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Real Estate News

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 […]

The Worst Question to Ask a Real Estate Agent?

Michael Cuevas, a sales associate with Fulton Grace Realty in Chicago, says that asking the right questions of a real estate agent is an important part of lessening anxiety for consumers concerned about the home buying or home selling process. After all, the real estate websites where most shoppers start their home search can’t give […]

Let’s Talk Quartz: There’s Good Reason To

Photo by Cory Holland and designed by Sandra Gjesdahl and Scott Gjesdahl By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Granite no longer reigns. The most popular countertop material remodelers say they’re using is quartz, then followed by granite. In 2015, 89 percent of National Kitchen and Bath Association members said they used quartz in their kitchen […]

Subway Tile Makes a Comeback in Kitchens, Baths

Photo credit: Karen Eubank, Eubank Staging & Design By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Glassy subway tile is nothing new, but it’s coming back stronger in kitchens and bathroom remodels in whites or bolder geometric patterns. “It’s classic, and a classic always remains,” says Karen Eubank, an interior designer with Eubank Staging & Design in […]

Master Bathroom Remodels Are Going High-Tech

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Home owners are increasingly investing to create luxurious, modernized master baths, according to the 2016 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Survey of more than 2,100 home owners who are planning or recently completed a bathroom renovation project. Of those surveyed, 20 percent say they are updating the toilet; 12 percent […]

5 Kitchen Design Trends to Take From Model Homes

The model homes of builders are known for showcasing the latest interior design trends in trying to appeal to home shoppers. So what’s trending when it comes to the kitchen? PulteGroup’s Interior Designs Team is merchandising about 425 model homes in 2016. The kitchen is a big area that gets a lot of the design […]

A Trendy Solution for Home Interiors: The Barn Door

Photo credit: Malte Strauss, Trust International Real Estate LLC By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Sliding barn doors can add a modern twist to an interior space. Malte Strauss, broker and owner of Trust International Real Estate LLC in Deltona, Fla., says the barn door trend has caught on in central Florida. “They are great […]

Kitchen Design Is Getting Mixed Up

Photographed by William Lesch and designed by Lori Carroll and Debra Gelety By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine Get two-toned in the kitchen. There’s no need to get too match-y, if you want to be on trend. Kitchen cabinets are popping up in more than one shade to add an eye-catching contrast. Indeed, 42 percent […]

Soften Up Your Home’s Interior Color Choices

Photo credit: Benjamin Moore By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine Move over gray. Pastels and whites are softening up the color palette of more homes in 2016. On-trend colors of pastels are entering more household décor, like in accessories from decorative bowls and vases to florals and throw pillows. The major paint companies all agree: […]

Restore a Pool in Just 5 Steps

Article Submitted by HowMuch.Net Pools can take a lot of maintenance and work to keep them at their best. And sometimes that work can get beyond a home owner, causing them to shut down their pool for a period of time. If this has happened to one of your clients or maybe they’ve bought a […]

Bring 7,000 People to Your Showing — on Facebook Live

If you’re trying to figure out how Facebook Live can expand your marketing efforts, why not try using it to broadcast a showing of one of your listings? Real estate professionals are just beginning to explore Facebook’s livestreaming functionality as a way to better engage with their audience, though you should be aware of some […]

10 Tips to Be a Better Agent

Need more tips for improving your skills and upping your real estate game? We’re all about helping real estate professionals reach greater success, which is why we dedicated the July/August issue of REALTOR® Magazine to lists upon lists of helpful ideas for improving your client relationships, avoiding ethical dilemmas, spreading your brand on social media, […]

Property Management: Disruption-Free Software Changes

Vince Coley of property management software company AppFolio talks about ways to replace your software without disrupting workflow in an upcoming webinar. Here’s how AppFolio sets up the webinar: “If your property management business has been through a software transition before, you know that change isn’t easy. But if you are losing precious time and […]

Orlando REALTORS® Lend Support to Shooting Victims

ORRA President John Lazenby, left, and Christian West-Howard(Photo via Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association) In the aftermath of the tragic June 12 shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando that killed 49 people — the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history — one local REALTOR® opened his heart and his properties to bring victims and their families […]

My Favorite Staging Accessory: Large Artwork

Styled Staged & Sold will be featuring staging professionals’ favorite staging accessories and props over the next few weeks. (Do you have a favorite? Submit your favorite for consideration to mtracey@realtors.org.) Photo credit: Tori Toth, Stylish Stagers Inc. Go-to prop: Large artwork Stager: Tori Toth, Stylish Stagers Inc., New York City Why I love it: […]

Slower Growth But Solid Financing Options

NAR Commercial Research Economic and Regulatory Update. June 2016 Sales of high-end properties in major markets are seeing a slowdown while smaller projects in secondary markets remain strong. NAR Analyst George Ratiu provides an economic update while Stephanie Spear of NAR Government Affairs shares new financing options you should know about. Read more here:: Speaking […]

My Favorite Staging Accessory: Greenery

Styled Staged & Sold will be featuring staging professionals’ favorite staging accessories and props over the next few weeks. (Do you have a favorite? Submit your favorite for consideration to mtracey@realtors.org.) Photo credit: Michelle Boyle, California Chic Staging Go-to prop: Fake tree or plant Stager: Michelle Boyle, owner of California Chic Staging Co., Roseville, Calif. […]

Teamwork: It’s OK for Individual Agents to Ask for Help

Morguefile.com You know a prospect will move on quickly if you don’t respond to their query in a timely fashion. But when you’re an individual agent juggling multiple clients, listings, marketing initiatives, and everything else that comes along with maintaining your own business, it’s hard to find the time to be on-call at all hours […]

Video: NAR’s CRT Labs Keeps REALTORS® in Front of Smart Home Technology

As smart-home technology continues to proliferate, the National Association of REALTORS®’ Center for REALTOR® Technology has established a laboratory to test and study the sensors, software and other high-tech systems that are increasingly being used to manage temperature, air quality, security and other aspects of residential and commercial buildings. CRT Labs, an initiative of NAR’s […]

Give Dad ‘Nothing’ for Father’s Day

YouTube.com Dads are hard to shop for because when you ask what they want, they always say, “Nothing.” So Century 21 Real Estate is helping consumers give their old man exactly what they want this Father’s Day: a piece of nothing — Nothing, Ariz., that is. At GiveDadNothing.com, a microsite built by Century 21, consumers […]

How to Use a Home Decor Theme In a Room

By Tori Toth Not sure how to use a home decor theme in a room? No worries, it’s easy to use a theme to add personality into a space…the hardest part is deciding what theme to show off. Home owners have so many themes to choose from. Whether you take a cue from a location, […]

3 Ways to Change a Place for Good

At the 2016 Chicago Forum on Global Cities held in the Windy City this week, planners, architects, developers and politicians gathered to tackle the challenges faced in urban areas around the world. Because the one thing that’s constant for any city is change, many of the discussions centered around how experts and residents alike can […]

A Heartwarming Reminder of Why You’re in This Business

Morguefile.com Heather Christie, associate broker at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices HomeSale Realty in West Lawn, Pa., has written a beautiful piece that will speak to any real estate professional who’s dealt with a painful transaction. She worked with sellers who had fallen on hard times and had to sell their home last fall after 30 years […]

My Favorite Staging Accessory: Rugs

Styled Staged & Sold will be featuring staging professionals’ favorite staging accessories and props over the next few weeks. (Do you have a favorite? Submit your favorite for consideration to mtracey@realtors.org.) Photo credit: PJ & Company team in Irvington, NY Go-to prop: Rugs Stager: Patti Stern, PJ & Company, Irvington, NY Why I love it: […]

Stage Your Home with Bing Crosby

By Liz Bohm, guest contributor “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive,” an American Songbook classic, was written by Harold Arlen, with lyrics by Johnny Mercer, in 1944. First made popular by Bing Crosby in the movie “Here Come the Waves,” this flawlessly upbeat song was nominated for an Academy Award, in the Best Song category, in 1945. Seventy-two […]

Why Can’t Borrowers Refinance Their Student Loan Debt?

Refinancing the mortgage on your house can sometimes make the difference between keeping your house and losing it to foreclosure. You might wonder why people who are paying back student loan debt can’t do the same. For the real estate industry, this isn’t an academic question. Extending to borrowers the ability to refinance their student […]

My Favorite Staging Accessory: Mirrors

Styled Staged & Sold will be featuring staging professionals’ favorite staging accessories and props over the next few weeks. (Do you have a favorite? Submit your favorite for consideration to mtracey@realtors.org.) Photo credit: Karen Hakola, listing agent Go-to prop: Mirrors Stager: Natalie Gray, Gray Group Design, San Clemente, Calif. Why I love them: “Mirrors are […]

The Ins and Outs of Emerging Markets

Stefanie Hahn By Stefanie Hahn Power brokers breaking it down, discussing emerging markets at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in D.C. this week. What could be cooler than that? (What can I say? I love real estate.) I should note that while the session was called, “Expand Your Horizons, Boost Business: Understanding and […]

How One RPAC Chapter Chooses Candidates to Support

Morguefile.com Nathan Gorton, government affairs director for the Washington REALTORS®, gave an interesting look at how the state association allocates its RPAC funds to support real estate-friendly candidates for state and local offices during an RPAC forum at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. The Washington RPAC is changing its strategy, […]

Tensions Flare Over Home Energy Labels

Morguefile.com There are quite a few irritated practitioners at the Land Use, Property Rights, and Environment forum at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. They’re frustrated with home energy labeling programs, which score homes on their energy efficiency. More than a handful of attendees told the committee that the programs “stigmatize” […]

Better Ways to Connect With Your Followers on Social Media

Communications directors for state and local REALTOR® associations share their social media ideas Tuesday. I’m hearing some really interesting ideas from the communications directors of state and local REALTOR® associations for how to get more traction on social media. They’re at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C., discussing things they’ve tried […]

REALTORS® in Washington: Condo Loans a Big Push

Improving the availability of condo financing will be a priority when thousands of REALTORS® are in Washington this week for the 2016 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo. Overly restrictive rules on condo board certification, owner-occupancy, and commercial space make it hard for households to obtain loans to buy a condo even though condos are […]

Top Kitchen Design Trends for 2016

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Photo credit: William Lesch; designed by: Lori Carroll and Associates, Tucson, Ariz. Transitional, traditional, and contemporary styles remain the most popular in kitchen design but two new kitchen styles are popping up: industrial and farmhouse, according to the 2016 Design Trends Survey from the National Kitchen & Bath Association. […]

650,000 Leave Prison Each Year: Impact on Real Estate

Almost a third of Americans—100 million people—have a criminal record, and 650,000 are released from prison each year, adding to the total. This relates to housing because the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently released guidelines to help rental housing managers and real estate brokers create a non-dscriminatory housing policy for people with […]

Former Move Execs Defend Actions In Switch to Zillow

Errol Samuelson A lot of courtroom drama in Seattle wrapped up this week. Two former realtor.com executives, Errol Samuelson and Curt Beardsley, have been on the stand in King County Superior Court to defend their handling of computer files when they left the listing site to join rival Zillow.com back in 2014. The executives are […]

Webcast Recording: Selling a Home That Has a Reverse Mortgage

REALTOR® Magazine presented a live webcast about selling a home that has a reverse mortgage on April 21, 2016. The program featured Leslie Flynne, chief operating officer of Reverse Mortgage Solutions, Inc., and Steve Irwin, executive vice president of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association. Jon Boughtin of NAR Public Affairs hosted the program. Read […]

Here Are 10 Homes That Changed America

PBS singles out 10 homes that have had a large impact on evolving the design of U.S. homes over time. PBS is running a three-part series, “10 Homes That Changed America,” that shows off these homes that have such a big influence on American architecture. Take a look at these 10 homes below (listed in […]

Should Appraisers Be Testing Stoves and Dishwashers?

FHA’s latest changes to its single-family mortgage insurance handbook instruct appraisers to test and report on how well the appliances are working when they’re preparing an appraisal for a house that would be financed with an FHA-insured mortgage. This and other provisions that appear to blur the line between appraisals and home inspections has raised […]

Webinar: Ramping up Apartment Leasing

Nothing is more important to apartment managers and leasing agents than word-of-mouth endorsements because of the credibility they bring on social media. Doug Chasick, known as the Apartment Doctor, will talk about ways to improve your apartment vacancy rates in a free webinar Tuesday, April 19, at 2 p.m., Eastern time. Chasick will cover several […]

5 Ways to Upgrade a Landscape for Less Than $1,000

Submitted by HowMuch.net Photo credit: pixabay The landscaping is a major part of a home’s curb appeal. Depending on where you live, landscaping can also be a crucial part of helping to control wildlife, and reducing energy costs by providing things like shade. There are many ways you can change your landscaping without breaking the […]

Are Renters Saying There’s Market Trouble Ahead?

When it comes to residential real estate, young households are the canary in the mineshaft. It’s a sign of market health if they’re able to find affordable houses to buy and also obtain financing. If homes aren’t available and financing is hard to get, markets can’t thrive. Move-up buyers, as important as they are, simply […]

10 Trends Driving the Next Decade of Home Design

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Over the next 10 years, expect functionality, accessibility, and sustainability to be major themes guiding the look of homes. That could include everything from embracing healthier building materials and furnishings to homes that are designed to be more resilient to bad weather. More than 500 residential architects offered their […]

Designing for an Open-Floor Plan

Walls are vanishing from newer homes and the open-plan layouts are showing off multi-purpose areas, such as kitchens and dining rooms and living rooms that seamlessly flow into one another. But how do you decorate one large space – to make it comfortable and beautiful for eating, entertaining, relaxing and more? “The key is continuity,” […]

Real Estate to Benefit as Internet Access Taxes End

Ten states today levy what are known as Internet access taxes. That might come as a surprise to many people, since the taxes are largely invisible. They’re levied on companies like Verizon and Comcast, the Internet service providers (ISP) that manage the infrastructure through which Internet traffic flows. These companies pass the taxes on to […]

7 Ways to Get Your Luxury Listing Ready for Twilight Photos

By Julie Legge, real estate photographer and videographer Got a new luxury listing this spring? Consider a twilight photo session to supplement your professional interior pictures. Marketing the property with pictures taken at dusk is an excellent way to highlight exterior features such as upgraded landscape lighting, pool lighting and outdoor living spaces, conveying an […]

NAR Speakers Represent Both Sides of Political Aisle

From NAR Public Affairs: A March 7 article in Inman News alleges that the real estate industry is behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton more than any other presidential candidate. The article cites NAR’s support of, and invitation to, Secretary Clinton to speak to REALTORS® at the 2013 REALTOR® Conference & Expo in San […]

3 Surprising Paint Colors Home Owners Hate

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Home owners say they like color in their homes but they definitely have some hesitations in using it to decorate their spaces, according to a new survey by Better Homes and Gardens of nearly 400 home owners. The survey found a general consensus that these three colors, in particular, […]

Design Trends to Watch in 2016

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine What are the hot trends to look out for in 2016 in home design? Here are a few predictions from the remodeling and design site Houzz on some of the big trends to expect. Contemporary Kitchen by Brooklyn Architects & Building Designers Maletz Design 1. Two shades of kitchen […]

2016 Colors of the Year: Soften Up Your Staging Hues

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Think pink for 2016. Pantone voted two colors — Rose Quartz and Serenity — as this year’s colors of the year, a nod to softer color tones that are expected to gain popularity all yearlong. It’s the first time Pantone has voted two colors of the year. “Joined together, […]

Why Did That Agent Send You a 1099?

Did an agent at another brokerage send you an IRS 1099-MISC form? If you received a referral fee or shared commission last year that was for more than $600, you might have received a 1099 from the other agent. Receiving a 1099 from the agent isn’t a new requirement, but NAR attorneys say they get […]