 13. We will let you and your 8z Realtor know when the sale is complete.
14. After both buyer and seller have signed, we will email you a secure link with your closing docs within 24 hours.
From Dave Bliesmer, May 12th
We are excited to announce that hybrid closings are now being offered on all eligible transactions! A hybrid closing allows the borrower to e-sign all of their mortgage closing documents with the Loan Officer prior to closing. Title will then receive the handful of documents that require notary.
- Loan Officer will discuss the hybrid loan closing with every client during the underwriting process of the loan.
- If the client elects the hybrid closing option, the agent and title will be notified prior to closing.
- There are only a few ineligible purchase transactions for hybrid closing at this time:
- POA transactions
- Title in the name of a trust at closing
- CHFA / Bond loan programs, and other wholesale locked programs
Our amazing 8z Title team has closed a hybrid purchase transaction with us, and all was very smooth and painless! Please expect to hear from your Loan Officer on hybrid closing confirmations moving forward!
From Dave Bliesmer, April 8th
I just want to add input in connection to the jumbo loan market. Especially since you may have seen news that Wells Fargo announced they will only issue jumbo loans on a retail basis AND only to clients that have $250,000+ in liquid assets in Wells Fargo Bank. Expect more news of this nature.
- The jumbo market is drying up, and at a rapid pace.
- This is to be expected under the existing economic circumstances.
- Totally logical to see investors step to the sideline until it is “business as usual”.
- We tend to navigate these changes behind the scenes, moving things from one investor to another.
Please do not be overly alarmed by this market movement. This has been anticipated over the past few weeks, and for good reason. Concern for early payment defaults is high, and loan servicers will see a need to direct capital towards forbearance, so a greater focus allocated to an existing servicing portfolio as opposed to new loans.
Now there is a very positive perspective to add to this!
- A conforming 1st mortgage with a 2nd mortgage is pricing out tremendously more attractive than jumbo options anyway. Even without jumbo volatility, we would be advising clients of this loan structure today.
- Agency loans have not only stabilized, but have settled into a much more consistent pattern with lock options.
- The jumbo market will stabilize once servicers know where they sit financially post-COVID; post-forbearance.
- We have moved almost exclusively to an agency direct origination model, which brings tremendous consistency in funding and rate lock options.
Your 8z Mortgage team has remained nimble, positive, and extremely focused with navigating the policy changes, and market conditions that have been coming and going at a rapid pace. We will continue to keep this focus, and will continue to share perspective when it is appropriate so you know confidence and optimism is still strong!
From Dave Bliesmer - April 6th, 6:30 pm
We have received a number of questions related to the CARES Act (The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act). As most are aware, this is a law meant to address the economic fallout of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in the United States.
Given the questions we have encountered thus far, we find it is best to provide the appropriate information sources as opposed to summarizing this with perspective, or paraphrased highlights. Below is a list of reference points that provide a consumer friendly overview of the payment relief topics.
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has posted a very nice video that explains mortgage payment forbearance, which you can access and share via this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=br5EPugsnLs&feature=youtu.be
Industry and policy updates:
- Here is the CFPB link, specific to payment forbearance. https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/guide-coronavirus-mortgage-relief-options/
- At the bottom of this mentioned web page, you will also see a link to the CFPB COVID-19 resource page, including all topics and posted videos.
Be cautious about:
- Taking specific advice or input from anyone other than the existing loan servicer.
- The existing servicing lender has the full discretion to grant payment forbearance, regardless of the specific loan type or loan program.
- It is also discretion of the servicing lender to the terms of the forbearance. This includes requiring all deferred payments due in one entire lump sum at the end of the agreed period.
From Dave Bliesmer - April 3rd, 6:30 pm
Here are some notes to share in connection to mortgage news this week.
- Payment Forbearance:
This is a gray area, as it is at the discretion of the existing loan servicer to monitor and grant forbearance terms. If you have inquiry on this topic from clients, always refer them to their existing servicing lender. As it stands, the servicers are going to expect those payments to be made at some future point in time, and terms of future payment to be determined by the servicing lender.
- Ginnie Mae (FHA, VA, USDA)
Still working for policy update. We are seeing some of the government loan lock options come back. At the same time, we are seeing some overlays to these loan programs that will potentially have some restrictions to FICO scores under 660. We may see this ease so more pending Ginnie Mae policy update. Your LO team is doing a fantastic job of filtering these details to each and every borrower that may be impacted.
All lock options are all expired at the close of business today. This is typical given current market conditions. It will be common to see options only available during business hours. I only mention so you have explanation to the “expired” rate in the below chart.
- The consistent lending sweet spot
This is still conventional loans (Fannie/Freddie) with FICO over 680, and government loans (Ginnie) with FICO over 660. Historically, these borrower FICO demographics make up roughly 85% of all 8z business.
From Dave Bliesmer - Monday March 30th 10 am
I just want to send this quick note to let everyone know we anticipate to see mortgage rates take a bit of a jump this week. This is related to the fact that agency pipelines are still backlogged for securitization, and new hedged rate locks will be less desirable while pipelines are clearing. This is expected, and rates will settle again when this runs its course. Unless a borrower absolutely needs to lock a rate, we will be advising most clients to consider floating the rate and locking at a future date.
As it stands, industry speculation is that this may be a week or two at this point, while things run their course. We will continue to keep you updated!
From Dave Bliesmer - Thursday March 26th 12:50 pm
Here are a few more quick updates from 8z Mortgage:
- 8z Mortgage will be offering all future eligible clients involuntary job loss payment assistance, via our Payment Assurance Program.
Through our Payment Assurance Program, we would:
Cover up to 6 monthly mortgage payments (doesn’t have to be consecutive) to borrowers who find themselves involuntarily unemployed. The maximum monthly benefit would be capped at $1,500 per month and the coverage would be for two years from the date of closing. Maximum benefit is capped at $9,000. It’s a free benefit for our borrowers - they don’t have to pay a premium to get this protection. The 8z Mortgage Loan Officer will determine borrower eligibility at the time of pre-approval. The program only applies to involuntary job loss.
2. Agency payment forgiveness on existing mortgage loans
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced a forbearance program for borrowers unable to pay their loans because of the effects of the coronavirus. The Department of Housing and Urban Development, which includes the FHA loan program, announced the same. That is a huge relief for borrowers, who can now delay payments without penalty. Unfortunately there’s a hitch.
The mortgage servicers, the companies that collect monthly payments, are required to pass those payments on to the investors who own those loans in mortgage-backed securities even if the borrowers don’t pay. Servicers also have to pay insurers and tax authorities. No specific speculation to how this will impact servicer’s ability to honor payment forgiveness, so this will be an on-going story.
3. Mortgage E-Closings are in development
There will be isolated test closings for this service beginning April 5, 2020. This will be very isolated, and very controlled, and will not involve any 8z purchase transactions during the test periods. The initial tests are going to allow a borrower to e-sign the vast majority of the closing documents prior to closing. The borrower will then sign the few notarized documents at closing. We will keep you posted on these developments.
A fully automated e-sign close, with no physical notary, will require Remote Online Notarization (RON), and we will continue to see RON updates from 8z Title as well.
From Dave Bliesmer, 3/24/20
Be prepared for a number of mortgage industry headlines with purposed policy changes to continue. The news thus far has been posting “talk” in addition to “policy”, so we will continue to keep you posted on when things are official. Many of you have been asking questions about media posts already, and continue asking, as we welcome all of these questions to keep you in the know!
With this in mind, I’d like to provide a quick update of policy changes taking effect thus far:
- Non-agency loans are getting tight, and in many cases being suspended until further notice by many investors.
- These are loans that are not agency backed (Fannie, Freddie, FHA, VA, USDA).
- On a monthly basis, non-agency loans account for 2.23% of the total 8z Mortgage volume.
- Specific to 8z Mortgage, our most popular jumbo loan products are those of the JP Morgan family of companies. We do not anticipate these programs to stop given their available capital, but we may see LTV restrictions come about in the short term. We will keep you posted on any changes.
- Please be mindful of this on the listing side when you are entertaining offers with jumbo financing. Your local LO can give specific input as needed.
2. Appraisal requirements have been formally updated.
- These changes are specific to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conventional loans. FHA/VA appraisal requirements are presently unchanged.
- For purchase transactions, a loan to value under 85% will allow an appraiser to perform an exterior only if there is any complication or concern to accessing the interior of the property. The caveat is that the MI provider must also approve the use of the exterior only when the loan is subject to MI. The LO on the transaction should be able to confirm for all parties if the exterior only is allowed for the specific transaction.
- If an appraisal is made “subject-to” repair, the lender can accept a signed letter from the borrower which confirms all repairs have been completed, along with either photos of the repair, or invoices for the repair being completed.
3. Verification of employment
- Specific to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conventional loans. Lenders can now complete the final verification of employment, within 10-days of closing, via modified methods beyond a formal verbal or written verification of employment.
4. IRS filing deadline
- This is indeed extended form April, 15 to July 15, 2020. Good news related to self employed borrowers and the timing of their underwriting process.
We will continue to see continued industry policy updates in the days and weeks to come, and will pass along as things are official!
From Erik Boye | Mar 24, 7:33 pm
8z Real Estate is at the forefront of all this I am able to assist your TL with advice to provide to you as you continue to draft great contracts for your clients in these fluid days.
We have plans in place so the normal flow of your business will face minimal disruption.
- A mandatory “stay-home” policy for any staff member or agents exhibiting any sign of illness.
- All staff will now be working from home and we will reassess the situation on March 31st.
- Meetings will be conducted virtually (Zoom, Facetime, etc.)
- Cleaning wipes, hand sanitizer and other cleaning products will be provided to the best of our ability.
- Our managers and staff have been instructed to ensure shared spaces in the office are cleaned regularly.
- Showings remain critical to properly servicing our listing and buying clients.
- Offer Virtual Showings. These can be conducted over a private Facebook Live event or Facetime.
- We recommend you contact both sellers and buyers you are working with to reassure them during uncertain times.
We addressed C-19 in our March Sphere e-newsletter.
- Please reference emails from Lane Hornung, Erik Boye, and Dave Bliesmer in regard to C-19’s impact on Real Estate. Leadership will continue to update our 8z Nation during this time.
- After a tour of the home showing people a listing video or 3D tour on your screen...
How to go live from your mobile device:
- Create an event on Facebook and share your Facebook Live open house on social media channels:
- Consider boosting your event to reach a larger audience:
- After a tour of the home, offer regional market stats, neighborhood market stats, Homebot sign ups, or virtual real estate reviews during your FB live session.
- 8zers must be mindful of their obligations under the Fair Housing Act and be sure not to discriminate against any particular segment of the population.
- You may ask clients or others about their recent travel, particularly to areas identified as having an increased risk of Coronavirus. If you are going to ask this question, be sure to ask all clients the same screening questions based on current, factual information from public health authorities. This is important relative to the Fair Housing Act.
- You may refuse to drive clients who show signs of illness or reveal recent travel to areas of increased risk of Coronavirus, or you may instead decide to stop driving clients in your car altogether and simply arrange to meet them at a property. If you do continue to drive clients in your car, it is a good idea to frequently clean and disinfect surfaces like door handles and seat belt latches, and to ask them to use hand sanitizer when getting in and out of the car.
- 8zer training will continue as and be conducted virtually.
8z Coaches, Team Leaders, and Leadership will conduct all trainings virtually via Zoom until further notice.
8z will continue to provide more resources, tools, and training to assist working remotely.
- If you have traveled to any high risk areas we ask that you please do not come into the office for the 14-day incubation period.
- Stay home if you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath or any other cold or flu-like symptom.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
There is still much you can do (outside of personally interacting with others) to build your business under these circumstances:
- Clean up contacts
- Make phone calls
- Make video calls
- Set up drip campaigns
- Take time to learn new tools
- Polish buyer/seller consultations
- Finish your income taxes
- Email your database or text a video with how to prepare your home for this
- Update your testimonials & website
- Prepare & schedule future touches for sphere marketing (research articles, write cards)
- Schedule social media posts & update your online profiles
- Send thoughtful private messages to 5 social media contacts per day
- Expand your contact base online (join groups, search linked in, follow people)
- Record videos for the future (home how to’s are great! Avoiding Transaction pitfalls. Market preparation and property resumes)
Instructions, Links, and Tips:
- How to host a successful virtual open house
- NAR Coronavirus Guide for REALTORS
- How to create a Facebook event for your open house:
- Training and Materials on New 8z Tools:
- Matterport 3D Tours, great way to showcase a home without people visiting in person. Example. Both Long’s Peak Media and Denver Creative group provide these at a reasonable rate.
- If you are working from home, this is a great time to work on real estate reviews. In light of social distancing, it can be an opportunity to present digitally or even use Skype to go over with your clients