Litchfield Board News
When applying enter LCBR in the Discount Code Field to receive the rate of $59 for a TenantTracks membership.

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LCBR Bulletin Board
 

LCBR BULLETIN BOARD

   EMAIL: executiveofficer@litchfieldboard.com

 
 

BOARD OFFICE CLOSINGS -

Friday, March 6th the Board Office will be closed.  

Tuesday, March 10th we will be closed at 2:00 p.m. for staff training.

Wednesday, March 11th we will open at 2 p.m. due to the evening Orientation Course.

If you get the answering machine, please leave a message and or e-mail executiveofficer@litchfieldboard.com . 

On Friday the 6th if you have lock box or key issues please call Mid-State Association of REALTORS® at (860) 793-9414 they will be happy to help you. On Friday if you need MLS support please call the CTMLS support line at 203 697-1006.  Your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated.  Thank you!
 

CHFA LUNCH N' LEARN - The CT Housing Finance Authority is presenting a "CHFA Programs & What's New" Lunch N' Learn at NO COST to LCBR members on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM at the Board office.  The topics covered include: Hear About What's New at CHFA; Learn About CHFA's Affordable Homebuyer Mortgage Programs; Learn About the New Rates/Points Structure to Give Homebuyers More Options; and Learn About Recent Changes to Guidelines.  Seating is limited to a first served basis; registrations are required.   To register, click here.
 
CHANGES TO HUD-1 CLOSING PROCESS -  Effective August 1, 2015 there will be changes the HUD-1 closing process.  The HUD-1 Settlement Form and the Good Faith Estimate Form will be replaced with the Closing Disclosure Form and the Loan Estimate Form.  To learn about these changes and others watch this  National Association of REALTORS® Government Affairs Update video.
 
2015  REALTOR BENEFITS® PROGRAM CATALOG - Download a copy of the REALTOR Benefits® Program 2015 Catalog.   Benefits Program
 


 

LCBR SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION - TJ Zappulla, REALTOR® Scholarship Grant Applications may now be submitted to be considered for the 2015 TJ Zappulla, REALTOR® Scholarship Grant. The criteria, requirements and restrictions are detailed in the Scholarship Application. The deadline for submission is March 18, 2015.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Board office 860-482-9816, we will be happy to assist you. Application Packet
 
RAY GATES SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION - Raymond F. Gates, Jr. Memorial Scholarship applications are NOW AVAILABLE!  Children/step children of REALTORS®, REALTOR-ASSOCIATES®, local Board/Association and CTR staff members are eligible to apply.  For information and application downloads click here or go to www.ctrealtor.com and click on the “Programs & Events” tab (username and password are required).

Scholarships will be awarded again this year in two categories: Academic Excellence and Scholastic Achievement.  Students are only allowed to apply for one of these two categories. 
 

MATRIX MY LISTINGS WIDGET - The My Listings Widget on the Home Page of Matrix is the best place for the agent and/or broker to manage and view their listing inventory.  The widget gives you the opportunity to easily access any of your listings.  More importantly when accessing the listings from My Listings you are able to select the listings(s) and edit right from the inventory page. 02.12.15
 
NERC CONFERENCE - Currently our President Bob Riva and President-Elect Kim D'Andrea are in Portsmouth New Hampshire at the New England REALTORS® Conference. REALTOR® members throughout New England attend this annual conference.   02.12.15
 

L to R: Bob Riva, LCBR President; Linda Fercodini, NAR Director from CT;
Gayle Dennehy, CTR Executive Committee; Dorothy Beckley, LCBR Director;
Ted Murphy, CTR Treasurer

L to R: Mike Feldman, CTR President-Elect & NAR Director from CT;
 Kim D'Andrea, LCBR President-Elect; Felix DuVerger, GHAR President
 
SIGNUP FOR REALTOR® PARTY MOBILE ALERTS- Signup today for REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts and enter to win a $250 Amazon Gift Card!  REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts is the latest way for REALTORS® to stay informed via text message when a call to action is launched, and it is a quick and easy way for REALTORS to respond to the calls.  Signup Today... 02.11.15
 
POLICY INTO PRACTICE VIDEO SERIES - The National Association of REALTORS® Policy Into Practice Video Series explains the key REALTOR® association policy in three main areas: Membership, Professional Standards, and Multiple Listings Services (MLSs). Watch Videos 02.09.15
 
PATENT TROLL DEMAND LETTERS - Watch the National Association of REALTORS® new video that outlines options available to an entity that received a demand letter requesting payment of a licensing fee from a non-entity or "patent troll". Watch Video 02.09.15
 

SAFETY FIRST - Just a reminder!  If you receive calls to allow individuals access to a property for special purposes, i.e. repairs, winterize, things of that nature.  Please be sure to verify the originality of the request that it is indeed from the owner or bank or loan company, FHA, etc.  Perhaps ask for a copy of the work order from the bank, owner, or loan company before allowing such access.  Always double check!  Better SAFE than SORRY! 02.05.15

NAR’s REALTOR® SAFETY PROGRAM TO EXPAND IN 2015 - REALTOR® safety is one resolution we can all agree on. Educate yourself about the potential dangers REALTORS® can face on the job with the resources available in the REALTOR® Safety Program. From videos to safety app recommendations for your smartphone to educational webinars, NAR is serious about your safety. There’s a lot more in store for the REALTOR® Safety Program this year too. New resources will be introduced throughout the year, including a new safety course, safety tips, videos and more. Be sure to visit www.realtor.org/Safety often so you don’t miss a thing.
 

FAIR HOUSING CONFERENCE -  The 36th Annual FHACT Fair Housing Conference is scheduled for Thursday, April 23, 2015 from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM at the Sheraton Hartford South Rocky Hill, CT.  The complete conference schedule and information regarding the registration process will be available on their website (FairHousingAssociation-Ct.org) the week of March 9.  If you need further information on the conference at this time, please contact: FHACT Chairperson Margaret Suib at 203-854-7820, MSuib@norwalkct.org. 02.05.15
 

ZIPFORM UPDATES TO FORMS - CTR updated four of their forms and created a new form the "Rental Lease Application".  The CTR Library in zipForms has been updated with the newest forms and any "transactions packages" you have saved as templates should automatically update.  However, please be advised  if you have  any "transactions packages" that were not saved as templates they will not automatically update; you should update any of these packages yourself.    02.05.15
 

NEW LOW FLOW WATER TREATMENT REGULATION - The State of Connecticut has imposed a new "Low Flow Treatment Wastewater" regulation that impacts any new home, new or existing and business that has or needs water treatment equipment.  Unless the home or business is on municipal sewers, then they would be required to install a L.F.W.T.W or "drywell" for short.  This regulation was created by DEEP and passed on to the State Health Dept. to implement. To learn more read the Fact Sheet for the General Permit for the Discharge of Low Flow Water Treatment Wastewater. 02.05.15
 

2015 NAR MEMBERSHIP CARDS - Members can download a free NAR membership cardor order a plastic one for just $5.00.  The card card customized with name, designation and NRDS ID number, and allows access to benefits like those offered through Hertz and .REALTOR, the official 2015 membership card sponsors.
 
SPRING GRI & MRP COURSES OFFERED -  The Greater Waterbury Board of REALTORS is hosting Series 1 of GRI at the GWBR office on March 30th, April 1st, April 6th and April 8th.   To learn more about GRI, click here.  To register for GRI-1, click here.

In addition, they are hosting a Military Relocation Certification (MRP) class on May 20, 2015 at the GWBR office.  To learn more about MRP Certification click here.  To register for MRP Certification, click here.
 

HAFA SHORT SALES COURSE -  The Valley Association of REALTORS® is co-sponsoring a HAFA Short Sales course with CT REALTORS® on Thursday, April 16, 2015.  This newly developed coure from NAR on HAFA (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives) provided in-depth coverage of the U.S. Treasury, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac programs.  Learn the similarities and differences among the three HAFA programs and gain the tools to assist your clients in processing short sales more efficiently.  Approved for 6 CE elective credits.  Learn more...   To register...
 

NON DEDUCTIBLE BOARD DUES INFORMATION - As a reminder the portions of the 2014 REALTORS and non-member dues which are non deductible are as follows:

The non-deductable amount of CTR REALTOR Dues (and non-member sales assessments) is 33% of $165 ($55). The VOLUNTARY Issues Advocacy contribution is not deductable & separately stated on bills that have that option. The VOLUNTARY Gates Scholarship contribution is tax deductable. 

The nondeductible amount of NAR REALTOR Dues (and non-member sales assessments) is 42% of $120 ($50). The NAR Image Assessment fee of $35 is deductible.
 

GET YOUR .REALTOR DOMAIN NOW: Why should you register for a .REALTOR domain?  The .REALTOR domain offers a clean slate of domain names to choose from, whereas most desirable .com domains are already taken.  This is your opportunity to claim the. REALTOR of your choice. Don't hesitate register today and select the .REALTOR domain you have always dreamed of before another member claims it!

.REALTOR domain purchases by U.S. members will include an optional free profile website from REALTOR.com that will integrate a member's social media content, listings, and client recommendations - in one convenient location.

The .REALTOR domain positions REALTORS® with a competitive edge in the online real estate space by enabling the opportunity for future innovation, for example, a .REALTOR search engine, making it easier for consumers to locate REALTORS® and real estate services.  To find out more about the .realtor domain visit www.about.realtor.
 

The CE Shop Promo

NEW CE SHOP CE COURSE -  The CE Shop now offers a new continuing education CE Course called Did you Serve?  Identifying Homebuying Advantages for Veterans course is now available in your course catalog!

ONLINE CE COURSES- 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 FEB20 to receive 20% off your purchase when you enroll in any online CE course taken through our online course catalog! This promotion expires February 28, 2015.    You must use the following link to  register for these courses, click here to register. 
                                                                                   

PRINCIPALS & PRACTICES COURSES OFFERED -  The Greater Waterbury Board of REALTORS®, Inc. Institute for Real Estate offers a 60 hour Principles and Practices of Real Estate course to qualify students for real estate licensing.  Their P&P course is a continuous start program which allows new students to begin the course on any Tuesday (depending on availability). The class are held on Tuesday and Thursday evening from 6 to 9 PM.  For more information, click here.

The Greater Bridgeport Board of REALTORS® offers a 60 hour Principles and Practices. For more information, click here. 09.09.14
 

LCBR & TENANTTRACKS - Have you taken advantage of the agreement Litchfield County Board of REALTORS has with TenantTracks? They offer exclusive historical and up-to-date eviction data from all 15 Connecticut Courts covering Summary Process cases including Bantam Court. Other screening services typically provide eviction data from just the 6 major Housing Courts in Connecticut leaving owners at risk. All evictions in Litchfield County are conducted at the Bantam Courthouse and their eviction records are not online or part of a national database. Rental property owners are at risk of non-paying, disruptive and/or destructive tenants moving around unchecked if people are not screening renters through TenantTracks.

The cost of using TenantTracks is $59 per year for the account set up and compliance fee while each tenant screening report costs only $25.  When applying enter LCBR in the Discount Code Field to receive the rate of $59 for a TenantTracks membership.
Each screening report provides much better data in a comprehensive summary of the prospective tenant’s credit history, national and state eviction and criminal database records, terrorist watch list, civil court, small claims court and sex offender searches.  The report also includes a color-coded, summary page for quick interpretation of the results.  To apply for a membership or for more information about TenantTracks visit their website at www.tenanttracks.com.

Recently TenantTracks has implemented a new screening algorithm that allows the user to search for known "Alias Names" and "Nicknames" against all our CT Civil, Eviction and Criminal databases. To learn more about this feature, click here.  11.04.14
 

REALTOR® SAFETY VIDEO - Learn about safety for REALTORS® in a video produced by Florida REALTORS® Safety Video  11.04.14

NAR's Safety Resources Page - For a compete list of safety resources provided by the National Association of REALTORS®, click here.

REALTOR® SAFETY WITH CLIENTS VIDEO - Watch this video for suggestions on steps you can take to stay safe with clients. 12.05.14

Creepy Phone Calls Put Mass. Agents on Edge - Police are warning real estate professionals in Massachusetts' South Coast region to be wary of suspicious phone calls. Read more...

Safety Tip #21 - Have your Excuse Ready - Part of being prepared to deal with a threatening situation is having “an out.” Prepare a scenario in advance so that you can leave—or you can encourage someone who makes you uncomfortable to leave. Examples: Your cell phone or pager went off and you have to call your office, you left some important information in your car, or another agent with buyers is on his way.  12.05.14
 


MEMBER VALUE PLUS PROGRAM

 

MAKE OUR MARKS REMARKABLE - Watch this video to learn why NAR protects the value of the REALTOR® Trademark.  Video
 
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   www.facebook.com/litchfieldboard!

 

ELECTRONIC KEY BOXES AVAILABLE AT THE BOARD OFFICE

ELECTRONIC KEY BOXES - We now have the ability to provide our members electronic Keys and Boxes.   For information on obtaining an eKey which works on your smartphone, click here.