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[Podcast] Tech Redefining the Closing Experience? Just Ask Qualia!
The closing. Not sexy and not terribly interesting. Yet it's a place that generates an enormous amount of profit for brokerage companies who understand that building a business around GCI margin is increasingly a very, very challenging endeavor. And despite this very important role in the industry, the title and closing process has been largely unchanged by technology. But that just might be changing. In this episode of Gradually...Then, suddenly!, we take a hard look at what might be THE closing platform of the future. Meet Nate Baker, the CEO of Qualia, who just a few short years ago was an Ivy League grad, and today has raised more than $40 million to prove that technology and a new business approach can radically change the closing experience for all participants, even consumers. Want to know more? Tune in by clicking the button below or listening on your favorite podcast site. Tune in to the podcast now! Russ Cofano is a thirty-year real estate industry veteran who has served in executive capacities in various industry sectors. Russ was President of eXp World Holdings, led Industry Relations for Realtor.com, and acted as Chief Executive Officer for the Missouri REALTORS. He is a noted author and speaker at industry events on data, technology and innovation in the brokerage industry.    
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Qualia Raises $33 Million for Transaction Management
It is always interesting to me when a company I have never heard of raises a pile of cash. Qualia, a real estate technology company that aims to make the closing process better for consumers, just closed a series B round, led by Menlo Ventures, with participation from 8VC and Bienville Capital. According to Qualia, the home closing is a $40 billion industry. Participants in the closing include lenders, Realtors®, title agents, escrow, home buyers and sellers—more specifically, title company, law firm, real estate agent/brokerage, mortgage lender, vendor, underwriter, home buyer/seller and institutional buyer/seller.
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Bitcoin Moves to Real Estate: A Real Estate First!
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Which States Have the Highest and Lowest Closing Costs?
After would-be buyers scrounge up a down payment, secure financing, and negotiate a winning offer, many are left with sticker shock following the announcement of closing costs—a not-so-tiny detail amongst real estate trends of ever-climbing costs in property purchases. All things being equal, closing costs are not Overall, closing costs tend to run between 3 percent and 6 percent of purchase price. However, given the cost of home appraisals, credit reports, attorney and numerous other fees, not to mention highly-variable title and homeowner's insurance, buyers can find hundreds of dollars in difference between lenders. So, regardless of state, it pays to shop around. What states stick-it to home buyers the most? Given a $200,000 home, a 20 percent down payment and excellent credit, let's take a look at real estate trends involving closing cost quotes from these top five notoriously expensive states: Hawaii - The highest average closing costs in the nation at $2,655. (Which, in reality, is infinitely more painful, as the island-state's median listing price is in the $510,000 range.) New York - An average $2,560 in closing costs. (Average median home price $720,000 – yowsa!) North Carolina - Averaging $2,409 in closing costs. (Average median home price $144,600. Whew.) Delaware - Averaging $ 2,358 in closing costs. (Average median home price, $211,700. Not too shabby.) South Carolina - Averaging $2,322 in closing costs. (Average median home price, $139,500. A bargain!)
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Re-Inventing the Collection of Earnest Money: A Case Study
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Transaction Checklists: The Magic Pill for Compliance
"Plan your work and work your plan," is a phrase we hear around the RE Technology offices a lot. It's a sage reminder that setting up processes and following set tasks is the most effective way to handle large projects. It's advice that can greatly simplify real estate transactions for agents, too, and keep brokers in compliance. Having a predetermined set of steps that agents can follow for each of their listings can greatly speed up a transaction's timeline by preventing missed documents and deadlines. This can also boost a brokerage's bottom line. If a transaction closes in 60 days instead of 90, that's 30 extra days of capital in your bank account. One way that real estate professionals are planning their work and working their plan is via transaction checklists. You may have seen similar checklists for marketing listings in your CRM, but transaction checklists are focused specifically on the steps and documents needed to keep transactions on deadline and compliant. "With transaction checklists, brokers and administrators can sleep well at night and make sure they have all the needed files, so if something happens, they know they're safe," says Andrew Chishchevoy, founder of Brokermint, a back office and transaction management solution that offers built-in checklists. "That's exactly what brokers say when they talk to us. 'I'm really worried about my business, I have 15 agents, and I want to make sure everything is structured, safe and secure.'" So what exactly should brokers include in the transaction checklists they build for their firms? Brokermint offered us insight into the items they include in their customizable checklists. Here's an overview.
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Earnest Money Spoils the Online Transaction
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5 Key Factors to a Successful Negotiation
I have been involved in literally thousands of negotiations over the years. Over that time, I have learned that there are five key factors that play a very large role in determining the success of a negotiation. If at all possible, the buyer and seller should never negotiate directly. Nothing good can come from this! It's all downside with little potential upside. The less surprises the better. Layout all the facts as early as possible, so that all parties are clear on their conditions. Each party should be able to back up their position. There are no requests "just because." There must be logic behind all requests. Otherwise it's unreasonable. Transparency is your best tactic. Nothing can muck up a deal more—or cause distrust—than one party changing their tune after an agreement has been reached. Don't let egos get in the way. Egos are deal killers! When you bring your ego to the table, you're negotiating against yourself, and hurting your client's best interests.
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5 Tips For a Successful Negotiation
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