VOICE FOR REAL ESTATE - Every voice counts

5.20.17 - Internal News Service Special Report


NAR Reaffirms Support of Project Upstream
The NAR Board of Directors voted to continue its support of Upstream, the technology developed to give brokers and agents a better way to manage their listing data and direct its distribution to MLSs, vendors, and third-party listing aggregators. 

Spearheaded by the broker-run UpstreamRE LLC, the technology has been successfully demonstrated by RMLS, a REALTOR® owned MLS operating in the Portland, Ore., area. Several other demonstrations are planned for this summer with brokers and MLSs around the country. 

In comments to the Board, Upstream Chairman Dan Elsea likened Upstream to technologies that exist in other industries, including ATPCO, the source of airline fare-related data. Elsea heads one of the nation's largest independent brokerages, Real Estate One, but said Upstream will benefit large and small brokerages alike.   READ MORE

LEGISLATIVE NEWS

10.14.16 – LARA and Attorney General Partner in Tracking Unlicensed Real Estate Practitioners

Effective immediately, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is announcing its partnership with Attorney General Bill Schuette in stepping up enforcement against unlicensed real estate practitioners. For the past several months, Michigan Realtors® have led discussions with both departments about this important initiative to deal with the rise in unlicensed real estate activity.  

This is an extraordinary opportunity to hold accountable those who unlawfully practice real estate. This new partnership aims to keep consumers safe, and will investigate and prosecute unlicensed individuals.

Below is the information where members and consumers may submit their complaints of unlicensed activity:

Consumer Complaint - Online Form
Consumer Complaint - PDF Form
Toll Free Consumer Hotline: 877-765-8388 
Local Consumer Number: 517-373-1140

7.13.17 -  “First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account” legislation introduced
Legislation to create a First-Time Homebuyers Savings account has been

introduced in the Michigan Senate. Senate Bills 511 and 512, sponsored by

Senator Peter MacGregor (R-Cannon Township) and Senator Ken Horn

(R-Frankenmuth), a key legislative priority for Michigan Realtors®, would

create a new incentivized savings program for 1st time homebuyers to save

and grow funds for homeownership in Michigan. These savings would not

only assist 1st time homebuyers designated as account beneficiaries over

a long-term savings model, but also any buyer who hasn’t owned or

purchased a principle residence in 3 years.

In addition, these bills:

  • provide income tax deductions on contributions by account holders, up
        to $5,000 for a single return and $10,000 married filers;
  • create tax-free gains on the qualified savings account;
  • create a long-term savings model to prepare for down-payment assistance and/or the purchase of a first home.

The legislation has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee. We will continue to keep you updated as these bills move through the Michigan Legislature.




7.13.17 - “Good Jobs for Michigan” Legislation moves to the Governor
Legislation enhancing tax incentives for businesses that create new jobs in Michigan was passed by the Legislature, and is now on to the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature into law. Senate Bills 242-244, led by Senator Jim Stamas (R-Midland) enhance tax incentives for large companies that locate or expand in Michigan. These bills make Michigan a more attractive state for large job-providers looking for business-friendly locations when compared to neighboring states. Michigan Realtors® is a member of the “Good Jobs for Michigan Coalition” and continues to support good policy that paves the way for employment opportunities and high-wage jobs for Michigan citizens. We will keep you updated once these bills are signed into law. 




7.10.17 - Keep Compliance on the Radar
As you have heard, beginning January 1, 2018 the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) will undertake greater enforcement of real estate advertising, including the clarification on type size. Over the next several months, Michigan Realtors® will be embarking on a communications campaign to make sure that all Realtors® are informed and in compliance. LARA is indicating that it will be more active in the enforcement of real estate advertising.  To that end, it is important that all Realtors® review their advertising to ensure that it satisfies the current requirements as well as those that are forthcoming on January 1, 2018.

The rules governing real estate advertising in Michigan have been in place for decades, subject to enforcement by LARA. Generally, all real estate advertising must affirmatively state the name of the employing broker (either as licensed or the assumed name on file with LARA). In addition to the employing broker’s name, the advertising must include either the broker’s telephone number or street address. This information is designed to tell a consumer with a question or complaint who to contact and how to contact them.  Thus, it is very important to note that the broker’s logo or franchise name is rarely ever sufficient to satisfy the requirements under the prior rule or the newly revised law.  The exception would be where the employing broker’s name as licensed, or the assumed name on file with the state, is featured in the logo itself.

As of January 1, 2018, the above requirements will also impose an objective standard for type size. In all real estate advertising (including online), the type size used for the employing broker’s name must be at least as large as the type size for the individual licensee or team name. The names, however, do not need to be the same font or color. The adoption of an objective type-size standard gives LARA and Realtor® members a clear and measurable standard for enforcement and compliance.

In anticipation of January 1, 2018, Michigan Realtors® President Jason Copeman has appointed a Presidential Advisory Group (PAG) to discuss standards of practice relating to the advertising law and the type-size requirement, requesting input from LARA on compliance. Michigan Realtors® will publish all PAG findings and any guidance that it receives from LARA.

In the meantime, it is important for Realtors® to take the initiative, ensuring that existing advertising satisfies the current law while preparing for the objective type-size standard effective on January 1, 2018. Noncompliance with any provisions of the Occupational Code or administrative rules can result in suspension or revocation of a license, censure, probation, restitution, and/or an administrative fine of up to $10,000. A forward-thinking approach to compliance is a very good idea.

The key changes in Public Act 502 can be reviewed here:

http://www.mirealtors.com/Portals/0/Documents/ChangestotheCodeJan17.pdf