By now pocket listings are a concept most real estate professionals are familiar with, and in some circles they have become something of a dirty word. Lower inventory has created a surge in pocket listings, especially in markets such as Northern California, where as much as 30 percent of all listings are believed to be pocket listings. However, markets across the United States are dealing with this issue more often lately as real estate recovers and demand outpaces supply. Pocket listings can be legal, but agents must proceed cautiously and consider the related risk management concerns they pose.
Especially in small associations, where REALTORS® know one another, their families, and their dogs (the one who dug up the neighbor’s flower beds), one’s professional reputation is very important. In tight-knit communities where it’s hard to sweep anything under the rug, professionalism can flourish or it can falter.
More than 50 percent of the AEs in our professionalism survey said heightened education requirements to obtain or retain a real estate license would be the best way to boost professionalism. Several state REALTOR® associations are now working with their legislatures to change licensing requirements with this goal in mind.
As a result of a Supreme Court ruling in the early 1990s, Internet retailers have largely been exempted from collecting state and local sales taxes on their sales transactions because these tax laws were seen as overly complex and placing too heavy a burden on interstate commerce, unless the retailer had a physical presence in the state.
To give REALTORS® even more data in their arsenal of information, Realtors Property Resource®, (RPR), recently added Points of Interest (POI) to the maps if RPR Commercial. These POI’s aren’t simply just pins on a map. Separated into ten broad categories such as retail, manufacturing, transportation, retail and ﬁnance, with nearly 100 subcategories, each point of interest displays basic information about the business at that location including address, number of employees, annual sales volume and industry.
The retail sector provided stable performance in 2013. Consumer spending remained steady through the year and notched a noticeable gain in the last quarter, as households’ wealth received a much-needed boost from both ﬁnancial and residential housing markets. Retail sales were up 4.2 percent in 2013 compared with the prior year, driven by a 9.8 percent gain in auto sales and a 5.9 percent rise in sales of building materials.