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Keller Williams Realty Ranked as Top Real Estate Franchise by Industry Leader and Entrepreneur Magazine
AUSTIN, TEXAS (December 21, 2009) — Keller Williams Realty joined the ranks of the top franchises in the world last week, when the company was ranked as the No. 1 real estate franchise on the 31st Annual Franchise 500 list by Entrepreneur magazine.
During the same week, the company was also voted the Most Recognizable Brand of Real Estate Franchises for 2009 in an industry-wide survey for the Swanepoel TRENDS Report. “The Swanepoel TRENDS Report is a respected source for the real estate industry and beyond, as is Entrepreneur magazine, and we are excited to see our agents honored in this way for all of their hard work,” said Mark Willis, CEO, Keller Williams Realty. “We certainly wouldn’t have been included on either list without the dedication and resolve of our agents.”
According to the ranking in Entrepreneur magazine, the most important criteria to determine the top franchises included financial strength and stability, as well as growth rate and size of the franchise system. The magazine also looked at the number of years the company has been in business and the length of time it’s been franchising, in addition to start-up costs and financial data.
Additionally, Keller Williams Realty made an impressive showing on the overall list, placing higher than any other real estate franchise.
For more information on Keller Williams Realty, please contact us at 561-245-4000 or email@example.com
January 1, 2010, the new and improved Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 (RESPA) will be fully en force. Considering this is the first sweeping change in the home buying process since 1974, it is worthy of our full attention. The new RESPA means more than new forms-it means major changes in the way real estate closings happen.
The key motive of RESPA’s new rules is to make sure consumers understand loan costs and binding parameters before singing the closing statements.
With mountains of paperwork at the closing table, there is little chance that borrowers are going to spend the many hours necessary to wade through the documents. What’s more, borrowers, especially would-be first-time homeowners, may be intimidated by the process and miss the opportunity to seek competing settlement services that could save them money.
As a real estate broker, here’s what you need to know: the new rules may impact your ability to refer business to title companies, inspectors and others you typically work with as part of the sales process. RESPA wants to make it easier for borrowers to shop for the lowest-cost, most convenient closing services by mandating borrowers receive a written list of settlement service providers. That comprehensive list includes closers, appraisers, real estate brokers, title examiners, attorneys, underwriters, pest inspectors, mortgage insurers, loan processors and other settlement service providers.
Since borrowers will receive a laundry list of competing settlement service providers, they may be inclined to shop around for the best price, even if it only means saving a couple of hundred dollars.
This is the crux of the matter as it relates to real estate practices and comes in the wake of industry abuses. Some in the real estate industry have received kickbacks for referring consumers to mortgage brokers, appraisers and other professionals along the road to homeownership. In some cases, those referrals may not have been in the best interest of the homeowner based on price or serviced provided. In other cases, the real estate agency owned the title firm or the appraisal firm at non-competitive prices.
As we move into 2010, be aware of how you might violate RESPA to avoid any issues. The chief concern is giving the appearance of kickbacks, whether in the form of money, ownership interest, marketing help or other arrangements. There is a fine line between collaboration and violation of RESPA and it can be a complicated issue.
The good news is, HUD announced that that it will be lenient in the first 120 days of enforcement of the new RESPA regulations going into effect January 1, 2010 so long as good faith efforts are made to comply. Still, in order to avoid any confusion, you should consult with an attorney about full compliance with the rules.