PSAR has a knowledgeable group of Directors and Volunteer Committee Members representing our members from San Diego County at the California Association of REALTORS® Business Meetings. These Directors attend numerous meeting dealing with policies that impact your business and the private property rights of your clients. These recent meetings took place on January 22-25, 2014 here San Diego, California. Each report is a summary of key points brought to you by each Director. All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
There are 31 Regions in the California Association of Realtors. Many Regions consist of multiple local Associations but each of the 3 Regions in San Diego County are made of up of only 1 Association each (PSAR, GSDAR and NSDCAR). Region 30 consists of Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors. Our Region has 9 Directors: Pat Rusianno (Region Chair), Jeff Campbell, Nikki Coppa, Carey Gutherie, Sarah Heck, Aaron Kerper, Bob Olivieri, Lupe Soto (Assistant Region Chair), Norma Scantlin. Individuals representing PSAR on committees include Mike White and Norman
There are many committees at the State Association so each Director has various committee assignments. That way all meetings are covered. Then all of our Region Directors meet in Caucus on Thursday and Friday evenings after the last committee meetings and we share the various Action Items and important information from all of the committees that met that day, with each other. That is the information that your will find in the individual reports.
As the Regional Chair, I attend 7 AM meetings with the Executive Committee which consists of the C.A.R. Officers - President, Kevin Brown, President Elect, Chris Kutskey, Treasurer, Geof McIntosh and Secretary/CEO, Joel Singer. Each Committee Chair/Leadership brings the action items to the Executive Committee in the form of reports.
At the morning meetings, each Region gives a brief report of items of concern from its Region’s Caucus meetings of the evening before. The Regional Chair in turn brings things back to our Caucus and polls the Directors on issues for which the Executive Committee wants to know where each Region stands.
There are 3 C.A.R. Business Meetings each year, the next meeting (mid-year) is always held in Sacramento. The Directors, and those Association members who get to go for Legislative Day (Wednesday of the week), get the opportunity to see the strength and organization of our industry as we lobby our Legislators on the Issues that affect our business and Private Property Rights. This is when you get to see our organization in action and to see how our contributions to the various PAC s have an impact on the very heart of the American Dream – Private Property Rights. Our job is to make sure that government doesn’t infringe on that right or bring added costs to the buying and selling process.
I urge you to ask questions and to make comments on what is working for you in your business and what you might like to see change or be added. Each of the C.A.R. Directors in your Region (PSAR) have a voice in the various committees of which they are a part. You too have a voice by speaking through them.
I appreciate the opportunity to represent your business interests at the State Association.
Welcome to C.A.R. 2014! Once again, PSAR has a fantastic group of C.A.R. Directors of which I am fortunate to be one. This year, in addition to being a Director, I serve Region 30(PSAR) in the following capacity, on the following committees: Regional Representative for Professional Standards Committee, Regional Representative for MLS Policy Committee, and Regional Representative for Risk Management and Consumer Protection Forum. Additionally, I am a Member of the Legislative Committee.
Why tell you all of this? Simple, in addition to being a voting member of the committees, the Regional Representative is tasked with several other duties. These include presenting the report for the region to the committee or forum, as well as ensuring that emerging issues from that region have an opportunity to be heard and discussed at the state association level. C.A.R. is your Association and, as Directors, we become your voice and your vote.
Professional Standards Committee
“The mission of the committee is to strive to promote knowledge of and compliance with the N.A.R. Code of Ethics in order to elevate the industry to its highest professional, ethical ideal. It reports to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors. (July 1994).”
There were no action items at this meeting. Instead, committee leadership outlined their 2014 Goals, such as greater cooperation between the State’s 32 regions with regards to sharing information, as well as announcing the creation of an Ethics for Excellence working group to further explore best practices in the State. There is already an Ethics Citation Policy Work Group, which will be giving a report to the full committee in May. Finally, there was a discussion regarding the crafting of proper discipline policy. During that discussion, it was noted that, in fashioning a punishment, even though NAR gives pro standards hearing panels the right to review prior ethics findings; they (NAR) do not give the same panel the right to review prior findings of MLS violations, which may be intertwined with the subject matter being heard.
MLS Policy Committee
mission of the committee is to work to assure that REALTORS® remain the primary
provider of information about real estate. To that end, the Committee:
There was only one action item from this committee. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it was three pages long and densely worded. Here is the extremely abbreviated version:
1. ACTION ITEM
That, upon final approval by NAR, the C.A.R. Model MLS Rules be revised to supplement and strengthen the data display disclaimers that the C.A.R. Model MLS Rules require when listings are displayed to the public and that Staff make any necessary related additional corrective and/or correlating changes to the Model MLS Rules and Model Citation Policy. The proposed revisions are set forth in redline as follows:
12.9 Limitations on Use of Association or MLS Information in Advertising. Except as provided in Sections 12.7, 12.8, 12.11 and 12.15, truthful use of information from the MLS compilation of current listing information, from the A.O.R.'s "statistical report," or from any "sold" or "comparable" report of the A.O.R. or MLS for public mass media advertising by an MLS Participant or Subscriber or in other public representations for purposes of demonstrating market share is not prohibited. However, any print or non-print forms of advertising or other forms of public representations must clearly demonstrate the period of time over which such claims are based and must include the following, or substantially similar, notice in a font size and style no smaller than the average used elsewhere in the display:
Based on information from the ___________________ /Association of REALTORS® (alternatively, from the ____________________ MLS) as of _____ (date the AOR/MLS data was obtained) for the period (date) through (date). Display of MLS data is usually deemed reliable but is NOT guaranteed accurate by the MLS. Buyers are responsible for verifying the accuracy of all information and should investigate the data themselves or retain appropriate professionals. Information from sources other than the Listing Agent may have been included in the MLS data. Unless otherwise specified in writing, Broker/Agent have not and will not verify any information obtained from other sources. The Broker/Agent providing the information contained herein may or may not have been the Listing and/or Selling Agent.
Aaron, what does this mean???
In brief, if adopted by SANDICOR, your MLS disclaimer (which also must appear on any marketing pieces which feature MLS data), will be much longer, larger (“in a font size and style no smaller than the average used elsewhere in the display”), and will likely protect you better in your business.
There were many pieces of potential legislation discussed, with much of it having been deemed “Not Real Estate Related.” At this point, there are seven or more issues which appear to be on track to become pieces of C.A.R. sponsored legislation. You can read more about the 2013-2014 legislation at the following link: http://www.car.org/governmentaffairs/stategovernmentaffairs/LegProgram
REALTOR® Risk Management and Consumer Protection Forum
“To provide a forum to identify trends and issues that may be, or are, putting REALTORS® and/or their clients at risk, to educate REALTORS®, and to provide information to other C.A.R. Committees as appropriate. (October 2003).”
Following opening remarks by the chair, there was a fantastic risk management presentation from San Diego’s own David Bright, Attorney at Law and Founding Partner, White and Bright LLP. He reiterated that, once again, alleged lack of disclosure is the number one cause of real estate litigation, and shared several tips and techniques for lawsuit avoidance.
Following this was the Regions reports for the State’s 32 regions. As in the previous meeting, the overriding issue appeared to be pocket (off MLS) listings. This is being driven by low inventory and bad business practices. Additionally, there is a new web site called premls.com, which purports to only allow agents to join (though it has no means of agent verification) for the purposes of advertising listings that are not on an MLS. Worse yet, it allows agents to advertise properties without a signed listing agreement.
The session ended, as always, with a legal update from Gov Hutchinson, Assistant General Counsel at C.A.R., who highlighted several major cases that C.A.R. was either tracking, or participating in, as well as upcoming changes to California law affecting REALTORS®. Speaking of new cases, did you know that, courtesy of Dromy v Lukovsky (2013) California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Three, filed 8/30/13, “Normal business hours for real estate agents include holding open houses on the weekend and therefore are permitted pursuant to Civil Code §1954.”
Once again, for the love of G-D, what does this mean???
“Civil Code 1954 allows an owner to enter a tenant occupied premises to show it to prospective purchasers during normal business hours. Prior to this case it was uncertain if the law allowed open houses or only showings to specific potential purchasers who made an appointment. Further, it was uncertain if showings could occur on the weekends. This case validates the right of a landlord to have showings and open houses on the weekends provided the tenant is given advance notice and some weekend days during the month the tenant is undisturbed.” Tenants, get ready for that open house!
The next C.A.R. Business Meetings are in Sacramento from April 29th through May 3rd 2014, and will take place alongside Legislative Day. This is an important opportunity for REALTORS® to have their voices heard by the State Legislature, and is essential for our business. Please make sure that you are aware of the upcoming business issues, which can be found at http://www.car.org/. Additionally, please take time to reach out to your CAR Directors with any issues or concerns. See you soon.
Provided by: Aaron Kerper, BRE Lic.#: CA 01290489. Information deemed reliable, but is not guaranteed.
Pacific Growth Sales
Presidents and Leadership Forum
We covered parliamentary procedure and legal operation as Vicky Campbell and June Barlow spoke. Imrand Polodi spoke about the importance of fund raising and then an open discussion about various association fund raising efforts ensued. Our own Carey Guthrie-Hooper discussed the success of the the un-fashion show. There were great ideas and no action items.
Contra Costa Walnut Creek asked for an extension for the grant they received. By protocol, Associations must return money if it is not used. HAF voted to extend the use of the monies.
Current total assets of HAF are $2,925,479.
PSAR does not have HAF $25 (which is an ambassador) line item on the billing or a section on our web site?
Big Bear requested a grant for habitat for humanity and it was turned down because it was considered a charity, not a housing affordability issue.
Every 1% interest rate increase equals a loss of 120,000 buyers in California. Currently 32% of households can afford a median priced home. 60% of Americans nationally can afford the median price home
32% all cash sales in Jan. Now 26%.
We need $9000 per year increase in wages to cover a 1% increase in loan interest rate.
CAR research group has a great Facebook page. Link here
Transaction and Regulatory:
Passed - Action Item – BRE to collect e-mails on all agents- they have less than 15,000 yet there are over 400,000 agents.
Passed – Action item. That Car sponsor leg to clarify rules for the BRE or regulate the use of “TEAM” names by licensees. The clarification should be consistent with existing BRE policy on advertising and team name rules, with further amendments to be considered during May Board Meetings.
Auction.com uses the current acceptance of an offer as a reserve number. When the current contractee finds that the opening bid was lower than their accepted offering bid, the buyer is pissed saying “wait, I could have purchased the property for less money?”
Passed – Action Item That CAR sponsor leg to require an auction company to indemnify or hold harmless the listing broker in a transaction against liability that results from the auction company’s action in a short sale transactions,
Question - Should CAR change statue of Fraud not consider electronic communications as part of the transaction?
Action Item That CAR SPONSOR legislation to prohibit short-lived communication like tweets or text messages from being considered “contract Documents” that must be retained in a broker’s file.
Commercial and Financing/Regulatory Meeting
As soon as the REO phone numbers are published, they change their email and phone numbers. Best thing to do to get roes is to go to banks and servicers and ask if you can purchase non-performing assets.
There is a Commercial Training Program for all CAR REALTORS who desire to become a commercial agent which is a 3 day webinar series which will earn NCREA designation and it is only $647.00 www.TheNCREA.com
Other meetings that I attended were covered with other liaisons and were presented
1. There were 31 members approved as Honorary Members –for – Life.
The requirements for qualification are for you to have served the Association a minimum of 25 years, and; be seventy five years of age. Upon election, your dues shall be deemed paid in full for life. You are entitled to all rights and privileges of State Association membership privileges. Your privileges will end when you terminate your membership with the association. Your local board may submit an application on your behalf if you meet the qualifications. If you qualify and are interested, contact your local association.
2. Zip Form update – In June 2014, ZipForm Plus will replace our current ZipForm6 version. If you have not yet used it, please take the time to start becoming familiar with our new product. There are many training sessions available. Visit car.org for dates and times. The great advantage is that you will no longer struggle with “Java”.
You also want to take a look at ZipForm Mobile. It is a great tool for your iPad and Smartphone.
Regional Representative of Standard Forms Forum:
As a member of the RPA Study Group, I must tell you that our Residential Purchase Agreement (RPA) was one of the hottest topics during our 4 days of meetings.
There are many great changes coming our way in the new proposed RPA. CAR and our local associations will be proving training starting August 2014. The new RPA will be part of November 2014 release of new forms and revisions. In Nikki’s report you will find a list the forms that are up for revision along with new forms.
Aside from the many detailed changes for the RPA, the most debated item is the Wood Destroying Pest Control term. Since the early 90’s this item has been heavily debated. For those of you that were in the business during that time you will remember that there was a full page dedicated to Wood Destroying Pest Control.
The required termite repairs for certification are a repair time no different than who pays for new carpet, plumbing, roof repairs and so on, nevertheless, our practitioners have decided to single out this repair and have the seller commit to signing a blank check when the offer is accepted. We have come to the realization that this practice may not to the best interest of the clients.
So the debate when on and on. Here are two things to consider:
a. Are repair items negotiable as to who pays for them and how much? The answer is yes, all items in the agreement are negotiable – including termite.
b. Are we as practitioners going on a customary standard of practice that we just do because that is what other have been doing forever? Some think that it is a law, some think that it is a requirement for a buyer to get a loan, some think that CAR and NAR require it for the sale of properties, some don’t know the difference between the cost of Section 1 and Section 2 and just automatically mark Seller to pay for Section 1 and Buyer to Pay for Section 2 without knowing the actual cost at the time of the acceptance of the offer, and the word of mouth speculations continue. The answer to “b” is no. It is just here say and lack of knowledge of many practitioners.
There are 2 proposals on the table:
1. To remove paragraph 4 A(1) from the contract – it would remove the wood destroying Pest and Organisms from this section and have the buyer request or do during their inspections rights and to also remove the option to mark the WPA from Paragraph 11AB and leaving the WPA form in the forms library to be used when applicable.
2. To remove paragraph 4 A(1) from the contract – it would remove the wood destroying Pest and Organisms from this section and have the buyer request or do during their inspections rights and remove the WPA form from the forms library.
The study group will continue to meet between now and our next Board of Directors meeting in Sacramento to review and discuss all the feedback we have on the table from our REALTORS and then make a new recommendation for the new RPA. Please take the time to visit our CAR website and make your comments.
Multiple Listing Service Policy Committees:
There was 1 action item in this committee. Director Aaron Kerper has given us a report on this action item.
GREAT news for our Seller’s. The IRS and the California Franchise Tax Board have clarified mortgage debt . We no longer have to worry about the extensions. They have clarified that distressed home sellers are not liable for federal or state income tax on short sales.
Pay attention to AB 1404 Civil Code 84 that addresses adjoining landowners and fences. This law went to effect January 1, 2014. It deals with neighbors maintaining their shared fences. A landlord must give the neighbor a 30 day notice regarding repairing or replacing the fence. Neighbor to be responsible for 50% of the cost. If neighbor does not respond, it is considered to be a YES. It is more complex than this simple explanation, so please review this new law.
Three times a year, your Directors attend C.A.R. Business Meetings. We listen, we discuss, we debate, and then we take action on behalf of Realtors® throughout the state of California. Meetings occur simultaneously throughout the first three days, so our Region is spread out to cover our assignments and report back to the group and our members.
My 2014 committee assignments are as follows:
· C.A.R. Director
· Regional Representative Legislative Committee
· Alternate Member Nominating Committee
· Regional Liason Strategic Planning & Finance Committee
· Member Standard Forms Advisory Committee
Legislative Committee highlights –
· C.A.R. will be taking a “FOR” position on the unnumbered ballot proposition entitled “Public Information”
· C.A.R. Directors have determined that the unnumbered ballot proposition titled “Referendum to Overturn Indian Gaming Compacts” is “Not Real Estate Related”
· C.A.R. Directors postponed action until the next meeting on the unnumbered proposition titled “Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act of 2014: Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Act of 2014”. This will be discussed at our next meeting, please read about it and let me know what your position is so I may be your voice at the next meeting when this comes to the floor.
· Click here to read about these and other ballot propositions.
Nominating Committee highlights –
· This is the committee that vets the candidates for volunteer leadership at C.A.R. Our meetings are strictly confidential so we can do the best possible job of determining the right people to represent our state. So, although I go to the meetings, I can’t tell you what happens except that there are a lot of people working very hard to find the right leaders.
Strategic Planning & Finance Committee highlights –
· C.A.R. is working tirelessly to find ways to provide us (the members) with the most relevant information and services they can. They really need to hear from members about what works, what doesn’t and how they can help us to do business better tomorrow than we do today. Please send me any questions, suggestions or comments that you would like me to voice at our next meetings.
Standard Forms Committee highlights-
· We reviewed the new forms that were released in December
o HOA form – civil code change
o LR – statutory
o Demand for Mediation Form
· We reviewed the changes made in zipForms which allow your seller to be able to fill in forms through electronic signature software much more efficiently
· We discussed changes to the COP form. Feelings are that there should be different forms for a seller contingency and a buyer contingency. A sample was brought forward and the committee suggested several additional revisions to the new draft. We will review the next draft at our next meeting.
· Here is the biggie – the RPA-CA is being revised. There have been many discussions, suggestions, comments and questions. This committee reviews all of these. Please go to the website, review the draft and leave your comments ASAP.
o Target finish date for new RPA-CA is June 2014
o Training for new RPA-CA should begin in August
o New RPA-CA should roll out in the November forms release
There are always things going on in our communities. Your Directors serve as your voice to notify C.A.R. and get their help or guidance when needed. If you have questions or concerns that you feel should be addressed, you need to let us know so we can take action. Please visit the C.A.R. website to review meeting materials and agendas for each meeting and contact a C.A.R. Director with your comments prior to the meeting.
The Member and Director Forum is always very informative by telling the Directors information regarding new products and benefits, the financial status of the association, the lobbying at the State level for the association and many more informational items.
The Taxation and Government Finance Committee reviewed many issues to be presented to the Legislative Committee then the Executive Committee and on to the Directors for voting. There is an in depth process that policies have to take prior to going forward in the association. The “Action Item” that was voted on to go forward to the Board of Directors was “That C.A.R. “SUPPORT” legislation to study the revenue impact of allowing homeowners to transfer their property tax basis to a home anywhere in the state.” Currently there are some counties that will allow anyone over 55 to transfer their current tax base when purchasing in another county. This proposal would allow anyone of any age to take advantage of this throughout the State of California. With this passing at the government level this should be an advantage to the realtors throughout the state. We will know more at the April/May meetings if this becomes a bill to be presented to the State Legislature. I will keep you informed or if you have any questions, please contact me.
Attending the REALTOR Risk Management and Consumer Protection Forum is always informative with the presentation of Gov Hutchinson. Watch for the upcoming class that will be presented at the association or go on line at car.org/legalupdates regarding the changes in the laws regarding our business.
For a complete summary of the meetings you may go to http://www.car.org/meetings/carmeetings/summary-of-action-items/2014winsummary/
I would like to thank all our members for allowing me to represent you at the CAR meeting.
Coldwell Banker West
1) "Million Dollar Achievement"
YPN is one of the most dynamic and motivating committees C.A.R has. This group is dedicated to our profession and making it better. One of the many wonderful things YPN does, is raise money for Realtor Education and other funds that support our industry and home ownership. One of the funds they raise money for is the Realtor Action Fund. This fund is critical to helping Realtors fight for home ownership. YPN started a campaign 2 years ago to get 100 Reatlors to commit to donating $10,000 each to the Realtor Action Fund over the course of their career. It was exciting to find out that this January at the C.A.R meetings, YPN got their 100th Realtor to commit!
1) "Lets Talk Toilets"
As "Champions of Home", C.A.R is always looking for ways to engage homeowners. As most agents know, there are POS retro fit mandates that will be enforced starting 2017 that require all homes be equipped with low flow toilets. Considering the drought we are facing here in CA, and the water conservation efforts that will be made by the state, CAR committee members felt that this may be a perfect time to start reminding people about the 2017 mandate. Rather than waiting until the last minute, we can get a jump on the retro fits and conserve water at the same time! Look for educational materials for you to hand out to your clients coming soon from C.A.R.
Land Use & Environmental-
1) "A proactive approach to avoiding POS Mandates"
In an effort to avoid having POS Mandates forced on us for energy efficiency audits and retrofits, C.A.R has voted to create a task force to come up with alternate options. This task force will be a think tank if you will. They will monitor proposed legislative or regulatory requirements for energy efficiency activities and then advise if our industry should support or oppose them. The task force will also be encouraged to help think of alternatives for any legislation they feel should be opposed. If you have concerns about proposed legislation or ideas on alternatives, let your voice be heard!
1) "C.A.R vs. FHA"
C.A.R is looking into ways to help support an "easing for the FHA Condo approval requirements" so that we can get more complex's FHA approved. It has been come increasingly more difficult to find FHA approved condo complexes in this market. There are many factors that contribute to this. Stringent FHA guidelines, a tedious renewal process and certain stigmas surrounding FHA. C.A.R has committed to try and help simplify the process of getting condo complexes FHA approved without harming the integrity of the standards that are currently set.
1) "New year, new laws"!
Legal or not legal? Check out the new/changing laws for 2014 http://www.car.org/legal/recent-news-laws/2014Laws/
2) "Going once, going twice, SOLD...by auction.com"
Even though the BRE has informed C.A.R. that the auction.com program does not violate any laws, they are still looking into the situation. Auction.com has inserted themselves into many real estate transactions across the state causing major concern. Is there an agency issue? Is there a contractual violation? Is the future of the Realtor in jeopardy? We have lots of questions and C.A.R. is working on getting the answers. Stay tuned and read your C.A.R. updates for more information coming soon.
3) "Short sales not subject to state or federal income tax for cancellation of Debt"
Both the IRS and Franchise Tax Board have issued letters stating that as non-recourse obligations, short sales in California are not subject to state income tax for cancellation of debt. However, even if no cancellation of debt income is owed, a taxpayer may nevertheless have capital gains to the extent that the outstanding debt exceeds the tax basis for the property. A principal residence, however, is generally excluded from capital gains tax up to $250,000 for single taxpayers and $500,000 for married couples filing joint returns. Be sure to advise your clients to seek the advice of their CPA or Tax attorney.
Pacific Growth Sales
CAR Presenter described 2014 as being light on revisions. There were very few legal changes that affected PM as compared to previous years.
The open forum discussion included two current PM issues that are considered a 'grey' area. Medicinal marijuana and Companion pets.
Marijuana- If a tenant has a valid permit to use medicinal marijuana the PM must oblige. Even if the building/unit/landlord maintains a smoke free policy. The PM may attempt to use other contractual points to curb or reduce the impact. Such as a negative impact on neighboring tenants affecting their peaceful enjoyment (a neighboring tenant has asthma and the smoke harms them). The landlord may request the tenant to install fans to evacuate the smoke from the interior on the grounds of potential smoke damage.
The Landlord may attempt to argue that Federal law trumps state law, and mj is still illegal, but CAR explained if the tenant did not want to leave based on that one item, it would be very hard to make it stick.
Companion Pets- PM is used to accommodating seeing-eye-dogs and other service animals. Today however there is a new term of 'companion pet'. Companion pet usually describes a dog that does not work, providing only companionship as a pet, rather than usefulness by doing specific tasks. These companions are often 'prescribed' by doctors/therapists for depression, sleep disorders, and anxiety. PM’s complain that a companion animal is not always obedience trained like a traditional service animal, and can include breeds that would otherwise be prohibited (such as a pitbulls).
CAR’s position is that if the tenant says it’s companion animal you must allow it.
An interesting point was raised that certain breeds would violate the PM/owners property insurance. This was not answered by CAR.
Pacific Growth Sales
Property Management Forum:
Business Technology Forum:
Risk Management Forum: