Resolve to Get Involved!

Your real estate business is the Illinois Association of REALTORS® number one priority. That’s why a core mission of your state association is to protect and promote the real estate industry through governmental affairs, lobbying and advocacy at the State Capitol in Springfield and throughout Illinois in local city halls and county government offices.

We are the only advocate for private property rights. And this year is an election year, so it’s an ideal time for you to get involved to help promote and protect our real estate industry.

Make one of your New Year’s resolutions getting active in governmental affairs at your local board or with IAR.

Here are a few ways to “Resolve to Get Involved!”

  • Attend the March 27 Illinois REALTOR® Lobby Day at the State Capitol.
  • If you’re a managing broker, sign up for the Broker Involvement Program for Call to Action alerts automatically sent to your agents
  • If you’re an agent, make sure you answer the next IAR or NAR Call to Action.
  • Get involved at your local board level on a local government advisory panel or REALTOR®-supported candidate campaign. IAR members, call 217-529-2600 or e-mail iaraccess@iar.org to learn more about how to get involved statewide or at the local REALTOR® association.
  • Learn more about the work of the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC).

Last year a total of 6,229 bills were introduced in the Illinois General Assembly; 632 made it through both chambers and were sent to the Governor for his consideration. Your IAR lobbyists are monitoring thousands of bills that affect your business and the rights of private property owners. The 2012 spring session of the Illinois legislature begins this month.

Stay tuned and get involved!

Looking Ahead to 2012

Loretta AlonzoOn behalf of the Leadership team at the Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR), I wish you all a prosperous and healthy New Year.

We have seen many changes to our business in the past years, and we have held on to the fact that change is constant and helps make us stronger and better people for our personal growth and in our business.

We still will face more foreclosures and short sales, but look forward to more transactions. This is already occurring in the past few months. We may continue to see home prices drop in some areas, but there are those pockets in Illinois seeing an increase.

2012 is a big election year. We have the redistricting in Illinois and a lot of open seats in the General Assembly. Our REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) will be working hard to help elect candidates who care about the issues affecting your business and the rights of private property owners.

I would like to assure you that your IAR Leadership Team is ready, willing and able to face any challenges that may occur in 2012. If you need to speak to any of us regarding any matter, please do not hesitate to contact us, www.illinoisrealtor.org/officers

Cheers to you all and may you have a fantastic 2012.

Approving Short Sales and Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure Transactions

Loretta AlonzoIn early May, Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR) Housing Policy Advisor, Sharon Gorrell and I attended a meeting in Washington, D.C., with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, bank servicers and other REALTOR® Association representatives to discuss flaws in the system of approving short sales and deed-in-lieu of foreclosure transactions through the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program (HAFA). What was clear in the meeting was that the system as it stood clearly was not working. Since that time the Treasury has implemented some of the discussed modifications that came out of that meeting. While it certainly won’t be a “cure-all,” we hope that our participation and contributions will help the transition out of this economy and market and aid in removing units from the marketplace quicker and easier. The anticipated result is a supply of housing that is in balance with the true demand that generates fair value pricing of the overall inventory.

Some of the highlights of Supplemental Directive 11-08 are the creation of a HAFA Matrix, re-evaluation of list price, and approved uses of borrower relocation credits.  First, since the requirements for short sale approvals can be different depending on the institution or investors, REALTORS® felt a “clearinghouse” of information would go a long way in helping both practitioners and their clients know up front what was required for short sale approvals. This matrix is designed to assist in that effort. The matrix will be available after Oct. 15 on participating bank websites in addition to MakingHomeAffordable.gov.

Secondly, in an attempt to make property valuations more accurate a “re-evaluation” policy has to be included to allow for borrower or borrower’s agents pricing data to be reconciled with the servicers independent assessment. Lastly, authorization has been included to expand the use of borrower’s relocation incentive dollars to cover costs related to minor repairs that come up during buyer inspections or unpaid final utility bills. A few other topics addressed included dollar caps on release of non-mortgage subordinate liens, communication timelines and reporting requirements.  This is not an exhaustive list and more information is available online.

To get a detailed review of the broader changes you can review the entire Supplemental Directive online at www.hmpadmin.com/portal/programs/docs/hamp_servicer/sd1108.pdf. Also, we recommend consulting with the respective bank servicers or consulting the Treasury website www.hmpadmin.com for more specific details and guidance on the program.

Loretta Alonzo, CRB, GRI, is the 2011 President-Elect for the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.

 

Bus tour prize winner says “homeownership matters”

Although it was a typical March day in Chicago with blustery Lake Michigan winds, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Home Ownership Matters Bus Tour got started at Navy Pier this past Saturday with the opening of the Chicago Flower and Garden Show.

NAR President-Elect Moe Veissi along with Chicago Association President Mabel Guzman and myself, President-Elect of the Illinois Association of REALTORS®, were there to greet consumers.

We were fortunate to have the tour start in Chicago. The next stops will be in St. Louis and on to Denver, Colorado, finishing up in Portland, Oregon.

At the Navy Pier event, consumers registered to win three raffles: one at 11 a.m for a $500 Lowe’s gift card, another at noon for a $1,000 Lowe’s gift card and at 1 p.m. for a $2,500 Lowe’s gift card. It was great to talk to consumers and ask how they feel about homeownership. There was a resounding voice from them that homeownership is important and we should not eliminate the mortgage interest deduction.

The winner of the $1,000 Lowe’s gift card  said it best: “I grew up one of seven children and my parents always rented. The first thing I did when I got married was buy a home.”

Chicago Aldermen Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward) and Robert Fioretti (2nd Ward) stopped by to lend their support for continuing the mortgage interest deduction.