Tuesday, December 27, 2011

GTAR Weekly Facts – December 26, 2011

2012 GTAR Annual Dues are LATE!
If dues are not paid by January 3, 2012, MLS services will be suspended and keys shut off. To reinstate will require a $40 reinstatement fee and new paperwork from the broker. REALTOR® dues are $494 and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® dues are $464. For a breakdown of where your dues dollars go: http://www.tulsarealtors.com/documents/dues/. You can pay by credit card online: Go to Main Menu on tulsarealtors.com, click on the yellow View/Pay Bill bar, then click GTAR–Accounts Receivable, and follow instructions to pay. Payment can also be made by calling the GTAR/NORES office, 918-663-7500 or mailing to GTAR, P.O. Box 470603, Tulsa, OK  74147. After business hours you can drop payments in the mail slot located inside the front entrance foyer of the GTAR/NORES office.

Friday, December 30: Office closes at 12:30 p.m.
Monday, January 2: Office is closed all day
December 23 thru January 2—Board Store Closed for Inventory
The GTAR/NORES Board Store will be closed for inventory Friday, December 23 through Monday, January 2, 2012, so please plan ahead. This will not affect Key and KeyBox purchases.
December 31
Nominations Deadline for GTAR’s 2011 Sales Associate of the Year
Completed forms need to be submitted to GTAR by December 31, 2011. The winner will be announced at the GTAR/NORES Installation & Awards Banquet February 16, 2012. Don’t miss the opportunity to recognize an outstanding Sales Associate. Nomination forms are available online at tulsarealtors.com or click here.
December 31
Nominations Deadline for GTAR’s 2011 REALTOR® of the Year
Completed forms need to be submitted to GTAR by December 31, 2011. The winner will be announced at the GTAR/NORES Installation & Awards Banquet February 16, 2012. Don’t miss the opportunity to recognize a REALTOR® (Broker) for their service to the real estate industry. Nomination forms are available online at tulsarealtors.com or click here.
In January at GTAR—All 12 OREC Required CE Credit Hours
Don’t wait until the end of your three-year licensing period to start working on your CE hours. As CE classes are scheduled, information and registration will be available on tulsarealtors.com; from the main Member Services page, simply click the red Education bar.
(HOT) Basic Contract: Wednesday, January 11, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., pending OREC approval (Class Pass Eligible)
(PSC) REALTOR® Ethics: Thursday, January 19, 1:00-4:00 p.m. (Free)
(FHR) Fair Housing and Ethical Practices: Wednesday, January 25, 1:00-4:00 p.m. (Class Pass Eligible)
(BRA) OK Broker Relationships: Monday, January 30, 1:00-4:00 p.m. (Class Pass Eligible)
January 10-11
Broker in Charge Course
Attention ALL Real Estate BROKERS: Your OREC Continuing Education Requirements are changing! If your license type is a Broker Manager (BM), Proprietor Broker (BP), or Branch Broker (BB) (even if only for ONE day during that license term) AND your real estate license expires on or after June 30, 2012, then you are required to complete an approved 15-hour Broker in Charge (BIC) class PLUS an additional 6 hours of required subject matter in at least two core courses (BRA, PSC, FHR or HOT) prior to your license renewal. Cost is $90. Class size is limited to 15. For more information and to register, go to tulsarealtors.com.
Coming in 2012: Expanded REALTOR® Appreciation Day
REALTOR® Appreciation Day will expand to include an Education Conference featuring two CE class tracks—one for associates and one for brokers. The Associate Track will focus on technology, and be taught by nationally recognized technology guru, Dick Betts. The Broker Track will focus on issues pertaining to Brokerage Management, and be taught by strategic consultant, Theresa Stewart. All classes will be held at UMAC on April 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. On April 5, the Education Conference will continue with one education track for everyone focusing on technology; this will be a fast-paced session with multiple topics and speakers. The Education Conference will end on a positive note with a presentation by world renowned motivational speaker and author, Jim Stovall entitled: Yes You Can. The Education Conference will cost just $50 per member; you can register online at tulsarealtors.com. But, if you want year-long, super-savings on CE classes, check out GTAR’s new Class Pass for only $25 more! (See information below.) Not to worry…we will still have the same great, Trade Show you know and love from 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.—complete with valuable information, door prizes, food, and fun—and all for free thanks to GTAR’s Firm Affiliates!
GTAR Class Pass—Your Ticket to Learn in 2012!
With GTAR's Class Pass you get admission to the Education Conference classes and motivational speaker presentation (see description above), a $50 value, PLUS any and all regular CE classes GTAR offers in 2012—starting in January—for just $75! For more information and to purchase your GTAR Class Pass, log on to tulsarealtors.com; from the Main Menu, click on the red Education bar, then click Register for Classes, and look for GTAR Class Pass.
Need CE before the end of 2011?
You can take CE classes online anytime! GTAR is partnered with both McKissock Education and Barnes Real Estate School to offer you a variety of online continuing education classes to fulfill your OREC requirements. In addition to CE classes, McKissock offers a variety of classes for appraisers; Charles Barnes offers the 45 Hour Post License and 90 Hour Brokers License courses...AND, the new 15 hour OREC required Broker in Charge course is now available online through Charles Barnes. So how does it work? Simply go to tulsarealtors.com, click on the logos for either school, and follow the instructions. Any and all classes you take through McKissock and Charles Barnes are reported directly to OREC.
Reminder: GTAR/NORES Winter Weather Policy
We are in that time of year when the weather does not always work in our favor; therefore, GTAR/NORES has established the following inclement weather policy for all education classes at GTAR (CE, Computer, New Member Orientation, etc.): If Tulsa Public Schools are closed the day of a scheduled class due to hazardous driving conditions, the GTAR/NORES class is canceled. Depending on the type of class being canceled, the class will either be rescheduled for a future date or a full refund will be issued. In addition, for those of you who live outside the Tulsa area, if schools in your area are closed the day of class or you are uncomfortable making the drive, you can still receive a refund, but you MUST call or email us that day (day of the class). You cannot just be a “no show” and expect a refund. Please be sure to check one of the local news channels the night before and/or morning of a scheduled class for school closings.
“Data Checker” Implemented
On December 19, we implemented a system called “Data Checker.”  It will assist NORES staff in reviewing listings for rule compliance. NORES staff has done this process manually for years, but this will help get the notices out faster and get listings modified, as needed, in a timely manner.  If you receive a notice, it will be from “MLS Data Checker.” Since this is a new format for notices, please read the email. Then, if you still have questions, contact the NORES office. Typically, the notice will be requesting you to modify your listing and will contain a deadline date. In addition, notices will be sent to the Listing Agent and Add/Edit person.  Future notices for failure to make the requested changes will also be sent to the Office Manager and/or Office Broker.   
We will be getting a new MLS system called Fusion in 2012; you won’t need a new PC to run the Fusion MLS system.
However, you might want to compare your computer and consider the recommended stats for optimum performance of Fusion. IF your computer doesn’t meet the minimum recommendations, it is likely a very old PC, and you are missing out on much more than just MLS features. The speed and reliability of a newer computer can help to alleviate the pains and struggles of program lockups, timeouts, slow opening and closing of programs, reboots… and much more. Windows (Recommended): 1.8 GHz Intel Core Duo, AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200, or equivalent processor; 3 GB of RAM if using Windows XP; 4 GB of RAM if using Windows 7 or Vista. (Minimum) PC stats for running your upcoming 2012 new MLS-Fusion: 3 GHz Intel Pentium 4 (single core) or equivalent processor; 1 GB of RAM if using Windows XP; 2 GB of RAM (Windows 7 or Vista). Macintosh (Recommended): 1.33 GHz Intel Core Duo, or equivalent processor; 4 GB of Ram. (Minimum) Mac stats: 500 MHz Intel PowerPC (single core) or equivalent processor; 2 GB of Ram. You can check your current system stats by right clicking on My Computer, and selecting Properties. Call the Helpdesk at 918-664-0505 if you need assistance. Watch for future GTAR communications for more upcoming info on your next generation MLS—Fusion. (Don’t have a smart phone to scan the QR code? Then click here to view the message.)
November Home Sales Stats Now Available
Important Notice: NAR’s Re-benchmarking
On Dec. 21, NAR released new existing-home sales (EHS) numbers based on a re-benchmarking of its baseline home-sale calculation. NAR has reported, based on preliminary findings, this will result in previous annual existing-home sales numbers being revised downward. Multiple national news media outlets have already reported NAR home sales data has been significantly “off” for some time now. As a REALTOR® Association, our credibility in providing accurate information is extremely important. To understand how and why NAR undertook the re-benchmarking, which is something NAR undertakes roughly every 10 years to ensure the continued accuracy of its national EHS numbers, click on the following link. This video explains NAR’s process and rationale for its new calculation. 
REMEMBER: The data provided by NORES is not affected by this re-benchmarking. NAR’s data revisions are in regard to national aggregate data, and not information as reported by NORES or individual MLSs.
Increased “G” Fees on Freddie/Fannie and FHA Loans (Memo from NAR Government Affairs)
The continuing debate in Washington D.C. regarding the extension of the payroll tax reduction has spilled over into real estate. The proposal to extend the tax cut, passed by the United States Senate, is paid for by increasing the Guarantee Fees on Fannie/Freddie and FHA Loans.  NAR has strongly opposed this diversion of housing resources to pay for a non-housing use. Use this link to read the letter NAR sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).  This issue is far from settled.  NAR will continue to oppose the usage of the GSE Guarantee Fee to pay for the Unemployment Insurance/Payroll Tax Cut Extension Package.  Bottom Line: The increased fee is NOT a done deal, so stay tuned.
Veissi, FHA Head Talk Condos, REOs, Loan Limits
NAR President Moe Veissi met with FHA Acting Commissioner Carole Galante last week to talk about an upcoming condominium proposed rule, HUD REO sales, and the agency’s fiscal health as part of a wide-ranging introductory meeting. Veissi shared concerns about the agency’s process for appealing FHA loan-limit determinations. He also talked about investors pushing out owner-occupant buyers for HUD-owned properties, among other things. For more info contact Megan Booth, 202/383-1222.
A Legislative Look Back at 2011
In the latest commercial podcast, NAR Treasurer Bill Armstrong takes a look back at some of the important legislative issues for the commercial sector in 2011, related to flood insurance, lease accounting, and refinancing. He also talks about the latest commercial economic forecast.
Growth in Commercial Real Estate Market Expected in 2012
Commercial real estate markets have been relatively flat this year, but improving fundamentals mean a more positive trend is expected in 2012, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Read Lawrence Yun’s assessment of the commercial real estate market and what you can expect to see in the next year.
Tomorrow’s Office Workers and Their Spaces
In this blog post, Signature Series Speaker, Patricia Lynn, CCIM explores the four principles of the future office worker profile: Talent, Technology, Transportation, and Tolerance. Read about the session which was featured at NAR’s Annual Convention, and connect to a full copy of the presentation.
The January 15 deadline will be here before you know it. Apply today for your chance to be part of the 2012 class of 30 Under 30. Each June, REALTOR® Magazine features 30 rising young stars in the real estate industry, and every year hundreds of real estate practitioners apply to be one of the 30 honorees.
2011-12 Cost vs. Value Remodeling Report Out
When it comes to remodeling, exterior replacement projects have routinely rewarded homeowners with more bang for their buck. This year is no different, as REALTORS® rated many exterior improvements as among the most valuable home investment projects as part of the 2011-12 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report.
Free Consumer Content: Under-Stairs Storage
The latest free content for your websites, blogs, social media pages, and print resources from HouseLogic’s REALTOR® Content Resource is about using under-stairs storage to ease holiday cramping.
Foreclosures are in Decline, but More Expected
RealtyTrac reports home foreclosures were down again in November, falling 3 percent compared to October, and are now down 14 percent from where they were a year ago. The report showed that 1 in every 579 housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month. It was noted a decline in foreclosures is typical at this time of year, and that “new waves” of foreclosures are likely to hit the markets early next year. The report also stated Foreclosure auctions were scheduled on 96,540 properties in November, up 13 percent from October, but still down 17 percent from November 2010.
Builders Blast Idea to Use Fannie, Freddie Fees for Payroll Tax Cut
The National Home Builders Association (NHBA) is criticizing a congressional proposal to raise fees charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and use the money to pay for an extension of the payroll tax cut through 2012. “Congress is essentially proposing to raise taxes on millions of potential homebuyers in order to pay for a payroll tax cut and other non-housing legislative initiatives,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielson. Fannie and Freddie charge lenders “guarantee fees” to protect against losses. Housing interests maintain those fees should remain wholly within the housing finance system and not be used for outside purposes.
Other Housing Information
The National Association of Home Builders Association (NAHB) issued a press release December 8 asking for reforms in appraisal practices and oversight. With the decline in home prices appearing to have ended or be coming to an end in most parts of the country, resolving the appraisal and credit crunch issues remain a top priority for the association. NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen stated, “We will continue to work with all stakeholders in this debate to find solutions.” Complete NAHB Press Release and Appraisal Foundation Response to Press Release.