Well, the official advertising of the National Association of REALTORS has tried to change with the times and with the “challenging” real estate market. I like this one from 2006 (I believe) that proclaims the value of an experienced REALTOR in the transaction. It is what our association should be doing in the way of advertising.
When things really started looking grim in the market in 2007, NAR used the “it’s a great time to buy” approach:
When a bargain basement real estate sale doesn’t work, use the most recent approach – forget about market conditions – its about family, future, and long term wealth:
Don’t forget – All Real Estate is Local!
And this one, not from NAR, but from a big franchise, that is making the rounds on that cynical and grumpy old internet:
Suzanne researched it. I WANT IT! NOW!
All this preface to mention that NAR is looking for a Community Manager, someone who will steer the association on the softer approach of social media, and, hopefully away from these laughable attempts at customer manipulation.
Inman News Service reports that the National Association of Realtors now endorses seller funded downpayment contributions, which were outlawed (effective October 1) by last summer’s housing bill. A new bill was immediately introduced to re-instate the the seller funded gifts. I have posted about this before, but basically, since the seller cannot legally pay the downpayment for a a buyer who can’t scrape together enough for the minimal FHA downpayment, the seller-funded scheme allows the seller to “contribute” to a “non-profit” company the downpayment plus a service fee. The “non-profit” company then “gifts” the money to the buyer. Sounds like the seller is giving the buyer the downpayment, plus the middle man is getting a little of the action too. If these programs were good for the housing market, or the economy, why didn’t the housing bill just let seller pay buyers’ downpayments directly? The new bill has some credit score guidelines and higher rates for higher credit risks, but bottom line is buyers are able to buy with no outlay of their own funds. It would cost more to rent an apartment, because, generally a deposit and a first month’s rent is required before possession.
So the National Association of REALTORS loses a Dept. of Justice suit over NAR’s Virtual Office Website (VOW) policy, but calls it a “favorable settlement” and “clearly a win-win for the real estate industry and consumers.” The bloggers are saying variously that agent commissions will plummet; consumers will be served by cyber agents with no fiduciary responsibility; and that homeowners will have more control over what is published about their properties on the Internet (Zillow comes to mind); that they will have less control; that the nation’s MLSs will become stronger; or weaker. I don’t have the time for the kind of analysis it will take to sort through this, so here is an assignment for you: Explain in 100 words or less what all this means. Start with this document from NAR. Then check out these blog posts. From Active Rain From Inman From Active Rain From the Real Estate Bloggers Sellsius Inman From Sellsius
I am going to wait a few days and see what happens.