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2012-02-23 16:26:09
A day with 500 of my closest friends...

Last week, I talked about why we should be involved as Realtors with the legislative process. As our 45 day Legislative session winds down, I want to talk about an annual event that we hold, as well as a couple of issues we've dealt with this session.

Yesterday was the UAR's annual 'Realtor Day on the Hill'. This is an event going back to before I was an agent. I've attended every year since 1997. It's an opportunity for our Realtors to interact one on one with their own Senators and House members, as well as gain some very valuable CE credit. However, it wasn't always the event that it is now.But, that's a story for another day!

Yesterday, some 500 Realtors gathered together at the Little America Hotel for breakfast, politics, and education. We had the opportunity to hear from Governor Gary Herbert (Realtor!), Senator Mike Lee, Congressman Rob Bishop, and the Chairmen of both the State Republican (Thomas Wright, Realtor!) and Democratic (Jim Dubakis, loves Realtors!) Parties on Realtor and our role in our economy.

After that most of us traveled up the Hill to the Capital, where we had the opportunity to treat our Legislators to lunch. This is where, in years past, we would lobby these folks hard in support of our issues. However, this year, it was an opportunity to simply thank them for the support they had already given us on several important Bills. Here's an example.

SB42: Limitation on Action to Recover Deficiency. Ever had an Attorney tell one of your clients that they were better off letting their home go to foreclosure rather than short sale because the period for the banks to go after them is only 90 days after a foreclosure, but 6 years after a short sale? No more, as the new statuatory time frame in Utah will be 90 days for both!  This is a situation where we had a great Senator to carry it, as well as the cooperation of the Bankers and Credit Unions.

HB302: Land Use Penalties. This one is designed to require municipalities to give written notice to property owners prior to fining them for being in violation of an ordinance. It gives the owner a chance to rectify the problem without the fine. It also allows the owner to designate an agent to receive the same notice (you're welcome, property managers!). This one has passed the House and should sail through the Senate.

HB191: Real Estate Amendments. This one does several things. First, it clarifies that Realtors that work in short sales (& who doesn't!) don't have to comply with regulations designed for 'Foreclosure Rescue Companies'. In addition, it allows us as agents to report Class A and B misdemeanors at the time of license renewel rather than within 10 days. Obviously, this wouldn't apply to offenses such as financial services fraud. No more putting our license in jeopardy for not reporting speeding tickets! W fixed that last year, although most of us didn't even know that was required! It also requires that Appraisers that hold multiple licenses like Real Estate or Mortgage only act in one capacity in a transaction.

This is just a taste of what we've accomplished this year, in addition to avoiding transfer fees and taxes on our professional services. We looked at over 100 Bills again this year. Thanks to the Utah Association of Realtors for a great Realtor Day, and continuing the fight to protect our private property rights!

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