The Impact of Remote Working on the Housing Market

Some people still remember the old dial-up internet connection. Sometimes, it would take as long as a minute to load a particular page. And imagining doing any kind of serious work was a completely absurd thought. Fortunately, things are entirely different now. Today, almost everyone has access to high-speed internet connections. And the majority of businesses use it, one way or another. It is one of the backbones of whole industries, and functioning without it now seems impossible. As a result, working from home and even attending professional development courses from home have also become an ordinary thing, especially lately. However, that brings specific changes in how businesses operate and from where. Meanwhile, employees, employers, and real estate agents are starting to wonder about the impact of remote working on the housing market.

How significant is the impact of remote working on the housing market?

Given the recent changes forced upon the business world by inconvenient medical events, everyone is trying to adapt. And chances are, after all the adaption is complete, the remote working trend will remain for a while. Maybe even for good. If the researches are true, remote working is reducing business costs. In addition, it increases productivity by a significant measure. With such unexpected results, the housing market will have to adjust accordingly.

So let's take a look at current and possible changes we might expect:

Some people will leave expensive cities.

Besides those who really enjoy the city crowd, most of the workforce will probably leave large cities. Places like New York and San Francisco are costly, and most people who live there do so only because of their jobs. But, if you give them the opportunity to keep the job and live in a more affordable location, you can guess the outcome. Having a well-paid job without worrying about monthly bills is definitely a just goal. With this in mind, some of the residents are already calculating their moving budgets. As a real estate agent, you'll have to adapt and offer some tips to your clients. Looking in the long run, this will probably lower the demand in those expensive places. With lower demand, prices will undoubtedly go down. Eventually, it will balance the discrepancies that have lasted for quite some time now.

A pass between two buildings in one of the business centers.

There is no need to stay in large business centers with remote working.

Remote working will affect the demand for specific housing options.

With more people shifting toward remote working, a large percentage of those will work from home. With this in mind, many are already implementing a home office. Those who haven't, but plan to relocate, are now looking for different housing options. Because now they can afford a more spacious home, the home office has become one of the requirements. And not only that. Once you have the opportunity to customize your working space, the appetite rises. As they need to spend more time at home, they will need larger outdoors and even indoor gyms. People will ask for modern, tech-oriented features, like hi-tech appliances and energy-efficient solutions. Most older homes will have to go through the renovation stage to stay competitive on the market.

The contractor installing solar panels on the roof.

A lot of older houses will require contractors to implement energy-efficient solutions.

Even real estate is going remote.

Brokers will face difficult decisions if the remote work trend continues. There might be less and less demand for traditional apartments and similar housing options. They will eventually have to invest a lot to adapt all the property in their area. But, there is another option. They can change the way they work by following these remote trends. And this is precisely what some of them are already doing.

With a full embrace of technology, most aspects of the real estate job can be done remotely:

  • There are already virtual tours instead of open houses.
  • Modern communication apps allow easy interviews with tenants.
  • All security checks are accomplished online.
  • Digital certificates enable dealing with all the documentation.
  • You can even schedule maintenance and renovation tasks with contractors over the internet.

And these are just some of the benefits the entire remote philosophy is bringing to the table.

Making a business agreement with another person online.

Brokers can manage all their business tasks online.

Real estate agencies can expand to more distant locations.

All the potential shifting happening in the housing market is fundamentally reshaping real estate. But not necessarily for worse. Fortunately, brokers will have the opportunity to benefit by expanding the business to more distant locations. With all the remote options we previously discussed, great possibilities are emerging. These newfound potentialities will make it viable to control and handle far markets. Basically, you won't have to focus on one area, you can expand to both suburbs and the more distant regions, and more far-away cities as well. With online payments being one of the primary ways of transferring money, it is only a matter of time when all the payment procedures will be completely automated.

Remote investments

This remote control and automation could lead to an increase in remote investment. Since real estate agencies will be expanding their influence to other areas, people will have an easier time investing in distant property. They will also help people manage their property online as well. With all the advancement in technology, and all the remote working trends going on, living near your investment will no longer be necessary. This principle pretty much already works fine in several other business areas.

Will the remote working trends and changes stay?

In all honesty, people are aware that investing in a constantly changing housing market can be tricky. Especially now when changes are still without firm foundations. Also, the percentage of remote workers themselves believe that these trends are only temporary. Many expect to be back in their offices once the crisis is over. On the other side, some claim that this was inevitable, a sort of long-expected business evolution. Also, some people just can't decide if they like offices or remote working more. And this can reflect on the housing markets in unpredictable ways.

But the key is to find a middle ground between all the sides. In general, some larger companies are already seriously considering solutions. Opening remote offices all around the globe could be the right move. It will allow companies to get cheaper offices and almost eliminate commuting for employees. Everyone could be working everywhere if the nature of the business allows.

A young man browsing the internet on his laptop in a café.

The old stereotype of a remote worker is far from the truth.

Today, we realize that a remote worker is not a typical stereotype packed into a young freelancer working from the internet café.  It's an average businessman earning his salary by dealing with all the business demands online. And those average businessmen have different concerns when it comes to their housing options. The impact of remote working on the housing market is significant and will probably have an even more considerable influence in the future. Maybe some of them will not permanently leave their offices for the sake of working from home. But, all signs are pointing at the fact that it's something inevitable we might expect in years to come.

 


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Is Building a New Home Better Than Buying an Existing One?

Finding a perfect home to settle in with your loved ones is a delicate process. You can't just go to a shop and buy it like newspapers. There is a plethora of things you have to consider. Before going into any other more in-depth discussions, there is one choice you have to make; whether to buy a home or build one from scratch. Let's find out together - is building a new home better than buying an existing one? Hopefully, we will help you make an informed decision!

Benefits of building a home

Let's start with the benefits of building a custom home. Not many people consider this as an option because it seems like a long and more expensive process. However, during these few months of fighting with COVID-19, many people have chosen to move to a more rural area. There is a certain amount of confidence in the home builder market as a result.

You get to pick the location you want

Finding the perfect location is always the biggest issue for anyone looking for a home. Often, houses in desirable locations are too expensive, or there are no properties for sale. Furthermore, it is a common situation that you find a good site, but there are no homes you like. Or, you find a perfect home, but the location is terrible.

If you choose to build a home, you can pick a location you want and build a house to your liking. This way you get to have the cake and eat it too!

Personalize every little detail

As mentioned, if you are building a home, you get to set your requirements. This is not something you can do when buying a home. If you opt for a purchase, you get a finalized product. Take it, or leave it. You can spend money to remodel it to meet your needs, but that will be too expensive. First, you buy a place, and then you spend the rest of your money to change it. Second, you won't be able to move in immediately. The remodeling process has to be over, and the house entirely cleaned. It can drag for a long time.

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When building a home, you can customize everything, from floor to walls, room layout, and much more.

It is true that build a home also takes time, but at least you know you are getting exactly what you want. And you can use the money you saved to relocate in an affordable way when everything is done.

Increased security

When you build a home, you can customize access to the property and every little detail of how the place will look like. This is the right time to think about security and build your home with that in mind. You can have higher windows, a secured balcony, and so many other variations that will make your home more secure, inside and out.

You are in charge of time management and financial limit

One thing that is common when buying a home is that you can haggle for a better price. Sometimes you get a better deal, sometimes not. When building a home, you can work with a licensed building company and know in advance how much everything will cost and when the construction will be over.

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Knowing the total cost and the construction duration will help you better manage your time and money

You have total control over the time and money spent.

A new home is a clean home

Old houses may have a lot of issues with electrical installations, asbestos, mold, or pests. Dealing with these issues will take time, and it will cost. Since it is your health and safety at stake, you will get a much better deal with a newly built home.

You know that all materials are new, and there are no issues with the structure due to how old the house is.

Are there any drawbacks to building a home?

The biggest issue with building a new home is the length of the process and the total cost. Purchasing a property, hiring licensed builders, and buying all the material adds up.

Image preview

All construction works can take a long time to complete. If you wish to build a customized home from scratch, you need to be patient.

However, you know that what you are getting is a quality home for your family. And, if you have a close connection with your chosen builders, they will give you valuable advice on how to save money when building a home.

What are the benefits of buying a home?

So, is building a new home better than buying an existing one? To truly find out, we have to look at both sides of the coin. When purchasing a home, you know you can expect:

  • to find a good deal if using a real estate expert
  • to get a finished product without too much hassle
  • move in shortly after the purchase is finalized
  • the overall timeframe of buying a home is shorter than building one
  • you can negotiate a lower price
  • the landscaping around the house is already formed

As mentioned above, some of the drawbacks include:

  • worn-out piping or electrical installations
  • old appliances
  • making compromises to fit the budget
  • there is a lot of competition, so sometimes it is harder to find what you want quickly and for the right price

Is building a new home better than buying an existing one?

If we consider everything in the article, the answer depends on deciding if you are willing to wait for the finalized product and invest a bit more money. Is building a new home better than buying an existing one? For some people, it is; for others, it is not. The answer is neither here nor there. But what is important is to understand the advantages and disadvantages of both. That is the only way to make a decision that will satisfy you the most. With that in mind, do extensive research and put your priorities on paper. Do this with all household members because you all need to participate in making this decision. Think smart, and good luck with finding your dream home!

 


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What to Do Before Taking the Real Estate Salesperson or Broker Exam

According to some recent statistics from REALTOR Magazine and the US Census Bureau data, “young Americans are rushing to become homeowners in the pandemic.” 

“Millennial” adults under 35 are still not in the majority of home owning Americans, but the rate rose to 40.2% last quarter, up from 37.5% a year earlier. As the demand for homes continues to rise, so too does the need for real estate brokers and salespeople!

If you’ve been dreaming of using your talents in the real estate industry, we can help you get there with our Real Estate Practice Exam! It covers everything you need to know in order to pass your state’s real estate broker or salesperson certification exam.

Real Estate Practice Exam Description

All 400 practice exam questions were written by industry experts who have previously worked on material for actual real estate exams across the country. While the questions are not the exact same as what you’ll find on a real exam, they were written to be as close as possible.

The practice exam is designed to work around your busy schedule, because it’s accessible 24/7 on any internet-connected device. And with the dynamic review feature, you can watch your practice scores improve in real time as you retake the exam as many times as you’d like. 

Click here to buy the practice exam, or choose your state above to see what other prelicense resources are available.

 


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COVD-19 FAQs For Colorado Real Estate Professionals

On October 6, Colorado Governor Jared Polis extended many previously issued executive orders related to COVID-19 safety. Since the Colorado Division of Real Estate “continues to receive complaints concerning real estate brokers not following state and county-issued guidance regarding COVID-19 restrictions when performing real estate activities,” we’ve decided to compile some resources for you so you can continue to work safely.

Here’s a list of safety resources that you can look at in their entirety when you have the time:

If you only have a few minutes, take a look at this shortened version of the official Colorado Real Estate Industry COVID-19 FAQ page. And remember, we offer online continuing education courses that can be completed anytime on any internet-enabled device! Click here to view our our Colorado state-approved course packages!

Frequently Asked Questions Related to Real Estate Services

Question: What does the Governor’s mask ordinance mean for my place of business?

Answer: As of July 16, 2020, Executive Order D 2020 038 mandates that every Coloradan older than 10 wear a mask or a face covering in all indoor public spaces, unless that individual has a medical condition where wearing a mask would put them at risk. It is important to note that wearing a mask properly means that it covers both your nose and mouth. Wearing a mask under your nose or chin is ineffective.

If a business or professional does not comply with the order, they are at risk of losing their license. Customers who do not comply with the order are violating a Colorado law and are subject to civil or criminal penalties.

Question: Are real estate open houses allowed?

Answer: Yes, real estate open houses are allowed under this amended June 30, 2020 Order, however, all open houses must strictly follow the Indoor Event requirements in Section I.H.4 of this Order. The Colorado Department of Health & Environment has listed on its website the Indoor Event requirements.

Question:  Who is responsible for cleaning and disinfecting occupied properties between showings?

Answer: Both Seller's Brokers and Buyer's Brokers are considered “Field Services” workers under the Public Health Order 20-28 and share responsibility to make sure cleaning and disinfection occur between showings. 

Seller's Brokers need to make arrangements with any occupants to clean and disinfect between showings. Likewise, Buyer's Brokers need to clean and disinfect behind their buyers while showing the property.

Question: Can a buyer require a seller to deep clean a property prior to closing?

Answer: Yes, so long as this is part of the terms of the contract between the buyer and seller.

Question: Who should be providing gloves and masks for showings?

Answer: Due to the shortage of personal protective equipment, it is recommended that brokers encourage buyers to bring their own masks and gloves. Both Buyer's Brokers and Seller's Brokers are encouraged to attempt to provide masks and gloves. However, if buyers show up to meet a Buyer's Broker without masks and gloves, the Buyer's Broker must either: 1) provide masks and gloves; 2) check to see if the Seller's Broker has provided masks and gloves; or 3) tell the buyers they will need to reschedule the showing until the buyers have masks and gloves.

Question: Should the Buyer’s Broker ask the buyer if they have symptoms or have come into contact with known positive cases of COVID-19?

Answer:  Best practice is for Buyer’s Brokers to ask buyers they are working with if they have symptoms or have come into contact with known positive cases of COVID-19.  If the answer is yes, at a minimum, the Buyer’s Broker should tell Seller’s Brokers prior to scheduling a showing.  The Seller may deny showings.

Question: Is it ok to have more than one potential buyer in the property at a time for a showing?

Answer: No. In order to prevent unnecessary contact, showings must be limited to only one buyer group (meaning a group of individuals from a currently shared household) at a time.

Question: Is there a limit to the number of buyers I can show the property to if they have all been quarantined together?

Answer: Under Public Health Order 20-28, gatherings are limited to 10 or less people.  However, we STRONGLY encourage Buyer's Brokers to limit the number of buyers they show the property to prior to executing a contract to only those buyers that will be signing a contract.

Additionally, sellers may impose other restrictions such as requiring buyers to be pre-qualified, limiting the number of buyers in the property or prohibiting showings until a contract is executed by both buyer and seller.

Question: Does the occupant need to leave the property for showings?

Answer: No. Occupants are permitted to remain in the property during all showings. However, occupants should wear masks and gloves and maintain six feet of distance from everyone while other people are in the property.

Question: Should Seller's Brokers get waivers of liability from potential buyers before allowing the potential buyer to enter the property for a showing?

Answer: Brokers that have waivers of liability drafted by a Colorado licensed attorney are permitted to use them. Seller’s Brokers should consult with their Colorado licensed attorney regarding the risks or enforceability of such waivers. Additionally, Buyer's Brokers must advise all buyers to have such waivers reviewed by legal counsel before allowing buyers to sign such waivers. 

Question: Does a buyer have to see the property before they can make an offer?

Answer: No. All buyers, especially Vulnerable Individuals, should be encouraged to do as much research finding a property as they can virtually. This might include getting a contract signed by both buyer and seller prior to the buyer ever seeing the property. In these cases, the buyer may want to consider adding a contingency to the contract that the contract is contingent upon the buyer viewing and approving the property after the contract is signed.

Question:  Does the seller have to allow showings?

Answer: No. Seller's Brokers should explain to all sellers, especially Vulnerable Individuals, their options for selling their property without allowing or minimizing showings. This might include asking for pre-qualifications of buyers before allowing them to see the property or requiring buyers to make an acceptable offer that is signed by the seller before allowing anyone into the property.

Question: Can a buyer still sign a contract or deliver earnest money in person?

Answer: While clients can still sign contracts or deliver earnest money in person, brokerage firms are required to take measures to reduce or negate the need for paper and attempt to provide contactless payment options.

Question: Can a Broker still attend listing appointments in person?

Anwer: Yes. However, Brokers are required to wear a mask and gloves. Public Health Order 20-28 limits gatherings to 10 people or less. We strongly encourage Brokers to perform as many of their job duties remotely or virtually as possible.

 


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Michigan Real Estate Continuing Education Course Preview

Michigan Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons, your legal updates continuing education deadline is October 31st!

With our on-demand video courses, we make it easy to complete your CE around your busy schedule. Here’s a preview from one of the Michigan Law Updates courses that’s available in our 6-credit hour course package! 


2020 Michigan Legal Update II Course Preview

Course Description: This course addresses the most recent regulatory rules and regulations that pertain to the real estate industry in Michigan. It provides an understanding and working knowledge of a license holder’s responsibilities and obligations related to rule changes, requirements, duties, violations and agency. This course sets out specific requirements and best practices.

After completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand changes to Michigan laws and rules, including the legalization of recreational marijuana
  • Gain an understanding of noteworthy case law as it relates to real estate

SANDBAGS AND TEMPORARY MEASURES

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy announced a new Minor Project category that will make it easier for lakeshore property owners to get a permit for the temporary use of sandbags as immediate stabilization measures to protect homes and other critical infrastructure.

The Minor Project category will provide for faster permit processing for homeowners and a reduced permit fee of $100. Under the new category, a public notice will not be necessary for stabilization projects meeting review requirements.

EGLE emphasizes that sandbags are not a permanent solution to erosion problems and the bags eventually must be removed. Property owners should work with a contractor to design a more permanent solution, such as boulders, riprap, or even moving homes and other infrastructure farther inland.

Property owners who seek to take measures to protect their property from record high water levels still need to file a permit application through EGLE’s MiWaters portal. EGLE is expediting permits where there is a risk to structures, human health, and safety. In many cases, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also needs to review the permit application, which is filed jointly through Mi Waters.

Since Oct. 1, EGLE has issued more than 100 shoreline protection permits across the state. Of these, 60 percent were issued within three days of receiving a completed application. Between Oct. 1, 2018, and Sept. 30, EGLE issued 730 permits for Great Lakes projects, some of which were non-emergencies. Fifty percent of the 730 permits were issued within 30 days of receiving an application and 21 percent were issued within 10 days.

In October of 2019 EGLE announced it would expedite permit applications to protect homes or structures that are in danger due to record high water levels. Permits can be approved within days of a completed application being filed, when under normal circumstances the process takes 60-90 days. The shoreline permitting process ensures a balance between protecting property and freshwater dunes and shorelines.

 


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Leveraging Major Appliances to Attract More Buyers

This year we’ve seen shortages on everything from toilet paper to sourdough starter. But while many of those early-pandemic items are now easier to find, there’s another selection of items that is still struggling to meet demand: major household appliances.

The National Association of Realtors and NPR recently reported that dishwashers, refrigerators, washers and dryers, and other household appliances are still struggling to stay in-stock across the nation. During the first half of 2020, manufacturers shipped fewer (a 7% dip) major appliances to retailers and builders compared to 2019, according to data from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. And unfortunately for homeowners, NPR reported that experts are “warning of backlogs on some appliance brands and models through the end of the year and potentially into 2021.”

"I have never experienced a year where there were shortages like we've seen this year," said Sandy Tau, the owner of AHC Appliances on Long Island, who's been in the business for some 25 years. "We have freezers that are on backorder since the end of March that have still not come in."

As demand continues to outpace the supply for these necessary household items, this may be a good opportunity to take advantage of your listings with new (or newer) appliances included. Simply giving more attention to your homes with the new stainless steel kitchen appliances or the modern washer and dryer can help create that bidding war the owners (and you) are hoping for.

With home sales still on the rise, will appliances be something you mention more often to potential buyers? Let us know on social media!

 


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Why Now is the Perfect Time to Become a Real Estate Salesperson (And How to Get Started)

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales in August reached their highest level in over a decade. A handful of factors contributed to this, but we’ll focus on just one down below. The continued climb in home sales is a signal that if you’ve been thinking of pursuing a career in real estate, now is the time.

Total existing home sales rose 2.4% (6 million) from July to August, which is also a 10.5% increase compared to August 2019. Despite global hardships, these increases aren’t expected to slow down anytime soon.

“Home sales continue to amaze, and there are plenty of buyers in the pipeline ready to enter the market," said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. "Further gains in sales are likely for the remainder of the year, with mortgage rates hovering around 3% and with continued job recovery."

In August, nearly 70% of homes on the market were sold in less than a month!

One interesting factor contributing to the steady rise in home sales is the shift away from “corporate office culture” and the acceptance of working from home. With many companies planning on keeping people working from home even after the pandemic is over, the value of real estate to both individuals and the economy as a whole has proven vital.

In August, sixty-nine percent of homes were on the market for less than a month. No matter what your current career situation is, you can become a real estate salesperson and take advantage of the current strong market! All of our real estate licensing courses are available 24/7 from any device with an internet connection - meaning you can learn from anywhere at your own pace.

Get started by choosing your state above, and always feel free to contact us with any questions at 1-800-727-7104.

 


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Real Estate in the Age of COVID-19 – How to Adjust

Nowadays, we are caught in a situation that nobody could have expected a few months ago. Last year, we were thinking about our plans and future vacations in 2020. However, our current reality is much different, since we are living and functioning in the age of Covid-19. While our wellbeing should come first, after some time, we must ask ourselves: what about our jobs and the economy?

Many industries were negatively impacted by the pandemic, but the real estate market is still staying strong. Yet, there are some major changes that must be made. Since social distancing is the main recommended measure against Covid-19, real estate agents are caught in a pickle. However, there is room for adjustment, and there shouldn't be any room for despair.

During the age of Covid-19 make sure you educate yourself

As a real estate agent, you should be always on your toes, ready to answer all sorts of questions. Now more then ever, you must be prepared. During the COVID pandemic, there are many serious buyers and sellers. Most people are looking to move from crowded places to places with less traffic and fewer people. Thus, you should seize this unique business opportunity.

Person using hand sanitizer

One of the things that everybody must know is that we must pay extra attention to our hygiene.

Grab the bull by the horns and approach every buyer seriously. More than anything, be prepared to put them at ease and calm their fears. You can only accomplish this goal if your fears are in check, so make sure to stay well educated on the matter of this vicious virus and its impact on our lives. Moving forward will not be an option if you don’t cover everything there is to know.

Face-to-face meetings are still an option

Since meeting in person might not be currently on the menu, put technology to good use. Use it to your advantage as the next best thing. There are many conference call platforms, such as Zoom, Google Hangout, etc., that you can use to virtually communicate face-to-face with your clients. Certainly, a simple phone call is always an option. Still, seeing your client at least over the screen is much more personal. It gives you a better opportunity to dazzle them and secure their future business.

A phone with the Zoom App opened

If you are looking for a platform for conference calls, Zoom is a great option.

Open houses can be done virtually

Every real estate agent knows that an open house is their golden ticket to selling a property. Not being able to organize them is a huge handicap for all professionals in this field. However, where there is a will, there is a way, so there is a solution to this problem as well. Organizing a virtual tour for potential buyers can greatly help you secure a deal. Still, it is not as great as a live open house would be, but clients will appreciate that you are operating in a safe and responsible manner.

What if a client insists on a tour of the property?

Staying safe this summer is on everyone’s mind and a primary issue. Yet, you might still come across potential buyers that will insist on seeing a property in person. If you are comfortable with such an arrangement, you can schedule a tour, but you will have to take some precautionary measures.

Make sure that you conduct the open house with one client at a time. Inform them that you will implement the necessary procedures to protect your clients as well as yourself. Also, make sure that they clearly understand that you expect the same in return. Not to mention that you should always remain at a distance of 6ft and avoid shaking hands. If your buyers aren’t serious about safety measures, don’t hesitate to point out to them that they should also be responsible. Of course, in a polite manner.

A key stuck in a doorknob

All real estate agents that aren't comfortable with meeting clients in person should avoid organizing open houses.

Moving in the age of Covid-19

We all know how dreadful a relocation can be. That is why most of us opt for hiring professional movers. The majority of moving companies are working and functioning very well, even now. Since moving businesses are considered essential, their operations are not restricted. This is important to know for every real estate agent since potential property buyers might be worried about their upcoming move.

A great way to go the extra mile for your clients is to help them make their choice of professionals, for example by visiting an online database at verifiedmovers.com or recommending a company that you had a positive experience with.

Be ahead of the curve

This is the time when you will either sink or swim. If you want to get ahead in this business, you have to think in advance. First, you need to master functioning during the age of Covid-19.

But what happens once it is over? Can you anticipate how will the real estate market shift? Will it shift at all? What will happen with the needs of potential buyers? How will they change? Do you know the answers to these questions? If the answer is no, you should hop to it. For some businesses, the pandemic has been a blessing in disguise, because they manage to adjust, unlike their competitors. Make sure that, in the end, you come out of this situation victorious.

 


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Michigan Online Licensing Portal Update

On August 25, the Michigan Bureau of Professional Licensing (BPL) within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) introduced a new online licensing system for Real Estate Professionals. This system aims to simplify the licensing process by embracing the internet and moving away from paperwork. With the Michigan Professional Licensing User System (MiPLUS), users can:

  • Apply online, track the status of their application, and receive electronic notifications
  • Renew and modify their existing licensing information
  • Verify the status of a licensed professional
  • File a complaint against a licensed professional or report a change in staff privileges

Here’s how to renew your license using MiPLUS:

You must use a desktop or laptop computer to complete the registration and renewal process.

  1. Login to MiPLUS.
  2. Click on the “Licenses” tab.
  3. Find your License Number under the “Record Number” column. Click on the “Renew License” link located under the “Action” column.

Here’s how to apply for a license using MiPLUS:

You must use a desktop or laptop computer to complete the registration and renewal process.

  1. Login to MiPLUS
  2. Click on Apply for License
  3. Accept disclaimer
  4. Click continue to application
  5. Choose Real Estate from the List
  6. Select which application you want
  7. Click continue Application

Here are some FAQs right from LARA and BPL concerning the new system.

Why is the Department moving to the new licensing system?

The new MiPLUS system will replace three main databases that BPL currently uses to manage licensee records. These systems are 20 years old and limit our ability to offer additional functionality and improve the customer experience.

Will the department still be mailing out renewal postcard notifications with the MiPLUS system?

Yes. They continue to mail out renewal postcard notifications.  In addition, renewal emails will continue to be sent as well.

Are license numbers changing? 

Some real estate broker numbers will be changing. They will be notified once records are migrated to the new system. You can always check your license number by clicking on “Verify a License” at www.michigan.gov/bpl.

Will my expiration date be changing?

The expiration date shown on any current valid license will not change. When you renew your current license for the first time in the MiPLUS system, your new license will have an expiration date that corresponds to the date you first received your professional license.

How do I learn how to use MiPLUS?

Visit www.michigan.gov/miplus to learn more about how to use the new system. This page includes information on how to register an account; how to apply for a license; how to renew your license; and how to modify your license information.

 


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National Association of Realtors Disappointed with New Fair Housing Ruling

On July 23, 2020, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson announced that he would effectively end 2015’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule.

The purpose of the AFFH ruling was to ensure communities complied with the 1968 Fair Housing Act. In order to get any HUD funding, local governments needed to track poverty and segregation in their communities by completing a 92-point questionnaire. Now, without AFFH, municipalities can declare they’re in compliance with fair housing rules themselves, and HUD will accept it based on their word.

Instead of making housing providers pass a sort-of fair housing exam (the 92-point questionnaire), responsibility largely lands on tennents to file complaints. In an official press release, HUD said they can still “terminate funding if it discovers, after investigation made pursuant to complaint or by its own volition, that a jurisdiction has not adhered to fair housing regulations” (emphasis added).

AFFH has been under attack since 2018, when HUD stopped strictly enforcing it. Since then, a 2019 National Fair Housing Alliance report found 31,202 complaints of housing discrimination in 2018, the highest number since the NFHA began collecting such data in 1995.

Concerning the ruling, the National Association of Realtors issued the following statement.

The National Association of Realtors is disappointed that HUD has taken this step, which significantly weakens the federal government’s commitment to the goals of the Fair Housing Act,” said NAR President Vince Malta, broker at Malta & Co., Inc., in San Francisco, CA. “The viability of our 1.4 million members depends on the free, transparent and efficient transfer of property in this country, and NAR maintains that a strong, affirmative fair housing rule is vital to advancing our nation’s progress toward thriving and inclusive communities. With the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on people of color reminding us of the costs of the failure to address barriers to housing opportunity, NAR remains committed to ensuring no American is unfairly denied this fundamental right in the future.”

 


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