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REALTORS® of South Central Kansas News

40,000 Could Lose Out in FHA Suspension

Wednesday, February 1 2017 2:37 PM
Categorized In REALTORS®

The Trump Administration's suspension of reduced FHA mortgage insurance premiums is the top story in the latest Voice for Real Estate news video from NAR. As many as 40,000 households could be priced out of home buying if the suspension remains in place, NAR says. Other segments look at the 10-year high in home sales in 2016, what's happening with the Ben Carson nomination for HUD secretary. and how clients can use a reverse mortgage to buy a home. Share video link

CFPB Hits Brokers For Marketing Agreements

Wednesday, February 1 2017 2:36 PM
Categorized In REALTORS®

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau yesterday fined a mortgage lender, two real estate brokerages, and a mortgage servicing company for referral arrangements the companies had entered into that CFPB says are prohibited under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). In a statement, CFPB Director Richard Cordray says the action "sends a clear message that it is illegal to make or accept payments for mortgage referrals."  Read More

Rural Development Fees Reduced

Friday, October 28 2016 10:29 AM
Categorized In REALTORS®

Upfront and annual guarantee fees from the USDA's Rural Development program have been reduced. The upfront fee is 1 percent of the loan amount, down from 1.35 percent, and the annual fee is 0.35 percent of the average unpaid principal balance, a reduction of 0.15 percent.

Home Aid Increase for Disabled Vets

Friday, October 28 2016 10:29 AM
Categorized In REALTORS®

Disabled veterans can get slightly more assistance under the federal government’s specially adapted housing program. The program makes funds available to veterans to build or remodel housing that meets their needs.

NAR Presses CFPB on Closing Disclosure Access

Thursday, October 20 2016 9:41 AM
Categorized In REALTORS®

As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) considers updates to the Know Before You Owe initiative, NAR has submitted comments urging the agency to emphasize in its rule that real estate professionals may have access to the Closing Disclosure. NAR also asked the agency to take steps to decrease uncertainty during the closing process. More.

Court Sides with PHH Upholding RESPA Section 8

Thursday, October 13 2016 3:30 PM
Categorized In REALTORS®
On October, 11, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued an opinion in the case of PHH v. CFPB. In this case, the court vacated a $109 million penalty imposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) against PHH Corporation for allegedly violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by paying for referrals where there is federally related mortgage.

The court held in favor of PHH, stating that payments for bona fide services provided and made at fair market value do not violate RESPA, reinforcing NAR’s support of marketing service agreements. The court held the CFPB’s unreasonable departure from longstanding prior RESPA interpretations issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and retroactive application of its novel interpretation of the law violated PHH’s due process rights. The court also called into question the legal authority and unchecked power of the CFPB and rejected the CFPB’s understanding of their essentially unlimited statute of limitations authority, remanding the case for further proceedings. 

Industry greatly welcomes this decision by the court. The CFPB, however, will almost certainly  appeal the case, either en banc to the full bench of the D.C. Circuit or directly to the Supreme Court. Last year, NAR filed an amicus brief in support of PHH, arguing that the CFPB incorrectly and retroactively overturned settled legal interpretations of RESPA. The court’s opinion is consistent with NAR’s position, and also concludes that the CFPB’s action violated PHH’s due process rights, and that some of the alleged violations are well outside the applicable statute of limitations.  

While the CFPB will likely continue enforcement actions with respect to payments tied directly to referrals, its efforts to challenge payments for services provided as disguised referral fees will be stymied in the near future. Real estate professionals must still proceed with caution when entering into MSAs and ensure compliance with RESPA – that payment for goods and services actually furnished or performed are made at fair (“reasonable”) market value. Best practices for these agreements include memorializing the MSA in writing, insuring that bona fide services are provided, disclosing the relationship to the consumer, and obtaining independent valuations of the marketing and advertising services.

See President Tom Salomone's statement on the case.

Read the full opinion here 

For best practices on marketing service agreements, see NAR’s RESPA Do’s for MSAs.

For more background on the case, view NAR’s Window to the Law analysis.

FHA Single Family Handbook Update Delivers Clarity for Appraisers, Say Realtors®

Thursday, October 13 2016 3:27 PM
Categorized In REALTORS®

October 5, 2016

Media Contact: Jon Boughtin / 202-383-1193 

Realtors® raised concerns earlier this year when the Federal Housing Administration’s “Single Family Housing Policy Handbook” included new requirements for appraisers to operate and physically observe appliances on a property during the completion of an appraisal. This inspector-type role far exceeded previously understood appraiser duties and had the potential to make appraisals longer and more costly for consumers.

In response to those concerns, HUD recently announced updates (link is external) to their SF Handbook that clarifies this requirement. According to the new guidance, appraisers must simply note that certain appliances contributing to the market value of the property are physically present.

The National Association of Realtors® expressed appreciation to FHA for its clarification in the following statement from NAR President Tom Salomone:

“Appraisers have a lot on their plate, and READ MORE . . . 

National Association of REALTORS® News

Saturday, August 6 2016 12:00 AM
Categorized In REALTORS®
  • H.R. 3700 Becomes Law...President Obama on July 31 signed H.R. 3700, the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act, which makes it easier for condo buyers to obtain mortgage credit. NAR has long been an advocate of the bill, testifying before Congress and lobbying for its passage. Details and videoVideo message from NAR President Tom Salomone.
  • Rural Loan Funds Running Out...The federal Rural Housing Service only has funds for its Sec. 502 direct loan program for about three more weeks. After that, borrowers will have to wait until the start of the new fiscal year in October to get a loan. There are alternatives, though, including the agency’s guaranteed loan program. The rural loan issue is a top story in The Voice for Real Estate for the week of Aug 1. Other stories look at President Obama’s signing of the NAR-backed condo bill, whether home sales have peaked for the year, and which metro areas are impacted by the federal government’s stepped-up effort against money laundering in real estate. The video also looks at how residential rules to come out after the mortgage crisis are impacting commercial real estate lending, and NAR’s victory this week when the federal government issued a statement that says lenders and title officers have no reason to cite privacy concerns as a reason for not sharing the closing disclosure in residential transactions with agents. Access and share the video.
  • CFPB: Lenders Can Share Disclosure...The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has announced a proposed rule that would make clear it is appropriate for lenders to share the Closing Disclosure (CD) with real estate professionals. Since the implementation of the agency’s “Know Before You Owe” mortgage initiative in 2015, lenders have been reluctant to share the document out of concern that they could be held responsible for improperly disclosing clients’ nonpublic personal information. NAR urged the CFPB to clarify the issue. More.
  • NAR Examining Dodd-Frank Update...In case you missed it: NAR says it is pleased with provisions in the Financial Choice Act that will enhance transparency, accountability, and fairness in the financial system. But the association isn’t prepared to support the bill, which would update Dodd-Frank banking regulations, as it presently stands because of continuing concerns with its approach to reforms. More.
  • FinCEN Expands Efforts to Stop Money Laundering...The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), one of the Treasury Department's lead agencies in the fight against money laundering, has expanded the number of geographic areas where title companies must identify the people behind legal entities used to pay cash for high-end residential real estate. Details.Video.

National Association of REALTORS® News

Sunday, July 24 2016 6:37 AM
Categorized In REALTORS®
  • Senate Passes H.R. 3700…The U.S. Senate unanimously passed H.R. 3700, the "Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act," on July 14. The legislation includes reforms to current Federal Housing Administration restrictions on condominium financing, among other provisions, and has long been supported by NAR. President Obama is expected to sign it. News release. More.
  • Voice for Real Estate: Housing Symposium, Condo Win…The latest Voice for Real Estate news video takes a look at the Housing For All symposium NAR hosted this week. Hundreds of housing experts joined NAR to explore solutions to affordable housing and homelessness challenges. NAR Vice President for Government Affairs Sherri Meadows hosted the event, which took place over two days in Washington. The video also looks at NAR's big FHA condo loan win, surveillance video issues, and NAR efforts to curb Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuits. Access and share the video.
  • NAR Supports Financial Choice Act…NAR has sent a letter to the House Financial Services Committee supporting the Financial Choice Act (FCA), which would update the Dodd-Frank banking regulations. Among other changes, the FCA would make adjustments to the Truth in Lending Act’s definition of "points and fees," allowing for greater consumer choice in mortgage and settlement services under the Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule. Details.
  • NAR Urges Changes to Distressed Asset Program…NAR has asked the FHA to require investors to prioritize owner-occupants when looking to sell a foreclosed property as part of the agency’s efforts to enhance the Distressed Asset Stabilization Program. In a letter to HUD Secretary Julián Castro, NAR President Tom Salomone also expressed support for the FHA’s decision to involve community partners in the acquisition of loan pools through expansion of its auction program to nonprofits. More.
  • Senate Passes FAA Bill…The Senate has passed the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2016, which funds the FAA through Sept. 30, 2017, and was approved by the House earlier in July. The bill includes a provision that allows the FAA to authorize Section 333 exemption holders to operate drones for beyond-visual-line-of-sight and night flights. More.

National Association of REALTORS® News

Sunday, July 17 2016 7:22 AM
Categorized In REALTORS®
  • Changes to Appraiser Requirements…Supervisory Appraisers no longer need to be state certified and in good standing in the jurisdiction where a Trainee Appraiser they supervise conducts appraisals under changes made by the Appraiser Qualifications Board. Supervisory Appraisers must still be state certified appraisers in good standing for a minimum of three years prior to supervising other appraisers. The changes, which took effect July 1, are in line with previous requests made by NAR. More.

  • House Panel Approves ADA Updates…The House Judiciary Committee on July 7 approved a bill, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 3765), that would curb the practice of so-called “drive-by” lawsuits, in which litigants attempt to force settlements that consist primarily of attorneys’ fees for easily correctable violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. NAR, along with IREM and CCIM, joined a coalition letter sent to the committee in support of the bill, known as H.R. 3765. Details.

  • Proposed Changes to Water Regulations…The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has proposed changes to the process it uses to issue streamlined authorizations for dredge-and-fill activities that the Corps has determined will have minimal adverse effects on the aquatic environment. NAR will be commenting on the proposed revisions. More.

  • Voice for Real Estate: Brexit, Drones, Flood Ins…In case you missed it: The latest Voice for Real Estate news video looks at the Brexit impact on U.S. real estate, the federal government’s final rule on the commercial use of drones, testimony from a REALTOR® on federal flood insurance, and the Call for Action on condo financing, The video also excerpts from, and links to, the recent tax planning webcast. Click here to watch.

National Association of REALTORS® News

Saturday, July 2 2016 4:57 AM
Categorized In REALTORS®
  • 95,000 Urge Senate Action on Condo Financing…If you have not already joined the tens of thousands of REALTORS® who have already responded to NAR’s Call for Action on FHA-insured condo financing, it just takes a visit to the REALTOR® Action Center to send a message urging senators to vote for legislation supported by NAR that would make it easier to buy a condo. The bill, S. 3083, would also streamline rural housing programs and is virtually identical to H.R. 3700, which the House passed unanimously in February.

  • NAR Leads Call to Reduce GSE Fees…NAR, joined by 24 other organizations, is urging the Federal Housing Finance Agency to reduce or eliminate loan-level price adjustments (LLPAs) charged by the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In a June 22 letter to FHFA Director Mel Watt, the consortium said that LLPAs combined with guarantee fees that have more than doubled since 2011 have effectively resulted in many qualified borrowers being priced away from the conforming loan market. Details.

  • Hearing Focuses on Banking Regulations…The Senate held a hearing on June 23 that focused on how regulations implemented to prevent another financial crisis may have unintentionally made it harder for small lenders to make financing available to their communities. More.

  • Why Won't That Lender Give You the Closing Disclosure?...Agents across the country say lenders are refusing to give them their client's closing disclosure, saying it's a privacy violation. But nothing in the law has changed to increase lenders' privacy liability, NAR says, and you can still access the document to advise your clients. The issue is a top story in The Voice for Real Estate news video.

  • Legal Pulse Newsletter for Third Quarter…Structural defects and water-related issues continued to show up in court decisions, but no licensees were held liable for damages over any disclosure issues in the cases published during the last quarter, according to the latest edition of NAR’s Legal Pulse newsletter. The report, for the first three months of 2016, looks at recent cases related to agency, property condition disclosures, RESPA and employment. Executive summary. Highlights video.

National Association of REALTORS® News

Tuesday, June 21 2016 9:41 AM
Categorized In REALTORS®
  • Uh-Oh, New Home Construction Is Flatlining…Nationwide housing starts – including single-family and multifamily production – mostly held flat at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.16 million in May. Permit issuance – a gauge of future construction – also held mostly flat at an annual rate of 1.14 million.  Read More

  • 7 Sins of Personal Branding…Correct these mistakes to hone in on your brand statement and attract the ideal customer.  What is a “personal brand”? Just like company or product branding, it’s built around imaging and messaging that is designed to create a feeling. Your personal brand influences how you want others to feel about you.  Read More

  • 9 Tax Deductions Every Real Estate Agent Should Know…Closing a real estate sale requires a big investment of your time and money. Whether expenses are business, personal, or something in between can be unclear — leading to missed deductions and overpayment of taxes.  Read More

  • The Threat of Wire Fraud Is Real…When NAR General Counsel Katie Johnson asked a group of real estate professionals whether they or someone they knew had clients that were victims of wire fraud, more than one-third of the audience at the Idea Exchange Council for Brokers raised their hands.  Read More

Broker Council Update

Friday, June 17 2016 11:33 AM
Categorized In REALTORS®
Kansas Real Estate Commission Executive Director Erik Wisner provided a thorough update on various activities occurring at KREC to the RSCK Broker Council.  He covered a multitude of topics, including legislation, technology, staffing and broker responsibilities and compliance. Erik and Sue also drew two business cards from those in attendance and Patty Sanders presented each with a $100 gift card. 


Erik Wisner, Sue Wenger, Patty Sanders, & Jerry Vadnais 

National Association of REALTORS® News

Friday, June 17 2016 11:00 AM
Categorized In REALTORS®
  • Call for Action on H.R. 3700...Please take action and urge the Senate to follow the House's lead by passing H.R. 3700, the "Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016." The bill makes needed reforms to the FHA condominium loan program, federal assisted housing programs and Rural Housing Service loan programs. Letter to Senate.
  • House Examines Banking Rules...NAR expressed its support for a hearing the House Small Business Committee held June 9 to examine the burden the Dodd-Frank banking regulations have placed on small banks and rural communities. During the hearing, representatives of community banks testified that the increase in compliance requirements has impacted their ability make lending decisions based on creditworthiness. More
  • Live webcast: Preparing Now for Tax Time...You can hear from, and ask questions of, two accountants who work extensively with real estate clients on what to do throughout the year to maximize their tax position in a live webcast on Thursday, June 23, 2-3 p.m., Eastern time. Presenters are Peter Baker of Business Planning Group in Washington, D.C., and Linda de Marlor of Tax-Masters, Inc., Rockville, Md. Registration link.
  • Tell Lenders Sharing Closing Disclosure is OK, NAR Urges CFPB...NAR is asking the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to make clear to lenders that they may share the Closing Disclosure (CD) with real estate professionals and other third parties as long as the borrower provides consent. In a letter to the CFPB, NAR President Tom Salomone also asked the agency to provide lenders with additional guidance about revising the CD after sending it to the borrower and extend the deadline for correcting minor Know Before You Go errors from 30 to 180 days.

National Association of REALTORS® News

Monday, June 13 2016 4:32 AM
Categorized In REALTORS®
  • Move Inc.-Zillow Lawsuit Settled...Zillow agreed to pay $130 million to settle allegations that two of its executives stole trade secrets from Move Inc., operator of®. "We are pleased that the parties have reached an amicable resolution," NAR President Tom Salomone said in a prepared statement. NAR was a co-plaintiff in the suit, brought in 2014 against Zillow and the two executives, both former executives of Move. Move and NAR had accused the former Move executives, Errol Samuelson and Curt Beardsley, of stealing confidential documents and breaching their fiduciary duties to the company. 

  • Live webcast: Preparing Now for Tax Time…You can hear from, and ask questions of, two accountants who work extensively with real estate clients on what to do throughout the year to maximize your tax position in a live webcast on Thursday, June 23, 2-3 p.m., Eastern time. Presenters are Peter Baker of Business Planning Group in Washington, D.C., and Linda de Marlor of Tax-Masters, Inc., Rockville, Md. Registration link.

  • Watch and Respond to NAR Call to Action...During the 2016 REALTOR® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo one of the talking points for Capitol Hill visits was focused on H.R. 3700, the Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act of 2016.  This bill passed unanimously in the House (427-0 vote) yet it languishes in the United States Senate, the victim of election year posturing. On Monday, June 13, 2016 NAR will launch a Call for Action to all REALTORS® asking all 100 United States Senators to pass H.R. 3700. NAR expects the Call For Action to remain active until the Senate begins its summer recess scheduled for July 18, 2016.

    Background Information:
    NAR Issue Summary
    HR 3700 Bill Summary
    NAR Letter to House of Representatives
    NAR Letter to Senate

National Association of REALTORS® News

Friday, June 3 2016 10:06 AM
Categorized In REALTORS®
  • 20% of REALTORS® In Business Under A Year…Increasing the number of young people in real estate has been a longstanding goal of the industry, so it's good news that the median age of REALTORS® dropped this year. It's now at 53, down from 57 last year. What's driving the decrease is two trends: an increase in REALTORS® under 30, and a drop in REALTORS® over 65.  Read more and see latest video here.  

  • Temporary  Health Insurance Option Available…If you missed open enrollment and need health insurance, REALTORS® Insurance Marketplace has options. The SMART Short Term Medical plan is an option if you need coverage until the end of the year. It’s designed to be affordable and can last from 30 days to six months.

  • Homepage Streamlined...NAR has redesigned the homepage to provide information in a focused, flexible, mobile-friendly way.

  • Win on Supreme Court Clean Water Act Case…In a victory for real estate, the U.S Supreme Court yesterday ruled that property owners don’t have to wait until they have a permit denied before they can sue the federal government over whether their property is subject to Clean Water Act regulation. In an amicus curiae brief it filed on the case, NAR said it was unfair to make property owners go through an expensive and time consuming permitting process before receiving a ruling, or jurisdictional determination, on whether their property contains a wetlands or other body of water subject to regulation. Background and NAR amicus brief. Background summary in the March 23 Voice for Real Estate.  

National Association of REALTORS® News

Friday, May 27 2016 2:40 PM
Categorized In REALTORS®
  • Median REALTOR® Age Declines…The median age and years of experience of REALTORS® is decreasing as younger professionals enter the industry, according to the 2016 NAR Member Profile. The typical member reported a median of 10 years of experience in real estate, down from 12 years in last year's report, while the median REALTOR® age decreased from 57 in 2014 to 53 in 2015. News release and Infographic.

  • FHA Proposes Reverse Mort. Program Rule…The FHA has proposed a rule that would strengthen the rules governing Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM), also known as reverse mortgages. Among other things, the rule would require counseling before a mortgage contract is signed, cap lifetime interest rate increases on all adjustable rate HECM loans at 5 percent, and reduce the cap on annual interest rate increases on adjustable rate HECMs from 2 percent to 1 percent. More info. For background on reverse mortgages, view a webcast on the topic that NAR hosted in April.

  • Report Examines Online Marketplace Lending…The Treasury Department has released a report detailing the benefits and risks associated with online marketplace lending, an alternative to traditional lending for small businesses looking to raise capital. Learn more and access report.

  • Voice for Real Estate: BOD Decisions…In case you missed it: The latest Voice for Real Estate news video looks at changes to core standards, a new policy on student loan debt, and other decisions made by the NAR Board of Directors at its meeting in Washington a week and a half ago. Access here.

Combined Ark City & Winfield Councils Lunch & Learn

Wednesday, May 25 2016 6:16 AM
Categorized In REALTORS®

RSCK General Counsel and Direcotr of Governmental Affairs, Moji Fanimonkun discusses legislative issues and RPAC with the Ark City and Winfield Lunch and Learn attendees on Tuesday, May 24th.


The session was hosted by Bonnie Niles (RSCK Director - Ark City) and Megan Pringle (RSCK DIrector - Winfield).  President Patty Sanders and President-Elect Jerry Vadnais spoke to the group about various items that have been in the works this year, as well as a look to the future.  Committee Chairs Nancy Suter (Government Affairs) and Monica Miller (Professional Development) along with RSCK staff members attended and presented various topics. 

CMLS and NAR Announce Cooperative Agreement

Sunday, May 15 2016 6:36 AM
Categorized In REALTORS®

Yesterday, Dale Stinton, CEO of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR); Rick Harris, Chairman of the MLS Issues and Policy Committee for NAR; and I announced a new cooperative agreement between NAR and CMLS at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington DC. 

This new agreement is the first step in establishing a collaborative relationship between the two organizations and leverages the expertise and experience of our CMLS members. It also demonstrates a commitment by both organizations to better serve our constituencies through collaboration. This will be accomplished along two lines: by inviting the MLS voice into discussions and decisions through NAR committees and advisory boards, and through the creation of specific programs. 

  • On the recommendation of CMLS, NAR will appoint three CMLS specific seats to the NAR MLS Technology and Emerging Issues Advisory Board.
  • From CMLS nominations, two CMLS members will join the AE Institute Curriculum Advisory Board.
  • After receiving recommendations from CMLS, one CMLS member will hold a seat on the NAR Association Executive Committee.
  • CMLS and NAR have each committed to provide reports to each other’s leadership at meetings held during the year.   
  • A future initiative will be developed to explore and assist with potential MLS collaborations and consolidations. 
  • An annual meeting will be established between CMLS leadership, NAR leadership, and members of the brokerage community. 
  • A joint-proposition “game changers” program will be established to create the next big MLS idea that will lead to a more efficient marketplace. 

These commitments, including greater MLS representation on NAR committees and advisory boards, will provide a foundation of cooperation toward the resolution of the issues that may arise within the real estate industry. The CMLS forward-thinking approach will bring our knowledge and experience to the discussions, our ability to advance the combined interests of our industry will be acted upon, and our desire for open and honest communication will be valued. The committee appointments, specifically, will provide a voice for the MLS industry. 

In the weeks ahead, expect more communication regarding this new cooperative agreement between CMLS and NAR. I am sure you will agree that this is representative of a very exciting time for the MLS community. I see it as a promising opportunity for all of us to come together and do a better job for all our constituents to align the real estate industry toward a better, more efficient marketplace. 

National Association of REALTORS® News

Sunday, May 15 2016 6:24 AM
Categorized In REALTORS®

NAR Mid-Year Update...See below for updates from the week at NAR Mid-Year.  

NAR Board Enhances Core Standards, Adopts Policy on Student Loan Debt
The National Association of REALTORS®’ Board of Directors at its May 14 meeting in Washington voted to add several requirements to the Organizational Alignment/Core Standards for REALTOR® associations and adopted a policy that seeks to ease student debt burdens that threaten to make it harder for people to become home buyers.

The board kept NAR dues at $120 for 2017, approved a three-year extension of the $35 special assessment that funds the consumer advertising campaign, and approved creation of a uniform communications platform for NAR's committees, advisory boards, and forums.

Core Standards
Among other changes, for the compliance cycle starting July 1, 2016, associations must do the following:

--Engage in at least two activities per year that demonstrate how the association is the “Voice for Real Estate" in its market, and at least two activities demonstrating the association’s investment in the community.

--Require six hours of professional development for volunteers who carry out responsibilities that would otherwise be handled by paid staff.

--Offer, promote, or provide at least one professional development opportunity for members every year.

--Annually certify that they have conducted an activity promoting REALTOR® safety.

--Provide resources for or access to leadership development education or training for their elected REALTOR® leaders, and document those resources.

--Include a voluntary political action committee or political advocacy fund contribution on their dues statements, unless prohibited by law.

The board decided to transition to a calendar-year compliance cycle for the standards. As a result, the next compliance cycle will last 18 months, from July 1, 2016, through Dec. 31, 2017. Watch for a complete list of updates at’s Core Standards page.

MLS policy
With concerns growing over copyright infringement, the board approved changes to the Handbook on Multiple Listing Policy to reflect the importance of MLS users granting the MLS the licenses necessary to store, reproduce, compile and distribute listing information. In addition, the board is taking steps to increase cooperation and information sharing between NAR and the Council of Multiple Listing Services, a professional trade organization for multiple listing services. 

Student loan debt
In response to growing concerns over the impact of student debt on the ability to buy a home, the board adopted a policy that seeks to allow student borrowers to refinance their loans and streamline income-based repayment programs. Additionally, NAR supports proposals that promote student loan simplification, clarity, and education. And NAR will take steps to ensure that mortgage underwriting guidelines related to student loan debt are standardized and do not impair home ownership.

Consumer advertising campaign

The board continued for three years the annual $35 special assessment to fund the consumer advertising campaign. Results of a member survey conducted in April 2016 show that 87% of 
REALTORS® favor NAR's advertising program and 88% of REALTORS® would like to see more NAR advertising that promotes real estate activity and advances the REALTOR® profession.
REALTORS® at the meetings learned about NAR’s partnership with ABC sitcom “Modern Family,” which includes integration into an episode (original air date: May 4) and ads featuring actor Ty Burrell, who portrays REALTOR® Phil Dunphy on the popular show. Burrell, who has won two Emmy awards for his portrayal of Dunphy, will make an appearance at NAR’s annual meeting in Orlando, Nov. 4–7. 

Board elections
The board elected its 2017 first vice president, John Smaby, CRB, GRI, of Edina, Minn., and its 2017-18 treasurer, Tom Riley, CCIM, CRB, of Bedford, N.H. JoAnne Poole of Glen Burnie, Md., also ran for the first vice president position. 

The other 2017 officers are Bill Brown of Oakland, Calif., president; Elizabeth Mendenhall, CIPS, CRB, of Columbia, Mo., president-elect; Mabel Guzman, AHWD, of Chicago, vice president; and Kevin Sears of Springfield, Mass., vice president. 

Committee communications
The board approved a proposal for NAR to acquire a dedicated communications platform for use by NAR committees, advisory groups, advisory boards, forums, and councils. The system will encourage greater dialogue among committee members and provide more security than email and public social networks. Its use will be mandatory.

In response to homelessness and rising housing insecurity, the board adopted a policy urging state and local REALTOR® associations to work with their communities’ stakeholders to develop innovative and proactive strategies to aid citizens experiencing homelessness or facing problems paying for housing.

Association name changes
The board voted to authorize association staff to approve name change applications when the state name is being shortened to the abbreviation for that state.

The board approved an increase in the RPAC fundraising goal from $4.77 to $6.36 per member, which would raise $24.5 million for the 2017-18 election cycle.

In addition, the board voted to phase out the Large Firm Involvement Advisory Board because its activities are covered under the REALTOR® Party. 

Grants to REALTOR® associations
The board and Leadership Team approved grants to a number of local and state associations for campaigns and ballot initiatives. For example, NAR is supporting the Puerto Rico Association of REALTORS®’ efforts to repeal a sales tax on real estate services, a Metropolitan Indianapolis Association of REALTORS®’ campaign to pass a ballot resolution to increase funding for public transportation, a Texas Association of REALTORS® effort to lower local property taxes, and a Missouri Association of REALTORS®’ initiative campaign to pass a state constitutional amendment preemptively prohibiting a sales tax on real estate services.

Homebuyer savings accounts
The board voted to support tax-advantaged programs to allow people to save money for home down payments, and encourage more states to implement these types of plans.

Professional standards
To improve Code of Ethics enforcement, the board voted on the following changes to the Standards of Practice, to take effect Jan. 1, 2017:

-- Ensure accountability on the part of terminated or resigned respondents so they may not circumvent their obligations under the REALTOR® Code of Ethics by resigning or otherwise causing membership to terminate prior to an ethics complaint being filed or prior to an ethics hearing being held.

-- Require ethics hearing panels to specify consequences for failure to comply with discipline imposed in ethics cases, thereby increasing the association's ethics enforcement capabilities.

-- Protect a respondent's right to appeal increased discipline imposed by an ethics hearing panel subsequent to Board of Directors review.

-- Provide complainants with additional time, until adjournment of an ethics hearing, to withdraw their complaint should they choose to do so.

-- Expedite delivery of an ethics respondent's reply to the complainant, consistent with parallel provisions in the arbitration section of the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual.

-- Begin the process leading to the selection of an ethics hearing date within five days after a complaint is forwarded for a hearing. While a final hearing date will likely not be selected during this time, involving the parties in a discussion of a time frame greatly reduces requests for continuances closer to the hearing date.

The board heard a report from Dale Ross, CEO of REALTORS Property Resource® (RPR®). Ross said Advanced Multi-List Platform™ (AMP™) testing will take place in five markets across the United States by the end of 2016, and multiple listing services in four additional markets will begin in the first quarter of 2017. Separately, Ross said that Project Upstream testing will begin with brokers in several markets later this year.

Bob Goldberg, president and CEO of the REALTORS® Information Network and a senior vice president of NAR, said the .REALTOR top-level domain (TLD) remains among the fastest-growing TLDs in the history of the Internet. The period for members to claim a free .REALTOR domain, which was to have ended in 2016, has been extended for several more years.  Goldberg added that NAR plans to launch the .realestate top level domain in late 2016.®
Luke Glass, executive vice president of Move Inc., which operates®, said traffic to the website has expanded significantly since News Corp purchased Move. News Corp owns a number of media properties, including The Wall Street Journal.

NAR presented Distinguished Service Awards to two REALTORS®: Pat Kaplan, GRI, GREEN, Portland, Ore., and Barbara Lach, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI, PMN, of Columbus, Ohio. The award recognizes people who have shown meritorious service to the association for at least 25 years.

In addition, Andrea Bushnell, RCE, CAE, chief executive officer of the North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, is the recipient of the 2016 William R. Magel Award of Excellence. She will be formally recognized at the 2016 REALTORS® Conference and Expo Orlando, Fla.

Finally, the board passed resolutions honoring longtime REALTORS® Owen V. Hall of Celina, Ohio, and William P. Thomas of Manahawkin, N.J., who passed away recently.