An industry watchdog group called The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is questioning the long-held practice of dual agency. Dual agency happens when a real estate agent works with both a buyer and a seller. In this situation, the agent takes on both the role of the listing agent and the buyer’s agent. It’s usually rare, and may happen more often in smaller markets where there may not be as much inventory available. It can also be common in markets where there are only a few brokerages doing business. To …

In 2018, California has experienced the most destructive wildfire season on record, Mashvisor reports. The recent Carr Fire, Mendocino Complex Fire, Woolsey Fire and Camp Fire burned a collective 1,665,746 acres, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. That’s the largest amount of burned acreage recorded during a fire season. No matter the degree of damage, wildfires like these contribute to decreased property values due to the destruction of infrastructure and the reduced quality of life. Fires leave destruction in their wake, reconstruction becomes noisy and intrusive, …

WeWork, the office coworking leader, opened a new space in New York’s Tribeca on June 25, 2018. However, this space had a different purpose. WeMrkt consists of 95,000 square feet at 205 Hudson Street (the fifth, sixth and seventh floors) and will sell products created by WeWork members. More of these retail-oriented locations are planned to come, both in New York and around the country, including San Francisco. “Anyone who has a captive audience like that has tremendous opportunities,” Helen Bulwik, retail consultant and senior partner at Newport Board Group, …

Updated as of Monday, January 21, 2019 First the bad news, and then some good news about how you can still get paid during the shutdown: 2019 is off to a worrisome start. As of this posting, the United States government remains in a partial shutdown. The President and Congress are unable to agree on the provisions of a Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government, particularly the funding (or not) of a wall that would be built along the Mexican border. A partial shutdown means that only some — …

It’s looking promising, at least for now. Home prices are rising and homebuyers are increasing. The suburbs are no longer flatlining; in fact, they are experiencing a thriving rebirth. Second-market cities are becoming players, and the generation expected to rent for life (Millennials) are suddenly eyeing buying houses — in the suburbs! Nobody can accurately predict what will come our way throughout 2019, but here are some very good educated guesses: Mortgage rates will rise “Despite steady climbing for the past two years, mortgage rates remain lower than they were …

A recent U.S. News & World report analysis found that the most preferred retirement markets are located in just three states. The online survey addressed people age 45 and older who compared the 100 largest metro areas in the country as potential retirement spots. Deciding factors included housing affordability, happiness, desirability, retiree taxes, the job market, and access to quality health care. The most preferred cities are located in Florida, Texas, and Pennsylvania. Florida has seven cities that ranked in the 25 Best Places to Retire. The reasons: affordable homes, …

Sears Holdings, which owns the Sears stores nationwide, has hired the real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) to market the sale of 500 of its U.S. stores, according to Bloomberg. In the meantime, Sears Holdings Chairman Eddie Lampert has placed a $4.6 billion bid to buy the company and keep the stores open. Lampert is no longer Sears’ CEO, but his own holdings and his own hedge fund (ESL Investments) makes him Sears’ largest shareholder, and one of its largest lenders. National Real Estate Investor reports that Lampert’s bid, …

Airbnb’s new initiative, called Airbnb Backyard, will begin testing prefabricated Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). These are small cottages that sit behind large houses and are a popular rental on Airbnb. However, Airbnb wants to take that concept a few steps further, by creating homes that are already prepared for hosting guests. Forbes reports that the new venture could also operate as both a producer and a marketplace for selling major aspects of the home. The project is being developed by Airbnb’s product development team, Samara. The properties will be built …

Tech platforms like Zillow, Trulia and Quicken Loans have forever changed the real estate game and transferred most of the action online. However, don’t for a minute give in to the naysayers who are calling for the demise of real estate agents. Your skill, savvy, and service are more in need than ever. In fact, with all of this overwhelming information, you’ve never been more relevant. Here are a few ways to make sure your clients can appreciate you in the age of online technology: Make tech your friend, not …

Cross-border investments sales reached $62.7 billion year-to-date through Q3, according to the research firm Real Capital Analytics. That’s a 56 percent increase compared to the same period in 2017. That stat even surpasses the $60.3 billion seen during the first three quarters of 2015, which was a foreign investment record at that time. “Foreign interest in either the equity or debt stack in U.S. assets remains very strong,” Chris Ludeman, global president of capital markets with real estate services firm CBRE, told National Real Estate Investor (NREI). CBRE reports that …