Tag Archives: Real Estate


What Are Real Estate Commissions?

Like the video says – real estate agents aren’t paid by the hour! They’re paid a percentage of the purchase price in a successful real estate transaction.

When one agent represents the sellers and another represents the buyers the commission is typically split between them.
In the US, real estate commissions are commonly 6% of the transaction usually 3%/3% when split.

No government or industry body sets commission rates.  Legally, commission rates ARE negotiable.  However, remember that agents only earn their commission on successful sales.

Consider the work you want them to do for you to evaluate the value you should put on the commission they earn.


Stay Afloat Post-TRID

2015 Florida Realtors® Convention & Trade Expo


 

Each year, the Florida Realtors® Convention & Trade Expo gathers thousands of Realtors looking to up their game. This years theme is Celebration 15; the event falls on August 19-23 and is held at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida. The free two-day Expo is on Thursday and Friday–all you have to do is register. There are over 30 education sessions sorted into six learning tracks–technology, broker, productivity, trends, personal growth, and continuing education. Along with the Convention, the Trade Expo has over 200 exhibitors that come packed with promotional materials and exquisite raffle prizes. This years keynote speaker is Notre Dame’s former Head Coach Lou Holtz.

On October 3, 2015 the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule will go into effect. The Florida Agency Network (FAN) is leading the industry through uncharted waters to the new disclosures. Title agencies in the FAN network are prepped and ready to keep you afloat before, during, and after these industry changes. Join us at booth 625 as we say Bon Voyage to the HUD-1 and celebrate the implementation of the new Closing Disclosure (CD). Get social with us and enter to win an Apple iWatch!


General Requirements for the Loan Estimate Disclosure Post TRID

Stay on top of your game by familiarizing yourself with the general requirements that are going change in regards to the Good-Faith Estimate when the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule goes into effect.

First of all, it is no longer going to be called a Good-Faith Estimate but will then be identified as a Loan Estimate.

Guess what?!?!

The jargon isn’t the only thing that is changing! The new disclosure carries with it some timing deadlines as well as a new look and lay out to the forms used instead of the familiar GFE.

The creditor, formally known as the lender, is required to provide all consumers of closed-end transactions secured by real property with a good-faith estimate of credit costs and transaction terms.

Mortgage brokers or creditors may provide the Loan Estimate to the consumer when the mortgage broker receives the consumer’s completed application and must be provided no later than 3 business days after the completed application has been turned in.

This new TILA-RESPA form integrates and replaces the current RESPA GFE and the initial TIL for these transaction types. Creditors must issue a revised Loan Estimate only in situations where changed circumstances resulted in increased charges.

These general requirement changes are meant to help better inform, protect and serve the consumer. The Florida Agency Network is ready to guide the industry through these changes and looks forward to partnering with you to streamline the process.

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Schedule a Training Class

Max Jackson

Max@FLagency.net.


3 Things to Keep in Mind When Writing Contracts Post TRID

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The TILA-RESPA rule (TRID) is proposed to go into effect this year on October 3. Buyer’s Agents will need to be aware of 3 main things: what type of loan product their client is using to purchase, the expected closing date and if their title partner is approved to do business with their client’s lender of choice. This is especially true when it comes down to writing the contract.

Woman signing a paperNot all Transactions are Covered by the New Rule

Most closed-end consumer credit transactions that are secured by real property are covered by the new rule.

Certain types of loans that are currently subject to TILA but not RESPA are subject to the TRID rule as well, such as construction-only loans, loans secured by vacant land or by 25 or more acres and credit extended to specific trusts for estate planning purposes.

TRID will not cover HELOC’s, Reverse Mortgages or Chattel-dwelling loans. Other exemptions include loans that are made by a person or entity that makes five or fewer mortgages in a calendar year. In addition to, housing assistance loan programs for low- and moderate- income consumers are partially exempt.

It’s All About Timingtiming

The typical timeline of the closing process is going to change not only in the form of new documents and disclosures but on the operational side of things as well. It will take some time for the industry to adjust to these changes. Just after the rule goes into effect, it is recommended to add on an extra 15 days to the closing date when writing the contract. Eventually, as the industry adjusts, the forecast predicts this will move us to a more paperless environment resulting in an even quicker closing timeline of less than the typical 30 days in Florida.

HandshakeIs Your Title Partner Approved to do Business With Your Client’s Lender?

Security is the main issue in regards to compliance between Title Agencies and Lenders due to the obligation both parties must protect Non-Public Information (NPI) data that is exchanged during a transaction. Lenders cannot do business with agencies that do not have compliant software to protect NPI. Technology has a big role in securing data. In an effort to comply, Agencies in the Florida Agency Network use SoftPro to secure the communication of NPI. You can find SoftPro on the American Land and Title Association’s Elite List of 12 Providers that can assist with compliance.

It is best to work with a preferred title partner that is compliant to ensure the least amount of hicups at the closing table. FAN has multiple agencies in our network that are ready to take on these changes. To find an agency in the network near you visit www.flagency.net or contact Max@FLagency.net.

Check out what the CFPB has to say below or visit their site by clicking here:

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Specific Record Retention Requirements for the TILA-RESPA Rule

Blog Headerarchival-records-storageThere are specific record retention requirements of the closing disclosure for the TILA-RESPA rule. Do your lending partners comply?

The creditor must retain copies of the closing disclosure and all related documents for 5 years after consummation.

If the creditor sells, transfers or no longer has interest in the loan the creditor must provide a copy of the closing disclosure to the new servicer.

There is no specific requirement on how the copies must be retained leaving the opportunity to streamline our lives through technology.

You can take a closer look below or to view the CFPB’s Compliance guide here.

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The Florida Agency Network is an industry leader in compliance. All agencies in the Florida Agency Network are prepped and ready to take on this industry game changer. It is important for your title partner to be compliant with the TRID rule once it goes into effect.

To find out more about partnering with a title agency in the network contact:

Max Jackson

Max@FLagency.net

digital document storage


When is the CFPB going to Implement the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule?

As it stands now, the CFPB has proposed the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) implementation date be postponed until October 3. The rule is open for public comment until July 7, 2015 leaving the industry grasping for some much needed clarity until a final rule gets locked down.
According to the Congressional Review Act (CRA), before any major new rule goes into effect Congress and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) must receive a rule report. It must contain a copy of the rule and be received at least 60 days prior to the rule taking effect. The CFPB’s failure to turn in this two-page report to Congress on time is the reason for this much appreciated delay.

Stay tuned as we keep you up to date and don’t forget, the best way to prepare yourself is to join the conversation. In an ever changing industry it is important to partner up with a title agency that has aligned and complied with the new regulations. Agencies powered by the Florida Agency Network (FAN) are prepped and ready to lead the way during this immense industry change.

Find out more about partnering with an agency in the network:

Max Jackson

Max@FLagency.net


It’s Going Down in 99 Days!

Blog Header The TILA-RESPA rule goes into effect October 3 of this year. What transactions does it apply to? It applies to almost every closed-end consumer credit transaction secured by real property. Check out what the CFPB had to say below:

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In an industry that is constantly modifying it is important to partner with those who stay abreast of the changes. Title agencies that are in the Florida Agency Network (FAN) have been a part of the conversation and are ready to lead the industry through these changes. To find out more about partnering with an agency in the network contact: Max@FLagency.net

 Curious about compliance with the TILA-RESPA rule?

Check out the CFPB’s site.


Can You Have Too Much Curb Appeal?

We read an interesting article from NPR recently about one of the famous “Painted Ladies” selling at an astonishing 900K less than the asking price. They’re iconic of not only the city, but of the environment that we all feel San Fransisco has. There’s curb appeal built in—they’re the houses from Full House for goodness sake!

Painted Ladies San Francisco January 2013 panorama 2.jpg
Painted Ladies” by King of HeartsOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

But in reading the article, we suddenly got another picture: that of any homeowner living in homes that are iconic enough to be recognized nationwide—dealing with the tourism and the hassles that come with a home that’s also an attraction. Some people like the attention but even celebrities don’t like the papparazi and other privacy invaders. Imagine buying one of these gorgeous homes and having pictures taken of you when you’re unsuspecting! That’s enough to turn off most homebuyers—and seemingly enough, it affected the sale of the Painted Lady in San Fransisco.

The Curb Appeal of San Fransisco

But, does this translate over to a home that’s not famous? Probably not. If the home’s not an icon of your neighborhood or city, then as much curb appeal as you can muster is usually a good thing. Let’s use the Painted Ladies of San Fransisco as an example of what curb appeal is. Overly famous or not, they are very pretty homes.

Firstly, the home is painted well. The name “Painted Lady” itself comes from the paint job, three colors used to bring out the architectural nuances of the home and to make the home stand out and have character. Curb appeal is all about the visuals and the Painted Ladies definitely have the visual elements going on for it.

There’s no yard to speak of at these homes, either, but the front of them are kept well and offer simplicity as their main attraction. Simple stoops, well-groomed trees, a clean exterior. Simplicity is the key here. Nothing is overwrought, but it’s all well thought out.

That’s key: every homeowner wants a nice looking home, but most of us work and complex looks or elaborate landscapes to keep up might not be to our taste. A simple cleaning and a new coat of paint every so often? Most can manage. Keep your homes simple.

map of San Fransisco

Finally, the homes are generally accessible. They’re by a park on a main street. The location is very good. They’re right off the 101 and I-80 in San Fran, meaning that to get anywhere, it’s a simple commute. The university is just down the street. Between location and looks, the houses (if they weren’t famous) would net almost any asking price the owner wanted. (After all, while this Painted Lady sold for far below asking price, the owner still got $3.1 million for it. That’s nothing to sneeze at!)

Should You Worry About Too Much Curb Appeal?

The simple answer: no. Too much curb appeal generally isn’t possible. Keep up on the modern trends of exterior design, keep the place clean, well painted, and if you can, play up the conveniences of living there. That will help your home sell.

It’ll also help if you don’t let a show film at your home. That’ll keep the papparazi down. Otherwise, make your house look as good as you know that it is!


Hillsborough Title and CornerStone Title Join Forces

Hillsborough Title and CornerStone Title Join Forces- April2014

 

CornerStone Title Joins Hillsborough Title Family of Companies

“Familiar Faces, Increased Resources, Shared Passion for Excellence”

 

LAKEWOOD RANCH, FLORIDA – Aaron M. Davis, President and CEO of Hillsborough Title, is proud to announce the acquisition of CornerStone Title in Lakewood Ranch, Florida. This is the fourth acquisition in four months for the Tampa Bay-based title agency, marking its strategic expansion into the Sarasota-Bradenton area. 

Mary Howard, founder of CornerStone Title, will continue to serve as Relationship Manager for the local operation, which will retain the CornerStone Title name. 

“We are excited to join forces with Hillsborough Title,” Howard said. “The firm’s focus on customer service, best practices, and the highest professional standards is a perfect fit for us. We will continue to provide the personalized service of a ‘Main Street’ company, with the additional support, resources and stability of a larger network. ” 

“Cornerstone Title has a great reputation,” said Davis. “In my investigation of the Sarasota/Manatee County area, CornerStone Title’s name kept coming up as one of the premier agencies. Its quality of service, agency marketing, and moral and ethical values are in perfect alignment with our agency’s core values. Cornerstone Title has a strong foothold in the Lakewood Ranch area, and is a strategically placed office for the convenience of our Realtor and builder clients.” 

Founded in 1984, Hillsborough Title is a locally owned and operated full service title agency in the Tampa Bay area. Resources include in-house legal counsel with three real estate attorneys on staff, a dedicated short sales department, ongoing training, a choice of seven of the top title insurance underwriters in the nation, and advanced title software and systems facilitating Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) compliance, data security and best practices.

With the CornerStone Title acquisition, the growing company currently has 14 locations in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, Pasco and Manatee counties, virtual offices throughout Florida, and a staff of more than 110. Hillsborough Title is ranked the No. 1 title company by number of closings by the Tampa Bay Business Journal and is among the top 1 percent of all the title agencies in the state, according to CoreLogic. 

The merger will be a seamless transition for CornerStone Title. “Very little will change in our day-to-day operation,” said Howard. “All of the familiar faces and treasured aspects of Cornerstone will remain the same. However, our clients will immediately recognize and be able to take advantage of all of the additional resources, begin to utilize the attorneys on staff and very soon see their business positively affected due to this partnership.”

CornerStone Title will continue to operate from its Lakewood Ranch location at 11061 Gatewood Dr, Suite 101, Bradenton, Florida 34211. Telephone: (941) 708-0300. Website: www.CornerStoneTitle.biz.