When will you get paid for new home sale?

By Marcie Geffner - New Home Source

No one wants to work without pay and Realtors, understandably, are no exception.

That’s why it’s important for Realtors who want to profit from new homes sales to be familiar with the timelines involved in new home construction. These timelines determine not only when the buyer will close the purchase, but also when the Realtor’s commission will be paid.

Timelines vary from builder to builder and community to community and can also depend on such other factors as the buyer’s financing and choices of amenities, fixtures and finishes.

Frankly, the wait to get paid can be long. But it doesn’t have to be and it isn’t necessarily longer than the timeframe to sell a used home. That’s especially true in communities where the supply of homes for sale is constrained and buyers can take many months to locate a property they like, says Brent Anderson, a spokesperson for Meritage Homes, which builds new homes in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

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New ways to pay beyond cash or plastic

By Marcie Geffner - Bankrate.com

Cash, check, plastic credit cards or debit cards had been the only ways people paid for products and services. But today, new technologies have given consumers a dizzying array of other options as well.

Chief among them are mobile wallets.

A mobile wallet can turn a smartphone into an access device to connect with a payments network, says George Peabody, senior director at Glenbrook Partners, a payments research and consulting firm in Menlo Park, California.

"The phone is the most convenient tool (for this purpose)," Peabody says. "It's always within reach, and it's providing the user interface to existing payment vehicles like prepaid or credit cards."

Mobile wallets aren't so different from plastic credit cards in the sense that both types of payments are processed through the same networks, says Jason Oxman, CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association, a Washington, D.C.-based trade group that represents electronic payment companies.

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Why apartments ban pets, allow service animals

By Marcie Geffner - Bankrate.com

Landlords used to ban dogs, cats and other pets from apartment buildings due to the damage, odor, noise, liability risk and other concerns.

But these days, some apartment buildings seem to house more pets than people.

Three trends largely explain why:

- Some pets are there with permission.
- Some "pets" are service or assistance animals for people with disabilities, and landlords are required to accommodate the animals.
- Some pets are disguised as service animals, even though they're not.

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How banks fight fraud in electronic banking

By Marcie Geffner - Bankrate.com

Banks have more technology and more incentive than ever to combat fraud in electronic banking services. But whether they have enough technology and incentive to protect consumers from the headaches of a compromised account, payment card or identity is doubtful.

"Threats are escalating more quickly than what banks, or even just other businesses in general, can deploy in terms of defenses against those threats," says David Albertazzi, a senior analyst with Aite Group, a Boston-based financial sector research and analysis firm.

Part of the challenge is that the types of financial fraud and characteristics of fraudsters have changed in recent years

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Will the Fed Taper Hurt Housing?

By Marcie Geffner - California Real Estate

The Federal Reserve has used extraordinary measures for the last several years to keep interest rates low and housing markets in recovery. But now the Fed has begun what's known colloquially as "the taper," a reference to "tapering off" its programs of buying billions of dollars of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities every month.

What the taper will mean for California REALTORS® isn't completely clear since the change involves multiple variables and crystal ball-like predictions. Yet some outcomes--chiefly higher mortgage interest rates and lower housing affordability—look likely.

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