Are kids the decision makers for home purchases? Survey says yes

June 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

Do kids rule the roost? A new study from Coldwell Banker Real Estate finds that children may be the “Chief Purchasing Officers” of the family. The survey, which was conducted among 2,800 parents across three generations, revealed that 79 percent of Millennial parents (parents age 18-34) and 70 percent of Generation X parents (parents age 35-49) said most of their major purchasing decisions revolve around their children, including home purchases. In comparison, just over half (52 percent) of Boomer parents (parents age 50-69) said this was true when raising their family. Read More.

Brokerage settles title steering allegations

June 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, Legal 

Alabama’s biggest real estate brokerage, RealtySouth, has agreed to pay a $500,000 civil penalty to settle allegations that it “strongly encouraged” and in some cases required agents to use its affiliated title insurance and closing services provider, without adequately disclosing to consumers that they had a right to shop around for those and other settlement services.

In agreeing to pay the fine, RealtySouth neither admitted nor denied allegations detailed in a consent order issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Read More

Buyer’s rep not liable for measurement error

June 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, Legal 

A Texas appellate court has evaluated whether a buyer’s representative was liable to his clients for inaccurate square footage information.

Bowen Zhu and Jian Yu (collectively, “Buyers”) purchased a home. The Buyers had retained real estate licensee Kai Lam (“Buyer’s Representative”) of The Household Realty, Inc. (“Brokerage”) to represent them in the transaction.

During the course of the transaction, the listing broker, the local government appraisal district, and the Buyer’s Representative had all represented that the size of the property’s living area as 2,722 square feet. While viewing the property, the Buyers had remarked that the property seemed smaller than their 2600 square feet residence, but the Buyer’s Representative had responded that this was because the property had an open floor plan. Read More

Housing is the number one reason people move

June 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

From 2012 to 2013, 36 million people who are one year and older moved, but why?

School. Work. Friends. Family. All of these are valid options, but the U.S. Census Bureau released a report putting real numbers and reasons behind the question.

The number one reason cited: housing.

Family, which made up 30.3%, employment, 19.4%, and other, 2.3%, closely followed behind housing, which made up 48%.

“We asked people to select the reason that contributed most to their decision to move. Picking one reason can be difficult as moves are often motivated by many different, and oftentimes competing, factors,” said the report’s author, David Ihrke, a demographer in the Census Bureau’s Journey to Work and Migration Statistics Branch. Read More.

BuyOwner.com CEO hires a Realtor

May 23, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, Marketing, Technology 

Al Bennati’s company BuyOwner.com may aim to help people sell homes without a professional REALTOR®, but when it came to selling his own home, he hired a professional for help.

Bennati, the chief executive of BuyOwner.com, is working with a REALTOR® to sell his $3.78 million St. Petersburg beach estate in Florida. The Mediterranean Revival-style home is on 90 feet of waterfront and boasts five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and a six-car garage.

“To sell a home of this magnitude, it needs to be done by a person and a company that reaches buyers of this caliber,” Bennati said in a statement. “Selling upper-end homes like mine was never the market for BuyOwner.” Read More.

Realtor.com to beef up agent search, will revamp profile pages first

May 23, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, Marketing, Technology 

Realtor.com has not given up on providing consumers with more sophisticated tools for finding an agent and, as a first step toward that goal, is updating agent profiles on the popular consumer site to give agents the ability to highlight their transaction data, team info and client recommendations to consumers.

When agents authorize it, the new profile pages — expected to launch in the third quarter — will pull in multiple listing service data like price range of homes they help clients buy or sell, a map showing their current listings, showings and closings. Read More.

Realtor-affiliated MLSs must furnish listing data for broker AVMs

May 23, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

The National Association of Realtors’ board of directors approved an amendment today requiring multiple listing services to make it easier for brokers to use listing data to produce automated valuation models for their clients, after a push by some members to send the amendment back to the drawing board failed.

Before voting on the amendment, members first tacked on a provision that requires NAR to provide support to MLSs that will help the MLSs ensure that MLS data “is used by MLS participants and their third-party technology providers only for specified, authorized users.” Read More.

Kentucky jobs still have not returned since recession

May 23, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

Business First has reported plenty about the economic recovery in Kentucky and Louisville since the last recession — a recovery that has been mired by slow growth of lesser-paying jobs.

As reported last month by Business First, the number of employed workers in Kentucky shrank in 2013, compared with 2012.

Today, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce released a report detailing more about the state’s challenges to add jobs since the low point of the recession in July 2009. Read More.

GSE reform: what’s next for the Johnson-Crapo bill?

May 23, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, Legislative 

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs passed to the floor the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act, commonly known as Johnson-Crapo, by a 13-9 vote last week.

Johnson-Crapo, supporters say, would reform the U.S. housing finance system by winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and replacing them with a new system in which private capital would be in a first-loss position prior to a catastrophic government guarantee being made available.

As described by the Structured Finance Industry Group, this system would be regulated by the newly created Federal Mortgage Insurance Corporation and backstopped by the Mortgage Insurance Fund. Read More.

Kentucky’s unemployment rate drops to 7.7 percent in April 2014

May 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent in April 2014 from a revised 7.9 percent in March 2014, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

The preliminary April 2014 jobless rate was .6 percentage points below the 8.3 percent rate recorded for the state in April 2013.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate dropped to 6.3 percent in April 2014 from 6.7 percent in March 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Read More.

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