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Real Estate News

Hot Home Trend: Stylish Cowhide

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine From rustic to modern to even the most luxurious interiors, homeowners are sprucing up their spaces with cowhide. Cowhide rugs have seen one of the biggest jumps in Google searches on home design trends over the last decade, according to Digital Third Coast’s latest design trends study, based on […]

Hot Home Trend: Vertical Gardens

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Want to add some greenery or a garden to a backyard but tight on space? Try a vertical garden. By going up with your plants instead of spreading them out, you’ll be able to squeeze a garden in even the smallest of spots. Vertical gardens are considered a hot […]

Which Remodeling Personality Type Are You?

What’s your home improvement persona: The Sensible Improver, the Project Planner, the Reliable Renovator, the Visionary, or the Extrovert? View this infographic from the Home Projects Council to learn the five main home remodeling personality types. Read more here:: Styled, Staged & Sold

Show Us Your Best Staging Photos!

Calling all stagers! Realtor Magazine is on the lookout for great examples of staging a space in some of today’s most popular home styles, from farmhouse chic to modern or contemporary. I’m looking for some real estate professionals and stagers who would be willing to show off some of their favorite staging styles. If you […]

How Suburbanization Impacts Rural Home Loans

Federally backed home loans from the Rural Housing Service have been called one of the the government’s best kept secrets because buyers can get safe, affordable mortgage financing in areas where few other loan options are available. The underwriting requirements are considered both strong and reasonable, and, maybe most important, homes that wouldn’t be eligible […]

Light it Up: Add a Party Vibe to Your Outdoor Staging

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Outdoor lighting isn’t just for the holidays. You can illuminate your outdoor living areas anytime of year. Stringed bulbs are becoming a “hot” outdoor trend this year. These outdoor clear, vintage lights have big rounded bulbs that can really create a festive flair in a backyard. They’re reminiscent of […]

Infrastructure Improvement Means Real Estate Activity

When the Trump administration released its $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan last month, it set in motion a multi-year process that could eventually lead to considerable investment in communities. Of course, Congress must pass legislation to make much of it happen. Although there are some parts that the administration can do on its own, a lot […]

Audio: Dealing with Cyberthreats

Steve Spano, president and chief operating officer of the Center for Internet Security, recently visited NAR’s Washington offices to discuss techniques real estate professionals can employ to stay safe online. Listen to his comments below. Read more here:: Speaking of Real Estate

Hot Home Trend: Bring on the Velvet

Photo Credit: Pulte Homes By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine We’re seeing a revival of the 1960s love for velvet in home décor. Velvet has been making its way into more fashion and now it’s expected to make a bigger splash in home décor in 2018. This heavier fabric can add some luster to a […]

Yes, Interest on Home Equity Loans is Still Deductible

There’s been confusion since the big tax law was enacted over the deductibility of interest on home equity loans. NAR has been saying that the interest is still deductible for the part of the loan that’s used for home repairs, renovations, and additions. And that’s the correct interpretation, according to the IRS. The agency confirmed […]

2018 Home Trends to Guide Your Staging

Article Submitted by Fixr.com Before you’re able to successfully stage a home for sale, you need to understand your target audience, and the kinds of things they’re looking for in a home. Home buyers today are much more savvy than previous generations; they know what they want, and they’re willing to wait to get it. […]

Hot Home Trend: Go Big With Your Tile

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Supersized tiles are making over more floors, and this may be welcome news to many homeowners. Large format tiles means less grout to clean. The large tile trend may be partially motivated out of function, not just aesthetics. More homeowners are experimenting with larger tile sizes, whether with porcelain, […]

What’s the Right Way to Structure a Marketing Service Agreement?

Real estate practitioners entering into marketing service agreements with lenders, title companies, and other settlement service providers is a well-established practice, but a recent court decision shows why you have to structure these agreements the right way. An appellate court just ruled that it’s okay for a mortgage lender to refer business to mortgage insurers […]

Styling Tips to ‘Wow’ Spring-Time Home Buyers

By Patti Stern, PJ & Co. Staging and Interior Decorating The new year and the upcoming spring season brings with it a fresh outlook and new beginnings. What will prospective home buyers be thinking about while searching for their new “happy place”? For sellers preparing their homes to sell this spring, that means engaging buyers […]

7 Ways to Add More Romance to a Home’s Decor

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Love is in the air with Valentine’s Day this week. But a romantic flair to warm up your home design may very well be in style year-round. In fact, one-third of homeowners say they intended to renovate their master bedrooms to create a more romantic or intimate space, according […]

Hot Home Trend: Florals Are Dressing Up Interiors

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Consider adding more floral patterns into your staging. It’s bold and trendy, home designers say. Floral prints are seeing a revival in home design, according to the design community on Houzz, a home renovation and design platform. In fact, they are calling florals one of the hottest home design […]

Stagers Who Stand Ready to Transform Properties

By Audra Slinkey, Home Staging Resource A lot of people don’t realize just how much home stagers do for their clients. Certified professional home stagers are true artists and will go to great lengths to get that “right look,” as well as help seller’s maximize the return impact on the sale of their home. Here […]

Robots are Starting to Do Showings

A company called Zenplace in San Francisco is using robots to help its agents conduct showings. When people arrive at the unit, they’re greeted by what amounts to an iPad on a mobile stand that leads them around, but it’s personalized; it’s the agent’s image and voice that people see and hear. Other companies are […]

Do Personality Assessments Work? Sometimes.

@maialisa, 2016. pixabay.com I’ve always been skeptical of personality assessments. After taking the DISC twice—once getting a D/C and more recently getting a high, nearly even I/D—I found that both results matched my personality on some levels and conflicted on others. This is where my skepticism come in. There’s truth in assessments to varying degrees. […]

Hot Home Trend: Black Is Back

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Black is getting popular in home design. Black fixtures, appliances, and even black furniture are emerging as one of the hottest trends in the new year. Black fixtures are replacing brass or rubbed bronze as a trendy home hardware in 2018. Black makes a great finish because it goes […]

A Closer Look at CES’s Game Changers

At CES 2018, the consumer electronics’ mega show in Las Vegas this week, I hung out with robots, tried out the latest VR headsets, and talked—yes, talked—to a host of appliances, from a bathroom mirror to a refrigerator. After scouring the show floor, I found several products this year that hold real potential to shake […]

Get Smarter About Smart Homes

Consumers are increasingly curious about smart home technology, and they’re turning to real estate agents as a vital resource for information. Forty-two percent of consumers recently surveyed say they would look to their real estate agent to provide suggestions about how staging their home with smart-home products could impact their sale, according to a new […]

#CES2018: Tech Up Your Style

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine The mega consumer electronic showcase, CES, lands in Las Vegas this week. It may not be the place you typically go to for décor trends, but technology is having an undeniable influence in home design, like see-through refrigerators and smart lighting. Consumers look to you for expertise too. Forty-two […]

CES2018: Smart Homes, Robots, and More

The technology industry’s mega event, known as CES, kicks off in Las Vegas this week, and thousands of companies are gearing up to show off their latest innovations. And this year’s trade show promises plenty for the real estate industry as well. This will be my third run covering CES from Las Vegas, and it’s […]

White Kitchen Fatigue?

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Are homeowners growing tired of the all-white kitchen? Some design experts believe so. White kitchens have been popular over the past few years, but Houzz editor and writer Mitchell Parker predicts that the number of homeowners who will get “white-kitchen fatigue” will grow in the new year. Some homeowners […]

2018 Outdoor Living Trends: Jaw-Dropping Transformations

By Audra Slinkey, Home Staging Resource Outdoor patio spaces have sure changed in the last few years with the onset of new outdoor materials, furnishings, fixtures, Cantina doors, and the home owner’s desire for more outdoor living and entertaining space. In fact, according to the 2017 National Association of REALTORS’ Profile of Home Staging report, […]

The Forecast: 2018 Trends in Staging

By Mary Purcell, MoneyGeek.com Home staging has gone mainstream and is now widely used to make a home more attractive to potential buyers. According to a 2017 survey by the National Association of REALTORS®, a majority of real estate professionals believe staging increases the sale price of the home anywhere from 1 to 15 percent. […]

White Emerges as ‘It’ Color for Holiday Staging

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine White has become a classy go-to color this holiday season, and it’s perfect when staging a home during the holidays. Whether it’s white table linens, holiday stockings, ornaments, or even an all-white tree, the neutral color can be a way to decorate a home for-sale during the holidays without […]

Tips on Christmas Decor Home Staging

By Merri Cvetan, guest contributor If you’re staging your home during this time of the year, adding a bit of holiday cheer to your decor can make a big impression on potential buyers. Use these tips to create a simple, polished look that puts your home in its best light this holiday season. Choose the […]

Hot Home Trend: Bamboo Everything!

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Bamboo is making its way into more home interiors. From flooring, window treatments to wall accents, furnishings and more, this sustainable material is popping up everywhere. Some designers are making bamboo their go-to material, which RISMedia recently highlighted in the article “4 Reasons Why Bamboo Is Taking Home Décor […]

Charity Deduction Faces Same Tax Reform Risk as MID

Of all the itemized deductions, the one for charitable contributions might seem to come out the best under tax reform. That’s because it’s the only deduction under both the House and the Senate versions of the bill that is largely undiminished. And yet charities complain donations will dry up under tax reform. What gives? “Provisions […]

Smarten Up Your Showings With Smart Home Technology

By Christy Matte, guest contributor Smart homes with security and automation features are becoming a hot trend, and they can be an exciting way to dazzle prospective home buyers (and up your staging efforts to a high-tech level at the same time). But if buyers have never experienced an automated home environment, rattling off a […]

Hot Home Trend: The Statement Shower

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine The shower in the master bathroom is getting a lot more attention. In fact, it’s one of the main splurges among renovating homeowners, according to the 2017 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study. These “statement showers,” as Houzz dubs them in its report, include high-tech features, like rainfall showerheads, dual […]

Don’t Just Sell a Home; Market a Lifestyle

Kevin Tengan told attendees at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo to remember that home buyers are looking for “a place for their life to happen.” To help your listing stand out from the competition, focus on the lifestyle the property will help buyers achieve, in addition to common details such as square footage and number […]

View the Possibilities With Virtual Staging

By Brian Balduf, VHT Studios Appealing to home buyers is all about making that emotional connection. Smart marketers know emotions trump other factors, especially when you hear buyers say the listing “just feels right.” They may be searching for a new house, but they’re envisioning their next home. Buyers’ emotional experience while home shopping is […]

‘This is Our Moment. Own it.’

“Are you ready to own it with me?” asked Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation REALTOR® and the sixth woman to become president of the National Association of REALTORS® in the past 110 years. “We absolutely have the power to make a difference.” Mendenhall was sworn into office by her father Richard Mendenhall, who was 2001 NAR […]

Your New Real Estate Motto: ‘Helping Beats Selling’

Marketing Expert Kelly McDonald offers indispensable advice for connecting with prospects and clients. Think of the U.S. as a “salad bowl”—rather than a “melting pot”—that integrates many different cultures as you develop marketing strategies to reach a diverse set of prospects and clients. Marketing expert and author Kelly McDonald offered attendees a range of tips […]

Use Plants to Showcase a Healthier Home

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine You can clean the air with plants. And in an age when “healthy home” is what so many buyers are saying they crave, you may find this a cheaper alternative to improving the air quality in a home by just being smarter about the plants you choose to stage […]

Sal Giunta’s Strive for More

By Lauren Tussey Sal Giunta To kick off the final day of the 2017 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Chicago, Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta spoke about his journey from 18-year-old Subway employee to a service member earning the highest award available to members of the U.S. military. “We are all in this world together. We […]

5 Ways to Be a Better Neighbor

From left, Good Neighbors Louise McLean, Bryson Garbett, Howard Hanna, Kay Wilson-Bolton, and Sal Dimiceli. For communities to be strong, neighbors must unite and contribute to the overall well-being of their areas. But you don’t have to lead a charity or be an activist to make a positive impact where you live. REALTOR® Magazine’s 2017 […]

Phelps Opens Up About Goal-Setting, Mental Health

Capping a General Session featuring inspiration from Good Neighbor Award winners, the REALTORS® Relief Foundation, REALTORS® of the Year, and cooperating associations from more than 60 countries from all over the world, National Association of REALTORS® President-Elect Elizabeth Mendenhall was especially excited to welcome retired Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps to the stage. “Swimming is […]

Should MLSs Be Required to Have a Waiver Policy?

A long-simmering proposal colloquially known as “MLS of Choice” moved forward today as an official recommendation to the Board of Directors from the 2017 Multiple Listing Issues & Policies Committee. The recommendation put forward by the committee would require that MLSs allow agents to choose which MLS(s) they want to subscribe to. Also referred to […]

3 Commercial Real Estate Trends to Watch in 2018

At the Commercial Economic Issues & Trends Forum on Friday, attendees got insights into how the economy and real estate market will interact over the next couple of years. Here are a few takeaways that can help guide your decision-making and investment moves in 2018, fresh from the 2017 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Chicago. […]

Invest in Your Agents First

Leigh Brown and Steve Murray share a lighthearted moment at the Broker Idea Exchange Council panel discussion at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo. If brokerages want to remain profitable in the future, they have to go back to basics—especially when it comes to agent recruitment and retention. A panel of four powerhouse real estate veterans […]

REALTORS® and Habitat for the Win

This Wednesday and Thursday, the REALTORS® Volunteer Build returned to Chicago, where it began in 2001. Learn how NAR members partnered with Habitat for Humanity and other volunteers to create more homeownership opportunities in West Pullman in REALTOR® Magazine’s Daily News. For a tour of the site, check out this playback of our Facebook Live […]

Learn How to Speak ‘Millennial’ in a Live-Streamed Session

We’re proud to present REALTOR® Magazine’s very first conference session! It’s going to be a fast-paced presentation featuring real-world examples, expert advice, and concrete steps to produce marketing language that will appeal to younger clients. Our panelists range from a current member of REALTOR® Magazine’s 30 Under 30 class to the creative director of a […]

Welcome to Chicago, REALTORS®

It’s been 16 years since the National Association of REALTORS® hosted its annual Conference & Expo in Chicago. But now it’s back with anticipation reminiscent of a long-awaited Star Wars episode: Return of the REALTORS®. So, welcome back to the “City of the Big Shoulders,” a fitting setting for the 20,000 real estate professionals and […]

Styled, Staged & Sold Earns Some Props

Thank you to our loyal readers and top-industry contributors for helping to make Styled, Staged & Sold the top ranked “home staging blog on the planet!” Feedspot, a news RSS reader, ranked Styled, Staged & Sold number-one out of 100 staging blogs. Feedspot used the following criteria to rank the blogs: Google reputation and Google […]

How to Make It Onto the Cover of REALTOR® Magazine

One of the questions REALTOR® Magazine staff hears most often in casual conversation with members is, “How can I get my photo on the cover of the magazine?” Well—as past NAR presidents, Good Neighbor Award winners, and a few 30 Under 30 honorees can attest—it’s not easy. That’s why we decided a few years ago […]

4 Home Staging Horror Stories to Haunt You This Halloween

By Jessica Santina, guest contributor from MoneyGeek.com As little ghosts and ghouls appear on every corner, how about settling in for a few scary stories of home staging horrors? The following tales of botched staging jobs, homeowners from hell, and nightmarish décor will likely give you some real-life shivers. The Scary Screamer Lori Matzke, owner […]

How to Choose the Right Stain for Hardwood Floors

By Glenn Griffin, guest contributor One of the most commonly asked questions people have when restoring their hardwood floors is: “Should I stain my floor?” That question is closely followed by: “What color stain should I choose?” Photo by Delaware Valley Hardwoods Staining your floors is a major decision for three reasons: 1) Your choice […]

What Does President Trump’s Association Health Plan Executive Order Do?

The executive order President Trump signed on Oct. 12 to expand association health plans (AHPs) is of interest to REALTORS® because NAR has a longstanding interest in these types of health plans. But it’s important for real estate professionals to know what the executive order does and doesn’t do. First, it doesn’t itself expand association […]

7 Secrets for Adding a Finishing Touch to Your Staging

Photo credit: Blinds.com By Katie Laird, guest contributor When staging a home for an open house, you can transform a space from an unimpressive, run-of-the-mill property to one with a “wow” factor. But without a little extra attention to detail, even the most professionally staged homes can leave something to be desired. Don’t let staging […]

Why Doubling the Standard Deduction Won’t Help Most Homeowners

One of the most talked-about provisions in the tax reform framework that the Trump Administration and Republican congressional leadership released a few weeks ago is the doubling of the standard deduction. Of all the changes the framework would make, this one is presented as something that will help middle-income households. And that is true, but […]

Sherwin Williams’ Pick for 2018’s Hottest Color

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine A rich blue with jewel-toned greens is forecasted to be 2018’s hottest color of the year, according to Sherwin Williams, which unveiled its 2018 Color of the Year choice this week. Other paint companies will be announcing their paint choices over the next few weeks. Oceanside SW 6496 is […]

If You’re In a Hurricane-Hit Area, the Federal Government Might Have a Job for You

The U.S. Small Business Administration is looking for damage verifiers in the parts of Texas and Florida that were hit by hurricanes. Damage verifiers are people who use their knowledge about real estate to give the agency their assessment of how much damage a structure sustained in the storm. By one estimate, almost 150,000 structures […]

Add Some Pumpkin Spice to Your Autumn Staging

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine It’s pumpkin season and that means pumpkin everything — lattes, muffins, cookies, cakes, and, yes, even home décor. Home stagers are adding a little “pumpkin spice” to their decor, from the welcoming fall scent to pumpkin accents that inspire a cozy, autumn feel. Plus, orange can serve as a […]

Why You Should Stage a Cozy Fire Pit Area

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Fire features, like outdoor fire pits and fire tables, are in demand. The National Association of Landscape Professionals calls it one of the hottest landscape trends for the fall, based on a recent survey of 5,000 of its member landscapers. These hot-spots can be a great way to show […]

Small Markets See 4% Gain in Commercial Property Sales

Smaller commercial properties in secondary markets are still attracting buyers at good prices, but demand for big-market mega-properties appears to be easing, NAR second-quarter data suggest. Large markets saw a 5 percent annual decline in sales, while smaller markets saw a sales boost of 4 percent. “Shrinking cap rates and the higher interest rate environment […]

What to Do if Your Home Doesn’t Sell

By Patti Stern, PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating Has your property been on the market for months with little buyer interest? With a competitive fall market ahead, it may help to reassess the condition of your home, make necessary updates, then re-list a new and improved staged property to generate new buzz and […]

25% of Male Agents Carry a Gun

Safety is a concern in the real estate industry and it’s not limited to female agents. Recent NAR survey data show that a quarter of men in the business carry a gun to protect themselves. The survey is based on a sample of the NAR membership. Almost 49,000 members were sent the survey and a […]

We Know We Need Housing and How to Get It. Unfortunately, That’s Where We Stop

Chuck Reed The United States has a housing shortage. That’s why home prices are rising faster than what many people can afford. But in California, the housing shortage is a crisis. Many people want to live and work in the state, but developers have little incentive to build housing the average person can afford, especially […]

7 Surprising Household Items You Can Use for DIY

By Jeffrey Ill, guest contributor The “Property Brothers” Drew and Jonathan Scott have teamed up with Esurance to create “DIY Ditties,” a series of humorous videos that offer tricks to fixing common household items. Whether it’s a clogged shower drain, crayon-graffiti walls, or rusted chrome on your beloved ride, keeping up with maintenance can seem […]

Top Entryway Decor Ideas for 2017

By Katherine Medlin, guest contributor The entryway is a significant space within a home — it’s the first thing a potential buyer sees, and it sets the stage for the whole vibe of the home. Buyers can form opinions on a home within seconds of opening that front door. Your clients can make a few […]

See Inside a Listing Styled by a Former White House Decorator

Submitted by TopTenRealEstateDeals.com Photos Contributed by TopTenRealEstateDeals.com As President Obama’s time in office neared its last months in 2016, their future home outside the White House was a frequent guessing game in celebrity real estate media. Most of the rumors were that the Obamas were buying a new family home in Hawaii, Palm Springs, New […]

Sponsor Post and Webinar: Win Listings and Sell Them Quickly with 3-D and VR Technology

Real estate professionals looking to outsell their competition are turning to 3-D and virtual reality technology to help them win listings, connect with home buyers —and close sales. Among the options is an all-in-one media solution from Matterport that enables agents and brokers to create dynamic 3-D house tours with embedded video and audio, immersive […]

See Inside a Listing Styled by a Former White House Decorator

Submitted by TopTenRealEstateDeals.com Photos Contributed by TopTenRealEstateDeals.com As President Obama’s time in office neared its last months in 2016, their future home outside the White House was a frequent guessing game in celebrity real estate media. Most of the rumors were that the Obamas were buying a new family home in Hawaii, Palm Springs, New […]

Typical Commercial Agent Now Makes $120,800

Commercial prices continue to head up, at least among smaller properties in secondary and tertiary markets. As a result, the typical commercial agent is making $120,800, an 11 percent increase from the previous year, when the median income was $108,500. The income gains come even as agents on average are doing fewer deals, eight as […]

8 Home Projects with a High ROI

Article Submitted by Fixr.com With warmer weather and longer days, summer is the ideal time of year to take on a project in or around your home. Many contractors and other pros often find this time of year a little slower, as many homeowners are waiting until fall to tackle big interior projects, which means […]

Watercolors on Walls? You Bet!

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Want to make a bigger statement with a wall? Watercolor wallpaper can add some pizzazz and wispiness to an otherwise blah wall in the home. Pinterest called watercolor wallpaper one of the hottest trends that emerged from its home design survey in the U.K., in which the site analyzed […]

5 Ideas to Increase the Value of a Basement

Photo courtesy Shannon Dittmann Article Submitted by Fixr.com The basement doesn’t just have to be a space to throw all of that extra storage. Show it as usable space, and it may even help you increase the value of the home. Basement remodels typically recoup about 70 percent of their costs at time of resale, […]

Hot Home Trend to Watch: The Two-Toned Kitchen

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Two-toned colored kitchens are gaining popularity this year. White and gray painted cabinets are dominating kitchen color schemes, according to the 2017 Kitchen & Bath Design Trends survey conducted by the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Particularly gray-toned kitchen cabinets are seeing a surge in popularity lately. Photo by […]

Are you Using Virtual Reality to Win More Buyers and Sellers? Learn How to Get Started

Matterport, a virtual reality company, contributed to this post to let agents and brokers know about a free e-book on using virtual reality in real estate that it’s making available. Top real estate agents and brokers agree—virtual reality is the future of real estate. With incredible ease and accessibility, home buyers can have the immersive […]

Is $600 for Staging Worth It? A Report Says Yes

How much sellers spend to stage their home will vary by where they are and what they have done, but generally speaking they can expect to pay about $600. Staging tends to break out into three categories: 1) The consultation, which can run between $300 and $600, depending on home size, home location, and so […]

That Small Backyard Can Still Be a Selling Point

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Don’t underestimate the power of a space based on its size. Sure, your listing may be size-challenged in the yard department, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be a showpiece. “As building lots continue to be smaller and scarcer, lot preparation with the goal of maximizing livable outdoor […]

Social Media’s Power Is Tempered by Risk, Expert Says

Even as organizations have embraced tweets, Facebook posts and other social media tools as central elements of their communications strategies, many are not paying enough attention to making sure the information they put out sends the message they intend. The result has been a slew of embarrassing, offensive and otherwise inappropriate information that organizations have […]

The Best Homes for ‘Porching’

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Porching is gaining a following. And as the summer heats up, who doesn’t want to hang out on a cozy, stylish front porch or veranda while reading, sipping wine, or saying “hello” to neighbors as they pass by? Some houses were just made for porching too. Check out some […]

Learn How Tax Reform Might Affect Your Business

Health care is on top of the Senate’s agenda right now but tax reform is not far behind. The exact shape of reform won’t be known until a proposal is put forward, but lawmakers in the House several months ago released a reform concept that raises serious concerns for the real estate industry. The administration […]

Largest Source of Mortgage Funds in U.S. Tries to Help Homebuyers Struggling With Student Debt

Fannie Mae has come to recognize the problem people are facing when they’d like to buy a house but they’re hemmed in by tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt. First, in calculating loan applicant’s debt-to-income ratio, the company is no longer factoring in debt that’s being paid by someone else. That means, […]

The 5 Biggest Yard and Patio Staging Mistakes

By Amalie Drury, guest contributor Photo credit: Crate and Barrel A great outdoor space is at the top of many home buyers’ checklists. So even if your listing doesn’t include a large lawn or an over-the-top patio, it’s important to show buyers that the home still offers the perks of an indoor-outdoor lifestyle. Be sure […]

Insider Tips on Staging a Living Room

By Julea Joseph, guest contributor Make sure you show off the living room in your listings. Here are some simple lessons in staging your living room to give a great impression. Choose an on trend color palette that will appeal to buyers and showcase your home’s amenities. Tone on tone creates flow and space. A […]

Educate Sellers How Home Staging Pays Off

By Patti Stern, PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating This spring has been one of our busiest home staging seasons with many sellers enjoying the benefits of preparing their homes early and marketing to targeted buyers – boosting the value of their property and selling quickly. However, there are sellers who are hesitant and […]

Sponsor Webinar: Reaching Today’s Renters

Rental management softeware company AppFolio is hosting a webinar on using the latest communication channels to reach rental households to expand your marketing reach. REALTOR® Magazine is promoting the webinar because it believes there could be information in it that’s valuable to rental property specialists, but the magazine isn’t participating in the webinar and is […]

Make That Home Greener: Energy-Efficient Mortgages

By Michele DiGirolamo, Guest Contributor from MoneyGeek.com If you’re in the market for a new home, there’s a way to save the environment and some cash at the same time: Consider a “green” mortgage. An energy-efficient mortgage (EEM), the umbrella term for these types of loans, allows buyers to fold expenses for energy-saving home improvements […]

Good Opportunity to Learn About Self-Directed IRAs

Neville The Entrust Group provides professional services for people who use a self-directed IRA as part of their savings plan. The company is hosting an upcoming webinar to educate you as a real estate professional about how to use the tax-advantaged accounts as part of your savings strategy. The webinar is June 14 at 11 […]

Could Alexa Be Your Client’s Agent?

Smart speakers might be the latest touch point connecting consumers with real estate data. Users of Amazon’s Echo can already access mortgage calculators and automated valuation tools. So it makes sense that NAR’s Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee would begin to investigate policies to guide the development of these new tools in accordance with […]

Fox News Host: Tough Road for Tax Reform

Congress likely will pass health insurance reform this year, but it’s less certain whether lawmakers will be able to tackle tax reform before switching their focus to re-election in 2018, “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace said at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Chris Wallace talks tax reform […]

REALTORS® Are Greener Than You Think

If you’re an environmentally conscious real estate professional, you’re in good company. The house was packed at the Land Use, Property Rights, and Environment forum during the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, with a ballroom full of practitioners eager to discuss pressing environmental concerns in their markets. Amanda Stinton, […]

Insana: Millennials Will Keep America’s Growth Engine Humming

Ron Insana Half a dozen years after the economic crisis the American economy is strong and poised to see continued growth as millennials enter the workforce and form households, CNBC commentator Ron Insana told several thousand REALTORS® at the Legislative Conference & Trade Expo in Washington on Tuesday. Economic strength is likely to survive even […]

Solar Boosts Home Values But Selling Can Be a Trial

Homes with solar panels tend to sell for higher prices than comparable homes with conventional energy, studies show. One study, released two years ago by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, found solar homes selling for a 15 percent premium. But selling these homes can require extra preparation if you’re an agent in the transaction. The biggest […]

The Wood Paneling Trend Is Back With a Twist

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Wood paneling is back, but we’re not talking about he 1960s version that you may still be peeling down from some of your listings. Instead, today’s wood paneling trend is being used as an accent wall, instead of a complete cover of an entire room. For example, wood panels […]

Showcase Stylish Storage Solutions

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine “The home needs more storage!” It’s a common gripe heard from homeowners and buyers. A home can never have too many shelves or closets. Indeed, a majority of about 1,000 survey respondents said their number-one biggest annoyance about their home: “The lack of storage,” according to the 2015 HSH.com […]

Tax Plan Could Hurt Homeowners

The tax plan released by the Trump Administration earlier this week puts the real estate industry at the center of the debate over how to make the country’s tax code simpler, fairer, and better at generating economic growth in the United States. For that reason, it’s important for real estate professionals to dig below the […]

3 Ways to Promote Your Town

Credit: Meg White/REALTOR® Magazine The real estate professionals who’ve established themselves as community advocates and local economic experts are often the more successful ones in any given market. But how did they get there? One organization that can point the way is the National Main Street Center, an independent subsidiary of the National Trust for […]

Vinyl Flooring Is Stealing the Spotlight

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Vinyl can get a bad rap. Often it’s confused with linoleum and conjures up memories of outdated, cheap 1980s flooring rolled out in sheets. But lately, vinyl is showing itself as anything but “cheap” looking. It can be laid out in planks, tiles, and sheets and it’s getting some […]

Staging Tips for Small Rooms

By Justin M. Riordan, Spade and Archer Design Agency When selling a house, small rooms can lead to big problems. Staging can be the key to making a small room look functional and help entice buyers to put an offer on your property. Living Rooms – Proving your living room can fit a full size […]

Using Live Video to Build Your Real Estate Business

The rise of live video streaming technology on social media has given real estate professionals a powerful new way to promote listings, create brand awareness and attract business. Video platforms such as Facebook Live make it possible to show a property to potential buyers who might not be able to visit it in person, and […]

WIll There Be Too Few Appraisers in 10 Years?

One of the most important issues facing residential real estate in the coming years has to do with the appraisal profession. Although appraisers are generally satisfied with their work and expect to stay in the profession in the years ahead, the median age of appraisers is close to 55. As a result, a big wave […]

Most Popular Bathroom Trends for 2017

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Move over traditional styles. Contemporary and transitional-styled bathrooms are overtaking traditional in design preferences, according to the 2017 Kitchen & Bath Design Trends Report by the National Kitchen & Bath Association. The member survey reveals some of the following bathroom trends this year: Most popular color schemes: Whites, off/whites, […]

It’s Now Cool to Have Mismatched Fixtures

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine A home with a mix of chrome, nickel, brass, and bronze fixtures may prompt some home buyers to pause. But such mismatches are actually on trend. (Good news to those remodelers who may not have gotten around quite yet to updating all of those fixtures to the same color!) […]

How to Select the Right Sheen to Your Paint

Photo courtesy Paint Quality Institute Many do-it-yourself painters spend hours selecting the perfect paint colors, but give far less thought to the sheen they’ll use. That’s short sighted, according to Debbie Zimmer, spokesperson for the Paint Quality Institute. “Paint sheen affects not only the initial appearance of a paint job, but also its long-term performance,” […]

3 Actions to Take After You Receive a Bogus Email

You may recall a previous post about Sue Dietz, an Iowa real estate agent whose identity was being used by scammers to send fraudulent emails to other real estate professionals all over the country. The emails, which were sent from an email address using Dietz’s name, offered a bogus client referral. Anyone who responded to […]

Money’s Available to Buy But Many Renters Don’t Know It

Millions of households are mortgage-ready but don’t even try to buy because they can’t come up with a downpayment. And yet, remarkably, hundreds of downpayment assistance programs around the country are largely untapped. Why the disconnect? Small To be sure, many households won’t qualify for downpayment assistance, because they simply earn too much money. But […]

Go 3D With Your Wall Designs

Photo credit: WallArt, mywallart.com Add a third-dimension to your walls: 3D wall panels can offer a unique, eye-catching look. One company called WallArt offers chic, environmentally friendly wall coverings. The three-dimensional effect can help add the “wow” factor to a room, whether styled as ultra-modern or country chic. You can choose from several geometric designs, […]

7 Ways to Decorate A Shabby Chic Shed

By Emily Bradshaw, guest blogger One of the most popular trends still going strong 20 years after the term was coined. A distressed and timeworn look is the epitome of shabby chic decorating. Contemporary but classic, it has become a popular and universal style. The latest trend is shabby chic sheds. Evolving from the humble […]

The Essentials to Styling Your Home to Sell Quickly

By Patti Stern, PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating It’s hard to believe the early spring selling season is already upon us! This means that homeowners who haven’t prepared their homes to list now should implement some of the following PJ & Co go-to styling tips if they want to get their listing noticed […]

Webcast Recording: Using a Reverse Mortgage to Buy a Home

REALTOR® Magazine recently hosted a live webcast about how reverse mortgages, also known as home equity conversion mortgages (HECMs), can be used to help seniors finance the purchase of a home in addition to their traditional purpose of enabling people to borrow against the equity in a property where they already live. The program took […]

Room with a View: How to Accent Your Listing’s Stellar Outdoor Views

Photo courtesy Blinds.com By Katie Laird, guest blogger Take a peek through the windows of your newest listing — what do you see? A stunning seascape? The glitzy city skyline? Layers of mountains stacked against the horizon? Make it impossible for potential buyers to ignore the gorgeous vista that a property offers by maximizing its […]

Do a Foundation Check: 5 Things to Watch For

Take a closer look at the home’s foundation before buying, says Matt Stock, president of U.S. Waterproofing, based in the Chicago area. An undisclosed structural foundation repair could leave a new buyer facing a price tag of $20,000 or more. “We’ve seen foundations sink 8 inches,” says Stock. “That was a $150,000 repair for the […]

The Number One Design Style for 2017 Is …

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine The Modern Farmhouse is on trend in home design this year, according to a newly released survey by Next Day Blinds. We may have Joanna and Chip Gaines from the HGTV hit show “Fixer Upper” to thank for the surge in popularity of this rustic style. Photo by Gardner […]

5 Staging Props You Need to Stop Using … Now!

By Justin M. Riordan, Spade and Archer Design Agency There is good staging. There is bad staging. I mean, like really bad staging. In an industry with no regulations, no standardized accreditation system, and tons of “hobbyist professionals”, one gets what one pays for. The problem here is not if that inexperienced or bargain basement […]

Live Webcast: Using a Reverse Mortgage to Buy a Home

Reverse mortgages, also known as home equity conversion mortgages (HECMs), can be used to help seniors finance the purchase of a home in addition to their traditional purpose of enabling people to borrow against the equity in a property where they already live. Learn about when and for whom this tool may be appropriate in […]

How Will You Make Your Mark in 2017?

Credit: Morguefile.com/GaborfromHungary Here we are at the beginning of a new year once again, and you’re probably already thinking about how to make 2017 even better than 2016. But let’s take a minute and appreciate the great work you did last year. It was definitely a big year for real estate, and we asked real […]

Best of CES 2017 for the Home

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine CES 2017 – the annual international consumer electronics tradeshow — kicks off this week in Las Vegas. In this year’s show, home product debuts are taking up even more of the spotlight with smart home technology and household robots taking center stage. Here are a few of the product […]

Important Tax Provisions Still Available for 2016 Tax Year

The following status update on mortgage debt cancellation relief, an important federal tax issue for homeowners, is written by Jon Boughtin of NAR Media. The 114th Congress recessed in early December without completing work on a so-called “tax extenders” package needed to continue important tax breaks for real estate. This included tax relief for the […]

Beige Is Back: And There’s No Blah About It

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Beige is pushing out gray as the hottest neutral color tone in homes heading into 2017, according to several color forecasters. Beige had once been cast aside in home design as too boring. But the beiges gaining popularity again and some of the newest shades are far from boring, […]

How to Choose the Right Paint Color

Photo courtesy: Dunn-Edwards Paints A fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest and most affordable home improvement projects to tackle prior to a home sale that can make a big difference. Sara McLean, color expert and blogger for Dunn-Edwards Paints, offers some of the following tips on how to choose interior colors that […]

10 Articles You Found Most Useful in 2016

We at REALTOR® Magazine are always looking for tips and insights into the real estate business to share with you in hopes of improving your odds of success. This year, we hit a nerve with a few interesting stories covering topics such as verbal missteps with clients, social media posts that could land you in […]

Families Can Get $11,000 More In Loan Funds

Interest rates are inching up and credit can still be hard to get but there is one bright spot for households hoping to buy a home soon: they can get a larger loan now, thanks to recent loan-limit increases for both conforming loans and loans backed by FHA. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) increased […]

10 Staging Tips for Holiday Decor

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine You don’t have to go all Clark Griswold to show your holiday spirit. Decorations can be subtle, tasteful and inviting when a house is up for sale during the holiday months. Sure, there are two sides to this: Some staging and real estate professionals assert that you shouldn’t decorate […]

REALTORS® Get In On the Mannequin Challenge

For those who haven’t heard, the Mannequin Challenge, an online video challenge where people freeze in place to enact a still scene while someone takes a video of it, went viral in the last couple of months. The challenge, which started with teens capturing moments of adolescent life, has grown in popularity among people of […]

Prefab Housing: What It Really Is and Why You Should Care

Example of modular housing; Photo credit: Method Homes By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Prefab housing is shaking up the architecture world, touting attention-getting designs that are giving factory-built housing a new reputation. Manufacturers are also adding in greater abilities for home buyers to customize these homes, despite sections of them being mass produced in […]

Sponsor Webinar: The Future of Property Management

REALTOR® Magazine is promoting a sponsor webinar on the future of property management. Below is text provided by the sponsor, AppFolio, about the event. “This is it: the end of 2016 is almost here. As we look at the future of property management, it’s clear that you need an accurate picture of your business’s financials […]

How to Create a Warm, Inviting Winter Listing

By Patti Stern, PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating A Welcoming Curb Appeal Maintain a polished look by keeping gutters clean and shrubs trimmed. Be sure to also remove any hazards by shoveling, sanding, and removing any ice or snow from the driveway, walkways, and sidewalks. To engage buyers on a gloomy day, keep […]

Get Shopping! Black Friday Deals for the Home

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Are you looking for a bargain this Black Friday with home goods? Deals on household products and appliances are abundant this season. Need to add to your staging inventory or looking for that perfect housewarming gift for your clients? Peruse the ads to spot the best deals. TheBlackFriday.com has […]

Home Trends to Watch: Adding the Bathtub Back In

Photo credit: Karen Eubank, Eubank Staging & Design By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine The National Association of Home Builders has in recent years pointed to a dwindling interest in whirlpools in the master bathroom, but that doesn’t mean home owners are ready to banish bathtubs all together. Sure, home owners have been swapping out […]

Do You Know the ABCs of Personal Branding?

By Seth Price, digital marketing specialist and vice president of industry relations for Placester Do you consider yourself to have a great personal brand? Would you buy a house from yourself? If you hesitate in answering those questions, it’s time to take a deeper look at your personal brand. People still like to do business […]

The All White Room. It’s a Trap!

Photo Courtesy of Spade and Archer By Justin M. Riordan, Spade and Archer Design Agency So… you’ve been seeing all those great staging projects, magazine covers, and television living rooms that look so pretty because they are all white. White sofas and white walls and white floors and white pillows and white tables … all […]

A Reminder of What’s Good in the World

Good Neighbor Award winners from left: Ed Liebzeit, Cindy Barrett, Susan Gruen Helsinger, Wyn Ray, and Sarah Sorenson. As I took my seat shortly before the start of Saturday night’s ceremony honoring REALTOR® Magazine’s 2016 Good Neighbors, I grabbed my phone and got on Facebook for only the second time all day. “For once, I’ve […]

True Colors of Good Neighbors

Feeling a bit frazzled at the REALTORS® Conference and Expo in Orlando, Fla., and want a fun way to relax? Coloring is a popular and proven relaxation technique. Stop by the Good Neighbor Awards booth (outside the Expo entrance) to help color our Good Neighbor mural. You might even meet some of the Good Neighbors […]

Expo Frenzy Kicks Off in Orlando

The latest, greatest products and services for the real estate industry are all under one roof at the Expo. But if you forgot your comfortable shoes, you’ll appreciate this quick peek at a few of the offerings. Some 400 exhibitors are participating at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla. — the largest real […]

Webcast Recording: Understanding the New FHA Condo Financing Rules

REALTOR® Magazine presented a live webcast about the Federal Housing Administration’s new condo financing rules on Oct. 28, 2016. The webcast featured Megan Booth and Sehar Siddiqi of NAR Government Affairs, who discussed and answered questions about the new rules and the business opportunities that can come out of them. Jon Boughtin of NAR Communications […]

Using Facebook to Generate Offline Referrals

Facebook: is it friend or foe when it comes to building your business? On the face of it, a social media site like Facebook would seem to be a no-brainer for reaching out to people when they’re ready to buy or sell a house. But often the reality doesn’t live up to the potential. You […]

View the Same Property Staged 3 Different Ways

By Saghar Setareh, CoContest guest contributor How can you know the best style for staging a property? After all, you’ll need to satisfy home buyers’ various style tastes as well as make sure you’re showing the property in its best light. Thanks to the power of the Internet, we wanted to see just how much […]

Minneapolis Association Puts Its Heart Into Real Estate Love Connections

First, Connecticut REALTORS® brought in the muscle power of the WWE to metaphorically show the strength of a REALTOR® in a home transaction. Now, the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® is playing matchmaker with lovelorn home shoppers, helping them find a spark with the right house. In its first image and awareness campaign, the association […]

How to Reinvent a Room to Attract Buyers

By Patti Stern, PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating Thinking about remodeling but not sure it will pay off when it comes time to sell? According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report, most room remodels and additions may only recoup up to 80 percent of the cost. And since time and money is […]

The Business Case For Caring About Clients Long After the Sale Closes

It’s something many real estate professionals know about. Right after a sale closes, many clients don’t just like the agent that helped them; they love the agent that helped them, especially when the transaction went seamlessly and was even pleasant. Of course, happy buyers often make great sources of referrals snd, down the road, they’re […]

True Tales of Terror in Real Estate: In the Darkness, I Heard a Voice Say, ‘Come In’

It’s the witching month once again, and as Halloween approaches, now’s the time to tell tales of ghosts, goblins, and ghouls. But some scary stories aren’t fake — and real estate professionals have some of the creepiest anecdotes. Anything can happen when you’re out in the field, and we’ve heard horrifying tales of vacant properties […]

The ‘New’ Brass Edging Into More Home Design

Photo by Westborough Design Center, Inc. – Discover traditional kitchen design ideas By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine It’s all about that brass. But don’t expect to see that 1980s super shine. Today’s trendy brass is more of an antique brass, which is being used in light fixtures, mirrors, frames, and even furniture trims. Mandie […]

Maybe you haven’t tangled with a troll, but this patent victory is for you

It’s common today for real estate brokerages to have systems in place for sending email alerts whenever there’s new or updated listings that customers might be interested in. it’s not new technology, and in fact the technology is arguably ubiquitous in the industry. Now imagine you get hit with a letter demanding you pay a […]

Home Design Trends to Watch: The Herringbone Pattern

Photo courtesy of Laura AnnDiaz of Laura Diaz’s Photography and Mandie Maguire, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Herringbone is emerging as the pattern of choice in 2016. Herringbone is the arrangement of rectangles that is so named for its resemblance to the bones of fish. This pattern is popping up […]

5 Safety Tips When an Attack Is Imminent

I attended a safety seminar at the National Association of REALTORS® building in Chicago on Monday, expecting to hear the same old thing: pay attention to your surroundings, keep your head out of your phone, watch people’s microexpressions, yadda yadda yadda. But self-defense instructor Joe Rosner actually made some interesting points that aren’t necessarily groundbreaking […]

Sneak Peek: The ‘It’ Paint Color for 2017

Sherwin-Williams Poised Taupe (SW 6039) By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Time to paint the house taupe. Sherwin-Williams revealed its 2017 Color of the Year: Poised Taupe (SW 6039). The company expects the brownish-gray hue to become the year’s go-to color for home interiors. Taupe marks a departure from the company’s mostly cool-toned neutrals it […]