BY Laurie Janik
Every real estate transaction presents potential legal pitfalls for licensees. Combine an active housing market with an increasingly litigious society, and you have the recipe for lawsuits. Buyers and sellers may bring suits against brokers or agents for a variety of reasons, based on both statutory and common law.
As long as Realtor® associations have had Web sites, many have provided information on homebuying and homeselling. Recently, though, more associations are launching informational Web sites, for a variety of reasons, specifically targeting consumers.
By Bridget McCrea
The life of a lobbyist is one that not many people understand. Charged with persuading members of the government to enact legislation that would benefit their group—in this case the associations of Realtors®—lobbyists spend their days attempting to influence the outcome of legislation or administrative decisions.
A government affairs program that rallies members to take a stand on local issues isn’t just for state or large associations.
By C. Warren Wakeland
They’re Democrats and Republicans, they’re independents and social conservatives, they’re environmentalists and, sometimes, even Realtors®. The people we elect to make laws affecting our communities are as varied as the places we call home. But when it comes to gaining the backing of Realtor® associations, they must have one thing in common: support for the Realtor® organization’s political position.
By Nan Roytberg
Association executives are always looking for new services to offer their members. But what if that next great idea turns into your worst nightmare . . . the loss of your association’s tax-exempt status?
This can happen if you run afoul of the “no inurement” provisions of section 501(c)(6) of the IRS code. This article will give you an overview of some complex laws as well as the tools to help you recognize when that great new program idea needs to be cleared by your association attorney or tax advisor.
What is inurement?
By Carolyn Schwaar
Do you overburden your members with e-mail? This convenient and cost-effective way to communicate with members is often overused, associations report, to the extent that members block association e-mail and plead to be opted-out. So what’s the critical balance between keeping members informed and overloading their inboxes?
Bundle Your Message
By David Staebler
Once a factual tool shared by brokers, MLSs recently have been called upon to reach a new audience—consumers. Can MLSs maintain the integrity of their traditional role while simultaneously evolving as a marketing tool?
By F.P. Maxson
Have a document retention policy at your association? Never thought about it? Well, there are now new reasons you should. First, the recent amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) increase the need for an association to adopt a policy. Second, a good document retention system is an effective risk management tool.
Across the country, Realtor® organizations are shaping the outcomes of legislation and regulation on a wide variety of issues.
So what hot topics should set off your e-mail campaigns to legislators and get you to mobilize members? Here are 10 important issues you should know and what some associations are doing about them.Taxes on Real Estate Commissions
Dozens of state associations continue to fight off lawmakers’ efforts to tax real estate commissions.