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Tell your U.S. Representative to support H.R. 9, the Innovation Act to stop patent trolls and protect the real estate industry from frivolous lawsuits.  

REALTORS® across the country receive threatening demand letters and lawsuits alleging patent infringement based on the use of common business tools such as drop down menus or search alert functions on websites and the scanner function on a copier. These patent trolls buy vague patents and use them to turn everyday business practices into potential lawsuits. 

H.R. 9 is scheduled for House floor consideration next week. Congress must pass this common-sense comprehensive patent litigation reform to protect Main Street businesses and REALTORS® from patent troll abuse.

Contact Your Representative Now!

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Real estate like-kind exchanges are an important vehicle for disposing of and acquiring properties and support the nation's financial growth, job creation and economy, according to a new report from the National Association of REALTORS®.

The Like-Kind Exchanges: Real Estate Market Perspectives 2015 survey of NAR's commercial and residential members found that real estate investors and commercial property owners place a very high priority on current like-kind exchange tax rules; 40 percent indicated that transactions would not have occurred in the absence of the tax provision, and 56 percent said even if the project would have occurred it likely would have been smaller in scale.

Survey Highlights:

  • For a significant proportion of real estate market participants, like-kind exchanges (LKE) provide an important vehicle to dispose and acquire property.
  • Like-kind exchanges are available to individuals, partnerships, corporations, limited liability companies, as well as trusts.
  • The main requirement of a like-kind exchange is that the disposition of one property and acquisition of another property must be part of an integrated transaction, rather than two individual transactions.
  • REALTORS® are active participants in like-kind exchanges as investors, brokers and agents, intermediaries and professional advisors.
  • Sixty-three percent of REALTORS® participated in a like-kind exchange transaction during 2011-14.
  • In 2014, REALTORS®’ average fair market value of all transactions was $7.0 million
  • Like-kind exchanges accounted for 39 percent of total FMV, or $2.7 million per respondent.
  • Ninety-six percent of REALTORS® indicated a decrease in real estate values in case of repeal of like-kind exchange provisions.
  • Like-kind exchanges in which REALTORS® participated created between 10 and 35 new jobs, mostly resulting from spending on building improvements following acquisition.


More Information:

Read the Survey Report

Read the news release about the report

Learn more about 1031 Like-Kind Exchanges.


Source: NAR


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Over the holiday weekend, the Orange County Fire Authority responded to five near-drownings. Drowning consistently remains the leading cause of death for children one to four years old both in Orange County and throughout the state. 

In the July issue of the Orange County REALTOR® magazine, OCAR writer and editor, Sherri Butterfield, wrote an excellent piece entitled, "The ABCs of Water Safety" (pages 48-49). It's followed by a one-page Swimming Pool Safety handout. These are great pieces to share with your clients or farm. 

Read the complete July issue of the OC REALTOR®.

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August 7 at 2:30 PM @ The Orange County Great Park in Irvine

OCAR members and their friends and families are welcome to play! $50 per team of four.* Proceeds to benefit OCAR Cares Foundation. 

Spaces are filling up fast. Act now to secure a spot for your team. Deadline: Wednesday, August 5. See form and rules for details: 

Any questions, please contact Aaron Rosen.  

*Each team must include at least one player of the opposite sex.

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

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If you ever thought Mello-Roos taxes made your property tax bill more confusing, you're not the only one.  Recently, a grand jury investigation found that the 119 districts within Orange County lack the oversight necessary to ensure that your tax dollars are going toward their intended purpose.  The County of Orange is the largest administrator of the Mello-Roos districts, followed by Capistrano, Tustin, and Irvine School Districts.

Read the rest of the Orange County Register article here...

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Pending home sales continued to rise in May and are now at their highest level in over nine years, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Gains in the Northeast and West were offset by small decreases in the Midwest and South.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, climbed 0.9 percent to 112.6 in May from a slight downward revision of 111.6 in April and is now 10.4 percent above May 2014 (101.9). The index has now increased year-over-year for nine consecutive months and is at its highest level since April 2006 (113.7).

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says contract activity rose again in May for the fifth straight month, increasing the likelihood that home sales are off to their best year since the downturn. "The steady pace of solid job creation seen now for over a year has given the housing market a boost this spring," said Yun. "It's very encouraging to now see a broad based recovery with all four major regions showing solid gains from a year ago and new home sales also coming alive."

Watch Yun's update: 

Source: NAR

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Watch the latest OC FastStats market update. Share this information with your clients via your website or social media.

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While total unit sales from international home buyers decreased from last year, total sales dollar volume increased 13 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors® 2015 Profile of Home Buying Activity of International Clients .

For the period of April 2014 through March 2015, total international sales were estimated at $104 billion, compared to the previous year's estimate of $92.2 billion. This represents 8 percent of the total existing-home sales dollar volume.

"In 2014, sales transaction to buyers outside of the U.S. dropped 10 percent, possibly due to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar in relation to international currencies and weakening foreign economies," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "However, the amount of money spent has increased; this means international purchasers in the U.S. have become an upscale group of buyers, spending more money on fewer homes."

In 2014, five countries accounted for 51 percent of all purchases by international buyers: China, Canada, Mexico, India and the United Kingdom. For the first time, buyers from China exceeded all other countries in terms of units purchased and dollar volume, purchasing an estimated $28.6 billion worth of property. Buyers from Canada followed with $11.2 billion in purchases, followed by India with $7.9 billion, Mexico with $4.9 billion and the U.K. with $3.8 billion.


Read the 2015 Profile of International Home Buying Activity here.


Source: NAR. Read the full press release.

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National Association of REALTORS® President Chris Polychron, executive broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Ark., released the following statement in response to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s announcement  of a proposed two-month delay for the implementation of  the new Truth in Lending Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosure, or TRID, regulation.

“The action announced today by the CFPB is a welcome step. NAR has long advocated the need to avoid implementing the new regulation during the peak summer selling season.

“NAR welcomes the CFPB’s proposed extension to October 1, 2015 as well as the earlier 'sensitivity' they offered to companies making a good-faith effort to comply with the new TRID regulation. 

“We will continue to work with CFPB to minimize any possible market disruptions or uncertainty that could develop following the implementation.  

“Realtors® appreciate that the CFPB has demonstrated an understanding of the need for additional time to accommodate the interests of the many consumers and providers.”


Source: NAR

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Xome announced that they were entering the brokerage industry through the offer of an online portal for consumers and the potential of a rebate to consumers who buy and sell through its service and the agents who are employed by Xome to handle their customers. Xome says they have the largest most accurate data base of homes for sale, some of the best search technology around and that consumers may be able to receive a discount when they purchase through the Xome network.

Most importantly Xome says that they have the first truly end-to-end online transaction process yet to be available. Not only may a consumer buy or sell a home but they can have the entire process handled online so that a consumer can more easily access the transaction as it occurs. Xome says it will have a full concierge program to be available to assist consumers as they move through the process. Should this all be the case, Xome will be the first to tie all the parts of the transaction together in one online process.

Read the full article from REAL Trends here...


Excerpted from Disrupter Alert: Xome | by Steve Murray, REAL Trends publisher

OCAR has partnered with REAL Trends to provide our members with insightful business tips. This article originally appeared online at and is republished with the permission of REAL Trends Inc. Copyright 2015.

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VIDEO: With new CFPB rules going into effect on August 1, are you a little confused about compliance? Watch this video from NAR: 

Read the full article here...

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Lead generation is something that probably occupies your thoughts at least 50 percent of the time. Let’s face it; it’s probably more like 99 percent of the time. Without consistent lead flow, your business is dead. Everyone knows that. What most real estate professionals don’t know is where to get the best quality leads, the people who will buy or sell.

In the REAL Trends 2015 Online Performance Study, we looked at more than 100,000 online leads. Of those leads, the highest volume of leads assigned to agents came from an online live chat service. With an agent assignment rate of 49.18 percent, live chat beat out lead assignment from the broker website,, Trulia, Zillow, and ListHub.

Intrigued by the high agent assignment rate of online live chat leads, REAL Trends conducted a study, called “The Efficacy of Online Live Chat Services for Real Estate.” In this study, we uncovered that live chat leads had more than just great agent assignment. On average, live chat leads generated 36 percent more leads for a brokerage. Of those leads, 7.5 percent of them generated a transaction. If you are actively tracking your lead conversion rates, you know that number is phenomenal.

As with anything else, not all online live chat services are created equal. Depending on your overall goals, there are specific strategies you need to consider when launching live chat services on your website. From our 2015 Online Performance Study, live chat leads ranked fifth in the overall quantity of leads generated. However, we recommend that you pursue quality over quantity every time.

To find out more, join REAL Trends on June 17 for a live chat webinar that will cover the latest tips and strategies to use this service in real estate. Learn how to double your conversion rate.

All attendees will receive a free research study filled with the latest best practices for online chat leads. Join Travis Saxton, vice president of technology, REAL Trends; Deirdre LePera, research strategist, REAL Trends, and Justin Shum, CEO of ReadyChat, on June 17, 2015, at 2 p.m. EST/1 p.m. CT/ Noon MT.

Webinar Registration

Source: REAL Trends / Author: Deirdre Lepera

OCAR has partnered with REAL Trends to provide our members with insightful business tips. This article originally appeared online at and is republished with the permission of REAL Trends Inc. Copyright 2015.

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C.A.R. is hailing the defeat of Senate Bill (SB) 364 (Leno) in the State Legislature. The bill would have eliminated property rights protections for owners of rental property and significantly discouraged efforts to create new rental housing in the city and county of San Francisco. 

“SB 364 was an unreasonable and unjustified attack on property owners that need or want to take a rental property off the market,” C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey said. “Discouraging investment in housing is bad policy, and SB 364 would have caused harmful unintended consequences. San Francisco already has the most protective, and the most expensive eviction rules in the state.”

In 1985, C.A.R. successfully sponsored the Ellis Act, preventing local governments from restricting the ability of rental property owners to remove a rental property from the market. SB 364 would have allowed San Francisco to prevent property owners from taking rental units off the market, unless every owner of that property has owned the property for at least five consecutive years. This effectively forces property owners to remain in the rental housing business even if they are losing money or simply wish to occupy their own property.

Source: C.A.R.

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Pending home sales rose in April for the fourth straight month and reached their highest level in nine years, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Led by the Northeast and Midwest, all four major regions saw increases in April.

The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, increased 3.4 percent to 112.4 in April from a slight upward revision of 108.7 in March and is now 14.0 percent above April 2014 (98.6) — the largest annual increase since September 2012 (15.1 percent). The index has now increased year-over-year for eight consecutive months and is at its highest level since May 2006 (112.5).

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Thank you to all the candidates who ran for the six open seats on the 2016-2018 OCAR Board of Directors.  And thank you to our REALTORS® for voting... we had a record turnout!

Here are your newly elected members:

  • Jenean Hill (3 year term)
  • Mary Jane Cambria (3 year term)
  • Len Herman (3 year term)
  • Eileen Oldroyd (3 year term)
  • Adam Rodell (3 year term)
  • Stuart Thomas (1 year term)

Member also approved changing our name from the Orange County Association of REALTORS® to Orange County REALTORS®.



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Watch the latest OC FastStats market update. Share this information with your clients via your website or social media.

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The Huntington Beach Preview Meeting will be dark this Friday, May 22; however, the Canyon Area Preview Meeting will still be held this Friday.  OCAR's offices will be closed on Monday, May 25 in observance of Memorial Day. Have a happy and safe holiday weekend.

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Make sure you're up-to-date on the latest CRMLS Rules and Regulations, like this one: 

It is a violation for any agent or broker to distribute flyers or create other printed materials displaying the address and/or price of any listing(s) with an MLS status of ACTIVE, BACKUP, HOLD, or PENDING that are not the listing(s) of that agent or broker unless prior written consent has been obtained from the listing broker.  “Screen Shots” or other materials printed from IDX or VOW displays are included in this violation.  Rule 12.8

Check them out now...

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Voting Begins May 11 at 8 am

There are five (5) three-year and one (1) one-year Director positions open for the 2016-2018 Orange County Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors. OCAR REALTORS® may vote for up to six candidates, but may cast no more than one vote per candidate. 

Voting will conclude on Tuesday, May 26 at 5:00 pm. 

 Meet the Candidates!

How to Vote:

Option 1: Online

Shortly after the election opens, OCAR REALTOR® members should have received their voting email with the subject line: IMPORTANT OCAR VOTING ID – Do Not Delete. This email contains the access link to the secure voting website, your Voting ID, and your personalized Voting Code. You must open the email to vote.

Vote Now

If you cannot locate this email, you may request that it be resent.

Option 2: In Person

You may opt to cast a paper ballot at either OCAR office in lieu of voting online. Only OCAR REALTORS® are eligible to vote.

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1. Late Entry of Listing

This violation occurs when a listing is not entered into the MLS in a timely manner and the listing broker did not previously file an MLS Exclusion Form with the MLS/Association.

How to Avoid: To help avoid this violation, you must enter a listing into the MLS within two business days of either (1) the listing contract date, or (2) the date the seller’s signature was obtained on the listing agreement.

If a seller wants their property listed on the MLS, but the property is not ready for any showings, it is recommended that the property be entered into the MLS and placed in the Hold status. If a seller does not want their listing on the MLS or wishes to withhold their listing from the MLS, the listing broker must obtain a seller-signed MLS Exclusion Form and submit that documentation to the MLS/Association within two business days of the listing contract date. The most common MLS Exclusion Form is the C.A.R. SELM Form, which is available through zipForm®.

Penalties: Violation warning, $250 fine, or $500 fine per offense.

(Rules Section: 7.8 and 7.9)

2. Inaccurate Information - Auto Sold

An Auto Sold violation occurs when a listing is automatically changed to the Sold status by the MLS system (appears as S* or Closed Sale*), which is a result of not manually updating a listing in the Pending/Backup status. An Auto Sold listing is considered an Inaccurate Information violation, because the listing is closed and displays estimated or unconfirmed sales information.

How to Avoid: To help avoid an Auto Sold violation, you must properly manage your listings in the Pending/Backup status. When a listing is changed to the Pending/Backup status, you are required to enter an estimated close of escrow date (“Estimated COE date”), as well as estimated sales information. Within two business days of your Estimated COE date, you must either (1) extend your Estimated COE date if escrow has been delayed, (2) update your listing to the appropriate status if a status change occurred, or (3) confirm the sales information and manually update the listing to Sold.

Courtesy notices are sent by email 14 days prior to, 7 days prior to, 1 day prior to, and on the day of your Estimated COE Date, as reminders to manually update your listing. Click here for more information on how to help avoid an Auto Sold violation.

Penalties: Violation warning, $100 fine, or $300 fine per offense.

(Rules Section: 8.3)

3. No Photo

A No Photo violation occurs when a listing has been on the MLS for more than five calendar days and at least one exterior structural photo of the property has not been added to the listing.

How to Avoid: To help avoid a No Photo violation, you must add at least one photo of the exterior structure of the listed property within five calendar days of entering a listing into the MLS. An exterior structural photo must be added to a listing within five calendar days, regardless of the listing status. If a property is sold within five calendar days of entering the listing into the MLS, it is important that you add at least one exterior structural photo prior to closing the listing. This photo requirement does not apply to (1) Land/Lot listings, or (2) listings that are Canceled within five calendar days of entry.

Penalties: Violation warning, $100 fine, or $300 fine per offense.

(Rules Section: 11.5)

4. Misuse of Public Remarks

The Property Description, Driving Directions, List Price Includes, and List Price Excludes fields are considered public remarks fields. A Misuse of Public Remarks violation occurs when prohibited information or verbiage is placed in any public remarks field.

How to Avoid: To help avoid a Misuse of Public Remarks violation, it is important that the remarks in the Property Description field are limited to the physical and aesthetic characteristics of the property. Information in the Driving Directions field should be limited to directional information which assists in finding the physical location of the property. Information in the Listing Price Includes/Excludes fields should be limited to a description of which items are included or excluded from the sale. Agent/Brokerage information or contact information, open house information, showing instructions, information about the occupancy of the property, and information directed towards other real estate professionals is prohibited in any public remarks field.

Penalties: Violation warning, $100 fine, or $300 fine per offense.

(Rules Section: 12.5)

5. Inaccurate Status

An Inaccurate Status violation occurs when either a listing status change is not made in a timely manner, or when a listing is not listed in the correct listing status.

How to Avoid: To help avoid an Inaccurate Status violation, it is important that the status of your listing reflects the appropriate listing status definition:

  • Active: A valid listing contract exists and no offer (with or without contingencies) has been accepted. This is an On-Market status.
  • Back-Up: Offer accepted and either 1) seller requests that property remain in an On-Market status and is looking for back-up offers, or 2) the sale is subject to court or other third party approval. This is an On-Market status.
  • Hold: A valid listing contract is in effect; however, because of various reasons such as repairs, illness, guests, etc., the seller has requested that temporarily there be no showings. This is an Off-Market status.
  • Withdrawn: A valid listing contract is in effect, however the property is no longer being marketed. This is an Off-Market status.
  • Pending: The seller has accepted an offer and is not soliciting offers through the MLS. This is an Off-Market status.
  • Canceled: The listing agreement has been canceled. This is an Off-Market status.
  • Expired: The listing agreement has expired. The time frame of the existing listing contract has run out. This is an Off-Market status.
  • Sold: Escrow has closed. This is an Off-Market status.
  • Leased: The property has been leased. This is an Off-Market status.

Please note that all status changes must be made within two business days of the date that the change in listing status occurs. When making a status change or otherwise updating your listing, it is important to review the remarks on your listing and make sure your remarks do not contradict or conflict with your listing status.

Penalties: Violation warning, $100 fine, or $300 fine per offense.

(Rules Section: 8.3, 10.1, and 10.2)

Source: CRMLS. If you questions about any of this information, please email

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