LCBR BULLETIN BOARD
RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN
IN REAL ESTATE - The National Association of REALTORS®
Center for REALTOR®
Technology (CRT) has written a white paper about responsive web design
in real estate. The screen size and devices used to access any given
website vary from user to user, however, web designers can accommodate
these various screen sizes and devices by using the Responsive Web
Design technique. To learn more about the paper,
click here. To read the white paper,
BREAKFAST - Don't miss your opportunity to meet with local
leadership at this year's Local Leadership Breakfast scheduled for March
26, 2014 at the Elks Lodge in Torrington. Current local leadership
has been invited to attend to see a list of those invited,
click here!!! This is your opportunity to sit down with your local
Mayor/Selectman to discuss issues regarding your local area that affects
your day to day business. You don't want to miss this one of a kind
legislative meeting! To register,
click here. There a five easy ways to share the content with you
clients, Facebook, Twitter, Email, your site or
blog, and handouts.
AT THE CAPITOL - Don't miss your opportunity to attend this year's
at the Capitol scheduled for April 3rd. As always, there are many
upcoming laws that will affect your business. Your Legislative & RPAC
Committee Chairperson, Roselee Fanelli and Co-Chair Amity Wolfe hope you
will join them and the Legislative & RPAC Committee at REALTORS®
at the Capitol.
Click here to register.
REALTORS® HAVE A HEART FOR KIDS - The Public Relations Committee presented representatives of the Torrington Department of Children and Families with $2,687 in gift cards to various stores; the gift cards were the proceeds from their 2014 REALTORS® Have a Heart program.
To view the presentation to DCF, click here.
OUR CONDOLENCES: Sadly, long time member, Marilyn Palmer passed away on March 3, 2014. Our thoughts and prayers are with Marilyn’s family and friends. Our industry and all of us personally have suffered a huge loss!
Marilyn was a REALTOR® Member of Litchfield County Board of REALTORS® for 32 years! Over the years she was on committees- Personnel, Budget Committee Chair, MLS Committee and the Nominating Committee. She attended many events, her smile always brightened the room!
Memorial Services will be held at First Congregational Church, 835 Riverside Ave Torrington CT, at 10 AM on Saturday, March 8th, with Rev Steve Darr officiating. Memorial Contributions can be made to The Neag Cancer Center at UCONN Medical Center 263 Farmington Ave Farmington CT 06032.
To leave an online condolence visit http://www.phalenfuneral.com/obits/obituary.php?id=541698.Marilyn received her 30 year pin 2012 at our Awards Night Dinner.
- LCBR offered the following two CE courses on March 5th, Green
Building, Green Living and What Would You Do? Case Studies in
Residential Building Inspections at the Elks Lodge in Torrington.
The morning course included a continental breakfast buffet and the
afternoon class included a sandwich and salad buffet. Everyone
enjoyed the pastries and especially the sandwich and salad buffet which
was half gone before we had the chance to take a picture of it!
Many thanks to Torrington Savings Bank and Daley Moving & Storage, Inc. for sponsoring both courses; you are appreciated.
There is still time to signup for the two CE classes coming up on March
12th, Connecticut Real Estate Law Updated and Revisited and
Environmental Issues Affecting the Real Estate Transaction. For
more information, please visit
|Instructor Brian Piers, Tiger Home & Building Inspections|
|Pastry & Fruit Station for Morning Class|
|Green Building, Green Living Class|
Sponsor: Daley Moving & Storage, Inc.
Jeff Bunch; Gina Mariano-Bunch
Denise Raap, Education Committee Member;
Sandra Becker, Education Committee Chair
Sponsor: Torrington Savings Bank
|L to R: Jeanne Sage, REALTOR; Tom Mettling, REALTOR|
Elks Lodge in Torrington
James Dean, Executive Chef
|Sandwich & Salad Station for Afternoon Class|
APPLE SECURITY UPDATE - If you have an Apple iPhone or iPad there is
a security update available. To download the update go to
"General", then to "Settings", then to "Software Update". iPhone
and iPad users should be at 7.06 level software.
MID YEAR LEGISLATIVE
MEETINGS NAME CHANGE -REGISTRATION NOW OPEN - May 14-15
- The Midyear Legislative Meetings and Trade
Expo has a new name - the REALTOR Party Convention & Trade Expo.
This year's convention is scheduled for May 12-17 in Washington D.C. For
more information regarding the convention,
click here. For more information regarding the name
PROTECTION WEEK - National Consumer protection week (NCPW) is a
coordinated campaign that encourages consumers nationwide to take full
advantage of their consumer rights and make better-informed decisions.
NCPW 2014 will take place March 2 through March 8, 2014.
CONTENT RESOURCE - HouseLogic content, a free benefit to NAR
members, gives REALTORS®
access to hundreds of FREE articles on home ownership, buying, and
selling for their communications. REALTORS®
need to know their NRDS ID to access this benefit which they can find
out by contacting the Board office or by
looking it up online.
FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM
LEGISLATION UPDATE -
This update covers two
issues of vital importance to REALTORS®
National Flood Insurance Program Legislation and the release of a
Federal Tax Reform Proposal.
Background NFIP: Throughout 2013 and 2014 REALTORS® have been working to address serious shortcomings in the 2012 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. The law was intended to bring much needed stability to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which had been operating under a series of stop-gap measures. On numerous occasions the program actually lapsed, delaying closings and ending some transactions. Later this week the House of Representatives is poised to address the continuing issues with the NFIP. NAR Strongly Supports H.R. 3370 as AMENDED, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act.
Next Steps: NAR is urging every member of the House of Representatives to vote for the legislation when it is considered on the House floor later this week. NAR President Steve Brown has sent a letter of support for the legislation that is being delivered by NAR Lobbyists. The letter outlines why this legislation is of vital importance to REALTORS®. Additional information about the provisions contained in the House of Representatives version of the NFIP Legislation as well as a comparison to the Senate NFIP Legislation and the Biggert-Waters law is available. Once the House of Representatives acts a conference committee will have to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions.
Background Federal Tax Reform: After being out of the spotlight for months, comprehensive Federal Tax Reform will likely gather some headlines later this week. While restoration of the Mortgage Cancellation Debt Relief is the primary short-term tax concern for REALTORS®, remaining on watch for larger proposals that affect real estate is always an important component of our advocacy efforts.
NAR has learned that the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Dave Camp (R-MI) is expected to release his discussion draft for comprehensive reform of the tax code on Wednesday. Chairman Camp has been working with his staff and Republican members of the Ways & Means Committee to develop the draft over the past couple of years, yet the contents of the discussion draft are one of Washington’s best kept secrets.
In anticipation of the release, NAR has sent a letter to all Members of the House reminding them of NAR’s priorities in tax reform. It is important to remember this will only be a discussion draft and because of the political landscape and timeline, NAR does not believe any tax reform bill will become law this Congress. However, NAR will carefully review the discussion draft when it is released and will be weighing in with comments on how the proposal affects both residential and commercial real estate.
If you have any questions concerning Flood Insurance you can contact Austin Perez 202-383-1046 firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions concerning Tax Reform Evan Liddiard 202-383-1083 email@example.com
(This information was
provided courtesy of NAR Communications Director
NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR
GOOD NEIGHBOR AWARDS -
Five winners selected for
Magazine Good Neighbor Awards receive $10,000 for their charity and
travel expenses to attend the 2014 REALTORS® Conference &
Expo in New Orleans in November. The awards recognize the extraordinary
charity work of REALTORS®. Entries must be received by May 16.
Access entry form. For more info, contact
Sara Geimer. (This
information is provided courtesy of the National Association of REALTORS®)
RURAL HOME BUYERS GAIN
IN FARM BILL - Home buyers in rural areas often don't have the same
range of mortgage options available to them that buyers in others parts
of the country have, so it was an important win for REALTORS®
legislation signed into law two weeks ago leaves the definition of rural
community unchanged, as NAR sought, NAR President Steve Brown
says in a video on the win. (This information is provided
courtesy of the National Association of REALTORS®)
SURVEY INVITATION - If you have any interest in participating in the
2014 WAV Group Broker Technology Adoption Survey,
SERVICE ANIMALS IN HOUSING -
HOME OFFICE, SAFE
HARBOR, OTHER TAX CHANGES - The IRS has made recent changes to taxes such as
Home Office Deductions, Mileage Deductions, etc. To learn more,
ZIPFORMS TRAINING - LCBR
offers free access to zipForm Plus as a benefit to their REALTOR®
members. If you would like to learn about the benefits of using zipForm
Plus or are already using it and have questions, then you should register to
attend one of our upcoming zipForm Presentations on March 18th.
Information Technology Chair Bob Riva will give a zipForm Plus demonstration and
answer your questions. Two timeslots are scheduled, one at 11:00 AM and one
at 1:00 PM. If you would like to attend, please email the Board office at
YOU CAN'T SAY THAT
- This article discusses phrases and words that might be avoided in real
estate ads and listings.
CTREAL MOBILE TRAINING
- Are you using CTReal Mobile? Do you have questions regarding
CTReal Mobile? Lauren Egan, Head Trainer for CTMLS, will give a
demonstration of the app and answer your questions. Training will
be available at the Board office on March 27th; three timeslots are
scheduled, 10 AM, 11:30 AM and 2PM. If you would like to
attend, please email the Board office at
RAYMOND F. GATES, JR.
MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - Applications for the Raymond Gates
Scholarship are available on CTR's website. The scholarship
application deadline is March 28, 2014. For more information,
AND CE CREDIT - CTR is offering both GRI-1 and Appraisal-1 and each
are approved for 30 hours of broker pre-licensing credit. Register
for the GRI-1 series set to begin on March 3 at the Midd-Shore
Association in Old Saybrook. The class is also approved for 9 elective
CE of 2014 license renewal. Appraisal-1 will be held a the
Northern Fairfield County Association in Bethel beginning March 11.
This course is also approved for 6 hours of elective CE for 2014
Read more... (This information is provided courtesy of
Connecticut REALTORS® (CTR))
MARCH 19TH - Don't miss your opportunity to attend a FREE "Exploring
Housing Opportunities for People with Disabilities" housing conference
on March 19th from 9 AM to 3 PM at the Crowne Plaza Cromwell. Come
and learn about how you can move towards your goals and end your journey
with a place to call home. This conference is a must for all
stakeholders in creating housing opportunities for people with
disabilities including individuals, families, service providers, real
estate providers and more. Keynote Speaker - Gail Fanjoy "Home: More
than Just an Address". For more information download the
2014 MEMBERSHIP CARD
AVAILABLE - Did you know that you can order a customized version of
your NAR membership card? You can choose between a personalized
background, add up to six of your designations and certifications, and
have it provided in plastic. Also, you can download the Member
Center app to access your card on your smartphone or print it for use
all year long. For more information login to the
NAR PRAISES SENATE PASSAGE OF FLOOD BILL
- NAR President Steve Brown last week issued
a statement thanking senators for passing a bill that would impose a
time-out on changes to flood insurance premiums while the federal
government addresses inaccurate premium rates and affordability
concerns. The House still needs to act on the bill. (This
information is provided courtesy of the National Association of REALTORS®)
NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE
PROGRAM REGULATORY UPDATE
- Provision Eliminating Future Grandfathering in the NFIP Delayed At
Least Until 2015 - On February 5, 2014, the Federal Emergency Management
released guidance released guidance related to flood insurance and
grandfathering. Section 207 of the Biggert-Waters Reform Act (BW12),
which passed in 2012, eliminated the grandfathering provision in the
National Flood Insurance Program. This guidance applies to FEMA’s
future plans for grandfathering and not to the skyrocketing rate
increases being triggered by a property’s sale which we’re seeing around
Grandfathering provides property owners the ability to pay a lower flood insurance rate based on an older map, even if the map and the flood risk changes in the future. BW12 eliminated grandfathering and required FEMA to increase flood insurance premiums when the maps change, at a rate of 20 percent per year until the property pays the full actuarial rate. FEMA had recently estimated that rules implementing this provision would be finalized in late 2014.
This guidance is the
result of provisions of the recently passed Consolidated Appropriations
Act of 2014 (The Omnibus) which requires FEMA to cease any current
planning and development activities to implement this provision through
Sept. 30, 2014. According to FEMA’s statement, they have halted all
work related to this provision. Once Congress restores funding to
implement Section 207 of BW12, FEMA estimates it will take an additional
12-18 months to finalize the rulemaking. NAR will continue to keep you
apprised of the latest regulatory and legislative developments related
to implementation or reform of BW12. (This information was provided
courtesy of John DiBiase, Communications Director, Government Affairs,
National Association of REALTORS®.)
FHA ALLOWS MORE ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES
- HUD is accepting
electronic signatures on most documents involved in FHA mortgage
insurance, mortgage servicing, loss mitigation and insurance claims,
the agency says. "NAR welcomes HUD’s announcement," says NAR
President Steve Brown. "Many REALTORS® use e-signatures to streamline
real estate transactions and prevent fraud. NAR has been working with
industry and agency leaders to promote greater acceptance and usage of
e-signatures, which we believe will soon become the new normal in all
documents and transactions." The HUD announcement came two days after
NAR convened a summit on the topic. For more info contact
202/383-1109. (This information is provided courtesy of the National
Association of REALTORS®)
FLOOD INSURANCE PREMIUM
HIKES DELAYED - The Senate has passed a bill to postpone steep
increases in flood insurance rates,
CARBON MONOXIDE LAW -
Effective January 1, 2014 sellers of 1-2 family homes built prior to October 1,
2005 will be required to furnish their purchasers with an affidavit that the
property has working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors or to provide a credit.
CAR has produced a series of public service announcements highlighting how CO
detectors can save live, and the new law. To learn more,
(This information was provided courtesy of the Connecticut Association of
LCBR APPLICATION FEE
The application fee of $100 has been waived for any new members
joining now through March 31, 2014! We have many great benefits of membership
including free CE in September, free zipform access, discounted TenantTracks
membership and MORE! Call the Board office for more details about joining today,
11 COMPATIBILITY - Internet Explorer 11 Compatibility - With holiday
shopping season fast approaching we realize many of you using
MLXchange/Fusion will soon be purchasing/receiving new computers with
Windows 8 OS and IE11 Browser. Please be advised that it's
currently necessary for users with Windows 7 or Windows 8 to add the
domain name (i.e., mlxchange.com, fusionmls.com, fusionmlx.com,
mlxtempo.com, etc.) to Internet Explorers Compatibility View and Trusted
Sites lists. Also a reminder that Internet Explorer 10 and 11 must be
run in Desktop mode, not Metro mode.
CHANGE TO BROKER'S
LICENSE REQUIREMENTS - Effective January 1, 2014 the 30-hour
Principles and Practices course which is currently accepted towards the
60 hour course requirement for broker or salesperson pre-licensing will
no longer be accepted. Effective January 1, 2014 the only acceptable
Principles and Practices of Real Estate course completion certificate
will be that of an approved 60-hour course.
YOUR SAFETY MATTERS! - A large selection of safety resources are available at no cost to REALTOR® members. Don't take your safety for granted, make sure you utilize these resources. We have highlighted some of the resources available below, however, you will find all of the resources available at http://www.realtor.org/topics/realtor-safety.
REALTOR® Safety Forms: More Than Just Space Filler - Read this REALTOR® safety article to learn about the different forms available through NAR's Safety Resources. Read Article...
Safety Tip #2 - Checking-in - When you have a new client, ask him/her to stop by your office and complete a Prospect Identification Form (Find a copy online at www.realtor.org/Safety). Also, photocopy their driver's license and retain this information at your office. Be certain to properly discard this personal information when you no longer need it.
REALTOR® Safety at the Office - Watch this REALTOR® safety video to learn about safety at the office.
FREE REALTOR Safety Webinar - Attend the How to Detect and Redirect Unwanted Attention from Past, Present or Potential Clients webinar scheduled for December 19, 2013. Registration is required. Click here.
Banners & Widgets
- Did you know you can download and display REALTOR® Safety banners
and widgets on your website? To get the code for a banner and/or a widget,
LEGAL CORNER - Board
Counsel Stephanie Weaver attended this year's REALTOR® Conference & Expo in
California. She has written a report on the conference which has been
posted on our Legal Corner. To read the report,
IRS WARNS OF TELEPHONE SCAM -
The IRS has issued a warning regarding a telephone scam that targets tax
payers. The victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid
promptly through a pre-loaded debit card wire transfer. To read more about this
alert and others,
click here. To subscribe to IRS email newsletters,
ONLINE CONTINUING EDUCATION - LCBR is partnered with The CE Shop to provide CE training in an easy to use on-line format; you can access great online continuing education courses that are state approved and 100% accredited! Additionally, once you complete the course you can access your certificate instantly and The CE Shop manages all reporting to the state. As an ADDED BONUS: at checkout enter the promotional code LUCKY15 to receive 15% off your purchase when you enroll in any online CE course taken through our online course catalog! This promotion expires March 31, 2014. You must use the following link to register for these courses, click here to register.
NEW COMMERCIAL COURSE AVAILABLE: Commercial Real Estate: Landlord Representation course is now available in The CE Shop course catalog! This 3-hour course is designed to provide licensees with a thorough understanding of the career of a landlord representative. To learn more about the course visit http://lcbr.theceshop.com/.
What Members Need to Know About
Health Reform - Now that the online state health insurance exchanges are
open, brokers and agents are facing decisions about their health insurance
coverage. REALTOR® Magazine has published a guide explaining what parts of the
Affordable Care Act affect real estate professionals, and detailing coverage
options that you can
share with your members. (This information is provided courtesy of the
National Association of REALTORS®.)
|REALTORS® PROPERTY RESOURCE - Have you utilized the RPR member benefit yet? Click the RPR icon below to access RPR training schedules and videos. Don't hesitate begin using this benefit today!|
MAKE OUR MARKS REMARKABLE
- Watch this video to learn why NAR protects the value of the REALTOR®
ELECTRONIC KEY BOXES AVAILABLE AT THE BOARD OFFICE
ELECTRONIC KEY BOXES - We now have the ability to provide our members electronic Keys and Boxes. Click here for information and procedures on how to obtain a Lock Box or Key. Please follow the procedures explicitly.