New and Updated at the Library – March 2015

The following Field Guides are new to the collection:

Home Automation
Home automation—the ability to monitor and control all your home’s gadgets from afar—is now a booming industry with major players and mass adopters. Automation technologies have been around for decades (recall The Clapper), and consumers can still purchase separate technologies to control thermostats, sprinkler appliances, or door locks; this is known as DIY automation. These days, whole home automation systems are available to manage disparate functions through one centralized interface that can be accessed on a user’s smart phone or tablet. Homeowners and renters alike have taken notice. They want home automation systems, or “smart homes,” for lots of different reasons, but security and energy management are among the most significant. Read on, and learn why some say the global home automation market will be worth over $21 billion by 2020.

The following Field Guides have recently been updated:

Appraisal of Real Estate Offices & Selling Your Book of Business
Whether you own a real estate firm or are thinking of buying or selling one, it’s important to know what the business is worth. The following articles and studies can provide some insight into determining the value of a real estate firm and its assets.

Association Budgets & Reserves
Creating and maintaining a successful association budget doesn’t have to be a headache. Take the pain out of budgeting with these tools available through NAR’s library at Information Central.

Augmented Reality
We’ve all experienced Augmented Reality, although we probably haven’t realized it. As we watch a football game, a yellow first-down line appears on the screen. How does it get there? Mental Floss explains the complicated process of augmenting the picture by a computer program and many technicians. Learn about this up-and-coming technology and how it can benefit the real estate profession in this field guide.

Cell Phone Towers
Cell phone towers may bring extra tax revenue, greater reception, and security to a city or town. Despite these benefits, many remain skeptical of towers due to potential health risks, environmental aesthetics, and the impact on property values.

Communications for Associations
In the world of association management, a key element to success is communication. Communicating includes how to deal effectively with staff or membership, or how to correctly transmit an email message. The following resources help today’s busy association executive better understand and achieve successful styles of communication.

Complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The purpose of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), enacted in 1992, is to assure equal access and services to disabled individuals. The ADA makes it unlawful to discriminate against people with disabilities. Title III of the Act prohibits entities that own, lease, lease to, or operate a place of public accommodation from discriminating against the disabled. How does this impact the real estate sales office? This page includes articles, books, videos, and websites relating to the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Determining Asking Price
What is the best way to determine the asking price of a house and why is it important? Find out here in this field guide.

Digital Cameras & Photography
Did you know that 97% of homebuyers who searched for a home on the internet found photos to be among the most useful features of REALTOR® websites, according to the 2014 NAR Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers? Digital photography and virtual tours allow REALTORS® to serve their clients like never before. Digital images can quickly and professionally showcase a listing, and today’s technologically savvy clients appreciate the convenience of a virtual tour for both long distance and local moves. The following articles will guide you from the beginning to the advanced stages of how to choose and use one of real estate’s hottest tools.

Drones & Real Estate
Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are currently used on a very limited basis for law enforcement, national security, and scientific purposes. Currently, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prohibits the use of UAVs for any commercial purpose, except on a case-by-case basis where the FAA has granted the user a certificate of airworthiness. Given the current FAA prohibition, the National Association of REALTORS® recommends that its members not utilize this technology for any purpose related to selling property. However, change is on the horizon. The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 tasked the FAA with implementing clear-cut regulations allowing for the commercial use of UAVs, by no later than September 30, 2015. In the meantime, this Field Guide includes resources to help REALTORS® stay abreast of the legal status of utilizing drones, and to learn about the potential future use of drones for the real estate industry.

Due Diligence for Home Buyers
Purchasing a home is a huge endeavor, and buyers need to be more educated than ever—before they begin the process. This field guide provides links to practical resources on most every aspect of home buying, from establishing credit to negotiating the final contract.

Escrow Accounts/Earnest Money
Escrow accounts are funds that a lender collects to pay the monthly mortgage insurance premiums, homeowners insurance policy premiums and yearly property taxes. Earnest money, on the other hand, is a good faith sum of money given to bind a contract, for example an agreement to purchase real property or a commitment fee to assure an advance of funds by a lender. This Field Guide will provide you with details on escrow accounts (from the basics to escrow administration) and earnest money as well as information on escrow fraud. You’ll also uncover a variety of case summaries on escrow mishandling, in addition to the numerous digital resources available from the Library’s eBooks collection and related Field Guides.

Establishing a Charitable Foundation
Making the decision to establish or participate in a charitable foundation can be tough, especially in light of the many financial variables affecting associations in today’s economic times. The resources presented here can help facilitate this decision-making process. You will find information pertaining to tax and legal issues, fundraising, as well as general tips on how to start a non-profit. You’ll also discover a wide assortment of useful web sites as well as many valuable resources available from NAR.

Home Inspections
Home inspections are a critical part of the home buying and selling process. Knowledge in the field of property inspection has become invaluable, especially in light of stricter legislation on both a state and national level. The following information sources will assist you and in turn, your clients, in understanding home inspections, the home inspection process and working with home inspectors. You will also uncover valuable tips on the importance of a home inspection and helpful links to a variety of professional home inspection organizations and useful information available to you from the National Association.

IRS Form 990 Reporting Rules for Nonprofits
The Internal Revenue Service has released an updated version of Form 990 for Tax-Exempt Organizations. Get the latest IRS information and find out how this update will affect your organization.

Lead-Based Paint
For many years, lead-based paint was used almost universally in homes and apartment units in the U.S. until it was found to have detrimental impacts on human health, especially in children. As with any environmental hazard, lead-based paint testing, disclosure and liability are issues of serious concern to REALTORS®. The following articles, studies, websites, and other resources provide information on all aspects of lead-based paint for REALTORS® and property managers, including disclosure issues, impacts on the industry, and lead poisoning prevention.

Who benefits from mentoring? Everyone! In fact, current research in mentoring literature indicate that all parties gain from mentoring relationships—mentors, mentees and organizations. It’s no wonder that many successful real estate firms have realized the benefits of establishing a mentoring program. And, in turn, many successful agents have realized the benefits of working with a mentor. This updated field guide will help you with mentoring basics, mentoring programs, tips to locate a mentor and a section on mentoring and the real estate industry. You will also discover a variety of eBooks, books and other mentoring resources available just for you from the National Association of REALTORS®.

Mortgage Interest Deductions
Introduced along with the Income Tax in 1913, the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID) allows homeowners who itemize their taxes to deduct mortgage interest attributable to primary residence and second-home debt totaling $1 million, and interest paid on home equity debt up to $100,000. Though the MID is a popular tax deduction for millions of U.S. homeowners, it has become a controversial topic in recent years. This field guide highlights basics, perceived pros and cons, IRS rules, and more to get you up-to-speed on this widely-debated tax deduction.

Preparing & Staging a House for Sale
Banish the clutter! Trim the bushes! Hide your Star Wars collection! Take down the family pictures! What can you do to prepare a house for sale? Here are tips, hints, thoughts and ideas for sprucing up, cleaning out, decorating, staging, creating a great first impression and making a house appealing to buyers.

REALTORS® and the Global Marketplace
Many real estate professionals have discovered the benefits and values of the world of international real estate. If you are thinking about going global or have already ventured into this arena, this field guide will provide you with tips for locating and working with international clients, etiquette, cross-cultural business guides and international networking opportunities. You will also discover an assortment of international real estate information sources, including a wealth of worldly resources from the REALTOR® organization, including referral opportunities and business partnerships in over 60 countries where NAR has established relationships! Plus, the international eBooks available in the Virtual Library at are definitely a must-read.

Short-term Rental Restrictions
According to the 2014 NAR Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, most respondents purchased a vacation property for personal use, but, of investment buyers, 50% purchased with the intent of renting to others. Renting out a vacation home can offset the costs of this investment until retirement. But what happens when a community acts to restrict short-term rentals? Read on… and you’ll find out.

Single-Property Websites
Property marketing is always a challenge. How do you make sure your client’s property gets the attention it needs? How do you make it easy for buyers to learn about your property? Some REALTORS® are turning to single-property websites to feature an individual property on a dedicated site. Is the time and effort of creating a single-property website worth it? See what others are saying.

Transfer of Development Rights (TDRs)
Transfer of development rights (TDR) is one “smart growth” tool used to manage land development. TDR is the exchange of zoning privileges from areas with low population needs, such as farmland, to areas of high population needs, such as downtown areas. These transfers allow for the preservation of open spaces and historic landmarks, while allowing urban areas to expand and increase in density. This field guide details the basics of TDRs, processes used for creating successful TDR programs, case studies, and more.

Working with First-Time Homebuyers
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: 2015 is the year of the millennial when it comes to real estate. Millennials are at a critical demographic tipping point where their sheer numbers will naturally drive demand for more home sales. Most first-time buyers move into their first home when they’re between the ages of 25 to 34.” says Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at  Get reading for the wave of millennials and first-time homebuyers with this updated Field Guide.


Senior Information Specialist

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  1. your this blog is very informative and helpful for an real estate agent and for customer who wants the best property.