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chair setIn two months (approximately 60 days), some important changes will be put into effect with regards to the process of completing a real estate transaction. The changes are part of the Dodd-Frank Bill and in the industry are referred to by what may seem like a curious set of initials to the average person – RESPA/TILLA.  The government agency responsible for implementing and overseeing the enforcement of these new changes to the law is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which you will also see referenced by the initials CFPB.

While, the requirements will largely impact new processes for the Lending and Title industry with regards to actual changes in forms and procedures, we do anticipate that there will be some adjustments necessary for the real estate transaction as conducted by REALTORS as well. For our clients (Buyers & Sellers), the adjustments will largely be (though not necessarily completely)reflected in the following ways:

1. New Timelines requiring additional time to complete a fairly standard real estate transaction
2. Ability to understand the re-disclosure period and how it can impact the timeline of getting your home or your money.
3. Coordination of  ‘stacked’ closings and why closing and purchasing in the same day may no longer be possible
4. A couple of new forms for the Lending & Escrow process

As REALTORS, coordinating the process in a way that minimizes stress for our clients is our primary concern. To this end, we are taking courses to ensure we understand how to advise our clients to ensure that your investment in a home occurs as smoothly as possible during this period of significant transition.

If you have been thinking about buying or selling a home and would like to have a more in depth conversation about the best way to navigate through this changing landscape, we encourage you to contact us well BEFORE October 3, 2015 when these changes are scheduled to take effect. *(Implementation was delayed from August 1, (today) to address concerns about preparedness by the industry and consumers. Our Number: 616-791-0511.

Lastly, if you are currently in the processing of retailing your home on your own or are considering this option in the future, we would be willing to talk with you about how to avoid potential pitfalls particularly during this time of transition.  In the days ahead, knowledge and understanding will be critical in ensuring the your transaction does not become an unintended casualty of the law of ‘Unintended Consequences’.  Our office is prepared and ready to assist with all your real estate needs and concerns.  Call us to talk.  It’s Free!

 

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Leadership Essentials Capture

The grind of daily life is something that every serious business person experiences and learns to cope with.  Successful entrepreneurs understand that it is important to refuel and recharge to avoid or at least mitigate some of the burnout that accompanies the relentless pace of industry today.

For professionals involved in the real estate industry, the relentless pace of life has also included the stress of dealing with a marketplace that has experienced periods of intense activity and stress due to foreclosures and more recently, extremely low levels of housing inventory.

‘Leadership Essentials’ inspires REALTORS and individuals involved in business to reshape their thinking about the nature of challenge and adversity.  The interactive course utilizes storytelling and principles of Leadership gleaned through navigating the tumultuous world of real estate during one of the most profoundly difficult seasons the real estate industry has ever witnessed.

Lola Audu served as the President of the Grand Rapids Association of REALTORS in 2011 and was elected President of the Women’s Council of REALTORS- Western Michigan Chapter in 2013.  Lola’s personal journey and unique experience profile serve as a backdrop for a deeper conversation about what it means to not just lead, but become a leader who invokes participation through inspiring others to follow and engage in life transforming ways.

To book this course for your real estate brokerage, business or non-profit group, please contact Audu Real Estate at 616-791-0511.  A mini preview of the course can be accessed through downloading the link.

Leadership Essentials Mini Presentation

COMING SOON:  cc: Authentication – The Process of Becoming an Authentic Influencer.  Check back for more details for this course which is scheduled to premier in May – June 2015.

1994-08-033 002Twenty years ago during a weekly Broker tour, an agent pointed out a home that was in the process of foreclosure.  As a brand new agent, I didn’t really understand the significance.  For one thing, there were very few distress sales and most agents had never actually negotiated a transaction with anyone other than a home seller.

Fifteen short years later, the landscape would change dramatically as Distress Sales (Foreclosed Homes and Short Sales) skyrocketed to almost 60% of the sales in the West Michigan area during the worst parts of the economic recession.  Thankfully, the volume of this type of real estate activity has slowed substantially.  However, when a negotiation requires the assistance of a Short Sale Specialist, choosing an experienced professional can make all the difference in the world.

Recently, we closed a Short Sale transaction that required negotiating through multiple offers and almost a year to bring to closure.  It was a unique challenge.  At the closing, it was hard to express the gratitude we all felt in seeing another family successfully move from here…to there.

Lanita’s story about her journey and her experience with Audu Real Estate will be a feature in our upcoming April newsletter.  If you’d like to be added to our mailing list to receive future installments, please e-mail us:  lola@audurealestate.com.  You may also visit us on Facebook.

February Existing Home Sales CaptureReal Estate professionals in West Michigan are finding themselves involved in an interesting line of conversation with potential home buyers in recent months.  After the usual qualifying questions about housing needs and wants, the next step is to find the right home.  That’s where it’s getting complicated.

Home Buyers are often surprised to find that there are not that many homes to choose from.  And, when a suitable home is found, there’s another surprise.  Hopeful new home owners may find themselves competing with multiple offers to purchase a home – sometimes within hours or days of new listings coming onto the market.

For Investors, the outlook is even bleaker.  According to the latest statistical reasearch available from the National Association of REALTORS, ALL CASH sales dropped slightly in February to 26% (down 1% from the previous month) and Individual Investors accounted for 14% of the market (down from 17% in the January).

Distressed Sales remain largely unchanged at approximately 11% of the national market.  The days when Investors were getting houses for a ‘song & a dance’ have disappeared.  The average Distress Sale retails between 15-17% below fair market value.

Inventory levels are at an all-time low nationwide.  As a result, housing prices have remained strong.  The average home is on the market for less than 65 days.  34% of homes on the market in February sold in less than a month.

On the local front, the Grand Rapids Association of REALTORS reports some trends that mirror the national marketplace but overall West Michigan is posting positive gains.  The average home price has increased 7% over the same period of time last year with today’s average home retailing for just under $159,000 versus approximately 140,000 a year ago. This is a significant increase of over 12% over the past year.

What remains the most unexpected element of this story is that last year (February 2014), Inventory levels were at approximately 3.1 months of supply.  Today’s numbers indicate a drop to 2.6 percent.  Surprising, even as we prepare to enter the Spring Market of 2015.  If we repeat the trend from last year, it will be July before inventory levels peak above 3 months of housing inventory.  Great news if you’re thinking of becoming a Home Seller.  For Home Buyers…well, not so much.

For more information about the insights shared in this Market Trends Report, please contact:  Lola@audurealestate.com.

National Association of REALTORS Infographic

Grand Rapids Association of REALTORS statistical report

Placemaking Capture

Audu Real Estate is pleased to present a brand new CE Marketplace certified course:  Placemaking:  Re-thinking the Nature of Environment.   Please contact Lola Audu at lola@audurealestate.com for information about booking this course for your company or orgnanization.  The course is certified for 1 Hour of Continuing Education Credit for Michigan real estate agents.

Instructor:  Lola Audu

Course Descriptive:  C000203  – available through the CE Marketplace

Certified for 1 Hour of Continuing Education Credit for real estate professionals in the State of Michigan

Placemaking: Re-thinking the Nature of Environment examines the role of REALTORS and real estate professionals in facilitating an effective strategy for collaboration with community stakeholders, business leaders and organizations and residents in their local areas.

You may be asking…what is Placemaking?  Well, a concise answer is this: Placemaking creates vibrant spaces through the thoughtful and intentional development of shared communal space. A number of recent studies indicate that when the development and integration of shared communal space is addressed intelligently, there is a direct correlation to a number of benefits including healthier community engagement and interaction as well as enhanced economic growth and opportunities.

The course is designed to educate real estate professionals about the opportunities and responsibilities the industry shares in ensuring that our communities develop in healthy and economically viable ways.

May also be of interest to: Business & Community leaders, Planning and Zoning Boards, Environmental companies, Commercial real estate and lending professionals, Non-profits interested in community development, City planners, Developers

Click to view mini pre-view: Mini Placemaking Version 2

We’re pleased to announce the approval of 5 NEW Continuing Education Courses for real estate professionals in the State of Michigan.  The following courses have been CE Certified by the CE Marketplace for the 2015 calendar year.  Real Estate professionals can now take advantage of this ground breaking material while earning educational credits to satisfy licensing requirements.  Book your Continuing Education event today by calling 616-791-0511 or e-mailing: lola@audurealestate.com for availability and booking information.  The course and descriptions are highlighted below including a mini-preview of course content.

Pivotal Real Estate Trends for 2015

Certified for 2 Hours of Continuing Education Credit for Michigan Real Estate Professionals

Instructor:  Lola Audu

Course Descriptive: C000177

Pivotal Real Estate Cover Capture

This class explores 23 pivotal trends that have potential for significant impact within the real estate industry. We will highlight several key areas of opportunity and challenge for real estate professionals. These include developments in the following areas: Government Regulation, Consumer Trends & Behavior, The Housing Market and the changing role of the Real Estate Professional and Technology.  Topics covered include:  International Investment, Global Competition, Rise of Personal Marketing, Housing Market – Implications of Low Inventory Levels, Changing Demographics & Spending Pattern Shifts, Real Estate Professionalism – Code of Excellence, New Association Standards, Technology – Big Data technology, Rise of the iTechnologist, Democratization of Technology, Mobile Technology, Government Regulation – CFPB, Mortgage Regulation, Frank-Dodd Act

Click to Download Mini Preview PDF Pivotal Real Estate Trends for 2015

Click to Download Mini Preview Slideshow Pivotal Real Estate Trends for 2015

Anatomy of a Smart City

Certified for 2 Hours of Continuing Education Credit for Michigan Real Estate professionals

Instructor:  Lola Audu

Anatomy of a Smart City Capture

Course Description: #C000140
A Smart City is one which utilizes digital technologies and smart governance to enhance performance, reduce cost and to more effectively engage actively with its’ citizens. By 2050, the United Nations estimates that 70% of the world’s population will live within city centers and their perimeters. Real estate professionals can play key roles in helping their communities plan and prepare for housing needs and demographic shifts as populations centers shift. This will require an understanding of how the smart communities operate and the need for real estate professionals to have key roles in engaging the citizens and government effectively to spearhead the type of growth which will benefit the interests of private property rights and home ownership.

Click to Download Mini Preview PDFAnatomy of a Smart City: Re-inventing the Future of Community

Click to Download Mini Preview Slideshow Anatomy of a Smart City: Re-inventing the Future of Community

Fair Housing Risk Reduction Strategies

Certified for 3 Hours Legal Continuing Education and Fair Housing

Instructors:  Doretha Ardoin and Lola Audu

Course descriptive: #C000141

Fair Housing Cover Capture

Fair Housing is foundational to the rights and privileges available to people living in the United States.  The history of the Fair Housing Act as well as Civil Rights is covered in the class.  In addition, students will gain an understanding of the the role and responsibility that is involved in providing housing services through sales, property management and counsel in the real estate industry.  Fair Housing covers a number of areas which include:  race, familial status, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, color, sexual orientation and marital status.  The class will include case law as well as video examples and discussion about a wide variety of situations.  This class promises to broaden your scope of understanding how to avoid costly litigation and provides students with the information and knowledge to offer service across a wide range of potential clients.  Diversity is celebrated as one of the strengths that has enabled America to become a great nation.

Click to Download Mini Preview PDF Fair Housing Risk Reduction Strategies

Click to Download Mini Preview Slideshow Fair Housing – Risk Reduction Strategies

Netiquette:  Social Media Etiquette Savvy for the Millennial Entrepreneur

Certified for 2 Hours of Continuing Education for Michigan Real Estate Professionals (Ethics)

Instructor:  Lola Audu

Course descriptive: #C000056 and C000178

Netiquette Cover Capture

Social Media is woven into the core of life and business in every sector today. Savvy entrepreneurs can utilize this medium to increase their profits, build brand recognition and to find new customers. This is definitely true in the real estate industry where surveys indicate that more consumers are choosing to engage on social media as a way to connect with and choose real estate professionals. Unfortunately, the rules have not always been clearly defined. As a result, real estate professionals may find themselves in legal jeopardy or worse as they strive to navigate a world that seems to blur the boundaries between what is personal vs. professional.

Click to Download Mini Preview PDF Netiquette: Social Media Savvy for the Millennial Entrepreneur

Click to Download Mini Preview Slideshow Netiquette: Social Media Etiquette Savvy for the Millennial Entrepreneur

Placemaking Capture

Instructor:  Lola Audu

Course Descriptive:  C000203  – available through the CE Marketplace

Certified for 1 Hour of Continuing Education Credit for real estate professionals in the State of Michigan

Placemaking: Re-thinking the Nature of Environment examines the role of REALTORS and real estate professionals in facilitating an effective strategy for collaboration with community stakeholders, business leaders and organizations and residents in their local areas.

You may be asking…what is Placemaking?  Well, a concise answer is this:Placemaking creates vibrant spaces through the thoughtful and intentional development of shared communal space. A number of recent studies indicate that when the development and integration of shared communal space is addressed intelligently, there is a direct correlation to a number of benefits including healthier community engagement and interaction as well as enhanced economic growth and opportunities.

The course is designed to educate real estate professionals about the opportunities and responsibilities the industry shares in ensuring that our communities develop in healthy and economically viable ways.

May also be of interest to: Business & Community leaders, Planning and Zoning Boards, Environmental companies, Commercial real estate and lending professionals, Non-profits interested in community development, City planners, Developers

Click to view mini pre-view: Mini Placemaking Version 2

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