Real Estate Agents to Extend Contracts for New Mortgage Disclosures




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WASHINGTON — More than half of real estate agents are planning to extend their sales contracts to provide more time for the closing process due to the coming implementation of new mortgage disclosures.

While the current HUD-1 settlement form can be revised and delivered up to the day of settlement, the new Truth in Lending Act/Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act integrated disclosures must be finalized and in the borrower’s possession three days before closing. Failure to meet that deadline can trigger a re-issuance of the closing disclosure and another three-day waiting period.

“When asked about their plans to deal with the new TRID rules, 55.9% of Realtors plan to change their purchase agreements to reflect a longer timeline, while 31.2% will add contingencies to the contract,” according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors.

The survey did not specially ask how long an agent would extend a sales contract.

There appears to be no consensus on the issue, said Ken Fears, NAR’s director of regional economics and housing finance.

“Based on a handful of anecdotes, some are adding 15 days to a 30-day contract and others are opting for the 60-day contract,” Fears said.

NAR also found that 82% of real estate agents have taken some form of training to prepare for the TRID regime that goes into effect Oct. 3.

Real estate agents also expressed a high degree of confidence in the ability of title companies to implement the TRID rules. Based on a scale of 1 to 5, three-quarters of respondents rated title companies as a “3″ or better in terms of their preparedness. The confidence level of 3 or better fell to 65% for lenders.

NAR emailed the survey to over 57,000 members on Aug. 12 and had a 1.8% response rate.

Over the 12-month period ending in August, 9% of closings were delayed due to an issue involving the lending process, while 1.2% were canceled.

To avoid closing delays and cancellations under TRID, 30% of survey respondents plan to share contracts and amendments sooner with lenders, title insurers and closing agents; 33% plan to perform final or pre-closing walk-through home inspections earlier; and 37% plan to develop a plan with lenders and title agents to smooth the transition to TRID.

Roe: Corporate tax reform may happen

Hank Hayes
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August 31st, 2015 5:00 pm by Hank Hayes

U.S. Rep. Phil Roe

GRAY — Corporate tax reform — a priority of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) — could happen as Congress finishes up its business for the year this fall, U.S. Rep. Phil Roe advised a room full of Realtors on Monday.

Roe, R-Tenn., told a Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors (NETAR) breakfast that corporate tax reform could be packaged with a Federal Highway Trust Fund reauthorization in an upcoming vote.

The highway bill, Roe assured Realtors, would not include an increase in the federal government’s 18.4-cent-per-gallon gas tax, but could drop the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent under a plan being hatched by Republicans.

There is “over a trillion dollars offshore” involving American companies that have moved their headquarters to other countries, according to Roe.

“We have the highest corporate taxes in the world, period,” Roe told NETAR.

NAR says the growing federal debt, weak economic recovery, and continued growth of tax complexity have kept tax reform near the top of the national agenda.

“Members of Congress from both Houses and both parties have expressed a high level of interest in reforming the tax system, and President Obama has also expressed qualified support, especially for corporate or business tax reform,” NAR said. “This ongoing debate places a variety of tax laws, including those affecting commercial and residential real estate, under increased scrutiny.”

Other NAR concerns include so-called “patent trolls” involving Realtors who receive threatening demand letters and lawsuits alleging patent infringement based on the use of common business tools such as drop down menus or search alert functions on websites and the scanner function on a copier.

Legislation is scheduled for a House floor vote to protect businesses from “patent troll abuse,” according to NAR.

NAR also continues to express concern about “overly stringent” lending standards limiting the availability of mortgage financing.

When asked if lending relief is coming, Roe said: “Until we have regime change (in the White House), not a lot will happen.”

Roe said any attempt to get rid of 30-year mortgages won’t get heard, while the tax deduction for home ownership won’t change. “That is so ingrained in American society,” he said of the deduction.

Roe noted the region’s Realtors are coming out of a long business downturn going back to the 2008 financial crisis.

NETAR experienced record existing home sales in May and July, with more than 500 homes being sold each month.

“You all, to me, are the barometer of the economy,” Roe told NETAR. ” … (It’s good) when single-family homes begin to grow and subdivisions are created … One of the things I’ve seen is there have been a lot of homes sold in the last two years. That’s a good sign … If people have good jobs, they are able to afford homes.”

As for other upcoming Congressional votes, Roe again sided against the Iran nuclear deal made by the Obama administration.

“What’s in it for America?” Roe asked of the nuclear deal. “What’s in it for the First Congressional District? What’s good for us? I can’t find anything … They want to kill us … I don’t understand this being political at all.”

He also suggested Congress’ ability to pass legislation will be limited when the 2016 presidential election debate takes hold. “I’ve learned in presidential election cycles that nothing is going to get done,” Roe concluded.

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Green Mountain Association of Realtors awarded grant to help Waterbury community

News Release — Green Mountain Association of Realtors
August 28, 2015

Craig Santenello
Green Mountain Association of Realtors®
Century 21 Jack Associates
(802) 310-9077
[email protected]


Montpelier, VT – The Green Mountain Association of Realtors® has received a $2,200 Placemaking micro-grant from the National Association of Realtors® to help make the Waterbury community a better place to live and work by transforming unused public spaces into vibrant community places.

The grant is intended to help Realtor® associations partner with others to plan, organize, implement and maintain placemaking activities in their communities. Members are actively engaged in the community and know the areas that would benefit most from these improvement efforts.

The Waterbury Area Trails Alliance (WATA) will use the funds to build a new mountain bike and cross country skiing trail system within the Little River State Park. The requested funds will be used to retain trail staff to build approximately 3.5 miles of new trail and interpretative signage, purchase materials and hire a professional trail designer/project manager as they complete the actual trail construction projects to the standards of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).

“Realtors® live, work and volunteer in their communities and take pride in implementing new projects to improve them,” said Craig Santenello a Realtor® from Century 21 Jack Associates who specializes in the Waterbury, VT area. “Placemaking can help promote healthier, more social and economically viable communities. This grant will allow us to address areas in our community that are ripe for sustainable recreational development and create a place where friends and neighbors can come together.”

“As the Waterbury area becomes more attractive and continues it’s impressive rebound from Hurricane Irene, nearby properties will continue to increase in value as will the demand for them.” Santenello said.

For more information about the Waterbury Area Trails Alliance (WATA) visit, To find out more about National Association of Realtors® placemaking grants visit,

SVAR president-elect strategizes upcoming year of leadership

Posted Aug. 29, 2015 at 3:29 PM

NAR Video Spotlight: Window to the LawCyberscams and the Real Estate Professional

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Editor’s Note: This is part of a monthly video series from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® to inform and educate members about important aspects of being a REALTOR®. Watch for this series each month in RISMedia’s Daily Real Estate Advisor.

The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) has produced a video entitled Window to the Law: Cyberscams and the Real Estate Professional. This video alerts real estate professionals to common online fraud schemes, and provides tips and information presented by NAR Associate Counsel Jessica Edgerton to help industry professionals and their clients stay protected.

Click here to view the slide presentation from this video.

To watch this video on NAR’s website, visit:

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National Association of Realtors names Arnold as AOR

The National Association of Realtors (NAR), which represents both the residential and commercial real estate industries, has named Boston-based Arnold as its agency of record after a competitive review involving 18 agencies.

Havas’s Arnold has been primarily tasked with helping NAR revamp the role of the realtor. Since many young people turn to the internet instead of a realtor when it comes to finding a home, Arnold’s goal will be to educate millennials on what exactly a realtor does and why they are valuable for the home buying process.

It will also be responsible for marketing efforts spanning across strategy, creative, digital, and brand activation.

Previously, California agency Most served as agency of record for NAR.

NAR President Chris Polychron said: “Arnold’s understanding of the millennial segment, coupled with their ideas on how to position the value of realtors in a marketplace that is heavily influenced by digital technology, algorithms and electronic matchmaking was impressive.”

Select Resources International managed the review.

Arnold’s clients include Fidelity Investments, The Hershey Company, and New Balance.

Economist sees boom in Upstate housing, real estate

Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, isn’t puzzled by the current state of American politics.

As he addressed about 200 local real estate professionals and guests Thursday, Yun called the rapid emergence of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders “a testament of Americans’ frustration with Washington.”

That frustration is because seven years of below average gross domestic product growth rate has robbed consumers, Yun said at the annual Western Upstate Association of Realtors Luncheon at the Hilton Garden Inn in Anderson.

“If the economy had grown at 3 percent since 2008, each American would have an average of $5,000 more in his pocket each of those years,” Yun said. “So we have a recovery, but something doesn’t feel right. It’s the $5,000 we don’t have in our pocket. That’s a consequence of a subpar economic performance for a long time.”

Yun, one of the nation’s top economic forecasters, said weak growth in full-time employment and wages are the result of below average growth in the GDP.

One consequence is the lowest homeownership rate in 50 years, which Yun considers a key factor in the shrinking of the middle class.

Another factor, Yun told the real-estate audience, is a drop in the number of homes being produced by builders since the Dodd-Frank Act became law. That 2010 change created new regulations that have made it more difficult for small local homebuilders to obtain loans.

“Homebuilders are still dragging their feet,” Yun said, “and a big part of it is because federal regulations have taken small homebuilders out of the game.”


Yun foresees a “pent-up” housing market in Anderson and much of the Upstate, one he thinks will trigger “favorable growth in four of the next five years.”

With rental rates at a seven-year high and employment numbers rising, Yun foresees more Upstate residents becoming homeowners.

“Pending home sales are up 19 percent (over 2014) in the last six months in the western Upstate. That’s three times the national average,” Yun said.

That pace has raised the median price of area homes by 10 percent in the past year — to $149,000.

Yun, who attended elementary and secondary schools in South Carolina, has been a National Association of Realtors economist since 2000. Before that, he worked as an economic consultant to the federal departments of Veterans Affairs and Education.

Despite the slow growth, Yun gave the Realtors and real-estate agents a forecast they had hoped to hear — that better times are ahead.

“The background for a recovery is in place,” he said.

Nick Kremydas, CEO of the South Carolina Association of Realtors, expects that to be especially true in the Upstate and the coastal areas of the state.

“In the Upstate and the coastal areas, you have job growth, and those are attractive places to live,” Kremydas said. “That’s a good situation for the real estate market.”

Follow Abe Hardesty on Twitter @abe_hardesty

Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors

Can you buy a home if you have bad credit? Try taking these five steps

There are many variables that come into play when you decide to purchase a house. You may save for a while toward a downpayment and determine what kind of mortgage payment would work best for your budget. But is your credit situation holding you back? Buying a home with less than stellar credit is possible. Here are five steps to take to get started:

Know your credit score. No matter what you think your credit situation is, knowing your credit score serves as a good starting point when beginning your home search. You’ll be able to see if you need to improve your situation before applying for a home loan, plus it will help you determine if you are getting a fair shake from lenders.

Find a Realtor. Choose a Realtor who can help you overcome credit challenges. Interview several Realtors before choosing one, and ask for referrals. Once you have referrals in hand, call them. You need to make sure that you feel comfortable with your choice and that your Realtor can serve your special needs.

Explain your credit situation. Sit down with your Realtor and draft a thorough letter explaining your credit situation. If you have poor credit, your lender may ask you for an explanation. If your letter simply states that you couldn’t afford payments, you are more likely to have your loan application denied. But if there were extenuating circumstances that contributed to your financial situation, include those in your letter. Some lenders will consider one-time occurrences as acceptable reasons for inadequate credit, including divorce or a medical emergency.

There are two important items to include in your letter to the lender: the reason for your credit situation and why your days of poor credit are behind you. Convince the lender that the circumstances surrounding your impaired credit score are in the past. In addition, you should write a paragraph highlighting anything that may help the lender see you as a desirable client, including low debt-to-income ratio (particularly good if you filed bankruptcy), a big downpayment or job stability.

Talk to a lender. Find a mortgage broker or direct lender experienced in subprime lending. If you are credit challenged, you may find that working with a broker is your best option. Brokers work with multiple lenders and loan products, giving you a greater chance of success.

If you have a low credit score, some lenders will require a higher downpayment. If you don’t have money for a downpayment, sit down with your Texas Realtor and discuss what closing-cost and downpayment-assistance programs you might qualify for.

Be prepared for some rejections. You may have to talk to a number of brokers or lenders before you find one willing to take on a riskier loan. If your credit score is very low and no lenders seem interested, you will likely need to spend the next 12 months boosting your creditworthiness. Your Texas Realtor might be able to recommend programs or professionals who can help you determine what it would take to improve your credit score.

If you are credit challenged, following these steps can put you on the path to homeownership. If you don’t think you qualify today, spend some time improving your credit. It may put you in a better negotiating position later.

The Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors is one of more than 1,400 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprises the National Association of Realtors. As the nation’s largest trade association, NAR is “The Voice for Real Estate,” representing over one million members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry. The Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors serves more than 2,700 members by providing MLS services, education, governmental affairs, etc. For more information, visit

July was a busy month for pending home sales

Expanded Bungalow by Award-Winning Architect Sponsor Listing

Pending sales of existing homes rose only modestly in July, but contract signings were up sharply from a year ago, and it was the 11th consecutive month for a year-over-year gain.

The National Association of Realtors says pending sales were up 0.5 percent from June, and up 7.4 percent from July 2014. July’s pending sales were the third highest this year.

“Led by a solid gain in the Northeast, contract activity in most of the country held steady last month, which bodes well for existing sales to maintain their recent elevated pace to close out the summer,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

The market for first-time homebuyers remains challenging.

IndiaMLS named realtors body NAR India’s IT solutions partner

Bengaluru: Real estate brokers software solutions provider IndiaMLS on Wednesday announced it has been named by the National Association of Realtors India as their exclusive MLS partner at the latter’s annual convention here.

MLS, or multiple listing system, is a facility for the orderly correlation and dissemination of listing information to better serve brokers’ clients, customers and the public.

“NAR India, which is affiliated with the National Association of Realtors in the US, is the largest organised association of realtors in India,” IndiaMLS said in a statement.

“In addition to providing the top real estate technology solution in the market, IndiaMLS will also assist NAR-India in preparing an education and certification curriculum for brokers,” it added.

Jay Patel, founder of IndiaMLS, said: “This is a great accomplishment for IndiaMLS as it paves the road for our company to take our MLS software pan-India.”

International accounting firm KPMG estimates the size of the real estate sector may increase five-fold to reach $676 billion by 2025.

“About 91 million people shifted to cities over the last decade resulting in the development of about 2,774 new cities, taking the total number of cities to 7,935,” said NAR-India.

“The urbanisation resulted in development of 51 million new houses in urban areas. This is a huge opportunity for brokers as well, to offer their professional services,” it added.