It’s finally here!! September 24 the new NDAR website will go live! Thanks to the Technology Committee and taskforce for all their hard work on this project. The website address will stay the same – www.ndrealtors.com, but watch for some changes! If there is something you would like to see on the website, let us know!
October NDAR Meetings
Please watch for details coming soon about the October NDAR meetings going to be held in Minot. The dates are October 23 and 24 at the Grand International Inn. Tentatively committees and 2013 Board of Directors will meet early on the 23 and the 2014 Leadership Retreat will follow and be finished on the 24. Mark your calendars today and watch for details coming soon!
NAR has created a great resource for all things related to the flood insurance issue. The new Flood Insurance Toolkit is now available on REALTOR.org: http://www.realtor.org/topics/national-flood-insurance-program-nfip/resources This toolkit is a one-stop shop to provide you with all the information you’ll need about the issue, and is a great resource to answer the questions you might have. Questions about the flood insurance issue can be directed to Austin Perez at firstname.lastname@example.org
CRS 103: Mastering Positive Change in Today’s World
Looking for time management techniques or how to develop action plans to achieve your goals? Well here is the class for you – CRS 103: Mastering Positive Change in Today’s World. CRS instructor Chandra Hall will teach that and more! She will teach how to build a rewarding business that works for you, and reduce stress in your daily life. This course is approved 6 hours of ND Continuing Education (CE1314-021). Go to www.ndrealtors.com for registration information. Dakota CRS members are eligible for a $25 rebate!
TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors)
This year’s Dakota CRS Chapter with a Heart project is TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors). TAPS is a 24/7 tragedy assistance resource for anyone who has suffered the loss of a military loved one, regardless of the relationship to the deceased or the circumstance of the death. TAPS provides comfort and care through comprehensive services and programs including peer based emotional support, case work assistance, connections to community-based care, and grief and trauma resources. We currently have collected $2500 in donations of but we want more! All funds raised will stay in North Dakota (usually it all goes to the national office). Please send your donations to the NDAR office – write the check to the Dakota CRS Chapter. We will be taking donations until September 30. Send your donation in today!
Qualified Residential Mortgage Rule
Earlier this week, regulators re-proposed the Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) rule that will give creditworthy buyers access to safe and affordable loan products without burdensome down payment requirements. Thanks to REALTORS® around the country that remained vocally opposed to the original proposal, changes were made that will give many more Americans access to homeownership. To read NAR President Gary Thomas’ statement on the updated proposal, and to learn more about the QRM rule, visit REALTOR.org: http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2013/08/statement-from-nar-president-gary-thomas-on-qualified-residential-mortgage-rule
New Classes from the CE Shop
The CE Shop has two new classes available – Determining Value of Commercial Properties and Commercial Real Estate: Landlord Representation. Both classes are approved for 3 hours of ND Continuing Education. Please go to http://ndrealtors.theceshop.com for sign up today!
National Convention REALTOR® Relief Fundraiser
The REALTORS® Relief Foundation (RRF) is holding a silent auction in San Francisco to raise much needed funds for future disaster assistance. This auction will be conducted online & via mobile devices through a well-respected charity fundraising website, allowing both attendees and non-attendees the opportunity to bid on the items donated. North Dakota sought the RRF’s assistance during the floods of 2011. 100% of all proceeds will go into the RRF fund so they are ready to help when the next disaster hits. Let’s all pitch in to make this an extremely successful event in San Francisco! NDAR will be purchasing an item to put on the auction. During the Board meeting at convention, the Minot Board challenged each local association to make a donation to the RRF. They set the goal of $1.00/member of their local board. Please send any donations to the NDAR office and we will get it to the RRF fund at NAR.
Transfer Tax Steering Committee Volunteers
Representatives from NAR conducted an informational session during the REALTOR® Convention on the Initiated Measure to ban Transfer Tax in North Dakota. The Initiated Measure will be on the November 2014 ballot with a vote YES on the measure. NDAR will be looking for volunteers from each board to volunteer for a Steering Committee to educate the public about this Measure. Steering Committee Chair Greg Larson, along with NDAR staff, will be asking for volunteers soon! If you are interested in serving on this committee, please contact the NDAR office at 701-355-1010 or email email@example.com.
Last chance for CE! Our annual December Education session will be held on December 4 and 5 at the Ramkota in Bismarck. The classes have not been finalized, but those two days are on the calendar. Please mark your calendars!
New Short Sale Rules Take Effect October 1
New rules taking effect Oct. 1 that will prohibit brokers and agents from representing both buyers and sellers in FHA short sales will only make it harder for the government to get the most bang for its buck, the National Association of Realtors argued this week in a letter to Federal Housing Commissioner Carol Galante.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a letter to mortgage servicers in July outlining a number of new anti-fraud requirements for short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure.
They include the use of a “deficit income test” to prove that a homeowner is experiencing a hardship that may qualify them for a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, and documentation requirements for verifying the homeowners assets, income and expenses.
To ensure that short-sale transactions are conducted at “arm’s length,” HUD said “brokers and their agents may only represent the buyer or the seller, but not both parties.”
In other words, NAR said in its letter to Galante, “HUD will no longer allow ‘dual agency’ agreements in short-sale transactions.”
NAR said it’s been told the policy was implemented because HUD’s inspector general “detected fraud and abuse in the pre-foreclosure sales process”.
While NAR said it takes fraud “very seriously,” it complained that “no statistics or reports were provided to NAR detailing short-sale fraud by real estate agents.” That’s because some brokerages could decide to stop representing sellers in FHA short sales, because they won’t want to restrict their agents from representing buyers of those properties. While HUD’s inspector general has noted that short sales aren’t meeting “minimum net sales proceeds requirements,” the new restrictions on real estate brokers and agents are “only going to make this problem worse,” NAR maintains.
“Some real estate brokers have hundreds of agents across multiple offices,” NAR said. “If one of those offices chooses to list a short sale, under HUD’s new policy none of the other agents can bring a buyer to that property.”
One broker with more than 2,000 agents in multiple offices “has buyer’s agents and listing agents work on the same transaction in over 30 percent of their sales,” NAR said. “In rural areas, where there are fewer real estate firms and agents to choose from, the percentages are even higher.”
NAR member brokers are also worried that they would have to provide a disclaimer when listing a short sale in the multiple listing service that none of their agents could represent a buyer on that listing — a potential violation of MLS guidelines.
NAR said HUD’s policy also conflicts with state laws that allow dual agency as long as it’s disclosed and accepted by the parties involved.
“Most state licensing laws have standards for how to function as a dual agent and there is a formal complaint process through the respective real estate commissions in the event of suspected fraud in a transaction,” the trade group said. “NAR feels there are other ways that HUD could address concerns about the short-sale process without restricting such a significant number of real estate agents from participating in pre-foreclosure transactions.”
Fannie Mae allows dual agency on short sales, requiring that all properties being considered be listed as active in an MLS for a minimum of five consecutive calendar days.
Fannie Mae also provides anti-fraud training and a phone number and email for reporting potential short-sale fraud.
“We strongly urge you to reconsider the implementation of this policy and consider other options that could more positively impact the pre-foreclosure program,” NAR said.