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New licensing law forces local MLS to scrap over 80 forms

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In the eternal quest for our Department of Licensing to make our lives and the lives of our clients simpler and clearer, the new licensing law in the State of Washington has forced the NWMLS to revise about half the forms real estate Brokers use everyday to conduct business.

Thankfully we live in a digital age where most of these forms can be easily downloaded but this does not eliminate the mountains of useless forms that Brokerages are forced to keep “in house” and are now being shredded or thrown away in favor of the new ones. I’d love to see the exact number…as in tons…of paper that was used to make these now extinct forms…but I digress.

Due to the change in the vernacular, in particular the name change from agent to broker, many of these forms saw only minor revisions for clarity purposes only (which somehow makes things feel all the more wasteful). However, one of the more noticeable changes is a direct result of the new licensing law that allows real estate teams to operate under an assumed name. This may make things clearer for the client when working with a real estate team that holds a license with a Brokerage. Pretty dry stuff but important none the less.

There is a State mandated transition course that goes over (most of) this that you are required to take…kinda?

Here’s the fun part for many Brokerages…Some of the working professionals haven’t gone through the required transition course that explains these changes yet, even though the licensing law went into affect nearly 2 weeks ago! As a run-up to this major change in our licensing law, all licensee are required to attend a 3 clock hour transition course however, there is (or was) a loop hole for some. If your renewal fell on or before June 30th, you didn’t need to attend this class as part of your renewal and furthermore, need not attend this transition course at all until your next renewal in 2 years. In essence, we have a fair number of real estate professionals currently writing deals and taking listings on forms they’re not fully familiar with! A little like closing the barn door after the horses have gotten out, isn’t it?

Patrick Flynn is a 13 year Veteran of this Real Estate fray and a blogger on mySeattleblogs and is active in various social networks. Like many writers at Agent Genius, Patrick wears a few hats other than a Broker's lid- he is also a Certified Real Estate Instructor for the State of Washington and has enjoyed delivering 1,000+ hours of clock hour and non-clock hour approved courses in his career. Patrick has also been a Designated Broker since 2003 and revels in being able to coach and mentor fellow real estate professionals.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Daniel Bates

    July 13, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Why would brokerages be “forced” to keep forms on hand? I’m sure that most do, but the word “forced”, seems an odd choice. I might have a few forms printed out around the office, but I always do contracts on the computer. Seems like the MLS should have just put together some helpful videos or online classes that could have resolved everything rather than required education.

  2. Jo Soss

    July 13, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Patrick, being a very small brokerage and one that just opened in December I only had printed forms that came in my “broker box” that was given to me at the time I opened. I do though realize that offices like WRE or ReMax must have had a ton of forms to recycle and like you I thought – how wasteful. As for the transition course – I think that we should have all had to complete it within 90 days of law. I am still trying to get use to everyone being “brokers”.

  3. Atlanta Rental Homes

    July 13, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    I wonder if this is actually good or bad for the housing market and our economy

  4. Patrick Flynn

    July 14, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Thank you all for your comments-Daniel, I’m sure “forced” may not be the exact word but I know we are working very hard to get the amount of printed forms the Brokerages need on hand for their agents to be at a minimum. And Jo, I agree every licensee should take the transition even if their renewal was before June. I had one agent who was signed up for a class I had scheduled in early June and then found out from our front desk person he didn’t need to take it because his Birthday was in late June…he cancelled! Atlanta Rental Homes-I’m not sure this has any impact on the housing market or our economy but one never knows!

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Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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