How Long Does It Really Take to Close on a House? — Real Estate News and Advice

Ostrid/iStockYou’ve turned on (and hopefully off) at least 20 water faucets and peered into about 50 closets (oh, the things you’ve seen!). And now, at long last, you’ve found the perfect home. So you make an offer, which is accepted. Congrats. Now, exactly how long does it take to close on a house? Read on to get the…

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Bad Neighbors, and Other Nightmares You Might Need to Disclose to Buyers

If you’ve ever bought or sold a home, you probably know that the seller has to disclose any major problems before the sale can go through.

A crack in the foundation, a basement prone to flooding—it’s this kind of terror-inducing structural news that can signal a bad investment, so naturally, you need to tell any prospective buyers. And, if you don’t disclose it, you could face a huge lawsuit to cover repairs years down the line.

But disclosure laws are very state-specific. What a seller has to disclose in one state isn’t necessarily something that needs to be disclosed in another—much to the chagrin of buyers.

So what falls into that fun-filled gray area? Let’s take a look:  Read the full article on


Background Checks on Renters Raise Questions | Realtor Magazine

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued new guidance that warns property managers and landlords to tread carefully when denying prospective apartment residents a lease due to a failed criminal background check.
Apartment building owners and managers are scrambling to understand and comply with this latest interpretation of the federal Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal for housing providers to discriminate against a variety of protected classes of people, including minorities. Many landlords are now uncertain how to balance their responsibility to keep their communities safe with their responsibility under the law not to discriminate.

Source: Read the full Article: Realtor Magazine

NAR Research: Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends |


-Gen Y comprises the largest share of home buyers at 32 percent, which is larger than all Baby Boomers combined.

-Gen Y also has the largest share of first-time buyers at 68 percent.

-Thirteen percent of all buyers purchased a multi-generational home, one in which the home consists of adult children over the age of 18, and/or grandparents residing in the home.

-At least 80 percent of buyers who are aged 59 and younger bought a detached single-family home, while it is increasingly common for buyers over the age of 59 to purchase townhouses and condos.

-The older the home buyer, the fewer compromises the buyer tended to make with their home purchase—48 percent of the Silent Generation made no compromises on their home purchase.
Among all generations of home buyers, the first step in the home buying process is looking online for properties for sale.

-Younger generations of buyers typically find the home they purchase through the internet, while older generations of buyers first found the home they purchased through their real estate agent.

Source: NAR Research: Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends |

New Jersey 2015, a year of job gains and real estate recovery – Business –

2015 was the year of the long goodbye to three major employers in the North Jersey region — Mercedes-Benz, A&P and Hudson City Savings Bank. The automaker announced it was moving its American headquarters to Georgia; the supermarket chain filed for bankruptcy protection and began selling its stores; and the long-delayed purchase of the state’s biggest home-grown bank by M&T Bank was concluded after three years.

Even so, there were green shoots of optimism in other areas of the economy. Job growth accelerated; construction moved apace at the American Dream entertainment complex in the Meadowlands; online retailers sought warehouse space; multifamily building boosted residential real estate; and malls scrambled to line up luxury retailers.


North Jersey’s housing market continued to recover in 2015 from a deep downturn, with multifamily construction and the number of home sales up significantly.

But the pain is not over. Price increases were muted, and the state led the nation in foreclosures.

Home construction in the state has rebounded strongly from the depths of the housing crash, when only about 13,000 housing units were started each year from 2009 to 2011 — the lowest numbers since World War II. In 2015, the state’s builders are on track to start more than 30,000 units — the highest number since 2006, and close to the longtime averages in the 37,000 range.

The growth this year was entirely in multifamily construction, especially along the Hudson River waterfront in Hudson and Bergen counties. Single-family building permits were actually down by 8.2 percent through November, reflecting the high price of land and the fact many households are renting, either by choice or because they can’t qualify for a mortgage.

Still, the number of single-family home sales through November was up 11 percent in Bergen and 14 percent in Passaic County over the same period last year, according to the New Jersey Realtors. Despite the increased demand for homes, prices didn’t budge much, up 2.2 percent in Bergen and 3.5 percent in Passaic.

During the year, New Jersey led the nation in foreclosure activity. Lenders continued to clear up a backlog of distressed properties that built up after the mortgage industry was forced to slow down foreclosures after being accused of abusing the rights of homeowners in trouble


Source: 2015, a year of job gains and real estate recovery – Business –

5 Reasons for ‘Why Now?’

NOTE: This blog post was originally posted on my “Triple Venti Dolce Data” blog for Target Marketing Magazine.


With the lingering, precarious feelings about the state of the economy, along with plenty of concerns about the business climate in general, I find that there is always a great deal of hesitation around beginning any kind of large- or even medium-complexity project focused on data. In many instances, the general consensus from senior management and even ancillary groups outside of the marketing and data management groups is the company has been doing fine with everything just the way it is, with plenty of “If it ain’t broken we don’t need to fix it” or “Let’s focus on increasing revenue this quarter first” pushback to proposed projects.

The problem with the first is, quite simply, if corporate data has been ignored, or even just on the back burner for any length of time, it is most assuredly broken. Perhaps it is not critically broken yet, but losing clarity, focus and relevancy in keeping up with the evolving goals of the organization. Bloated with obsolete or irrelevant information and systems fragmented; lagging behind on improvements and upgrades, databases become slow, unreliable and frustrating for both the front-line users and for their management teams who are looking for answers that are surely there but, unfortunately, cannot be mined with the speed and efficiency expected. Of course, when this occurs the frustrations grow and we begin to see various business groups take what pieces of data fit their responsibilities and start building and updating the silos which eventually hamper, rather than contribute to, enterprise-wide success. There is no feedback of newer and more relevant information to the main repository; there is no coordination of contact strategy or organized tempo or voice to communication. What evolves is chaos in overlapping or possibly opposing communication from different areas of the same company. It is a sure way to spur the erosion of customer respect for your products and services, along with a vision of incompetence from prospective customers confused by who you are and where you are trying to lead them.

The problem with this is most organizations will not recognize it as a problem. The groups creating the silos and working from there are perfectly happy to have their own source of whatever data they need. No hassles with requests or production queues. They are able to report the results of their efforts in isolation so management only has to see the rosiest picture. Unfortunately—and exactly because of the isolation factor—little if any sales, lead generation, updates or contact changes ever make it back to the primary data warehouse and the remainder of the organization is not able to share in the refreshed information that will help their efforts, as well.

The cure for that, and the answer to the “Let’s wait” feedback, is for the marketing and IT leaders to jointly be prepared with a roadmap of “Why now” proposals for the value of organizational refresh and consolidation that can resonate across the enterprise.

1. Cost containment: With a single platform view of customers and prospects, with vigorous updates and enhancements from every touchpoint, campaigns are able to be streamlined, based on full knowledge of RFM. Consolidation of duplicated software and vendor charges that are being utilized across multiple silos will allow every department to free up much-needed budget space.

2. Increased Productivity: With budget room made available, allocations can be shifted to incorporate the speed and upgrade solutions within the existing resources. Increasing both throughput and volume while optimizing manpower performance and efficiency.

3. Reducing Risk: Utilizing a centralized team to oversee data operations ultimately reduces the risk and exposure caused by violations of corporate policies, governmental regulations and industry best practices. Contact preferences are able to be maintained and shared across all corporate business units on every channel.

4. Customer Journey: No responsible marketer deliberately sets out to overwhelm, annoy or even spam existing customers and prospects. Without centralized deployment and tracking, however, you will be doing exactly that, oblivious to the damage you are doing to your reputation.

5. Increased Revenue: Removing all of the risks, poor decisions and duplication of effort alone will create a much more streamlined approach to providing all of the proper and most effective strategies for finding, developing, nurturing and hopefully establishing long-lasting client relationships. Consumers, regardless if in a B-to-C or B-to-B environment, buy from companies they respect and trust. Revenue grows and is sustained just as steadily by the quality of your relationship with customers as it is by the quality of your products and services.

Healthy, professional relationships and contact strategy are the value-added-benefits you can quantify and demonstrate to even the most ardent rebels across the company. Use the data you have readily available in your system to show every business unit leader the facts. Prove to them the upside potential that a solid, professional and, most of all, highly reliable marketing automation or CRM solution can provide in boosting revenue year over year. Stealthily, but honestly turn the naysayers into advocates with clean and simple facts.

Do that, and the conversation shifts from “Why Now?” to “How Soon?”