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C.A.R. Spring Meeting Reports, May 7th - 5th, 2017

posted May 31, 2017, 4:22 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Jun 3, 2017, 10:45 AM by Richard D'Ascoli ]
JEFF CAMPBELL 
CAR REPORT – DIRECTOR/ EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
2017 LEGISLATIVE MEETING- SACRAMENTO

Directors convened to lobby legislators to author bills and support positions that are Real Estate sensible. These include property rights and business and consumer freedoms and protections within our industry.

 In addition to lobbying, directors took on the business of CAR as you will see on the accompanying reports. The most important political issue in the state was a bill born out of our own PSAR area and region 30 service area. Local assemblywoman, Lorena Gonzales introduced a bill on February 16, 2017 as follows: 

AB1059 : Notwithstanding any other law, an agent shall not act as a dual agent in a commercial real estate transaction. 1
This plainly states that, if passed, Dual Agency would be illegal in commercial real estate transactions. Could this be a ripple effect of the Horiike v. Coldwell Banker dual agency case? Are there more bills to follow?  This is uncertain. What is certain is that CAR must educate legislators, the public and REALTORS® about the advantage of Dual Agency and the extraordinary client care involved in such a relationship.
Cal. Civil Code §761.  (d) “Commercial real property” means all real property in the state, except single-family residential real property, dwelling units made subject to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 1940) of Title 5, mobilehomes, as defined in Section 798.3, or recreational vehicles, as defined in Section 799.29. 2
This definition applies to the bill as proposed by Gonzales. It is easy to see how multiple loopholes could develop in excluding or including mobile homes as dwelling units. However, this really isn’t the point of disservice that this bill represents. This bill represents constraint of business. Rather than offer consumer protection, it represents constraint of consumer choice.
When a client builds relationship with a REALTOR®; a meaningful, trusting, built on past performance relationship to such an extent that the client will not go with any other agent at any time for any reason, and our lawmakers propose that this relationship can no longer exist in the purchase or certain properties, then the lawmakers are not building and encouraging these most sanctified relationships, but they are discouraging trusted relationships and prohibiting their existence. 
CAR directors have voted to stand against this bill which is currently in the Judiciary Committee. REALTORS® met with Gonzales and expressed their opposition. Legislative Day attendee and PSAR member Rafael Perez is our key contact who is working hard on this issue. He realizes that laws affecting Commercial real estate likely will one day affect all real estate. Get involved with PSAR to make sure that sensible legislation is passed and consumer and business restrictive bills, like AB1059 do not pass.
Citations

JAN FARLEY
CAR REPORT – DIRECTOR
2017 LEGISLATIVE MEETING- SACRAMENTO

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Leg Day in Sacramento on May 3, which gave us the opportunity to meet with the legislators from our area to discuss areas of potential legislation that may be impactful to the real estate industry and/or the people we serve. It was great to have a voice and to feel like we were being heard in our discussions.

I attended the meeting of the Land Use and Environmental committee. The hottest topic of discussion was if we were going to recommend that CAR support legislation that would allow the issuance of a building permit for properties on which the only source of water was water that is hauled in. Currently it is not permitted, causing lack of needed construction in the state, and causing landowners to be stuck with valueless land. The committee voted to support the bill to allow hauled water as an acceptable water source.

I am a member and attended the Federal Committee meeting. This committee makes recommendations to NAR on Federal legislation that may affect Realtors and the people we serve. A large amount of time was spent on the topic of the proposed new Federal Budget and how many of the proposed tax reforms could seriously impact home ownership and thus Realtors. Since the new budget was not out yet, but just some items that had been leaked to the public, no solid recommendations were possible. However, it was general agreed that reduction or elimination of the Home Mortgage Deduction would be vigilantly opposed as being detrimental to the home ownership rate.

In fact, much time was spent in all the meetings in discussion about the new administration, budget and policies. My humble opinion is that it is way too early to pass judgement on these issues, but they certainly warrant our vigilant attention.

I attended an incredible risk management committee session, given by an attorney who only represents Realtors in litigation, never represents plaintiffs against Realtors. A great handout was given and I have passed the information on to my agents.

The one disappointment was attending the MLS Policy forum. Nothing regarding MLS policy was discussed and the owner of Harcourts was allowed to extol the greatness of his company and model. Many of us walked out.

The highlight of the trip was the Directors meeting held Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, where motions were voted on and new officers were nominated and votes cast. For the first time in CAR history, the usual promotion of CAR Treasurer to President-Elect did not happen - in fact, the nominating committee did not nominate any candidate for President-Elect. This opened up wild speculation about running from the floor and who would be nominated. In the end, the sitting Treasurer was nominated from the floor and elected. Additionally, the candidate for Treasurer who was not slated as the candidate ran from the floor, and paper ballots had to be utilized and counted. He did not prevail.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve in this capacity.
Jan Farley
May 23, 2017

NORMA SCANTLIN
CAR REPORT – DIRECTOR
2017 LEGISLATIVE MEETING- SACRAMENTO

Last October 2016, it was voted to allocate $500K to the Housing Affordability Fund.
In January 2017, a vote was taken to add another $500K in the Housing Affordability Committee and the California Association Board of Directors. 
By May 1, 2017, all monies were used for the program.
On May 6, 2017 another $500K was voted on for the Housing Affordability Fund and ratified by the committee on May 9, 2017. 
But, I am sorry to say, that these monies have now been spent once again.

If you would like to take part in the Housing Affordability Fund, there is a Raffle that is taking place.  There is a Grand Prize of $5000 and Second Prize is $2000. Ticket are $20 each and the winners will be drawn during the October C.A.R. Meetings here in San Diego.  For ticket purchase, you can reach me at (619)518-8270.
The Home Ownership Housing Committee had many motions that were taken to the Board of Directors.  The motions were passed as follows: 

  1. That C.A.R., in conjunction with NAR, "OPPOSE" the elimination of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD's) affordable housing programs listed in the President's proposed 2018 budget.
  2. That C.A.R. "SUPPORT" SB 35 (Wiener), SB 540 (Roth) and AB 73 (Chiu) which create build-by-right programs to allow for expedited approval for developments consistent with local zoning and planning requirements. 
  3. That C.A.R. "SUPPORT" AB 1350 (Friedman) which penalizes cities or counties for non-compliance with their housing element. 
  4. That C.A.R. "SUPPORT" AB 1598 (Mullin) if amended to include "affordable workforce housing", defined as households earning no more than 120% of an area's median income, to the types of programs authorized under this authority. 
  5. That C.A.R. "SUPPORT" AB 30 (Caballero) to prohibit courts from stopping the conversion of a strip mall to affordable housing units if the development is consistent with local planning and zoning requirements. 
  6. That C.A.R. "SUPPORT" AB 943 (Santiago) which limits the ability of development opponents to delay or stop the approval of housing projects by increasing voter approval to 55% when proposing local ordinances to stop growth within a city or county.
Did you also know that PSAR now has 16 new members for the C.A.R. Honorary Membership for Life category?  See if you qualify for this distinguished award.  

You can read all of the committee reports by a simple login to the new C.A.R. website under “Learn & Thrive/Meetings and Events.”

LUPE SOTO
CAR REPORT – DIRECTOR
2017 LEGISLATIVE MEETING- SACRAMENTO

Legal Action Fund Trustees  
  1. The Trustees approved filing an amicus brief in favor of the Landlord on the following case: 
    Tenth Street Ventures, LLC v. Ahmad.  A tenant vacated a rental unit with 4 months remaining on the lease, and the C.A.R. lease agreement was used.  The dispute was over the amount of damage and the security deposit return.  The trial court ruled in favor of the landlord and awarded attorney’s fees and cost totaling $105,000.  The tenant is appealing the attorney fee award, claiming that the landlord filed suit without first attempting to mediate.  The tenant argues that under the mediation paragraph in the lease, the landlord was required to contact a mediator and initiate mediation to trigger the right to attorney fees.  The issue on appeal is on interpreting the language in the mediation clause on how one determines “attempt to mediate requirement” to recover attorneys’ fees.  
Defense Strategy Advisory Committee
Hot Issues: 
  1. Our industry is facing many challenges with agents and clients using text messaging during the transaction. The challenge is in determining what should or should not be discussed via texting along with documenting relevant information that affects the transaction.    
  2. Disclosure of drug houses is a serious problem because of the drug contamination.
  3. You always want to document your resource when talking about square footage and boundary lines.
  4. Always document in the body of your emails what attachments are part of that correspondence.  A safe thing to do is to ask yourself the question of whether you did enough to eliminate future problems and confusions.
  5. DocuSign history is being used in litigation to assess how long the person stayed on line to review the content of what they are signing.
  6. It is recommended that when you are sending a package of documents via DocuSign that you do the following:
    a. Delineate in your email what will be covered in the attachments along with advising the clients to take time to thoroughly review the documents and call the agent with any questions about the content. Once satisfied, then have the client request in writing that they are ready to sign.  
    b. Use a variety of ways to communicate with you client prior to sending the DocuSign – Use current technology to facilitate communicating with your client.  
  7. Watch the content of the “subject line” and how it can be interpreted
  8. It is a good idea to take a screen shot of your emails when you have a challenging transaction.
  9. The challenge with TEAMS continues to grow in our industry.  It is recommended that you hire an attorney to prepare your Team Agreement.  
  10. CAR’s standard forms advisory committee is working on a Team Agreement for the form release in December 2017.  
  11. Tell your fellow Realtors that we now have an “Agent Sharing Commission Agreement” form.
  12. Make sure that you terminate in writing any Team or Commission Sharing Agreement.  This is very important especially when an agent is moving to another company.  
  13. How can you prove that a cancellation was sent and received?  Have a plan to address the question.
  14. Use your Non-Agency Disclosure when dealing with FSBO’s
  15. You may want to consider paying for “Cyber Insurance” If you do get a policy, make sure you are clear on what you are getting.  This is a very new product so there is a lot of ambiguity of what it covers.
  16. Look at the new rules for advertisement and team name requirements for you to comply.  You may find Q & A’s in our CAR website.    
Challenging cases to our industry:
  1. Bararsani v. Coldwell Banker CA
  2. Harijke v. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage 
  3. Redfin cases – CA
  4. Monell v. Boston Pads