Real Estate – Current Industry News
sources:National Association of Realtors, Inman, Forbes, Realtor.com, Realtytimes.com

Inman Real Estate News for Realtors and Brokers

  • NAR drops congressman from donor program over anti-LGBTQ stance
    by Patrick Kearns on May 22, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    The National Association of Realtors has officially dropped Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican from Orange County, California, from its President's Circle donation program, NAR confirmed to Inman Tuesday afternoon. […]

  • The states where buyers can get the most bang for their buck
    by Marian McPherson on May 22, 2018 at 7:57 pm

    With home prices steadily rising, buyers are spending more for less space, and in some cases, they're dropping nearly $1 million for fire-damaged or dilapidated homes in desirable locales. But, not all hope is lost, according to GoBankingRates latest home price analysis. […]

  • Meet the color of the future: Neo Mint
    by Marian McPherson on May 22, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Move over, Millennial Pink — Neo Mint is the emerging "it" color, according to London-based trend forecasting and analytics company WGSN. "2020 will be the year that a super-futuristic vision becomes reality," said WGSN color director Jane Boddy in a blog post. […]

  • Roomeze raises $2M for shared housing platform
    by Emma Hinchliffe on May 22, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    Shared housing platform Roomeze raised $2 million in a seed funding round, the startup told Inman. Roomeze, launched in 2016 to help renters find roommates and housing at the same time, brought on this first significant influx of funding led by real estate and venture capital firm Gideon Asset Management with participation from Allegiant Real Estate Capital and New York residential real estate firm E&M Associates. […]

  • Connect the ICSF Speakers: Jay O’Brien on reclaiming your life
    by Inman on May 22, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    Many people leave an office job to try selling real estate and wind up with insane hours and a 24-7 mindset while they try to do it all and inevitably drop some balls. It doesn’t have to be that way, says Jay O’Brien, who will explain how agents can reclaim their lives in a session at Inman Connect San Francisco. […]

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  • The Legal Ties That Bind With Your Down Payment
    by rtstaff@realtytimes.com (Benny L. Kass) on May 22, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    Question: We are both in our upper sixties and retired. Last October, we put money down on a condominium apartment that is to be completed around September of this year. We put down ten percent of the price in cash and the money is earning a modest amount of interest until settlement. We have some savings, but the balance would be paid in cash from the proceeds of the sale of our present home. Although we believe the price of the condominium has gone up slightly since we signed the contract, we now have serious thoughts about apartment living and about putting most of our resources into this transaction because of some new and serious health concerns. Is there any way we can cancel our agreement and not lose the down payment? Answer: The lawyer in me says that a contract is a legally binding document that must be upheld. The humanitarian in me suggests that, at the very least, you should try to get out of the contract, especially with the facts you have described. First, review the terms of the contract very carefully to determine your rights and responsibilities. Are there any contingencies in that contract, such as your ability to obtain financing or the necessity to sell your house? If any of these contingencies legitimately cannot be met, it is possible you have the legal right to declare the contract null and void. Next, determine whether the contract can be assigned. Although most developer contracts are not assignable, it may very well be that you have the right to sell your contract to someone else. And even if you do not have that right, it never hurts to ask the developer. For example, if the contract is for $100,000 and the market value now is $110,000, if you have the right to assign that contract, you may find someone who would purchase your contract for the contract price -- or even a few thousand dollars above the contract price. The person who buys your contract would be obligated to follow through on all of the terms of your contract. In effect, the buyer would be stepping into your shoes, assuming all the rights and responsibilities you presently have. As I have indicated, although most developer contracts do not permit such assignment, it is worth looking at this aspect of your contract. Next, do not hesitate to discuss this matter with both the real estate firm representing the seller and try to speak directly with the seller. Explain your situation. They may be sympathetic. If the market for your condominium is anticipated to be strong, the seller-developer may be able to make more money by reselling the property to someone else. Finally, you may want to consider buying the property and then trying to sell it yourself. Unfortunately, this is risky because there never is any guarantee you will find a buyer quickly and the duplicate settlement costs, financing charges and other settlement-related matters may not make the dual sale worthwhile. You may also have to pay a real estate commission for that second sale. Realize that until the developer has sold most, if not all of the condominium units, you are competing against the house. And as we know, the dealer always wins. You indicated you have put down a deposit of ten percent and you do not want to lose the money. However, there are times when a buyer would prefer to walk away from a transaction, lose the money and avoid subsequent aggravation. Peace of mind sometimes cannot be measured in terms of dollars and cents. Although I cannot recommend forfeiting your deposit, if this is an option you are willing to consider, make sure you discuss the situation with the seller before deciding. Sign a release and have the seller sign it also. You want to make sure that, if you forfeit the deposit, the seller can not sue you for damages. This will be spelled out in the sales contract. Basically, if a buyer defaults on a real estate contract, the seller has three options available: Suing for specific performance, in effect, asking the court to require you go ahead with the transaction. Suing for damages if there are substantial monetary damages involved as a result of your failure to live up to your part of the contract. For example, if the seller has to resell the property at a lower price than your contract price, this would be the measure of damages. Electing to retain the deposit as the only remedy. Remember, if you decide to forfeit, make sure the seller agrees, in writing, that the only remedy will be the forfeiture of the deposit. This may also be spelled out in the form contract you signed. Although I recognize that conditions often change and new circumstances often arise after a contract is entered into, it must be pointed out that, in most cases, the time to decide whether you want to purchase property is before you sign a contract. After your signature is on the contract and you have given some money down as a deposit, you are legally bound to comply with all the terms and conditions of that document. Your fate basically depends on how the developer reacts to your situation. […]

  • Ask the HOA Expert: Restricted Activities
    by rtstaff@realtytimes.com (Richard Thompson) on May 22, 2018 at 7:57 pm

    Question: One of our homeowner's kids would like to raise chickens in the backyard. Our governing documents restrict this activity. Any advice to head off this public relations issue? Answer: Most HOA governing documents restrict raising poultry and other farm animals or local laws may do so. If this is something like a short term 4-H project, it's probably no big deal. If it is an ongoing production facility for eggs and meat, not a good idea. The main issues are sanitation and noise (particularly from roosters).Question: I recently had a leak in my unit that damaged wall and flooring and I am in a battle with the HOA regarding who is responsible for the repair charges. My unit is in a mid-rise condominium. The leak was coming from a rooftop chiller pipe that feeds the air conditioning units for me and several neighbors. The plumber determined that the pipe was leaking because of improper soldering. The board says neither the plumbing repair or damage to my unit is the HOA's responsibility.Answer: This is a classic example of why all HOAs (particularly the common wall kind) should have a clear Areas of Maintenance and Insurance Policy that defines who (owner or HOA) is responsible. This policy should identify all building and grounds components and where the dividing line is between common and non-common. Most governing documents are not precise in defining this so the board needs to adopt a policy that gets more specific. This policy not only helps avoid disputes but directs the various insurance companies concerning their responsibility to cover certain damage claims. The importance of this policy cannot be understated.Typically, the HOA is responsible for repairing common plumbing lines. Since the plumbing line in question serves multiple units, it is considered common. Damage repair to units caused by the leaking pipe, however, is usually the unit owners' responsibility unless the HOA neglects to perform plumbing repairs in a timely manner when informed by a unit owner. For a sample Areas of Responsibility Policy, see www.Regenesis.net Question: A homeowner is requesting a copy of a violation letter that was sent to another homeowner. Are we required to provide that? Answer: Unless state law requires sharing this kind of information, a violation issue is a private matter between the board, management and offender. Such information should not be shared with other owners.Question: What is the proper protocol for a special assessment? Should the board hold a special meeting to announce it with the homeowners, then follow up with a letter to all of them? Answer: If the board has decided to move forward with a special assessment, it should definitely hold an informational meeting to discuss the reasons and to answer questions. It is possible that there will be people that take exception to the special assessment and want to express that opinion. They have a right to do that as long as they are civil.The board should attempt to respond to all questions and concerns if possible. Trying to respond to "I don't have the money" is a waste of time even if true. Special assessments are never pleasant and there will always be some that have a problem paying them due to disability, unemployment, divorce, too cheap, etc. Going forward, the board should have a long range plan to avoid them in the future by setting aside adequate reserve funds to avoid special assessments. It would a good thing to point this out to the members now.For more innovative homeowner association management strategies, subscribe to www.Regenesis.net. […]

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