Illinois REALTOR® Magazine  | October 2012
The General Election is Nov. 6. Get out and support pro-REALTOR® candidates. Here are the key election deadlines to keep in mind:
Have a question about voting in Illinois?
You’ll find answers at the Illinois State Board of Elections’ website, www.elections.il.gov , including information on registering to vote, finding your local polling place, absentee voting requirements and more.
Now you can access real-time updates on key economic indicators that can affect your business from the current homeownership rate and new residential construction statistics to unemployment trends on the new mobile app, America’s Economy.
Released by the U.S. Census Bureau , the free app tracks 16 economic indicators including: manufacturing, international trade, retail sales, and residential construction and sales compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The app is available for Apple and Android smartphones and tablets.
For those in the rent-versus-buy quandary, Zillow’s calculations  show that buying pays off over renting after just three years in some of the nation’s markets. The so-called break-even point in the Chicago area is 2.8 years, according to the study.
More homeowners are tackling improvement projects. The latest Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity  forecasts that annual homeowner improvement spending is rising and could reach double-digit growth by the first quarter of 2013, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.
Changes to the Code of Ethics took effect this year to help ensure it remains up-to-date as practitioners confront new situations. Here are four highlighted by REALTOR® Magazine :
All REALTOR® members must successfully complete a 2.5-hour course in ethics, within given four-year cycles, and continue to update their education in successive four-year periods thereafter. The current cycle ends Dec. 31, 2012. Ethics courses may be available through your local board. Contact your local association  for details. REALTORS® can also complete the training online with a free course, courtesy of NAR. Go to REALTOR.org/COETraining .
The difference between the $150,000 that the typical For-Sale-By-Owner home sold for compared to the $215,000 among agent-assisted home sales.
Source: NAR 2011 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 
The advertising requirement that the managing broker be listed in all advertisements does NOT apply to real estate “for sale” or other similar signs, under legislation signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn in August making technical and administrative changes to the Illinois Real Estate License Act of 2000. Learn more.