WAMU 88.5 : The Big Fix

Stimulating The Housing Market

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Cheryl from Wheat Ridge, Colo., wants mortgage companies to let homeowners in good standing skip one mortgage payment without hurting their credit rating. Dean Baker says that this already happens in emergency situations but could be mandated. Anthony Sanders says that there used to be "pick-a-payment" mortgages — a type of loan that allowed borrows to skip one payment a year of their choosing.

Host Al Lewis suggests listing two prices for houses: one that includes a broker's commission and one that doesn't to encourage more people to self-broker. Baker is unsure that it is worth adding a new requirement to real estate transactions. Sanders brings up for-sale-by-owner listings and discuss why more people do not consider this option.

Then John, a real estate agent from Buyer's Edge in Maryland, disagrees with Lewis that people buying a house don't need agents. John proposes creating uniform agency disclosure laws so consumers know what real estate agent options are available. Sanders agrees that giving the consumer more information is better. Baker says more transparency is good but doesn't think that people would pay attention to the disclosure forms.

Music: "Home Sweet Home" by Motley Crüe

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