OCAR Blog

News and Information to Keep You a Step Ahead!

Recent blog posts

Here is a quick update from OCAR on items that may affect your brokerage, including:

  • CRMLS Rules Change March 1
  • Broker Compliance
  • Three New Member Benefits
  • Upcoming Events: Register by 3/15 for Forecast/Annual Meeting

CRMLS Rules Change March 1

Several updated CRMLS Rules and Regulations went into effect on March 1, most notably one (12.8.1) that allows printed neighborhood market reports to include other people’s listings—with proper attribution.

Want more?

Broker Compliance

Brokers, do you have an agent who didn’t renew for 2016? Or a new licensee who still hasn’t joined OCAR? If so, you may not be compliant with NAR’s variable dues formula. We can help you avoid additional charges and suspension of valuable services (like zipForm®). Simply email our Broker Compliance Specialist: Heather@ocar.org or you can read through our full rundown on Broker Compliance.

New, Free Member Benefit: OC Tech Helpline

Good thing you and your agents never use technology, especially the kind that breaks sometimes. It means you’ll never need to call the OC Tech Helpline at (877) 562-3156—or add it to your contacts. And surely you don’t need to watch this helpful 30-second video. But, we could be wrong…

You Asked for it:  OC REALTORS® Update

You asked for information to share with your agents at team meetings. Please share this monthly OC REALTORS® Update; it highlights key classes, events, and member benefits.

New FV Office Now Open; HB Closes March 11

Our new, full-service office in Fountain Valley is now open to serve you. We’ll see you at the Open House on April 13 from 4-6 PM. Here’s a flyer with map and directions. The HB office closes March 11.

Mark Your 2016 Calendar:  OCAR Events and Fundraisers

March 21 - Market Forecast & Membership Meeting—Register by March 15
April 13 - Fountain Valley Office Open House—R.S.V.P. by April 6
May 16 - Golf Tournament—Register to Play
June 29 - Broker Summit:  The Future of the MLS
August 5 - OCAR Palooza
October 24 - REAL SOCIAL Conference   
December 2 - Installation

Thank you for your membership!

 

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Today’s consumers want homes and a community that are environmentally sustainable and resource efficient. Come to this great event and learn how you can meet consumer demand with green know-how.

Featured Speakers:

  • John Shipman, Energy Efficiency Management: High Perfomance Homes and the Value of Green
  • Brooke Sarson, H2OME: Smart Water Savings
  • Kevin Chang, Office of Dianne Feinstein: Senator Feinstein's California Desert Conservation and Recreation Act
  • Jonathan Volzke, Public Affairs Manager: OC’s Water Reliability and Implications for Home Construction and Sales
  • Robert Farnsworth, Chair, Saddleback Valley College: Horticulture and Landscape Trends
  • Plus, special guest speakers Caroline Colesworthy, Lee Turrini, and Christine Tessier.

Cost

Free for OCAR Members

How to RSVP

Please confirm your attendance via My Account

 Download a Flyer to Share

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Here is a quick update from OCAR on items that may affect your brokerage, including:

  • FIRPTA withholding rate changes 2/17
  • New Law Changes CE Requirements for License Renewal
  • New Member Benefits:  MLS-Touch, Fountain Valley office
  • Mark your 2016 Calendar:  OCAR Events and Fundraisers
  • Register today for 3/21 Forecast/Annual Meeting

FIRPTA withholding rate changes 2/17

For sales on or after February 17, the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) withholding rate increases from 10% to 15%, when the property’s sales price exceeds $1M—residence or not.  

Want more?

New Law Changes CE Requirements, License Renewal

A new law (AB 345) that took effect on January 1 requires a continuing education (CE) course on Management and Supervision of real estate licensed activity for:

  • Brokers renewing for the first time and 
  • Brokers and Salespersons renewing for a second or subsequent time

Want more?

New, Free Member Benefit:  MLS-Touch

MLS-Touch is now free for OCAR REALTORS®-- a savings of $99/year. This state-of-the-art app brings rich MLS data to your favorite mobile device. Watch this two-minute video for feature highlights and download/login instructions.

Want more?

New FV Office Opens Feb 24; HB Closes March 11

To better serve our members, OCAR is moving from Huntington Beach to a new, full-service office in Fountain Valley. The FV office opens for business on February 24. The HB office will remain open until March 11. 

Want more? 

Mark Your 2016 Calendar:  OCAR Events and Fundraisers

March 21 Market Forecast & Membership Meeting—Register Today!

April 13 Fountain Valley Office Open House

May 16 Golf Tournament—Register to Play

June 29 Broker Summit:  The Future of the MLS

August 5 OCAR Palooza

October 24 REAL SOCIAL Conference   

December 2 Installation

Thank you for your membership!

 

 

 

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To better serve our members, OCAR is moving from Huntington Beach to a brand new, full-service office in Fountain Valley.

The new Fountain Valley office is now open for business and the HB office is now closed.

The new office is located in Fountain Valley Plaza, just off I-405, next to the Hyundai building (see map below). We look forward to seeing you there!

Save the date:  You’re invited to our Grand Opening/Open House on Wednesday, April 13 at 4 PM. 

Add us to your address book:

OCAR Fountain Valley
10540 Talbert Avenue, Ste. 225 West
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
(714) 375-9313 (office phone and fax will remain the same as the HB office)

 Download the map

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Formerly known as relay®, zipTMS™ is now a free member benefit for 2016. On Thursday, February 11, C.A.R. will host a free webinar from 10:00 am to 11:00 to show you how zipTMS™ helps you manage and track all transaction information and activities from listing through closing.

Register now...

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Existing-home sales snapped back solidly in December as more buyers reached the market before the end of the year, and the delayed closings resulting from the rollout of the Know Before You Owe initiative pushed a portion of November's would-be transactions into last month's figure, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Led by the South and West, all four major regions saw large increases in December.

Single-family home sales jumped 16.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.82 million in December from 4.15 million in November, and are now 7.1 percent higher than the 4.50 million pace a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $226,000 in December, up 8.0 percent from December 2014.

Existing condominium and co-op sales increased 4.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 640,000 units in December from 610,000 in November, and are now 12.3 percent above December 2014 (570,000 units). The median existing condo price was $209,900 in December, which is 4.9 percent above a year ago.

 

 

 

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MLS-Touch is now free for OCAR REALTORS®. This reflects an annual savings of $99. 

For years, members have requested this state-of-the-art app which provides rich MLS access on mobile devices. With MLS-Touch, your mobile device can now become your most valuable work tool.

  • Access all active, pending, sold and off-market listings. 
  • Search by map, or use the advanced search tool to find properties that exactly match your clients’ needs.
  • Send multiple listings by email. 
  • Access private remarks, listing agent info, showing instructions, HOAs, live market stats, instant sales comparables and more.

Download the App Today:

When logging in for the first time, select "California" as your state, "CRMLS," as your board, and enter your CRMLS User ID for your "board username" and your CRMLS password for your "board password."

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Beginning with the new year, both OCAR offices will be open from 8 am to 5:30 pm to assist you. We'll also be open Saturdays in January from 9 am to 1 pm. 

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Beginning on Wednesday, January 6, the North Marketing Meeting and Preview (Irvine, Tustin, Tustin Ranch) will be meeting at JT Schmid's in The District at 2415 Park Ave., Tustin, 92782. The meeting start time is unchanged and will begin promptly at 9:30 am. 

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Criminals are hacking into the email accounts of real estate agents or other persons involved in a real estate transaction and using information gained from the hack to dupe a party into a fraudulent wire transfer. The hackers often send an email that appears to be from an individual legitimately involved in the transaction, informing the recipient, often the buyer, that there has been a last minute change to the wiring instructions.  

Following the new instructions, the recipient will wire funds directly to the hacker’s account, which will be cleared out in a matter of minutes. The money is almost always lost forever.

In the next two weeks, real estate professionals will be contending with high transactional volumes during year-end closings. This is a busy and hectic time for real estate professionals, and many millions of dollars will be sent and received via wire before the end of the year. This is exactly the environment in which online criminals seek to operate.

The National Association of REALTORS® urges its members and state and local REALTOR® associations to be on high alert for email and online fraud.

In May 2015, NAR issued an alert regarding a sophisticated email wire fraud hitting the real estate industry.  Since then, the incidents of online scams targeting practitioners have continued to rise but the advice is the same.

Bottom line: Do not let your guard down.  Start from the assumption that any email in your in-box could be a targeted attack from a criminal.

Read More...

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

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Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo will have their own OCAR Marketing Meeting and Preview session on Fridays beginning January 8.  These areas were previously covered by the Canyon Area Marketing Meeting.  Get the full details at our Marketing Meetings & Preview Sheets page.

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President Obama today signed H.R. 22, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015, which does NOT include an extension of the higher guarantee-fees set to expire in 2021.  The bill funds several highway and transit-related projects, with monies coming from a variety of sources. While the Senate version of the long-term transportation bill included this “mortgage tax” to pay for transportation infrastructure, the final version does not. This is a HUGE win for REALTORS® and their clients.

In November, the House of Representatives approved a long-term-transportation bill with an amendment to exclude the tax. C.A.R. and the National Association of REALTORS® vigorously opposed the “add-on” fee for all new conforming mortgages in order to pay for transportation infrastructure. This "g-fee," which was a disguised tax on home buyers, would have cost average California home buyers more than $8,100 over the life of their mortgage on a new home purchase or refinance.

Nearly 31,000 California REALTORS® called or emailed Congress to oppose this proposal.

Source: C.A.R.

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On March 1, the CRMLS Rules and Regulations and Citation Policy will be updated and published on CRMLS' website (and here at www.OCAR.org). This update will include an addition to the Rules regarding Neighborhood Market Reports. This new rule is listed in Section 12.8.1(below):

12.8.1 Advertising of Listing in Printed Neighborhood Market Report

Subject to the conditions set forth in (a) through (c) below, as well as throughout these Rules, Participants and Subscribers may include the listings of others in their printed “Neighborhood Market Reports.” The “Neighborhood Market Report” is defined as an advertising and/or information sheet (typically appearing in the form of a postcard, flier or newsletter) compiled by and/or for use by a licensee which sets forth a list of home activity in a particular neighborhood area. Advertising appearing in newspapers, magazines or other classified forms is not included in the definition of “Neighborhood Market Report” and is not authorized by this Rule 12.8.1.

(a) Consent

The listing brokers’ consent for such advertising is presumed, in satisfaction of Rule 12.8, unless a listing broker affirmatively notifies the MLS that the listing broker refuses to permit others to advertise his listing in the “Neighborhood Market Report” (i.e. “opts-out”) either on a blanket or listing by listing basis. Listing brokers that refuse to permit other Broker Participants or Subscribers to advertise their listings on a blanket basis may not display the listings of the other brokers’ listings in their own “Neighborhood Market Reports”. Even where listing brokers have given blanket authority for other Broker Participants and Subscribers to advertise their listings in the “Neighborhood Market Report”, such consent may be withdrawn on a listing-by-listing basis where the seller has prohibited it. Participants and Subscribers are not permitted to include listings in their Neighborhood Market Report from which listing broker has opted out and will be responsible for verifying that they have permission to advertise all listings contained in their Neighborhood Market Reports.

(b) Listing Attribution

All listings in the “Neighborhood Market Report” must identify the name of the listing firm(s) and the name of the listing agent(s) in a manner designed to easily identify such listing firm(s) or agent(s). Such identification shall be in a reasonably prominent location and in a readily visible color and typeface not smaller than the median used in the display of listing data.

(c) Allowable Listing Content

Broker Participants and Subscribers may include only those portions of the MLS compilation consisting of the following: property address (and whether attached or detached), status, price, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, number of garages (and whether attached or detached), square footage, lot size, year built, tract or development name, and if there’s a pool. Display of other fields, as well as confidential information and photographs, is prohibited.

More details to follow... 

 

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Enjoy a fun-filled day of golf at Oak Creek Golf Club in Irvine on May 16, 2016, with proceeds benefitting the OCAR Cares Foundation.

  • Registration: 10 A.M.
  • Shotgun Start: 12 P.M. (scramble format)
  • Helicopter Ball Drop: 6 P.M.

Golfers Sign Up by April 22

Download the Golfer Registration Form.
$160 entry fee includes green fee, cart, lunch, dinner, and driving range.

Thank you to our sponsors:

b2ap3_thumbnail_0316_GOLF_Ad_and_Registration_Item.jpg

OCAR Cares is a fiscally sponsored project of OneOC. Tax ID 95-2021700.

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Orange County’s future prosperity hinges on the region’s ability to create a healthy, prosperous economy that promotes both jobs and housing, not one at the expense of the other. This video discusses the issue using data from the Orange County Business Council's 2015 Orange County Workforce Housing Scorecard.

The Scorecard examines and analyzes the current and projected housing trends and provides a preview of where Orange County is headed in terms of workforce housing, and how it will impact demographic, economic, and business competitiveness factors.

Created in partnership with Orange County Business Council.

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The Federal Housing Administration today released its 2015 Actuarial Review, a financial assessment of the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, and the review shows that the fund has strongly rebounded, achieved greater overall health, and seen increased access to safe mortgage financing as cuts to FHA's annual mortgage insurance premium have taken hold.

The fund report found that since 2012, delinquency rates fell 40 percent, there was a 28 percent improvement in recovery rates, and there was a $40 billion increase in the value of the fund.

FHA undertook a series of administrative measures over the past few years to mitigate credit risk, including raising premiums. However, according to NAR estimates, nearly 250,000 creditworthy borrowers were priced out of the housing market in 2013 alone because of these increases. This represents another hurdle for borrowers, including first-time buyers. Earlier this month, NAR released its annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers showing that the share of first–time buyers declined for the third consecutive year, remaining at its lowest point in nearly three decades.

In addition, FHA's 2014 actuarial assessment showed dramatic improvement through falling delinquency rates and improved recoveries on dispositions.

Recognizing the challenge that increasing mortgage insurance premiums posed to potential homeowners, FHA announced a 50 basis point cut to the premiums in January 2015. At the time, FHA estimated this would result in an average annual savings of $900 for nearly 2 million FHA homeowners. FHA also estimated that an additional 250,000 homebuyers would be spurred to purchase their first home within three years as a result of the cuts.

 

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

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C.A.R. members now can access the Legal information using a new smartphone app. Through the free app, C.A.R. members can access the following:

  • Recent laws 
  • Legal Q&As – sorted alphabetically or by category
  • The standard forms area of car.org
  • Custom mobile video player featuring the latest Legal Live and Everyday Ethics webinars
  • Access to zipForm® Mobile 
  • Detailed click-to-call contact us list featuring essential C.A.R. phone numbers and contact information
  • Push notification area

The push notifications will be used to alert members to Calls-to-Action, Red Alerts, and other critical legal issues. Future enhancements will include predicted wait times for the C.A.R. Legal hotline to help members gauge when the best time is to call.

Get more information and download the app

 

Source: California Association of REALTORS® 

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The RPA is the cornerstone of every successful real estate transaction. REALTORS® should be extremely well-versed with the principles and applications of this form. Receive step-by-step instruction from the expert! California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) Assistant General Counsel Gov Hutchinson will show you how to properly complete the RPA.

Even if you’ve previously taken an RPA course, you will benefit from this training:

  • Get familiar with the numerous changes made to the contract in 2014
  • Receive instruction on forms related to the RPA such as the Residential Listing Agreement (RLA), Requests for Repairs (RR), and more
  • Understand all mandatory and recommended disclosures Learn how to create, modify, cancel, or close a transaction
  • Ensure all commissions are paid-in-full and on-time
  • Better serve and protect your clients 

Cost:

$55 for OCAR REALTORS®
$80 for Non-Members

Registration:

Members, register via My Account

Non-Members, please send us your information here (we'll contact you to complete registration).

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Existing–home sales rebounded strongly in September following August's decline and have now increased year–over–year for 12 consecutive months. All four major regions experienced sales gains in September.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says a slight moderation in home prices in some markets and mortgage rates remaining below 4 percent gave more households the confidence to close on a home last month. "September home sales bounced back solidly after slowing in August and are now at their second highest pace since February 2007 (5.79 million)," he said. "While current price growth around 6 percent is still roughly double the pace of wages, affordability has slightly improved since the spring and is helping to keep demand at a strong and sustained pace."

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

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On Thursday, October 22, 2015, the House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will begin consideration on the surface transportation reauthorization legislation.

One proposal would use Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s credit risk guarantee fees (g-fees) to fund transportation programs.  Take action now to prevent Congress from placing an unnecessary long-term burden on American homeowners with a new Transportation Tax.

NAR strongly believes that a new tax on homeowners would also prevent Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from effectively managing their risk.

Tell Congress to STOP the the Housing Tax for Transportation!

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