Hot Off the Press from Homesnap!

NEW: Get Instant Push Notifications For Your Saved Searches

With Saved Search Alerts, you will receive a push notification the second a property matching your saved search criteria hits the market.  Your clients can do the same on their devices, too.

Simply set your parameters—market, property type, price, etc.—and enable push notification permissions. When a new listing is posted, you’ll receive an instant alert on your desktop, iOS, or Android device.  

It’s that easy.

How to set up Saved Search Alerts

  1. Within Homesnap, search by zip code or street name to narrow your home search area.
  2. Select your property filters—price, number of bedrooms, etc.
  3. Click “Save Search” at the top of the displayed map.
  4. Name your search and update your push notification preferences within the pop-up.
  5. You’ll see a green checkmark confirming your settings are saved.
  6. Enable push notifications from Homesnap on your personal device. Instructions for iOS devices can be found here. And Android devices here.

Please keep in mind agents cannot currently set up Saved Search Alerts on behalf of their clients. If you wish for your clients to receive alerts, they must complete the above steps on their personal Homesnap account and device.

Additionally, Saved Search Alerts on previously saved searches are not automatically enabled. You and your clients will need to update permissions on any preexisting saved searches to receive notifications.

Log in to your Homesnap Pro account to get started!

IRES Matters | Episode 6

Green Real Estate

In this episode we meet with Meg Garabrant to discuss green real estate, shifts in the market, customer demand, and common certifications for Northern Colorado. Meg is the Sr. Manager Real Estate Services for the Green Building Registry. This database verifies and compiles home performance data, and is a great resource for existing certifications on properties. Tune in to discover more!

IDX Data Feeds to Include both IRES and REcolorado Listings

Data Share Partnership Continues to Grow!

We’re excited to announce another benefit for IRES and REcolorado customers. Beginning in January, exchanged listings will be included in IDX feeds! The combined feed will be available to all IRES and REcolorado subscribers.

This means any customer of either REcolorado or IRES with an IDX feed from either MLS will receive exchanged listings in their IDX data feed.

Thanks to a solid relationship and partnership that is stronger than ever, we’re able to provide our customers with even more benefits, such as a more comprehensive data feed for your IDX website. As we continue working together, you’ll see even more integrations in the coming months, including the exchanged data on ColoProperty.com® and REcolorado.com. Keep an eye on your inbox for more news and important updates.

For IDX or other data delivery requests please visit our information center or reach out to RETS@ires-net.com.

Licensee Alert: Compliance with COVID-19 Public Health Orders and Executive Orders

From the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies Division of Real Estate

December 17, 2020: The Division of Real Estate (the “Division”) licenses and regulates the real estate brokerage, appraisal, and mortgage loan origination industries.  The Division is responsible for ensuring that consumers are protected in their dealings with our licensed professionals.  

While we are extremely appreciative of the licensed professionals who have continued to comply with the Colorado Public Health Orders (“PHOs”) and the Governor’s Executive Orders regarding COVID-19 requirements and restrictions, we continue to receive complaints about licensed real estate professionals who are failing to comply with the PHOs and the Governor’s Executive Orders. As the Governor has reiterated before, Coloradans working together saves lives and keeps our economy open. 

For the past nine months, the Division has issued warnings to those licensees who have violated the PHOs and Executive Orders.  Moving forward, substantiated violations of the PHOs and Executive Orders will be presented to the applicable Board or Commission for the possible imposition of discipline.  Licensee compliance with the PHOs and the Executive Orders is critical to the health and safety of Colorado consumers.

Currently, much of Colorado is in the “Level Red” status and guidance for real estate professionals can be found under the Real Estate COVID-19 Dial Guidance. For additional information on what status level your county is in, you can visit the Colorado COVID-19 Dial Dashboard.

Your Holiday Cheer Gift Basket is Here!

We’ve got quite a gift basket of goodies for you!

REcolorado Documents Now Available on Data Share Listings
Great news! Documents are now available on data share listings with REcolorado. They’ll be listed on the same page and in the same section as you’d find them on IRES MLS listings.


2021 Contracts Available In IRES MLS Contracts Module
You can find these contracts in the IRESis Contracts module. These forms do not take effect until January 1, 2021. Please note: Soon after the 1st, the obsolete forms will be removed from the system.


More Mobile-Friendly Add-Edit Pages
As we continue to make strides in improving the mobility of IRESis.com, we have made some updates to the Add-Edit pages for listing input. These pages are much more responsive! That doesn’t mean we’re fully mobile compatible for listing input, but you should see big improvements on smaller screen sizes.


Withdrawn Listings Update
Withdrawn listings that reach their expiration date in IRES MLS, will expire effective 12/09/2020. Moving forward, as listings in a Withdrawn status reach their expiration date, their status will update to Expired, just as they do now in an Active or Pending status.

  • Why the change? The “Withdrawn” status indicates that the property is no longer on the market, but still has a valid listing contract in place. Once reaching the expiration date, there is no contract in place for the listing. The “Withdrawn” status is no longer applicable; the listing should be updated to expired.
  • How does this impact you? When we make this database update with our upcoming system update next week, a spike in Expired listings will appear on hotsheets. That doesn’t mean all these listings expired at midnight on 12/08/2020; it includes the entire database of listings in a Withdrawn status (250,000+ listings!) going back to the first listings ever generated in the IRESis.com system. So, a listing in a Withdrawn status with an expiration date back in 2012 will show up in an Expired status as of 12/09/2020. This will also impact brokerages with your inventory reports and back-office feeds. You’ll see an influx of your old listings update from withdrawn to expired.

Regional Government Affairs Update December 8, 2020 🎁

LOCAL

Boulder County
Commissioners Approve Changes to Short-Term Rental Regulations: On December 3 the Board of County Commissioners approved revisions to Boulder County’s short-term rental (STR) requirements. The County made the changes because of concerns expressed concerning how STRs — especially vacation rentals — reduce housing stock, decrease housing affordability and impact the rural character of the unincorporated County.
 
Here is a summary of the changes:

  • Clarify the distinction in the Land Use Code among Bed and Breakfast, Short-Term Dwelling Rental, and Vacation Rental uses.
  • Bed and Breakfast: A principal lodging use where a facility is rented to one or more guest parties at a time, the owner or manager resides on-site during rental periods, and at least one meal per day is served to guests.
  • Vacation Rental: A principal lodging use where a single-family dwelling is not owner-occupied and is rented to one guest party at a time more than 60 nights per year.
  • Short-Term Dwelling Rental: An accessory residential use where a single-family dwelling is owner-occupied or is rented to one guest party at a time 60 nights or fewer per year.
  • Introduce a Short-Term Dwelling Rental and Vacation Rental licensing program through the adoption of a Licensing Ordinance that coordinates with the proposed Land Use Code text amendments.

 The Commissioners did make a few slight changes to the regulations proposed by staff. 1) The requirement that vacation rental properties located on at least one acre of land was removed; 2) The timeline for review of the approved regulations was changed from one to three years following adoption to one to two years; 3) The requirement that a short-term rental post its license outside the home was eliminated and 4) Wildfire Partners, a Boulder-based fire mitigation company, will determine what is safest for outdoor fires such as fire pits and then will clarify any rules or limitations based on that feedback.
 
The revised regulations go into effect in early January 2021.
 
Larimer County

Fort Collins
Council to Fill District 4 Vacancy: The City Council approved a resolution formalizing the appointment process to fill the vacancy created by Kristin Stephens’ election to the Board of County Commissioners. Applications are available now and the Council will interview candidates on January 6. The appointment will only last until April 6, at which time voters will select someone to complete Stephens’ term, which ends in 2023.
 
Candidates for City Council: It’s early, considering the municipal election is April 6, 2021 but five candidates have already picked up applications to run in the Fort Collins City Council election. Jeni Arndt and Gerry Horak have picked up nomination petitions to run for the mayor’s seat to replace term-limited Wade Troxell. Arndt was re-elected to the legislature in November (House District 53). Horak previously served on the City Council. 
 
Tricia Canonico has filed to run for the District 3 seat, presumably against incumbent Ken Summers. School psychologist Melanie Potyondy will run for the District 4 seat being vacated by Kristin Stephens. Finally, Kelly Ohlson who previously served on Council will run for another term representing District 5.  Note: The list of candidates will not be final until after February 16, 2021, the deadline to file nomination petitions. 

Council Gives Input on Metro District Evaluation Policy: City Council was supportive of the general concepts presented by staff in late November to move forward with “a more refined” residential metro district evaluation system. The Council agreed that the focus should be based on metro districts that are not merely mediocre, but “clearly demonstrate excellence.”

Generally, Council asked staff to ‘tighten things up’ from both the perspective of providing more clarity about District governance and transparency that respond to expressed consumer concerns, and to be more intentional on how the system relates to funding housing. The Council wants to see extraordinary benefits when it comes to affordable housing.

It was agreed that there will likely be the need to be an extension to the metro district moratorium so that staff can bring a more refined evaluation system back to Council for its consideration. In the meantime, staff will conduct additional stakeholder workshop(s), facilitated by members of the Institute for the Built Environment, to refine metrics used in the residential Metro District Service Plans evaluations system. 

Future workshop participants will include stakeholders and subject matter experts in the fields of energy, water conservation and housing.

Then, the proposed evaluation strategies will be presented to City boards and community organizations for feedback before the policy is brought back to City Council for official consideration.

Loveland
Council Repeals Special Improvement District: In August the City Council approved the creation of a new special district in Loveland to issue bonds to pay for $4.5 million water pump station on the northwest side of the City.    

However, the formation of the district is no longer necessary because one of the property owners volunteered to issue a letter of credit to cover the costs of the pump station. The other property owners will help repay the cost. According to a staff memo, the pump station will serve over 3,000 dwelling units in the area with construction tentatively scheduled to begin in 2021 or 2022. 

Note: Two metropolitan districts are located in the area, including Lee Farms (224 acres) and Cascade Ridge (246 acres). Metro districts are commonly formed to pay for high-cost items like water infrastructure in areas where local governments do not provide basic infrastructure.

COLORADO ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
2021 Legislative Preview: Recently Liz Peetz, CAR’s Vice-President for Public Policy, provided a preview of the 2021 session for members of several local associations. She said it could be a difficult session for real estate because one party has a majority in both the House and the Senate, making it easy for them to pass bills without much compromise.

Liz said some of the topics will be familiar, such as HOA transparency and rent control, having been the subject of bills in previous sessions. Other topics we are likely to see include funding wildfire mitigation, inclusionary housing, greenhouse gas reduction/electrification, special and metro district transparency and long-term proposals to revise the Gallagher Amendment (property taxes). 

CAR, working with a coalition that includes Habitat for Humanity, intends to introduce four bills focused on equitable access and racial justice issues to celebrate CAR’s 100th anniversary. The bills will focus on financial literacy for high school students, using rent to build credit, utilizing revenues from Proposition EE to provide grants for local governments to incentivize affordable housing and a reporting requirement for the Department of Local Affairs to list how federal homeownership grants were spent.

STATE
State Explains Red COVID Dial Rules: The State just provided a more detailed explanation of the requirements for real estate providers during the new Red COVID phase. CAR was especially pleased that the Division of Real Estate defined what a real estate transaction is.  

CAR Attorney Scott Peterson posted a new Legal Bites video that succinctly reviews the requirements. That video is available here: https://www.youtube.com/user/ColoradoRealtors

Read the Division of Real Estate’s FAQs, including the definition of a transaction: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19…

To the best of our knowledge, Boulder, Broomfield, Larimer and Weld counties will adhere to the State requirements without creating any additional local restrictions. As always, your local association is your primary source for information on real estate-related COVID regulations. 

Housing Issues on Agenda for Legislative Special Session: Governor Polis called a special session to focus on COVID relief after Thanksgiving. Housing was one of the priorities for stimulus spending.

One of the 10 bills passed, Senate Bill 20B-002 “Housing and Direct COVID Emergency Assistance” provides tenant and landlord relief. The bill transfers a total of $60 million to cash funds supporting housing assistance programs, including $1 million in legal eviction aid.  In addition, it creates the Emergency Direct Assistance Grant Program in the Division of Housing in the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). The program will provide grants to individuals who experience financial need due to the COVID-19 pandemic and who may not be eligible for other types of assistance. 

HB20B-1006, “Insurance Premium Tax Payments and Credits” allows affordable housing investors to use affordable housing tax credits against premium tax payments to off-set Colorado state income tax or insurance premium liability. Prior to this legislation, state law only allowed the credits to be applied on an annual basis which prevented companies from obtaining a refund from overpayments. These changes provide additional incentive to invest in the development and preservation of affordable rental housing across the state.

New Oil and Gas Drilling Rules: the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission (COGCC) recently published new drilling rules that go into effect on January 15, 2021. The most important thing for Realtors® to know is that new wells will require a 2,000-foot setback from homes and schools. Some local governments are already moving to implement the same setback requirement.

Will the new setbacks limit producers’ ability to drill? And if so, how will that affect oil and gas revenues, which are so important to Colorado? We will soon find out. 

Front Range Rail Project Pushes Ahead: The Front Range Passenger Rail Project (FRPR), initially funded by the legislature, is moving forward even though the project is estimated to cost between $1.5 and $2.5 billion to roll out a “modest” first phase. On December 4, Director Randy Brauberger told FRPR’s commission the first phase would include two to six round trips a day between Fort Collins and Colorado Springs on trains traveling an average of 45 miles per hour on existing freight rail tracks.

Ultimately the FRPR vision includes line from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Trinidad. Speeds would top out at 90 to 110 miles per hour on newly laid track. Trains would run every 30 minutes at peak times, and it all could cost between $7.8 billion to $14.2 billion. 

How could Colorado pay for this project? According to Colorado Public Radio, Amtrak is interested in investing in the rail line. Another option is a new tax district that would cover the Front Range. That would require legislative action and a vote of the district’s members. 

It is also possible RTD could be interested in collaborating in order to complete a long-promised extension of the B Line through Boulder and Longmont. But considering that cost estimates for a full build-out of the B Line are $1.5 billion to $1.7 billion, which have pushed the expected completion date to 2050, and RTD’s current financial woes, its ability to partner on the project are limited at best.

Learn more about FRPR here: https://www.codot.gov/about/southwest-chief-commission-front-range-passenger-rail/news/vision

NATION
New COVID Relief Legislation Coming: NAR lobbyists say Congress is making progress with a proposed $908 billion COVID relief bill. While all the details aren’t available yet, NAR says the package will include $160 billion for state and local governments, $180 billion for additional unemployment insurance, $288 billion to extend the PPP program and $25 billion in rental assistance.  

NAR to Feds  – Delay Actions on GSEs: Recently NAR sent a letter to the Treasury and Federal Housing Finance Agency asking them to refrain from any rushed actions to end the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These two entities currently finance the majority of single-family mortgages and are critical not just to supporting housing during the pandemic, but also for the future of homeownership. A rushed exit from conservatorship could jeopardize reforms that have been made to-date and reforms that remain undone.

2021 FHA Loan Limits: On Wednesday, December 2, 2020, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced increases to the FHA Single Family loan limits for 2021. In high-cost areas of the country, FHA’s loan limit ceiling will increase to $822,375 from $765,600. FHA will also increase its floor to $356,362 from $331,760. The maximum loan limits for FHA forward mortgages will rise in 3,108 counties. In 125 counties, FHA’s loan limits will remain unchanged. These limits go into effect on Jan 1, 2021.

FHA Single-Family Loan Limits in Northern Colorado –
Boulder MSA $644,00
Fort Collins-Loveland MSA $454,250 
Greeley MSA $404,800H

Search for HUD FHA Mortgage Loan Limits here by MSA:
https://entp.hud.gov/idapp/html/hicostlook.cfm

IRES Matters | Episode 5

RealX & IRES Partnership

Luke Glass, CEO of RealX gives us the inside scoop on this innovative platform, their newly formed partnership with IRES, and how RealX can be leveraged by real estate brokers as part of their professional services to clients. Learn about property rights, new technology, and how real estate brokers are central to this growing market. 

Change Coming: Update to Withdrawn Listings

We’ve got some news to share! Effective 12/09/2020, withdrawn listings that reach their expiration date in IRES MLS, will expire.

Why the change? The “Withdrawn” status indicates that the property is no longer on the market, but still has a valid listing contract in place. Once reaching the expiration date, there is no contract in place for the listing. The “Withdrawn” status is no longer applicable; the listing should be updated to expired.

How does this impact you? When we make this database update with our upcoming system update next week, a spike in Expired listings will appear on hotsheets. That doesn’t mean all these listings expired at midnight on 12/08/2020; it includes the entire database of listings in a Withdrawn status (250,000+ listings!) going back to the first listings ever generated in the IRESis.com system. So, a listing in a Withdrawn status with an expiration date back in 2012 will show up in an Expired status as of 12/09/2020. This will also impact brokerages with your inventory reports and back-office feeds. You’ll see an influx of your old listings update from withdrawn to expired.

Moving forward, as listings in a Withdrawn status reach their expiration date, their status will update to Expired, just as they do now in an Active or Pending status.

Please reach out with any questions or drop us a comment below.

New Homesnap Map Search Feature

We are excited to announce a new feature that will further improve the property search experience for agents and consumers: Multi-Area Search!

You can now search multiple areas at once in Homesnap rather than having to jump back and forth between different searches. Additionally, Multi-Area Search is supported by our recently-released Saved Search Alerts to allow users to receive alerts for multiple areas. The feature is available nationwide on all platforms (Android, iOS, desktop).

How does it work?

Step 1: Pick your first search area. (For example, Minneapolis.)

Pick your first search area

Step two: Tap into the search bar at the top of the screen where it says “add another area” and add your second (or third, or fourth, or fifth!) search area. (For example, St. Paul.) Note: the “+1” in the bubble at the top of the screen indicates how many areas are already selected for your search. 

“add another area”

Once you’ve selected your additional area, the map will zoom out to encompass the areas you’ve selected.

areas you’ve selected

faq-banner-png-5 - Brean Theme Park

FAQ:

  • How many areas can be searched at once?
    Up to 5 areas at a time
  • What types of searches are supported by multi-area searches?
    Schools, Neighborhoods, City, Town, Zip Code, Street Name
  • What types of searches are not supported by multi-area search?
    Specific addresses, self-drawn polygons, areas that are 60+ miles apart
  • What happens to my multi-area search if I move the map?
    If you move the map far enough that none of your current search areas are within the map view then the search is automatically cleared. 

NEW Paperless Sign Up for IRES

Great news! New IRES users may now subscribe to our services electronically. Once IRES receives the online application, two emails will be sent from info@ires-net.com: one to the applicant confirming receipt and the other to the Managing Broker requesting approval for this application (image below).

The approval email will serve as the Managing Broker’s online signature. Denying the application will stop all further action. Note that the approval email will only be sent once, so please add info@ires-net.com to your contacts to avoid this email being sent to junk or spam.  To send the approval emails to a different email address, please contact IRES.

Once approved, IRES will confirm all information and send the applicant or billing contact an invoice. After receiving payment, IRES will finalize the set-up process and email the new IRES subscriber their login information. IRES subscribers who have been active in the past 6 months should instead fill out the Transfer/Change form.  

Example Screenshot of Approval Email