Supreme Court ruling raises the bar for software patents

Supreme Court ruling raises the bar for software patents

In what Politico is calling “a small win for companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft,” the Supreme Court has ruled that simply turning an abstract idea into computer code doesn’t mean you have a patentable invention. But the deci...
Thursday, June 19, 2014
$1B SunTrust mortgage settlement highlights weaknesses in FHA underwriting

$1B SunTrust mortgage settlement highlights weaknesses in FHA underwriting

A $968 million government settlement with SunTrust Banks that will provide $500 million in relief to underwater borrowers highlights flaws in the bank’s underwriting of FHA loans that continued into 2012, The New York Times reports. SunTrust gr...
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
We’re in a startup bubble, but it may take a few years to burst

We’re in a startup bubble, but it may take a few years to burst

Tech “is where smart money went after houses went out of style a few years ago” and, for now at least, “there are plenty of insane ideas still getting funded.” But “we’re in a bubble and the market is overheated. ......
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
DocuSign, Redfin make CNBC’s ‘Disruptor 50′ list

DocuSign, Redfin make CNBC’s ‘Disruptor 50′ list

DocuSign and Redfin have been named to CNBC’s second annual “Disruptor 50” list, and while he’s in plenty of good company, Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman — who is thought to be paving the way for an IPO — can’t be ...
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Most Airbnb rentals in San Francisco aren’t actually shared

Most Airbnb rentals in San Francisco aren’t actually shared

Nearly two-thirds of the 5,000 or so Airbnb rentals in San Francisco are entire houses or apartments and 160 are full-time rentals, calling into question the perception that Airbnb mostly promotes the sharing of homes, according to a data analysis ....
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Many potential homebuyers don’t realize they don’t need a big down payment

Many potential homebuyers don’t realize they don’t need a big down payment

Many potential homebuyers overestimate the size of the down payment required to finance a home purchase, according to Fannie Mae exec Christina Boyle. On average, consumers believe they need 11 to 15 percent in equity to buy a home, Boyle ......
Monday, June 16, 2014
Colorado warns real estate agents not to sell ‘off market’ just to double-end deals

Colorado warns real estate agents not to sell ‘off market’ just to double-end deals

Advertising listings as “coming soon” and subsequently selling them “off market” is only OK if sellers realize the risks — and agents aren’t just trying to collect both sides of a commission, according to Colorado ...
Monday, June 16, 2014
Renters sue, allege property tax system violates Fair Housing Act

Renters sue, allege property tax system violates Fair Housing Act

A property tax system in which one- to three-family homes pay a lower effective tax rate than apartment buildings violates the Fair Housing Act, alleges a lawsuit filed by two New York City renters. The plaintiffs, Rosa Rodriguez and Ernest ......
Monday, June 16, 2014
Using old, insecure software could violate Realtor Code of Ethics

Using old, insecure software could violate Realtor Code of Ethics

Agents and brokers who insist on using software that is vulnerable to security breaches are violating the Realtor Code of Ethics, according to security consultant Matt Cohen. The code requires Realtors to preserve confidential information provided by...
Friday, June 13, 2014
Study suggests ‘patent troll’ litigation stifles billions in startup funding

Study suggests ‘patent troll’ litigation stifles billions in startup funding

Over the last five years, venture capital investment in startups would have likely been $22 billion higher were it not for patent infringement lawsuits lodged by “patent assertion entities,” according to a study by MIT professor Catherine...
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Nearly half of big broker websites are insecure

Nearly half of big broker websites are insecure

After hearing that a multiple listing service website was serving up malware to visitors, security consultant Matt Cohen took a look at the websites of the top 50 largest MLSs by subscriber count and top 50 largest brokers by transaction ......
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Which states have the highest and lowest shares of Realtors?

Which states have the highest and lowest shares of Realtors?

Since 1980, Realtors have made up 0.7 percent of the total workforce, on average, according to National Association of Realtors research economist Danielle Hale. But that percentage is not the same for all states. Over the past 34 years, either ......
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Lowe’s to build 3-D virtual reality rooms for remodeling

Lowe’s to build 3-D virtual reality rooms for remodeling

Lowe’s, the second-largest home improvement store in the nation, has come up with an idea designed to lure shoppers offline and into their stores: 30-by-30-foot virtual reality rooms that allow customers to view a 3-D representation of their re...
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Many young adults would bank with Google, Amazon, Apple

Many young adults would bank with Google, Amazon, Apple

Banks could be the next business sector to face disruption from nontraditional rivals, if a new study from Accenture is any indication, writes RealtyTrac’s Peter Miller. According to the study, nearly half of consumers said they would likely b...
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
NAR says membership back in line with historical trend

NAR says membership back in line with historical trend

Membership in the National Association of Realtors can swing pretty wildly. Lots of people get into real estate when times are good, and leave when they’re bad. During the housing boom, NAR picked up nearly 600,000 members, with the Realtor .....
Monday, June 9, 2014
ZipRealty: Votes against chairman’s re-election unrelated to nondisclosure agreement

ZipRealty: Votes against chairman’s re-election unrelated to nondisclosure agreement

ZipRealty board Chairman Donald Wood was re-elected Thursday with 8.2 million votes, but 4 million votes were also cast against him as the company’s accumulated deficit climbed to $136.7 million as of the end of the first quarter, the San Fran...
Monday, June 9, 2014
Buyer’s agent ‘lost count of number of homes he burglarized’

Buyer’s agent ‘lost count of number of homes he burglarized’

A Georgia real estate agent has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after admitting that he used lockbox codes to enter listings and burglarize homes, stealing jewelry and other items. Ray Glen Greene — originally licensed in Georgia in ......
Monday, June 9, 2014
Roadblocks to homeownership have denied blacks a path to the middle class

Roadblocks to homeownership have denied blacks a path to the middle class

It’s often said that homeownership is one of the best tools that members of the working class have at their disposal to accumulate wealth. It’s said so often — usually by people who have an interest in selling or financing ......
Friday, June 6, 2014