Posts Tagged ‘Pa. buy’

Buying a home…or should I stay in the basement?

Posted on: March 23rd, 2016 by admin No Comments

family outside home

 

 

 

 

 

Well I’ve been a member of the National Association of Realtors for over 37 years. I think I have heard almost every way possible way to help new buyers toward their First purchase. This one has to be one of the best and innovative. I’m probably guilty of just being a guy too. Let me know what you think. This is part One.

 

Click here

 

 

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Anchors Away

Posted on: March 20th, 2016 by admin No Comments

If you are a Navy Vet you can buy a house with no down payment….. What are you waiting for? You don’t have to be a Blue Nose or worry about comshow. It’s all ligit…. Call me and lets get started.MIL-USANavyV1

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First Time Home Buyers

Posted on: April 27th, 2015 by admin No Comments

Business Handshake I Came across a new program for first time home buyers.  To be considered a first time home buyer, you can’t have owned a home for at least 5 years. The qualifications for the program are as follows.

1. 97% financing available
2. Primary residence only.
3. No PMI required.
4. Up to 6% seller assistance allowed.
5. Can be used in conjunction with other closing cost and down payment assistance programs.
6. Limited credit history may be acceptable.
7. Home ownership counseling is required.
8. $O Origination fee.

Contact me for details:

Salvatore(Sam) Ruta
610-737-2310
salvatoreruta13@gmail.com

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So what’s the deal with the Stock Market? Gimme the House instead.

Posted on: April 16th, 2014 by admin

Businessman Bouncing Over Stock ChartI don’t have a clue.  Used to be  able to gauge the housing market by what’s going on in the Stock Market.
I gave up on that comparison a long time ago. To me it makes absolutely no sense. How can a barometer of the economy change so fast. I mean really, up 200 points one day, down 225 the next. I saw a pundit on a business show the other day that said traders are now using computer programs that make changes in a nano second. How is that possible? They buy, sell  and set the tone for the market before you or I even have a chance to act before our first cup of coffee. Crazy….  There is a thing called “Penny Stocks”. Companies that are looking for money and issue stocks that are worth literally  less than a penny a share. Okay……  I’ll buy a hundred shares for a dollar? Still sounds like a night at the Casinos to me. Kinda like playing the penny slot machines. Maybe I’ll hit it big and get a 1000% return.

Wall street might be a dead-end for the average family.  But then there is the housing market. The great banking debacle of  2007 seems like a generation ago. Mention to a millennial that their grandparents actually had double-digit interest rates when they bought their first house, they look at you like  you have two heads. But it’s 2014 and there is a zero point 30 year fixed rate at 4.875%.  Pretty good.  The values of homes are rising again and home owners are looking at  increased equity. Buyers are coming out of hibernation but are still a little unsure of how to go about that purchase. One thing that is  a must, is that both buyers and sellers have to be reasonable in negotiating.
Credit is still a concern but there are programs to address the buyer with as little as 580 credit score. How can that be? I have always said that there are only a few ways that banks can make money. The  main way is to lend it. The refinance boom is over for lenders. That means they have to go after purchasers of homes who need mortgages. Now is a great time to be a buyer and negotiate with a lender for a great rate.  For a really concise explanation of the current market and what you might need for a down payment and minimum credit scores  for  potential buyers, listen to this podcast.

There is no getting away  from the financial trauma we all experienced over the last several years, but the housing market is coming back and there is no better investment for the average family. The volatility of the stock market is something that a lot of us just don’t want to risk, at least not right now. There’s something about an”Inverted Yield Curve” that leaves me wondering what it all means. Call me for housing info at 6107372310. Or email me at my new email address salvatoreruta13@gmail.com

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12 Ways to Lower Your Homeowners Insurance Costs

Posted on: February 11th, 2012 by admin

12 Ways to Lower Your Homeowners Insurance Costs

Prepared by Insurance Information Institute

Presented as a public service by Salvatore Ruta and Prudential Choice Properties

The price you pay for your homeowners insurance can vary by hundreds of dollars, depending on the insurance company you buy your policy from. Here are some things to consider when buying homeowners insurance.
1. Shop Around.It’ll take some time, but could save you a good sum of money. Ask your friends, check the Yellow Pages or contact your state insurance department. (Phone numbers and Web sites are listed here.) National Association of Insurance Commissioners (www.naic.org) has information to help you choose an insurer in your state, including complaints. States often make information available on typical rates charged by major insurers and many states provide the frequency of consumer complaints by company.Also check consumer guides, insurance agents, companies and online insurance quote services. This will give you an idea of price ranges and tell you which companies have the lowest prices. But don’t consider price alone. The insurer you select should offer a fair price and deliver the quality service you would expect if you needed assistance in filing a claim. So in assessing service quality, use the complaint information cited above and talk to a number of insurers to get a feeling for the type of service they give. Ask them what they would do to lower your costs.Check the financial stability of the companies you are considering with rating companies such as A.M. Best (www.ambest.com) and Standard & Poor’s (www.standardandpoors.com) and consult consumer magazines. When you’ve narrowed the field to three insurers, get price quotes.2. Raise Your Deductible.Deductibles are the amount of money you have to pay toward a loss before your insurance company starts to pay a claim, according to the terms of your policy. The higher your deductible, the more money you can save on your premiums. Nowadays, most insurance companies recommend a deductible of at least $500. If you can afford to raise your deductible to $1,000, you may save as much as 25 percent. Remember, if you live in a disaster-prone area, your insurance policy may have a separate deductible for certain kinds of damage. If you live near the coast in the East, you may have a separate windstorm deductible; if you live in a state vulnerable to hail storms, you may have a separate deductible for hail; and if you live in an earthquake-prone area, your earthquake policy has a deductible.3. Dont confuse what you paid for your house with rebuilding costs.The land under your house isn’t at risk from theft, windstorm, fire and the other perils covered in your homeowners policy. So don’t include its value in deciding how much homeowners insurance to buy. If you do, you will pay a higher premium than you should.4. Buy your home and auto policies from the same insurer.

Some companies that sell homeowners, auto and liability coverage will take 5 to 15 percent off your premium if you buy two or more policies from them. But make certain this combined price is lower than buying the different coverages from different companies.

5. Make your home more disaster resistant.

Find out from your insurance agent or company representative what steps you can take to make your home more resistant to windstorms and other natural disasters. You may be able to save on your premiums by adding storm shutters, reinforcing your roof or buying stronger roofing materials. Older homes can be retrofitted to make them better able to withstand earthquakes. In addition, consider modernizing your heating, plumbing and electrical systems to reduce the risk of fire and water damage.

6. Improve your home security.

You can usually get discounts of at least 5 percent for a smoke detector, burglar alarm or dead-bolt locks. Some companies offer to cut your premium by as much as 15 or 20 percent if you install a sophisticated sprinkler system and a fire and burglar alarm that rings at the police, fire or other monitoring stations. These systems aren’t cheap and not every system qualifies for a discount. Before you buy such a system, find out what kind your insurer recommends, how much the device would cost and how much you’d save on premiums.

7. Seek out other discounts.

Companies offer several types of discounts, but they don’t all offer the same discount or the same amount of discount in all states. For example, since retired people stay at home more than working people they are less likely to be burglarized and may spot fires sooner, too. Retired people also have more time for maintaining their homes. If you’re at least 55 years old and retired, you may qualify for a discount of up to 10 percent at some companies. Some employers and professional associations administer group insurance programs that may offer a better deal than you can get elsewhere.

8. Maintain a good credit record.

Establishing a solid credit history can cut your insurance costs. Insurers are increasingly using credit information to price homeowners insurance policies. In most states, your insurer must advise you of any adverse action, such as a higher rate, at which time you should verify the accuracy of the information on which the insurer relied. To protect your credit standing, pay your bills on time, don’t obtain more credit than you need and keep your credit balances as low as possible. Check your credit record on a regular basis and have any errors corrected promptly so that your record remains accurate.

9. Stay with the same insurer.

If you’ve kept your coverage with a company for several years, you may receive a special discount for being a long-term policyholder. Some insurers will reduce their premiums by 5 percent if you stay with them for three to five years and by 10 percent if you remain a policyholder for six years or more. But make certain to periodically compare this price with that of other policies.

10. Review the limits in your policy and the value of your possessions at least once a year.

You want your policy to cover any major purchases or additions to your home. But you don’t want to spend money for coverage you don’t need. If your five-year-old fur coat is no longer worth the $5,000 you paid for it, you’ll want to reduce or cancel your floater (extra insurance for items whose full value is not covered by standard homeowners policies such as expensive jewelry, high-end computers and valuable art work) and pocket the difference.

11. Look for private insurance if you are in a government plan.

If you live in a high-risk area — say, one that is especially vulnerable to coastal storms, fires, or crime — and have been buying your homeowners insurance through a government plan, you should check with an insurance agent or company representative or contact your state department of insurance for the names of companies that might be interested in your business. You may find that there are steps you can take that would allow you to buy insurance at a lower price in the private market.

12. When youre buying a home, consider the cost of homeowners insurance.

You may pay less for insurance if you buy a house close to a fire hydrant or in a community that has a professional rather than a volunteer fire department. It may also be cheaper if your home’s electrical, heating and plumbing systems are less than 10 years old. If you live in the East, consider a brick home because it’s more wind resistant. If you live in an earthquake-prone area, look for a wooden frame house because it is more likely to withstand this type of disaster. Choosing wisely could cut your premiums by 5 to 15 percent.

Check the CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) report of the home you are thinking of buying. These reports contain the insurance claim history of the property and can help you judge some of the problems the house may have.

Remember that flood insurance and earthquake damage are not covered by a standard homeowners policy. If you buy a house in a flood-prone area, you’ll have to pay for a flood insurance policy that costs an average of $400 a year. The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides useful information on flood insurance on its Web site at FloodSmart.gov. A separate earthquake policy is available from most insurance companies. The cost of the coverage will depend on the likelihood of earthquakes in your area. In California the California Earthquake Authority (www.earthquakeauthority.com) provides this coverage.

If you have questions about insurance for any of your possessions, be sure to ask your agent or company representative when you’re shopping around for a policy. For example, if you run a business out of your home, be sure to discuss coverage for that business. Most homeowners policies cover business equipment in the home, but only up to $2,500 and they offer no business liability insurance. Although you want to lower your homeowners insurance cost, you also want to make certain you have all the coverage you need.

samruta@yahoo.com

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About Lead Based Paint

Posted on: January 20th, 2012 by admin

 

clip_image002Lead is a highly toxic metal that may cause a range of health problems, especially in young children. When lead is absorbed into the body, it can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs, like the kidneys, nerves and blood. Lead may also cause behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures and in extreme cases, death. Some symptoms of lead poisoning may include headaches, stomachaches, nausea, tiredness and irritability. Children who are lead poisoned may show no symptoms.

Both inside and outside the home, deteriorated lead-paint mixes with household dust and soil and becomes tracked in. Children may become lead poisoned by:

· Putting their hands or other lead-contaminated objects into their mouths,

· Eating paint chips found in homes with peeling or flaking lead- based paint, or

· Playing in lead-contaminated soil

Take a moment to look at the brochure “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home” for additional information (available in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Somali and Arabic).

What can you do?

If your home was built before 1978:

· Wipe down flat surfaces, like window sills, with a damp paper towel and throw away the paper towel,

· Mop smooth floors (using a damp mop) weekly to control dust, Take off shoes when entering the house

· Vacuum carpets and upholstery to remove dust,

· If possible, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter or a “higher efficiency” collection bag,

· Pick up loose paint chips carefully with a paper towel and discard in the trash, then wipe the surface clean

· Take precautions to avoid creating lead dust when remodeling, renovating or maintaining your home,

· Test for lead hazards by a lead professional. (Have the soil tested too).


For your child:

· Have your child’s blood lead level tested at age 1 and 2. Children from 3 to 6 years of age should have their blood tested, if they have not been tested before and:

· clip_image004They live in or regularly visit a house built before 1950,

· They live in or regularly visit a house built before 1978 with on-going or recent renovations or remodeling

· They have a sibling or playmate who has or did have lead poisoning

· Frequently wash your child’s hands and toys to reduce contact with dust,

· Use cold tap water for drinking and cooking

· Avoid using home remedies (such as arzacon, greta, pay- loo-ah, or litargirio) and cosmetics (such as kohl or alkohl) that contain lead

· Certain candies, such as tamarindo candy jam products from

· Mexico, may contain high levels of lead in the wrapper or stick. Be cautious when providing imported candies to children

· Some tableware, particularly folk terra cotta plates and bowls from Latin America, may contain high levels of lead that can leach into food.

The brochures are free. Download it here.

http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/leadpdfe.pdf

Call me at 610-737-2310 for any questions or email me at samruta@yahoo.com

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Down payment gift a leg up to home ownership, but know tax rules

Posted on: January 7th, 2012 by admin

Every body is scrambling for ways to come up with cash. Well there are ways to get that down payment for the dream house. Here again the folks from the National Association of Realtors give some great advice but also issue some warning of the tax man cometh. Thanks to Dona DeZube for some great info.

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2012 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

There is just a plethora of information available on what’s out there for you. I’ll do my best to get it to you as fast as I can. Again if you have any questions give me a call or email me at samruta@yahoo.com. Remember its Spring Time. You know the way the weather has been lately, it really is Spring Time.

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5 tips to consider if you are facing a Short Sale

Posted on: January 4th, 2012 by admin No Comments

Jan 1. Its spring time as far as I am concerned. The Spring Real Estate Market, that is. It was 20 degrees when I walked out the door, but I could hear the Robins singing. I know a lot of you are thinking “Can I sell my house? Whats the market like? What’s my house worth?  Time to do a little research. First of all if you want to talk to someone about it, give me a call. Glad to listen first and then I’ll ask you some questions. But here thanks to the National Association of Realtors are some useful tips in getting started in thinking about this Short Sale Business. Also listen to the podcast on this subject if you are considering buying a Short Sale property. Email me with any questions at: samruta@yahoo.com[audio:http://www.rutaramblings.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Foreclosures-and-Short-Sales11.mp3|titles=Foreclosures and Short Sales]

What to do if You’re Facing a Short Sale

 

If you’re thinking of selling your home, and you expect that the total amount you owe on your mortgage will be greater than the selling price of your home, you may be facing a short sale. A short sale is one where the net proceeds from the sale won’t cover your total mortgage obligation and closing costs, and you don’t have other sources of money to cover the deficiency. A short sale is different from a foreclosure, which is when your lender takes title of your home through a lengthy legal process and then sells it.

 

1. Consider loan modification first. If you are thinking of selling your home because of financial difficulties and you anticipate a short sale, first contact your lender to see if it has any programs to help you stay in your home. Your lender may agree to a modification such as: Refinancing your loan at a lower interest rate; providing a different payment plan to help you get caught up; or providing a forbearance period if your situation is temporary. When a loan modification still isn’t enough to relieve your financial problems, a short sale could be your best option if:

  • Your property is worth less than the total mortgage you owe on it.
  • You have a financial hardship, such as a job loss or major medical bills.
  • You have contacted your lender and it is willing to entertain a short sale.

 

2. Hire a qualified team. The first step to a short sale is to hire a qualified real estate professional and a real estate attorney who specialize in short sales. Interview at least three candidates for each and look for prior short-sale experience. Short sales have proliferated only in the last few years, so it may be hard to find practitioners who have closed a lot of short sales. You want to work with those who demonstrate a thorough working knowledge of the short-sale process and who won’t try to take advantage of your situation or pressure you to do something that isn’t in your best interest. A qualified real estate professional can:

  • Provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA) or broker price opinion (BPO).
  • Help you set an appropriate listing price for your home, market the home, and get it sold.
  • Put special language in the MLS that indicates your home is a short sale and that lender approval is needed (all MLSs permit, and some now require, that the short-sale status be disclosed to potential buyers).
  • Ease the process of working with your lender or lenders.
  • Negotiate the contract with the buyers.
  • Help you put together the short-sale package to send to your lender (or lenders, if you have more than one mortgage) for approval. You can’t sell your home without your lender and any other lien holders agreeing to the sale and releasing the lien so that the buyers can get clear title.

 

3. Begin gathering documentation before any offers come in. Your lender will give you a list of documents it requires to consider a short sale. The short-sale “package” that accompanies any offer typically must include:

  • A hardship letter detailing your financial situation and why you need the short sale
  • A copy of the purchase contract and listing agreement
  • Proof of your income and assets
  • Copies of your federal income tax returns for the past two years

 

4. Prepare buyers for a lengthy waiting period. Even if you’re well organized and have all the documents in place, be prepared for a long process. Waiting for your lender’s review of the short-sale package can take several weeks to months. Some experts say:

  • If you have only one mortgage, the review can take about two months.
  • With a first and second mortgage with the same lender, the review can take about three months.
  • With two or more mortgages with different lenders, it can take four months or longer.

When the bank does respond, it can approve the short sale, make a counteroffer, or deny the short sale. The last two actions can lengthen the process or put you back at square one. (Your real estate attorney and real estate professional, with your authorization, can work your lender’s loss mitigation department on your behalf to prepare the proper documentation and speed the process along.)

 

5. Don’t expect a short sale to solve your financial problems. Even if your lender does approve the short sale, it may not be the end of all your financial woes. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • You may be asked by your lender to sign a promissory note agreeing to pay back the amount of your loan not paid off by the short sale. If your financial hardship is permanent and you can’t pay back the balance, talk with your real estate attorney about your options.
  • Any amount of your mortgage that is forgiven by your lender is typically considered income, and you may have to pay taxes on that amount. Under a temporary measure passed in 2007, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation Act, homeowners can exclude debt forgiveness on their federal tax returns from income for loans discharged in calendar years 2007 through 2012. Be sure to consult your real estate attorney and your accountant to see whether you qualify.
  • Having a portion of your debt forgiven may have an adverse effect on your credit score. However, a short sale will impact your credit score less than foreclosure and bankruptcy.

Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine (RealtorMag.Realtor.org) with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved

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5 Insider secrets you need to know before you buy a HUD home

Posted on: December 19th, 2011 by admin No Comments

Probably nothing gets me more questions today than the topic of  buying a HUD Home. Here are some quick answers that will help you begin the process of searching out that dream owner occupied or investor owned home.  Any other questions give me a call or e mail me at samruta@yahoo.com

How can I get the most up-to-date HUD Homes listings and find out when new properties come on the market ?

 A new HUD Homes superstore site is the centerpiece of HUD’s new REO program.  www.hudhomestore.com is a one-stop platform containing everything agents and consumers need to know about the HUD REO sales program:

 

  • ·         HUD property information;
  • ·         Property disclosures and addenda;
  • ·         Real estate and consumer registration features;
  • ·         Interactive maps on home page, special programs pages, and property detail pages;
  • ·         Resources and contact information for real estate agents and brokers, consumers, state and local governments, and nonprofit organizations.
  • ·         Consumers can sign up for property alerts and find out when new HUD homes come on the market.

 

2

How do I find a real estate agent who knows about HUD Homes?

 The best place to find a good agent for HUD Homes is right here! That’s why I prepared this report – we aim to help educate buyers about the ins and outs of the HUD Homes sales process. HUD Homes have their own special contracts and their own rules and procedures.

 Not all real estate agents are permitted to sell HUD Homes. Licensed real estate brokers and agents must be registered with HUD prior to submitting bids for HUD Homes.We must renew our application every year to continue to sell HUD Homes.

 HUD Homes are listed in the local multiple listing service. Consumers often have the mistaken impression that any Realtor who is a member of the multiple listing service can sell them a HUD Home. That is not true.

 

 

 

 

3

How can I tell if I am eligible to buy a HUD Home?

 Anyone can purchase a HUD Home who has the financial ability to complete the transaction and meets other criteria. HUD Home Buyers fall into several general categories:

 Owner Occupants have first priority in the bidding process. Owner occupants are purchasers who will live in the home for at least 12 months as a primary residence.

 Investor buyers can purchase HUD Homes during certain bidding periods  following a period of time restricted to owner occupants when no acceptable bids were received at HUD.

 Nonprofits and government agencies have special opportunities for “First Look” at HUD Homes when they come on the market.

 Police officers, firefighters, EMTs and teachers are eligible for 50% on select HUD Homes if they meet certain qualifications in HUD’s Good Neighbor Next Door Program.

 

 

4

Many HUD Homes need repair. Can I include the cost of repairs in my mortgage?

 One of the most wonderful things about buying a HUD Home is financing flexbillity with FHA financing.

 

Most HUD Homes are available with FHA financing. When repairs are necessary there is a special type of financing for that – FHA 203(k). You can include almost any kind of repair using FHA 203(k) financing – roofing, flooring, kitchen and bath remodeling, new appliances, heating systems, windows, and more!

 HUD pulls out all the stops to make it easy for you to get into the house of your dreams.

 You can use any lender you wish. Just be sure your lender finances HUD Homes. FHA lenders are usually the best bet for owner occupant borrowers.

 

 

5

Why do I have to wait a month before I bid on a HUD Home just because I am investor?

 HUD wants to provide homeownership opportunities and stabilize neighborhoods. HUD believes that owner occupied housing is a stabilizing force in neighborhoods.

 Investors have many opportunities to purchase HUD Homes. They become available when the owner occupant bidding period expires and they come on the market regularly when contracts fall apart and properties are re-listed for sale at HudHomeStore.com

 

Seasoned investors who work in the HUD Homes market watch their dates closely and time their bids at the appropriate hour. In a sense, it’s like biddin on eBay following an extended bidding period.

So what are your waiting for? With interest rates at all time lows and with tons of inventory. Better get moving.

 

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A gazillion web sites for my listing? But can you sell my house?

Posted on: November 28th, 2011 by admin No Comments

Technology is  a wonderful thing…. I think. Especially if you are a syndicator or an aggregator. When I think of “Syndicate” I think of the FBI busting a bunch  of guys for running numbers.  When I think of “Aggregator” my brain presumes some secret society  that is revealed on the History Channel.  Hopefully not. Real Estate Syndication is a real estate broker’s ability to send his or her listing for exposure via software to an aggregator site. Sites like Trulia, Zillow ,Realtor. Com.  and Yahoo. That so everyone in the world who is looking for real estate can find your little piece of the American dream on those gazillion sites. You know, so the folks who live in Abu Dhabi can find that 2 story Colonial in Little Rock. This syndication process can happen by the broker individually or through the local Realtor association and MLS(Multiple Listing Service). If the organization does it, they contract with a service to supply the listings for massive distribution to a plethora of web sites, those aggregators I mentioned.

Well there is a lot going on right now regarding  brokers’  desire to continue in the syndicating process through their local association. You see the problem is that if your local Realtor association provides that access for the aggregators, some of those sites gather leads and the sell them back to the broker who has the listing.  Basically paying for leads that come from their inventory but via that third-party who wouldn’t even get the lead if it wasn’t for the brokers listings in the first place.   I apologize for any confusion. It gets worse.

Because of the rise of the internet and over 85% of all buyers starting their home search on-line, this has given rise to an entire digital industry devoted to the marketing of real estate. While it was true that at one time the Multiple Listing Service was primarily a venue to share listings between member brokers, it’s now pretty much a consumer necessity for immediate access to those listings. Thus we have IDX(Internet Data Exchange). Fancy words for sharing all brokers listings on each others web sites. That sharing of info comes through the local association and MLS guided by rules of the National Association of Realtors and their subcommittee on MLS.  The customer in some cases see the houses before other agents do.  In the old days, the really old days, listings came in books or sheets that we had to purge every week or so and then we would send them out to clients.  The customer maybe knew about the house because of an ad in the newspaper….  newspaper??? what’s that? or from the  sign outside or maybe an open house. From the seller side that’s about all they could expect.

Well the big mahoffs of the National Association of Realtors, that would be the board of directors, just met last week in California and decided, effective immediately, that franchisors can no longer upload IDX information from their local franchisees . So if you go to those national franchise sites you are only going to see branded listings from their franchisees. You will only find IDX on the local franchisee site.  It’s important to note that IDX is not Syndication. The brokers certainly have the option to continue to syndicate on their own to the aggregators sites. As Saul Klein ,CEO of Point2 Technologies and InternetCrusade, indicates in a really good presentation “It’s about distribution and not destination” See the link below.

Saul Klein Article

From what I gather there is a movement afoot to just bail out of  MLS and the Realtor Associations. The large franchisors  and Independents think with their own websites and huge marketing departments that they can capture the buyer on their own and not have to pay an outsider any fee. Syndication will continue without the aid of the local association and IDX. This movement doesn’t have much traction right now but who knows.In tough economic times I certainly can appreciate these actions.

But the big question is, how are the sellers and buyers going to take this?  It’s been pretty much  standard fare to offer sellers as much internet exposure as possible. If you are a seller you need to be asking your agent about a detailed internet marketing plan he or she has in mind. Where do their companies or franchises stand on this issue? And of course what is the total marketing plan? i.e. open houses,  videos, and social media, radio, tv, etc.

As far as buyers go we know they want pictures and videos of  houses on-line. The Realtor. Com site will allow a few pictures but as an agent you have the ability to purchase an “enhanced site” that will allow you to put several  pictures on-line with your picture and contact information. But it costs the agent a lot. If you carry a large inventory in this market it could run the agent several thousands of dollars a year. In a lot of cases the broker is picking up the tab for the entire company. If you are a buyer and you are on a company or national franchise site are you seeing all the listings in your area or the area you might be relocating to?

All in all it is very confusing. I am not proposing any answers here but it is certainly something we as agents need to be aware of. Our sellers have come to expect a full marketing program that includes  total internet exposure through many web sites.  The buyers of today want one stop shopping. If companies start to pull out of traditional boards and MLSs ,what kind of business relationships will develop to keep the flow of properties coming between those companies that stay and those that don’t? Right now, not a lot of answers. Some how I don’t think this one is going to be easy or short-term.

My web site

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