Monday, June 17, 2013

GTAR Weekly Facts – June 17, 2013


May 2013 Home Sales Stats Now Available

Backpacks for Kids – We’re Almost to Our Goal

Thanks to you, we’re less than $1,500 away from our goal of $10,000 for 200 backpacks! The deadline to reach the goal is June 30. We are grateful to you in advance for any donation you make to this effort—no donation is too small, and all donations are tax deductible! You can now donate online by credit card by simply going to Click Donations on the menu then click Donate; or just Click Here
OAR Open Door Award Nomination Deadline is July 5
This annual award honors three Oklahoma REALTORS® who go above and beyond to fulfill the needs shown by their community. OAR’s Open Door Award is designed to seek out the brightest and best who give unselfishly to improving the world around them through community service. You can download the form directly here.  Questions? Contact Lora Gwartney, (405) 848-9944 or
Upcoming CE Classes at GTAR
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; from the main Member Services page, click Associate Services, then click Register for Classes.  If you are a Class Pass Holder, please register for Class Pass eligible classes by emailing or calling 918-663-7500.
June 26: What RE Professionals Need to Know About Taxes
1:00-4:00 p.m.: This new course is not designed to make a real estate agent a tax accountant, but it is designed to make a real estate agent aware of the rules and documentation requirements that are part of their everyday business and life as a real estate agent.  Bill Zumwalt, CPA, will show agents how they must be in compliance with the IRS and the Oklahoma Tax Commission or they could lose their license; how to treat hiring an assistant—are they an independent contractor or an employee?; review what constitutes an office in the home, and how to properly document this deduction; explain options available with regard to vehicle expenses, and what is needed to document business usage; meals and entertainment documentation and rules; determine the best type of entity for their real estate business; keys to reduce their tax liability, and much more! OREC Approved: 3 hours elective CE credit. (Class Pass Eligible) Click Here for Course Details
July 11: Professional Standards Seminar: Enforcing the Code and Its Standards
Are you a REALTOR® member Interested in serving on GTAR’s Grievance or Professional Standards Committee? Or, would you just like to find out what happens during an arbitration or ethics hearing without being a participant? If you answered yes to either question, then this class is for you! Through lecture, discussion, and case studies, Bruce Aydt, attorney and REALTOR®, will teach the concepts of professional conduct related to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics and its enforcement processes. OREC approved for 6 hours required PSC CE credit (OREC will count 3 as PSC and the other 3 as elective); this course also satisfies NAR’s Code of Ethics training requirement. Cost is $25 for members. Click Here for Course Details
July 16: HUD Procedures and Bidding Process
1:00-4:00 p.m.: In this updated course taught by Jennifer Minard (Mary Berry’s protégé) you will learn HUD procedures, how to submit HUD bids, and the latest changes, including the HUD implemented “Buyer Select” closing agent pilot program which became effective this year (April 15). OREC Approved: 3 hours required HOT CE credit (Class Pass Eligible) Click Here for Course Details
June 24-25
Land 101: Fundamentals of Land Brokerage
Presented by the Oklahoma Chapter of REALTORS® Land Institute: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. in the GTAR Training Center. This is a required course to earn credit for the prestigious and highly coveted Accredited Land Consultants (ALC®) designation; instructor is Kirk Goble. Cost is $295 through June 9 and $349 after that date. Click Here for Course Details. Register online at  (This is not a GTAR event.)
Bill Would Slow Loss of Some Flood Insurance Subsidies
The phase-out of federal flood insurance subsidies for homes with "grandfathered" premium rates will be delayed for a year under an amendment that's been attached to a bill making homeland security appropriations. The phase-out of subsidies, part of flood insurance reform enacted last year, has caused concern among some property owners and lawmakers. Phase-out of premium subsidies for some other types of properties would continue as scheduled, although NAR is working with lawmakers about securing a longer delay for grandfathered properties and extending it to other types of properties.
Obama Signs Orders to Curb Patent Trolls
President Barack Obama last week issued executive orders to help curb patent lawsuit abuses by so-called patent trolls whose business model is based on leveraging broad-based patents to extract fees from product users. The executive orders come as Congress is writing legislation to combat abuses. NAR supports the efforts and is working with lawmakers to help ensure legislation is strong enough to curb abuses.
Bill Would Standardize Energy Efficiency Valuation
NAR-backed legislation to standardize the valuation of energy efficiency in the appraisal and mortgage underwriting processes has been introduced in the Senate. The "Sensible Accounting to Value Energy (S.A.V.E.) Act," S. 1106, would try to encourage the use of energy efficient materials in new and existing homes without negatively affecting older homes. 
Changes Add Flexibility to QM 'Ability-to-Pay' Rule
NAR is generally supportive of the latest changes to the Qualified Mortgage (QM) "ability to pay" rule by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. CFPB's changes would help give lenders more flexibility in originating QM safe harbor loans and add a reasonable criterion for loan applicants, but NAR in a letter to the agency says it wants to see some clarifying language on a number of matters still. CFPB has said it plans to keep looking at its QM rule before it takes effect next year to be sure it protects consumers and taxpayers without reducing loan availability to responsible applicants.
Free Prescription Drug Discount Card Available
A free prescription drug discount card is available to members from Drug Card America, a REALTOR Benefits® Program partner. The card can lower the cost of some prescription drugs at more than 60,000 pharmacies, including CVS, Walmart, Walgreens, and Target, among others.  
Free Consumer Content: Staying Cool for Less Cost
The latest free content for your websites, blogs, social media pages, and print resources from HouseLogic's REALTOR® Content Resource looks at free ideas for staying cool for less money this summer.
REALTOR® Code Adapts to Changing Technologies
As you adapt to changing technologies, so does the Code of Ethics. Learn more about the Code in this, its centennial year.
Comments on the following REALTOR® applicants should be submitted by REALTOR® members to the Membership Committee, c/o GTAR, PO Box 470603, Tulsa, OK 74147.
Firm Affiliate:
PrimeLending, Designated Individual, Michael Gresh (Second Publication)
MLS Waiver:
Richard S. Sudduth, First Commercial Real Estate (Second Publication)