Record turnout expected Tuesday at Capitol Conference & REALTOR® Lobby Day

Julie Sullivan and more than 700 REALTORS® are expected to visit Springfield Tuesday.

A record number of Illinois REALTORS® is expected Tuesday at the 2017 Capitol Conference and REALTOR® Lobby Day in Springfield.

A quick-hitting video by Director of Political and Legislative Affairs Julie Sullivan outlines the day’s agenda, provides a short list of issues that will be discussed with legislators and sets the scene for an exciting day. Watch the video.

Tuesday is the lawmakers’ first day back in Springfield after a two-week spring break, and more than 700 REALTORS® will not be the only constituents converging on the State Capitol that afternoon. The Illinois Women March on Springfield has announced plans for a press conference and rally the same day.

Watch for Illinois REALTORS® March housing report Friday

University of Illinois Economist Geoffrey J.D. Hewings

Friday morning, the Illinois REALTORS® will release its March 2017 housing report, with data breakdowns for the state of Illinois, city of Chicago and the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA). Also included will be a housing market forecast by Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois.

Members of the statewide association can access member-only market statistics by using their passwords.

REALTORS® wrap up strategic planning session

NSBAR Association Executive Steve Volkodav stands in front of easels and notepads filled out during the Strategic Thinkers Working Group Meeting in Springfield.

Members of the Illinois REALTORS® Strategic Thinkers Working Group and key association staff members concluded their two-day meeting Wednesday in Springfield, developing a three-year plan for the association.

REALTORS® included:

  • President Doug Carpenter of Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group in Orland Hills,
  • President-elect Matt Difanis of RE/MAX Realty Associates in Champaign,
  • Treasurer Dan Wagner of Inland Real Estate Group of Companies in Oak Brook,
  • Past President Mike Drews of Charles B. Doss & Associates in Aurora,
  • Sonia Anaya of America Real Estate in Chicago,
  • Matt Farrell of Urban Real Estate in Chicago,
  • Gaspar Flores of Su Familia Real Estate in Chicago,
  • Maurice Hampton of Centered International Realty in Chicago,
  • Jeff Kolbus of RE/MAX Traders Unlimited in Peoria,
  • David Levin of NAI Ruhl Commercial Company in Davenport, Iowa,
  • Ed Neaves of Berkshire Hathaway Snyder R E in Bloomington,
  • Debbie Prodehl of Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group in Homer Glen,
  • Rebecca Thomson of @properties in Chicago and
  • NSBAR Association Executive Steve Volkodav.

Staff included:

  • CEO Gary Clayton,
  • Executive Vice President Luke Bell,
  • Senior Vice President Governmental Affairs Greg St. Aubin,
  • Vice President Information Technology Matt Brewer,
  • Vice President Communications Jon Broadbooks,
  • Vice President Professional Development Kristen Butcher,
  • Vice President Member and Association Engagement Ann Londrigan,
  • Vice President Operations Len Taylor,
  • Director of Ethics and Professional Standards Becky Carraher,
  • Director of Legal Services Betsy Urbance and
  • Executive Secretary Kathy Franke.

MRED President and CEO Rebecca Jensen participated, too.


Sellers and REALTORS® to benefit from format change to residential disclosure reports

Betsy Urbance

A format change to the Illinois REALTORS® version of the Residential Real Property Disclosure Report will help seller clients and their REALTORS® better document when disclosures are presented to buyers.

The change follows the regular forms review process by the Illinois REALTORS®’ Legal Team. Members can sign in and see the report here.

“We gave serious consideration to the format change that might change or add another step to the completion process,” says Betsy Urbance, Illinois REALTORS® Director of Legal Services. “Please note the Illinois Residential Real Property Act has not been amended and brokerages may opt to not use the REALTORS®’ version of the form. Only the format for our form, which is available for our members’ use, has changed.”

Urbance explains the change:

“We purposely changed page 4 to give sellers proof they met their obligation to give the disclosure report and show relevant portions of the statute to the buyers prior to the buyers becoming bound by the contract. We acknowledge this might change the process a bit. However, based on real life experience in seller disclosure litigation, the inability of sellers to prove disclosures were given is problematic. Although the statute does not require buyers to sign disclosures, sellers are required to give the disclosures and statute in a timely manner. So, the change gives sellers a better way to prove their duties were met.

“Sellers should sign and date the form on the date it is provided to the buyers (or the buyers’ agents),” she says. “Sellers are required to provide this form/portion of the statute before buyers become obligated on the purchase contract. In other words, sellers should sign and date reports some time before contracts are agreed to by the parties.

“As a result, if buyers initially download forms from the MLS some time prior to making offers, once buyers make offers, sellers should ‘circle back’ and sign and date the forms on or at the time contracts are entered. Also, this provides sellers a chance to review initial disclosure reports for any needed changes. This is always recommended when properties have been on the market for some time. After all, what if between the time the buyer’s agent downloaded the report and the time of contract, the seller’s basement flooded after the second ‘100-year-rain’ in the last year?

“This change is our model, and we believe it puts our members (and their seller-clients) in the best position to reduce their risk … and help sellers prove they met their statutory obligations. Whether or not associations and/or brokerages take up this model is a matter of their business discretion.”

Morning Minute: Freddie Mac weighs in on why housing inventory is low

Image: Bigstock

As buyers head into the spring home buying season, they are finding that available inventories remain historically low.

In its April market outlook, Freddie Mac offers two ideas on why more sellers might not be listing their homes right now.

  • First, some sellers may be hesitant to list their home because the tight inventory could make it harder for them to find their own move-up property.
  • And homeowners who purchased a home or refinanced when mortgage rates were at record lows may be reluctant to buy again at higher rates. Read more from Freddie Mac.

“Tight housing inventory has been an important feature of the housing market at least since 2016. For-sale housing inventory, especially of starter homes, is currently at its lowest level in over ten years. If inventory continues to remain tight, home sales will likely decline from their 2016 levels. As we enter the spring home buying season, all eyes are on housing inventory and whether or not it will meet the high demand,” said Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti.

In other headlines:

Three secrets to winning more listings – Inman

Measuring your ability to achieve the American Dream – Keeping Current Matters