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Illinois REALTOR® Weekly Connection

News and resources for Illinois REALTORS®

December 26, 2012

Market Stats and Research

Illinois Sales, Median Prices Show Gains in November 
Statewide home sales jumped 30.6 percent over previous-year levels in November and the state median price increased 7.7 percent, according to IAR's latest housing report. Statewide home sales in November 2012 totaled 10,135 homes sold, up from 7,758 in November 2011. The state median price was $140,000 in November. Said IAR President Michael D. Oldenettel: "All of the measurements we are seeing in this report point to a housing market that is not losing strength. In fact, we have seen a respectable momentum in a part of the year when the real estate business tends to slow down for the holidays.”

The November home sales report marked IAR's switchover to 10K Research and Marketing. The enhanced IAR MarketStats offer additional information for IAR members including time on market and inventory levels. IAR members can also access specific county-by-county information with an interactive map and sortable stats. You'll find it all in the Members Only Market Stats section of the IAR website (login required).


Industry News & Trends

Chicago Makes List of Top Cities of 2012
The Windy City made Realtor.com's list of the seven most-searched cities for the year. Coming in at number two, Chicago's rich culture, thriving art and music scenes, restaurants and sports culture were all part of the city's appeal.  

IRS: Tips for Year-End Giving
Plan on making a donation by the end of the year? Check out these IRS tax tips before you make that monetary, clothing or household donation. 

IAR Closed Dec. 31 and Jan. 1
The IAR office will be closed on Monday, Dec. 31 and Tuesday, Jan. 1 and will reopen on Jan. 2. The IAR Legal Hotline will be closed Dec. 26 through Jan. 1 and will reopen on Wednesday, Jan. 2.

IAR Wants to Hear From You
Beginning Jan. 3, IAR will be conducting a phone survey to a random sample of our members to learn more about your priorities and to evaluate how we are doing. The survey is being conducted by professional interviewers from a company called Mountain West. If you receive a call, we hope you will take the survey.


Legal Issues

Download IAR Legal Webinar on New Legislation and Year-End Issues
If you missed the Dec. 20 webinar with IAR Chief Legal Counsel Steve Bochenek and Legal Hotline Attorney Betsy Urbance, you can download a recording of the one-hour webinar. Legal webinars are a members only benefit so you will need to login.

Jan. 1 Brings New Radon Disclosure Form 
Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, you will need to use the a revised Radon Disclosure Form (#422) available for download on the IAR website (login required) or for bulk purchase through the IAR REALTOR® Store, 800-529-2696

Updates on Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) for non-Government Sponsored Entities (GSEs) and HAFA for GSEs
HAFA for non-GSEs was due to expire at the end of 2012 and has been extended until Dec. 31, 2013. Click here for more information. HAFA for GSEs will officially expire on Dec. 31, 2012. However, the revised Standardized Short Sale/HAFA II program went into effect on Nov. 1, 2012. Click here for information on this revised program for GSE loans (Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae). These programs provide guidelines for distressed homeowners to follow if they are seeking short sales or deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure to remove themselves from their underwater loans and mortgages on real property. 


Sales and Marketing

NAR: 13 Reasons to Look Forward to 2013
As you gear up for the new year, NAR's Speaking of Real Estate blog offers 13 reasons why real estate agents should be looking forward to 2013 including the fact that new households are forming and homebuyers are feeling a greater sense of urgency.

Get Motivated to Make 2013 the Best Sales Year Yet
Want to make 2013 the best sales year yet? Dump the past and work on honing business plans and networking skills; say several experts. Read more in the January issue of Illinois REALTOR® magazine.


Events 

December 28
IAR is accepting applications for the Leadership Development Program. If you feel you possess the skills, aptitude, interest and motivation to become a leader, this program is for you. The application deadline is Dec. 28. Click here for more information (login required). 

December 31
The Code of Ethics quadrennial training cycle ends Dec. 31. Learn more about training requirements

January 14
Online registration is now available for the IAR-sponsored Instructor Course Development Workshop on Jan. 14 at three locations including Springfield, Downers Grove and Arlington Heights. 

January 22-24
Find a schedule for the upcoming IAR Public Policy meetings being held in East Peoria. 


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