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Real Estate Closing
The 2010 RESPA Final Rule was designed to simplify HUD form processing as well as to ensure timely disclosure of full settlement costs. Simple is a relative term and real estate professionals should not be trying to complete the “simpler” HUD 1 settlement sheet by hand. Today’s real estate regulations are too strict to trust to fallible humans.
Inexpensive RESPA software protects real estate professionals and their clients by facilitating RESPA compliance. Agents can use the GFE-HUD comparison sheet to ensure the figures on each form make sense. Figures from the GFE and HUD are automatically copied over onto the comparison sheet so agents know the numbers in the summary are the same as the numbers on the actual forms.
There was mixed reaction to the 2010 RESPA Final Rule’s provisions on fee itemization. Although the rule was designed to prevent consumers from being buried under a laundry list of petty fees by presenting them with a lump sum total, many organizations–including the federal government that made the new rule!–want the fees broken out. Agents using real estate title software can present the lump sums to their clients while still retaining the itemized lists of charges to show to other interested parties.
Finally, monitoring all the setoff charges on a HUD-1 settlement statement can be a nightmare. Our software includes a setoff tracker that makes it easy to list each charge, attribute it to the buyer or seller as appropriate, and credit or debit the correct total on the first page of the statement.
HUD documents are too complicated to do by hand. Software helps you stay in compliance with RESPA laws, ensures your calculations are correct, minimizes the chance of data entry error by not forcing you to enter the same information multiple times, and greatly accelerates the time it takes to process a closing.
Take advantage of the technology at your fingertips. Contact us to find out more about how Easy HUD and our other law practice management software products simplify your life, speed up your work day, and protect your practice and your clients from unfortunate mistakes.
Mortgage rates are plummeting. Just this week Freddie Mac reported the 15-year fixed rate hit a record low of 2.61% and the 30-year fixed rate is at 3.4%, less than 0.1% above its record low. Homeowners are rushing to refinance to take advantage of these low rates and real estate offices not using real estate title software are at a disadvantage over those who do.
When there is a rush of customers, you can’t afford to take as much time filling out the HUD closing statement as you used to. The faster you complete the forms, the more clients you can take in a typical workday. You don’t want to have to tell a potential client–or worse, an existing client–that you are too busy to get to them right now. Nor do you want to leave customers waiting long enough for you to fill out the forms that they start shopping around for another agent.
HUD settlement statement software like Easy HUD cuts your closing time by up to 70%. You can process the paperwork in a flash and move on to the next client. If the refinance is an existing customer, then all you have to do is pull in the information from the previous sale, verify it is up to date and click to print the refinance form. New clients are nearly as fast–you just enter a little information and let the software do the hard work.
We realize that when it comes to the HUD 1 settlement statement, accuracy is more important than speed and that’s another advantage of using software rather than filling the papers out by hand. Calculations are performed instantly and are correct. You can be sure you are completing your closing in full RESPA compliance.
Electronic 1099-S filing puts the crowning touch on fast, accurate closing. File the forms as you close rather than doing a year’s worth of forms in a rush. All data is verified before being securely transmitted to the IRS and you get immediate confirmation the form was received.
Use our legal software for attorneys and real estate agents to bring your practice into a new era of speed, efficiency and customer satisfaction.
We often talk about how Easy HUD makes it easy for real estate agents to speed up closing times by up to 70%, as well as ensuring calculations are performed correctly. However Easy HUD isn’t just for agents. It’s the ideal real estate closing software for attorneys as well.
Real estate attorneys are often included in real estate transactions to generate documents such as rental agreements or purchase contracts. Agents can fill out boilerplate versions of these contracts but if the base document requires modification, then a lawyer must make the changes to ensure the new document is still legal and binding. Add the Real Estate Docs Module to our title closing software to get access to over 200 customizable real estate documents including agreements and contract clauses. Attorneys can easily add to these, creating their own contracts for easy distribution to the agents they work with.
Attorneys are often involved in the purchase negotiations. Buying property is not as simple as writing a check. A host of fees and taxes turn a simple transaction into an accounting nightmare, and yet to effectively negotiate a deal the attorney needs to be able to calculate how a given deal will affect the bottom line. With HUD settlement statement software attorneys can generate a comprehensive new offer within seconds, and if they use the cloud version they can access the software from anywhere they have an internet connection.
Attorneys provide due diligence by reviewing a final deal to be sure it is fair and legal. The HUD 1 statement is complex and even experienced real estate agents can make errors. Software simplifies the process and allows attorneys to make changes effortlessly. If the agent is also using Easy HUD then the attorney can simply load the agent’s data file for immediate review.
Easy HUD works well with our other products. For example attorneys can export the ledger from the real estate software and import it into Easy Trust to oversee all escrow account transactions. Add Easy HUD to your suite of legal practice management software to automate and simplify your real estate practice.
This month marks the 45th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, a law signed by President Johnson. That law and its amendments make it illegal to base decisions on sale or rental of property based on a person’s race, color, national origin, religion, gender, family status or disability.
Although racial discrimination is less frequent today than it was in 1968, fair housing violations still happen. The HUD blog recently pointed to events where a woman with children and a man with hearing loss were each denied housing. Anyone who has been discriminated against can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under a HUD program designed to investigate and correct any actions taken in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
Fair housing is a year-round law, not just something to think about in April. However Fair Housing Month is a good opportunity for real estate attorneys and agents to take a look at their practices and ask themselves if they are discriminating without meaning to. Something as simple as not showing properties with stairs just because your client is in a wheelchair could be seen as a fair housing violation rather than a compassionate act.
This would be a good time to mention how Easy Soft’s HUD 1 settlement software helps you maintain a fair practice…but it doesn’t. It reduces the time it takes to complete closing forms, automatically enters property taxes and other calculations, and includes optional features that generate hundreds of real estate documents, integrate with real estate accounting software for trust management or allow you to file 1099-S forms electronically but it’s still up to you to ensure you treat all your clients equally.
However this blog isn’t just about trumpeting our products. We want to give you information that adds value to your real estate practice. In a previous blog entry we pointed you to HUD software that helps your clients get fair housing advice or file a fair housing complaint. We stay on the lookout for changes to HUD laws or tax regulations that will affect your business.
Fair housing affects us all. Real estate attorneys and agents have to be especially careful to avoid even the appearance of bias when dealing with clients. Easy Soft’s line of legal practice management software automates and simplifies your practice, allowing you to focus on providing quality service to all your clients.
When you squander your time, you increase operating costs and devastate your profits. Real estate deals are handled on a flat fee basis so the best way to maximize your profit is to reduce the amount of time it takes to produce your HUD-1 settlement statement. Easy HUD can reduce your closing time by up to 70% but only if you take advantage of every feature. Here are five ways you get the most from the Easy HUD suite of utilities.
1) Figuring The NETs – Don’t forget to check the NET flag on charges that are lender deducted or disbursed. Click on the “Tools” menu and then “Lender Worksheet” to see the gross mortgage amount and a list of itemized deductions. This feature is already included in our title closing software.
2) Fast And Accurate Documents – Real estate paperwork isn’t just about the HUD 1 statement. Add the Real Estate Documents module and gain access to hundreds of customizable forms including letters, contracts and checklists. The software uses the information you’ve already entered for the HUD form to complete the paperwork so you know any document you produce will be accurate.
3) Accountant In A Box – Handle all the financial transactions yourself by adding the Ledger module. Balance the account, print checks and produce a closing ledger without the need for an outside accountant. The software works with our Easy Trust escrow software to help you manage accounts easily.
4) Trustworthy Trust Accounts – Speaking of Easy Trust, are you on top of all of your firm’s trust account actions? Mismanaging trusts is one of the leading causes of attorney disbarment and real estate agent license revocation. Trust administration doesn’t have to be hard if you purchase Easy Trust for effortless escrow transaction management.
5) Easy Tax Forms – File your 1099-S forms electronically with the click of a mouse by enrolling in our free filing service. Not only can you be certain the forms are accurate, but the IRS actually prefers electronic forms over paper submissions. Each filing costs you only a nominal $10 fee and you get immediate confirmation the form was received.
Try any of our law firm management software products free for 30 days and if you don’t see an immediate improvement in your office’s efficiency and profitability, we will gladly offer a refund.
Spring is traditionally when home sales volumes trend upward and recent numbers indicate 2013 might be the best year in quite some time as the country slowly lumbers out of its real estate slump. If you aren’t prepared to handle more business then you are throwing money out the door with every missed sale. Now is the time to invest in HUD settlement statement software to streamline your business.
This can happen in any industry that sees a downturn. Professionals unconsciously adjust their expectations to the new normal. Agents who struggle to make a few sales can take the time to complete a HUD closing statement manually because there aren’t a lot of those forms going out each month.
The problem with this attitude is that when sales rise and more potential business walks through the door, the agency isn’t prepared. Their old system holds them back by creating choke points in the process. What’s worse is people make the mistake of assuming busy means successful, when busy often just means inefficient. Wouldn’t be great if you could fill out the HUD 1 settlement sheet faster and more accurately? You can if you use software designed specifically to facilitate real estate industry transactions.
Today there is no excuse to be completing HUD paperwork by hand. It doesn’t matter if you are a small office on a tight budget. Software is inexpensive and pays for itself in no time in increased sales. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand computers. Real estate title software is easy to use and agents can be up and running within minutes. It doesn’t matter if you are using an older version of Windows, a Macintosh or even a tablet computer. Cloud-based software can be used on virtually any computer.
Make sure you are ready for the rise in house sales many experts see coming this summer. Automate your real estate office with legal practice management software that is flexible, straightforward and affordable. Clear the path now so you are ready to handle all the new clients that will be coming your way in the near future.