February 2000 Fast Takes

February 1, 2000

ARELLO aims to tame Net

The Wild West character of the Internet has got tamer, at least for real estate practitioners. The Association of Real Estate License Law Officials has posted guidelines to help the industry avoid regulatory trouble as online listings become ubiquitous and more real estate information is shared online.

The guidelines, which were approved at an ARELLO meeting late last year, recommend that practitioners err on the side of too much disclosure rather than too little. The group’s intent is to encourage the industry to make full use of the Internet while protecting practitioners and consumers against misrepresentation.

The voluntary guidelines were hammered out by real estate officials from around the country. Among the guidelines: Licensees should disclose on every viewable page who they are and where they operate, disclosure should be included on any message sent via E-mail or through other online means such as a bulletin board, and Web ads should also include disclosures or should link to sites that contain disclosures.

The guidelines can be accessed at www.arello.org. Click on General Information and then on Policies.

PARSIPPANY, N.J.--Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp. has crossed the Great Wall of China. The company signed a master franchise agreement with Sinyi Realty, Taiwan's largest real estate brokerage, to develop franchised real estate offices in China, Hong Kong, and Macao. "The residential market in China is booming," says Chun-Chi Chou, Sinyi's chairman.

BRIGHTON, Mich.--Help someone buy a dream house. Shoppers with their eye on a house that isn’t for sale can contact Homeroute.com with a "Dream Track" request. If the house is in your area and you’re a participating practitioner, you make a confidential sales inquiry of the owner. Who knows? The owner may sell. Since its launch in October, 200 buyers and sellers have been matched, the company says.

SAN FRANCISCO--Online company Homeowners.com is creating a multilingual lending program through an agreement with Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corp. The company already offers buyer and seller services in several languages, including Spanish, Korean, and Chinese. The multilingual lending program will launch as a pilot in early 2000, the company says.

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