Real Estate – Current Industry News
sources:National Association of Realtors, Inman, Forbes,,

Inman Real Estate News for Realtors and Brokers

  • How to be a rock for clients when things get shaky
    by Troy Palmquist on July 16, 2019 at 8:47 am

    In light of the recent earthquakes in Southern California, there is no better time to remind ourselves of the ways in which we can educate, provide referrals and solidify client relationships on a grand scale. Here are four ideas on how to help clients prepare for "the big one." […]

  • Why younger generations need to understand credit scores now
    by Lew Sichelman on July 16, 2019 at 7:53 am

    Young consumers are blithely unaware of the importance of credit scores to their financial lives, according to recent surveys. This is troubling as Americans' debt levels reach record highs. The good news is that people tend to change their behaviors once they learn how their financial habits impact their scores. […]

  • Agent/broker perspective: How brokerages can address affordable housing
    by Anthony Askowitz on July 16, 2019 at 7:14 am

    With each year, a successful Miami agent is seeing more of her low- and middle-income clients struggling to find reasonably priced homes they can afford — and it’s only getting worse. What can she and her broker do to better serve these clients while at the same time helping their sellers earn top dollar for their listings? […]

  • Top brokerages find new ways to carve out profit
    by Joe Skousen on July 16, 2019 at 7:01 am

    According to recent data from REAL Trends, the average retained company dollar dwindled to a mere 14.8% in 2017. This is down from 22% 5 years prior. Brokerages are faced with pressures on commission splits, non-producing agents, and occupancy/payroll eating into profit margins. […]

  • Looking for listings? Here’s how to find, sign and turn unlisted properties
    by Bernice Ross on July 16, 2019 at 4:00 am

    When listings are scarce, one-party listings can be a powerful tool to locate properties that are not currently listed but whose owners might be willing to sell if they receive the right offer. Here’s a solid strategy to turn unlisted properties into done deals. […]

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  • 7 Packing Mistakes You’re Making
    by (Julia Campbell) on July 15, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    Moving is a drag—there’s no way getting around it. But there are ways to make your move a whole lot easier, and it starts with packing.  Here are ten moving mistakes you may be making—and how to avoid them.  1. You figure you can pack everything in a few days Begin with a plan—and start packing weeks in advance, especially if you have a lot of stuff. But before you just start piling things into boxes, spend the time up front to make an inventory of everything that needs to be either packed or tossed and break it down room by room. It will save you time down the line (and spare you a few grey hairs too).  2. You wing the whole labeling thing  Think you’ll be able to remember which boxes go with each room based on memory? Think again.  Label boxes by contents and room location to make delivering them to the right spots easier—and so you don’t have to rack your brain trying to remember! Don’t rely on memory alone.  3. You go cheap on moving supplies and boxes Between friends, donation centers, and neighborhood-sidewalk giveaways, there are lots of ways to get free moving boxes—but don’t get skimpy about purchasing new ones. It’s worth the extra $40–$50, especially if it spares you from breaking something worth much more. When it comes to buying boxes, make sure you have the right sizes for the different items you're packing. Heavier items like books, canned goods, and candles may need to be packed in smaller, more compact boxes, where lighter objects can go in bigger ones.  Bear in mind that you'll need to pack all these boxes into a moving vehicle, so be strategic about getting boxes that can stack together (and not just a few of each size).  Know  which packing materials should be used, and if you’re on the fence about how much you should buy, buy liberally. It’s way better to have extra than to make a frantic last-minute trip to the store come moving day.  Also, know that moving with plastic totes is a no-no. Plastic totes seem cost efficient, but they have a tendency to crack when placed under a ton of weight. Lastly, steer clear of being that person who tosses a mishmash of random things into a trash bag. That person is likely to open those bags to a few broken items (I may or may not be speaking from experience). 4. You pack boxes thinking you have superhuman strength Your Stephen King collection isn’t going to move itself, so unless you want a good workout, don’t fill your boxes to the brim with books. The heavier and denser you pack a box, the greater the chance it could break through (again, may or may not be guilty of this). As a rule of thumb, try to avoid making boxes heavier than 50 pounds. Not sure how to gauge what’s 50 pounds? Slide that sucker onto a scale. And if you have a hard time lifting it onto a scale, well, it’s probably too heavy anyway.  5. You leave empty space in your boxes  Empty space equals shifting, which can equal your favorite mug breaking or your ceramic spoon rest cracking. Leave enough room for bubble wrap and packing paper, and fill any empty space in boxes with packing material (e.g., packing paper, newspaper, good ole’ peanuts). Maximize your space by wrapping things in towels and tee shirts to fill empty space. Plus, then you’re not filling one box with towels and tee shirts and another with only candles or books—this will make it easier to transport.  6. You don’t get rid of stuff before the move Take a cue from Marie Kondo and go through your belongings before you move so you can get rid of the stuff that doesn’t bring you joy. You’ll have less to pack (and load and unload) and it’ll make the whole thing a lot easier.  As you pack, sift through your things room by room and categorize your joyless items into piles to toss, donate, or sell.   7. You don’t pack an overnight bag  The last thing you’ll want to do once you arrive at your new home is fish for a towel so you can take a shower or shuffle through boxes to find some PJs.  Plan ahead by assembling an overnight bag with toiletries, clothing, and any other essentials you’ll need at your new pad until you start unpacking and settling in. You’ll thank yourself later.   Author’s bio: A Washington, DC, native turned West Coast transplant, Julia is a full-time writer and amateur hiker. Experienced in relocating, she knows the tricks of the trade when it comes to all things moving. […]

  • VA Closing Costs: Seller Paid or Buyer Paid?
    by (David Reed) on July 15, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    For those who are eligible for a VA home loan, it’s really quite the program. It’s one of the few home loans that do not require a down payment, probably its biggest feature. But in addition to no down payment, there is no monthly mortgage insurance payment. This increases buying power. Other loan programs with a low down payment ask for monthly mortgage insurance, both for government-backed programs like FHA and USDA but also for conventional loans. Those who are eligible for a VA loan include not only veterans but also active duty personnel with at least 181 days of service, National Guard and Armed Forces Reserve members as well as unremarried, surviving spouses of those who died while serving or as a result of a service-related injury. VA loans are also assumable. This means someone can buy the home and instead of getting outside financing, the sellers can transfer the note over to the buyers. This can be especially appealing to the buyers if the existing VA note has better terms than what the current market is offering. Lenders must approve the transfer. With VA loans, there is a form of mortgage insurance called the Funding Fee but it’s an initial, upfront fee that isn’t paid for out of pocket but instead rolled into the final loan amount. This fee varies but for first time buyers using a 30 year fixed rate loan, the current funding fee amount is 2.15 percent of the loan amount. This “loan guarantee” is a guarantee to the lender. Should a VA loan go into default, the lender is compensated at 25 percent of the loss. VA loans going into default is actually rather rare compared to other loan programs and is one of the highest performing loans in the industry. This despite no initial “skin in the game” from the home buyer. There is no down payment but there are closing costs. There are closing costs with all home loans. Even so-called “no closing cost” loans. When borrowers see the term no-closing cost, it’s important to understand what’s being offered. For example, say someone is offered a 30 year fixed rate at 3.50 percent with no discount points. But the borrower is also offered a rate of 3.25 percent with one discount point. A discount point is expressed as a percentage of the loan amount. Conversely, the borrower can lock in a rate of 3.75 percent, or 0.25 percent more than the no-point loan, lenders can then extend a one point credit toward the borrower’s closing costs. There are closing costs, they’re just reflected in the higher rate. VA guidelines however restrict the borrowers from paying certain kinds of closing costs, another benefit with the VA program. Borrowers are only allowed to pay for an appraisal, credit report, title charges, origination fees, recording and survey fees where required. The other buyer fees must be paid for by someone else. Often times it’s the sellers of the property. When an offer is made, and the sellers see the buyers are obtaining VA financing- it will state so on the offer- they know they’ll be asked to pony up some additional funds at closing to pay for the additional fees. But the sellers are under no obligation to do so. As an incentive to the sellers, a potential buyer might increase the offer to compensate for the additional costs. Note, these additional costs really don’t add up to much compared to the entire set of closing costs, but additional costs they are. […]

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The 2019 GAD Institute has officially kicked off! More than 230 government affairs directors are in Cincinnati meeting and exchanging best practices and ideas to provide the best value and information to #REALTORS and on behalf of the #RealEstate industry. #REALTORParty #GAD2019

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