The April 2020 DFW area real estate statistics are in and we’ve got the numbers! Take a look at our stats infographics, separated by county, with MLS area stats on each county report as well! These infographics and video are perfect for social sharing so feel free to post them!
To see past month’s reports, please visit our resources section here.
For the full report from the Texas A&M Real Estate Research Center, click here. For NTREIS County reports click here.
The 2020 census aims to count every living person in the United States and five U.S. territories. In mid-March, homes across the country began receiving invitations to complete the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail. When you respond to the census, you’ll tell the Census Bureau where you live as of April 1, 2020.
Why is the census so important?
Responding to the census largely affects the amount of funding your community receives, how your community plans to allocate those funds, and the amount of representation your community receives in the government. Results from the census determine the distribution and allocation of $675 billion in federal funding to hospitals, schools, libraries and housing programs, among others.
How does the census affect real estate?
Results are especially important for REALTORS as the data will inform the federal government about housing needs, demands, and trends. It also helps real estate investors decide where to build new homes, businesses and improve various neighborhood aspects. Ensuring a correct counting of the number of people in the state of Texas helps to provide billions of dollars in infrastructure funding as well as multiple congressional seats. Responses from this census will help produce statistics about homeownership and renting, data which serves as one indicator of the nation’s economy.
At Republic Title we want to help insure that all of our customers elect to be counted in the census and want everyone to know that your personally identifiable information is protected by law and cannot be shared outside of the Census Bureau.
If you have real property for sale, which is used in your trade or business, or is held for investment, you may be eligible to defer the capital gains tax when the property is sold by utilizing a deferred 1031 Exchange. In order to receive this tax treatment, you should contact a Qualified Intermediary, like Texas Escrow Company, a subsidiary of Republic Title of Texas, Inc., and complete the documentation necessary to create your exchange before you close the sale of your property.
The property sold needs to be real estate that you have held for investment or used in your trade or business, such as an office building or rent house. Vacation homes for your personal use, or your personal residence, do not qualify for this tax treatment. You should consult your accountant or attorney for advice on the utilization of a 1031 Exchange, especially if your accountant files your income tax return. It is important that the person filing your income tax return agrees that the exchange achieves the tax deferral you want. Your accountant can also estimate the tax payable on your sale so you can evaluate whether you want to do a 1031 Exchange. The 1031 Exchange only defers the capital gains tax (long or short term) on the sale of real property by purchasing replacement real property of an equal or greater value than the property sold.
Using exchange funds to purchase like-kind replacement real property for an investment, or use in your trade or business, and then later selling that replacement property in another 1031 Exchange to purchase other replacement property, will continue to defer the capital gains tax, plus any additional gain that might accrue by virtue of an increased value of the replacement property. In many cases, once you start exchanging real property, you need to continue using 1031 Exchanges to purchase real property if you wish to continue deferring the capital gains tax. When you sell the replacement property without using a 1031 Exchange, capital gains taxes will be due.
We suggest that you review the supplemental Definitions and Rules of a Deferred 1031 Exchange which is written in easy to understand language to familiarize yourself with some of the terms and rules, that are involved in a 1031 Exchange. All the definitions and rules of a deferred 1031 Exchange should be discussed with your tax advisor, accountant, attorney and a Qualified Intermediary before you do any exchange transaction. The rules encompass all kinds of situations and we repeat that it is imperative to consult with your tax advisors and a Qualified Intermediary about the transaction you have in mind before you sell and, in some cases, before you even contract to sell.
For more information on 1031 Exchange, please reach out to our Texas Escrow Company team:
As business continues to shift each day and we are all working in this new normal, we asked Shaun Neidigh, Vice President/Business Development for a sneak peek at his new Mind Over Market class where he discusses fears in the market and how to overcome the six roadblocks that might be holding you back.
Mind Over Market with Shaun Neidigh
Real Estate can be a rollercoaster for many of the people that call it their career. For many of us, the rollercoaster ride does not come from the market itself but rather how we adapt to the changes it brings. As we all know, there are many reasons why change happens in the real estate market. When talking to our peers in real estate, one major theme that came up repeatedly when discussing change was the element of fear.
Let’s start by identifying what fear really is. According to Dictionary.com, fear is defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. Many people believe there are two distinct types for fears, real fear and physiological fears also known as phobias. Specifically for this article we are focusing on physiological fears and how they can control the decisions and direction of our real estate career.
While researching this topic to develop our Mind Over Market class, we interviewed several Realtors and were able to come up with six specific areas, or roadblocks, that agents seemed to struggle with that had a direct impact on their business.
Fear of the contract
Fear of talking to people
Fear of no business
Fear of too much business
Fear of competition
Fear of having a difficult decision
In our class Mind over Market, we go into great detail on these six roadblocks and how each one can impact all levels of experience for both individual real estate agents and large teams. We look at how developing daily task regiments and the idea of “living by your calendar” can help organize your mind and take some of the anxiety out of the things we can and can’t control. We highlight the use of your relationships (especially when you are new to the business) and how those relationships can blossom into partnerships for a long career in real estate. Finally, we discuss the tools available to real estate agents that if put into practice can set the stage for true success no matter what type of market is given to us.
At Republic Title, we want to be a resource for your success. Our Mind Over Market class is one of many educational opportunities that we provide to help you take your business to the next level. To learn more about this class or any others, please reach out to Republic Title’s Education Department at email@example.com.
Republic Title is proud to announce that we have completed 100 Remote Online eClosings in 2020.
What is a Remote Online eClosing and how does it work?
Remote Online eClosing takes place…wait for it…online! The signer and the notary need not be in the same room, or even in the same state!
This type of eClosing allows all parties to be remote and perform the closing through videoconference via a webcam. All documents are signed and notarized electronically during the videoconference. This is the most highly regulated type of eClosing, and special commissions are required to electronically notarize documents. Remote online eClosings are very popular and useful for the seller side of the transaction since, in most cases, there are no loan documents involved for the seller.
Republic Title has completed these 100 Remote Online eClosing through eVolve, our newest digital settlement and signing services division, which provides an alternative closing experience for sellers, buyers and real estate agents. eVolve’s approach is to provide a completely digital real estate closing process from start to finish, through the delivery of title and escrow services by way of secure collaboration and Remote Online eClosings.
eVolve has been operating in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas market for the past 12 months and will allow Republic Title to handle digital transactions in every major market in Texas (including Austin, San Antonio and Houston).
Title companies are, by definition, an “Essential Business.” We are open for business, processing and conducting closings. At Republic Title, we are offering many low-contact and no-contact closing options to help our customers continue to close real estate transactions, while also supporting the health of our customers, our employees and the communities in which we operate, including Remote Online Notarization, drive-up signings and regular mail and expedited delivery services. We have taken a number of other steps as well, including:
Conducting most closings and/or meetings by appointment only
Asking that non-essential parties refrain from attending closings and/or meetings
Making hand sanitizer available in our branch offices
Wiping down our closing room tables and chairs after each closing
Providing new pens for each signing and encouraging clients to keep the pens once the closing is completed
Providing separate closing rooms, if available
Promoting best practices for personal hygiene and workplace cleanliness to employees
Restricting non-essential travel as well as employee attendance at industry conferences and events
Directing any employee with symptoms of illness to stay home.
Question: Is there a termination provision in the TREC 1-4 contract that covers the COVID-19 pandemic?
Answer: No. There is not a provision that covers a pandemic. We received a few inquiries asking about paragraph 14 of the TREC 1-4 contract and if that paragraph covers the current pandemic situation, and the answer is no – paragraph 14 contemplates storm or fire related damage to the property, not a pandemic. If a client has any questions as to what constitutes a casualty loss, they should speak to their own attorney.
Question: There is now a COVID-19 Addendum issued by TXR, can you give us the highlights?
Answer: In short, the COVID-19 Addendum outlines certain contingency plans to either extend the closing date or terminate the contract. If it appears that the closing date is not feasible because of voluntary or mandatory quarantine or there is a closure, the parties can extend the closing date for a period of 30 days.
Question: Can the COVID-19 Addendum be attached to existing contract or does it only apply to new contracts?
Answer: The Covid-19 Addendum can be added to an existing contract and to a new contract. A party, however, cannot unilaterally add the amendment, both parties have to agree and execute the addendum.
Question: Does the 30 day extension for closing in the COVID-19 Addendum relate to other deadlines in the contract?
Answer: No, the other critical dates are still in effect unless amended by the parties. The COVID-19 Addendum only changes the closing date in paragraph 9 of the Contract.
Question: Assuming the parties have a COVID-19 Addendum as part of the contract, what if the contract also contains a third-party financing addendum and the buyer is past the approval period in paragraph 2A and the buyer loses their job – can the buyer still terminate and receive the earnest money?
Answer: Yes, if the buyer’s loss of income is due to COVID-19 related issues, then either party may terminate and the earnest money will be refunded to the buyer.
Question: What if the seller or someone in the seller’s family has tested positive for COVID-19, do they need to disclose?
Answer: Yes. Section 9 of the Seller’s Disclosure Notice asks if the seller is aware of “any condition on the property which materially affects the health or safety of an individual.” Testing positive for COVID-19 is most certainly a condition on the property because of the contagiousness of the virus and the fact that it can live on surfaces in the property which can materially affect the health of an individual.
Question: Can the buyer demand that the seller deep clean and sanitize the house?
Answer: TREC 1-4 contract paragraph 7 d2 states, “Buyer accepts the Property As Is provided Seller, at Seller’s expense, shall complete the following specific repairs and treatments: __________.” This provides a buyer the opportunity to make a demand on the seller to deep clean and sanitize the house.
This video is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing contained in this video should be considered as the rendering of legal advice for specific cases, and viewers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel.
Open Houses are a vital part of buying a home. For agents who have had to cancel all their open houses due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, this can impact your ability to sell properties. Thankfully, Facebook LIVE offers agents the opportunity to tour clients through a listing during a real-time, interactive broadcast – a Virtual Open House. The best part is that you don’t need any fancy equipment or a huge crew, just your smartphone and a Facebook page. In this post, we discuss everything you need to know about using Facebook live to tour your clients through a listing. Don’t let this COVID-19 pandemic prevent you from hosting an open house.
How to Properly Advertise Your Facebook Live Open House
To ensure people show up, think about the strategies you use to generate awareness for your actual open house. People need to know when and where. That is why it is so important to properly advertise your open house. If you don’t properly advertise it, people won’t know about it and as a result won’t show up. Below are some things that you should do to advertise your Facebook live open house.
Use Facebook Events
You can use Facebook Events to get your Open House on their calendar, send updates and reminders. You can create an event on Facebook by navigating to your News Feed, clicking on Events and then Create Event.
Send Out Email Blasts
Send an email blast to your network letting them know when to tune in to your Facebook Page for the LIVE; include a link to your Facebook Page. Post those same details on your website, and your listings. There are many email marketing programs online that you can use including Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, and iContact.
Use Direct Outreach
Directly reach out to potential buyers from your cancelled Open House and invite them – this will make them feel like a VIP. Maybe you already advertised this Open House prior to the shutdown or have advertised it via Social Media. Contact those leads and invite them to your virtual open house. You could also personally invite all the neighbors in a 10-20 house radius.
How to Host an Open House Using Facebook Live
Your first time broadcasting live can be a little intimidating, but if you do some pre work, things can run rather smoothly. Your audience expects information and authenticity over production quality. Below are some tips on how to host an open house using Facebook live.
Plan your tour the same as you would with a live client. Where are you going first, what are you highlighting in each room? It never hurts to rehearse. Making a good first impression is important. Declutter the home, make sure it is clean, remove as much personal items as possible, etc.
Be Sure to Introduce Yourself
You should always begin your Facebook live open house by introducing yourself, sharing your credentials, and top lining what’s great about the home. Building trust with your audience is key to success. Introduce yourself with confidence and grow your personal brand. Potential buyers, on the other hand, get to know you before ever meeting. Agents are encouraged to show their personality on camera, be memorable, and most of all – be honest and bring value to the audience.
Remind People Who You are and What Property You’re Touring
Introducing yourself just once at the beginning of your Facebook live tour is not good enough. This is because people may come in and out while you’re LIVE. Therefore, it is critical that you periodically remind them who you are and what property you’re touring.
Interact with Your Audience
Interact with your audience; build in time for each room to pause and answer questions from the comments. If you know your audience well enough, you can engage them by spending extra time on the parts of the property that matter most. If they have pets, show them the ample yard and the fencing. If they are interested in the appliances, go in for a close-up of the high-end appliances, etc. Personalization is essential to success.
What to do After You Go Live on Facebook
After the LIVE stream is over, the video becomes on-demand content, which can then be shared, downloaded, edited, and re-purposed. It is highly likely that even more people will see your LIVE tour AFTER you’re finished. Here are some things to do after you go live on Facebook.
Send the Link of The Live Stream Your Clients
You can use links to the “Live After” video on your listings and send to clients who missed the tour. To help boost your viewership among people who didn’t join you for the live show, try sharing a quick post thanking people for watching.
You can also ask for new questions and comments to generate additional engagement. The people who view your videos like to feel appreciated, so show them some love wherever you can.
Save and Edit Your Video
Save your live video to edit. You can use a shorter clip to post on your page. Think of these as house highlights.The agent now has video content that can be shared on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, or even email.
Read Comments from Your Audience
Use comments from the audience to gauge what type of information they are looking for about the property and tailor your future ad to these comments.
Follow Up with Prospects
Follow up with your prospects on Messenger, they may eventually be interested in putting in an offer. The fact is, your prospects are on Facebook already if they are commenting on your video while it’s live. After guests leave your virtual open house, use messenger to interact, engage and ask questions. Nurture those leads now even if they choose not to buy.
You don’t need a whole crew to have a decent production. Here are some tips to help you feel like a Pro:
Test your connection throughout the house so you know if there will be any connectivity issues.
Turn off notifications before you begin your broadcast!
When you’re in rooms, consider placing the phone on a tripod for stability while you speak.
As you are walking or panning through a room, go SLOWLY – slower than you think necessary, as fast jerky actions can be disorienting. Consider using a stabilizer.
Have the listing information handy in case you get a question.
Watch some other home tour videos – note what you like and what you think doesn’t work.
The March 2020 DFW area real estate statistics are in and we’ve got the numbers! Take a look at our stats infographics, separated by county, with MLS area stats on each county report as well! These infographics and video are perfect for social sharing so feel free to post them!
To see past month’s reports, please visit our resources section here.
For the full report from the Texas A&M Real Estate Research Center, click here. For NTREIS County reports click here.
With social distancing and stay-at-home orders in place, now is the perfect time to do a little spring cleaning to the programs you use on a regular basis. We asked Annette-Carvalho Jordan, V.P., Republic Title’s Real Estate Technology Trainer, for some tips to maximize this time and get you set up for success.
We hope you find these tips helpful so you can work smarter and more efficiently during this time and hit the ground running when we return back to a normal working environment.
Turn off Auto-emails to your clients that have already bought or have fallen through.
Delete “Saved Searches” you no longer need.
Clean up your Contacts. Matrix allows you to change “Active” contacts to “Inactive” which cleans your contact list and allows you to focus on current transactions. All of your clients will still remain in Matrix, but you can filter them from Active to Inactive. You can also “Delete” contacts if you wish.
Check all your contact information in Matrix through “My Information”. Update any new phone numbers, emails, etc. Be sure to visit all the tabs in “My Information” such as Information, Header & Footer, CMA Cover Sheet, Email Signature, Agent Webpage & Portal Information.
Clean up your transactions in zipForm® Plus –change status of transactions to Closed, Inactive, Fell Through, Prospect, etc. to clean up your Transaction desktop. Use the filters later to find those transactions such as Closed, etc.
Clean up those drop down boxes in zipForm® Plus that appear when filling out contracts. To do this, go to “Txn (Transaction) Tools & Lookup Field Manager.
Create time saving templates. Clean up old templates so your transactions run smoother.
Move transaction documents from your work laptop to your zipForm® transaction (including photos). Use the “Add a Doc” button in the Documents tab to add these to your transactions. This is a great way to free up precious memory and space on your hard drive, and utilize 5 years of free storage in zipForm® Plus.
Create new folders so you can “move” completed transactions into Folders you recognize and can find easier later. Delete or Void outstanding envelopes you don’t need (Important: You will have to include a statement as to why you are deleting or voiding those envelopes, so be professional –all recipients will receive this notification).
Create time saving templates in DocuSign so you can automatically apply initials and signatures to all your pdf’s.
If you would like to learn more about these “Spring Cleaning” tips and many other time saving features, please contact Annette Carvalho-Jordan, Vice President of Real Estate Technology at firstname.lastname@example.org.