The following field guides have recently been updated in the Library:
Association Mergers & Partnerships
Mergers and partnerships can be advantageous to a Board or Association for a variety of reasons, including: overlapping markets, similar services, geographic considerations, cost-savings, membership benefits and wider recognition in the marketplace. And, in light of NAR’s Organizational Alignment Core Standards, more boards and associations may be looking at mergers as a viable option. This Field Guide will provide you with information regarding association mergers as well as information specific to REALTOR® Association mergers. Plus, you’re sure to uncover valuable information pertaining to nonprofits in the collection of eBooks offered to you for free from NAR’s eBook collection.
Credit scoring has become a serious issue in the lending community and it can affect your ability to obtain or refinance your next mortgage. Credit scoring systems can gauge a mortgage applicant’s credit rating and assign an interest rate and risk value based upon information provided in the loan application. Credit scoring offers several advantages. It provides quick recommendations while taking human judgment out of the equation. Credit scoring also is extremely efficient and, usually, inexpensive. This updated field guide includes articles and books relating to credit scoring.
Effects of Power Lines on Property Values
The concern over electromagnetic fields emitted by power lines has long been a topic of conversation for the real estate industry. New studies and conflicting reports are being published every year. The public’s knowledge, perception, and interpretation of this data has a profound effect on the value of properties in proximity to power lines. This page will help guide you through the basics of the EMF controversy.
Employer-assisted housing programs help employers promote affordable housing solutions for their workers. They can provide a variety of benefits, including financial assistance, education programs, and housing counseling. This field guide explores how EAH programs work and offers resources to promote the concept among employers.
“Homeowners insurance covers the structure of your home and your personal property, as well as your personal legal responsibility (or liability) for injuries to others or their property while they’re on your property.”
Homeowner’s insurance policies may include provisions for:
Dwelling (for damages to your house)
Other structures (for damages to fences, garages, sheds, etc.)
Personal property (for damages to possessions)
Loss of Use or additional living expenses (for times when your home is being repaired)
Personal Liability (coverage for injured on your property or by your pets on your property)
Housing Trust Funds
Housing trust funds are distinct funds, usually established by state or local governments, that receive ongoing public revenues which can only be spent on affordable housing initiatives, including new construction, preservation of existing housing, emergency repairs, homeless shelters, housing-related services, and multifamily building for nonprofit organizations. Over 650 housing trust funds in cities, counties and states generate nearly $1 billion a year to support critical housing needs, underscoring the integral role these funds play in the world of affordable housing. On this page you’ll find more information on the housing trust fund concept, case studies, how REALTORS® can establish and promote trust funds in their communities, the National Housing Trust Fund, and more.
Impacts of Animal Feedlots on Property Values
The potential environmental effects of animal feedlots, such as possible water contamination and foul odors, are a real concern for those living near one of these facilities. This field guide presents current government regulations, industry trends and studies on the impact of feedlots on surrounding property values. While most studies have found a negative relationship between feedlots and property values, a few have found a positive impact.
Lease-option agreements (also known as lease-to-own, rent-to-own, lease/purchase, lease with an option to purchase, or real options) are common when acquiring personal property—such as dishwashers, washing machines, automobiles, and TVs—but are not as common for the acquisition of real property. Lease-option agreements are generally utilized in residential real estate acquisition when a home buyer would like to purchase a home, but needs to repair her credit rating in order to secure a promissory note and mortgage. The lease-option agreement allows a buyer to lease a property for a set period of time—typically between 1-3 years—with the option to buy the property at a contractual future date. “The negotiated option is typically a percentage of the price for example, one to five percent, and is credited, along with the rents and a rent premium, to the purchase price if the lessee buys the property. If the option to buy is not exercised, the buyer will lose the option fee and rent premium.” (Real Estate Law, p. 227).
Marketing Tips for REALTORS®
Marketing is an essential ingredient for the success of any business. The material on this page will give you a wealth of information to help you market your expertise to potential customers. It includes special sections on how to build your personal promotion campaign, increase your presence in a niche market, and strengthen your marketing plan.
Mediation & Conflict Resolution
Traditionally, real estate industry disputes rely on negotiation for solutions. If negotiation fails, litigation is often initiated. Mediation involves the skillful intervention of a third-party professional to help resolve disputes that arise between two or more parties. This page includes a variety of resources, including articles, website links, books and other sources relating to mediation, conflict resolution, arbitration and dispute resolution.
Military Base Closings
With another round of military base closings possibly being eyed for 2017, we examine the pros and cons of these closings and the effect on real estate and the communities surrounding them.
Mortgage fraud is one of the most notorious crimes in the United States. It has left many home owners with “underwater” mortgages that are substantially higher than the valued price of their home, many lenders with defaulted loans and foreclosed homes, and many real estate professionals in the precarious position of needing to rigorously screen new clients’ financial portfolios while keeping apprised of major regulatory changes and new procedures. Learn about the different types of mortgage fraud and discover how to recognize the signs, take precautions, and report incidents.
Private Transfer Fees
Private transfer fees are the latest money-making tool for developers. Also known as reconveyance fees, recovery fees, capital recovery fees, or resale fees, a private transfer fee is a charge that is required to be paid to a developer, HOA or individual at closing each time a property is sold. The transfer fee is attached to the property as a covenant and usually runs for a set period, often 20 or 99 years. While developers say it is a way to spread improvement costs over a longer period, opponents believe private transfer fees decrease affordability, increase potential liability, and provide no benefit to property purchasers of the community in which the property is located. In 2012, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a rule prohibiting the fees on mortgages handled by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks. As of 2014, 43 states explicitly prohibit private transfer fees in most situations. This updated field guide provides background information on the fees, their impact, as well as details on where to turn for the most current info.
Real Estate Sales Closings
A real estate closing is a complicated process that can be managed smoothly for all involved. Find out the best ways to organize a trouble-free closing, tips for REALTORS® and homebuyers, and much more in these books, videos and articles.
You meet lots of people in the real estate business—some nice and some not so nice. Learn how to protect yourself at open houses and in the car. Get safety tips, handouts and posters from the National Association of REALTORS® and REALTOR® Associations.
Redesigning Association Websites
Web design has evolved dramatically since the Internet was founded. Is your association website W3 or ADA compliant? Do you use XML? Are your navigation menus logical and easy to use? Is the writing acceptable for the Web? Would a blog or twitter feed work on your site? Consult the information below for articles and helpful tips to assist in the redesign of your association’s website for the 21st century.
Reducing Spam E-Mail
Unwanted, unsolicited email is a frustrating problem for almost everyone who uses the Internet. Spam email clutters in-boxes, slows down web servers, and costs time and money to manage. Spam can’t be prevented entirely, but REALTORS® can reduce the amount of unwanted email that comes into their in-boxes. And on the flip side of the coin, REALTORS® who use email to find and work with clients can take steps to ensure that their own electronic communications aren’t seen as spam. Find out more about what spam is, how to reduce the amount of spam you receive and how to keep from sending it yourself with the articles, websites, and other resources on this page.
A reverse mortgage can provide cash to homeowners who do not want to move but would like to tap the equity in their home by allowing senior citizens to borrow against the equity, but they can pose risks to homeowners. This page includes articles, books and websites relating to reverse mortgages. Books can be borrowed through the Information Central library by clicking on the book title.
You have probably attended many meetings that did not feel like productive uses of your time. Don’t repeat this mistake with your sales meetings. Meetings are a necessary part of business. Find useful tips and links for planning productive sales meetings in a challenging market in this updated field guide. Get money-saving ideas for your business and yourself. We’ve gathered the best tips, websites and eBooks to help you out.
Selling New Homes
Interested in selling new homes? Learn about the latest market conditions, how to market new homes, and how to spot new home design trends.
Social Networking for REALTORS®
Every junior high kid seems to have a Facebook page. Why should you, a real estate professional? Learn about social networking websites, see how other real estate agents have embraced social networking to increase their presence on the Internet to attract more clients, learn about the variety of social networking websites and much more.
Twitter is a way of sending short bits of information to your subscribers. The messages are limited to 140 character at a time, called a “tweet.” Let your clients know what you are doing for them, post short descriptions of new listings, keep your team on schedule. Learn more from the following articles and resources (And be sure to follow NAR Info Central and NAR’s other Twitter accounts).
Writing a Business Plan
Writing a business plan may seem a daunting task as there are so many moving parts and concepts to address. However, the NAR library offers a plethora of resources on this topic to get you started. Take it one step at a time and be sure to schedule regular review (quarterly, semi-annually, or annually) of your plan to be sure you on are track to meet your goals.