RPCTE News from REALTOR® Magazine – May 16, 2014

Avoid These 5 Property Management Mistakes

“It doesn’t matter how good you are in the property management business, there’s always something you can get sued for,” Lori Burger, CPM and the Institute of Real Estate Management’s 2014 president-elect, said at a property management forum Thursday during the REALTOR® Party Convention & Trade Expo in Washington, DC.

Part of it is just the nature of the business: Balancing relationships and contractual agreements with both property owners and renters can leave property managers open to litigation from all sides. To mitigate this, Burger outlined five common mistakes property managers make and five ways they can protect themselves.

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NAR Backs Changes in Foreign Investment Taxation

Legislation to amend the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA), which was enacted in 1980 with the aim of establishing equity in the tax treatment of domestic and overseas buyers of U.S. property, is under discussion in the House and Senate. The proposed measures are backed by the National Association of REALTORS®, said Russell Riggs, senior regulatory representative for NAR, in a presentation to the association’s Global Business Alliances Committee Wednesday during the REALTOR® Party Convention and Trade Expo in Washington, DC.

If passed, the legislation would allow foreign investors to own up to 10 percent of stock in a U.S. Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) without being subject to FIRPTA tax obligations upon the sale of those securities, up from the current level of 5 percent.

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3 Ways to Answer RPAC Objections

What is the most common objection to investing in the REALTORS® Political Action Committee?

A crowd of about 100 REALTOR® Party Conference & Trade Expo attendees answered this RPAC fundraising forum poll question via text message Wednesday in Washington, DC. Overwhelmingly, the most common complaint they say they hear from members is: “I don’t agree with the candidates RPAC has supported.”

Attendees explained their thinking behind the need to support RPAC. Linda Romer Todd, broker-owner of Associated Brokers & Consultants and president of the Grand Junction (Colo.) Area REALTORS® Association said she started calling RPAC the “professional survival fund.”

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Medical Marijuana Issues Hazy for Single-Family Homes

While the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana use is making it more difficult for landlords when it comes to what kinds of rules they can impose against pot smoking, it is an even cloudier issue for single-family property managers.

“When people are renting a single-family home, they really do look at it as their home — it’s not just an apartment,” Fred Prassas, GRI, CPM, former president of the Institute for Real Estate Management, said at a property management forum Thursday during the REALTOR® Party Convention & Trade Expo in Washington, DC.

Because single-family renters may have different expectations than renters in apartment buildings, Prassas said, property managers of single-family homes should think about approaching medical marijuana use differently.

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Home Sales Struggle, But Improvement Seen

Two years into the economic recovery, residential home sales are struggling. But because of demographic and other trends, long-term growth prospects remain good, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said Thursday at the REALTOR® Party Convention & Trade Expo.

At the Residential Economic Issues & Trends Forum, Yun forecast 4.9 million existing-home sales this year, a roughly 3 percent drop from last year and a signal that the recovery in home sales that started two years ago is flagging.

Weakness in the broader economy is part of the problem.

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NAR Set to Vote on Core Organizational Standards

REALTOR® leaders meeting in Washington, DC. this week are poised to vote on a proposed set of core standards – not for themselves but for the state, local, and territorial associations that operate on their behalf.

The standards are meant to ensure that REALTORS® get a solid value proposition for their dues dollar. Today, there are 1,400 REALTOR® associations operating in the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

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