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Illinois REALTOR® Weekly Connection

News and resources for Illinois REALTORS®

January 24, 2012

Legislative and Advocacy

REALTORS® Fighting for You
Illinois REALTORS® from around the state are meeting in East Peoria this week for IAR’s Public Policy Meetings. Why are the meetings important? It’s an opportunity for IAR members to make sure REALTORS® have a voice in local, state and federal public policy issues and legislative battles that affect your business. Stay up-to-date on everything happening at Public Policy this week by following the IARbuzz blog, Facebook and Twitter. The Twitter hashtag for the event is #iargov.

Get Educated with RVOICE Condo Brochure
The RVOICE brochure, "What You Need to Know About Purchasing a Condominium with an FHA-Insured Mortgage" aims to educate condo associations about FHA certification, an issue highlighted in Sunday's Chicago Tribune. IAR members can order the brochure in packs of 50 from the IAR REALTOR® Store (shipping charges apply) or download for free.


Market Stats and Research

Illinois Home Sales Up 14 Percent in December
Statewide home sales in December totaled 8,828 homes, a 14.0 percent increase from the 7,746 homes sold a year ago. The statewide median price, however, decreased 10.4 percent to $125,500, according to the latest IAR report. Looking at year-end data, Illinois home sales in 2011 were down 0.1 percent, nearly even with the previous year. “Buyers are finding deals that are simply too good to pass up, and that coupled with stronger consumer optimism is making this an excellent way to start 2012," said IAR President Loretta Alonzo. Find county-by-county data, talking points and the latest U of I forecast in Members Only Market Stats (login required). NAR also reported an uptrend in national December home sales.


Industry News and Trends

Reforming Fannie and Freddie
Federal lawmakers are expected to look at reforming Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae as early as this spring, according to NAR’s Speaking of Real Estate blog. Learn more about the potential reform ideas being proposed and watch a short NAR video.

Wanted: Affordable Housing Success Stories
The 2012 Governor's Conference on Affordable Housing is seeking nominees for the Illinois Affordable Housing Champion Awards, which recognizes innovation and excellence in affordable housing programs. The nomination deadline is Feb. 13. Find eligibility guidelines and a nominating form


Legal Issues

New Radon Disclosure Form for Leases/Rentals
Do you work with renters? Download the new Disclosure of Radon Hazards form for leases/rentals of a residential dwelling unit. Are radon disclosures required for rentals in every residential lease transaction? No, the form does not have to be provided in every residential lease transaction; only those where a radon test has been done, a radon hazard is indicated and the owner has not remediated using an IEMA licensed contractor, according to IAR's Legal Counsel. It's important to note that the radon disclosure requirement only covers the second floor and below of residential dwelling units.


Sales and Marketing

Buyers/Sellers Share What They Want From an Agent
Consumers are looking for real estate professionals who are accessible, build a sense of trust and educate clients without being condescending, according to a panel of buyers and sellers at Inman’s recent Real Estate Connect Conference. Another plus for consumers—paperless transactions.

The Hot Color for 2012? Tangerine Tango
Spice up your sellers’ listing with this bright reddish-orange hue that Pantone Color Institute has named the hot decorating color for 2012.

Networking and Designations
In an IARbuzz blog post, REALTOR® Deena Zimmerman writes about the benefits of earning a professional designation and how networking can help you with that goal.


Latest on License Law

Looking for proficiency exam locations?
IAR has more than 60 exam locations located around the state and space will get limited after April 1. The best advice? Take your exam as soon as possible!

Want a quick (and cost-effective) route to get your transition and CE?
Take the "IAR 30-Hour Transition Home Study" course (Item #625) available from the IAR REALTOR® Store - look under store category "Pre-License." The cost is $165. Once you have successfully completed the 30-hour course, there are no other continuing education hours required to renew your license. You also earn credit for GRI Course 1. This option is particularly good for members who are licensed as a salesperson and who have not taken any CE yet this year.  

IAR Transition Help Line
The IAR Transition Help Line is available 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. E-mail questions@IARlicenselaw.org or call 877-538-5861. Due to the high volume of calls to the help line, you may have to leave a voice message. You can also find transition information at IARlicenselaw.org.


Events

Energy Construction Code Training
The Illinois Energy Office is offering FREE training seminars throughout Illinois on new energy codes affecting construction, additions and renovations. Find a session near you.

IAR Housing Conference and Capitol Conference
This year's Capitol Conference in Springfield has even more to offer! Attend the IAR Housing Conference with Gov. Pat Quinn on March 26 followed by the 2012 Capitol Conference on March 27. You'll learn more about the legislative issues affecting your business and get a chance to share the REALTOR® message to state lawmakers.


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