IAR's team of lobbyists analyzed the 6,230 bills introduced in the 2013 Spring Session of the Illinois General Assembly and targeted 217 that merited special attention because they could affect homeowners, the REALTOR® business or private property rights. IAR's advocacy team and our 41,000 members worked up until the session's end on May 31 to kill bad policy, alter flawed legislation and promote the interests of IAR's membership and our clients and customers. Get the details on 14 notable victories inIAR's 2013 Legislative Scorecard .
IAR took the lead in battling an erroneous homestead exemption bill that could have hurt REALTORS® and private property owners. Two years of consistent lobbying and grassroots efforts by IAR members brought victory — a final bill that protects property owners while allowing Cook County to go after scofflaws. See the story of how IAR changed policy in this new video .
THANK YOU, IAR members, for the part you played in protecting your clients and the real estate industry during the spring legislative session. Many answered an IAR Call for Action on a key bill, over 400 attended IAR Capitol Conference to personally deliver the REALTOR® message to lawmakers at the State Capitol, and 19 percent of IAR members have given to RPAC. The battles continue at the local, state and national level. If you are among the 81 percent who have not contributed to RPAC, please consider giving your $20 fair share today at www.RPAC.now . (Disclaimer: The Illinois REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) solicits contributions from IAR members only.)
Fixed mortgage rates continued to move upward with the 30-year, fixed rate averaging 3.91 percent and the 15-year averaging 3.03 percent last week, Freddie Mac reports .
Efforts to work through the inventory of distressed sales have been slow going in judicial foreclosure states such as Illinois, but the latest report from Lender Processing Services shows that rates in judicial states rose nearly 17 percent from March to April. Read more .
This you can help injured veterans in need of specially adapted homes by RSVPing a donation to the Illinois YPN's "Non-Event." All money will go to the non-profit organization Homes for Our Troops  and will be earmarked for an Illinois project. Watch and share this video  from REALTOR® Chris Mitchell and RSVP atypn.illinoisrealtor.org .
Big investment buyers increasingly bought up single-family homes in the first quarter of 2013, including in Illinois, which saw a 215 percent increase in institutional investor purchases during that time according to RealtyTrac data,Forbes reports .
A recent study of 24 major metro markets by ZipRealty found the number of listings outpaced those under contract in April, a sign that seller momentum could be picking up. Read more .
In May, 40 percent of sellers were confident that now is a good time to sell, up from 30 percent in April and 16 percent a year ago, according to Fannie Mae's latest National Housing Survey . And buyers are also optimistic about the market, with a survey high of 76 percent saying now is a good time to buy.
Join Terri Murphy on IAR Lunch and Learn webinar , "Mid-Year Makeover: Maximize your Marketing Opportunities with Strategies that Make More Sales." You'll learn fresh marketing ideas, a step-by-step formula to convert leads into sales and guidelines to help you become a local market expert.Click here to register  for this FREE, one-hour webinar that begins at .for this month's
The GRI program  comes back to Chicagoland this December! IAR will offer Courses II and III, , at the Westin in Itasca.The two-day GRI Grad program is . Registration is coming soon. Download the Course I equivalency application  and be ready for Course II this December.
Complete the licensing courses you need without leaving home. The IAR Licensing & Training Center  is offering a state-of-the-art, alternative classroom format that will appeal to those who want the convenience of learning at their own home or office yet want the interactive experience of a webinar. Find a list of upcoming pre-license, post-license and instructor webinars .
MREDpalooza , Chicagoland's largest real estate tech expo, will be held in Rosemont, Ill. Stop by IAR booth #102 and enter to win $500 cash!
Illinois YPN Non-Event benefiting Homes for Our Troops. RSVP at ypn.illinoisrealtor.org .
IAR Fall Conference & Expo in St. Charles . The speaker line-up has been released along with session details for the IAR Fall Conference in St. Charles. Click here  for speaker details and save these dates for The Power of R, Oct, 1-3.