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

 
 

 

2015 BOARD DUES REMINDER - Members were sent an invoice via email in early October for their 2015 dues bill which is due January 1, 2015. If you didn't receive your bill or  misplaced it you should contact the Board office immediately at 860-482-9816.  Any member with dues not paid within thirty (30) days of the due date will be automatically suspended on February 1, 2015 and become subject to termination.  Designated REALTORS® will be assessed Non-Member Licensee fees for every terminated agent affiliated with their firm. 

Though our preferred method of payment is by electronic check through the Intuit Payment Network system, which may be accessed by clicking on the link located in the left hand bottom corner of the PDF invoice you received as an attachment to an email sent from Marilyn, should you prefer you may pay your invoice with Visa, MasterCard or electronic check online through the Ecommerce section of NAR’s website at click here
 

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.
 
LEGISLATIVE NIGHT -  The Board would like to thank Torrington Savings Bank for sponsoring hors d'oeurves, wine on the tables and chocolate heart shaped lollipops to benefit the REALTORS® Have a Heart for Kids Program; we greatly appreciate their continuous support!

During our Annual Meeting  we surprised Robin Leech of Robinson Leech Real Estate in Lakeville by presenting him with a REALTOR® Emeritus certificate and pin.    Congratulations to Robin on achieving REALTOR® Emeritus status! Robin has been a REALTOR® member of Litchfield County Board of REALTORS for over 43 years.

In addition, we would like to thank the following for donating a door prize to benefit the REALTORS® Have a Heart for Kids Program.

Donated by: Village Mortgage
Prize: Keurig K45 Elite Coffee Maker
Winner: Jeff Zitnay

Donated by: Elyse Harney Real Estate
Prize: Harney & Sons Tea Gift Box
Winner: Amity Wolfe, REALTOR®

Donated by: Ellie Peterson, REALTOR®
Designed by: Suzie Larson, REALTOR®
Prize: Lotto Hearts Tree
Winner: Mary LeBlanc, REALTOR®

Donated by:  LCBR Public Relations Committee
Prize:  REALTOR® Supplies Gift Basket
Winner: Susan O'Dell, REALTOR®

Donated by: LCBR Public Relations Committee
Prizes: Four $50 Cumberland Farms Gas Cards (Awarded Separately)
Winners: Joel Ralph, Susan O'Dell, REALTOR®; Jennifer Good, REALTOR®

Donated by: The Real Estate Book
Prizes: $30 Citgo Gas Card
Winner: Amity Wolfe, REALTOR®
 

L to R: Gene Fercodini, REALTOR®;
 Ted Murphy, CTR Treasurer; Senator Henri Martin

L to R: Tom Carey; Greg Ugalde, HBRA of CT;
Senator Clark Chapin; Steve Temkin, HBA of NW CT, Executive Officer

Representative Craig Miner; Bob Riva, LCBR, President;
Roselee Fanelli, LCBR Legislative & RPAC Committee Chair

Representative Bill Simanski

L to R: Representative Jay Case;
Brenda Davis, HBA of CT, Staff; Nick Fanelli, REALTOR®

L to R: Bill Savoia, REALTOR®;
Bobby D'Andrea, Esq.; Kim D'Andrea, President-Elect

Representative John Piscopo

L to R: Chris Stokes; Suzie Larson, CTR, State Director

L to R: Kim-Mai Mahon, REALTOR®;
  Lori Wallace, REALTOR®; Senator Clark Chapin

Henry Rozewski, HBRA of CT, Treasurer

L to R: Len Campbell; Mary Campbell, REALTOR®;
 Larry Rabago, REALTOR®

L to R: Paulie Arena, LCBR, Affiliate; Sue Holway, REALTOR®;
 Laurel Galloway, REALTOR®; Ileana Santore, REALTOR®;

Amity Wolfe, LCBR, Legislative & RPAC Committee Co-Chair

L to R: Michael Milo; David Hull

L to R: Linda Fercodini, NAR Director from CTR;
 Gene Fercodini, CTR, Legislative/Polictical Affairs Committee

L to R: Joel Ralph; Mary LeBlanc, REALTOR®;
 Kristine LeBlanc, REALTOR®; Sue O'Dell

L to R: Justin Girolimon; Marco Merati, Affiliate;
 Marco Santore, REALTOR®

L to R: Representative Craig Miner;
 Bobby D'Andrea, Esq.; Ted Murphy, CTR, Treausrer

Jill Russell; Jessica Dziob;  Jason Tuncy; Ashley McCarthy

L to R: Asher Pavel; Priscilla Pavel, REALTOR®;
 Rick Meehan, REALTOR®

Sue Vaill, REALTOR®; Jeff Zitnay

Linda Fercodini, NAR Director from CTR

L to R: Steve Temkin, HBA of CT, Executive Officer;
Jennifer Good, REALTOR®; Robin Leech, REALTOR® Emeritus;
 Linda Fercodini, NAR Director from CTR; Jay de Marcken, REALTOR®

L to R: Jeff Geddes, Public Relations Committee Member;
Linda Hull, Public Relations Committee, Chair; Suzie Larson, CTR State Director

Door Prize Table

L tor R: Sue O'Dell, REALTOR®; Linda Hull, REALTOR®;
Roselee Fanelli, Legislative & RPAC Committee Chair

Mary LeBlanc, REALTOR®

Jeff Zitnay

Kathy Briggs, Debra Maher, Karen Lopardo

L to R: Brian Piers, Affiliate; Kim-Mai Mahon, REALTOR®;
 Gary Flood, REALTOR®
 
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.
 

INSURANCE RED FLAGS LUNCH N' LEARN - The Board  would to thank Founders Insurance Group for sponsoring an Insurance Red Flags Lunch N' Learn at no cost for our members. 

Insurance Red Flags Lunch N' Learn Class

Insurance Red Flags Lunch N' Learn Class
 

LITTLE BLUE BOOK: RULES TO LIVE BY REALTORS® - The Little Blue Book offers advice on the following: #1 Rule in Business; the #1 Rule in Real Estate; REALTORS and Professionalism; Business Philosophies; Keys Do's & Don'ts; and much more.  This product is available as an e-product for $9.95 or in  physical packs of five for $19.95.  REALTORS® can save 10% off on the Little Blue Book by using the promo code 10lBBPP when ordering.  Purchase book...
 
DOCUSIGN  TWO MONTHS FREE -  DocuSign can make 2015 the year you close more real estate deals with a lot less stress. Sign up today and get 2 months of DocuSign for REALTORS® Plus* free.  *Offer expires January 30, 2015.  Valid only for new customers.  Learn more...
 

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...
 

ZILLOW, LISTHUB TO END LISTING AGREEMENTS - Zillow will not renew its contract with ListHub which expires on April 7, 2015.  Instead, Zillow is working on getting feeds directly through Multiple Listing Services.  Learn more...  01.20.15
 
THE FOLLOWING EXCERPTS WERE PROVIDED COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® JANUARY 14, 2015 INTERNAL NEWS SERVICE EMAIL NEWSLETTER.   01.20.15

SMALL EXTERIOR HOME IMPROVEMENTS OFFER THE BEST VALUE -  Access the latest findings from the popular Cost vs. Value Survey, prepared by Remodeling Magazine based on insight of REALTORS from across the country.  This year, small, exterior home improvement projects are said to offer the most value. 

2015 BUSINESS PLANNING TIPS - Resolve to have your financial house in order in 2015.  The Credit Union has step-by-step tips to help you develop your business planning strategy for the New Year.  Read more...

BROKERAGE PRESIDENT TOUTS REALTOR.COM - Candace Adams, president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England, talks about the value of realtor.com in ensuring a professional presentation of sellers' listings in a Q&A with RIS Media.
 

THE FOLLOWING EXCERPTS WERE PROVIDED COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS JANUARY 15, 2015 WEEKLY REPORT EMAIL NEWSLETTER.   01.20.15

SAVE 10% ON YOUR EDUCATION - Spend less to enhance your education in 2015.  You receive special 10-percent-off pricing on ABR, BPOR, e-PRO, Green SFR, and SRES online courses through the REALTOR Benefits Program.  Begin learning and earning more now.  Learn more... 

FHA MOVE TO BOOST 2015 SALES -  The drop in FHA's  mortgage insurance premium may mean up to 140,000 more home sales.  Learn more... 

LAWMAKERS REAUTHORIZE TRIA - Commercial win: Terrorism reinsurance bill signed by President Obama.  Learn more...

FREE CONSUMER CONTENT: HOME STORAGE - The latest free content for your websites, blogs, social media pages, and print resources from HouseLogic's REALTOR Content Resource offers ides owners can use to unleash their home's storage potential.  Start using it now.  Learn more...

MUST-KNOWS ON FHFA BUY-BACK PLAN - A new Federal Housing Finance Agency policy allows previously foreclosed home owners to buy back their homes.  But the switch may mot benefit every market.  Here's  what you need to know.  Learn more...
 

INAUGURAL BALL - Our very own President-Elect Kim D'Andrea and her husband Attorney Robert D'Andrea attended Governor Dan Malloy's inaugural ball.  Thanks to Kim and Robert for sharing the following pictures!

L to R: Robert D'Andrea, Esq.;
Kim D'Andrea, LCBR, President-Elect; Governor Dan Malloy

L to R: Robert D'Andrea, Esq.; Kim D'Andrea, LCBR President-Elect
 
BROKER INVOLVEMENT PROGRAM - The National Association of REALTORS wants Broker Owners and their Managers to bring decision-making authority, strong leadership, and your agents' voices to Congress.  To learn more about the Broker Involvement Program, click here Watch Video  01.09.15
 
NEWLY PASSED LAWS OF THE 2014 GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION -  The CT Department of Consumer Protection has published a list of newly passed laws of the 2014 General Assembly Session.  Each law passed has a link to the Public Act and some of them have a link to the OLR Summary as well. New Laws...
 

EXPANDING HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES COURSE ONLINE - NAR's expanding Housing Opportunities (EHO) course is now available online - and for just $25 if you register before January 31st.  That's more than 30 percent off the list price! Learn about developing partnerships with housing counselors, nonprofit organizations, lenders, and governmental  agencies that will open avenues to affordability for your clients. Once you register, you will have six months to complete this course.   Register Now  01.09.15
 

PROCURING CLAUSE VIDEO - Do you have questions about procuring clause?  Watch the third installment of NAR's Policy Into Practice Video Series which explains the factors that arbitration hearing panels should consider when reviewing monetary disputes.  Watch Video  01.07.15
 
IRS MILEAGE RATES GO UP JANUARY 1ST - The standards IRS mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup,  or panel truck are increasing for 2015, with the rate business miles rising from 56 cents to 57.5 cents per mile.  Details  12.29.14
 

INSURANCE RED FLAGS - LUNCH N' LEARN - Founders Insurance Group, Inc. is presenting a Lunch N' Learn at no cost to members called Insurance Red Flags on January 21, 2015 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Board office. Attend this learn how to about things that make a house uninsurable, understanding replacement cost,  and ways to reduce your home owners insurance!  For more information, click here.
 

2014 FEDERAL TAX RATES, PERSONAL EXEMPTIONS, AND STANDARD DEDUCTIONS - To learn about the tax rates and related numbers you will need to prepare you 2014 income tax return, which is due by April 15, 2014, click here. 12.19.14
 
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.
 

PERSONAL FAX # - It was brought to our attention that the field for the personal fax number is not currently working in Martrix.  It is expected to be corrected around the holidays.  If you have a personal fax number that you want noted on your listings, please get us that number.  We will then enter it into your personal record. Once the fix has been implemented your personal fax will appear on your listings.

We want to thank all our members for their patience and understanding as we find these "glitches" and get them corrected.  You're the BEST!
 

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 JAN25 to receive 25% off your purchase when you enroll in any online CE course taken through our online course catalog! This promotion expires January 31, 2015.    You must use the following link to  register for these courses, click here to register. 
                                                                                   

NAR WEEKLY REPORT - The following items were provided courtesy of the National Association of REALTORS® December 18, 2014 Weekly Report Email Newsletter. 

GSE'S Detail Low Down-Payment Program - On December 8, 2014, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac released details on new mortgage product offerings that will provide access to qualified borrowers able to put down at least 3%.  Read more...

Add Profit to your Buyer System - Hear tips from Walter Sandord on converting more Internet buyer leads, adding value to buyers' experiences, and leveraging buyer activity into more listing opportunities in this audio recording from the 2014 REALTORS® Conference & Expo.  Read more...

Prices Rebound; Still Down from Peak:  The good news is that home prices are rebounding.  Read More...
 

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
 

REALTORS® INSURANCE MARKET PLACE - OPEN ENROLLMENT NOW AVAILABLE - Don't miss your opportunity to enroll in an affordable health care plan! Open enrollment for major medical health insurance plans that meet the mandates of the Affordable Care  Act began on November 15th for plan effective dates of January 1, 2015 and beyond.   REALTORS® Insurance Marketplace, a proud partner in the REALTOR® Benefits Program, is an exclusive online comparative shopping site, providing NAR members with full roster of insurance plans and products.  Site highlights include the private Members Health Insurance Exchange and access to complimentary consultative services from licensed benefit specialists.   11.26.14

REALTORS Insurance Marketplace
Open Enrollment Timeline
REALTORS Insurance Marketplace Overview 
9 Facts You Need to Know for a Successful Open Enrollment
About REALTORS Insurance Marketplace

 

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   www.facebook.com/litchfieldboard!

 

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
 

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.