New and Updated in the Library – March 2017

The following Field Guides have recently been updated in the Library:

Updated in the Library at

Escrow Accounts/Earnest Money

Escrow accounts are funds that a lender collects to pay the monthly mortgage insurance premiums, home owners 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.

Real Estate Investment Trusts

Over the last 50 years, the U.S. real estate investment trust (REIT) industry has become an important segment of the U.S. economy and investment markets. REITs also make a good entry point for everyday consumers and small investors to break into real estate investing. This field guide gives some background on REITs and information on how to add them to your portfolio.

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.

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.

TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID)

On November 20, 2013, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a final rule to integrate disclosures and regulations required by RESPA and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). The final rule, called TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID), integrates existing disclosures with new requirements from the Dodd-Frank Act to improve consumer understanding of the mortgage process, aid in comparison shopping, and help to prevent surprises at the closing table. When the rule and changes go into effect, REALTORS® and their clients will encounter new forms and procedures at the closing table. The new TRID forms were to be implemented on August 1, 2015. However, on July 21, 2015, after calls from NAR and other industry groups, CFPB officially announced that the effective date of the implementation of the rule was delayed until October 3, 2015.

This Field Guide features resources to help real estate professionals and consumers understand the upcoming TILA-RESPA changes.

Dealing with Stigmatized Properties

Do you dare disclose if there is murder or mayhem at your listing? What if the owner was a controversial person? What are the professional and logistical challenges if there is a well-publicized ghost on your next property? Don’t despair, help is here! This page offers some creative marketing tools and advice for selling properties with an unsavory past.

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.

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.

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.

Home Inspections

Home inspections play a vital role in the home buying and selling process. Failure to obtain a home inspection could potentially cost you a great deal of money in the long run. 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.

Best Places to Live

What makes a location the best place to live, work or retire? We’ve gathered the top lists into one spot to help you determine just that. Find out which cities are ranked as the safest to live in, which cities have the best job opportunities, which cities are more family-friendly, and much more in this field guide.


A little competition is a good thing, right? Learn why awareness of antitrust issues is important for real estate professionals, along with information on avoiding antitrust problems. This field guide provides guidance for brokers and associations, articles, and books about this essential legal issue and updates on the Department of Justice case against NAR.