Resources

The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and its affiliated Institutes, Societies, and Councils provide a wide-range of programs and services that assist members in increasing skills, proficiency, and knowledge. Designations and certifications acknowledging experience and expertise in various real estate sectors are awarded by NAR and each affiliated group upon completion of required courses.

Accredit Buyers Representative – ABR
ABR® education provides REALTORS® with what they need to stay competitive in today’s market. Member benefits such as marketing tools, a referral network and other resources, help to promote their business. Courses for the designation are available both in person and online. Presented by REBAC (Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council) Contact REBAC at rebac@realtors.org, 800/648-6224.

Accredited Land Consultant – ALC
The REALTORS® Land Institute confers its prestigious Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) Designation to only the best land professionals in the business. To qualify for the ALC designation, a land specialist must complete the organization’s rigorous LANDU education program and demonstrate a proven track record in experience and success.The REALTORS® Land Institute is the leading membership organization for land specialists involved in brokerage, sales, consulting, appraisal, development, site selection, marketing, and management of a large range of land property, such as agricultural land; ranches; recreational land; hunting property; timberland; underdeveloped tracts of land; and special purpose properties. Presented by the REALTORS® Land Institute (RLI) Contact RLI at RLI@realtors.org, 800/441-5263.

Certified Commerical Investment Member – CCIM
CCIMs are recognized experts in commercial real estate brokerage, leasing, valuation and investment analysis. The CCIM business network includes more than 9,000 designees and 5,000 candidates principally in North America, but also in Asia and Europe. CCIMs are backed by a respected education program, as well as superior technology products and business resources. Presented by the CCIM Institute Contact CCIM at 800/621-7027.

Certified International Property Specialist – CIPS
The Certified International Property Specialist Network (CIPS Network) comprises 2,500 real estate professionals from 50 countries and is the specialty membership group for global business practitioners of the National Association of REALTORS®. The CIPS® designation prepares REALTORS® to service the growing international market in their local community by focusing on culture, exchange rates, investment trends, and legal issues. Presented by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Contact Information Central at NAR Global, 800/874-6500, ext. 8369.

Certified Property Manager – CPM
Acquire valuable real estate management skills through educational offerings leading to the CPM® designation. CPM® Members have the competitive edge in every area of real estate management from residential to commercial to industrial. Presented by Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM)Contact IREM® Customer Relations at 800/837-0706, ext. 4650

Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager – CRB
 
The Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRBsm) is one of the most respected and relevant designations offered in real estate business management. The CRBsm designation is awarded to REALTORS® who have completed advanced educational and professional requirements. CRBsm Designees are better positioned to streamline operations, integrate new technology and apply new trends and business strategies. Join today and discover a new approach to enhancing knowledge and leveraging opportunity. CRB Courses are offered in a classroom setting or online in the Council’s e-Learning Center. Presented by Council of Real Estate Brokerage ManagersFor more information, e-mail info@crb.com, call 800/621-8738.

Certified Residential Specialist – CRS
The Council of Residential Specialists has over a thirty-year legacy of giving residential real estate professionals the tools they need to be successful in any market. CRS delivers the education, resources and connections agents need to achieve their goals. Beyond the referral network, the high-caliber online and classroom courses and the benefits of membership, earning the CRS Designation is really about learning proven methods for making more money. Find out how you can get on the proven path to success today. Presented by Council of Residential Specialists Contact Customer Service by e-mail at CRS Help, call 800/462-8841.

Counselors of Real Estate – CRE
The Counselor of Real Estate – or CRE – is a member of The Counselors of Real Estate, an international group of recognized professionals who provide seasoned, objective advice on real property and land-related matters. Only 1,100 practitioners throughout the world carry the CRE® designation. Membership is by invitation only. Presented by The Counselors of Real Estate Contact CRE® at 312/329-8427.

General Accredited Appraiser – GAA
Certified general appraisers wishing to increase their visibility should consider pursuing the GAAsm designation. The GAAsm designation is awarded to appraisers whose education and experience exceed state appraisal certification requirements and is supported by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Presented by NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®Call 800/874-6500 ext. 8268, e-mail appraisal@realtors.org.

NAR’s Green Designation – GREEN
The National Association of REALTORS® created NAR’s Green Designation to provide ongoing education, resources and tools so that real estate practitioners can successfully seek out, understand, and market properties with green features.  The course curriculum requires completion of a 12hr Core Course and a 6hr Elective Course in either residential, commercial, or property management.  All courses are available in live lecture and online formats.  NAR’s Green Designation gives designees the tools to become a community leader and resource in sustainable issues. Established by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the Green REsource Council serves real estate professionals by providing comprehensive training and access to cutting-edge resources and tools as well as promoting green excellence, leadership, and consumer awareness within and across multiple real estate disciplines. Practitioners who complete the 3-day program are awarded NAR’s Green Designation, the only green training program recognized by NAR. For information on NAR’s Green Designation, e-mail greendesignation@realtors.org, call 800/498-9422.

Graduate, REALTOR Institute – GRI
Members involved in residential real estate who want a solid base of information for their practice will want to participate in the REALTOR® Institute program and earn the GRIsm designation. Presented by NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Contact your State REALTOR® Association for course dates and locations. NAR maintains a clearinghouse of information for individuals interested in the GRIsm program. For more information call 800/874-6500.

Performance Management Network – PMN
The Performance Management Network (PMNsm) is a REALTOR® designation that’s built from the ground up to bring you the real-world skills, the know-how and the tools that will keep your business out front and on top of a lighting-fast market. This designation is unique to the REALTOR® family designations, focusing on the idea that in order to enhance your business, you must enhance yourself. The curriculum is driven by the following topics: negotiating strategies and tactics, networking and referrals, business planning and systems, personal performance management and cultural differences in buying and selling. Presented by Women’s Council of REALTORS®
Contact the WCR at Education Department, 800/245-8512.

Accredited Residential Appraiser – ARR
Certified residential appraisers wishing to increase their visibility should consider pursuing the RAAsm designation. The RAAsm designation is awarded to appraisers whose education and experience exceed state appraisal certification requirements and is supported by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Presented by NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Call 800/874-6500, ext. 8268, e-mail appraisal@realtors.org.

Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS® – SIOR
Individuals certified with the SIOR® designation are top producers in industrial and office real estate brokerage. SIOR’s network includes more than 3,000 members in 580 cities in 20 countries. SIOR® represents today’s most knowledgeable, experienced and successful commercial real estate brokerage specialists.

Seniors Real Estate Specialist – SRES
The SRES® Designation program educates REALTORS® on how to profitably and ethically serve the real estate needs of the fastest growing market in real estate, clients age 50+. By earning the SRES® designation, you gain access to valuable member benefits, useful resources, and networking opportunities across the U.S. and Canada to help you in your business. Presented by SRES® Council. Call 800/500-4564, e-mail sres@realtors.org.

NAR Family Certifications

At Home With Diversity – AHWD
 A ground-breaking professional education initiative designed to provide America’s real estate professionals with training and tools to expand their business as well as home ownership opportunities for more Americans. AHWD certification relays to the public that those certified have been professionally trained in and are sensitive to a wide range of cultural issues inviting a wider volume of business from a greater variety of cultures. Presented by NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. For more information on this course and its business principles, please contact Diversity, 800/874-6500 ext. 8393.

e-Pro
The new e-PRO certification provides a roadmap to help you serve hyper-connected consumers of today and tomorrow. Course topics for Day 1 include the changing market, how to connect with consumers, the online conversation, and reputation management. Day 2 provides hands-on discovery of business tech tools, such as an e-strategy, mobile office, micro-blogging, rich media, and NAR resources. Presented by REBAC (Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council). Contact e-PRO® at epro@realtors.org, 877/397-3132

Resort & Second Home Propety Specialist – RSPS
RSPS certification is offered by NAR Resort for resort and second-home professionals around the world. REALTORS® specializing in resort and second-home markets and interested in demonstrating their knowledge and expertise should pursue the RSPS certification. The RSPS core certification requirement includes the NAR Resort & Second-Home Market Course. RSPS applicants will also choose from twenty three different elective choices including courses from the NAR Education Matrix and the NAR Resort Symposium held every 18 months. Presented by NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. For more information, call NAR Resort 312/329-8393

Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource – SFR
For many real estate professionals, short sales and foreclosures are the new “traditional” real estate transaction. Knowing how to help sellers maneuver the complexities of short sales as well as help buyers pursue short sale and foreclosure opportunities are not merely good skills to have in today’s market — they are critical. And while short sales and foreclosures are not for the faint of heart, agents with the proper tools and training can use these specialty areas to build their business for the long term. REALTORS® with the SFR certification can be a trusted resource for short sales and foreclosures. Your ability to close short sales and foreclosures depends in part on your confidence in seeing these transactions through. Begin building your confidence today with SFR! Presented by NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. For more information e-mail SFR@realtors.org, call 877/510-7855.

Existing-Home Sales Maintain Solid Growth in July

WASHINGTON (August 20, 2015) — Existing-home sales steadily increased for the third consecutive month in July, while stubbornly low inventory levels and rising prices are likely to blame for sales to first-time buyers falling to their lowest share since January, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Total existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 2.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.59 million in July from a downwardly revised 5.48 million in June. Sales in July remained at the highest pace since February 2007 (5.79 million), have now increased year-over-year for ten consecutive months and are 10.3 percent above a year ago (5.07 million).

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the increase in sales in July solidifies what has been an impressive growth in activity during this year’s peak buying season. “The creation of jobs added at a steady clip and the prospect of higher mortgage rates and home prices down the road is encouraging more households to buy now,” he said. “As a result, current homeowners are using their increasing housing equity towards the downpayment on their next purchase.”

The median existing-home price2 for all housing types in July was $234,000, which is 5.6 percent above July 2014. July’s price increase marks the 41st consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

“Despite the strong growth in sales since this spring, declining affordability could begin to slowly dampen demand,” adds Yun. “Realtors® in some markets reported slower foot traffic in July in part because of low inventory and concerns about the continued rise in home prices without commensurate income gains.”

Total housing inventory3 at the end of July declined 0.4 percent to 2.24 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 4.7 percent lower than a year ago (2.35 million). Unsold inventory is at a 4.8-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.9 months in June.

The percent share of first-time buyers declined in July for the second consecutive month, falling from 30 percent in June to 28 percent — the lowest share since January of this year (also 28 percent). A year ago, first-time buyers represented 29 percent of all buyers.

“The fact that first-time buyers represented a lower share of the market compared to a year ago even though sales are considerably higher is indicative of the challenges many young adults continue to face,” adds Yun. “Rising rents and flat wage growth make it difficult for many to save for a downpayment, and the dearth of supply in affordable price ranges is limiting their options.”

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage climbed to 4.05 percent in July from 3.98 percent in June — the first time above 4 percent since November 2014 (4.00 percent) and the highest since September 2014 (4.16 percent).

Properties typically stayed on the market for 42 days in July, an increase from June (34 days) but below the 48 days in July 2014. Short sales were on the market the longest at a median of 135 days in July, while foreclosures sold in 49 days and non-distressed homes took 41 days. Forty-three percent of homes sold in July were on the market for less than a month.

All-cash sales increased slightly to 23 percent of transactions in July (22 percent in June) but are down from 29 percent a year ago. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 13 percent of homes in July, up from 12 percent in June but down from 16 percent in July 2014. Sixty-four percent of investors paid cash in July.

Representing the lowest share since NAR began tracking in October 2008, distressed sales4 — foreclosures and short sales — declined to 7 percent in July from 8 percent in June; they were 9 percent a year ago. Five percent of July sales were foreclosures and 2 percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 17 percent below market value in July (15 percent in June), while short sales were discounted 12 percent (18 percent in June).

NAR President Chris Polychron, executive broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Ark., says the housing market is in a much better place and has come a long way since the depths of the recession. “Five years ago, distressed sales represented 33 percent of the market in July,” he said. “For many previously distressed homeowners throughout the country, rising home values in recent years have helped recover equity and the vast improvement in several local job markets means fewer are falling behind on their mortgage payments.”

Single-family and Condo/Co-op Sales

Single-family home sales increased 2.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.96 million in July (highest since February 2007 at 5.08 million) from 4.83 million in June, and are now 11.0 percent above the 4.47 million pace a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $235,500 in July, up 5.8 percent from July 2014.

Existing condominium and co-op sales fell 3.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 630,000 units in July from 650,000 units in June, but are still up 5.0 percent from July 2014 (600,000 units). The median existing condo price was $221,800 in July, which is 3.2 percent above a year ago.

Regional Breakdown

July existing-home sales in the Northeast decreased 2.8 percent to an annual rate of 700,000, but are still 9.4 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $277,200, which is 1.3 percent higher than July 2014. In the Midwest, existing-home sales were at an annual rate of 1.32 million in July, unchanged from June and 10.9 percent above July 2014. The median price in the Midwest was $186,500, up 6.6 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the South increased 4.1 percent to an annual rate of 2.29 million in July, and are 9.6 percent above July 2014. The median price in the South was $203,500, up 7.0 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West rose 3.2 percent to an annual rate of 1.28 million in July, and are 11.3 percent above a year ago. The median price in the West was $327,400, which is 8.4 percent above July 2014.

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NOTE: For local information, please contact the local association of Realtors® for data from local multiple listing services. Local MLS data is the most accurate source of sales and price information in specific areas, although there may be differences in reporting methodology.

1Existing-home sales, which include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, are based on transaction closings from Multiple Listing Services. Changes in sales trends outside of MLSs are not captured in the monthly series. NAR rebenchmarks home sales periodically using other sources to assess overall home sales trends, including sales not reported by MLSs.

Existing-home sales, based on closings, differ from the U.S. Census Bureau’s series on new single-family home sales, which are based on contracts or the acceptance of a deposit. Because of these differences, it is not uncommon for each series to move in different directions in the same month. In addition, existing-home sales, which account for more than 90 percent of total home sales, are based on a much larger data sample — about 40 percent of multiple listing service data each month — and typically are not subject to large prior-month revisions.

The annual rate for a particular month represents what the total number of actual sales for a year would be if the relative pace for that month were maintained for 12 consecutive months. Seasonally adjusted annual rates are used in reporting monthly data to factor out seasonal variations in resale activity. For example, home sales volume is normally higher in the summer than in the winter, primarily because of differences in the weather and family buying patterns. However, seasonal factors cannot compensate for abnormal weather patterns.

Single-family data collection began monthly in 1968, while condo data collection began quarterly in 1981; the series were combined in 1999 when monthly collection of condo data began. Prior to this period, single-family homes accounted for more than nine out of 10 purchases. Historic comparisons for total home sales prior to 1999 are based on monthly single-family sales, combined with the corresponding quarterly sales rate for condos.

2The median price is where half sold for more and half sold for less; medians are more typical of market conditions than average prices, which are skewed higher by a relatively small share of upper-end transactions. The only valid comparisons for median prices are with the same period a year earlier due to seasonality in buying patterns. Month-to-month comparisons do not compensate for seasonal changes, especially for the timing of family buying patterns. Changes in the composition of sales can distort median price data. Year-ago median and mean prices sometimes are revised in an automated process if additional data is received.

The national median condo/co-op price often is higher than the median single-family home price because condos are concentrated in higher-cost housing markets. However, in a given area, single-family homes typically sell for more than condos as seen in NAR’s quarterly metro area price reports.

3Total inventory and month’s supply data are available back through 1999, while single-family inventory and month’s supply are available back to 1982 (prior to 1999, single-family sales accounted for more than 90 percent of transactions and condos were measured only on a quarterly basis).

4Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales), days on market, first-time buyers, all-cash transactions and investors are from a monthly survey for the NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, posted at Realtor.org.

NOTE: The Pending Home Sales Index for July will be released August 27, and Existing-Home Sales for August will be released September 21; release times are 10:00 a.m. EDT.

Contact Information

Alaska Association of REALTORS®
4205 Minnesota Drive
Anchorage, Alaska 99503

Phone (907) 563-7133
FAX (907) 561-1779
Toll-Free (800) 478-3763

joinus@alaskarealtors.com

Registration Open

2015 Convention