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Fournier Law Blog

Intelligent legal insight from our team of experienced attorneys.

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6 Steps Realtors Can Take to Protect Their Clients from Identity Theft

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With all the paperwork that changes hands between realtors and their clients, real estate offices are an attractive target for identity thieves. In a recent article for Inman News, identity theft expert Robert Siciliano, gives real estate agents a refresher course in best practices they should be following to help protect their clients’ confidential information. One seemingly obvious practice on the list is the importance of shredding all documents that include client information. While this may be standard in all real estate offices, Siciliano points out that realtors who have recycle bins in their offices need to be vigilant to ensure they are not inadvertently recycling documents that should be shredded.

Read the full article to see if you are doing everything you can to protect your clients’ financial security.

Image credit: Don Hankins

 

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7 Things to Consider When You Inherit a Home

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Do you know what steps to take when you inherit a home? These smart tips from the host of Strange Inheritance can help you navigate your options.

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8 Home Fixes That Help Seal the Deal for Buyers

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What is the #1 home fix you advise clients to make before listing their home? Comment below, then check out the top 8 fixes one broker says will help close the deal.

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6 Client Gift Ideas for Your Holiday Marketing Campaign

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The holidays are fast approaching and there is no better way to stay top-of-mind with your clients than with a strong holiday marketing campaign. How can you make your client gifts stand out this holiday season? Jennifer Snyder, a marketing consultant that works exclusively with realtors, shares her top six gift ideas for clients in a new article for Inman News. One of the ideas she shares is to think local with your gift card giving. For example, she suggests sending a newly relocated client a gift card to a popular local restaurant or giving family clients a gift card to a local bounce house.

Read the full article for more client gift ideas.

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3 Common Digital Mistakes That Can Sabotage Your MLS Listing

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For most real estate agents, the MLS listing is the most effective marketing tool they have for getting a property noticed and ultimately sold. But, according to Sam DeBord, state director for Washington Realtors, there are three common digital mistakes many realtors are making when creating their MLS listings that hurt more than help their property’s chances of getting an offer. In an article for Inman News, DeBord says the popular $9.99 trick realtors use to make a $499,999 price more attractive than $500,000 is counter intuitive to the search parameters of real estate portals and websites, which end in zeros. Someone searching for a home in the $500,000 to $550,000 range would completely miss the property priced at $499,999.

Read the full story to learn more about common digital mistakes realtors make.

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Airbnb Partnership Lets Homebuyers Try Before They Buy

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HJF_2015_june_blog5If you’ve ever wished you could test drive a neighborhood before you commit to buying a home there, you may be in luck thanks to a new partnership between Airbnb and Realtor.com. Airbnb has become the industry standard for people looking to rent a home for vacation or other short-term stay while Realtor.com is a go-to resource for homebuyers looking to check out the latest listings on homes for sale. The partnership will allow homebuyers to search available property listings on Realtor.com and then book a stay in the neighborhood in one of Airbnb’s available properties. Chip Conley, CEO of Airbnb, says, “As we offer a variety of unique accommodations in neighborhoods across the country, we’ll be able to allow potential homeowners the special opportunity to experience those neighborhoods as if they already live there – before making the decision to buy.” (more…)

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Interest-Only Mortgages Set to Make a Cautious Comeback

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Harry J. FournierUnited Wholesale Mortgage, the nation’s second-largest wholesale mortgage lender, is expected to bring back interest-only mortgages as early as next month. The loan, which all but disappeared after the housing crisis, will offer initial interest rates that are slightly higher than a five-year ARM. After five years, the rate will adjust as much as two percent annually and five percent overall with borrowers required to pay down the loan after 10 years. These tricky loans caused many borrowers to go into foreclosure during the housing crisis because lenders qualified them based on their ability to pay the initial payments not the future payments. United Wholesale Mortgage says they will only make these loans to qualified borrowers who can pay 20 percent down, have a 720 credit score and whose future payments would not exceed 42 percent of their current income.
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Zillow Set to Add E-Signing Services with DotLoop Acquisition

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Harry J. FournierZillow Group took steps this week to make it easier for buyers, sellers and real estate professionals to conduct an entire real estate transaction online from listing to closing. The online real estate powerhouse announced this week it will acquire DotLoop, an e-signing service that allows users to digitally share, edit, sign and save everything from a listing agreement to actual closing documents. Zillow’s CEO Spencer Rascoff released a statement about the deal saying, “Now we will be able to make their technology more readily available to Zillow Group’s 10,000 broker partners and the agents they represent, as well as our approximately 100,000 real estate agent advertisers, resulting in a smoother and more efficient transaction process for everyone.”’ (more…)

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