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What is PRISM?

PRISM, which stands for Producing Inventory in a Stalled Market, is a strategy designed to address the lack of housing inventory across Colorado and across 52% of the nation. PRISM is a free strategy and not a product to buy!

PRISM was designed to offer a solution for people who would like to sell their homes but are fearful of selling too quickly and not being able to find a new home that meets their needs and budget in time. By guaranteeing that a seller will be able to secure their replacement home, before being obligated to sell their current home, the seller’s fear of displacement is removed and they can engage in the market intelligently and successfully!

PRISM also helps buyers who are competing in this “seller’s market” by encouraging smarter offers. For the buyer who is waiting months to get an offer accepted, PRISM encourages that buyer to offer time as a bargaining chip. Instead of offering thousands of dollars over asking price or appraised value, a buyer can offer the seller time to identify their replacement home BEFORE they are required to sell their current home. If you have time to wait, you have TIME to offer.

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    What is PRISM?

    PRISM is concept developed by Bruce Jordan to “free up” inventory in a market that is operating at a historically low number of properties listed for sale.  This idea involves re-defining inventory as properties that could be listed for sale, rather than simply counting the ones which are already listed for sale.  PRISM is a new spectrum of thought, designed to get people to think about and engage in the market in a new and more creative manner.

    How are potential Sellers identified?

    Potential Sellers can be identified in a number of ways: (i) By real estate and mortgage professionals examining their existing databases of past clients; (ii) By consumer direct marketing campaigns; (iii) By using “big data” analytics offering predictive analyses of potential properties likely to be offered for sale.

    Why would a Buyer choose to wait 45-60 days, at minimum?

    In competitive markets, buyers are already engaged in home searches spanning periods of 3 to 6 months or more.  They are often encouraged to bid above asking price, to waive appraisals, to waive inspections, etc.  These are risky behaviors because Buyers are not taking advantage of provisions specifically designed to offer them protections.  By offering the Seller the valuable commodity of time to locate a new property, those Buyers are in the best position to avoid over-paying for a property, to perform standard due diligence, and to eliminate substantial frustration associated with over-heated bidding wars.

    What does the timeline look like with a 45-60 day waiting period?

    A 45-60 day time period is merely a suggestion.  The actual time period could be dramatically shorter, depending upon the extent to which the parties are ready to engage, as well as the readiness of their real estate professionals to engage in and guide them appropriately through those timelines.

    What protections does the Buyer have if they choose to wait 45-60 days before knowing if they’ll even be able to close?

    If the Seller expects the Buyer to wait to accommodate the Sellers concern about locating a replacement home, the Seller should likewise be willing to refund the Buyer’s costs in getting ready for closing, including, e.g. appraisal, inspections, surveys, etc., in the event that the Seller is unsuccessful in finding that replacement home.  In that way, if the contract is terminated, the Buyer has not lost the investment made in the proposed sale and their funds are reimbursed affording them the opportunity to move on to the next sale.  Although some time may be “lost” as a result, in many locations, Buyers are already waiting extended periods of time before they finally get an offer to “stick” on a particular property.  The net result may well be less time, rather than more, that is invested in the buying process but it could also result in saving thousands of dollars by trading time for cash.

    How does PRISM differ from a Post Closing Occupancy Agreement?

    Some Sellers are being encouraged to enter into an agreement which allows them to stay for, say 60 days, after closing to afford them the opportunity to locate another home.  The difficulty with this approach occurs when a Seller fails to find a replacement home within that time frame.  In that case, they are obligated to move the family out of their former home without a permanent place to go and Residence Inn monthly rates in the Denver Metro area are currently exceeding $3000/month.

    Is this a Pocket Listing?

    No, this is not a “pocket listing” concept.  “Pocket Listing” is a term used to describe an effort to control the sale of a property by a real estate agent or agents in a manner that results in a contract of sale, before the property is ever exposed to the larger market (i.e. listed in the MNS).  PRISM, however, offers those Sellers who are waiting on the sidelines the opportunity to offer their properties of sale, subject to a contingency affording them the protection of finding another property before being obligated to sell their present home.  Their home is still exposed to the wider market and is therefore not, in any way, a “pocket listing”.

    Are there any risks of being in violation of a lending or real estate regulation?

    It does not appear that there are any potential violations in either category when PRISM is properly implemented.  While those seeking to employ this concept may wish to make their own inquires, legal and regulatory, in their respective locales, our discussion with the Colorado Division of Real Estate resulted in an informal opinion that there were no apparent regulatory concerns.

    Do you have standard language that can be used?

    Bruce Jordan drafted some language for use in his own home sale in 2013 to implement the very benefits of PRISM.  That language is available for download as an example of contractual language one might consider, subject to the review and approval of their attorney.

    Will these homes be listed in MLS?

    Yes.  As indicated in #8 above, sellers utilizing PRISM are free to have their properties listed in the MLS, so as to expose them to the broader marketplace.

    Does CCMC have proprietary ownership over PRISM or can I pass the information along?

    Bruce Jordan is the author of PRISM and its underlying concepts.  Bruce is collaborating with Cherry Creek Mortgage Co., Inc. to bring this concept to as many people as possible.  The more opportunity we all have to #MoveTheMarket with this concept the better we will be able help the buyers, sellers and communities we endeavor to serve.  For that reason, we hope that individual sellers, buyers and real estate professionals will pass this information along and direct interested parties to as a resource to better understand how PRISM will assist them in Producing Inventory in a Stalled Market.

    How can an agent implement this strategy?

    An agent can make this strategy available to his/her clients by educating them to the benefits PRISM can bring to them and to their families.  Those “clients” can be in the form of past closed buyers and sellers, people presently looking to buy or sell, or future prospects derived from conventional or more targeted marketing campaigns.

    What are the approximate costs of appraisal and inspections?

    Depending on the property, the nature and extent of inspections, the lender’s preferred appraisals, etc. in the Denver metro market, we see those costs running from$1,000 to $1,500.  The amount of the actual reimbursement, of course, will be a term of negotiation between the parties at the time any offer is considered.

    At what point in the transaction can the borrower be assured that they will get to purchase their ideal home? Approximately how long prior to the agreed upon firm closing date?

    As shown in the contract language referenced in #10 above, the contract dates and deadlines will be established with reference to the time period seller needs to find that replacement home.  If the seller, for example, locates a home in a shorter time than expected, and is prepared to close earlier, the parties are free to move up that closing date, according to language they can include in the contract to cover that event.

    What is ProspectNow? How can I (Realtor/Lender) obtain access to it?

    This is a big data analytics company that uses proprietary technology to harvest multiple date points to arrive at a prediction as to the likelihood a particular homeowner would be inclined to sell their home within the coming 12 months.  For more information, see:

    Are there steps/suggestions on contacting the potential sellers? I.e. speaking points or conversation starters?

    We have spent considerable time in evaluating the best way to engage potential sellers with PRISM.  Differentagents will have their own perspectives on this.  We believe that using a short, impactful introductory video may be the most effective conversation starter.  However, we have already developed some marketing pieces and other information pieces (in addition to videos) hosted on our website at:

    Is the grace period the same as a rent-back? If not, can a rent-back be in place as well?

    The period for the identification of the replacement property (grace period) is distinctly different than the “rent-back” concept.  The difference is that PRISM explicitly states that there is NO obligation for Sellers to sell their home if they do not identify a replacement home.  A rent-back does not offer this protection, however there is no reason that they cannot be used in the same transaction, if the parties agree.

    Is there contract verbiage written and has it been approved by NAR and CAR? Is it legal? Will there be standard verbiage that all participants should use or will Realtors have the ability to create their own?

    Generally speaking, “standard verbiage” arises from differing sources in different locales.  In Colorado, for example, the Colorado Real Estate Commission approves standard forms for use by the real estate licensees.  Whether the CREC will modify the approved contracts to include PRISM language remains to be seen.  Typically, for non-approved forms, licensees will have to look to their counsel for guidance on drafting of appropriate language to meet this and other objectives as may relate to a particular circumstance.

    Will all lender’s underwriting guidelines allow for the new contract verbiage? Is this specific to Cherry Creek Mortgage Co., Inc.?

    It is important that people begin to understand that PRISM is not a particularly complicated concept.  While it is a new spectrum of thought in many jurisdictions, when reduced to its simplest terms, the contract of sale is pretty much like any other.  The difference is that it includes a contingency for the seller to locate their replacement home, and the sale with the buyer does not go forward unless and until that contingency is satisfied.  The remaining terms of the contract will be materially the same as people are accustomed to using.  In short, PRISM should run contrary of any underwriting guidelines of Cherry Creek Mortgage or any other lender.

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