Realtor News

CDAR Awards Scholarships to Local HS Seniors in Coachella Valley for 2020

CDAR continues its over thirty-year tradition of awarding scholarships to high school seniors

The California Desert Association of REALTORS® awarded a total of $12,000 in academic scholarships to high school seniors in the Coachella Valley, continuing the thirty-year tradition of assisting students to aspire towards and achieve their higher education goals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, a total of 12 local students were awarded $1,000 scholarships each, including the third straight year of awarding one of the scholarships to the child of a CDAR member. The CDAR Scholarship Fund, which was started in 1988, has awarded scholarships to over 300 high school seniors over the past thirty years, amounting to $200,000 total in scholarship money awarded.

Although the annual CDAR Scholarship Breakfast, an event that celebrates the recipients with a ceremony and their families in attendance, was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, CDAR made the decision to still award scholarships in 2020 to support local students.

“The CDAR Scholarship Fund is very close to our hearts and means so much to our organization,” said Mary Funk, the CDAR Scholarship Committee Chair. “Even though we were not able to award as many scholarships as in previous years, we remain fortunate enough to still provide assistance to our Coachella Valley students so that they can continue to pursue their education goals.”

This year’s list of recipients, selected by the CDAR Scholarship Committee from a large pool of well-qualified candidates, are:

  • Catherine Avila, Cathedral City High School
  • Fayth Clayton, Palm Springs High School
  • Lorena Cota Acosta, Coachella Valley High School
  • Katia Delgado-Corvera, Desert Mirage High School
  • Jasmine Diaz, Indio High School
  • Gustavo Regalado, La Quinta High School
  • Frida Solares, Shadow Hills High School
  • Mayling Valencia, Desert Hot Springs High School
  • Daphnie Vhin Driza, Palm Desert High School
  • Jonathan Vidal Madrigal De La Herran, Rancho Mirage High School
  • Maifer Vizcarra Perez, Horizon Continuation High
  • Molly West, REALTOR®/Affiliate Scholarship, Palm Desert High School

Monies for the CDAR Scholarship Fund is raised at events such as the CDAR Scholarship Golf Tournament and the CDAR Scholarship Wall, located at the CDAR Corporate Office in Palm Desert, CA. To find out how to donate or support the CDAR Scholarship Fund, please contact the office at 760-346-5637 for information.

CDAR Announces Partnership with Glide

The partnership with Glide, which goes into effect March 1, 2020, will give members free access to an online platform that makes seller disclosures safer and more efficient. Glide provides a step-by-step guided interface for home sellers to complete required seller disclosures more quickly and more accurately.

CDAR is excited to announce that they’ve partnered with Glide to give access to Glide’s powerful online platform for completing seller disclosures to every association member, at no cost. 

When a real estate agent’s client sells their home, the owner is required to accurately complete and submit a number of critical disclosures about the property. As agents know, this means that sellers are presented with forms containing complex legal language that often proves confusing and challenging to complete. As a result, these documents are commonly submitted with incomplete or inaccurate information, making a failure to disclose the #1 cause of home sale lawsuits nationwide.  

Glide addresses these legacy issues by providing a step-by-step online interface that home sellers can use to accurately, quickly, and painlessly provide the required information about the property.  Glide asks home sellers questions about their properties in plain language, making it clear how to disclose important details through user-friendly, conversational interactions and provides inline contextual help to ensure sellers understand everything being asked. In addition to eliminating the frustration of often-confusing forms and delays due to missed questions, unreadable handwriting, and other common issues, Glide allows agents to track their clients’ progress and digitally receive the finished forms as soon as they are completed. The purpose-built solution is also optimized for mobile use.

About Glide

Glide provides software solutions that helps real estate agents simplify their transaction process, reduce risk, and close more deals with less effort. The company’s first release, Glide, allows home sellers to complete required disclosure forms electronically for the first time ever.

Study Says Many Homeowners Have No Clue About Their Mortgage Rate

More than one in four U.S. homeowners—or 27%—don’t know the interest rate on their current home, according to a new study published by Bankrate. That lack of knowledge may be prompting homeowners to miss out on refinancing their mortgage into a lower rate and saving on monthly costs. Mortgage rates have recently been hovering at three-year lows.

Younger homeowners are the most likely to be unaware of their mortgage rate. About 34% of homeowners between the ages of 29 to 39 say they’re unsure what their mortgage rate is. On the other hand, for comparison, 23% of homeowners between the ages of 56 and 74 don’t know their mortgage rate.

“It is concerning that more than a quarter of mortgage borrowers don’t know the rate of interest they’re paying on their existing mortgage,” says Mark Hamrick, Bankrate’s senior economist analyst. “Given the decline in mortgage rates we’ve seen over the past year, many qualified homeowners would stand to benefit, or save, by refinancing.”

For example, Fox Business offers the following example of how big a difference it can make: A $200,000 mortgage with a 4.70% interest rate could cost a homeowner about $119 a month more in interest than a mortgage with a 4.13% rate.

But mortgage rates are a lot cheaper now. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.47% last week, according to Freddie Mac.

More than 11 million homeowners could save an average of $268 per month on their mortgages by refinancing, according to a recent report by Black Knight.

(Republished from REALTOR® Magazine)

It’s a Better Time to Buy Now than 10 Years Ago

A strong economy, low unemployment, low mortgage rates, and alluring mortgage rates are making it a great time to buy a home, according to a newly released report from LendingTree, an online financial services marketplace. The amount of income that buyers spent on their mortgage payments also dropped from 2010 through 2019, despite higher home prices.

“If you are in a point in your life where you’re considering buying a home today, it’s a better time to buy than 10 years ago,” Tendayi Kapfidze, LendingTree’s chief economist, told realtor.com®. “If you can get a mortgage, you’re getting much lower interest rates, and it enables you to afford more. But that also means that you’re competing with more buyers, who are bidding up the prices.”

Indeed, median sales prices jumped 53.5% between early 2012 and summer 2019, according to realtor.com®. But a decrease in average mortgage rates—by more than a percentage point from the start of the decade—is helping to offset some of that uptick. Mortgage rates have dropped from 5.09% to 3.74% during that time period. That drop could save borrowers hundreds of dollars a year to tens of thousands over the life of the loan, realtor.com® reports.

Since the Great Recession, borrowers are being more responsible too, Kapfidze says. They’re “much healthier financially than they were 10 years ago,” Kapfidze says. “One reason is because of low mortgage rates. If you refinance, [you can] reduce your monthly mortgage payments.”

Homeowners are also sitting on more equity. In 2012, nationwide equity reached a low of $8.2 trillion. In 2019, it grew to about $18.7 trillion.

(Republished from REALTOR® Magazine)

Why Should You Use a REALTOR®?

All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR “®” logo on the business card or other marketing and sales literature. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reports that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR® again. Our members abide by a strict code of ethics and have access to a wide variety of business services that are not available to non-REALTORS. This gives them a competitive edge in the marketplace, enabling them to provide superior services to buyers and sellers of real property.

12 Reasons to Use a REALTOR®

  1. Your REALTOR® can help you determine your buying power — that is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give a REALTOR® some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, he or she can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders — banks and mortgage companies — offer limited choices.
  2. Your REALTOR® has many resources to assist you in your home search. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find all available properties.
  3. Your REALTOR® can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property. Agents who are REALTORS® have access to a variety of informational resources. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning. schools, etc. There are two things you’ll want to know. First, will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?
  4. Your REALTOR® can help you negotiate. There are myriad negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. The purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.
  5. Your REALTOR® provides due diligence during the evaluation of the property. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for termites, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests, just to name a few. Your REALTOR® can assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports. You will also want to see a preliminary report on the title of the property. Title indicates ownership of property and can be mired in confusing status of past owners or rights of access. The title to most properties will have some limitations; for example, easements (access rights) for utilities. Your REALTOR®, title company or attorney can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.
  6. Your REALTOR® can help you in understanding different financing options and in identifying qualified lenders.
  7. Your REALTOR® can guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.
  8. When selling your home, your REALTOR® can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.
  9. Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. Often, your REALTOR® can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the sell-ability of your property. Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. In many markets across the country, over 50% of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer. Your REALTOR® acts as the marketing coordinator, disbursing information about your property to other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc. The REALTOR® Code of Ethics requires REALTORS® to utilize these cooperative relationships when they benefit their clients.
  10. Your REALTOR® will know when, where and how to advertise your property. There is a misconception that advertising sells real estate. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® studies show that 82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, family and personal contacts. When a property is marketed with the help of your REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally pre-screen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
  11. Your REALTOR® can help you objectively evaluate every buyer’s proposal without compromising your marketing position. This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections and financing — a lot of possible pitfalls. Your REALTOR® can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.
  12. Your REALTOR® can help close the sale of your home. Between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement), questions may arise. For example, unexpected repairs are required to obtain financing or a cloud in the title is discovered. The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers. Your REALTOR® is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing (or settlement).

(Information herein © 1995-2014 National Association of REALTORS®)

How to Choose the Right REALTOR® For You?

Not All Agents or Brokers are REALTORS® – There is a Difference

As a prerequisite to selling real estate, a person must be licensed by the state in which they work, either as an agent/salesperson or as a broker. Before a license is issued, minimum standards for education, examinations and experience, which are determined on a state by state basis, must be met. After receiving a real estate license, most agents go on to join their local board or association of REALTORS® and the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, the world’s largest professional trade association. They can then call themselves REALTORS®.

The term “REALTOR®” is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics (which in many cases goes beyond state law). In most areas, it is the REALTOR® who shares information on the homes they are marketing, through a Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Working with a REALTOR® who belongs to an MLS will give you access to the greatest number of homes.

Using an Agent and the Obligations that are Owed to You

An agent is bound by certain legal obligations. Traditionally, these common-law obligations are to: Put the client’s interests above anyone else’s; Keep the client’s information confidential; Obey the client’s lawful instructions; Report to the client anything that would be useful; and Account to the client for any money involved.

NOTE: A REALTOR® is held to an even higher standard of conduct under the NAR’s Code of Ethics. In recent years, state laws have been passed setting up various duties for different types of agents. As you start working with a REALTOR®, ask for a clear explanation of your state’s current regulations, so that you will know where you stand on these important matters.

The Difference Between a Buyer’s and a Seller’s Broker

Suppose you sign an offer to buy a home for $150,000. You really want the property and there’s a chance other offers are coming in, so you tell the broker that “We’ll go up to $160,000 if we have to. But of course don’t tell that to the seller.” If you’re dealing with a seller’s agent, he or she may be duty-bound to tell the seller that important fact. In most states, the seller’s agent doesn’t have any duty of confidentiality toward you. Honest treatment might require that the agent warn you that “I must convey to the seller anything that would be useful so don’t tell me anything you wouldn’t tell the seller.”

TIP: If you’re dealing with seller’s agents, it’s a good idea to keep confidential information to yourself. These days many home buyers prefer instead to hire a buyer’s broker, one who owes the full range of duties, including confidentiality and obedience, to the buyer. A buyer’s broker is often paid by the seller, regardless of the agency relationship.

How to Evaluate an Agent

In making your decision to work with an agent, there are certain questions you should ask when evaluating a potential agent. The first question you should ask is whether the agent is a REALTOR® . You should then ask:

  • Does the agent have an active real estate license in good standing? To find this information, you can check with your state’s governing agency.
  • Does the agent belong to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and/or a reliable online home buyer’s search service? Multiple Listing Services are cooperative information networks of REALTORS® that provide descriptions of most of the houses for sale in a particular region.
  • Is real estate their full-time career?
  • What real estate designations does the agent hold?
  • Which party is he or she representing–you or the seller? This discussion is supposed to occur early on, at “first serious contact” with you. The agent should discuss your state’s particular definitions of agency, so you’ll know where you stand.
  • In exchange for your commitment, how will the agent help you accomplish your goals? Show you homes that meet your requirements and provide you with a list of the properties he or she is showing you?

(Information therein © 1995-2014 National Association of REALTORS®)