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SAFETY ISSUE: REAL STORIES OF ATTACKS ON NC REALTORS速, SAFETY TOOLS AND MORE!

THE VOICE OF REAL ESTATE IN NORTH CAROLINA

VOL 94 NO 3 | FALL 2015

Spotlight

Historical Roots Anchor Visionary Leadership Speaker of the NC House Rep. Tim Moore discusses his ties to the state he calls home

RECONNECT 2015 Carolina REALTORS速 Conference Preview

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Fall 2015

[CONTENTS]

18

24

The grassroots campaign of the Alliance has taken off this year.

Departments Unfortunately, the nature of the real estate business allows REALTORS® to be easy targets for criminals. Don’t be the next victim. Learn from real stories of attacks on NC REALTORS®.

Features 9 Historical Roots Anchor Visionary Leadership SPOTLIGHT: Speaker of the NC House Rep. Tim Moore

discusses his ties to the state he calls home.

18 Targeted

SAFETY: Don’t be the next victim: Learn from real stories of attacks on NC REALTORS®.

conference preview WE NEED

YOU

!

4

President’s Message

5

Something to Talk About 10 Steps for a Safe Open House, Numbers to Note and Events

22

Inside NC REALTORS® GRI Success, Legal Hotline, Staff Developments and Alliance Updates

26

Government Affairs Update Legislative Victory for Private Property Rights

27

REALTOR® Partner Program

28

Forms Guy Speedy Gets a Rundown of Recent Changes to Offer to Purchase and Contract

30

Tech Tips Safety Tools for NC REALTORS®

{

13-17 Get ready for the 2015 Carolina REALTORS® Conference & Expo

Have something to talk about? Sure you do — and we want to hear it! Send your stories of success, laughter or inspiration to bwilburn@ncrealtors.org and you could be featured in the next Insight!

ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  3


President’s MESSAGE

Summer is almost over and before you know it, it’s going to be the holidays. It may only be September, but it’s never too early to start thinking about your business strategies for the year ahead. Many of you have already chosen the first step in formulating your plan by joining us at RECONNECT: The Carolina REALTORS® Conference this month in Hilton Head, SC. The North Carolina and South Carolina association staff has worked hard to produce a stellar lineup of special events and top-quality education sessions. Whether you’re new to real estate or a seasoned professional, you can always benefit from learning new skills — especially as they relate to your business and the current market. And speaking of the market, existing home sales increased to their highest pace in eight years. The national median home price has pushed past the previous peak in 2006, making it the highest median price ever. The nation’s improving economy certainly has had a positive impact on our industry this summer. Over the past few months, you’ve probably seen a lot of talk about legislative Calls for Action. It is critical for REALTORS® to take action on these important real estate issues. If you haven’t done so already, do your part to protect our industry — sign up for NAR mobile alerts by texting NC REALTORS to 30644. Despite our hectic schedules, it is important to take a moment and think about safety. The kidnapping and murder of Arkansas REALTOR® Beverly Carter last fall shocked the real estate community. Do you have a safety protocol in place? Do other people in your office take the necessary precautions to remain safe on the job? September is REALTOR® Safety Month. Throughout this issue, you’ll find tips, tools and stories about safety in our industry. It is crucial that we work together to keep our industry a safe place to do business. It is our goal at NCAR to assist members in doing just that.

Insight Magazine, Volume 94, Issue 3 President Tony Smith

Treasurer Treasure Faircloth

President-Elect Kim Dawson

Immediate Past President Tomp Litchfield

REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENTS Region 1: David Perrot, Kill Devil Hills; Region 2: Jody Wainio, Wilmington; Region 3: Bruce Gates, Goldsboro; Region 4: Greg Payne, Durham; Region 5: Amy Hedgecock, High Point; Region 6: Phil Rector, Winston-Salem; Region 7: Marsha Jordan, Lincolnton; Region 8: Alison Royal-Combs, Leslie Fisher, Charlotte; Region 9: David Wall, Asheville; Region 10: Linda Trevor, Jose Serrano, Raleigh; At-Large: Stephanie Walker

Chief Executive Officer Andrea Bushnell Editor Blair Wilburn Assistant Editor/Designer Mckenzie Allen Contributors Nicole Arnold Mike Landes Will Martin

Kristin Nash Cady Thomas Mark Zimmerman

For Advertising information, contact Mike Buescher at 336-808-4229 or mbuescher@ncrealtors.org. Insight is published four times a year during the months of March, June, September, and December by the North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, 4511 Weybridge Lane, Greensboro, NC 27407. Application to Mail at Periodicals Postage Rate is Pending at Greensboro, NC and additional mailing offices. Member subscriptions of $2.89 are covered by annual membership dues. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Insight Magazine; 4511 Weybridge Lane, Greensboro, NC 27407. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information regarding the subject matter covered. Articles which appear in Insight are an informational service to members. Their contents are the opinions of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent those of the North Carolina Association of REALTORS®.

Tony Smith 2015 President

Advertising of a product or service does not imply endorsement, unless specifically stated. Prefer to read Insight electronically? To opt-out of paper copy mailings, email ncar@ncrealtors.org with a subject line of “Insight opt-out.” Cover photo by Robin Cooper Photography.

4511 Weybridge Lane, Greensboro, NC 27407 Phone: (336) 294-1415, Toll Free: (800) 443-9956

ncrealtors.org

4  INSIGHT • Fall 2015


[SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT]

REALTOR® Safety

10 Steps

111 The House

District Speaker Rep. Tim Moore represents. (pg 9)

for a Safe Open House

$500 The amount

Open houses can be a great sales tool — but hosting one also exposes you to numerous unfamiliar people for the first time. Take these steps to stay safe:

Establish your escape routes, including parking where you cannot get blocked. Inform a neighbor that you will be showing the house and ask if they will keep watch for anything strange. Advise clients to lock up any valuable items. Work in teams when possible.

of cash you could win in two different drawings at the Expo in Hilton Head. (pg 13)

2001 The year in

Check out your guests as they arrive and leave.

which REALTOR® Safety was brought to the forefront after a murder in Washington. (pg 19)

Never turn your back on a prospect.

11

Set up for safety and only bring what you need.

Avoid attics, basements and getting trapped in small rooms with no exit. Check your cell phone’s strength and signal prior to the open house. Notify someone at the office or a family member that you will be calling in every hour on the hour.

MORE

INFO

NCAR is fully committed to our members’ personal safety. Please take time to read “Targeted,” our feature on real attacks on NC REALTORS®, on pg 18. As always, we will continue to promote safety through webinars, articles, presentations and other resources found on our website at ncrealtors.org.

The number of local associations that have added GRI to their fall curriculum. (pg 22)

2The number

of REALTOR® Partners now offering safety tools. (pg 30) ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  5


EVENTS

[SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT]

Oct. 14

Sept. 9

Webinar Wednesday: Brokerage Metric and Benchmarking of Your Residential Real Estate Firm

Webinar Wednesday: When Seconds Count New REALTOR® Partner OnGuardHelp will lead a safety discussion on 911 calls and how using the OnGuardHelp App can keep you safe.

Learn to prepare yourself and your firm for the “what ifs” and possible game changers in the industry, led by Steve Murray of REAL Trends.

Register at ncrealtors.org

Register at ncrealtors.org

Sept. 12-14 Leadership Academy In conjunction with the 2015 Carolina REALTORS® Conference.

September 12-15

REFRESH, RECHARGE

The Carolina REALTORS® Conference Hilton Head Marriott Resort & Spa Hilton Head Island, SC Get ready to RECONNECT with the SC REALTORS® for a special conference and trade expo.

RECONNECT Check out our in-depth Conference Preview

13-17

[UPCOMING EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES]

Sept. 23 GRI: Technology Tools & Resources Morehead City

Oct. 8 GRI: ABC’s of Financing Cary Oct. 8 GRI: Business Planning Asheville

MORE

INFO 6  INSIGHT • Fall 2015

Oct. 14 Home Sweet (2nd) Home Supply

Oct. 22 GRI: ABC’s of Financing Wilmington

Oct. 20* GRI: Technology Tools & Resources Kill Devil Hills

Oct. 23* Home Sweet (2nd) Home Kill Devil Hills

Oct. 21-22* ABR® Designation Course Kill Devil Hills

*These courses are part of Designation Destination. Earn all three in a week at the beach, hosted by the Outer Banks Association of REALTORS®.

Register for all classes at ncrealtors.org

The GRI has returned! Can you afford to miss it? From expanding your business to helping you prepare for any situation, the benefits associated with earning the GRI are priceless. With four courses available online and four live courses that your local association can bring to your back door, now is the time to earn the most recognized designation in the industry! Read more on pg 22.


Stand above your competition.

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Your clients are more sophisticated than ever, requiring you to perform at a higher level of professionalism. The new GRI program offers higher level classes about new technologies, laws and marketing techniques that positively affect your bottom line.

THE GRI HAS RETURNED! CAN YOU AFFORD TO MISS IT?

Learn more at www.ncrealtors.org/gri

ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  7


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SPOT LIGHT

HISTORICAL ROOTS ANCHOR VISIONARY LEADERSHIP

Speaker of the NC House Rep. Tim Moore discusses his ties to the state he calls home. BY NICOLE ARNOLD AND CADY THOMAS

North Carolina House of Representatives Speaker Tim Moore hails from beautiful Kings Mountain in Cleveland County. On any given weekend, you may find him spending time with his two sons, teaching his 15 year old to drive a car or hiking the King’s Mountain Trail. Moore appreciates the historical significance of the Kings Mountain area since his ancestors fought for the Patriot Militia during the Revolutionary War. An heir to their patriotic legacy, Moore exhibits a passion for his state that influences his leadership in the General Assembly today. The native Tarheel graduated from UNC Chapel Hill and then pursued his J.D. from the Oklahoma City University of Law. Upon becoming an attorney, Moore felt the call to return back home and was appointed to the UNC Board of Governors. It was during his tenure on the Board of Governors that he decided to become involved in politics. At the age of 31, Moore saw the need for changes in Raleigh. In 2002, Moore ran for NC House District 111. As the challenger, Moore overcame considerable odds and his opponent’s financing advantages to gain the seat. Moore won the hotly contested and expensive race that first year and has served concurrent terms ever since, a total of seven terms to date. He joined the General Assembly when his party was in the minority, but this did not deter him from working to pursue his goals. During this time, he took careful note of the many different leadership styles and roles in the North Carolina General Assembly. As his legislative experience deepened, Speaker Moore gained a healthy respect for, and from, his colleagues on both sides of the aisle. Once his

Photo by Robin Cooper Photography.

ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  9


SPOT LIGHT party gained control of the House, Moore was able to serve in various leadership roles including as the House Rules Committee’s Senior Chairman. This experience gave him a seat at the leadership table and prepared him for his current role as Speaker of the House. “I have a great respect for this institution,” says Moore in reference to the General Assembly. This inherent respect and his colleagues’ persistent urging allowed him to consider running for speaker for the 2015-2016 session. Moore admits, “I was not so bold to just go after the speakership. I had folks come to me and ask [me] to be the speaker.” A tireless hard worker, Moore balances his law profession, a metal business, his family and his legislative work. In fact, Moore is in Raleigh so much that he now practices law there, too. He says in the General Assembly, we are “creating a balance between government doing enough to help but not getting in the way to make a mess of things.” Finding this balance is the job of a good legislator, according to the speaker. As a real estate attorney and business owner, Moore has experience in how to defend North Carolinians’ private property rights. From development rights to landlord and tenant issues, Moore employs his legal acumen and natural aptitude to advocate for the citizens of the House District 111 and the state. As speaker, Moore has a highly visible role in the General Assembly. Yet, he is far more interested in function than in form. “I don’t get caught up in the pageantry of it or having debates for debates’ sake,” says Moore, describing the legislature. “I want to make sure we are productive.” “This place [the General Assembly] can really help people… I don’t want to be here wasting time.” Speaker Moore is true to his word about working on legislation that matters to North Carolinians. When asked to choose a significant accomplishment from his tenure, Moore immediately describes the passing of criminal justice legislation aimed at keeping children safe from sexual

10  INSIGHT • Fall 2015

predators and drunk drivers. For years, Moore diligently worked on bills to protect children from harm. As a result Jessica’s Law passed in 2008 and tripled the amount of time an offender had to remain on the sex offender registry. Jessica’s Law is named for a nine-year-old Gaston County girl who was kidnapped, raped and buried alive in Florida by a convicted sex offender. But Jessica’s Law is not the only criminal justice bill Moore shepherded into law. Laura’s Law passed in 2011 in recognition of a 17-year-old killed by an impaired driver with previous convictions for driving under the influence. The law enforces truth in sentencing, which prevents the early release of an offender. Moore was instrumental in the passing of both and worked closely with the loved ones of the deceased to introduce the legislation. Moore has not only championed criminal justice legislation, but has also led the way on economic development bills. “I believe in continued economic development,” says the speaker. “We passed legislation in the House to keep the economy moving forward. I believe that investing in growth and job development is critical to help REALTORS®.” NC REALTORS® understand that when legislation promotes job growth, our state will witness a stronger workforce and an expansion of industries. This growth fuels residential and commercial real estate trends. Moore agrees that real estate is a true indicator of economic prosperity in a state. “REALTORS® have weathered the storm of economic challenges… [They] are key to our state’s economy,” stated Speaker Moore. One bill that helps the real estate industry was signed into law this summer by Governor McCrory. Senate Bill 25 rolls back excessive regulation of aesthetic designs in residential building. Moore supported this legislation and in prior years cosponsored the bill. Thanks to Speaker Moore’s leadership and that of other legislators, the housing industry will not be held hostage to overzealous regulatory restraints.

Moore is also a believer in the importance of the mortgage interest deduction, stating, “Maintaining the mortgage interest deduction [will] help homeowners.” Moore continues to describe a situation that he believes needs reversing: the affinity of millennials to rent instead of buy their homes. Moore wants young people in North Carolina to feel they have the financial ability to purchase a home. “We need to ensure that tax policy reflects the importance of homeownership.” The deduction is a big part of maintaining a healthy respect for homeownership, according to the speaker. “I support the mortgage interest deduction completely,” he says. He also understands the value of homeownership and wants younger generations to appreciate what owning instead of renting can do for them. “I bought my place in Raleigh because I did not want to throw away money in rent,” states Moore. During his time in Raleigh, Moore has worked to promote legislation that will bring jobs to North Carolina, support quality education and protect small businesses and property rights. The father of public school students, he is committed to providing the best education possible so they are prepared for the future. These decisions demonstrate that, as speaker, he will not rest until he knows that he has worked to make our state even better. Speaker Moore’s historical roots and hard work continue to move his leadership forward to positive results for North Carolina. “Our great state has so much to offer,” says Moore. NC REALTORS® agree. Special thanks to Isabel Villa-Garcia for conducting the interview.

Contact Nicole Arnold at narnold@ncrealtors.org.

Contact Cady Thomas at cthomas@ncrealtors.org.


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{MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR STAY} All RECONNECT attendees are entitled to golf discounts and 20% off spa services.

s we ilton Head a H in e p a sc e nd LTOR® Enjoy an isla Carolina REA th u o S r u o ld h it cked with bo join forces w a p e c n re fe r a con ’s time to colleagues fo strategies. It e v ti 6! a v o n in ness for 201 si u b ideas and r u o y d ur mind an REFRESH yo

h s e r Ref E G R A RECH

n tive educatio c ra te in r fo ers and Get ready -savvy speak h c te h it w s vity, session ase producti re c in to ls il ! learn new sk d RECHARGE n a y e n o m make more

{STAY CONNECTED} Get the latest scoop and join the conversation using

#reconnectrealtors CONFEREN CE PREVIEW September 1 2-15, 2015 Hilton Head Marriott Resort & Sp a

{HAVE SOME FUN} Be sure to check out special events and networking opportunities. Each education session is labeled with a specialty subject. Make sure you look for these icons when planning your schedule.

{

EXPO

CE

CONTINUING EDUCATION

ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVES

TECHNOLOGY

PROPERTY MANAGERS

MARKETING

PM

BROKERS IN CHARGE

This year’s expo promises to be one of the best yet. Stop by to see the latest tools and services and you may even win $500 or many other great prizes.

REC NNECT THE CAROLINA REALTORS® CONFERENCE

ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  13

SEPTEMBER 12-15, 2015 | HILTON HEAD, SC


Saturday

*As of 08/11/15. Schedules and sessions are subject to change.

SEPTEMBER 12

8:30AM – 12:30PM

2015-2016 NC GENERAL Update with Bill Gallagher

8:30AM – 12:30PM

2015-2016 NC BIC Update with Len Elder

1:30PM – 5:30PM

Elective Course - Real Estate & Taxes with Bill Gallagher

{EVENTS} 6:30PM – 8:30PM Homes4NC Dolphin Watch Sunset Cruise Pre-registration is required 8:00PM – 12:00PM REALTOR® Lounge with DJ and Drink Specials Sponsored by: SunTrust Mortgage

Preregistration is required. Register online reconnectcarolinas.com/ce-classes

Make waves with Homes4NC Want to enjoy a relaxing, scenic and informative excursion as you cruise through the calm inland waterways of Hilton Head Island? Then make sure to hop aboard the Homes4NC Dolphin Watch Sunset Cruise. Narrated live by your captain, the tour takes you through Broad Creek and into Calibogue Sound, featuring more than 40 points of interest including the Atlantic bottle-nosed dolphin, private plantations, saltwater marshes, sea birds, Daufuskie Island and the famous Harbour Town lighthouse. Tickets are $40 per person and include light refreshments along with a great selection of beer and wine. The tour will be on Saturday, September 12 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Visit reconnectcarolinas.com to buy your tickets. This is truly your best way to enjoy the natural beauty of Hilton Head Island and also support your charitable housing foundation, Homes4NC. Preregistration is required. Register online reconnectcarolinas.com

ENJOY EXTRA ACTIVITIES

Smile for another way to support Homes4NC Back by popular demand, members can pay $10 to Homes4NC to have their photo taken by Studio 16 in their professional, mobile studio at the 2015 Carolina REALTORS® Conference. Studio 16 will match each $10 donation raised and donate it to Homes4NC. You can view your photos immediately and then choose your favorite image for the free commemorative 4 x 6 photo. Plus, if you like the superb quality and magazine-ready look, Studio 16 will go over purchase options individually. Visit reconnectcarolinas.com to secure your appointment today. These photos are great for updating headshots, business cards and marketing materials, but you can bring in family or your spouse for personal shots as well! Studio hours: Sunday - Tuesday, 9:00AM-5:00PM.

Relax and unwind with golf and spa discounts Don’t forget to take the time to relax and unwind while in Hilton Head. Enjoy 20% off all services at the Spa Soleil Hilton Head, where the finest European-style spa is combined with the sweetness of Southern hospitality to indulge your body and mind. Advanced appointments are strongly encouraged. For the outdoor lovers, enjoy sweeping ocean views and feel the breeze rolling in from the Atlantic Ocean on one of three world-class Palmetto Dunes Golf Courses. Find the course that is right for you — take advantage of discounted rates at the Robert Trent Jones, George Fazio or Arthur Hills course. 14  INSIGHT • Fall 2015


Sunday

*As of 08/11/15. Schedules and sessions are subject to change.

{

SEPTEMBER 13

EXPO

11:30AM – 5:00PM Connect with these exhibitors: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Improve your business Don’t miss the Expo Grand Opening, sponsored by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and a firstlook at the latest trends and tools available to REALTORS®. Attendees will also have the chance to win $500 in cash 9:00AM – 5:00PM plus door prizes every hour. (Must be present to win.) Homes4NC Photo Fundraiser

Pre-registration is required reconnectcarolinas.com 5:30PM – 7:00PM The Game has Changed: How to Thrive in a Digital World Marcus Sheridan Not your typical keynote presenter, Marcus Sheridan is known as one of the most interactive speakers in the world. His story resonates with the masses and he is an expert in offering ways to dramatically improve sales and marketing communication by teaching his audience how to create buy-in from inbound and content marketing.

Then, mix and mingle with REALTORS® from across the Carolinas and strike a pose with your friends in our photo booth during the Opening Evening Reception, sponsored by Systems Engineering.

1:00PM – 2:00PM

11:30AM – 1:00PM Expo Grand Opening Sponsored by: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles 1:00PM – 5:00PM Welcome Margaritas & Steel Drums

5:30PM – 7:00PM NC/SC Opening Session with REALTOR® of the Year Presentations Keynote Address by Marcus Sheridan The Game Has Changed: How to Thrive in a Digital World

• •

7:00PM – 10:00PM Opening Evening Reception with Entertainment and Photo Booth Sponsored by: Systems Engineering

{EVENTS}

Property Management Laws & Pitfalls with NC Real Estate Commission

Committee meeting times and locations are available now at reconnectcarolinas.com/agenda

meetings

{

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

2-10 Home Buyers Warranty America’s Preferred Home Warranty Arrow Exterminators (Stark Exterminators Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group BB&T Home Mortgage Centralized Showing Service Century 21 Citrix ShareFile Commission Express CoreLogic CoreLogic SafeRent Costner Law Office, PLLC Ditech Duke Energy Exit Realty of the Carolinas Fiat Chrysler Automobiles First American Home Buyers Protection HMS Home Warranty Home Warranty of America The Hunoval Law Firm, PLLC ICYNENE JY Monk Real Estate School Kathy’s Accessories Lowen Sign Company Mount Valley Foundation Services, Inc. National Association of REALTORS® Nationwide Insurance/Grimes Insurance Group, LLC North Carolina Housing Finance Agency North Carolina Licensed Home Inspectors Association Old Republic Home Protection OnGuardHelp Pearl Insurance Piedmont Natural Gas Pipeline ROI RE/MAX Carolinas Realtor.com REALTORS® Property Resource Realty Executives Southern Region Realty World – The Carolinas Rent Manager SentriLock, LLC ShowingTime SmartZip SunTrust Mortgage Superior School of Real Estate Supra Systems Engineering Taxbot Tennessee Valley Signs The Real Estate Book TRIBUS Group Two Men and a Truck Veterans United Home Loans Wallace Property Management Group Wilde Law Firm zipLogix

Learn more at reconnectcarolinas.com/sponsors/ ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  15


{ EXPO Education sessions

Monday

9:30AM – 11:00AM Expo Brunch

SEPTEMBER 14

*As of 08/11/15. Schedules and sessions are subject to change.

8:30AM – 9:30AM NAR Update with Dr. Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research and Bill Brown, 2015 NAR First Vice President (Sponsored by Veterans United Home Loans)

9:45AM – 10:45AM Intellectual Property…It’s Not Just for Nerds Anymore AE Education Session with Trista Curzydlo

11:00AM – 12:15PM Cashing In On Property Management Property Management Session with Robert Locke

Panel: Leveraging Technology to Increase Listings with Bill Gallagher (Sponsored by YPN)

Management by Guesswork Broker Manager Session with Eric Stegemann

Mobile Agent 101 with Amy Smythe Harris (Sponsored by NCREEF)

12:30PM – 1:45PM 50 Property Management Revenue Streams You’ve Probably Never Heard Of with Robert Locke

Mobile Agent 201 with Amy Smythe Harris (Sponsored by NCREEF)

Motivation Through Management Broker Manager Session with Karel Murray

REALTOR® Safety with Bill Gallagher

Social Media & Risk Management with Trista Curzydlo See full schedule online reconnectcarolinas.com/agenda

Don’t miss a second opportunity to win $500 in cash at the Expo Grand Prize Drawing. (Must be present to win.)

{

Safety should be top of mind for us all this month. Don’t miss the opportunity to freshen up your safety knowledge at this special education session.

EXPO

1:45PM – 3:00PM Afternoon Snacks and Grand Prize Drawing. Sponsored by Ditech.

Let the RPAC games begin Are you a Trivial Pursuit legend? Pub quiz champion? Be on the team crowned champions at the 2015 RPAC Trivia and Auction fundraiser! New this year, NC REALTORS® will compete against SC REALTORS® to see which state can raise the most dollars for RPAC! Prizes will be awarded to the top three teams, with first place winning $1,000! Attendees can bid on silent and live auction items, to be auctioned off between rounds. Preregistration is required. Register online reconnectcarolinas.com

16  INSIGHT • Fall 2015

{EVENTS} Leigh Brown, a member of the Charlotte Regional and Central Carolina Associations, donated a week-long stay in Ocean Isle Beach and said:

“Whether your idea of getting away is sitting by the private pool, lounging on the beach or just sipping lemonade on the deck, you will not want to miss the opportunity to bid on this house.”

9:00AM – 5:00PM Homes4NC Photo Fundraiser Pre-registration is required reconnectcarolinas.com 8:00PM – 11:00PM

RPAC Trivia Event Pre-registration is required reconnectcarolinas.com


tuesday

*As of 08/11/15. Schedules and sessions are subject to change.

SEPTEMBER 15

{

Plan ahead: 2016 Convention

meetings

Committee meeting times and locations are available now at reconnectcarolinas.com/agenda

Tuesday’s meeting schedule includes Treasurer’s Forum, Regional Caucus Meetings and the Board of Directors Meeting.

{EVENTS}

This year’s Conference has focused on providing attendees with the tools, resources and knowledge to refresh and recharge their business. Plans are already underway for next year’s event. Save the date now for the 2016 NC REALTORS® Convention and Expo at The Greenbrier from Sept. 10 – 13, 2016.

9:00AM – 5:00PM Homes4NC Photo Fundraiser Pre-registration is required reconnectcarolinas.com

Education sessions 9:00AM – 10:00AM 8 Skills to Surviving Property Management Successfully with Paul Dizmang (Sponsored by Mount Valley Foundation Services, Inc.)

The Yelp Effect with Terry Watson (Sponsored by The SC REALTOR® Education Foundation)

Building Your Brand with Laurie Davis (Sponsored by Smartzip)

REALTORS® in the Cloud with Mark Saunders (Sponsored by Grimes Insurance Group, LLC)

Real Estate PR: See Me, Know Me, Love Me with Maura Neill (Sponsored by Costner Law Office, PLLC)

RESO and NAR mandates January 1, 2016 deadline! with Jeremy Crawford, Executive Director of RESO; Michael Wurzer, CEO of Flex/Fbs; Paula Nash, RCE,e-PRO, Executive Officer of the Mid Carolina Regional Association of REALTORS®

10:15AM – 11:30AM Dealing with Tenants Effectively with Paul Dizmang (Sponsored by Icynene)

Easify 101 with Terry Watson

Sites to Set Your Sights On with Laurie Davis

Password Protection for REALTORS® with Mark Saunders

Super Simple Video: Be the Star of Your Own YouTube Channel with Maura Neill (Sponsored by Real Green Systems) See full schedule online reconnectcarolinas.com/agenda

#reconnectrealtors

STAY CONNECTED with our education speakers by following these Twitter accounts. And don’t forget to use our hashtag!

NC REALTORS® @ncrealtors

Marcus Sheridan @TheSalesLion

Trista Curzydlo @TristaCurzydlo

Maura Neill @MauraNeill

Karel Murray @karelmurray

Amy Smythe Harris @amyoutloud

Bill Gallagher @BillgallagherRE

Robert M. Locke @RobertMLocke

Paul Dizmang @PaulDizmang

Mark Saunders @remanagermark

Laurie Weston Davis Bill Brown @BillBrown2017 @lauriewdavis

Eric Stegemann @EricStegemann

Terry Watson @getterry ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  17


TARGETED Real stories of attacks on NC REALTORS速 Recent attacks on REALTORS速 across the industry have left many wondering if they too are at risk. Real estate professionals put their lives in danger every day by meeting strangers, visiting unfamiliar places and sharing their personal information online. Unfortunately, the nature of this business allows REALTORS速 to be easy targets for criminals. BY: BLAIR WILBURN


NC REALTORS® SAFETY

REALTOR® Safety: How it all began In January 2001, REALTOR® Michael Emert of Washington State was found brutally murdered with 19 stab wounds in a house he was showing. The incident rocked the real estate world. Michael worked with a prestigious firm in an upscale neighborhood. If such a brutal murder could happen to him, it could happen to anyone. Prior to the incident, REALTOR® safety wasn’t an issue of major concern and the industry had no formalized safety protocol. Michael’s murder served as a wake up call. As a result, the Washington Real Estate Safety Council was formed — a group consisting of 16 individuals from the major brokerage firms, the Washington REALTORS® Association and law enforcement. They received a grant to produce and distribute a safety program that included a booklet, posters and classes. The program was so successful that it was pitched to the National Association of REALTORS® and was later made available to any REALTOR® association across the country. In researching for this article, it quickly became evident that there was a lack of information on documented REALTOR® attacks. No single organization tracks complete statistics on these incidents. But, in talking with North Carolina agents, it is clear that safety is a concern and a planned protocol is critical to remain safe in the real estate industry.

REAL STORIES IN NORTH CAROLINA Stranger danger North Carolina REALTOR® Jane Springer* experienced two dangerous occurrences early in her career within six months of each other. It changed how she conducted business forever. Recalling the first incident, she now sees the series of “red flags” clearly. Jane received a call from a couple who wanted to view a vacant home. She was unavailable, so she asked her colleague and fellow REALTOR® Jim Flannens* to assist. The husband and wife asked Jim to meet them at their hotel so they could ride together to view the listing. Jim, a former IRS employee and very trusting man, went to pick them up without hesitation. Jane was horrified to hear the events that later transpired from the vacant property’s listing agent. That evening, the listing agent was driving her usual route home when she noticed the lights were left on in the vacant listing. Assuming someone forgot to turn them off, she entered the home and heard moaning coming from the basement. There she found Jim, who had been pushed down the stairs, beaten and left for dead. He was robbed of his personal belongings and his car. He remained in intensive care for over two months. Had the listing agent not stopped, Jim probably would not have survived the night. Jane never forgot that could have easily been her in the basement. The second incident occurred when Jane received a call from someone who wanted to see a home not very far from her office. The man asked her to meet him,

but she had a funny feeling about it. She asked a REALTOR® friend to ride with her thinking that between the two of them, they could handle just about anything. The man insisted on sitting in the backseat, so her colleague took the passenger side. Shortly after they started driving, the man pulled out a knife and put it around Jane so she could see it. She slammed on the accelerator, throwing the stranger back just long enough for her to slam on the brakes allowing both REALTORS® to jump out of the car. The man escaped and the police never found him. Lessons learned: Jane always meets a potential buyer at the office first to avoid a situation like Jim’s, and to save time and frustration. In doing this, she can ensure she is showing the right homes within the buyer’s budget. Jane commits to bringing pre-approved buyers to see her sellers’ homes. Until that initial meeting occurs, she cannot tell her seller that she has a pre-approved buyer interested in the home. Meeting a potential buyer at the office is a smart business decision and a vital step in staying safe. Jane never allows strangers inside her car, especially not the back seat. In the second situation, Jane was dealing with a walk-in client and she did not have any personal information about him. Thankfully, she acknowledged her intuition and brought a friend along. Fortunately, Jane shares these experiences with new agents to help train them in safety and teach them to always think defensively.

Community management gone wrong Several years ago, former NC REALTOR® Betty Cann* was managing a golf community. She was working in her office on a Saturday morning when a respectable-looking man in a suit and tie came in to discuss purchasing a home in the community. Betty called her husband to tell him she was leaving the office to show a home. That’s when another man in a suit and tie walked up. They bound and gagged her, duct taped her eyes, ears and mouth and left her taped to the handicapped bar in the office bathroom. They also took her wallet, debit card and withdrew money from her bank account. Betty was left in the bathroom for 8 hours, until her husband came looking for her. Along with the emotional trauma, the physical damage led to multiple knee surgeries. It took her years to get over the trauma and she eventually moved to another state. ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  19


NC REALTORS® SAFETY

Two against one Early in her career, NC REALTOR® Anna Wilkes* was eager to make money and gain new clients. She was excited when she received a cold call from a man who wanted to view three homes. The potential buyer told her all the things she wanted to hear — he was ready to purchase investment properties and he planned to pay in cash. Anna was surprised to see two men when she arrived at the first home, but even then, she did not feel in danger. She was in her “zone” and ready to sell a house. She gave the men some space as they explored the upstairs of the home. Then, the two men went downstairs to the basement while she waited upstairs. Shortly after, Anna heard one of the men say, “Hey, come down here for a second. We want to show you something.” It hit her at that moment that these two people were complete strangers. She had no idea what their intentions were. Anna knew if she went downstairs, she may not make it home that night. She quickly grabbed the key to the house, ran out the door, got in her car and left. She called 911, explained the scenario and asked for an officer to meet her at the house so she could lock up. After driving around the block, Anna kept watch from around the corner while she waited for the police. By the time they arrived only a few minutes later, the men were gone. Because Anna did not take down the make or model of the car the men were driving, the police were unable to locate them. Lessons learned: As a result of the scare, Anna has put many safety protocols in place to protect herself. She asks prospective clients to come into the office for a consultation meeting,

where she makes a copy of their driver’s license and gives it to the receptionist or office manager. Anna makes sure the potential buyer physically sees her doing this. She often introduces them to someone in her office on the way out. After the consultation, she will follow the client out in order to get additional information like what type of car they drive, license plate number, etc. Anna considers it important to schedule a buyer consultation every time. If the potential clients are up to no good, they most likely won’t come to the office. If Anna cannot find someone else to go with her, she will refuse to go. “REALTORS® work together. We want to protect each other,” Anna affirms. On the rare occasion when she meets a new client at one of her listings, she asks them to park in front of her when they arrive and to stand at the rear of their car. She then takes a photo of them next to their license plate and emails it to her office. She finds it important for someone to know where she is and who she is with at all times. No one, including REALTORS®, wants to hurt their clients’ feelings. Despite the friendly nature of agents, Anna stands firm when it comes to setting clear expectations with potential buyers and sellers. She does not believe in secret codes or the “red file.” Anna is very upfront with her clients about the safety protocols she has in place to keep her safe. She has a family and is determined to go home safely every night. If the potential client seems offended, she explains to them what she is doing and why. In Anna’s eyes, it is not worth risking her life just to avoid offending someone. * All names have been changed to protect identity.

Now, more than ever, it is imperative to create a safety protocol. The key is to follow the plan, even when it feels awkward doing so. It is not always easy to do, but it can save a life. The good news is REALTORS® are not alone — there are countless resources available to help along the way.

Open houses — are they a good idea? Last fall, I experienced first-hand the danger associated with an open house. My mother, an experienced REALTOR® in North Carolina, was holding an open house at her own home. The 7-acre property was tucked down a windy driveway and is very secluded from the road. There were several outbuildings on the property, including a stable, garage and various storage barns. She asked me to help her at the open house, knowing she would be busy showing people around the property. The open house seemed to be a success with a continual flow of traffic. I greeted visitors on the front porch and entertained them in the house while she handled the outside 20  INSIGHT • Fall 2015

tour. My main duty was to make sure everyone signed in so we had their contact information. In retrospect, I could have been more diligent about people signing the list. Four days later, my parents returned home after being gone for several hours to find their front door kicked in. Their house had been robbed of many irreplaceable valuables. It was clear the thieves had a plan in place because they didn’t leave much of a mess behind. We are confident they were robbed by someone who attended the open house. When hosting an open house in a remote location, not only the REALTOR®, but also the seller, is exposing themselves. Strangers are able to see what they have and get familiar with the space, thus making their home an easy target. Never work an open house alone, pay close attention to attendees and always, always trust your gut.


Learn more at: APHW.COM/REPORTAL Reba Taylor-Stewart Western Carolinas Area Sales Manager 704.516.6137 | rtaylor@aphw.net

Trevor Kaylid Eastern Carolinas Area Sales Manager 919.622.1478 | tkaylid@aphw.net


[INSIDE NC REALTORS®]

New GRI Met with Enthusiasm The recent launch of the new Graduate REALTOR® Institute has been met with enthusiasm from North Carolina REALTORS®. The program consists of eight core courses, including four live and four online, and several elective options. The four live courses — ABC’s of Financing, Balancing Business Risks & Ethics, Business Planning and Technology Tools & Resources — are available for local associations to host. So far, 11 associations have taken advantage of this opportunity and have added GRI to their fall curriculum calendars. The core program also consists of four online courses, from which many students have already taken advantage. These courses are designed to help REALTORS® build their business with topics such as negotiation strategies, listing techniques and how to generate more successful closings. Taught by top-notch instructors, the new curriculum is less expensive, more accessible and covers the most prevalent topics in today’s market. To learn more, visit ncrealtors.org or contact Ellie Edwards, Director of Professional Development, at eedwards@ncrealtors.org.

Legal Hotline a success At the beginning of 2015, NCAR members received free, unlimited access to the NCAR Legal Hotline. The Hotline provides general information in response to legally-related questions of concern within the real estate industry. The Hotline, previously a subscriber-based program, has since proven to be a beneficial member service to NC REALTORS®, with calls gaining popularity and exceeding projected expectations. Members can call 800-443-9956 or email ncarlegal@ncrealtors.org to have their questions answered by one of NCAR’s lawyers, who collectively have more than 25 years experience representing REALTORS® on a daily basis. They handle a wide range of topics, including questions about forms, contracts, disclosure, agency, real estate licensing law, REALTOR® Code of Ethics, commission disputes, fair housing and landlord/ tenant law, just to name a few. 22  INSIGHT • Fall 2015

New Faces and Staff Announcements at NCAR The North Carolina Association of REALTORS® has added two new field representatives to the team. They will provide grassroots campaign services such as educating and mobilizing members, representing NCAR at public events, presenting policy platforms and developing action plans to increase membership in the NC Homeowners Alliance. SUSANNA HAILEY Field Representative Susanna Hailey is a former political and grassroots specialist for the Carolinas Credit Union League. Her previous experience also includes a government affairs internship at K&L Gates and as a patent paralegal with a Raleigh law firm. Susanna is a graduate of Wake Forest University with a degree in Politics and International Affairs. PAUL MOTT Field Representative Prior to joining the team, Paul was a legislative assistant to Rep. Roger Younts. His previous experience also includes internships with the state legislature and various political campaigns. Paul graduated from NC State University with a degree in Political Science.

Other staff announcements: CAITLIN THOMPSON Compliance Counsel Caitlin Thompson joined the team as compliance counsel to assist with Core Standards and other compliance issues. A North Carolina licensed attorney, she was in private practice prior to NCAR. She received her bachelor’s in Administration of Justice from George Mason University and her J.D. from Elon University School of Law. Mike Landes was recently named Director of Political Operations for NCAR. He joined the team in 2014 as Political Specialist after completing his M.A. from Duke University in Public Policy. He has worked in a number of different fields spanning the nonprofit sector, education, social entrepreneurship and political consulting. Mike earned bachelor’s degrees from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary (Political Science and Bible Studies, respectively). Blair Wilburn has recently earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). The CAE is the highest professional credential in the association industry with less than five percent of all association professionals having achieved this mark of excellence. Blair is the Director of Marketing and Communications for NCAR and joined the association in 2011.


NCAR STAFF CONTACTS Members of the NCAR staff can be reached by telephone at 800-443-9956 during normal business hours Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Staff members are listed below, by department, with their respective email addresses. Greensboro: 4511 Weybridge Lane, Greensboro, NC 27407; Raleigh: 421 Fayetteville Street, Suite 1109, Raleigh, NC 27601 ADMINISTRATION Andrea Bushnell Chief Executive Officer abushnell@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4222 Bryan Jenkins Chief Financial Officer bjenkins@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-294-3112

Lee Ann Martin Accounting & Education Assistant lmartin@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-217-1048 Sherry Harris Administrative Assistant sharris@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4230

Donna Peterson Executive Assistant dpeterson@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4221

Mike Buescher Director of Business Development mbuescher@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4229

Caitlin Thompson Compliance Counsel cthompson@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-217-1042

Caroline Main Receptionist cmain@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4220

Phyllis Lycan Accountant plycan@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4224

COMMUNICATIONS & MARKETING

Denise Daly Membership Records Coordinator/Bookkeeper ddaly@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4223

Blair Wilburn Director of Communications & Marketing bwilburn@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4228

Mckenzie Allen Communications Specialist mallen@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4227 Samantha Ashburn Electronic Communications Manager sashburn@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4226 Tyler Helms Technology Manager thelms@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4225 Robin Cooper Partner Program Manager rcooper@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-217-1047

EVENTS Mandy Lowe Events Director mlowe@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4236 Keri Epps-Rashad Meeting & EXPO Manager kepps-rashad@ncrealtors.org

GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS Cady Thomas Chief Lobbyist cthomas@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 919-573-0996 Robert Broome Director of Public Policy rbroome@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 919-573-0994 Kristin Nash Director of Political Fundraising knash@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 919-573-0995 Shanell Smaw Political Fundraising Assistant ssmaw@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 919-573-0991 Nicole Arnold Director of Political Communications and Local Government Affairs narnold@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4237

Direct Dial: 336-217-1049

LEGAL

Jason Evans Shared Local Government Affairs Director jevans@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4234

Will Martin General Counsel wmartin@ncrealtors.org

Seth Palmer Shared Local Government Affairs Director spalmer@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 919-573-0992

Kay Bailey Legal Programs Coordinator kbailey@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4235

Mike Landes Director of Political Operations mlandes@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 919-573-0984

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Isabel Villa-Garcia Legislative Specialist ivilla-garcia@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 919-573-0983 Susanna Hailey Field Representative shailey@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 919-573-0989

Ellie Edwards Director of Professional Development eedwards@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-808-4231 Monica Huckaby Professional Development Coordinator mhuckaby@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 336-217-1051

Paul Mott Field Representative pmott@ncrealtors.org Direct Dial: 919-573-0988

2015 Annual Sponsors DIAMOND

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PLATINUM

GOLD America’s Preferred Home Warranty, zipLogix, RE/MAX Carolinas Region, Two Men And A Truck, J.Y. Monk Real Estate School

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The North Carolina Association of REALTORS® would like to thank all 2015 Annual Sponsors.

ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  23


[INSIDE NC REALTORS®] NCAR Field Representative Paul Mott speaks to attendees at the Southern Women’s Show in Raleigh this year.

Our grassroots campaign has taken off, and much of our success can be attributed to the incredible work of our REALTOR® advocates. Contact Mike Landes at mlandes@ncrealtors.org.

NC HOMEOWNERS ALLIANCE

REALTOR® Advocates Spread Alliance Message BY: MIKE LANDES | DIRECTOR OF POLITICAL OPERATIONS

W

ith so much of 2015 behind us, I’m excited to provide an update on the work of the NC Homeowners Alliance. Our grassroots campaign has taken off, and much of our success can be attributed to the incredible work of our REALTOR® advocates. Here’s a rundown of what the Alliance has been up to in our local counties and associations:

Where we’ve been In the past few months, the Alliance’s field representatives have spoken to associations around the state. Here’s the full list: between April and June, we’ve presented our program to the Rockingham County, Charlotte Regional, Rocky Mount, Carteret County, Jacksonville, Greater Chapel Hill, Greenville-Pitt and Sanford Area associations. We’ve also appeared at festivals and expos in Goldsboro, Raleigh and Carteret County. At each of the stops along our campaign trail, REALTORS® 24  INSIGHT • Fall 2015

and homeowners alike have met us with excitement and support.

What homeowners are saying In May, the Alliance passed a major milestone in our advocacy campaign: we issued our first-ever Call for Action to the non-REALTOR® members of our organization. Our homeowner supporters rose to the occasion. Every single member of the Senate received an email from homeowners lobbying on behalf of the NC Homeowners Alliance and the rights of every property owner in the state. Our homeowners’ enthusiastic response showcased an important step on the road to raising the profile of our legislative platform in the eyes of the public.

What’s coming up in the fall The General Assembly has extended its session with Continuing Resolutions as it discusses the state budget and tax reform for the upcoming year. The Alliance will

focus its efforts to defend the mortgage interest deduction, a crucial benefit that helps property owners afford their homes. We’ll have plenty of opportunities for volunteers to get involved with our work. Here are a few quick ways to make sure you are in the loop: Like us on Facebook – you can find our page easily if you search for the NC Homeowners Alliance. Show your clients you care about their rights by sharing our posts. Follow us on Twitter – our handle is @NC_Homeowners. Watch for our tweets and notifications. Please retweet our posts to your network to expand our reach. Make sure you visit nchomeownersalliance.org and sign up for Alliance emails. This will ensure you receive our legislative alerts and Calls for Action in your inbox. We are fortunate to have so many local advocates interested in representing the Alliance to their clients and fellow REALTORS®. Volunteers have stepped up to spread the word about our program and hand out our materials and information. Please let us know if you are interested in getting involved.


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ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  25


[GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS UPDATE]

Legislative Victory for Private Property Rights BY NICOLE ARNOLD DIRECTOR OF POLITICAL COMMUNICATIONS

F

or the last several years, NC REALTORS® and our coalition partners have asked legislators to rein in local governments that issued urban design construction mandates. REALTORS® have reported instances of local governments driving up the price of homes through an expansion of zoning or other police powers. On June 19, Governor Pat McCrory signed into law Senate Bill 25, Zoning Design and Aesthetic Controls. The bill was sponsored by Senators Rick Gunn (Burlington), Tom Apodaca (Hendersonville) and Jeff Tarte (Cornelius). The companion bill in the House was sponsored by Representatives Nelson Dollar (Cary), William Brawley (Matthews), Jonathan Jordan (Jefferson) and Rick Glazier (Fayetteville). “I am proud that our legislators desire to affirm the rights of property owners with Senate Bill 25,” said NCAR 2015 President Tony Smith. “Homeowners should be free to build homes with safe and approved building materials. Elements like color and design should be limited only by the choice of the individual property owner. By passing this bill, the legislature has acknowledged the rights of property owners to enjoy the full benefits of homeownership.” “NCAR has always and will continue to advocate for safe, affordable housing,” said Chief Lobbyist Cady Thomas. “Homebuyers deserve to choose from a wide range of price points without artificial increases imposed by local governments. The actions of the legislature will roll back over-regulation at the local level and will ensure that economic development in housing continues.”

Member perspective on the new legislation Prior to the legislature signing off on Senate Bill 25, Legislative Committee Chairman Mark Zimmerman wrote an editorial published in the Chapel Hill section of the News & Observer. His letter, to the right, describes the regulatory environment existing before the new law passed. This type of advocacy from members over the years propelled us to victory on this issue. NCAR appreciates all lobbying efforts from our members who have engaged legislators on this topic. Thank you for working to improve the housing economy.

Contact Nicole Arnold at narnold@ncrealtors.org.

26  INSIGHT • Fall 2015

Hands Off Our Houses BY MARK ZIMMERMAN NCAR LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN This month marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, the foundation document for many of the freedoms we enjoy to this day, among them the protection of private property rights. So it is fitting, in a small way, that our legislature just passed a law reaffirming some rights of private property owners in North Carolina. Senate Bill 25, which passed with support from both parties and veto proof majorities in both houses, prevents local governments from regulating the aesthetic design of family homes. Zoning ordinances may control the size and placement of houses, but not what they look like on the outside or inside, unless you’re in a historic district. Specifically, the bill prohibits towns and counties from dictating building design elements such as exterior color and materials, styles of roofs, architectural ornamentation, use of porches, window and door placement, garage entrances, and number, types and layout of rooms. In other words, you can tell homeowners how big or small their homes can be, but don’t tell them what they should look like or how they can live inside them. Interestingly, the bill was passed to “clarify” the law. In our state, the only powers local governments have are those granted them by the legislature. The North Carolina legislation that enables zoning never permitted these regulations. However, over the years most cities and towns have inflated their zoning to encompass many of these restraints. Some places have really abused their self-appointed power; one town requires brick on all sides of houses — you can imagine what that does for affordability. Many of these strictures increase the cost of housing. They also decrease freedom. Eventually, the legislature felt it had to rein them in. People can still voluntarily agree to any of these controls. Private neighborhood covenants are still permitted. But homeowners have the choice to buy in those areas. When zoning takes over, that choice is gone. Since this was supposed to be the law all along, the bill affects ordinances already on the books, as well as anything in the future. That should prompt an immediate, thorough review of all zoning, neighborhood-conservation districts, special-use districts, etc. Each of our communities will have some elements on the books that are no longer enforceable. The right to use your private property as you see fit has always been subject to some restraints. But it is a right nonetheless, with a history that can be traced back through our constitution to the beginnings of common law in England nearly a millennium ago. Like all our rights, it is under constant risk of erosion by the expansion of government power, even in our own backyard. With a little help from our state legislature, that tide has just been nudged back. Now, in a modest way, we’re a little more free to express our individuality. (This editorial was published on June 15, 2015 in the Chapel Hill section of the News & Observer.)


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FORMSGUY Speedy Gets a Rundown of Recent Changes to Offer to Purchase and Contract BY: WILL MARTIN GENERAL COUNSEL

Dear Forms Guy, I hear there are some new changes to the Offer to Purchase and Contract. Can you give me some quick highlights? I’m a very busy man. Sincerely, Speedy

?

DID YOU

KNOW

28  INSIGHT • Fall 2015

FORMS GUY: Sure, Speedy. The contract was revised effective July 1. Most of the revisions are to clarify what is already in the contract rather than change it in any substantive way. I’ll highlight two changes: one, changes to the fixtures paragraph, and two, changes to the parties’ responsibility for the payment of various owner association fees. Shall I take them in that order? SPEEDY: Sounds good. FORMS GUY: Okay, the substance of the fixtures paragraph is not very different from before, but the format looks very different because it has been reorganized into four subparagraphs to help the parties and their agents better understand the issues they need to address. For example, in the old version of the contract, there was a single blank where you identified items that were not owned by the seller, as well as items the seller did not intend to convey. In the new version, there is one place to identify items that are leased or not owned by the seller, and a separate place to identify items that the seller is not conveying. We hope that by breaking these out into separate subsections, it will remind users to identify both items not owned by the seller as well as fixtures the seller is not going to convey.

SPEEDY: Okay, I get that. Are there any other changes to the fixtures paragraph? FORMS GUY: Yes. In the laundry list of specified items that convey, we have added “mounting brackets for televisions and for speakers and all related hardware” and “security systems” as new items. SPEEDY: Good. I had an issue with a TV mounting bracket last week. How about fuel tanks and fuel? I had a sale a while back where the seller sold propane fuel back to the provider, but the buyer claimed it belonged to her because it was still in the tank at settlement. As a result, the other agent and I ended up paying for the cost of the fuel in the tank. FORMS GUY: The list of specified items that convey has been revised to clarify that the buyer will get whatever contents of a fuel tank that have not been used, removed or resold to the fuel provider as of settlement. SPEEDY: So if the seller provides a receipt showing that the fuel has been sold back to the fuel provider, the buyer can not claim that the fuel in the tank belongs to the buyer? FORMS GUY: That’s the idea.

NCAR’s lawyers write their weekly Q&As and those appearing in Insight based on calls they receive through the Legal Hotline. As a member of NCAR, you now have free, unlimited access to the Hotline! Have a legal question? Call 800-443-9956 or email ncarlegal@ncrealtors.org to get started.


SPEEDY: Can the seller use or remove all fuel in the tank before settlement? FORMS GUY: The seller’s use, removal or resale of fuel in any fuel tank is subject to the seller’s obligation to provide working, existing utilities through closing or possession by the buyer. A new “Note” has been added at the end of Paragraph 2 to underscore that fact. SPEEDY: What about the other change you mentioned? FORMS GUY: The other change is the most significant change to the contract in my opinion. It has to do with the payment of fees charged by an owners’ association. Aside from regular and special assessments, the old version of the contract put the obligation on the buyer to pay all owner association fees and charges except any fee incurred by the seller in completing the disclosure statement. The new version attempts to allocate responsibility between the buyer and seller for the payment of the various fees that may be charged by an owners’ association or management company in a more balanced way. SPEEDY: How do you mean? FORMS GUY: In Paragraph 8(j) of the new version, the seller is responsible for paying any “transfer or similar fee.” That phrase is intended to cover any charge related to transferring or changing ownership records to a new owner, whether it’s called a “transfer fee” or something else. A “new owner set-up fee” would be an example of such a fee. SPEEDY: I was a buyer agent in a sale recently where the HOA charged a “social membership initiation fee” and a “capital contribution fee.” Would the seller be responsible for paying those fees under the new contract? FORMS GUY: No, assuming those fees are not related to transferring ownership to the new owner. If not, they should be the responsibility of the buyer.

SPEEDY: How about a charge for confirming that the seller is current on the seller’s association dues or assessments? FORMS GUY: Under the new contract, that must be paid by the seller. Paragraph 8(j) says the seller shall pay “any fees required for confirming Seller’s account payment information on owners’ association dues or assessments for payment or proration.” SPEEDY: How about information about an HOA that the buyer’s lender may require, such as the amount of the association’s reserves? FORMS GUY: Under the new contract, the buyer is responsible for paying any fee charged by the owners’ association for information relating to a buyer’s due diligence. See Paragraph 6(a). Getting a loan is part of the buyer’s due diligence process, so a charge for information provided at the request of the buyer’s lender should be paid by the buyer. SPEEDY: It sounds like it might be confusing trying to figure out who’s responsible for paying what! FORMS GUY: The reality is that the variety of fees charged by owners’ associations and their management companies has proliferated, at least in certain areas of the state. The sum total of those fees can be quite significant in some instances. As I said earlier, the new version of the contract attempts to

allocate responsibility for the payment of those fees in a more equitable way than under the old contract. The lawyers and REALTORS® on the task force responsible for changes to the contract felt it is more appropriate for the seller to pay fees associated with the transfer of the property because the seller, as a member of the owners’ association, is in a better position than the buyer to be familiar with such fees or to obtain information about them from the association or its management company. In some situations it might be difficult to determine what a fee is supposed to be for and which party is responsible for paying it. In my view, both parties should seek to determine what fees are going to be charged by the owners’ association and/or the association’s manager as early in the process as possible. If the parties know what the fees are going to be, they can negotiate the transaction with those fees in mind to help avoid later misunderstandings. SPEEDY: Okay, thanks Forms Guy. I’ve got to run because I’m a busy, busy man! FORMS GUY: You’re welcome, Speedy. If you ever slow down a bit, there’s a detailed summary of all the changes to the contract on the NCAR website. Best wishes!

Contact Will Martin at wmartin@ncrealtors.org if you have a suggested discussion topic for Forms Guy. ncrealtors.org • INSIGHT  29


[TECH TIPS]

[ Safety Tools]

Tech Tips for NC REALTORS®

Safety is top of mind for us all this month. Emerging technologies continually offer resources to help REALTORS® stay safe on the job. It is critical to have a plan in place to protect yourselves and your clients. Two of our newest NC REALTOR® Partners are designed to do just that. BY: BLAIR WILBURN | DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETING

Online security is critical Lately, there have been a number of high-profile security breaches in the news. With so much of the homebuying process being streamlined via electronic communication, clients need to be assured their personal and financial information is safe. One of our new REALTOR® Partners, Citrix ShareFile, is a secure file transfer and collaboration service. ShareFile has four key benefits, allowing agents to:

1. Send files of any size, securely through their existing email service;

2. Store all documents in the cloud and access or share them with others through a custom branded workspace;

3. Access documents from anywhere, with any device; 4. Have documents electronically signed. Clients value their privacy and do not appreciate having their personal information fall into the wrong hands. This program allows you to embed secure links to files right from your email. Citrix ShareFile will help give your clients peace of mind with a secure, easy way to send and receive confidential information. NC REALTORS® receive 10 percent off monthly or yearly ShareFile services.

Personal safety on the go Real estate professionals across the country are faced with dangerous situations every day. Creating a safety checklist and good habits are critical protocol to protecting yourself. But what happens when you’re faced with a sudden emergency while at a listing appointment or open house? Are you prepared? REALTOR® Partner OnGuardHelp is here to help. A mobile Personal Emergency Response System (mPERS) app for smart phones, OnGuardHelp is designed to help you be more secure wherever you are. Created in North Carolina, the app offers a simple display screen with a three- or five-button emergency option. Each button corresponds to a specific type of emergency. With one click, OnGuard will make an instant call and text alert, with real time GPS location, to first responders (police, fire or EMT). For critical situations, the options include a silent alert, which sends a crisis monitoring agent a silent alarm who can then notify law enforcement of your location. NC REALTORS® will save $18 to $36 on the annual plan options with OnGuardHelp. Unsure if a safety app is right for you? Try the first month for free.

MORE

INFO

Visit www.ncrealtors.org/partners for details on the NC REALTOR® Partners or contact Partner Program Manager Robin Cooper at rcooper@ncrealtors.org.

30  INSIGHT • Fall 2015


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Profile for NC REALTORS®

Insight | Fall 2015  

Historical Roots Anchor Visionary Leadership: Speaker of the NC House Rep. Tim Moore discusses his ties to the state he calls home

Insight | Fall 2015  

Historical Roots Anchor Visionary Leadership: Speaker of the NC House Rep. Tim Moore discusses his ties to the state he calls home

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