Voice for Real Estate: Troll Win, FSBOs, New Congress

Voice for Real Estate: Troll Win, FSBOs, New Congress

Sep 21, 2016
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A patent troll that's been seeking fees from real estate companies agreed to stop its practice in exchange for settling an NAR challenge to the validity of its patent. Other news in the NAR news video for the week of Sept. 19 looks at the drop in FSBOs and other trends in the 35 years NAR has been producing its Home Buyer and Seller Profile, how big the supply gap is in metros across the country, how NAR is trying to make it easy for its members to register to vote, and what to look for next year in the new Congress. The video also invites NAR members to register for a live webcast on HUD's rules implementing NAR-backed FHA condo finance changes

Featured segments

  • Patent troll win 
  • Home Buyer and Seller Profile 
  • Housing supply gap 
  • Register to vote 
  • New Congress: what's ahead? 
  • FHA condo finance rules webcast 


For-sale-by-owners are disappearing

How deep is the shortage of homes for sale in your market?

Rules are coming on FHA condo loans and you can learn about them from NAR.

Hi, I’m Stephen Gasque with the National Association of Realtors.

In a major victory for real estate, a so-called patent troll that has been demanding patent license fees from real estate companies—has agreed to a settlement with NAR. The agreement will prevent Data Distribution Technologies, LLC— from ever suing, or threatening to sue, real estate practitioners, brokerages, associations, MLSs, and other real estate companies that offer email alerts to consumers about new or updated listings.

 The company agreed to the settlement after NAR filed claims with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and in Federal District Court challenging the validity of the company’s patent. NAR Associate General Counsel Ralph Holmen has more.


NAR’s successful action shows that the real estate industry is prepared to fight back—and has the means to win—against patent trolls that try to charge fees for the use of everyday technologies. NAR will continue to work with lawmakers in Congress on legislation that would enact statutory curbs on patent trolls.


New data on how real estate has changed - dramatically - in the last generation….and among the biggest changes? The number of FSBOs - for sale by owner transactions - has been cut nearly in half.

Let's look back at 1981.

 Kim Carnes had the number one pop hit with “Bette Davis Eyes.” America’s favorite TV show was “Three’s Company.” MTV was launched And in real estate, almost 15 percent of home owners tried to sell their home without a real estate professional.

Well, a lot has changed in the 35 years since then, including in real estate. Among other things, today, only 8 percent try to sell their home without a real estate agent to help them. Other changes - too! There are fewer first-time buyers, too: Only 32 percent of buyers today are first-timers, compared with 44 percent in 1981. Meanwhile the typical repeat buyer today is 53—17 years older than in 1981.

These facts are from NAR’s latest Home Buyer and Seller Profile—the 35th anniversary edition of the report, which just released.

Here’s NAR’s Jessica Lautz on some of the major trends the data captures over these last 35 years.


To celebrate the anniversary of the report, over the next month, we’ll be highlighting some of the historical trends  and we’ll hosting a special forum in November at the Realtors Conference & Expo in Orlando.


Also from NAR Research, a report that shows just how low housing inventory is in markets across America. In San Francisco, 223,000 jobs have been added between 2013 and 2015, but only 12,000 single-family construction permits have been issued during that same period. And in Denver, 146,000 jobs have been added, but only 24,000 permits have been issued. Here’s NAR’s Ken Fears on this supply-and-demand mismatch and the effect it has on markets.


Ken tells us that his department examined for than 100 metro areas, to see if jobs and housing starts were mis-matched… you can access information on nar.realtor to see if it's happening in your market and, if so, by how much.


Do you manage employees in your office? If you do, you should be aware of new rules about wages and overtime pay.

For the first time in more than 10 years,  the federal government has made changes to its minimum-wage and overtime rules, and that can affect how much you have to pay your employees. In one important change, employees have to earn considerably more than they used to for you to classify them as exempt from overtime rules. Before the change, you could exempt employees who earned about $24,000 a year. Now they have to earn twice that, about $47,000. NAR’s Lesley Walker has more.


Those new rules take effect December 1. If you want to learn more - about whether an employee is exempt from the wage and overtime rules, look for the  latest Window to the Law video from NAR Legal Affairs.


In just about a month and a half, you’ll be joining your fellow Americans to vote in our country’s presidential election. If you’re not registered to vote, the Realtor Action Center has an online resource to help you identify where to go to get registered and participate in this important civic duty we all share. Here’s NAR President Tom Salomone on why NAR created this resource for you.


Regardless of the election outcome, issues important to Realtors will be front and center in the new Congress. Here’s NAR Chief Lobbyist Jerry Giovaniello on some of the issues that will likely be on the agenda in the new Congress.


You can access the full interview on nar.realtor and also read the Q&A with Giovaniello in Realtor Magazine.


New condo rules from the FHA! As we reported earlier this summer, a new law increases the availability of FHA insured loans by relaxing owner-occupancy ratios and making it easier to get condo financing in mixed-use projects. NAR supported the bill because it also simplifies the recertification burden for condo boards.

To help you understand the rules and ask questions about them, NAR is hosting a live webcast on Wednesday, October 27, at 2 p.m. Eastern time. NAR legislative and regulatory analysts will walk you through the most important provisions and answer your questions. You can sign up online.


And that’s our show for the week of September 19. You can get more on everything we talked about today at The Voice for Real Estate page on nar.realtor. Thank you for joining us and we hope you’ll join us again as we bring you the latest news on The Voice for Real Estate.

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