The Illinois Association of REALTORS® wishes you a safe and happy Fourth of July holiday. The IAR office in Springfield will be closedin observance of the holiday. The IAR Legal Hotline will be closed and will reopen on .
Proposed changes to the state's Life Safety Code would mandate fire sprinkler systems in all new single- and two-family residential construction, driving up housing costs.IARbuzz has the details about why IAR opposes the measure and what happens next .
U.S. pending home sales rose in May to the highest level since 2006, signaling that rising interest rates may be prompting more consumers to get off the fence and buy a home while affordability is still high, NAR reports. Read more from NAR and watch a video with NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun .
Mortgage rates  continued to climb with a 30-year, fixed rate averaging 4.46 percent, but rates are still low historically.
First-time home buyers are making up a smaller share of the market — 28 percent of home purchases in May compared to 34 percent a year ago, NAR reports .
Social media continues to impact the real estate brokerage business. In the latest D.R. Legal News , IAR Chief Legal Counsel Steve Bochenek writes about the need to understand the interplay of social media with the Real Estate License Act, ethics rules and company policies. Read Steve's column  and download last week's IAR Legal Webinar on the topic, "#What'sTrendingLegally " (login required.)
Read about the latest disciplinary actions  taken by the Real Estate Division of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
The next FREE, one-hour IAR Legal Webinar is at email@example.com .. IAR Chief Legal Counsel Steve Bochenek and Legal Hotline Attorney Betsy Urbance will be answering your questions covering issues important to you. Send your question in advance to
In a win for property rights supporters, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with a Florida landowner in a case involving property rights and land-use permits. NAR helped develop and signed on to an Amicus Brief supporting the landowner. Read more from NAR .
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 .
Missed last week's Lunch and Learn webinar, " Maximize your Marketing Opportunities with Strategies that Make More Sales," with Terri Murphy? IAR members can download a recording  of the one-hour webinar (login required.) Coming : John D. Reyes will share steps to building greater business value.
Have you found success targeting a particular niche real estate market? Do you cater to senior buyers, focus on luxury properties or work the commercial market? Send us your tips and ideas  for developing a niche and you could be featured in an upcoming IAR publication. Do you have a unique or emerging niche? We want to hear about that too!
International buyers of U.S. properties generated $68.2 billion in the 12 months ending March 2013, marking a $14 billion decline from the year before, according to NAR's 2013 Profile of International Home Buying Activity .
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, .
Registration Now Live for the Graduate REALTOR Institute in Itasca.Visit www.illinoisrealtor.org/GRI  and register today. The program comes back to Chicagoland this December with Courses II, III and Grad.