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OC REALTORS® Blog

News and Information to Keep You a Step Ahead!

Recent blog posts

REALTORS® say improving economic conditions and buyer urgency point to better market in 2015.

Pending home sales posted higher on a year-over-year basis for the first time since January 2013 and as expected, declined from the previous month due primarily to a seasonal slowdown toward the end of the year, according to C.A.R. 

Additionally, with the specter of a better economy, greater job growth, and increasing household formation, C.A.R.’s new Market Pulse Survey found that many REALTORS® expect market conditions to improve in 2015, as does C.A.R.  Review the Market Pulse Survey and the full press release here.

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OCAR offers members and their clients and customers a vehicle to economically expedite ethics complaints without going to court. Ethics complaints that are brought before the board give those parties involved an opportunity to be educated about the Code. In addition, REALTORS® are judged by their peers as opposed to other individuals who may be far less familiar with the practices and customs of the real estate industry.

This video helps de-mystify the process for filing a Grievance complaint: 

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Is Aliso Viejo your farm? The City of Aliso Viejo has commissioned this video highlighting the community's features. It could serve as a great way to introduce the city to prospective home buyers. Please share in your marketing materials:

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Our latest OC FastStats market update is now available.  Share this information with your clients via social media or even embed on your website and blog.  We strive to keep you a step ahead with the latest market data!

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In this workshop on Jan. 22, you will learn from four experts who will share their expertise on business planning, time management, and goal setting. The panel discussion, moderated by Bob Wolff, will feature successful agents and managers selected by OCAR's Education Committee. These topics will be covered:

  • Scheduling: work vs. personal vs. family time
  • Learn the art of scheduling with sellers and buyers
  • How to formulate a strong business plan
  • How to minimize “time wasters” in your real estate profession

Sign up via My Account (it's FREE)

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Where are sales and interest rates heading? And what are the potential speed bumps ahead? NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun expects existing-home sales to rise about 7 percent in 2015 behind a strengthening economy, solid job gains and a healthy increase in home prices. Watch his forecast: 

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When joining OCAR for the first time, the Association will offer a one-time waiver of OCAR local dues and OCAR processing fees for members on Active Military Duty and/or their spouses. Also, when joining OCAR for the first time, the Association will offer a one-time waiver of OCAR processing fees and a one-time, half-off of OCAR dues to U.S. Military Veterans. We'll need proof of Active Duty or Veteran status at time of joining.

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zipForm® Mobile is now free for C.A.R. members in 2015. Quickly create new transactions on your tablet or smartphone. With the built-in TouchSign™ feature, you can have clients sign directly on your tablet! zipLogix Digital Ink® and DocuSign® are integrated into zipForm® Mobile, making it easy to send your documents off for digital signature.

To begin using zipForm® Mobile, follow these steps:

  1. From your mobile device, open the Internet and go to www.zipformonline.com
  2. Choose "Use C.A.R. Credentials" from the drop-down menu*
  3. Enter your username and password to the www.car.org website
  4. Click Login

*Broker and Team Edition users, choose "Use zipForm credentials"

iPhone and iPad users:

You may download the "zipForm® Mobile Companion" App instead of opening an internet browser. 

To learn more about zipForm® Mobile, attend a free webinar!

C.A.R. knows the importance of being mobile and keeping you connected to important contracts anywhere your schedule takes you. Visit on.car.org/zfmobile or register to attend one of C.A.R.'s FREE upcoming webinars:

 

 

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Looking for a last minute tax deduction? Consider giving to the OCAR Cares Foundation! Those who donate $500 or more to the OCAR Cares Foundation before February 28, 2015, will be recognized as members of the OCAR Cares Founders Circle at the Annual Membership Meeting. This is a one-time opportunity. 

Donate Now! 

Learn more about the OCAR Cares Foundation...

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With a new year, new laws go into effect. The California Association of REALTORS® legal department has put together a comprehensive chart of new laws that affect REALTORS® and a brief summary of each. Topics include Broker record retention, team names, and agency disclosures. Check it out here.

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With the launch of OC FastStats next month, we'll deliver monthly market stats and engaging videos like this one. Share the video on your social media.

More information about OC FastStats

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Beginning on Saturday, January 10 our offices will be open from 9am to 1pm, every Saturday until the end of the month. Can't get down to our office locations? You can save time (and gas) by renewing your dues online—you can even elect to be on the bimonthly payment plan. Simply log into My Account to get started.

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The National Association of REALTORS® has won the rights to the new .realestate top-level domain. NAR intends to use the .realestate domain along with the recently acquired .REALTOR domain to create order for real estate information on the Internet and to provide NAR members with tools that help brand themselves as the most trusted, valued source of real estate information. More…

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We care about your safety while you are out showing properties.  Here are 10 ways to stay safe: 

1.  Always carry your cell phone where it is readily accessible. Do not leave it in the purse you locked in the trunk of your car or stowed out of sight in a kitchen cabinet.

2.  Be aware of your surroundings. Preview property before you show it. Familiarize yourself with the layout of the property, including all entrances and exits, and with the neighborhood.

3.  Be careful how you dress. Flashy or expensive jewelry may attract the wrong kind of attention.

4.  Implement a buddy system. Enlist at least five close friends or colleagues on whom you can rely in case of an emergency. Tell them in advance what property you will be showing and trust that they will have your back.

5.  Ask prospective clients to meet you at your office. Before you take clients to see a property, get a license plate number and leave it at the front desk. Explain to your clients that doing so is office policy; a client who means no harm won’t mind.

6.  Always take your own car for showings. When you leave your car, lock it.

7.  When showing a property, let potential buyers take the lead while you follow. If there are features you want to call to their attention, do so from the rear, not the front. 

8.  Avoid going into the basement, walk-in closets, or other closed or confined areas with a prospect. Be familiar with all entrances and exits.  

9. Never advertise a property as vacant or show one alone at night. To do so is to invite trouble.

10. Don't host an open house alone; take along a colleague. And suggest to home owners that they take breakables off tabletops and stow valuables in safe places, well out of sight. 

 

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Half of all millennials viewed real estate websites last month, but fewer homes on the market, increasing prices, and tight lending standards have made it difficult for them to become homeowners. The realtor.com Top 10 Fall Markets for Millennial Home Buyers list shows that despite trends shown in the realtor.com August National Housing Trend Report of strong prices and limited inventory, some markets are primed and ready for millennial home buyers this fall. More…

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This is a friendly reminder to make sure you're aware of a city's sign rules before you place your open house signs.  Cities across Orange County have increased enforcement of their existing sign regulations.  Did you know that in some areas of Orange County you cannot attach flags or other wind-driven items, like balloons, to your signs?  

Aliso Viejo: open house signs cannot be placed on sidewalks or any public property. The public right-of-way extends from the street to the sidewalk and 3' beyond the edge of the sidewalk. Signs cannot be placed within 3' of the public sidewalk. City regulations also state that signs cannot be put up before 8 a.m. and can only be posted during the open house times. They must be removed by dusk. In an effort to prevent confiscation or citations, warning notices are affixed to the noncompliant signs so that the REALTOR® or person retrieving them is provided with notice of the violation. For more information about Aliso Viejo's sign regulations, contact (949) 425-2539 or code-enforce@cityofalisoviejo.com.  

Laguna Beach: many of the offending signs are from outside area agents. If a sign is found to be in violation, a letter will be sent to the agent with a compliance date. If the agent fails to contact the city and correct the violation, the city may issue an Administrative Citation which carries a daily fine amount of $100 per day, per violation until compliance is met.  

OCAR has taken great effort to research the signs rules for Orange County's cities and select cities in Los Angeles county. Take advantage of this member benefit today. Sign Ordinances is available in ePub format or PDF.

In all cities, signs posted in the public right-of-way (such as blocking a sidewalk) pose a danger to pedestrian safety and handicap accessibility—please be considerate of where you place your signs.

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