The MAR Mobile Club for New Alerts

Are you too inundated with information sources?  We developed an MAR Mobile club for members to get up-to-date phone texts on real estate sales reports, legislative votes that impact housing, and other timely news announcements.  We are still fueling the database to begin the program but I’m interested in your feedback.  You will receive no more than one text per week and to sign on you text “marealtor” to 32075 on your cell phone.  Let us know if you like having the options for getting information in different formats.  We want to help you keep in touch.

International Interest in U.S. Homeowners Increases

I don’t know about you but I find surveys extremely interesting and this recent one that NAR did focuses on the International Home Buyer.  International is clarified by anyone who resides outside of the United States and based on the results of the survey it appears that the the strength of the dollar, the value and desirability of U.S. real estate, and the emerging economic recovery continue to drive international interest in owning a home in this country.

Here are some key points of interest form the 2010 NAR Profile of International Home Buying Activity, which include data from between April 1, 2009, and March 31, 2010.

KEY POINTS OF SURVEY:
– $66 billion of U.S. residential property, or 7% of the residential market, was purchased by foreign
buyers (those with residency outside the U.S., recent immigrants, and temporary visa holders);

– 28% of REALTORS® reported working with at least one international client in the past year, up from 23% from
the 2009 report;

–  International buyers came from 53 different countries around the world; the top four countries were Canada,
Mexico, the U.K., and China/Hong Kong;

–  Two factors important to international clients when purchasing property in the U.S. are proximity to their
home country and the convenience of air transportation;

–  Florida, California, Arizona, and Texas account for 53% of purchases;

–  The median price paid by international buyers for a home in the U.S. was $219,400, a decrease from 2009’s
median price of $247,100;

–  16% of the total international purchases were for homes priced at more than $500,000 (According to REALTORS®,
international buyers are typically looking for a second home);

–  66% purchased single-family detached homes;

–  More international buyers purchased a condo than did their U.S. counterparts, at 23% and 7%, respectively; and

– 55% of foreign buyers paid in cash. REALTORS® reported that a majority of international buyers use all cash
because of the difficulty in establishing international credit in the U.S.

Are you finding yourself working more and more with international buyers?  And have you sought out education in this niche to help you better assist these buyers?

I’d be interested in your comments and will also just close by mentioning that MAR has an International Council which offers education and networking events for those working in this niche.  If you are interested in more information http://www.marealtor.com/content/international_council.htm .

Notice the “Change” in Bay State REALTOR®?

Producing Bay State REALTOR® is a labor of love. As Editor in Chief along with production, sales, and design staff, I produce each issue with the intent to provide an interesting, informative, and eye-catching magazine. The editorial is different in each issue, but many elements have stayed the same for some time. It’s time for a change.

The September/October issue, which should be in your mail any day now, officially launches a newly refreshed design and layout of Bay State REALTOR®. The changes create a contemporary, clean look to the magazine, integrating more brief articles on the industry and association amidst thoughtful and timely columns and feature articles. It’s newly organized for easy readability and access to sales and marketing tools; legal information you need to know; member feedback; and association news and events. Our desire for change and a facelift, if you will, was to make the publication better for you, the reader and we hope you agree. And, if you do agree or see ways we can futher improve, we welcome your feedback at bsr@marealtor.com.

But aside from the new design to check out, I want to share a few highlights of the September/October issue that I think will be of particular interest to you:

*Conference & Tradeshow Special Section
If you are a regular reader of Bay State REALTOR® (which I hope you are!) you know that we usually address a key topic of interest in the feature but currently there is nothing more pertinent to today’s Massachusetts REALTOR® than the MAR Conference & Tradeshow, October 18-20 at the DCU Center in Worcester.  Therefore, we included a “Special Section” in the issue that not only highlights a few of the courses and events planned for the Conference but we included additional great information on market strategies, niche marketing and technology related to additional course modules offered at the Conference.  We haven’t tried this “Special Section” before but I think it gives you a great snapshot of the annual event.

*Legal REALTOR® – Use of Social Media
Robert Kutner, Esq., MAR’s outside general counsel, has touched upon a very timely, important topic in his article that I think you’ll find interesting.  He explains that the advent of social media websites creates a great vehicle for communication by REALTORS® and often at little or no cost but the benefit does not come without risks.  You’ll really get alot of information from this article on the legal and ethical limitations and risks associated with communicating through social media outlets.

*Insider – Commercial Forecast
And lastly, I want to draw your attention to the “Insider” column this issue, provided by Rob Nahigian, Commercial Broker and an instructor at the MAR Conference, who sheds some light on the current Mass. commercial market for us.  I realize most of the membership deals primarily in residential but as Rob states, “while it may not be their core business, industrial could prove as supplemental referral income or more, and it is worth it to be informed about the niche.”  I couldn’t have said it better.  The more you know, the more valuable you are.

Those are just some highlights.  There’s much more in the issue for you to peruse. Happy Reading!

NAR is Collecting Short Sale Info

I believe this is one of the great benefits of membership — offering members a channel to provide input on what they are facing in the field in the hopes of helping the industry as a whole. NAR’s recent effort to gather REALTOR® feedback is by creating an online mailbox for members to provide specific examples of the problems being faced with lenders in getting short sales processed. These e-mails will be collected and used by NAR in its discussions with lenders and the U.S. Treasury Department. Since the mailbox is for data collection, no response will be sent to the submission. If you have experience in short sales your input is essential.  Access the online mailbox at HAFA@realtors.org.