Help Buyers Find Down Payment Programs

According to 2017 loan data, 36% of mortgages across the largest U.S. cities were eligible for down payment help. Plus, the average down payment assistance benefit was $9,208. That means more than a third of buyers might be leaving money on the table! 

The down payment ranks as the number one obstacle for potential homebuyers, and for some buyers, leaving money on the table could lead to them not being able to buy. 

As a NorthstarMLS subscriber, you have access to Down Payment Resource, a core service that helps you help your clients identify these programs.

There are down payment assistance programs. Some of them help with down payments and closing costs. Eligibility depends upon several factors including the location of the home.

Check here to see if your buyer may be eligible for down payment assistance. 

The DPR icon appears with "Find Down Payment Help" on potentially eligible listings in your clients' Portal as shown above.

For you in NorthstarMLS Matrix, this icon  is on listings where down payment help is potentially available.

Both you and your clients can click on these DPR icons on listings for information. 

If you want to learn more about how DPR can help your real estate business, sign up for a free webinar or check out this recorded training video

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Tip of the Week for 4/22

Tip of the Week – Price Change Alerts in Matrix

Reducing the price for one of your listings in NorthstarMLS Matrix? If you want it to show with the red down arrow (or blue up arrow for a higher price) in Matrix search result grids, Hot Sheets and Client Portals, the price must be changed by at least a half percent (.005) of the original listing/asking price. 

For example, if your listing is priced at $300,000, it would need to be lowered by at least $1,500 for it to show up in search results with the price reduction arrow (like in the screen shot below).

Whenever you see the price change arrow for a listing in the Single Line Grid, click on it for a quick pop-up showing you the original, immediately prior and current price, and the date of the current price change. (In the Hot Sheet and Market Watch displays, simply hover over the arrow. In the Client Portal, hover over the gold Price Change banner.)

Thanks to NorthstarMLS subscriber Teri Eckholm of Boardman Realty for her recommendation of this week’s Tip of the Week. Teri will receive a $30 Caribou Coffee gift card.

Submit Your Own Tip! Do you have a question that you would like to see featured a Tip of the Week? Or maybe you have your own tip you would like to share with other NorthstarMLS users. Send your question or idea to We will use one submission each month and the winner will receive a $30 Caribou Coffee gift card!

Tips On Demand Want to check out older Tip of the Week topics? Click here to view an archive of previous Tip of the Week entries.

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Webinar: Exploring Homesnap

Want to learn more about how to use the mobile app Homesnap Pro? Register for one of the upcoming free webinars, offered by Homesnap especially for NorthstarMLS subscribers. 

Not only is Homesnap Pro a NorthstarMLS core service that can help you better connect with and serve your clients, it is also the platform of the Broker Public Portal (BPP). The BPP initiative grew out of a movement among brokers across the country to develop an industry-controlled real estate search experience for consumers. NorthstarMLS was at the forefront of this national collaboration between brokers and MLS’s.

This session will explore the most popular features in the Homesnap Pro app:

  1. Take a snap of any property and see the current MLS data
  2. See the Agent deal flow and Transaction History
  3. Use the app to walk property lines
  4. Invite your clients for exclusive Agent Client Branding
  5. Share your personal unique profile link
  6. Your FREE weekly newsletter

Don’t forget to download the app before the session begins. You can get the FREE app by going to If you need assistance getting the app, please call 1-866-855-2622 or email

These webinars are offered multiple times, just pick the time and date you would like to attend from the dropdown menu in the register screen.

Register for a FREE Webinar Here

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Leaving Feedback with the ShowingTime App

With the ShowingTime mobile app, you can quickly leave feedback from a showing appointment right from your mobile device. 

The quick video below walks you through how it’s done!

If you haven’t downloaded the ShowingTime app to your mobile device, get it now! You get instant access to your showings, feedback, reports and more.

ShowingTime Archive Want to check out older ShowingTime content? Click here to view the archive of previous ShowingTime news, articles, and other content on the NorthstarMLS Blog & Archive.

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New RatePlug features for Spring Market

New pre-approval request, new flyer templates, and a bold new look for your buyers!

RatePlug still lets you share accurate home payment estimates from your trusted lenders directly within any property listing you send your clients, but now the process to get your buyers asking questions about their financing earlier, to avoid snags later is more user friendly than ever!

  • No additional cost for NorthstarMLS members to participate*
  • Only promotes your trusted lending sources.
  • Delivers interactive, real-time mortgage programs, payments and qualifying information. When you display affordability factors on your listings, great things happen!
  • Informs you if your listing is eligible for special financing options (FHA, VA, USDA, etc.).
  • Includes Property Flyer Program for your listings (now with 15 available templates).
  • RatePlug users are selling homes 15% faster than non-users.

Click here to learn more or take a couple of minutes to opt-in to this tool that is included for FREE as part of your NorthstarMLS subscription!

*lenders do pay a license fee to be displayed

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MyFloodStatus Report Helps Buyer

MyFloodStatus Report Helps Local Buyer Identify Flood Risk

After a snowy February followed by heavy rain, many rivers are flooding across Minnesota. Some rivers are at or near record levels. Check out the dilemma one NorthstarMLS agent was in with his client before using a MyFloodStatus report to determine the property's true flood status. 

A buyer was interested in purchasing property adjacent to a property he already owned and lived in. The property seller had owned the home for a long time, no longer had a mortgage, and said her late husband had told her that only the back corner of the property was in a flood zone. She didn’t have any documentation to prove the exact current flood status of the property.

Action Taken
The buyer’s real estate agent used our structure-based flood report to confirm the true flood status of the property.

A MyFloodStatus report confirmed that in fact a large portion of the house was in a Special Flood Hazard Area, or SFHA, and would require flood insurance with a mortgage. The FEMA map had changed and been updated in 2015, but the seller did not become aware because there was no mortgage on the home at the time. With the MyFloodStatus structure-based flood determination, the buyer was able to make an educated decision on how to move forward based on confirmed flood status.

“Running your report saved a lot of time, money and frustration. Best money I’ve spent.”
– Michael H. Real Estate Agent, NorthstarMLS

MyFloodStatus Flood Reports can be ordered through NorthstarMLS at discounted pricing ($25 per report). Go to the “External Links” section and click on MyFloodStatus.

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Minnesota Senate Passes Hands-Free Bill

We’re very pleased to share that the state Senate passed its version of a hands-free bill Monday by a 56-10 vote, one week after the House OK'd its version 106-21. If passed, Minnesota would become the 18th state in the U.S. to require hands-free use of cellphones while making a call.

The issue has been near to our hearts here at NorthstarMLS since the passing of our colleague and friend, Hubert “Hugh” Skanes-Cady (Trimble). He tragically lost his life in the summer of 2016 as the result of a motor vehicle crash when he was rear ended while riding his motorcycle. NorthstarMLS has been helped support this important cause, sponsoring a local foundation distracted driving 5K and other supportive events.

There are still some hurdles for the hands-free bill, but House and Senate supporters and committees plan to meet to work through differences in the weeks ahead, and the bill seems to have the momentum to pass in 2019. Gov. Tim Walz has said he would sign a hands-free bill if it reaches his desk for signature.

NorthstarMLS Drive Focused Pledge Site
In Hugh’s memory, we introduced our Drive Focused campaign in 2016 to raise awareness and help put an end to distracted driving. Visit to watch our series of videos and take the pledge to #DriveFocused in 2019.

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Tip of the Week for 3/25

Tip of the Week – Advanced Matrix Map Searching

NorthstarMLS Matrix Map Search allows you to overlay Map Layers when performing a map search. You can also use the Jump drop down menu to quickly locate a map preset. The video below shows you how.

Submit Your Own Tip! Do you have a question that you would like to see featured a Tip of the Week? Or maybe you have your own tip you would like to share with other NorthstarMLS users. Send your question or idea to We will use one submission each month and the winner will receive a $30 Caribou Coffee gift card!

Tips On Demand Want to check out older Tip of the Week topics? Click here to view an archive of previous Tip of the Week entries.

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What’s New at NorthstarMLS?

What’s New at NorthstarMLS?

We have a few new developments at NorthstarMLS and want to make sure you are aware.

  • The Public and Agent Remarks fields have been doubled from 500 to 1,000 characters max. More room to describe the property! Instanet (Transaction Desk) Forms have been updated.
  • Instanet (Transaction Desk) Forms: You no longer need to manually “Auto Populate” information from your Property Details Page to your forms. That now happens automatically through their “Rapid Population” process. As a result, the manual “Auto Populate” function has been removed.
  • All supplements are automatically removed from listings after eight days off market for all off market statuses. This reduces agent liability on future listings for not disclosing all previous supplements over the history of the property.
  • Exciting News! CoreLogic and Homesnap Join Forces on Integration to Matrix! You already have access to the Homesnap Pro mobile app (and Broker Public Portal) as a NorthstarMLS Core Service. We are very excited about the potential of Homesnap Pro being integrated into Matrix, allowing you to bring more Matrix functionality with you on the road. Although this is still at the “just announced” stage, we will keep you posted of any major developments.
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Homesnap Stories

Bring Your Listing to Life with Homesnap Stories

With Homesnap Stories, you can add unique, engaging marketing content right to your active listings through the Homesnap Pro app.

Think of all the selling points about a home that are tough to get across in a photo. Now, you can take your own photos and videos and add them directly to your Homesnap listing. Add text, emojis, and even use augmented reality to create one-of-a-kind marketing content that you can also share on Facebook and Instagram. Record a voice-over or add music to personalize your Stories even more.

Homesnap wants agents to have an easy, engaging way to create marketing content (especially video) on their own, and that’s the benefit of Homesnap Stories. (And don’t forget, Homesnap is the technology provider of the Broker Public Portal!)

Check out this short video and see how Homesnap Stories works!

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