Monday, December 5, 2011

GTAR Weekly Facts – December 5, 2011

Now Late!
GTAR 2012 Annual Dues
If you have not paid your GTAR dues, a $20 late payment fee has been added to your account. Notices were emailed October 5, and payment was due by November 30, 2011. REALTOR® dues are $494 and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® dues are $464. For a breakdown of where your dues dollars go:
Monday, December 19: Office closes at 3:00 p.m.
Friday, December 23: Office is closed all day
Monday, December 26: Office is closed all day
Friday, December 30: Office closes at 12:30 p.m.
Monday, January 2: Office is closed all day
December 23 thru January 2—Board Store Closed for Inventory
The GTAR/NORES Board Store will be closed for inventory Friday, December 23 through Monday, January 2, 2012, so please plan ahead. This will not affect Key and KeyBox purchases.
2012 Real Estate Planners Now in GTAR Board Store
A limited supply is available. Prices range from $19.95 to $39.95. If you want one don’t wait or you may miss out!
December 7: Free CE Class!
Easing Home Warranty Flabbergastation: The Old Gray Mare ain’t what she used to be…In this new course, Lindsay Padilla will help you have a better general understanding of home warranty contracts; identify the many advantages of full disclosure of home warranty contracts; and make you more aware of general limitations and exclusions with home warranty contracts. OREC Approved: 3 hours elective CE credit; 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. This class is FREEMerry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanzaa! Register online at
Webinar: Holiday Season Safety Tips
Safety expert Andrew Wooten will provide practical tips to help you, and your clients stay safe during the holiday season in a webinar called "Holiday Season Safety Tips" on Tuesday, December 13, 10 a.m., CST. Access other safety resources.
Engaging with Appraisers Productively
What questions you ask appraisers to ensure they know the market? What kind of information should you give appraisers to make sure they have the right facts in hand? What do you do if they believe an appraisal is inaccurate? Anna Ruotolo of RPM Mortgage in Walnut Creek, Calif., will share her  thoughts on these questions in a free webinar on engaging with appraisers on Thursday, Jan. 12, at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. An NAR analyst will also provide a brief update on federal rules impacting the appraisal industry. Registration link.
Need a Business Plan for 2012?
Do you have a plan for 2012? Do you want to work with more buyers? Free business plan builder from® helps you review this year’s results and set listings and sales goals for next year. It’ll even help you assess tools so you can plug in solutions that deliver results.  Make 2012 the best year ever.
Videos Explaining BofA Equator System Available
Bank of America has posted five free videos on getting short sales to closing using the online Equator system. The set of five-minute videos covers 1) initiating a short sale, 2) uploading documents, 3) valuing properties, 4) conducting analyses and working with investors, and (5) closing the sale.
We will be getting a new MLS system called Fusion early 2012; you won’t need a new PC to run the Fusion MLS system.
However, you might want to compare your computer and consider the recommended stats for optimum performance of Fusion. IF your computer doesn’t meet the minimum recommendations, it is likely a very old PC, and you are missing out on much more than just MLS features. The speed and reliability of a newer computer can help to alleviate the pains and struggles of program lockups, timeouts, slow opening and closing of programs, reboots… and much more. Windows (Recommended): 1.8 GHz Intel Core Duo, AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200, or equivalent processor; 3 GB of RAM if using Windows XP; 4 GB of RAM if using Windows 7 or Vista. (Minimum) PC stats for running your upcoming 2012 new MLS-Fusion: 3 GHz Intel Pentium 4 (single core) or equivalent processor; 1 GB of RAM if using Windows XP; 2 GB of RAM (Windows 7 or Vista). Macintosh (Recommended): 1.33 GHz Intel Core Duo, or equivalent processor; 4 GB of Ram. (Minimum) Mac stats: 500 MHz Intel PowerPC (single core) or equivalent processor; 2 GB of Ram. You can check your current system stats by right clicking on My Computer, and selecting Properties. Call the Helpdesk at 918-664-0505 if you need assistance. Watch for future GTAR communications for more upcoming info on your next generation MLS—Fusion. (Don’t have a smart phone to scan the QR code? Then click here to view the message.)
Freddie Mac Amends Short Sale Affidavit
At NAR’s request, the affidavit that Freddie Mac requires servicers to obtain to help curb fraud in short sale transactions has been changed to reduce practitioners’ unreasonable exposure to liability. NAR members had expressed concern that the original language left them open to liability for statements made by parties to the transaction over which they had no control. Watch and share a short video and resource page.
Free Consumer Content: Holiday Home Improvements
The latest free content for your  websites, blogs, social media pages, and print resources from HouseLogic’s REALTOR® Content Resource is about helping clients spruce up their home for the holidays. One piece includes a guide to paint sheens.
Special Pricing for REALTORS® on the “Nutcracker”
The Tulsa Ballet is offering special pricing to GTAR members for the “Nutcracker” performances. To purchase tickets, call Charlotte Brown at 918-392-5914, tell her you are a GTAR member, and she will find the best seats available for the performance you choose. Performances are held at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. Ticket prices for GTAR members will range from $20-$59, depending on location of seats. “Nutcracker” dates of performances: December 10, 11, 17, 18 at 2:00 p.m.; December 16, 17, 22, 23 at 7:00 p.m. To view seating chart, visit
Build Relationships with Free Direct Marketing Tools
The Lowe’s Program for REALTORS® is more than discounts and gift cards. It’s a powerful, free marketing tool accessible only by REALTORS®, and helps you become a more valuable resource to your clients. To learn more, go to website and watch the training video. Or, you can request to have a Lowe’s representative visit your office, at no charge, to walk you through all the benefits this free program offers you and your clients. Schedule a presentation today, and tell everyone in your office about the member-only benefits, and savings opportunities, available to you from Lowe’s. Check out the updated website or call 888-913-6060.
Cheaper to Buy than Rent in Many Markets
A survey by the Wall Street Journal finds that homeownership is now more affordable than at any time in the past 15 years. According to its third-quarter survey, low home prices and low interest rates are combining to making owning a home less expensive than renting one in 12 major metropolitan markets. It remains cheaper to rent in 15 markets surveyed by the Journal.
New Home Sales Edge Up
Sales of newly built, single-family homes increased 1.3 percent in October to an annual sales rate of 307,000 units. It was the best sales pace of new homes since May. The nationwide inventory of new homes for sale held at an all-time record low of just 162,000 units in October, a 6.3-month supply at the current sales pace.
Fastest growing niche: Seniors
Sales associates in search of a niche may want to check out the next U.S. Census Bureau report showing the largest population segment in the country is now the 65 and older group. The Bureau says there are 40.3 million people 65 and older, an increase of 5.3 million since 2000, and that it also is the fastest-growing population segment—growing 15.1 percent in the last decade compared to a 9.7 percent increase in the total population. The agency said that while women continue to outnumber men in the older ages, men have continued to close the gap. The largest growth rate within the older population was for men 85 to 94 years old (46.5 percent). Women in that age group also increased, but to a smaller degree (22.9 percent).
Comments on the following REALTOR® applicants should be submitted by REALTOR® members to the Membership Committee, c/o GTAR, PO Box 470603, Tulsa, OK 74147.
Firm Affiliate:
AAA Insurance, Designated Individual John Onorato (First Publication)