Industry News & Trends
Scam Alert! NAR Cautions Against Scam REALTOR® Complaint Website
Don't be a victim of a website that NAR reports is misusing the REALTOR® trademark in what seems to be an attempt to get money from real estate practitioners. The site, Realtor-complaints.com, supposedly publishes "consumer" complaints about real estate agents and then offers them the "opportunity” to pay to have the complaint and their name removed from the site, NAR reports in the blog post, "Don’t Let Your Reputation—or Your Wallet—Fall Prey to Scam Complaint Site."
More Details on New Qualified Mortgage Rule
In an executive summary, NAR outlines the key points of the Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule recently announced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The summary highlights elements of interest to real estate professionals including fees and points, seller financing and underwriting standards for some jumbo loans. Read the full summary.
Highlights From IAR's Professional Standards Workshops
Hundreds of Illinois REALTORS® attended workshops in Springfield and Oakbrook Terrace last week to hone their knowledge of the Professional Standards process including arbitration hearings, grievance committees, ethics hearings, agency and procuring cause. Find photos on IAR's Facebook page and watch a video from the Springfield session.
2012 Housing Affordability to Set Annual Record
Home prices coupled with record-low mortgage rates resulted in 2012 being one of the most affordable housing markets in years, according to NAR's latest Housing Affordability Index.
Friday Deadline for Foreclosure Settlement Claims
Eligible Illinois borrowers have until this Friday to file a claim form seeking payment under the National Mortgage Foreclosure Settlement, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan reminds in a news release.
Jan. 17 IAR Legal Webinar: License Law Compliance Issues
Join IAR Chief Legal Counsel Steve Bochenek and Legal Hotline Attorney Betsy Urbance for a one-hour webinar on Jan. 17 as they discuss license law compliance issues and follow up on tax questions posed in last month's webinar. Have a question? Send it in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Legislative & Advocacy
Fund Sweep Averted and Other Highlights From Lame Duck Legislative Session
Efforts to sweep special state funds, including one that REALTORS® pay into for licensing, stalled during what was a largely unproductive lame duck legislative session in Springfield. State Capitol Report has the detaills on the action including an extension of the Making Home Affordable Program that has been sent to the governor.
You can be a 2013 RPAC PACESETTER!
How? Simply pledge at the Major Investor level ($1,000 or more) by Wed., Feb. 6. You can do this online at www.RPACNow.com or contact Sarah Clayton email@example.com. NEW this year! All 2013 PACESETTERS will receive a complimentary one-year subscription to the monthly e-newsletter by REAL Trends, plus special recognition in the April Illinois REALTOR® magazine and at the April 16 IAR Capitol Conference.
Sales and Marketing
Kickstart 2013 With IAR's New Webinar Series
IAR is offering a year-long Thursday series of FREE webinars designed to help members sell more in 2013. The webinars will feature prominent real estate specialists on topics ranging from marketing to emerging technology. First up: Noted real estate trainer and speaker Jared James who on Jan. 24 will share "Three Areas to Focus on to Rock 2013." The webinar begins at noon. Join this “Lunch and Learn” event by going to this link and logging in five minutes before it begins. (Note: This initial webinar will be limited to 200 participants but a recording will be available at www.illinoisrealtor.org on Jan. 25 for you to view and share with colleagues.)
Six Traits Buyers Want in Agents
What do today's homebuyers want from their agents? Exceptional service that sets you apart and offering a clear direction and input on the process are a few suggestions from real estate trainer Amy Chorew. Read this REALTOR.org article for more.
Find a schedule for the upcoming IAR Public Policy meetings being held in East Peoria. Follow the IARbuzz blog, Facebook and Twitter for updates. The Twitter hashtag for the event is #iargov.
Follow the Yellow Brick Road to East Peoria where it will be a Wizard of Oz evening for the 25th Annual RPAC Auction on Jan. 22. The auction will be held in conjunction with the IAR Public Policy Meetings. Auction items include: an iPad, mini iPad, Kindle Paperwhite, golf outings, dinner and theater packages, Odyssey Chicago Brunch Cruise, Rusty Wallace Racing experience and more!
Get involved and attend this year's Capitol Conference "REALTOR® Lobby Day" in Springfield.
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