OCAR Blog

News and Information to Keep You a Step Ahead!

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.

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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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