Existing-Home Sales Remain Soft in March Says NAR

WASHINGTON, DC–(Marketwired – Apr 22, 2014) – Existing-home sales were essentially flat in March, while the growth in home prices moderated, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Sales gains in the Northeast and Midwest were offset by declines in the West and South.

Total existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, slipped 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.59 million in March from 4.60 million in February, and are 7.5 percent below the 4.96 million-unit pace in March 2013. Last month’s sales volume remained the slowest since July 2012, when it was 4.59 million.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said that current sales activity is underperforming by historical standards. “There really should be stronger levels of home sales given our population growth,” he said. “In contrast, price growth is rising faster than historical norms because of inventory shortages.”

Yun expects some improvement in the months ahead. “With ongoing job creation and some weather delayed shopping activity, home sales should pick up, especially if inventory continues to improve and mortgage interest rates rise only modestly.”

The median existing-home price2 for all housing types in March was $198,500, up 7.9 percent from March 2013. Distressed homes3 — foreclosures and short sales — accounted for 14 percent of March sales, down from 16 percent in February and 21 percent in March 2013. “With rising home equity, we expect distressed homes to decline to a single-digit market share later this year,” Yun said.

Ten percent of March sales were foreclosures, and 4 percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 18 percent below market value in March, while short sales were discounted 12 percent.

Total housing inventory4 at the end of March rose 4.7 percent to 1.99 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5.2-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 5.0 months in February. Unsold inventory is 3.1 percent above a year ago, when there was a 4.7-month supply.

The median time on market for all homes was 55 days in March, down from 62 days in February, and also 62 days on market in March 2013. Short sales were on the market for a median of 112 days in March, while foreclosures typically sold in 55 days and non-distressed homes took 53 days. Thirty-seven percent of homes sold in March were on the market for less than a month.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.34 percent in March from 4.30 percent in February; the rate was 3.57 percent in March 2013.

First-time buyers accounted for 30 percent of purchases in March, up from 28 percent in February; they were 30 percent in March 2013.

NAR President Steve Brown, co-owner of Irongate, Inc., Realtors® in Dayton, Ohio, said first-time buyers have been stuck in a rut. “There are indications that the stringent mortgage underwriting standards are beginning to ease a bit, particularly regarding credit score requirements, but they remain a headwind for entry-level and single-income home buyers,” he said.

“We also have tight inventory in the lower price ranges where many starter homes are found, but rising new-home construction means some owners will be trading up and more existing homes will be added to the inventory. Hopefully, this will create more opportunities for first-time buyers,” Brown said.

All-cash sales comprised 33 percent of transactions in March, compared with 35 percent in February and 30 percent in March 2013. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 17 percent of homes in March, down from 21 percent in February and 19 percent in March 2013. Seventy-one percent of investors paid cash in March.

Single-family home sales were unchanged at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.04 million in March, the same as February, but are 7.3 percent below the 4.36 million pace a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $198,200 in March, which is 7.4 percent above March 2013.

Existing condominium and co-op sales declined 1.8 percent to an annual rate of 550,000 units in March from 560,000 in February, and are 8.3 percent below the 600,000 level in March 2013. The median existing condo price was $200,800 in March, up 11.6 percent from a year ago.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast rose 9.1 percent to an annual rate of 600,000 in March, but are 4.8 percent below March 2013. The median price in the Northeast was $244,700, up 3.2 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest rose 4.0 percent in March to a pace of 1.04 million, but are 10.3 percent below a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $149,600, which is 5.9 percent above March 2013.

In the South, existing-home sales declined 3.0 percent to an annual level of 1.92 million in March, and also are 3.0 percent below March 2013. The median price in the South was $173,000, up 6.7 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West fell 3.7 percent to a pace of 1.03 million in March, and are 13.4 percent below a year ago. The median price in the West was $289,300, which is 12.6 percent higher than March 2013.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

NOTE: For local information, please contact the local association of Realtors® for data from local multiple listing services. Local MLS data is the most accurate source of sales and price information in specific areas, although there may be differences in reporting methodology.

1Existing-home sales, which include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, are based on transaction closings from Multiple Listing Services. Changes in sales trends outside of MLSs are not captured in the monthly series. NAR rebenchmarks home sales periodically using other sources to assess overall home sales trends, including sales not reported by MLSs.

Existing-home sales, based on closings, differ from the U.S. Census Bureau’s series on new single-family home sales, which are based on contracts or the acceptance of a deposit. Because of these differences, it is not uncommon for each series to move in different directions in the same month. In addition, existing-home sales, which account for more than 90 percent of total home sales, are based on a much larger data sample — about 40 percent of multiple listing service data each month — and typically are not subject to large prior-month revisions.

The annual rate for a particular month represents what the total number of actual sales for a year would be if the relative pace for that month were maintained for 12 consecutive months. Seasonally adjusted annual rates are used in reporting monthly data to factor out seasonal variations in resale activity. For example, home sales volume is normally higher in the summer than in the winter, primarily because of differences in the weather and family buying patterns. However, seasonal factors cannot compensate for abnormal weather patterns.

Single-family data collection began monthly in 1968, while condo data collection began quarterly in 1981; the series were combined in 1999 when monthly collection of condo data began. Prior to this period, single-family homes accounted for more than nine out of 10 purchases. Historic comparisons for total home sales prior to 1999 are based on monthly single-family sales, combined with the corresponding quarterly sales rate for condos.

2The median price is where half sold for more and half sold for less; medians are more typical of market conditions than average prices, which are skewed higher by a relatively small share of upper-end transactions. The only valid comparisons for median prices are with the same period a year earlier due to a seasonality in buying patterns. Month-to-month comparisons do not compensate for seasonal changes, especially for the timing of family buying patterns. Changes in the composition of sales can distort median price data. Year-ago median and mean prices sometimes are revised in an automated process if additional data is received.

The national median condo/co-op price often is higher than the median single-family home price because condos are concentrated in higher-cost housing markets. However, in a given area, single-family homes typically sell for more than condos as seen in NAR’s quarterly metro area price reports.

3Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales), days on market, first-time buyers, all-cash transactions and investors are from a monthly survey for the NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, posted at Realtor.org.

4Total inventory and month’s supply data are available back through 1999, while single-family inventory and month’s supply are available back to 1982 (prior to 1999, single-family sales accounted for more than 90 percent of transactions and condos were measured only on a quarterly basis).

Realtor.com®, NAR’s listing site, posts metro area median listing price and inventory data at: www.realtor.com/data-portal/Real-Estate-Statistics.aspx.

The Pending Home Sales Index for March will be released April 28, and existing-home sales for April is scheduled for May 22. First quarter metropolitan area home prices will be published May 12; all release times are 10:00 a.m. EDT.

Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. This and other news releases are posted in the “News, Blogs and Videos” tab on the website. Statistical data in this release, as well as other tables and surveys, are posted in the “Research and Statistics” tab.

Ahead of the Bell: US Existing Home Sales

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Association of Realtors reports on sales of existing homes in March. The report is scheduled for release Tuesday at 10 a.m. Eastern time.

SLIGHT DROP, AGAIN: Economists forecast that sales slipped 0.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million, according to a survey by FactSet. If that projection proves accurate, it would be slowest sales pace in 21 months.

NO SPRING THAW YET: Harsh winter weather, a limited supply of available homes and rising mortgage rates have dragged down sales since last summer.

Last month’s figures reflect final sales that likely began with offers in January or February, since it can take a month or more to close a sale. So March’s sales data may be affected by freezing temperatures and snowstorms that slammed the Northeast and Midwest earlier this year.

Signed contracts to buy homes fell for the eighth straight month in February, the Realtors said last month. Signed contracts are usually followed in one to two months by a completed sale, so February’s drop points to falling sales last month. If so, it would be the seventh decline in the past eight months.

Existing home sales rose steadily in the first half of last year, reaching an annual pace of 5.38 million in July. And sales totaled 5.1 million in all of 2013, the most in seven years. That’s still below the 5.5 million that is consistent with a healthy housing market.

But sales slowed in the fall as rising mortgage rates and higher home prices began to squeeze some buyers out of the market. Freezing temperatures and winter storms also kept prospective buyers away from open houses. Sales have fallen 14 percent since July.

HIGHER BUYING COSTS: Home prices are rising even as sales slow. That’s a sign that the supply of available homes is tight, forcing potential buyers to make higher bids. Prices rose 12.2 percent nationwide in February compared with the same month a year ago, according to real estate data provider CoreLogic.

The average interest rate on a 30-year mortgage was 4.27 percent last week, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. That was down from 4.34 percent the previous week. But that’s still about a full percentage point higher than last spring’s record lows.

March Sales of Existing Homes Slip Again

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that the seasonally adjusted annual rate of existing home sales in March fell 0.2% to 4.58 million from a total of 4.6 million in February. Sales are also down 7.5% year-over-year for the month. March activity was the lowest since July 2012, when the seasonally adjusted annual rate was 4.59 million.

The consensus estimate called for sales to reach 4.6 million, according to a survey of economists polled by Bloomberg.

Housing inventory rose 4.7% in March, to 1.99 million homes, which is equal to a supply of 5.2 months, higher than the five-month supply in February. Unsold inventory is up 3.1% compared with March 2013, when there was a supply of 4.7 months.

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According to the NAR, the national median existing home price in January was $198,500, up 7.9% compared with March 2013.

NAR’s chief economist said:

There really should be stronger levels of home sales given our population growth. In contrast, price growth is rising faster than historical norms because of inventory shortages. With ongoing job creation and some weather delayed shopping activity, home sales should pick up, especially if inventory continues to improve and mortgage interest rates rise only modestly.

Sales of single-family homes remained unchanged from February at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.04 million, down from 4.05 million in January and 7.3% below sales in March a year ago. Sales of multifamily homes fell 1.8% month-over-month to an annual rate of 550,000.

Foreclosed and short sales accounted for 14% of March sales. Foreclosures sold at an average 18% discount to the March median price, while short sales sold at a discount of 12%.

Existing, non-distressed homes were on the market for an average of 53 days, while foreclosed homes were on the market for an average of 55 days and short sales took a median of 112 days to sell.

The good news from the NAR’s report remains that housing inventory continues to rise year-over-year, even though it is still low by historical standards.

Related Articles

NAR picks 8 startups for ‘REach’ tech accelerator class of 2014

The National Association of Realtors has announced the eight members that will comprise the class of 2014 for its tech accelerator program, REach.

Now in its second year, the program, run by NAR’s 6-year-old investment wing, Second Century Ventures LLC, provides a select group of firms access to nearly 200 mentors like DocuSign’s founder, Tom Gonser, and NRT LLC’s senior vice president of marketing, Dan Barnett.

Like the inaugural class of seven startups, this year’s group of startups will also have access to feedback from hundreds of Realtor beta testers and get access to NAR’s real estate contacts, giving them the opportunity to pitch their products and services to some of the biggest names in the industry.

REach’s 2014 class includes:

  • Back At You Media — a lead generation and communication technology for social media.
  • Deductr — an app that helps independent contractors and small-business owners automatically track expenses, mileage and time, making the task of tax deductions easier.
  • Desktime — a service that helps brokers, business owners and landlords build relationships and turn unused office space into cash.
  • FundWell — a service that connects small businesses with prequalified lenders who will fund their real estate needs and business expansion plans.
  • Goby — a “software as a service” platform that tracks energy utilization in buildings to optimize efficiency and regulatory reporting.
  • SendHub — a service that turns any phone into a full-featured business telephone.
  • SmartZip Analytics — a real estate analytics and predictive marketing service.
  • WeVideo — an online collaborative video-editing application.

Unlike other incubator programs, REach is not focused on helping participating firms raise money. Instead, it’s aimed at helping companies grow revenue, by tweaking their products to best fit the industry, and by providing networking channels to get them face to face with decision-makers, the program’s managing director, Constance Freedman, told Inman News.

The program is not free for participating startups. They pay a marketing fee to Second Century Ventures that totals up to $25,000, and hand over equity stakes of between 2 and 5 percent in order to participate.

“We designed REach to help early-stage companies realize ideas that serve the real estate market and beyond,” said NAR CEO Dale Stinton, who also serves as president of Second Century Ventures, in a statement.

Freedman called the first year of the program, which included seven companies — BombBomb, Treater, Lumentus, Planwise, Reach150, Updater and Workface – a success. Five of those companies landed big deals with major brands, Freedman said.

Lumentus signed a deal with Better Homes and Garden Real Estate; BombBomb made deals with several large brands; and Reach150 established deals with several brokerages affiliated with Keller Williams Realty, Coldwell Banker Real Estate and Century 21 Real Estate, Freedman said.

In addition, Second Century Ventures revealed in January that it chose to invest an unnamed amount of cash in one of its 2013 REach members, Planwise, in exchange for a larger ownership stake.

Gabrielle Giffords’ husband, gun control advocate Mark Kelly, to keynote NAR …

Mark Kelly — a retired astronaut turned gun control advocate after his wife, former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, was nearly killed in a 2011 mass shooting — will deliver the keynote address at the National Association of Realtors’ annual conference in November.

Kelly will take the stage on Saturday, Nov. 8, on the second day of the 2014 Realtors Conference Expo in New Orleans, which will run Nov. 7-10. Giffords will also make a special appearance, NAR said in a press release.

Two years after Giffords was shot in the head in a shooting that killed six people, she and Kelly founded a nonprofit political action committee, Americans for Responsible Solutions, that pushes for legislation to prevent gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership.

Mark Kelly and Gabrielle Giffords in an April 2013 video produced by Americans for Responsible Solutions calling for stricter background checks for gun licenses.

The couple say they are “gun owners and strong supporters of the Second Amendment,” though some of the measures they advocate — for instance, “a background check system that will stop the most dangerous among us from buying guns, by getting records in the system and closing the Internet and gun show loopholes” — are opposed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and many gun owners.

A year ago, NRA Executive Director Chris Cox said he expected American for Responsible Solutions to target “pro-Second Amendment senators” in the upcoming November election.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics’ website, opensecrets.org, the American for Responsible Solutions “super PAC” has raised $15 million in the 2014 election cycle, but made no contributions to candidates for federal office or independent expenditures.

Asked why NAR had chosen a gun control advocate as a speaker, NAR spokeswoman Sara Wiskerchen said NAR’s Meetings Conference Committee selects keynote speakers they deem among “the nation’s foremost thinkers, leaders or innovators,” such as Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, business executive Michael Eisner, television journalist Tom Brokaw, and many other celebrities.

“Mark Kelly was selected because he’s an American astronaut, a retired U.S. Navy captain, a best-selling author, a prostate cancer survivor and an experienced naval aviator who flew combat missions during the Gulf War,” she said.

“He exemplifies leadership, the importance of teamwork and courage under pressure, which is why NAR is very excited to have him and [the] former U.S. congresswoman accept our invitation to address this year’s attendees.”

NAR increased annual member dues by $40 in 2012 to raise money for political advocacy at the local, state and federal level and take advantage of a Supreme Court ruling removing limits on independent expenditures. NAR says it backs candidates who support the “Realtor Party” agenda, funding re-election campaigns of influential Democrats and Republicans alike.

Another celebrity in attendance at the group’s annual convention will be Jennifer Hudson, an Academy Award-winning actress, Grammy Award-winning recording artist and best-selling author. Hudson, who landed a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in November, will perform at the conference.

Registration for the event opens on May 7. The conference’s website, including a full conference schedule, will go live at around 1 p.m. Eastern today.

Potential impacts of joint NAR-realtor.com national marketing campaign …

A joint marketing campaign from the National Association of Realtors and Move Inc.-operated realtor.com is expected to boost traffic and awareness of the site — a potential boon to agents and brokers whose listings appear on realtor.com or who advertise on the site.

While the drama surrounding the defections of two key Move executives last month seems to weigh heavily on the minds of Move shareholders and other industry observers, the joint NAR/realtor.com marketing campaign is likely to have a bigger impact on the fortunes of Move and NAR’s official site, realtor.com, according to a report from Ian Corydon, a senior analyst and director of research at investment bank B. Riley Co.

The campaign’s implications are “underappreciated,” according to Corydon.

NAR, which “historically has focused its marketing on its members, appears to be repositioning a significant amount of its large (around $40 million) advertising budget to focus on promoting the realtor.com brand,” Corydon said.

Move’s share price has plunged 41 percent since an October high of $18.36, underperforming peers such as Zillow and Trulia. B. Riley attributed some of the decline to former realtor.com President Errol Samuelson and former Move Executive Vice President of Industry Development Curt Beardsley leaving Move to join Zillow, but said the reaction in the stock to these defections was “overdone.”

“While Samuelson and Beardsley were key executives, we feel confident that Move will replace them with qualified people, and we do not think Move will be disadvantaged by their departure,” Corydon said.

Moreover, “Samuelson and Beardsley will face an uphill battle at Zillow, which has earned the ire of many in the industry,” he added.

Move and NAR have since filed a lawsuit against Samuelson and Zillow alleging misappropriation of trade secrets, among other charges.

In court filings, Move and NAR have said Samuelson was privy to two secret, yet-to-be-launched realtor.com projects — one that would provide “new consumer functionality” and the other which is “the modification of a major product” — as well as many aspects of Move business strategy and plans, including merger and acquisition targets.

The court filings point to “NAR’s ongoing and time-sensitive strategy for acquiring, or keeping Zillow away from, a cluster of competitive assets,” as well as a reference to a Move meeting ”to discuss a significant possible merger.”

“While Move likely engages in acquisition and merger discussions as an ongoing function of its business, should such discussions turn into something more, they could obviously act as a catalysts for the stock,” Corydon said.

Corydon did not seem worried about Samuelson’s knowledge of Move’s possible acquisition targets. Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff has said that Samuelson would not be responsible for mergers or acquisitions at Zillow, and last week a judge denied Move’s motion for a preliminary injunction that would have prevented Samuelson from working for Zillow.

The improving housing market also buoyed B. Riley’s confidence in Move’s future performance.

“While we are looking for more progress in key housing market indicators, Move’s March housing market report revealed that for-sale listings were up 9.5 percent year over year and median list prices up a modest 5.3 percent,” Corydon said.

For-sale home inventories remain at a relatively low level, but moderating price increases indicate the imbalance between supply and demand may be improving, he added.

B. Riley estimated that Move’s revenue will grow to $254 million in 2014, 12 percent over $227 million last year.

Move main rival Zillow posted total revenue of nearly $198 million total last year, of which $132 million came from Zillow’s Premier Agent business. Investment research firm Brady Capital Research Inc. expects that figure to rise to $1.5 billion by 2022, predicting  the company’s Premier Agent subscriber base will grow from 40,000 to 180,000 and that average revenue per agent will soar from $3,650 to $8,000.

“Although Zillow appears unthreatening with nascent business lines producing under $200 million in revenue, the revolutionary power of its radical consumer-centric model makes it a ubiquitous disruptive force to the traditional Realtor-centric machine,” the firm said.

NAR Announces Eight Start-Ups to Enter 2014 REach Accelerator Class

WASHINGTON, DC–(Marketwired – Apr 21, 2014) – REach©, an accelerator program developed by the National Association of Realtor®‘s strategic investment arm, Second Century Ventures (SCV), to introduce innovative technology companies to the real estate marketplace, today announced the selection of eight companies to its 2014 class. 

The companies entering the REach accelerator program are:

  • Back At You Media – Provides a complete lead generation and communication technology for social media.
  • Deductr – Helps independent contractors and small business owners keep their hard-earned money by automatically tracking expenses, mileage and time.
  • Desktime – Helps brokers, business owners and landlords build relationships and earn extra income by helping clients turn unused office space into cash.
  • Fundwell – Connects small businesses with prequalified lenders that will fund their real estate needs and business expansion plans.
  • Goby – Tracks energy utilization in buildings to optimize efficiency and regulatory reporting.
  • SendHub – Offers an all-inclusive business phone suite that features mobile, flexible, and connected telephony for real estate professionals.
  • Smartzip – Uses the power of big data to help agents win listings by identifying top home seller prospects accurately and reaching them through targeted online, social and offline marketing campaigns.
  • Wevideo – Provides video editing, collaboration, and sharing across any device, including mobile, tablets, laptops and desktops.

“The future of our industry increasingly depends on fast, seamless adoption of technology that benefits home buyers, sellers and investors at every step of a real estate transaction, from prospecting to closing,” said Dale Stinton, president of Second Century Ventures, NAR CEO and chairman of SCV. ”We designed REach to help early-stage companies realize ideas that serve the real estate market and beyond. The companies joining REach today exemplify NAR’s commitment to fostering technology designed to support and enrich our Realtor® members and their business.”

“Following the success of last year’s inaugural program, we had a tremendous response from high-quality applicants for the REach 2014 class. This year’s class is composed of companies graduated from top accelerators such as Y Combinator and backed by well-known venture capital firms such as Intel Capital, Javelin Capital, 500 Startups Crest Capital and Menlo Venture Partners,” said Constance Freeman, managing director at SCV and founder and managing director of REach. ”We also are pleased to be joined for the first time by companies that address commercial real estate as their primary market.” 

Companies invited to enter the 2014 cohort were selected after a comprehensive review of their business, their management, the potential benefit their products and services will bring to NAR members, and the advantages that participants may accrue from association with REach, its mentors, NAR and its Realtor® members.

REach is managed by SCV, the strategic venture arm of NAR. The accelerator annually selects fewer than a dozen companies to access one of the world’s largest industries and its leadership. NAR members can sign up to test products and services of new REach companies through the NAR Insight Panel at http://www.narreach.com/realtors

Second Century Ventures promotes innovation in the real estate industry and helps its entrepreneurial spirit thrive. NAR provides immediate strategic value to SCV portfolio companies by allowing them access to NAR’s 1 million members and the vast resources of a 300-person organization with the expertise, influence and power that comes only by being ingrained in an industry for over 100 years.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org and about REach™ at http://narreach.com. This and other news releases are posted in the “News, Blogs and Videos” tab on the Realtor.org website. 

NAR and Realtor.com® Launch First Joint Campaign to Drive Consumer …


SAN JOSE, Calif., April 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Today realtor.com
®, a leader in online real estate operated by Move, Inc.

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, and the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) announced that they are reaching out to consumers like never before – with one voice.

Across advertising, advocacy, and consumer engagement, the NAR and realtor.com® are joining forces to drive consumer awareness of the value that Realtors® and realtor.com® each bring to the real estate transaction, and to educate consumers about the most important issues that could affect their ability to buy, sell or invest in real estate. 

The combined campaign launches the largest cooperative action of the two organizations to date and underscores the deep level of commitment between the NAR and realtor.com®. The collaboration will amplify the efforts of each organization by joining the previously individualized marketing campaigns into a cohesive and united front, with the goal of achieving a reach and effectiveness far broader than accomplished previously.

“When it’s time to get serious about homeownership, consumers turn to Realtors® for unparalleled expertise and support in the biggest financial decision of their lifetimes. Realtor.com provides the same trusted experience for consumers in the online research phase of their real estate search, working in tandem to provide  the most timely, comprehensive and accurate information available online,” said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move.  ”We are helping consumers understand that our organizations are working closely together like never before to bring the power of our trusted resources to buyers and sellers.”

The collaboration includes a significant marketing commitment from both the NAR and realtor.com® to feature realtor.com® in national television and radio advertising beginning this summer.  The alignment of creative and brand messaging is expected to amplify consumers’ awareness of the unique position of realtor.com® and Realtors® in serving consumers’ desire for timely, accurate and comprehensive information and sound, trusted advice.

“Realtor® is the most trusted brand in real estate, and realtor.com® represents the best of our profession, with a commitment to accuracy, timeliness and professionalism that no other brand can match,” said NAR President Steve Brown. “While others applaud themselves for simply talking about the issues, Realtors® actually take action to protect consumers’ interests. We invite consumers to join us in these efforts, and are excited about the opportunities ahead. Working together, Realtors® and realtor.com® will continue to make ‘home happen’ in every sense of that vision.”

About NAR

The National Association of Realtors®,
“The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

About realtor.com

Operated by Move, Inc.,

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+2.76%


, realtor.com® helps connect people with the content, tools and expertise they need to find their perfect home. As the official website of the National Association of REALTORS®, realtor.com® empowers consumers to make the smartest decisions when it comes to finding a home by leveraging direct connections with more than 800 MLSs to deliver the most accurate and up-to-date listing information in neighborhoods across the country, and by making timely and meaningful connections between consumers and REALTORS®. Whether through desktop, mobile, or tablet versions, realtor.com® is where home happens.

About Move, Inc.

Move, Inc.

/quotes/zigman/7335648/delayed/quotes/nls/move MOVE
+2.76%


, the leader in online real estate, operates:  realtor.com®, the official website of the National Association of REALTORS®; Move.com, a leading destination for new homes and rental listings, moving, home and garden, and home finance; ListHub™, the leading syndicator of real estate listings; Moving.com™; SeniorHousingNet; SocialBios; Doorsteps®; TigerLead®; Top Producer® Systems and FiveStreet.  Move, Inc. is based in San Jose, California.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including information about management’s view of Move’s future expectations, plans and prospects, within the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the results of Move, its subsidiaries, divisions and concepts to be materially different from those expressed or implied in such statements. These risk factors and others are included from time to time in documents Move files with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to, its Form 10-Ks, Form 10-Qs and Form 8-Ks. Other unknown or unpredictable factors also could have material adverse effects on Move’s future results. The forward-looking statements included in this press release are made only as of the date hereof. Move cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Finally, Move expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

Supporting Resources

SOURCE realtor.com

Copyright (C) 2014 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

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Clarksville Association of Realtors to host 7th Annual Project FUEL Block …





April 19, 2014 |
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Clarksville Association of REALTORSClarksville, TN – On May 3rd, 2014, the Clarksville Association of Realtors will be hosting the 7th Annual Project F.U.E.L. (Full of Emmaus Love) Block Party and Fundraiser, a community event that is coordinated each year by the Charity Relations Committee with the assistance of the realtor and affiliate members of the Clarksville Association of Realtors.

The proceeds from the event benefit the F.U.E.L Program which helps to ensure that food is provided for hungry school children on the weekends.

7th Annual Project F.U.E.L. Block Party and Fundraiser set for May 3rd.

7th Annual Project F.U.E.L. Block Party and Fundraiser set for May 3rd.

Some of the highlights of the Block Party this year will include live performances by step teams and a choir, demonstrations from a K-9 Team, appearances from the Clarksville Police Department and Clarksville Fire Rescue, a Kids Zone that includes bouncy houses and water games, pet adoptions will be available, a silent auction, many vendors will be set up and much more.

Lunch tickets can be purchased for $5.00 at the Clarksville Association of Realtors office and will include a hamburger and hot dog lunch with all the fixings. Donations will also be accepted at the event.

Project F.U.E.L. Block Party and FundraiserProject F.U.E.L.  is a food subsidization program designed to feed Clarksville-Montgomery County school children through the weekend whose only food source may be the meals they are receiving at school. Individually wrapped snack items are made available to the qualifying students each Friday.

The program is funded solely through donations and local fundraising efforts and operated through local churches and civic organizations.

“As Realtors, we enjoy working to give back to a community that provides so much for us,” said Katie Griffin, Charity Relations Committee Chair. She went on to add that for the cost of one ticket, we can feed a child for an entire weekend and that the need is real here in Montgomery County. To date, the Clarksville Association of Realtors has raised over $46,000 for the F.U.E.L. Program.

For additional information on the 7th Annual F.U.E.L. Fundraiser Block Party, visit the website: http://clarksvilleassociationofrealtors.com/fuel/.

Project F.U.E.L. Block Party and Fundraiser

Project F.U.E.L. Block Party and Fundraiser


The public is always welcome to assist with the donations and are welcome to drop off donation items or funds at the Clarksville Association of Realtors office located at 115 Center Pointe Drive. For additional information on the F.U.E.L program or to find out how you can help assist these children, please contact Denise Skidmore at skidmore.denise@yahoo.com.

The Clarksville Association of Realtors has almost 700 active members and 56 affiliate partners that work together to improve the public awareness of the value of Realtors to the community and to the benefits of their services. The Clarksville Association of Realtors also serves to promote the success and future developments of its members in association with the Tennessee and National Associations of Realtors.

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Project F.U.E.L. Block Party and Fundraiser


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Anxious About the Mortgage Process? Start Here

Let’s be frank: It’s not easy to get a home mortgage. Nor is it impossible. In fact, millions of people apply for and obtain a new mortgage every year.

If you want to get a mortgage but you’re anxious about the process, you might want to start with online research and self-education.

Online is where most people begin, according to research from the National Association of Realtors, or NAR. Researching online can help you get comfortable with the process and find professionals to contact.

Eventually, you’ll have to reach out to a live person to move forward. As Ken Pozek, a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty in Northville, Mich., says, “You can’t figure out everything using an app.

“Until you talk to someone who’s very knowledgeable, you might forget to ask about private mortgage (insurance), homeowner association dues — there are so many little idiosyncrasies. It’s the mortgage professional’s job to walk you through that,” Pozek says.

Realtor, lender teamwork

Typically, you’ll need to choose a lender before you can start seriously shopping for a home, though it’s fine to contact a Realtor first to get a referral to a lender, says Jay Dacey, a mortgage broker for Metropolitan Financial Mortgage Co. in Minneapolis.

“Unless you’re a cash buyer, you’re going to need to get a mortgage,” Dacey says. “A good Realtor is going to want you to get preapproved before they put you in their car and take you out driving and showing you houses.”

Realtors want to help buyers get started with the mortgage process, says Amy Butterworth, associate broker at Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty in Boston.

“We make sure we’re involved in the mortgage process as well, so if buyers are putting in an offer on a property, (we know) they’re ready to go from the finance standpoint as well,” she says.

The 20% down payment myth

Fearful first-timers need to let go of two common misconceptions about getting a mortgage, Dacey suggests.

The first is that you’ll have to save at least 20% of a home’s purchase price for your down payment. In fact, if your credit score is acceptable, you can get a conventional home loan with a down payment of just 5%, and the entire amount can be a gift from a family member, Dacey explains.

An FHA loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration requires just 3.5% down.

A July 2013 NAR survey of 8,767 homebuyers and sellers found that nearly 90% of buyers financed their purchase. The median down payment for first-timers was 5%.

Source: National Association of Realtors

Not everyone qualifies for help

The second misconception is that first-time buyers are automatically entitled to tap some sort of broad generic first-time homebuyer program. Assistance programs do exist, but each is unique and many are restricted to certain geographic areas, Dacey explains.

“If you’re buying a house for a special program, you’re going into it with the wrong intentions,” he says. “Find the house first, then see if there are any special programs.”

Get ready for the paperwork

First-timers also need to get ready for the lender’s inevitable onslaught of requests for financial documents. The amount of paperwork can amaze, humble and frustrate borrowers, says Ed Conarchy, a mortgage loan originator at Cherry Creek Mortgage Co. in Gurnee, Ill. A good tip is to ask for a list of all — underline that — the documents that might be necessary, and be prepared to provide them.

Comfort level to buy, own

First-timers also need to get comfortable with how much they feel they can afford to spend to buy and own a home. That amount might be less than the maximum they’re qualified to borrow, Conarchy says.

“What you can get approved for and what you’re comfortable with are usually two different things,” he says.

One reason: Home repairs and maintenance can be more costly than many new homeowners realize. That means the tradeoffs between renting and buying might not be clear without some number crunching. It’s not adequate, Conarchy suggests, just to compare monthly rent to a monthly mortgage payment.

“Don’t concentrate on just getting approved and having a mortgage salesperson tell you, ‘We can get you a mortgage and get you into that house,’” he says. “Make sure it’s going to be a fit for your personal situation.”

Copyright 2014, Bankrate Inc.