This month I’d like to tell you about some business that we conducted in Washington D.C. at this year’s Mid-year Conference of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR):
First, the NAR Board of Directors took a major step in increasing professionalism by authorizing a new way for local boards and associations to enforce Code of Ethics violations. Local associations that vote to adopt the policy can publicize the names of offenders after their second violation of the Code of Ethics. Additionally, they can also publish photographs of these members. This stepped-up enforcement is based on a pilot program that was conducted in California. Now violators and repeat offenders can no longer depend on fines as a cost of doing business because the public will see that they are violators of the Code of Ethics.
Second, another important vote mandates that a listing broker or agent is required to respond in writing that an offer was submitted to the seller if requested by the buyer’s broker or agent. If the cooperating broker who submitted this offer requests this, the listing agent must respond in writing unless the seller has provided written notification waiving the obligation to have the offer presented. Think about that… in this busy market, people are questioning whether or not offers are actually getting submitted. Now you can request written confirmation that the offer was indeed submitted. If you have any questions about this, call RIAR’s Legal Counsel, Monica Staaf, at 401.432.6945.
Third, we had an important election. Those of you that are on the RIAR Board of Directors met the two candidates for the 2019 NAR First Vice-President slot – Charlie Oppler from New Jersey and Sherry Meadows from Florida. The election was very close, with only nine votes separating the winner from the loser. Charlie Oppler was victorious so he is scheduled to be the 2021 President of the National Association of REALTORS®.
Fourth, dues. This is something that created a little bit of controversy. We voted to increase dues $30, $17 of which is actually coming back into Rhode Island in the form of REALTOR® party support to help with our legislative initiatives and provide for candidates or politicians who defend private property ownership rights. Some of these initiatives include:
- A proposed change to the index cap on state and local tax deductions. You may remember that with the tax reform bill there was a cap of $10,000 for state and local taxes. We want that to be indexed so that as inflation goes up, that $10,000 number will also go up.
- We also want to eliminate the marriage penalty for the state and local tax deduction cap. Right now, you get a $10,000 cap regardless if you’re a single person or a married couple. We believe that if you’re married, the deduction should be $20,000.
- In addition, we want to provide tax relief to those with student debt in any way we can.
Finally, NAR announced that the Innovation Opportunity Investment Conference Tech Summit (IOI) will be held in San Francisco California from August 28 through 30th. This will bring technologists, real estate experts and capital providers together on behalf of real estate to help our members. You can read more about this exciting event on NAR.realtor.
If you have questions or comments about any of the votes, initiatives or IOI, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the best,