February 24, 2017

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Comment on Best of CES 2017 for the Home by Karen Hernandez

Styled, Staged & Sold - Wed, 01/18/2017 - 14:29

Great article just finish doing business with Gabriel Reyes he helped me purchase my home in East Los Angeles. Cant wait to my next trip to Best Buys.

Comment on 5 Staging Props You Need to Stop Using … Now! by Theresa

Styled, Staged & Sold - Wed, 01/18/2017 - 11:35

Agree with some but faux fur (pillows, throws, not taxidermy) is big and most people love the warmth and texture. It is not real and people know this. Air beds, I can’t really see budgeting for a full bed, box spring and mattress and moving of same for the average home. For a luxury property, I agree that a real bed is preferable. This may make staging cost prohibitive in many markets.

Comment on Beige Is Back: And There’s No Blah About It by Brett Cairns: RE/MAX Ocean Pacific Realty

Styled, Staged & Sold - Wed, 01/18/2017 - 11:31

Beige is a fairly enduring traditional color for home interiors but butter is a more popular color in our area where winters are very rainy, cloudy and gloomy. A butter yellow color does wonders to brighten up and give warmth to a home on these types of days.

YPN Event Ideas to Kick Off 2017

YPN Lounge - Wed, 01/18/2017 - 11:28

Are you looking for new, fresh ways to connect and engage with your YPN members? Get 2017 off to a solid start with these event ideas for your YPN group.

1. Go for a strike.

The Greater San Antonio Board of REALTORS® YPN is hosting bowling/networking event, which is sure to be a strike (in a good way).

YPN’s Sips and Stripes bowling night is Friday, February 24th, mark your calendar! #YPN #SABOR #RealtorLife

— Greater SA YPN (@YPNSA) January 17, 2017

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2. Hit the high notes.

The West San Gabriel Valley Association of REALTORS® YPN is kicking off the new year with a karaoke mixer.


3. Get fancy for a cause.

Dress to the nines for a good cause. Pikes Peak Association of REALTORS® YPN is hosting a winter formal later this month to benefit Habitat for Humanity.

YPN Winter Formal! 1/28/16 at Mining Exchange. 6pm. Tix $49 & benefit Habitat for Humanity! Tickets online #PPARYPN

— PPAR (@PPARMembers) January 6, 2017


4. Start the year right. 

Get members energized for the new year by making your kick off event an annual affair, like the Chicago Association of REALTORS® YPN.

Don’t forget! Get your tickets to the annual YPN Kick-Off Mixer on January 19th! #YPNKickOff #networking #realestate

— ChicagoREALTORS (@ChicagoREALTORS) December 30, 2016


5. Host/co-host an interesting speaker.

Invite a guest to speak to your members, like the Houston Association of REALTORS® YPN did with its economic forecast event earlier this month.

Things change! Don’t miss this Economic Forecast w/ Dr. Ted C. Jones on 1/11/17 at 11:30am. #realestate #HAR #YPN

— (@HARMembers) December 29, 2016











Comment on 5 Staging Props You Need to Stop Using … Now! by Kim Mulligan

Styled, Staged & Sold - Tue, 01/17/2017 - 23:59

Thank You, Justin-

These are all spot on. The blow-up beds always look wavy, and not crisp. The dead animals just creep me out; their cold, glass eyes follow me around a room. I also have just never understood the whole word thing either.
I’d like to add to your list the small fake plants. Why all the plastic when a living plant can be bought for 4 bucks at TJ’s. Our homes in Seattle aren’t staged for more than 2 weeks, almost any plant will survive that long in low light.

Comment on 10 Ways to Boost Your Home’s Value on a $200 to $2K Budget by Terry Miller

Styled, Staged & Sold - Tue, 01/17/2017 - 19:29

I am helping a friend make needed improvements in her home due to water damage and need for some general upgrading. This article was very helpful in our decision making process. Thank you.

Comment on My Favorite Staging Accessory: Rugs by

Styled, Staged & Sold - Tue, 01/17/2017 - 11:22

Thanks for finally writing about > My Favorite Staging Accessory: Rugs < Loved it!

Comment on Why You Should Pay Attention to the Home’s Furniture Layout by westwood residences

Styled, Staged & Sold - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 04:40

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Charlene Storozuk.

Live Webcast: Using a Reverse Mortgage to Buy a Home

Speaking of Real Estate - Thu, 01/12/2017 - 15:07

Reverse mortgages, also known as home equity conversion mortgages (HECMs), can be used to help seniors finance the purchase of a home in addition to their traditional purpose of enabling people to borrow against the equity in a property where they already live.

Learn about when and for whom this tool may be appropriate in a live webcast hosted by NAR on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 2 p.m. Eastern time.


  • Scott Trembley, CEO of The Trembley Group, a real estate firm in Myrtle Beach, S.C., that handles home purchases with HECMs
  • Frank McInerney, a loan specialist with Reverse Mortgage Funding in Bloomfield, N.J.


  • Jon Boughtin, NAR Communications


Comment on Beige Is Back: And There’s No Blah About It by Michele Miller

Styled, Staged & Sold - Thu, 01/12/2017 - 06:49

Easy to add fun accents color and change with the season – turquoise blue, cherry tomato, even violet!

Comment on Smart Bath Upgrades by Joel

Styled, Staged & Sold - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 23:44

Bathroom is one of the most part of the house that we want to upgrade maybe because we always have something that needs to be repair. I hate my bathroom when the flash is not working and the sink is clogged.

Nailing Your 30 Under 30 Application Video

YPN Lounge - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 18:11

As we enter the final week to apply for the 30 Under 30 class of 2017, we’ve been receiving many questions about the inclusion of a video with a candidate’s application.

Submitting a video is not required to apply for 30 Under 30. However, you should consider a video as the cherry on top of your stellar, well-written application. Including a video can be a compelling addition to your application, as long as you keep these tips in mind.

1. Make sure your video is specific to 30 Under 30 and not a generic marketing video that you produced for your business.

2. If you have a compelling story, whether it be an innovative business strategy or a personal experience that can be brought to life on video, we strongly encourage you to use this medium. It’s the place where you can show rather than tell.

3. Your video does not need to be professionally shot, however, it should be polished and clear. Make sure your audio is adequate and viewers can hear what you’re saying. Consider writing a script or talking points.

4. Try to not repeat everything you write in your application. This is the time to build upon your answers or say something you couldn’t quite fit in your application.

5. Keep it to two minutes maximum. All videos reviewed during the in-person judging meeting are cut off at the two minute mark so that every applicant gets equal time.

6. It doesn’t have to be just you on camera. Past applicants have included clients, colleagues, and others in their videos to help tell their story.

The deadline to apply for 30 Under 30 this year is Tuesday, Jan. 17 at noon CT. If you’re looking for more tips on how to create a standout application, read our article “Do You Have What it Takes?” Below are two application video examples from 2016 30 Under 30 honorees. For more information, visit



Cash Accounts for 26 Percent of Commercial Transactions in REALTOR® Markets Commercial Headlines - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 03:00

Commercial real estate investment trends were positive in 2015, with sales of large cap CRE transactions totaling $543 billion, based on Real Capital Analytics (RCA) data. However, in the first quarter 2016 sales volume dropped 20 percent on a yearly basis, to $111 billion. In contrast to the large cap transactions reported by RCA, commercial REALTORS® managed transactions averaging less than $2.5 million per deal, frequently located in secondary and tertiary markets. The Commercial Real Estate Lending Trends 2016 shines the spotlight on this significant segment of the economy.

Comment on Buyers Say They Want This in their Home’s Kitchen…. by Star Hardware

Styled, Staged & Sold - Mon, 01/09/2017 - 23:52

As kitchen is the most important part of home so we need to make it look great. Use good quality countertops, appliances, flooring to make it better. Thanks for sharing the blog.

Comment on Best of CES 2017 for the Home by Karen Peyton

Styled, Staged & Sold - Sat, 01/07/2017 - 18:03

I certainly hope there is a “speech only” option to operate smart mirrors or that they’re dust, dirt, smudge, smear, print, and steam proof among others. Thanks for posting and tell us more of what you see. A gardening robot sounds amazing.

How Will You Make Your Mark in 2017?

Speaking of Real Estate - Fri, 01/06/2017 - 09:48


Here we are at the beginning of a new year once again, and you’re probably already thinking about how to make 2017 even better than 2016. But let’s take a minute and appreciate the great work you did last year. It was definitely a big year for real estate, and we asked real estate professionals to share the moments they were most proud of in the business in 2016. The question is how will you follow it up with even bigger accomplishments in 2017? Take a look at some of your colleagues’ biggest achievements in 2016, and tell us your own story in the comments section below.

Love and Real Estate

In searching for a date, I encountered a woman with whom I shared similar interests: live concerts, movies, eating healthy, and enjoying each other’s company. As we got to know each other, we discovered that we both were in real estate; she is a rental property owner, and I specialize in residential property management. I helped her divest her inventory and replace them with higher-quality rentals, as well as get the management accounts for the properties. We now share the same household together! —Norbert Huston, GRI, Huston Associates Real Estate, Stockton, Calif.

Back to Where It All Started

This year I was blessed with a heartwarming sale. I had the opportunity to sell a generational homestead back to its original family. It had ended up as an REO with the last owners (non-family members), and my clients called up wanting to see it. I had to tell them it was already under contract, but they begged and I relented. While I was showing the home, I heard whispers among my clients: “Remember when you fell in the creek, Dad?” That’s when they told me their story and how much they wished they were able to repurchase their family home. With a wish and a prayer, I called the listing agent and asked her to please allow us first dibs if the current sale contract were to fall through. The listing agent said it was a pretty solid deal, but she’d let us know. The following Tuesday, the deal miraculously fell through, allowing my clients the opportunity to buy back their memories. It was a very touching sale and one that reminds me every day what a wonderful profession real estate can be. —Jacklyn Leber, e-PRO®, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Montana Properties, Twin Bridges, Mont.

Proving Her Professional Worth

I got a seller $30,000 more for her home than she was asking as a FSBO. —Kathleen Marie Stansfield, GRI, Exit King Realty, Venice, Fla.

Balancing Priorities

I was an NAR regional vice president and still had a record year for sales and profit. —Joe Pryor, CRS, e-PRO®, The Virtual Real Estate Team, Oklahoma City

A Win for Everyone

My proudest moment was when I worked out an occupancy between my seller and a woman in her 70s going through a divorce. He needed to have a means of income, and she needed to have a place to live right away. The transaction closed about five months later. I felt I delivered on my duties to all parties. —Don Day, SFR, Diamond Realty & Associates, Bossier City, La.

Overcoming Complex Challenges

I completed a transaction that included an appraisal that came in $65,000 low, a lengthy temporary lease for the buyer, acreage that had to be reallocated and resurveyed, and a chicken coop full of chickens! It was an extremely complex transaction, but with the right attitude and a spirit of cooperation, the other agent and I were able to successfully close this transaction. I’m counting this as my big win for 2016. —Dana Johnson Williams, GRI, RE/MAX ONE, Beaumont, Texas

What was your biggest accomplishment in 2016? Share your achievements in the comments section below.

Doing Demographics Differently

Weekly Book Scan - Thu, 01/05/2017 - 13:10

As a real estate professional, you’re surely aware of how important it is to stay abreast of the trends that affect your business. I’m betting your browsing history is filled with housing stats, news about local business developments, and features on design trends, among other things.

Photo: Gratisography, Bells Design

But what if you could access information that would help you see the future? Perhaps I’m being a bit fanciful, but I think demographics provide that glimpse into the crystal ball that all savvy business people crave. And that’s why I recommend you take a look at Big Shifts Ahead: Demographic Clarity for Businesses (2016, Advantage Media Group), by John Burns and Chris Porter. It lives up to the title, describing demographic shifts and interpreting what they mean for the future of business. But the authors do a couple of things that make their analysis more consumable and actionable than other writing on demographics I’ve consumed in the past.

One of the ways in which they differentiate their work is by diverging from the method society usually uses to define a generation. This is important because the way researchers measure variables makes a big impact on the conclusion of any study. We tend to define generations as groups of people born in the same twenty-year timespan or so, which I’ve always felt makes it tough to draw solid conclusions about what each group really values. As someone who is a year or two too young to be part of generation X, I’ve always been conflicted by the millennial label. But because Burns and Porter define their groups by the decade they were born in, I’m more at peace. I fit their definition of the 1980s “sharers” really well, even if I do share some important characteristics with my “balancer generation” friends born in the late 70s and the younger “connector” generation that came after me in the ’90s.

I also like how the authors admit when something surprises them. It sounds like a small thing, but when researchers and academics are taught how to write, they aren’t schooled in the whole “if it bleeds, it leads” philosophy like us ink-stained journalistic types. They often “bury the lead” to borrow another well-worn cliche from the news world, and lead instead with the assurances and steady hand of academia. Yawn. But Big Shifts Ahead is different. One item that surprised me was the prediction that young adults “incomes will grow faster than most believe” (fingers crossed I’m still young enough to qualify for that crystal ball item). Their style choice also provides me with more trust in their conclusions, because it’s an indication the authors aren’t seeking data to fulfill their preconceived notions about the future.

Finally, the authors use methods of storytelling that make the information easier to internalize. They use real-life stories of people who are emblematic of the trends they’re trying to explain. They use color in their graphs and data presentations, and are sensitive to non-data-driven readers. And finally, they aren’t afraid to make up new terms to explain emerging trends. Though it doesn’t roll off the tongue exactly, I liked their use of “Surban,” which provides shorthand for the growing demand for smaller homes with little yard space in more urban areas, “bringing the best of urban living to a more affordable suburban environment.”

Overall, this book dives deep into many of the trends that will define real estate over the next few decades, and the authors aren’t afraid to make specific predictions about what we’ll see. Of course, no one can truly know the future, but a little glimpse at what might be ahead certainly won’t hurt you. Ooh, and pro tip: You can download a chapter of Big Shifts Ahead here for free to get an idea of what I mean.

Comment on Beige Is Back: And There’s No Blah About It by Nashville Luxury Homes

Styled, Staged & Sold - Thu, 01/05/2017 - 11:54

I think this reflects the broader trend of embracing natural finishes and colors: wood tones are in, linens, and raw textiles. Beige, unlike grey, adds that same sense of natural warmth that greys and whites just don’t give.

Comment on Beige Is Back: And There’s No Blah About It by TheFreestone.Com

Styled, Staged & Sold - Thu, 01/05/2017 - 00:55

These color schemes are terrific! How could they ever be out of style? Pairing the scheme with black and white is popular, but it still doesn’t lose.

Important Tax Provisions Still Available for 2016 Tax Year

Speaking of Real Estate - Wed, 01/04/2017 - 09:37

The following status update on mortgage debt cancellation relief, an important federal tax issue for homeowners, is written by Jon Boughtin of NAR Media.

The 114th Congress recessed in early December without completing work on a so-called “tax extenders” package needed to continue important tax breaks for real estate. This included tax relief for the cancellation of mortgage debt, as well as the deduction for mortgage insurance premiums.

Mortgage debt cancellation relief is important for underwater homeowners who, without the provision, would be taxed on mortgage debt forgiven in a short sale. Mortgage insurance premium deductions, likewise, are helpful for a large number of homeowners, particularly first time homebuyers, who lack a 20 percent downpayment when purchasing their home.

The National Association of Realtors® advocated for a tax-extenders package that would extend both of these provisions into 2017, but Congress adjourned without taking further action.

Although these provisions expired at the end of 2016, there is a misconception that they are unavailable to homeowners for the 2016 tax year. Both the mortgage debt cancellation provision and the mortgage insurance premium deduction are available to homeowners filing their 2016 taxes this year.

Further work is required in Congress to extend these provisions into 2017, and NAR is supportive of those efforts.

You can learn more about this issue at NAR.REALTOR.Jon Boughtin, NAR Media