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Broker Report

March 2024

News

NAR Reaches Agreement to Resolve Home Seller Class Action Lawsuits
On Friday, an email was sent to members on behalf of NAR President Kevin Sears regarding NAR reaching an agreement to resolve home seller class action lawsuits. To read the full message from NAR, please click here.

To read NYSAR’s Antitrust Lawsuit Resources webpage and FAQ’s for New York REALTORS®, click here.

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Summit
A two-day Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Summit, co-hosted by seven REALTOR® associations, including NYSAR, will be held June 3-4 at the Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott. Explore your understanding of DEI within your personal and professional career, review the correlation between fair housing and DEI, how DEI makes business sense, and the implicit biases that continue to plague the real estate industry.
To register and learn more, click here!

NAR Legislative Meetings registration open
The National Association of REALTORS® Legislative Meetings are scheduled for May 4-9 in Washington, D.C. All NAR members are invited to connect in our nation’s capital to advance issues important to the real estate profession at local, state, and national levels. Register now!

NYSAR Professional Standards/Code of Ethics video series
NYSAR recently wrapped up a Professional Standards/Code of Ethics video series project. These videos were produced with the help of a committee of your peers and represent situations that are very common in daily real estate practice. There are a total of 11 videos in the series and they are designed to be educational and a reminder of the Code of Ethics you live by every day. For the entire Professional Standards Code of Ethics video library to use in your office, click here.

Across the Association
In the latest edition of Across the Association, learn about an important notification coming up from the Department of State, your Leadership Team at the nation’s Capitol and a chance for you to get involved in a few short weeks. Watch now!

Cold Calling Still Prohibited in New York
Real estate licensees may not make any unsolicited phone calls to a member of the public during a State of Emergency. General Business Law §399-z(5)(a) states, “It shall be unlawful for any telemarketer doing business in this state to knowingly make an unsolicited telemarketing sales call to any person in a county, city, town or village under a declared state of emergency or disaster emergency as described in sections twenty-four or twenty-eight of the executive law.” All other types of marketing such as mailers, billboards, social media, internet etc., are permitted. You may call a FSBO if you have an identifiable purchaser interested in the property.  You are prohibited from calling the FSBO to solicit the listing.  You may still perform business to business calls so long as you are calling the number provided as the business number. NYSAR is monitoring all of the current Executive Orders declaring a State of Emergency. To view the States of Emergency that are still in effect, click here.

Education

The Education Department closes out March with two foundational Graduate REALTOR® Institute (GRI) courses offering 7.5 CE credits each.  Either class may be used toward the Buy 2, Get 1 Free – GRI promotion for New NYSAR Members, licensed 12 months or less.*

Gain in-depth knowledge on all forms of agency representation, proper agency disclosure and how to avoid risks of misrepresentation, vicarious liability, and breach of fiduciary duties at GRI-3 Agency, March 26-27with Alfred Fazio, Esq. and Neil B. Garfinkel, Esq. This course fulfills the 2 hours required in Agency for NYS for license renewal.

Walk through the steps on how to create a seamless, stress-free transaction for your seller clients while ensuring repeat future business from them – whether it be upgrading from a starter home or downsizing – at GRI-6 Sellers, March 27-28 with Instructor Jeffrey Decatur. From the CMA, pricing and positioning discussions to marketing and safely showing property, registrants will acquire the skills necessary to represent the seller competently, ethically, and legally while negotiating on their behalf and guiding them through the sales process.

Designation and Certification courses scheduled in late March and April, including the Home Finance Resource (HFR) course with Mike Smith on March 25-26. Earn the certification, 6 CE credits and acquire the know-how to confidently explain key pieces of the loan origination process and provide adept guidance on navigating mortgage applications and alternative financing options for all types of buyers.

Hone the skills required to help buyers and sellers of distressed properties on April 10-11, at the Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource (SFR) certification course with Randy Templeman. This 6-hour CE class provides the framework for understanding how to qualify sellers for short sales; develop a short sale package; negotiate with lenders; safeguard commissions; limit risk; and protect buyers. If you need elective credits to apply for the Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR) designation, HFR and SFR both qualify.

April 16- 19, we will offer the Seller Representative Specialist (SRS)course with Randy Templeman.  This 15-credit class, with 2 credits in Agency, provides a blueprint on what a successful seller transaction should look like from effective prospecting, generational marketing, compensation policies, listing models, and more.

If you are short on time and short on electives or Fair Housing credits, we have several three-hour classes coming up for just $50 each.  With the industry in a state of flux due to various lawsuits, brokers and managers may want to consider taking a fresh look at their Policy Manuals to update them or to create one.  Get valuable tips from Roseann Farrow on addressing, managing, and mitigating risk, March 22, at Managing Risk with Your Company Policy Manual from 9 am – 12 pm.  Review what should be in your policy manual including content on antitrust, SOPs, mandatory disclosures, agency, confidentiality, fair housing, social media, intellectual property, cybersecurity, safety and more.  All course attendees will receive a 40% discount on the customizable Office Policy Manual Template available for purchase through REBI – this discount alone covers the cost of the class!

During Fair Housing Month, join Dorothy Botsoe on April 12, from 1 pm – 4 pm, for Lawful Source of Income, Protected Classes and Access to Housing. Review NYS Source of Income Laws and types of discrimination. Discuss which subsidy programs are included in the SOI protections and learn about who is most impacted by this type of income discrimination and the challenges voucher holders may face in finding housing. Discuss best practices to educate agents, brokerages, management companies and homeowners that provide equal access to housing for all persons, regardless of their source of income and protected class.

Examine and modify your attitudes and behavior to ensure you are treating all clients and customers equally at Fair Housing Reality Check for Brokers and ManagersApril 15 from 1 pm – 4 pm with Roseann Farrow. Regardless of whether it is unintentional or subtle, discrimination is against the law. People have a right to live wherever they can afford to live, and REALTORS® have an obligation to protect that right.

Attend our free monthly Legal Update on April 2 at 10 a.m. with NYSAR Director of Legal Services Anthony Gatto, Esq. to fulfill your 1-hour requirement in Recent Legal Matters.

*Courses must be completed within 12 months of the first GRI course you attend to qualify for the free class. Registration for the free GRI class must be made by phone at 518-463-0300 x219 following the completion of the initial two classes.

Unless otherwise noted, all courses above are offered 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Remember:  Active REALTORS® who have earned and maintained their NAR-family designations/ certifications and are looking for a refresher, may retake a previously completed designation/certification course for only $50 and earn CE credit for doing so provided your dues are current!   

NYSREEF Scholarship Update
Since 2004 the New York State Real Estate Education Foundation (NYSREEF) has awarded more than $462,443 in tuition scholarships for national REALTOR® designation courses. These courses help to provide participants with the latest industry-based information helping in the growth of their business and careers. The deadline for the next round of scholarships is July 31, 2024. For application information, click here!

Government Affairs

Join us for NYSAR Lobby Day on March 27
NYSAR’s annual Lobby Day in Albany is scheduled for Wednesday, March 27 at the Albany Empire State Plaza, Meeting room 6. Join your fellow REALTORS® from across the state to advocate in front of your lawmakers and discuss real estate related priorities. Lobby Day is a free event and travel reimbursement is available.

RPAC of New York will also be hosting a “Lobby Day Pre-Game” fundraiser on Tuesday, March 26 from 5:30-9:00 p.m. at Apex Sports & Entertainment at Crossgates Mall in Albany. The event costs $200 and attendees will enjoy dinner in a private room and two drink coupons per person. Proceeds from the event will benefit RPAC and the deadline to register is March 15.

Registration for the RPAC fundraiser is available when you register for NYSAR Lobby Day. Register now!

Amended PCDS eliminating $500 credit goes into effect March 20, 2024
The amended Property Condition Disclosure Statement (PCDS) goes into effect Wednesday, March 20, 2024. The amended PCDS includes language requiring the disclosure of issues related to flooding and removal of the $500 credit if sellers fail or refuse to provide the PCDS. Sellers will no longer have the option of providing the $500 credit in lieu of the PCDS. The Department of State has published the amended form here: https://dos.ny.gov/property-condition-disclosure-statement-1. NYSAR is recommending that licensees provide a copy of the PCDS to the seller and inform the seller to discuss filling out the PCDS with their attorney. Licensees should not be assisting the seller in filling out the PCDS. To learn more, click here.

State Senate and Assembly release “one-house” budget proposals
On March 11, the State Senate and Assembly released their respective “one-house” budget proposals outlining the Legislature’s priorities and differences from Governor Kathy Hochul’s $233 billion budget proposal she released in January. With regard to housing, the Senate proposed $250 million to create a rental voucher program to assist those at risk of eviction or homelessness and $250 million to create a new state public benefit corporation to finance new housing construction on state-owned land. The Senate also stated support for an overall housing package that could be negotiated outside of the budget to create a new housing developer tax break to replace the expired 421-a program that would require additional affordability requirements and tied to new tenant protections that align with the principles of “good cause” eviction. The Assembly included in its budget the rental voucher program, however omitted other housing or tenant proposals included by the Senate.

Both the Senate and Assembly proposed increasing the personal income tax rates for filers making over $5 million and increasing the corporate franchise tax rate on businesses with incomes greater than $5 million. Governor Hochul reiterated that any proposed tax rate increases is a “non-starter.”

Click here to read the Senate Budget proposal.
Click here tor read the Assembly Budget proposal.
Click here for a full NYSAR budget summary.

U.S. Supreme Court rejects remaining rent law challenges
On February 20, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected two more petitions to review the state’s rent stabilization law, a decision that comes more than four months after the court declined to consider a challenge brought by the Rent Stabilization Association and Community Housing Improvement Program. Justice Clarence Thomas, however, alluded to the possibility of future challenges to the law saying, “I assume at some point in the future there will be a more specifically-brought case, perhaps rather than challenging all of the HSTPA, challenging specific portions of it.” Learn more.

RPAC

New RPAC Merch Available – Soft Cooler Tote Bag
Cost: $25 RPAC Investment
Our 2024 signature RPAC item is a Soft Cooler Tote bag in Black. The bag is insulated, features a zippered main compartment, front pocket, handy adjustable shoulder strap and padded carrying handle. Perfect for the beach, pool, picnic and more. Size:12 ½” W x 9″ H x 6 ½” D
To order your Soft Cooler Tote, click here!

NYSAR members to be inducted into NAR RPAC Hall of Fame
Let’s be sure to send a roaring New York crowd to the NAR RPAC Hall of Fame Induction ceremony to cheer-on and support our distinguished inductees. The induction ceremony will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Monday, May 6 at 5 p.m. as part of NAR’s Legislative Meetings. Congrats to our NY inductees and thank you all for leading by example!

NAR Video Series shows the power of REALTOR® Advocacy
For 100+ years, the National Association of REALTORS® has been a champion for homeownership and private property rights in America. Hear from NAR’s Chief Advocacy Officer Shannon McGahn on how we’re advancing public policies and candidates that build strong communities, increase access to homeownership, and protect private property rights. Learn more!

March Auction Item – Beats Studio Buds
Wireless noise cancelling earbuds by Beats with Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) technology to block external noise, three ear tips included for perfect customization to your ears, simple one-touch pairing, compatible with both Apple and Android. Bidding will end on Friday, March 29 at 5 p.m. To bid, visit the RPAC of NY Facebook page.

Contributions are not deductible for income tax purposes. Contributions to RPAC are voluntary and are used for political purposes. You may contribute more or less than the suggested amount. You may refuse to contribute without reprisal and the National Association of REALTORS®, the New York State Association of REALTORS® or any of its local boards or associations will not favor or disfavor any member because of the amount contributed. 70% of each contribution is used by your state PAC to support state and local political candidates. Until your NYSAR PAC reaches its PAC goal, 30% is sent to National RPAC to support federal candidates and is charged against your limits under 2 U.S.C. 441a; after NYSAR PAC reaches its RPAC goal, it may elect to retain your entire contribution for use in supporting state and local candidates. Contributions are not deductible for income tax purposes. Contributions to RPAC are voluntary and are used for political purposes. You may contribute more or less than the suggested amount. You may refuse to contribute without reprisal and the National Association of REALTORS®, the New York State Association of REALTORS® or any of its local boards or associations will not favor or disfavor any member because of the amount contributed. 70% of each contribution is used by your state PAC to support state and local political candidates. Until your NYSAR PAC reaches its PAC goal, 30% is sent to National RPAC to support federal candidates and is charged against your limits under 2 U.S.C. 441a; after NYSAR PAC reaches its RPAC goal, it may elect to retain your entire contribution for use in supporting state and local candidates.