Four Steps You Need to Take to Protect Your Clients From Wire Fraud

fraud_sliderAs KTVB recently reported, a local family was scammed out of $80,000 down payment in a wire fraud scheme in which their agent’s email was hacked, and fraudulent wire instructions were sent to the buyer. Now that the money has been wired, it’s unlikely that it will be recovered.

Wire fraud and cybercrime is a very serious issue and one that isn’t going away any time soon. Don’t let your clients become victims, take these four steps TODAY to protect your clients and yourself.

1) Inform your clients that you will NEVER share wire instructions over email, but only verbally over the phone or in person. Educate them about the risks, and insist they call you (using the phone number you provided, not one from a suspicious email) if they receive instructions via email, or if anything feels “off.”

2) Use an email service that provides two-factor authentication and make sure it’s enabled.

3) Change your email password and make sure it’s a strong password. Set up a calendar reminder to change your email password regularly, and then follow through.

4) Add a standard warning about wire scams to your email signature or include a disclaimer at the bottom of your emails explaining that you will not discuss personal financial information over email. (Sample from NAR.) Here’s another example: ALERT! [Brokerage Name] will never send you wiring information via email or request that you send us personal financial information by email. If you receive an email message like this concerning any transaction involving [Brokerage Name], do not respond to the email and immediately contact your agent via phone.

Additional tips and resources:

Phil Mount Installed as 2019 President of Boise Regional REALTORS®

2019 Boise Regional REALTORS® President, Phil Mount

2019 Boise Regional REALTORS® President, Phil Mount

Phil Mount, REALTOR® with Front Street Brokers, was named 2019 President of the Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR) during the association’s annual installation ceremony, held December 14th at the Boise Art Museum.

Phil had this to say about his new role: “It is a true honor to be able to lead BRR and a membership engaged in one of the most essential professions– facilitating our neighbors’ most important transaction.  By providing a platform of advocacy, education & ethics, and a way to connect with industry colleagues, BRR enables our members to serve this community with professionalism and integrity.”

“Phil has an amazing passion for the real estate industry and outstanding insights into the community – both of which have been and will continue to be tremendously valuable to the initiatives we take on,” said Breanna Vanstrom, BRR’s Chief Executive Officer.
Mount will lead BRR’s volunteer board of directors in 2019, which includes:

President-Elect Michelle Bailey, Keller Williams Realty Boise
Vice President Jeff Wills, Amherst Madison Real Estate
Immediate Past President Gary Salisbury, Equity Northwest Real Estate
Treasurer Bob Van Allen, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group
Director Elizabeth Hume, Silvercreek Realty Group
Director Becky Enrico-Crum, Andy Enrico & Company
Director Michele de Reus, Accel Realty Partners
Director Bob Hurtt, ERA West Wind Real Estate
Director Debbi Myers, Front Street Brokers
Director Carolyn Sinnard, Happy Dog Realty
Director Ed Sperry, Equity Northwest Real Estate

View Photo Gallery

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Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR) is a 501(c)6 trade association, representing real estate professionals throughout the Boise region. Established in 1920, BRR is the largest local REALTOR® association in the state of Idaho, helping members achieve real estate success through ethics, professionalism, and connections. BRR has two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Intermountain MLS (IMLS) and the REALTORS® Community Foundation.

 

What Days Does IREC Consider Holidays vs. Business Days?

I recently received a question from a member asking whether Veterans Day was considered a business day with regards to real estate contracts. To answer this question and to help us prep our calendars for 2019, I checked with MiChell Bird, Executive Director for the Idaho Real Estate Commission (IREC), for clarification.

According to a definition in IREC’s license law:

54-2004(10)”Business days” means and includes each day of the week except Saturday, Sundays and any other legal holiday enumerated in section 73-108, Idaho Code.

And according to general code for the state of Idaho:

73-108. Holidays enumerated. Holidays, within the meaning of these compiled laws, are (bullets added):

  • Every Sunday;
  • January 1 (New Year’s Day);
  • Third Monday in January (Martin Luther King, Jr.-Idaho Human Rights Day);
  • Third Monday in February (Washington’s Birthday);
  • Last Monday in May (Memorial Day);
  • July 4 (Independence Day);
  • First Monday in September (Labor Day);
  • Second Monday in October (Columbus Day);
  • November 11 (Veterans Day);
  • Fourth Thursday in November (Thanksgiving Day);
  • December 25 (Christmas);
  • Every day appointed by the President of the United States, or by the governor of this state, for a public fast, thanksgiving, or holiday.
  • Any legal holiday that falls on Saturday, the preceding Friday shall be a holiday and any legal holiday enumerated herein other than Sunday that falls on Sunday, the following Monday shall be a holiday.

Need more information? You can read the full statute here.

Stay Professional When Prospecting

Telemarketing Best Practices and LawsWhen inventory is tight, agents rightfully look for new listings through a variety of prospecting tactics, including reaching out to property owners of unlisted homes to see if they’re interested in selling.

Unfortunately, I recently received a call from an angry homeowner who said he was being inundated with phone calls from agents asking him to list his property. It did not sound like he had a recently expired or canceled listing, but just happened to own a home in a popular neighborhood. Based on what the homeowner shared with me, each time he told the agent who called that he was not interested, but they persisted and pushed for an appointment anyway. The homeowner also said he is on the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry.

While everyone reacts differently to solicitations, it’s important to be respectful when prospecting and always adhere to applicable laws. That said, we wanted to use this opportunity to remind members about telemarketing best practices and laws:

And while we’d love to see more inventory on to the market, please always be respectful and professional in your prospecting practices.

REALTOR® ornaments on sale now at the BRR store

Looking for the perfect gift for the REALTOR® in your life? Consider getting them a lovely REALTOR® ‘R’ ornament for their tree! Either ornament makes a great gift on its own, or use one to dress up your holiday wrapping!

Crystal-R-Ornament-300x200

Crystal ‘R’ Ornament

$7.50 for members/ $10.00 for non-members

Snowflake Ornament - compressed

Snowflake ‘R’ Ornament

$5.00 for members/ $7.00 for non-members

If you’re looking for other great gift ideas, check out the BRR REALTOR® store for more REALTOR® swag and supplies!

 

 

 

October 2018 Market Report

OCTOBER MARKS FOUR YEARS OF DECLINING INVENTORY,
CONTINUING THE PRESSURE ON ADA COUNTY HOME PRICES

 Key Takeaways:

  • October 2018 marks a full four years of falling inventory, specifically in the number of existing homes for sale in Ada County.
  •  This lack of inventory compared to demand is one of the primary reasons that the median sales price continues to rise compared to last year.
  •  The median sales price in October 2018 was $321,398, up 0.8% from the previous month and up 19.9% from October 2017.

 Analysis:

October 2018 marks a full four years of falling inventory, specifically in the number of existing homes for sale in Ada County, when looking at activity by month year-over-year.

There were 870 existing homes for sale in Ada County in October 2018, down 15.0% from October 2017 and down 48.8% from October 2014 when the decline began.

As we’ve outlined in previous reports, there are many reasons the Boise Region is facing a lack of homes for sale. These include the continued population growth, the trend of people choosing to stay in their homes longer than we’ve seen historically, among others.

This persistent lack of existing home inventory is one of the two primary reasons that the area’s overall median sales price continues to rise compared to last year; the second reason, increasing land, labor, and material costs for new homes. For October 2018, this resulted in a median sales price of $321,398, up 0.8% from the previous month and up 19.9% from October 2017.

This nearly 20% increase year-over-year in the overall median sales price for October was primarily due to a higher share of new home sales during the month ― reaching 27.7% of all closed sales, up 10.1% compared to October 2017.

We’ve been talking about the drop in existing inventory literally for years now, but what’s interesting about today’s market is that we’re seeing more and more new construction sales. Whether you’re looking to buy an existing home or a new build, your REALTOR® is going to advocate for you throughout the transaction. And if you’re thinking of selling, these recent numbers indicate that despite the turn in temperature, it’s still a good time to put your home on the market.


HOME SALES AND PRICES UP IN GEM COUNTY

In October 2018, 36 homes sold in Gem County, up 28.6% from October 2017. This left 57 new and existing/resale homes available for sale at the end of the month — down 19.7% from the same month last year. Despite persistently low inventory, Gem County has seen strong sales numbers for the last four months.

The median sales price for homes that sold in October was $199,450, based on activity over the past 12 months — up 11.1% over the same period last year. There are two primary reasons that the median sales price rose compared to last year — the lack of inventory compared to demand, and an increase in the share of new homes sales in October.

Five new homes sold in Gem County in October 2018, the same number as October 2017. However, new home sales made up a larger share of total sales at 11.1% in October, compared to the average of 5-6% we typically see in Gem County. New homes typically sell for higher prices than existing homes due to increased land, labor, and material costs, so when the share of new home sales increases, so does the median sales price.

Apparently, the colder temps haven’t deterred buyers in Gem County. If you’re thinking about selling, now is a great time to put your home on the market. Talk your REALTOR® to find out what your home may be worth and what options are available based on your specific situation.

RESOURCES:

Additional information about trends within the Boise Region, by price point, by existing and new construction, and by neighborhood, are now available here: Ada CountyCanyon CountyGem County, and City Data Market Reports. Each includes an explanation of the metrics and notes on data sources and methodology.

ADA Snapshot - Oct 18

Canyon Snapshot - Oct 18Gem Snapshot - Oct 18

Download the latest (print quality) market snapshot graphics for Ada CountyAda County Existing/ResaleAda County New ConstructionCanyon CountyCanyon County Existing/ResaleCanyon County New Construction, and Gem County.

# # #

This report is provided by Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR), a 501(c)6 trade association, representing real estate professionals throughout the Boise region. Established in 1920, BRR is the largest local REALTOR® association in the state of Idaho, helping members achieve real estate success through ethics, professionalism, and connections. BRR has two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Intermountain MLS (IMLS) and the REALTORS® Community Foundation.

If you have questions about this report, please contact Cassie Zimmerman, Director of Communications for Boise Regional REALTORS®. If you are a consumer, please contact a REALTOR® to get the most current and accurate information specific to your situation.

The data reported is based primarily on the public statistics provided by the IMLS, available at: intermountainmls.com. These statistics are based upon information secured by the agent from the owner or their representative. The accuracy of this information, while deemed reliable, has not been verified and is not guaranteed. These statistics are not intended to represent the total number of properties sold in the counties or cities during the specified time period. The IMLS and BRR provide these statistics for purposes of general market analysis but make no representations as to past or future performance. The term “single-family homes” includes detached single-family homes with or without acreage, as classified in the IMLS. These numbers do not include activity for mobile homes, condominiums, townhomes, land, commercial, or multi-family properties (like apartment buildings).

November 2018 Election Recap

Below is a summary of the candidates and initiatives that BRR endorsed in this week’s election. It’s important to know that our endorsements aren’t about placing bets whomever or whatever is most likely to succeed; but rather, we support people and ideas that best reflect our ideals and interests as REALTORS®, as well as our desire to make the community a better place for everyone. Oftentimes this is a very difficult decision, as there are many great and qualified candidates running for office — which was certainly the case this year.

That said, here is the breakdown of our recent endorsements:

  1. Ada County Commissioner District 1: Endorsed Jim Tibbs LOST to Diana Lachiando
  2. Ada County Clerk – Endorsed Phil McGrane WON
  3. Ada County Assessor – Endorsed Robert McQuade WON
  4. Ada County Treasurer – Endorsed Elizabeth Mahn WON
  5. ACHD D3 – Endorsed Paul Woods LOST to Mary May
  6. Ada County Vehicle Registration Ballot Measure – Endorsed a YES vote but measure FAILED (more on this below)
  7. College of Western Idaho Plant Facilities Reserve Fund Levy – Endorsed a YES vote measure need 55% approval blended result in Ada and Canyon. The vote hasn’t been certified yet, but it appears to have FAILED by less than 1/10th of a percentages point with a combined approval of 54.94%.
  8. Gem County Assessor – Endorsed Hollie Ann Strang WON
  9. Gem County Clerk – Endorsed Shelly Tilton WON
  10. Gem County Treasurer – Endorsed Megan Keene WON

As for the Ada County Vehicle Registration Ballot Measure, BRR endorsed this as part of a coalition of elected officials, builders, developers, and other business and community leaders, and we were able to utilize REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC) funds and a grant from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) to support it. Because it was unsuccessful, we wanted to share our analysis on it, both why we supported it and why it likely failed.

BRR endorsed this user-based fee because we felt it was the fairest way to address road congestion rather than the all too commonly used increase in property taxes — and to add more bike lanes and improve the safety of children’s routes to school.

Unfortunately, the majority of Ada County voters did not agree. There are many reasons this ballot measure failed. Here are a few:

  1. False information promoted by anti-growth groups and local media. An example of this, many voters believed ACHD chose to increase registration fees on regular motorists instead of commercial, simply because they didn’t want to ask heavy vehicles to pay their share of road usage. The truth is that ACHD does not have the legal authority to do this, only the state legislature can determine whether to increase fees on heavy vehicles (those weighing 8,000 lbs. or more.)
  2. Some voters voiced their desire for “someone else” to pay for more transportation funding, especially developers and new families moving to the area, by raising impact fees or property taxes; however, this would only put more pressure on housing and home prices, exacerbating the concerns over affordability.
  3. Other voters seemed to think these vehicle registration fees were already increasing each year, and that our fees were already too high. They have not gone up since 2008, and we would have continued to have some of the lowest registration fees in the western United States, even if the increase was approved.
  4. Many believed a vote against this ballot measure would improve the chances of getting public transit. This is simply not the case, and ignoring the immediate need for improved funding of our roads and infrastructure only distances community transit from becoming a reality.

Ultimately, supporting this campaign was the right thing to do. We tried to find a fair and balanced solution, through a simple user-based fee. The coalition we worked with on this initiative allowed us to make new friends and demonstrated that REALTORS® have powerful resources and are willing to invest into their community. Looking beyond this issue, we sincerely congratulate every candidate on hard-fought races and wins, whether or not they received our endorsement. We look forward to continuing to build upon existing relationships and forge new ones as we work together to address the opportunities and issues in our community.

Lastly, thank you to the members of BRR’s Public Policy Committee, Board of Directors, and everyone who invested in the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) for supporting these advocacy efforts. If you have further questions about the elections, our endorsements, or to learn more about RPAC please don’t hesitate to contact me at soren@boirealtors.com.

 

REALTORS® in Canyon and Ada County Endorse CWI Levy

On November 6th, the College of Western Idaho will be asking voters in Canyon and Ada counties to support a $39 million plant facilities levy to add a health and science building to the Nampa campus. All three REALTOR® associations in Ada and Canyon counties, including Boise Regional REALTORS®, Caldwell Board of REALTORS®, and Nampa Association of REALTORS®, are united in support of the levy.

“CWI adds incredible value to our community as an affordable option for higher education,” noted Gary Salisbury, 2018 President of Boise Regional REALTORS® and senior sales consultant with Equity Northwest Real Estate. “We fully support the efforts of the college to expand their healthcare education and training programs.”

Chris Mooney, Chief Executive Officer of the Nampa Association of REALTORS® and co-owner of EnVision Real Estate School and Consulting, Inc., added that “the Nampa campus has been a boon to our growing workforce. CWI has proven itself to be a wise and prudent investment for our community.”

“We’re thrilled to see the continued success and growth of CWI,” said Arvid Salisbury, President of the Caldwell Board of REALTORS® and Associate Broker at Keller Williams Realty. Salisbury went on to say, “This new health and science building will be a fantastic and much-needed addition to our local college.”

Elections will be held on Tuesday, November 6th, 2018. For more information on voting, please visit idahovotes.gov. For information requests regarding these endorsements, please contact Soren Dorius, Boise Regional REALTORS® Director of Government Affairs, at soren@boirealtors.com; Chris Mooney, Chief Executive of the Nampa Association of REALTORS®, at cmooney@nampaboard.com; or Jill Stone, Chief Executive of the Caldwell Board of REALTORS®, at jillstone99@gmail.com.

September 2018 Market Report

ADA COUNTY HOUSING MARKET SLOWS ITS PACE … EVER SO SLIGHTLY

Key Takeaways: 

  • Similar to nationwide trends in recent months, existing home sales in Ada County were down 24.0% compared to the same month last year – and down 25.2% from August 2018.
  • The primary factor affecting sales is the lack of existing inventory. Existing inventory has been consistently down year-over-year for 48 months or four years. As of September 2018, inventory of existing homes in Ada County was down 19.2% compared the same month the previous year.
  • Beyond inventory and sales counts, there are three other metrics we’re also watching closely to see which way the market may be moving: days on market, percent of original list price, and months supply of inventory.
  • It’s a complex set of factors that will determine where the market goes in the next few months – and REALTORS® are the best-equipped partner to help sellers correctly price their homes based on real-time data, and help buyers understand where they may have room to negotiation.

 Analysis:

Speculation that the real estate market is turning is a hot topic across the country, as year-over-year existing home sales have been down or remained flat in many states over the past few months.

In Ada County, existing home sales in September 2018 were down 24.0% compared to the same month last year – and down 25.2% from August 2018. This number marks the first double-digit decline in existing home sales since February 2017 which could easily support that “market turn” discussion.

It’s important to keep in mind that there are a variety of factors affecting our sales figures, primarily the number of existing homes that are even available to purchase which has been consistently down year-over-year for 48 months, or four years. As of September 2018, inventory of existing homes in Ada County was down 19.2% compared the same month the previous year.

Beyond inventory and sales counts, there are three other metrics we’re also watching closely to see which way the market may be moving: days on market, percent of original list price, and months supply of inventory.

Days on market measures the time between when a home is listed and when it goes under contract. As of September 2018, it was at 23 days in Ada County for existing homes, up three days from August, and up five days over July. That’s providing a bit of breathing room for buyers, and potentially the opportunity to negotiate a bit on price.

The percent of original list price received measures the difference between the original listing price and the final sold price, noting any price reductions made by the seller or as negotiated with the buyer. In September, the average percent of original list price received on existing homes (with at least one day on the market) was at 98.1% — down from 99.0% in August, and 99.2% in July.

What does this mean for buyers and sellers? Buyers may feel less frantic in their home search, as market times have slowed as we move into fall and winter. And although sellers are enjoying near-record sales prices, it’s becoming increasingly important to work with your REALTOR® to price your home competitively.

That said, home prices should remain higher year-over-year, though, as the months supply of inventory metric (which measures inventory versus demand) was at just one month in September 2018, where a balanced market, not favoring buyers or sellers, is typically between 4-6 months of supply of inventory.

Whether the closed sales decline is truly an early indicator of the market moving back towards balance, there are many factors that are affecting our current housing market, including the persistent low levels of inventory, seasonality, or even affordability and interest rate concerns. It’s a complex set of factors that will determine where the market goes in the next few months – and REALTORS® are the best-equipped partner to help sellers correctly price their homes based on real-time data, and help buyers understand where they may have room to negotiation.


GEM COUNTY HOME PRICES EDGE UP DUE TO LOW INVENTORY, HIGH DEMAND

Continuing what we saw in August, in September the supply of housing was down 13.9% from a year ago and sales were up 24.1% in Gem County. The function of supply and demand drove the median sales price for homes that sold in September to $197,877, based on activity over the past 12 months — up 12% over the same period last year.

Price gains were also felt in the city of Emmett. Based on activity in both existing/resale and new construction homes over the past 12 months, the median sales price for the city of Emmett was at $202,500 in September, a gain of 18.3% over the same period last year.

Looking at the supply-demand ratio of months supply of inventory — which takes the number of homes for sale divided by the average number of sales by month — there were 1.6 months in September 2018, down 30.4% year-over-year. A balanced market— not favoring buyers or sellers — is typically between 4-6 months of supply.

One noticeable difference between the August and September numbers was the Days on Market metric, or DOM, which measures the time between when a home is listed and when it goes under contract. Homes that closed in August spent an average of 22 days on the market before going under contract, and homes that closed in September spent an average of 38 days – not a surprising change as we typically see a seasonal slowdown as we head into the fall and winter months.

It’s normal to see the market slow down a bit as we head into winter. If you’re thinking about buying this fall, you may enjoy a less frantic pace than what we experienced in the summer months, and if you’re considering selling, now is a great time because sellers are still receiving great prices on their homes. Either way, work with your REALTOR® who has access to real-time data and the expertise to help make that move a smart one.


RESOURCES:

Additional information about trends within the Boise Region, by price point, by existing and new construction, and by neighborhood, are now available here: Ada CountyCanyon CountyGem County, and City Data Market Reports. Each includes an explanation of the metrics and notes on data sources and methodology.

ADA Snapshot - Sept 18Canyon Snapshot - Sept 18Gem Snapshot - Sept 18

Download the latest (print quality) market snapshot graphics for Ada CountyAda County Existing/ResaleAda County New ConstructionCanyon CountyCanyon County Existing/ResaleCanyon County New Construction, and Gem County.

# # #

This report is provided by Boise Regional REALTORS® (BRR), a 501(c)6 trade association, representing real estate professionals throughout the Boise region. Established in 1920, BRR is the largest local REALTOR® association in the state of Idaho, helping members achieve real estate success through ethics, professionalism, and connections. BRR has two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Intermountain MLS (IMLS) and the REALTORS® Community Foundation.

If you have questions about this report, please contact Cassie Zimmerman, Director of Communications for Boise Regional REALTORS®. If you are a consumer, please contact a REALTOR® to get the most current and accurate information specific to your situation.

The data reported is based primarily on the public statistics provided by the IMLS, available at: intermountainmls.com. These statistics are based upon information secured by the agent from the owner or their representative. The accuracy of this information, while deemed reliable, has not been verified and is not guaranteed. These statistics are not intended to represent the total number of properties sold in the counties or cities during the specified time period. The IMLS and BRR provide these statistics for purposes of general market analysis but make no representations as to past or future performance. The term “single-family homes” includes detached single-family homes with or without acreage, as classified in the IMLS. These numbers do not include activity for mobile homes, condominiums, townhomes, land, commercial, or multi-family properties (like apartment buildings).

Presentation by Chief Economist Matthew Gardner

This post contains sponsored content and affiliate links.

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Join us as we welcome MATTHEW GARDNER, Windermere’s Chief Economist, to discuss how the current economy, housing, and economic forecasts are shaping the Treasure Valley. As Chief Economist for Windermere, Matthew is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level. Matthew is the former Principal of Gardner Economics and has over 29 years of professional experience in the US and UK. Join us for coffee and networking at 10 AM, and the presentation at 10:30 AM. Register today, space is limited.

REGISTER