Posted by admin on June 18, 2012
An unprecedented land grab for new Web addresses began in earnest on Wednesday with fierce competition for new internet real estate including .app, .blog and .web from applicants hoping to break the near-monopoly of the .com top-level domain.
The ambitious plan to liberalise internet addresses attracted 1,930 applications, almost half of them from north America, with Web giants Amazon and Google applying for dozens of domains including .cloud, .buy and .book.
The liberalisation of top-level domains beyond the fewer than two dozen in existence – dominated by .com, .org and .net – is intended to stimulate competition and innovation by giving organisations more control over their Web presence.
Critics say the new suffixes are unlikely to catch on, and some trademark owners have complained that the move is causing them unnecessary expense – at $185,000 per application plus running costs – to defend their online turf.
Previous small-scale experiments in liberalising domains led to low take-up of suffixes such as .museum, .jobs and .travel.
“At the highest level, this is all about creating competition to .com,” said Jonathan Robinson, non-executive director of internet registry services company Afilias, which has applied for more than 100 new domains on behalf of clients.
“That’s where short, memorable, distinctive three-letter type terms become very interesting,” said Robinson, whose organisation already provides key infrastructure for .org, .info and .mobi.
Competing applications were received for 231 domain names. The most popular were .app with 13 bids, .home with 11, and .inc with 12. High bids are also reportedly expected for domains such as .pets, .porn and .pizza, according to reports.
Technology giant Apple’s claim to .apple was uncontested by the Apple music label or anyone else.
“The big names of the Internet have either invested massively or not at all,” said Stuart Durham, European sales director for Melbourne IT, which has handled 150 applications on behalf of clients.
“There appear to be no applications from Facebook or Twitter. There are different strategies in play here and some big gambles.”
Just 17 applications were received from Africa, and 116 for names in non-Latin alphabets. Expanding the Internet beyond the Latin alphabet was one of the original reasons behind the liberalisation drive, which began seven years ago.
ICANN will now spend the rest of the year assessing the applications, with contested domains going to auction where more than one party has a legitimate claim. The first new domains are likely to come online in the first half of 2013.
Some critics, including senior figures at Google, have warned that the liberalisation risks effectively privatising the Internet by giving already powerful Web players more scope to control portions of it.
“Our concern is that this could lead to more Facebook-style walled gardens as big brands seek to keep you in their own areas of the Internet,” said Stephen Ewart, marketing manager for Names.co.uk, a British domain-name registrar.
“Make no mistake, this change to the domain name world will lead to more competition and consumer choice, but it could also be viewed as a silent privatisation of the Web – for better or worse,” he said.
The project is a key test for U.S. non-profit organisation the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), whose authority to administer the Web’s naming systems is being challenged by emerging nations who say it is too U.S.-centric.
“The plan we have delivered is solid and fair,” ICANN Chief Executive Rod Beckstrom told journalists at a news conference in London. “It is our fundamental obligation to increase innovation and consumer choice.”
Nations including China, Russia and Brazil are pushing for ICANN’s functions to be transferred to a body such as the United Nations, in which governments would have more control.
ICANN is set to net some $350 million from the liberalisation project – about five times its annual budget.
Beckstrom said the organisation had priced the applications to cover its costs and that the use of any surplus would be decided by its community – which includes Internet companies, governments and ordinary citizens.
By: Georgina Prodhan
Posted by admin on April 22, 2012
Selling a home in a buyer’s market can feel like you’re playing a game you can’t win. But buyers don’t necessarily hold all the cards. “You have to be able to see it from both sides of the table,” says Jeffrey Stanton, who teaches a Realtor certification course in negotiation. Armed with information and a smart strategy, you can play your hand wisely and get the best value for your home.
First, determine the best price you can reasonably expect given the home’s market value and the minimum you can accept. All negotiation will take place somewhere in between those two limits. Your goal is to stay as close to the top of that range as possible.
Next, count your bargaining chips. A buyer’s position is weakened and yours is strengthened by anything the buyer wants that you’re able to provide or withhold. “Price is one of the many things you negotiate for, but you need to make the pie bigger,” says Stanton. Additional slices might include flexibility with the closing or move-in dates, extra items for sale, cash concessions, bragging rights – even the deal itself, since you can always walk away.
WHEN TO USE IT: Throughout the process.
HOW TO PLAY IT: The first time the price chip comes into play is when you list your home. Look up similar homes that have sold in the area recently with online tools such as the sold properties link on the Multiple Listing Service site or Newsday’s recent home sales search tool. Use those prices to zero in on your home’s market value and to weed out lowball offers. Padding your asking price to leave room to haggle is not helpful, says Lynne Kleinman of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty in Manhasset – instead, price it to attract multiple offers. “You’re putting yourself in a position to be bid up if you’ve chosen the correct number.”
When you receive a written offer that’s in the ballpark, you may use a price adjustment as part of your counteroffer. A small move tests the water; a big reduction announces your willingness to negotiate, Stanton says. You can reduce the price more than once to nudge the discussion along, but in a strategic pattern: Your price concessions should get smaller and smaller as the deal progresses. This signals to the buyer that you’re approaching the bottom.
2. Bragging rights
WHEN TO USE IT: When the buyer shows a competitive streak.
HOW TO PLAY IT: “Sometimes in order for you to win, you have the make the other party feel as if they’ve won,” says Stanton. “A lot of people are competitive negotiators who want to win by taking that very last thing off the table.”
And it’s not just about ego – it’s also about nerves. Buyers who fear they could have gotten a better price are more likely to get cold feet, which could jeopardize the deal.
Satisfy the buyer’s need to win with a pattern of increasingly stingy price concessions. This creates the reassuring and gratifying impression that you’ve scraped the barrel and given up every last crumb of value – even if you haven’t.
To enhance this effect, trade away any other chips with conspicuous reluctance, regardless of their actual importance to you – and try to get something you secretly do care about in return.
3. Financial incentives
WHEN TO USE IT: When you’ve got a serious buyer and lack of funds is the only obstacle.
HOW TO PLAY IT: Consider a seller’s concession to bridge the gap: If the price is $300,000 and the buyer needs $6,000 for closing costs, you would pay those costs upfront but raise the price to $306,000. “The purchase price is artificially inflated so the buyer can finance an additional cost,” says Chandra Ortiz, an attorney on the Nassau County Bar Association Real Property Committee. This allows the buyers to make a bigger down payment, or pay points for a lower interest rate, which could increase their purchasing power to close the deal.
There are limitations and risks: The lender will appraise the home and restrict concessions to a certain percentage of the appraised value, which may turn out to be less than the purchase price you and the buyer agreed to. “When it doesn’t appraise at that figure, the bank won’t give additional money to cover the concession,” cautions Ortiz. Include language in your contract to protect yourself from having to pay the concession if the appraisal is low, she advises. Also note that a higher price will cause your transfer tax payment to go up – make sure the buyer agrees to pay for that, she says.
WHEN TO USE IT: When the buyer is on a deadline and you can be flexible – for a price.
HOW TO PLAY IT: “The way it works is whoever has the shorter time frame isn’t negotiating from a position of strength,” says Stanton. Buyers often want or need to close or move in by a certain date – they may be trying to get into their new school district before September, for instance.
If you have the ability to help them meet their deadline, you’ve got currency. Keep it in your pocket and remain noncommittal about dates until you need that extra push.
For instance, if your buyer is considering a competing property but the other sellers can’t vacate soon enough, that closing date could become the deciding factor. It can also help your bottom line, Stanton says. “If I know you have to be in by the first, that may be more important to you than price.”
WHEN TO USE IT: Periodically offer these in place of price reductions, or along with smaller reductions.
HOW TO PLAY IT: This chip could fall into your lap during talks – or it could take some creativity on your part. Pay attention; if a buyer shows interest in something, such as a piano or window treatments, you’ve got yourself an unexpected chip.
The best kinds of extras are those that are of little value to you, but could matter a lot for the buyers. For instance, if you’re leaving a grassy two-acre property for a maintenance-free condo, you won’t be needing that ride-on lawn mower anymore – but your buyers sure could use it. Swap it for a more favorable deal. A home warranty is another good one; it may only cost you a few hundred dollars, but it provides a benefit that could be far more valuable to the new owners. Get something in return for it, even if you planned all along to include it in the sale.
6. Your Plan B
WHEN TO USE IT: When you’ve exhausted your chips without reaching an agreement – or you suspect the buyer is bluffing.
HOW TO PLAY IT: “Buyers feel like they have all the time and all the choices, but when they feel a sense of urgency because another couple wants that house, then the seller holds the cards,” says Diane Saatchi of Saunders & Associates.
Use smart marketing to level the playing field. Pricing, staging and photography are key to attracting buyers – and offering a higher fee will get the agents’ attention, Kleinman says. “Brokerage fees speak very loudly to the agents who will be showing your house.” More showings could translate into more offers – and a better bargaining position.
Reserve the right to keep showing your home if the deal is contingent upon the buyer’s home getting sold and look into the possibility of renting out the place. This will ease your pressure – and, if all else fails, it allows you to walk away. It’s not easy, but sometimes that’s your best option – either your buyer will reconsider, or you’ll get yourself out of an unacceptable deal.
By: KRISTIN TAVEIRA
Posted by admin on October 30, 2011
Generation Y will change housing demand, and the strained finances of many Americans will lead to more multi-generational households, according to a new report from the Urban Land Institute, released at its annual fall meeting this week.
The report, “What’s Next? Real Estate in the New Economy,” finds that many real-estate trends will be driven by the values and preferences of Generation Y, a group now in their teens through early thirties.
It’s a group that will be comfortable in smaller homes, preferring an easier commute and better lifestyle to bigger living space, according to the report. They’ll also increase the demand for rentals, a trend that will cause rents to rise.
Meanwhile, researchers expect a continuation of the trend that has people sharing housing, at times creating multi-generational households. They expect much of the fast-growing senior population to age in place or move in with relatives in order to save money.
Generation Y is the largest generation in American history, according to the ULI. It’s only logical that the preferences of this group will have a large influence in shaping the places where people live and work in the years ahead.
By: Amy Hoak
Posted by admin on July 15, 2011
Conduct the search
1 – Look in the newspaper classifieds, apartment hunter publications, college campus bulletin boards, and online for available units to investigate. Ask friends about openings in their buildings.
2 – Consider how much you can afford to pay. A good rule of thumb is no more than 30 percent of your take-home monthly income.
3 – Enlist a rental agent to narrow your search. Depending on the market, this service may be free (paid for by landlords) or cost you a percentage of your rent when you land the apartment.
4 – Turn to a roommate service if you’re looking for cheaper space to share. Be clear what qualities you desire in a roommate, as well as types of people or habits you’d prefer to avoid, such as smokers.
5 – Create a renter’s resume with your current and previous 3 addresses and landlord phone numbers, your employer and length of employment, your SIN number, a copy of your credit report.
Case the joint
1 – Inspect the property carefully. If there’s any damage, you not only want to ask that it be fixed, but don’t want to be blamed for it later. Make sure such problem areas are addressed in a lease, either by your agreeing to live with it, or the landlord agreeing to fix it by a certain date.
2 – Check out common walls (walls shared with adjoining apartments). The more walls in common, the greater the chance of noise from next door. Also consider a common entrance in terms of how much privacy you may want.
3 – Ask about amenities such as enclosed parking or a garage, a yard, storage, laundry facilities, pool, tennis, gym or concierge services.
Negotiate the deal
1 – If you find an apartment you love but is a stretch financially, ask if there are responsibilities you can take on to lower your rent, such as cutting the lawn, sweeping common areas or taking deliveries. Or if you find a great apartment but it lacks services such as utilities, laundry facilities, cable TV and Internet access, ask the landlord to throw some in at no charge. Many newer buildings will. Or offer to sign a longer-term lease or give a higher security deposit in exchange for more services.
2 – Examine your lease in detail: How much notice is required prior to moving, how large a deposit you have to make, how much cleaning is required upon leaving to get your deposit back, and other provisions. Some agreements require first and last months’ rent plus a security deposit–a significant chunk of change. Is the lease month to month, or a 6- or 12-month period?
3 – Find out what kinds of cosmetic changes you can make, such as painting walls, or structural changes, such as adding shelving.
4 – Ask for a lease with an option to buy if you’d be interested in purchasing the property down the line.