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NEW: The Benefits of Homesnap Showings for Buyer's Agents
By now, we hope you've heard the good news: Homesnap Showings is now included as part of Homesnap Pro, available for FREE to agents nationwide as an MLS benefit. We've already covered how Homesnap Showings is a boon to listing agents, but we built this one-stop showing management technology with buyer's agents in mind, too. As a buyer's agent, you have specific challenges and needs — namely, going above-and-beyond to help your clients find their new home. With Homesnap Showings, being a buyer's agent becomes easier for you and buying a home becomes more enjoyable for your clients. For agents looking for a one-stop showings management tool that improves their clients' experience, Homesnap Showings offers five primary benefits: Instant bookings: See available times and book them in a single click. Seamless agent communication: Connect with listing agents seamlessly via Homesnap Messages. Customized itineraries: Compile all your showings — across different showing management tools — in one place. Smart routing: Get an optimized route mapped out for your day of showings. Easy feedback: Fill out feedback forms and let the listing agent know how interested you are in the property. 1. Instant bookings Homesnap Showings eliminates the time-consuming need to make calls or wait to schedule a showing. If you find a time that works for you and your client, instantly book it. All available showing times are preset by the listing agent for you to select. If the property requires approval before the showing can be booked, the listing agent will be immediately notified upon your submission request. Better yet, Homesnap Showings will hold the calendar reservation even before approval to avoid double bookings. 2. Seamless agent communication With Homesnap Messages, Showings keeps agents in-the-know. Once you submit your request, the listing agent will receive a notification — and as soon as they approve your request, you will be informed immediately! Life can be messy. If you have an issue, need to reschedule, or just have a quick question, you can use Homesnap Messages to send the listing agent a note directly within the app. 3. Customized itineraries Plan the optimal day for a buyer. With itineraries, you customize the best experience for your client. Whether you plan a day to see 1 property or 10 properties, you have full control over your itinerary, even if one of the properties on your itinerary is managed with a different showing management tool. Your whole schedule, access details, and agent contact info will be in one place. Share the day you planned with your client, and add non-showing related stops such as getting coffee or lunch to design a wonderful experience for your client. 4. Smart routing Once you've built your itinerary and booked your showings, Homesnap Showings will automatically map out the best route to take. You can adjust and set the path you wish to take and share it with your client. 5. Easier feedback, better client collaboration Within your itinerary dashboard, you can access easy-to-use feedback forms to let the listing agent know how your client felt about the property. Once your showing ends, you will receive automatic notifications that give you the option to work with your client and provide comments or interest level in the property — making it more likely your client will receive a call back about properties they're actually interested in. Check out our Homesnap Showings dashboard and experience first-hand how Showings improves buyers' agents performance and client satisfaction. To view the original post, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Home Shoppers Are Looking for More Flexibility in Their Home Space and Are Willing to Swap Short Commute Time for Affordability, According to Realtor.com Survey
Room for extended family and pets, home office and internet rise in importance for buyers who realize the need to compromise in today's competitive market SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 17, 2021 -- Life is beginning to return to normal throughout the U.S. with many companies announcing their return to office strategies and cities beginning to open up. However, for many 2021 home shoppers who spent the majority of 2020 confined to their homes, the COVID pandemic has influenced what they are looking for in their next house, while the hyper-competitive housing market has them strategizing about how to get ahead, according to a new Realtor.com® survey released today. The need for more space was the top reason driving home shoppers' decision to purchase a new home in the coming year, according to the online survey of 1,200 home shoppers conducted this spring by HarrisX. Although the majority of today's buyers are looking for three bedrooms and two baths, their responses indicate they are looking for more flexibility in their home space and affordability in exchange for a shorter commute -- the new realities of a post-COVID world. "The COVID pandemic ushered in a new way of thinking about what home means, and that is influencing much of what today's home shoppers are looking for," said George Ratiu, senior economist, Realtor.com®. "Garages, large backyards and space for pets always rank high on buyers' wish lists, but those features have grown in importance. The survey results highlight that the pandemic has elevated our relationship with family as well as the need for our home to serve multiple purposes, especially the ability to work remotely. As a result, we are placing a premium on the need to accommodate extended family, and features like a home office and broadband internet." What's in and what's out for post-COVID home shoppers When asked which home features have become a priority as a result of the pandemic, quiet location (28%), updated kitchen (25%), garage and large backyard (24% each) topped the list. Outdoor living area (20%), space for pets (18%), updated bathrooms (19%), home office and broadband internet capabilities (17% each) and open floor plan (16%) rounded out the top 10 pandemic-induced most desired home features. Sixty-five percent of respondents indicated that they are considering extended family when they shop for a home, with nearly a quarter stating that they are planning to buy near family members. One-fifth of those surveyed said they would have extended family living with them full-time and 30% said their new home would need to accommodate extended family staying with them part-time or visiting. Consistent with the desire for outdoor space, terms such as "fenced yard," "acres," "backyard," "front porch," "garage" and "three-car garage" have all seen a significant uptick in searches on Realtor.com® over the past year. With reports of pets being adopted at record rates during the pandemic, the term "pet friendly" also saw a large increase in searches. Decreasing in importance from prior surveys was the need for a short commute time and a home with smaller square footage. Only 9% indicated a short commute time was a priority and 4% were looking for smaller square footage. This was down from 11% and 8%, respectively, in early March 2020 prior to the pandemic. Perhaps due to rising home prices, searches for "remodeled" homes on Realtor.com® were down 88% year to date through May. It appears that motivated buyers are making concessions in their home search, with fewer searches for otherwise-popular features such as granite countertops (-58%), theater/media rooms (-65%), and bars (-52%). Today's buyer is prepared and willing to compromise Again, pragmatic about the competitive housing market, 35% of home shoppers said that they were checking listing websites every day and 25% had set a price alert to get notified when new homes hit the market to stay ahead of the competition. From a financing perspective, 28% indicated that they were planning to offer more than a 20% cash payment, 21% plan to increase their earnest money deposit and 17% plan to either offer above asking price or all cash. While a third said they would not offer above asking price, nearly half were prepared to offer up to 10% above asking. "In today's competitive housing market, it is not uncommon to submit an offer above the home's list price. At the same time, knowing what you can spend and sticking to your budget is one of the most important things a home buyer can do. One way to ensure that you don't go over budget is to limit your search by using price filters to homes under your budget. That way, if you submit an offer that is over the list price, you'll still be within your maximum budget," said Realtor.com® Housing and Lifestyle Expert Lexie Holbert. When buyers were asked to select which features they would sacrifice if they had to reduce their budget, several COVID-coveted features would be the first to go with man cave and pool/spa tied at 24%, followed by guest house and mother-in-law suite both 23% and new construction at 22%, Rounding out the top 10 features to fall by the wayside were solar panels (21%), finished basement (20%), home office (18%), large backyard and guest room (both 17%). Methodology: Realtor.com® commissioned HarrisX to conduct a national survey of consumers, including 1,218 adults over the age of 18 who plan to purchase a home within the next 12 months.This survey was conducted online within the United States from March 26 - April 7, 2021. The sampling margin of error of this poll is plus or minus 1.6 percentage points. Results were weighted for age, gender, region, race/ethnicity, and income where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population. In addition to the general population, the survey oversampled 1,218 potential buyers with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points. The search information contained in the release is based on an analysis of the most commonly searched keywords on Realtor.com® from Jan. 1 - May 31, 2021. About Realtor.com® Realtor.com® makes buying, selling, renting and living in homes easier and more rewarding for everyone. Realtor.com® pioneered the world of digital real estate more than 20 years ago, and today through its website and mobile apps is a trusted source for the information, tools and professional expertise that help people move confidently through every step of their home journey. Using proprietary data science and machine learning technology, Realtor.com® pairs buyers and sellers with local agents in their market, helping take the guesswork out of buying and selling a home. For professionals, Realtor.com® is a trusted provider of consumer connections and branding solutions that help them succeed in today's on-demand world. Realtor.com® is operated by News Corp [Nasdaq: NWS, NWSA] [ASX: NWS, NWSLV] subsidiary Move, Inc. under a perpetual license from the National Association of REALTORS®. For more information, visit Realtor.com®.
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W+R Studios Announces New Cloud Streams Complete with Redesigned User Interface, New Activity Stream, and Improved User Experience
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Buyer's Agent: Automatically Post Your Sold IDX Listings to Facebook
Call it Facebook marketing, online branding, or shameless self-promotion, but Delta Media Group has given you a way to "shout it from the mountaintops" (or at least Facebook) about your most recent SOLD transactions--including IDX listings--using our Facebook Auto Connector tool. As an exclusive Buyer's Agent, you work directly with buyers and do not list homes for sale. In today's competitive real estate market, it's essential home buyers have an experienced agent on their side to help them make a reasonable offer on the home they want and have it accepted. You spend tons of time and energy guiding your clients down the right path to homeownership. So how do you get the word out about the "wins" you have achieved for your clients? With over 1.3 billion members worldwide, Facebook seems like the best place to start. Delta Media Group's Facebook Auto Connector gives you the ability to post each of your SOLD listings automatically, and that includes IDX LISTINGS! See, we think you work way too hard helping your clients take the right steps toward successful home buying not to give you a way to tell your entire story on Facebook. That is why we did not limit your social shares to your broker's listings; we included the ability to share any IDX listing too. It's a fact, you work hard for your clients, and now you have a way to share your success stories with the world. Contact our Tech Support Team to get started auto-sharing your story on Facebook today. To view the original post, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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HomeDiary Plugs into MoxiWorks Power Strip
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Down Payment Program Data Grows in Size and Scope
Homeownership Program Index Reports More Than 16,000 Program Changes in Q3 2017 Atlanta, GA, November 16, 2017 – Atlanta-based Down Payment Resource, the nationwide database for homebuyer programs, today released its Third Quarter 2017 Homeownership Program Index (HPI). The number of total programs increased to 2,487, up 18 programs from the previous quarter. More than 87 percent (87.1%) of programs currently have funds available for eligible homebuyers, up slightly from the previous quarter. Down Payment Resource communicates with more than 1,300 housing agencies each month to make updates to homeownership programs. While the total number of programs and funding availability remained steady, this quarter the company made 16,435 total program edits, including important eligibility requirements, program guidelines and funding status. "We're proud to be the first company to develop a nationwide database of down payment programs, but it's an even greater achievement to keep those details up-to-date. Every month, we work with housing agencies across the country to catalog the latest program information into our database, helping ensure homebuyers, lenders and agents have accurate, searchable details," said Rob Chrane, Down Payment Resource CEO. Program Data Varies Greatly Homeownership programs are available across the country, designed to meet the housing needs for a buyer segment or community. For every program, Down Payment Resource monitors changes to many dozens of data points, income and coverage area tables, program benefits, and funding status. This quarter's Homeownership Program Index reviewed the volume of program changes made from July 1 through September 30. Program edits: 3,605 Includes program contact information, funding status and program guidelines. Coverage Area edits: 12,830 Includes changes to coverage areas, coverage area types, maximum purchase price limits, or household income limits. Program changes are up 220 percent from Q4 2015, when the HPI last reviewed total program changes. The increase in program update activity is attributed to the addition of more data points per program as well an increase in the total programs being monitored. "We continually review our technology, seek feedback from our customers and users, and look for opportunities to enhance our data. The more specificity we can provide, the easier it is for homebuyers to explore all of the options available to them as they plan for homeownership," said Sean Moss, Senior Vice President of Operations for Down Payment Resource. "Likewise, lenders can better understand the options available to their originators to tap into new buyer segments and help them solve for their biggest obstacle to homeownership. And, real estate agents can pinpoint opportunities available in their market and comfortably promote those programs to new buyers." Monitoring Dynamic Data Many events can impact homeownership program guidelines, including funding source and master servicing requirements. For example, when HUD makes its annual Area Median Income (AMI) limits for all of the more than 3,000 counties across the U.S., many program administrators also update their own programs' income limits. In addition, any given program can change on short notice, and multiple times per year. Because those changes aren't predictable, Down Payment Resource constantly monitors and works with program administrators to keep the program information up-to-date. Index Data About All Types of Programs 38% of homeownership programs do not have a first-time homebuyer requirement and are available for eligible repeat homebuyers. (First-time homebuyer is defined by HUD as someone who has not owned a home in three years.) 75% of programs are available in a specific local area, such as a city, county or neighborhood. 25% of programs are available statewide through state housing finance agencies. More than 6% of programs are available for community service workers, including educators, police officers, firefighters and healthcare workers. 6% of programs have benefits for veterans, members of the military and surviving spouses. These programs can also be layered with zero down payment VA loans. 69% of programs in the database are down payment or closing cost assistance. 9% of programs are first mortgages and 8% of programs are Mortgage Credit Certificates (MCCs). States with the greatest number of down payment programs remained consistent—California, Florida and Texas are the top three. View a complete list of state-by-state program data. More than 50 percent of programs accept online homeownership education. About Down Payment Resource Down Payment Resource (DPR) creates opportunity for homebuyers, REALTORS® and lenders by uncovering programs that get people into homes. The company tracks more than 2,400 homebuyer programs through its housing finance agency partners. DPR has been recognized by Inman News as "Most Innovative New Technology" and the HousingWire Tech100™. DPR is licensed to Multiple Listing Services, Realtor Associations, lenders and housing counselors across the country. For more information, please visit DownPaymentResource.com. About Down Payment Resource's Homeownership Program Index The Homeownership Program Index (HPI) measures the availability and characteristics of down payment programs administered by state and local Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs), nonprofits and other housing organizations. It analyzed state, local and national programs available in the DOWN PAYMENT RESOURCE® registry as of October 23, 2017.
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Buyside Launches Fall 2017 Update
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REALTOR Organizations Increasing Consumer Confusion on Real Estate Representation
AVONDALE, Ariz., June 14, 2016 -- Recent actions by the staff of state and local REALTOR® organizations are leaving members of the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA), nearly all of whom are also members of their local REALTOR® organizations, concerned about consumer protection in real estate. Like many trade organizations, the National Association of REALTORS' goal is to improve business for its members. Its mission is even "to help its members become more profitable and successful," but on several occasions this year, the state and local REALTOR® organizations appear to be putting those profits above ethical and fair dealings with home buyers and sellers. In Florida, numerous NAEBA members contacted staff of the Florida REALTORS® asking for a change to the existing Exclusive Buyer Brokerage Agreement. One letter stated, "The purpose of my letter is to ask FAR to include the Single Agency Disclosure with all the fiduciary duties required by Florida Statutes 475.278 to the existing FAR Exclusive Buyer Broker Agreement. This would remove any possibility of misrepresentation to the consumer buying public and meet the requirement made by the Statute for written disclosure by Single Agents offering 'exclusive' buyer broker services." NAEBA President Dawn Rae also submitted a letter which can be read in its entirety at www.NAEBA.org/LettertoFAR. The only response received was a phone call from Donna Ryan, Senior Counsel and Manager of Member Legal Communications for the Florida REALTORS®, to the members who sent letters stating she had made a recommendation for changes. She would not respond to NAEBA or the NAEBA President (who is a member of Florida REALTORS®) at all nor would she give any response in writing. In the nearly six months since the request was made, the change has not been made nor even discussed further. In California, there is a case, Horiike v. Coldwell Banker, being considered by the California Supreme Court concerning dual agency. Per California law, dual agency occurs when one real estate brokerage is representing both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction. The plaintiff is alleging that the listing agent had a fiduciary duty to him even though he was the buyer because he was a client of the listing agent's firm. The appellate court agreed. Dual agency is fraught with conflict of interest, leaving neither the buyer nor the seller with true, full representation as NAEBA pointed out in its Amicus Curiae brief submitted to the California Supreme Court (read it in its entirety at www.naeba.org/amicus). Many real estate agents practice dual agency, however, because it is quite lucrative. Instead of splitting the commission, the agent or brokerage keeps all of it. In keeping with the mission of making its members more profitable regardless of consumer protection, an April, 2016 article from Bob Hunt, Director of the California Association of REALTORS®, even states that "Dual Agency Can Be a Good Thing." In Massachusetts and Colorado, state organizations are now allowing REALTORS® to falsely advertise their services. For years, the accepted definition of Exclusive Buyer Representation has been, "The practice of representing only buyers and never sellers in a transaction. The company never lists a seller's property and thus never has a seller as a client." This definition has been published in numerous publications from the National Association of REALTORS® including Agency: Choices, Challenges & Opportunities (see p. 25 of the document found at http://naeba.org/NARAgencyChoicesChallenges), the Real Estate Buyer Agency Council (REBAC), and other organizations. Consumers doing a search of the term on the Internet will find numerous references to that same definition and will rightly assume that someone advertising as an Exclusive Buyer Agent would meet that definition, yet when Exclusive Buyer Agents in those states complained about an agent in their market who was advertising Exclusive Buyer Representation even though they worked in a company that represents sellers, the REALTOR organizations told the agents that since there is no copyright on the term, the other agents can use it. That is going to lead to even more confusion for a consumer who thinks he is working with one type of agent based on definitions even published by the REALTOR® organizations, but ends up working with another. In fact, a consumer working with one of these "Exclusive Buyer Agents" could even be asked to consent to dual agency. According to NAEBA President Dawn Rae, "Given this current climate of confusion, it is even more important that home buyers remember 'caveat emptor,' let the buyer beware. Choosing a REALTOR® isn't enough. Buying a home is one of the largest financial investments a person will make. Buyers should interview agents to ensure that the agent will remain on their side and truly represent them throughout the transaction... regardless of which home they buy." About NAEBA The National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA), created in 1995, is an organization of companies dedicated to representing only buyers of real estate. NAEBA member brokerages do not list homes for sale and never represent sellers. This restriction to one side of the real estate transaction avoids conflicts and ensures that the interest of the homebuyer is protected at all times from house-hunting and negotiation to inspection, financing and closing.
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Cloud Streams’ Listing Alerts are Faster and More Reliable than All Major Listing Portals
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RealtyTrac Launches HomeDisclosure.com Providing "Pre-Diligence" Reports for 117 Million U.S. Homes
IRVINE, CA - (January 26, 2016) - RealtyTrac®, the nation's leading source for comprehensive housing data, today announced the beta launch of its new consumer focused, mobile responsive, property Pre-Diligence™ website, www.HomeDisclosure.com, which arms real estate consumers with detailed due diligence data on 117 million U.S. homes. Home Disclosure will be available to consumers early in the process of buying, selling or renting a home. Home Disclosure was created to empower real estate consumers with critical information they can't find anywhere else in one place, and some of which is only disclosed to buyers at the closing table -- if it's disclosed at all. In each property report, Home Disclosure provides more than 40 categories of real estate data, along with hyperlocal neighborhood and environmental data impacting the health, safety and financial security of the homeowner or renter. Watch video. "There is no other property report -- let alone property listing website -- that will identify nearby registered sex offenders and drug labs, while also giving potential home buyers comprehensive loan history and financial details such as the current equity position on each property," said Rob Barber, CEO of RealtyTrac. "We're able to provide this unique combination of property due-diligence data to consumers thanks to RealtyTrac's nationwide footprint of publicly recorded real estate data along with the neighborhood and environmental data we gather through our subsidiary Homefacts. "We're willing to provide this data to consumers because our business model is not dependent on whether someone buys, sells or rents a home," Barber added. "We are agnostic when it comes to whether or not a real estate transaction occurs, which frees us up to provide a property report with transparency as its highest objective." The report also provides hyperlocal neighborhood data on natural hazard risk (including flood, earthquake, tornado, wildfire, and hurricane risk), environmental hazard risk (including superfunds sites, brownfields, polluters and storage tanks and spills), crime level, school quality, median income and much more. View sample report. "When buying a home or investment property, it's extremely important to completely investigate not only the property but also the neighborhood," said Mike Sawtell, executive vice president and general manager of consumer solutions at RealtyTrac. "The Home Disclosure report will let you do exactly that. It's extremely powerful data that will not only help home buyers decide on which property and neighborhood may be right for them, but give them critical data to help them negotiate much more effectively. "Most real estate websites provide consumers with the basic information they need to search for homes -- bedrooms, bathrooms and list price -- but they don't offer deeper data that will make buyers aware of potential risks in the neighborhood," Sawtell continued. "It's interesting that in today's world, consumers will perform more pre-diligence on a $30,000 automobile (by purchasing a Carfax report) than they will on a $300,000 home. This is because until now there was not a simple method to access the necessary information. Home Disclosure changes that. For no cost, a consumer can have access to a comprehensive, yet easy-to-use report that is built for smart phones and tablets. Home Disclosure provides important elements of big data necessary for thorough home pre diligence while making the report extremely accessible for all." RealtyTrac built Home Disclosure from the ground up using public record real estate data (sales deed, mortgage, tax and foreclosure data), along with neighborhood characteristics and risks data, and packaging that data in a user interface designed carefully for a very specific real estate consumer: one performing pro-active, pre-diligence on a home -- whether they are looking at that home for purchase or rental, or whether they already own or rent the home. Why is the Home Disclosure Report important today? Health risk (Porter Ranch, California gas leak story) Safety risk (Sex offenders Christopher Hubbart and Mark D. Beebout) Property value risk (Sinkholes hurt property values) Flood zone risk (Hurricanes Sandy in New York City and Katrina in New Orleans) About RealtyTrac RealtyTrac is a leading supplier of U.S. real estate data, with nationwide parcel-level records for more than 129 million U.S. parcels that include property characteristics, tax assessor data, sales and mortgage deed records, Automated Valuation Models (AVMs) and 20 million active and historical default, foreclosure auction and bank-owned properties. RealtyTrac's housing data and foreclosure reports are relied on by the Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury Department, HUD, numerous state housing and banking departments, investment funds as well as millions of real estate professionals and consumers, to help evaluate housing trends and make informed decisions about real estate.
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