News and Information to Keep You a Step Ahead!

Recent blog posts

The California Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE) has recently issued an alert advising that they are taking notice of salespersons who may be acting as or advertising themselves as "independent" real estate licensees. Under California's licensing system, salespersons must always "hang" their license with and work under the supervision of a licensed real estate broker. It is unlawful for a salesperson to conduct licensed real estate activity of their own.  Further, a real estate broker is required to supervise all salespersons licensed under them.

CalBRE is primarily concerned with two activities:

1. Property Management
A question that is often heard on the C.A.R. Legal Hotline is can a salesperson operate a property management business on their own?  The answer is NO!  A property management business must always be operated under the supervision of a licensed real estate broker.  

2. Branding as Independent Licensees 
Beginning this year, salespersons have been able to use "Team Names" and to obtain and use "Salesperson-owned Fictitious Business Names."  Perhaps due to this change in the law, CalBRE is noticing an upsurge in salespersons branding themselves as independent real estate professionals and acting as such, which is a real estate law violation.  CalBRE is also alerting brokers that facilitating such activity by a salesperson is likewise a real estate violation. 

Salespersons can use team names and own and use fictitious business names, but only when following the legal requirements and when affiliated with and operating under the supervision of a broker. C.A.R.'s Legal Q&A "Fictitious Business Names and Team Names", will help you make sure that you are following the law. CalBRE has also issued guidance on this.


Source: California Association of REALTORS®

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OCAR’s endorsed benefit administrator, The Benefits Store, has extended open enrollment for Kaiser plans through November 20, 2015 with an effective coverage date of December 1, 2015. OCAR REALTOR® and Affiliate Members are able to purchase group coverage. To speak with an agent, call (800) 446-2663 or visit them online.

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It's become something of a tradition to feature our veteran members in the November issue of the OC REALTOR®. We'd like to thank you, so email us your name, service information, and a photo of you in uniform (unless we already have one). Submission deadline is October 9.

Questions? Please contact Albert Ornelas at 949-586-6800 ext. 123.


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We encourage you to share this video on your social media and/or website. It's yet another tool that OCAR provides you to help your clients.

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UPDATED: Do you use the Supra eKEY app with an Apple product? Please read this before updating to iOS 9!

Apple released iOS 9 on 9/16 for iPhones and iPads. Version 2.1.0 of Supra’s eKEY app will not communicate with an iBox BT LE keybox. Instead of doing so, the eKEY will return to the home screen. This issue is specific to the iBox BT LE; the eKEY app on iOS 9 communicates properly with the iBox BT and iBox.

Supra has updated the eKEY app to work with iOS 9.  Please do not update your iPhone or iPad to iOS 9 until you have updated the eKEY app to version 2.2.1 which is available now.

This version of eKEY may prompt you for information related to the new end of showing notification feature scheduled for later this year. You may notice the following differences as you use the eKEY application:

  • For Apple device users, if Location Services is not enabled for eKEY, you will be prompted to do so when you open the eKEY app.
  • Approximately 30 minutes after performing an Obtain Key the eKEY app may display a “Showing Ended?” prompt with the option to select yes or no. This prompt only appears when the system cannot automatically detect the showing has ended.

For updates, visit Supra's website, here.

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When it comes to defending private property rights and protecting the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID), REALTORS® are a home owner's ally.  NAR is launching a dynamic, consumer-facing advocacy website called Home Ownership Matters.  Share the content with your clients. Let them know how REALTORS® and are on their side.

The website will feature:

  • Topical, high-quality videos
  • An “Ask the Expert” feature
  • Articles and stories about real estate-related news
  • Targeted content based on the visitor’s geography
  • Communication tools to help consumers take action on state and federal policies that matter to them
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C.A.R. has issued a statewide Call for Action asking California REALTORS® to contact their Member of Congress to oppose a proposal to tax mortgages to pay for highways. This provision was included in the Senate version of the long-term Transportation bill. While the U.S. Senate has already passed the bill, the House has not passed its version of the legislation. REALTORS® are asked to call their Congressional Representative to ask that the tax not be included in the House version of the bill.

Please look for an email from C.A.R. with the subject line, “Call for Action.”  This has personalized information in it for you to reach your Member of Congress. 

Didn't receive your email? Go to C.A.R.'s Red Alert message here


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In her first-ever video message, 2015 OCAR President Rita Tayenaka recaps the success of OCAR Palooza, discusses important safety training during REALTOR® Safety Month, and notes upcoming changes to RESPA-TILA (TRID).

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We’re collecting food for the OC Food Bank. Here’s How You Can Help:

Food Donations  

  • Fill your bag with the food list of items noted below.
  • Bag(s) are available at the Marketing Meetings and at both OCAR offices. 
  • Bag(s) need to be signed out at pick-up.
  • Return filled bags to either OCAR office no later than Friday, Sept.18 by 4:00 pm. 

Packing the Food 

Come to the Packing Party. If you are interested in helping to sort and pack-up the food donations, please join us at OCAR’s Laguna Hills office on Wednesday, September 23 from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm. Email Joanne Frank with your availability. 

Compassion Bag Food Items Needed

  • 2 - regular size boxes of breakfast cereal
  • 4 - regular size cans of vegetables
  • 2 - regular size cans of fruit
  • 2 - cans tuna
  • 2 - cans chili
  • 1 - jar peanut butter
  • 1 - 1 lb. bag of beans 
  • 1 - 1 lb. bag of white rice

 Download the flyer to share with your colleagues

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has released a new online toolkit to help real estate professionals understand the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule (often referred to as TRID) and how to explain those changes to clients. 

Access the CFPB's Real Estate Professionals Guide


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According to the U.S. Census, homeownership is at 63.4 percent for the second quarter of 2015, down 1.3 percent from the second quarter of 2014. This is the lowest rate of homeownership since 1967. To put that in greater context, homeownership peaked at 69.2 percent in 2004, and the 50-year average is 65.3 percent.

Get the full scoop:


Access OC FastStats





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The California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) applauds Governor Brown for signing into law AB 345, a C.A.R.-sponsored bill that earmarks three hours of a real estate broker's existing mandated continuing education (CE) for a course on the management and supervision of real estate licensed activity. Governor Brown signed the bill into law on Monday, July 13, and the bill becomes effective Jan. 1, 2016.

AB 345 also permits salespersons to elect to take a course containing relevant information to assist them in understanding how to be effectively supervised by a responsible broker or branch manager.

“C.A.R. commends Governor Brown for signing AB 345 into law,” said C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. “Since the California Bureau of Real Estate can hold a manager accountable for failure to supervise, C.A.R. believes it important that a real estate broker understand how to properly manage real estate offices, salespersons, and broker associates, in order to minimize risk for all parties involved.”

Current law requires a real estate broker to exercise reasonable supervision over the activities of his or her salespersons. Existing law also requires real estate licensees renewing a license to complete 45 hours of California Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE) approved CE. Currently, 15 hours of that CE requirement are earmarked for specified courses, while 18 hours are dedicated to consumer protection courses, with the remaining 12 hours of CE being elective.


Source: California Association of REALTORS®

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Sustained job and income growth gave home buyers the confidence in July to jump into the California housing market, pushing home sales to their highest level in nearly three years, according to a report released today by the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.). Home sales have risen year-over-year for six straight months.

According to C.A.R.’s newest housing market indicator, which measures the sales-to-list price ratio*, properties are again generally selling below the list price, except in the San Francisco Bay Area, where a lack of homes for sale is pushing sales prices higher than original asking prices.  The statewide measure suggests that homes are selling at a median of 98.8 percent of the list price, slightly up from 98.5 percent at the same time last year. The Bay Area is the only region where homes are selling above original list prices due to constrained supply with a ratio of 105.2 percent, up from 103.4 percent a year ago, but down from 106.3 percent in June.

Report Highlights:

  • Existing, single-family home sales totaled 449,530 in July on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, up 2.7 percent from June and 12.7 percent from July 2014
  • Statewide sales were above the 400,000 mark for the fourth straight month
  • July statewide median home price was $488,260, down 0.3 percent from June but up 5.4 percent from July 2014
  • Available housing supply remains constrained at 3.3 months of inventory
  • The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home rose slightly in July to 35.1 days compared with 33.4 days in June but was down slightly from 35.9 days in July 2014 

Read the full report here.


Source: California Association of REALTORS®

*Sales-to-list price ratio is an indicator that reflects the negotiation power of home buyers and home sellers under current market conditions.  The ratio is calculated by dividing the final sales price of a property by its last list price and is expressed as a percentage.  A sales-to-list ratio with 100 percent or above suggests that the property sold for more than the list price, and a ratio below 100 percent indicates that the price sold below the asking price.





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A promising climb in home sales throughout the country amidst insufficient supply caused home prices to steadily rise in most metro areas during the second quarter, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of REALTORS®.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the housing market has shifted into a higher gear in recent months. "Steady rent increases, the slow rise in mortgage rates and stronger local job markets fueled demand throughout most of the country this spring," he said. "While this led to a boost in sales paces not seen since before the downturn, overall supply failed to keep up and pushed prices higher in a majority of metro areas."

Adds Yun, "With home prices and rents continuing to rise and wages showing only modest growth, declining affordability remains a hurdle for renters considering home ownership — especially in higher-priced markets."

Orange County is one of those higher priced markets (in the top 5 to be exact).

Read the Quarterly Report here.


Source: National Association of REALTORS®, "Home Prices Rise in Nearly All Metro Areas in Second Quarter"

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If you're an ActiveKey user, don't forget to renew your key lease by September 1. You can pay online at Supra's WebPay.

If you no longer require your key, make sure you return it to either OCAR office by August 31 to cancel your contract. If you have your key on September 1 or beyond, you will be responsible for paying the lease renewal fee.

If you need assistance registering for Supra WebPay, watch our quick training video:

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Are you using a drone to snap photos of your latest listing? We’ve noticed several drone-assisted photos in the MLS, and we have some advice you, “STOP!”  Unless you or the company you’ve hired to take the pictures has a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), using a drone or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for commercial purposes is illegal.  

Current FAA regulations prohibit the commercial use of UAVs, except in situations where the operator has obtained a Section 333 waiver. The FAA Modernization Act of 2012 charged the agency with integrating UAVs into the National Air Space. The rulemaking for UAV integration began in February 2015 and likely won’t be completed until late 2016 or early 2017

The National Association of REALTORS® has been meeting with the FAA to develop guidelines that would allow REALTORS® to photograph properties using drones.  This regulatory process will take some time. So, unless you (or the drone operator) have the Section 333 waiver, for now, it’s best to keep that drone on the ground.

In response to member’s increasing interest in drone-assisted photography, NAR has compiled a number of resources on its website here.


This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. 

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“REALTORS® report that buyers are far more concerned about a home’s water efficiency than they once were. Many customers are asking about the water conservation upgrades or modifications that have been made to the homes they are considering for purchase.”

In this month's issue of the OC REALTOR®, OCAR Public Policy Advisor, Ron Kingston describes how the water shortage is altering both buyer expectations and property appraisals in the once-Golden State. 

Read the full article here.

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Don't spend your money on eBooks that you can check out for free, online via the National Association of REALTORS® Lending Library.  Borrow books on real estate investment, marketing techniques, management trends, and a number of real estate-related topics. 

Formats are offered for desktop computers, tablets, and mobile devices. 

This week's selected title: The Art of Selling Real Estate

REALTORS®: access this free service here.

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A key indicator of housing market strength, the REALTORS® Confidence Index, is based on a monthly survey sent to over 50,000 real estate practitioners. Practitioners are asked about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions. In addition, the "Questions of the Month," feature results of a timely aspect of the housing market. In June, REALTORS® were by and large “strongly confident” about the outlook over the next six months compared to a year ago.


  • Strong local market conditions in June for single-family and condo properties.
  • Sustained job creation at a pace of 220 thousand jobs per month in 2015
  • Reduction in the FHA’s annual mortgage insurance premium rates (which took effect January 2015)


  • TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) regulations (effective October 3, 2015) may lead to delayed closings
  • Declining demand from international buyers due to a stronger U.S. dollar
  • Tight inventory and limited affordability
  • Potential for rising interest rates
  • Difficulty obtaining financing due to higher credit and down payment standards

Read the Report here 


Source: "June 2015 REALTORS® Confidence Index," National Association of REALTORS® (June 2015)

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Existing-home sales increased (3.2%) in June to their highest pace (5.49 million) in over eight years (5.79 million in February 2007). 

Sales have now increased year-over-year for nine consecutive months and are 9.6% above a year ago (5.01 million).  

  • June: 5.49 million (May: 5.32 million)
  • Northeast: 4.3% Mid-West: 4.7% South: 2.3%; West: 2.5% (all have also increased year-over-year for six consecutive months)
  • Single Family: 2.8% Condominium: 6.6%

Backed by June’s solid gain in closings, this year’s spring buying season has been the strongest since the downturn. 

  • 1st-time buyers were 30% in June, down from 32% in May; 28% in June 2014 
  • All-cash sales were 22% of sales in June, down from 24% in May; 32% in June 2014
  • Investors were 12% in June, down from 14% in May; 16% in June 2014 
  • 30-year fixed-rate rose to 3.98% in June (3.84% in May)

Demand is being fueled by a year-plus of steady job growth and an improving economy that’s giving more households the financial wherewithal and incentive to buy. June sales were also likely propelled by the spring’s initial phase of rising mortgage rates.

However, the cumulative effect of rising demand and limited supply has pushed the national median sales price to an all-time high (July 2006, $230,400). Limited inventory amidst strong demand continues to push home prices higher, leading to declining affordability for prospective buyers.

Home Prices
The median existing-home price in June was $236,400, which is 6.5% above June 2014. This marks the 40th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

Inventory/Time on Market
Total housing inventory at the end of June inched 0.9% to 2.30 million existing homes available for sale, and is 0.4% higher than a year ago (2.29 million). Unsold inventory is at a 5.0-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 5.1 months in May. 

  • 5.0-month supply; 5.1 months in May
  • Properties typically stayed on the market for 34 days in June, down from May (40 days) and the shortest time since NAR began tracking in May 2011.
  • Forty-seven percent of homes sold in June were on the market for less than a month – the highest percentage since June 2013 (also 47%).


Source: National Association of REALTORS®

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