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Smokers’ homes don’t sell — or sell for less (and what you can do)

Smoking won’t just kill you — it can also kill a sale. So says a survey of Ontario real estate agents, who found that more than 80% of potential buyers would be either “unlikely” or entirely unwilling to buy a home where smokers had lived.

And when the house does sell? The study found that a house could see a 30 percent price drop (!) if it smelled of cigarettes.

All right, so what’s to be done if you’re trying to sell a smoker’s home? After reviewing far too many pages of tips, these seem to be your best bets for removing as much of the odor as possible.

More people spending too much of their income to rent

“The rent is too damn high” — add that to the growing list of reasons we’re going to see a boatload of new buyers entering the market in the next few years. That’s a reasonable conclusion from new Census Bureau data.

When the housing market collapsed, a lot of folks had to leave homes they could no longer afford — often because of foreclosure or short sales. They became renters, in part simply because their credit ratings took a big hit.

Result: Rental vacancy rates are down. The new Census Bureau report says that those vacancy rates dropped from 8.4% to 7.4% in just two years (2009 to 2011) — homeownership obviously declined at the same time.

Important post-licensing changes

This is a reminder — but an important one — about post-licensing curriculum changes. (It will mostly affect new real estate licensees, but brokers need to remember it.)

The PL curriculum is changing from three tracks (residential, property management, commercial) to a single-track system.

  • The old system will be in place until December 31, 2013.
  • The new system will be available starting July 1, 2013.

The overlap is what’s important.

You know you must take 30 hours of PL education within a year of getting your license. You must take those 30 hours under the current system or the new system — you cannot mix them.

Legal Hotline FAQs: Agents Leaving of Changing Firms

VAR's Blake Hegeman discusses the perennial favorite topic: what goes down when agents leave or change firms?

Questions answered include:

  • What happens if an agent leaves a firm when they have a deal pending?
  • Can you still be paid while in transition to another firm?
  • Where does the payment come from in those instances?

License-status info from DPOR

The good folks at DPOR are working hard to get your license paperwork processed — applications, transfers, and the like.

We’ve already given you some tips on how to speed that process; we’ve got some more info to pass on.

Don’t call DPOR and ask for the status of your license. No one there can give it to you.

Get that? The same people who process applications are answering the phones, so every minute spent explaining “I’m sorry, I can’t provide that information” means one minute fewer actually processing it.

Update on license transfers: helpful tips to ensure a speedy process

A concern among Realtors® who change firms is the amount of time it takes for their licenses to become active with their new brokerages. Last week, we told you about why some license transfers were taking a little longer than others.

Legal Hotline FAQs: Property Condition Disclosure

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If you should have trouble logging in and you are an active REALTOR® member, please call us at (800) 755-8271 or e-mail VAR Tech Support at websupport@varealtor.com

Video: A short history of VA Agency Law changes

You must log in to view this resource

You're attempting to access a VAR members-only resource. To view it, please log in to the website using the login fields in the upper right hand corner of the website.

Your default login will be your e-mail address on file with your local association of REALTORS® and your 9-digit National REALTOR® Database (NRDS) number (unless you are a returning user and have changed your password to something custom.)

If you should have trouble logging in and you are an active REALTOR® member, please call us at (800) 755-8271 or e-mail VAR Tech Support at websupport@varealtor.com

Join the 2013 class of the Virginia REALTOR® Leadership Academy

If you could do just one thing next year guaranteed to ratchet-up your earning potential and real estate knowledge and create a personal referral network that could pay dividends for the rest of your career…would you do it?

Perhaps the more appropriate question is: Why wouldn’t you?

Virginia REALTOR® Leadership Academy (VLA) graduates say it’s the best way to supercharge your real estate career.

VARbuzz: Good foreclosure news from CoreLogic

In its March National Foreclosure Report, CoreLogic found that foreclosures dropped 18.8% from March 2011. Even better, foreclosures in the first quarter were down 14.7% from the first quarter of 2011.

“Compared to a year ago, the number of completed foreclosures has slowed,” said Anand Nallathambi, chief executive officer of CoreLogic. “Since the foreclosure inventory is also coming down, this suggests that loan modifications, short sales, deeds-in-lieu are increasingly being used as an alternative to foreclosures to clear distressed assets in our communities.”

Click here to read the details.