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Reports from California Association of REALTORS® Spring Meetings, 2018

posted Jul 2, 2018, 1:22 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Jul 3, 2018, 8:18 AM ]
Jeff Campbell: 
Broker/ Owner San Diego Estates
PSAR Past President,
REALTOR® of the Year
CAR Regional Chairman

Dear Fellow Members,

This year, CAR is going to bat for you more than ever. With the continued success of the new website with more features than ever before, members can access reports, FAQ’s and training with ease. With important issues, CAR has been able to mobilize funds and resources to issues such as rent control and tax portability. With new meetings, retreats and seminars such as WomanUp, the Center for California Real Estate think groups and Reimagine, CAR is bringing the learning and empowerment programs to all of California REALTORS®. 

As your State Regional Chairman, I am proud to bring you these CAR reports from a dynamic and caring group of volunteers who leave their business and families for up to 15 days a year to represent PSAR Region 30 across this golden state and various Northern and Southern California meetings.


Anthony Andaya:  
PSAR Past President
C.A.R. Director and Executive Committee

2018 C.A.R. Region 30 Director & 2016 Past PSAR President: 2018 Assistant Region 30 Chair, 2018 member of C.A.R.  Executive Committee, Home Ownership & Housing, as well as Young Professionals Network.  
I cannot say enough good things about Region 30 and our propensity for leadership.  During these meetings we all meet usually twice per trip for our regional caucus where we discuss hot topics, motions going to the board, organizing our region, and aligning our differences to have one voice as a region.  In doing so we discovered that our region has done an amazing job earning leadership positions within C.A.R. which elevates our Region (of which we are the only association in our region unlike others that may have as many as 7 different associations) and brings back more state recognition for our humble association.  At one point during caucus, one of the directors noticed that more than half our room had on blue name badges.  The blue badges are only provided to those who have earned a leadership position on committees, forums, and more.  We noticed the other half of the room who did not have blue badges on for C.A.R. had their own badges of pride such as being a president locally or a board of director at PSAR.  That said I am confident in our bench at Region 30/PSAR and it is nice to see that our challenging work and efforts have paid off.  We have truly set a new bar and we look forward to doing so again.  Who knows maybe one day PSAR will have its very own C.A.R. president.  If you want to roll with some of the best in the business I suggest you reach out to any of PSAR’s C.A.R. directors and ask them how you can become more involved.  

During these meetings, I personally had the honor of leading the entire body of over 1000 of the best in the business in the pledge of allegiance.  I was asked by C.A.R. president Steve White to discuss more than just the flag or what the pledge means which is often done, and instead infuse a bit of my life into the story.  This was no easy task as sharing your history with 1000 plus peer judges can be a bit nerve-racking.  When you mix that with the celebration of 50 years of fair housing as well as our focus which is to lobby our politicians for homeowner rights, you can quickly see how this task becomes more daunting.  In the end, I was fortunate to deliver an emotional 5-minute speech and somehow tie in all those aspects.  The honor was truly mine in the end because what I realized is REALTORS® truly do care.  I had folks coming up afterward letting me know that my story moved them which is all you can ask for and more when it comes to a task like this.  I also loved it because despite all our vast differences it never ceases to amaze me how we can all come together, have organized debates, and walk out of the room as one voice as I said in my speech, this is what keeps me coming back for more.  You must truly see it to believe it and I hope you too get the chance to witness C.A.R. in action…AMAZING!  

I was also glad that we got to bring up several 1st-time participants through scholarship and paid efforts of our association.  Watching members like PSAR’s current YPN chair Laurie MacDonald and a few other YPN’ers come up as I once did 5 years ago and having the light bulb of “this is why we do this” go off is an indescribable feeling that just builds that “we get it” type alliance and friendship.  When you see over 3000 REALTORS® in a room listening to the governor speak highly of our trade and its professionals, or when you march with that same group to the capital to take one huge picture before going to bombard politicians offices with our agendas, or lastly when you get the chance to hear from a political columnist who’s insight is beyond their years in knowledge of what our political future may look like, you tend to take a step back and realize that you are carrying out the good work for the betterment of all whom we serve such as  REALTOR® members, their clients, our nation, and our industry.  I hope that this inspires you to want to be next.  If you are interested in attending 2019 Legislative Day please email or reach out to the association so they can guide you.  Trust me when I say you won’t regret it!  

Lupe L. Soto: 
Legal Action Trustee, C.A.R. Director
PSAR REALTOR® 

Legal Action Fund Trustees and Defense Strategy Advisory Committee
Hot Topics:
  • Support Pets/Companion Animals – Finally, the people that creating fake certificates through the internet or other sources are being sanctioned. 
  • Escalation Clauses in the RPA and Buyer Counteroffers may not be the best interest of the Buyer if the Buyer’s agent is not careful with the language.  “I will pay $1,000.00 more than the highest price” This can expose the Buyer to pay more than they were anticipating because someone can bid $50-$100 thousand dollars more!  It is best to put a cap on what the Buyer is willing to pay- “…. not to exceed….”
  • Rebates to clients – It is a RESPA violation to pay finder fees.  It is not a violation to pay the Buyer a Rebate for closing cost if it is disclosed in the lender’s closing disclosure.
  • New Pool Law- Home Inspectors are now required to identify 2 of the 7 safety features in homes built after 2007.
  • Sex Offenders – Remember that we are not required to log into the Sex Offender’s website.  If you find information, then it becomes factual knowledge that you will need to disclose. A brokerage in San Diego ended up Buying back the property because the Realtor stepped outside of our required standard of care.
  • There is a high increase in litigation because the economy is better, and people now have money to pay attorney fees.
  • There are lots of new attorneys that are charging clients by the hour.  Their lack of experience is creating lots of frustration to the experienced attorneys.
  • Because of the low inventory, there is a high increase in non- contingent offers.  These terms are creating lots of problems because it may not in the best interest of the Buyer. 
  • Electronic Signatures problems are on the rise because agents do not explain the content of the documents prior to the client signing.  It is recommended that you send a PDF copy of the documents to the client and review the content prior to sending the documents via DocuSign.
  • Agents researching information from public records is on the rise and it is getting agents into lots of trouble.  The client is the responsible party to do the research and most important that the client makes their own conclusions as to the usage of the property and what is and what is not permitted. It is recommended that you provide a list of vendors that take care of looking into public records
  • Bold Acts by agents:
    a) Not presenting all offers 
    b) Agents double ending the transactions for their own financial benefit
    c) Not telling the broker about a transaction
    d) Agent using DocuSign and signing on behalf of the client
  • The Mid-Size offices (10 to 200 Agents) are struggling to get E & O insurance
  • E&O Insurance companies have not figured out how to underwrite Cyber Insurance
  • The Cyber Insurance coverage that is an “add-on” to the E&O policy does not add adequate coverage
  • An Independent (standalone) Cyber Insurance policy is much more favorable 

Norma Scantlin
CAR Director On Housing, Property Management, Risk Management, and Membership Committees
PSAR Past President

The Mid-Year Meeting always has an enormous amount of knowledge to learn. 

Meeting with our Legislative Members concerning our real estate issues had an emphasis on the 1) Housing Affordability Crisis – The Solution is Supply and 2) Specialty Licensing.   We visited the local legislative representatives and discussed each issue in depth.  

Everyone agrees that there is the Housing Crisis. Some suggestions that were discussed are as follows: 1) Streamline Permitting Process; 2) Fix CEQA to a Fast Track 3) Require Local Government to Implement Housing Needs Numbers 4)Fund Affordable Housing and 5) Defeat Proposed Laws that Discourage Rental Housing Construction.  

In regards to Specialty Licensing, there is concern that this bill AB2618 (Borta) will require brokers doing property management for others to acquire a special license to do this type of business.  As a delegation, we opposed this to the legislators.  This bill would not only be for those doing the property management but also for those that own rental units even if they have someone managing their property.  This bill will not be good for the industry. 

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There is a prospective ballot initiative to Repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.  This initiative was to create limits on local rental control ordinances by requiring vacancy de-control/re-control and exempting single-family property and new construction from local rent control.  A prospective statewide ballot initiative that would repeal the Costa-Hawking Rental Housing Act was cleared for circulation by the Secretary of State’s office on December 27, 2017.   This initiative will be harmful to the housing market due to the fact that rental prices will escalate along with housing (investment/rental) units.  Please read as many articles regarding this topic so that you will be able to educate those in your sphere of influence and oppose the Repeal of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.  There are numerous articles on the topic at www.car.org.

Nikki Coppa:     
C.A.R. Director and Vice Chair of SPF
PSAR Past President

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. The unique thing about the Spring meetings is that Legislative Day is a part of the trip. REALTOR® advocacy is particularly important when the market is strong, as that is when we see many bills presented that would negatively affect private property rights. As expected, there was a great deal of discussion about fighting the possible repeal of Costa Hawkins. C.A.R.’s IMPACT trustees allocated $1.5M to allow our President-Elect Jared Martin to sit on the steering committee that will execute the plan to fight the repeal. We also learned that we gathered enough signatures for the Tax Portability Initiative to qualify for the November ballot. The Board of Directors voted to continue along the path to put the initiative on the ballot, while simultaneously pursuing a legislative alternative. The legislative alternative will likely be significantly less expensive, but it does mean that we likely will not see the adoption of the initiative until 2020. 

This year, I am the Vice-Chair of the Strategic Planning & Finance Committee. This committee is often referred to as the” brain trust” of the organization. We gather 6 times throughout the year to determine what strategies need to be implemented in order to best serve the membership. We discussed C.A.R.’s Pathway to Homeownership Project at length. A taskforce has been working with architects and city entities to take the Los Angeles C.A.R. headquarters to a whole new level. The project is expected to include approximately 180 units, and it would continue to house C.A.R. headquarters. There will be rental units and for sale units with the goal of providing affordable housing for individuals in the 60% - 150% range of AMI (Average Median Income). We also intend to set aside 20% of the units for veterans in the 50% AMI or lower. The concept would increase housing supply and serve as a template for other property owners to use to do something similar. We have a housing shortage in our state, and your Association is working diligently to lead the way to find solutions.  

Another item to note is that the Centriq app is now allowing free branding for REALTORS®, and that used to be $350 a year. Also, remember that you must fulfill the ethics training requirement. Per N.A.R. regulations, we must all complete ethics training every two years. If you renewed your license in 2016 like me, you will need to complete the course prior to the end of 2018. Here is the link to the FREE training: https://www.nar.realtor/about-nar/governing-documents/code-of-ethics/code-of-ethics-training In conclusion, assuming that you are still reading, part of the joy of volunteering as a California Association of REALTORS® Director is watching things happen because a member spoke up. As always, I will encourage you to speak up, get involved, or reach out to your Directors, as we serve as YOUR voice at the meetings.  

Bob Olivieri:   
C.A.R Director
PSAR Past President

The trip to Sacramento was very fruitful and it was nice to see our state association working so closely and diligently with the legislators to promote homeownership and affordability. I had the pleasure to be involved with the committee on Taxation along with being the regional representative for the Nominating committee. The following are highlights of my meeting:
  1. Taxation- Property Tax Portability Initiation was discussed extensively. Ratification of our signatures is expected Mid May, with June 27th the deadline to decide to proceed with the initiative.
    Alternatively,  We have been approached by a legislator from the Los Angeles area who offered to try to get this initiative passed through legislation rather than through the ballot. This would save our association 10’s of millions of dollars in campaign money. It would be packaged with repealing the property tax transfer exclusion for parent/grandparent to child/grandchild transfers on properties continued as  INVESTMENTS ONLY, not properties continued as principal residences. We could then still put our initiative on the ballot in 2020 if this option failed. CAR leadership will decide on how to proceed by the June 27th deadline
  2. Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Construction Bond- CAR has voted to introduce a bill that would create a revolving bond to finance construction of ADUs. This would be similar to the current CALVET bond which lends funds then is repaid by the borrower plus interest. This would facilitate financing for such units which are difficult to finance today.
 Also, I attended a very interesting presentation on modular home building. This is an area that California has lagged behind other parts of the country. Modular building is a cost-effective way to build homes for a fraction of the cost of stick built homes and in WEEKS not months.  This will help homes become much more affordable in the future.

Jan Farley:   
C.A.R. Director 
2018 PSAR President

Robert D. Calloway   
C.A.R. Director 
PSAR 2018 President-Elect 

C.A.R Meeting in Sacramento was most enlightening experience from the Legislative Briefings to attend the various committee meeting. The energy that was in the auditorium for the Leg Brief was electrifying as well as informative on the issues that C.A.R were advocating for on the hill. 
 
Although I have lobbied in both Sacramento and Washington D.C. this experience was very different to have over 2, 000 Realtors saying the same message for our business as well as for our clients. Additionally, I was able to speak with some of our local state elected officials on how some of the upcoming ballot measures directly affect our community. 
 
Also, attended the President’s Breakfast, which the President, Steve White spoke about the measure to defeat Casta Hawkins Bill and that C.A.R has task-force to share information on this campaign. The importance of defeating this bill is to help defeat rent control in various parts of the state. 
 
The other meeting, I attended was the Realtor Action Fund (RAF).  The most important item to come out of this meeting was the ability of local associations will have the ability to use some of their PAC contributions to hold an event to recognize some of the local contributors. 

Merrie M. Espina 
  
C.A.R  Director
Past PSAR Director

Housing Affordability Fund Committee

The committee plays an active role in addressing the ongoing housing affordability crisis facing our state. HAF raises and distributes funds in partnership with local associations and other groups to promote housing and homeownership. 
   
At our last meeting, presentations were made by associations who requested funds for the benefit of their communities relating to housing affordability and housing supply.

A fundraising event was discussed in length for the Casino/Karaoke night.  Pacific Southwest Asso. of Realtors was proudly represented and assisted in the huge success of the fun night.  The fundraising event generated approximately fifty-five thousand dollars, $55k after all expenses. 

Needless to say, I had the privilege of meeting a nice group of people who put their heart into a nice teamwork and made an incredible difference in making a successful event. 

As good luck invited me again...I purchased three of the winning raffle tickets. Unfortunately, I had to leave some of the prize items I won in Sacramento. My luggage exceeded my limit as I had fun shopping while taking a fun tour of the area.

Although I missed the march to the Capitol for the Realtors' Group Picture, I had the privilege of meeting with the Legislators with fellow realtors. The meetings with different lawmakers regarding issues important to the real estate industry gave me a better understanding of what we want to accomplish.
What the legislator will do to increase the housing supply was one of the informative hot issues asked.

Our guest speakers delivered inspiring messages!
  • Gov. Edmund Brown, Jr. advised to put away some earning, save a little as things go up or go down! He expressed being a proud supporter of Realtors for many years.  He definitely has a great sense of humor!
  • Our CEO; Joel Singer's hot topic on " Why Homeownership Really Matters, It provides more than a roof and a shelter" draw my attention.  As he stated, howe ownership enhances the quality of life in a variety of ways:
   Leads to better health, results in higher educational achievement and lowers crime rates and improves safety.

Global Real Estate Forum provided an excellent key takeaway:
The outlook for both the global economy and the U.S. economy remains bright for 2018 and 2019 reaching the highest level in the past few years.

Strong growth could lead to higher inflation, which could trigger an increase in interest rates in the near term as central banks start tightening up their monetary policies.

As economic conditions continue to improve, home prices in many countries remain on an upward trend. With the United States and Canada both listed in the top 20 countries with the highest price growth, North America outpaced all other world regions in 2017 and recorded the highest growth rate.

Despite the increase in home prices, international buyers continue to show tremendous interest in purchasing properties in the U.S. and in California.

Countries of International Buyers :   Canada 12% , UK 5%, China 14%, India 5%, Mexico 10%

It's been a pleasure, as always working with a very friendly, fun and professional Pacific Southwest Asso. of Realtors team. We are here to serve the membership for the benefit of homeownership!