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This appeared in the April/May issue of Commonwealth magazine.
With more and more electronic communication being done in public — the “social” part of social media — you’ll find that you can never really remove your Realtor hat. That means you need to be extra careful when you’re writing an e-mail, crafting a blog post, or replying to a tweet.
And I don’t just mean “always be professional.” I mean that there are disclosure rules from both the Virginia Real Estate Board and the Realtor Code of Ethics that apply online whenever you engage in “advertising.”
And believe me, the definition of “advertising” is pretty broad.
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.
“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.
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.
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?
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.
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.