It’s been a successful year for C.A.R. on the legislative front.
To begin, C.A.R. scored a big win in defeating AB 2416 (Stone) in the Senate. The bill would have created a new kind of lien on real estate for wage claim disputes. C.A.R. opposed AB 2416 because it would have denied due process to the owner of the property and unnecessarily clouded title. AB 2416 failed in the Senate on a bi-partisan vote, but was eligible for another vote on the last day the Legislature was in session this year. AB 2416 required 21 “Yes” votes to pass the Senate; it only received 13. The proponents were unable to muster enough votes to bring the bill up again, and the bill died as the legislative session ended. REALTOR® activism played a critical role in defeating what was a very bad piece of legislation. While C.A.R. worked as part of a coalition to oppose the bill, it was the thousands of REALTOR® calls, Tweets, and Facebook updates that made the difference. Thank you to everyone who responded to the Red Alert!
Additionally, C.A.R. sponsored the following bills in 2014 that have also been passed by the Legislature and are awaiting the governor’s signature:
- AB 1513 (Fox) Squatters – creates a pilot program in three cities permitting the owner of a vacant property to register it with local law enforcement, and file a “Declaration of Ownership” with the DA, allowing local law enforcement to obtain a restraining order and an injunction prohibiting “squatters” from trespassing, the ignoring of which can lead to arrest.
- AB 2018 (Bocanegra) CalBRE “Team Names” – provides needed clarification in the regulation of “team” names by CalBRE.
- AB 2039 (Muratsuchi) Auction Companies – requires an auction company that takes over management of a sales transaction from a listing agent to hold the original listing agent harmless for any liability created by the auction company’s actions. It also prohibits misleading “shill” bids in an auction.
C.A.R. also successfully prevented several bills from being passed that would have been harmful to real estate and private property rights. They include:
Recording tax. SB 391 (DeSaulnier) would have required a flat $75 per document recording tax (on top of current recording fees) on every real estate instrument not part of a sales transaction (e.g. increasing the cost of a refinance by $225). C.A.R. successfully prevented the bill from getting enough support to pass the legislature.
Rent Control. SB 1439 (Leno) would have allowed San Francisco to mandate a five-year “hold period” before the owner of a rental unit can convert it to another use or take it off the rental market. C.A.R. opposed this measure because it is a direct assault on the rights of private property owners, and effectively prohibits resale of rented units.
And as I previously told you, AB 2136 (Daly), AB 2430 (Maienschein), AB 2540 (Dababneh) and SJR 19 (Correa) were signed into law by the governor earlier this summer. Get specifics on C.A.R.’s 2014 legislative agenda here.
The countdown to CALIFORNIA REALTOR® EXPO 2014 is on. In about three weeks, the biggest C.A.R. event of the year, One Cool EXPO, will hit the Anaheim Convention Center, Oct. 7 – 9. Don’t forget as a C.A.R. member your registration is FREE; just be sure to register. And if you don’t want to wait in line, you’ll need to register online by Sept. 26 to receive your badge by mail.
Along with a variety of FREE educational sessions and more than 200 exhibitors, we have a few special things happening only at EXPO 2014. I hope you’ll take advantage of such FREE sessions as Thom Filicia’s Sell-ready Style Guide and Eric Stegemann’s Website Shredder that are geared to refine your skills and boost your sales. For those of you who want to invest in your future, there are also plenty of paid options, such as REALTOR® Fundamentals – a full day of sessions that will teach any agent how to avoid pitfalls and find the pathway to success – and Marketing Success Strategies, another full day of sessions that will transform you into a brand- building and sales-crunching machine.
Business lunches are where deals are often formulated, and the lunches at One Cool EXPO are no different. With guest speakers like Captain “Sully” Sullenberger, hero of the “Miracle on the Hudson,” who will be discussing Leadership Without Ego, to our very own Leslie Appleton-Young, VP and chief economist at C.A.R., who will be examining the housing market – where it’s been, where it’s going, and how it affects you – these paid lunches shouldn’t be missed. Of particular note is Terri Sjodin, author of “Small Message, Big Impact,” who will teach you something that all REALTORS® can use: how to generate results, increase business opportunities, and ultimately become a more polished and persuasive speaker.
Whether you come for one day or all three, I look forward to seeing you all in Anaheim at One Cool EXPO. Please register today.
Lastly, I previously mentioned that starting Aug. 1, 2014, C.A.R. would begin publishing the names of those members who are found in violation of the Code of Ethics on C.A.R.’s website, specifically, those found in violation and are disciplined with a reprimand, fine, suspension, or expulsion. I’m happy to report that there was no discipline imposed requiring the publication of any names for the month of August. There are many free or low cost options to help you stay on top of the Code of Ethics, including C.A.R.’s Ethics CE course, which is available at no cost through C.A.R.’s 12 free hours of CE courses. View the full details of the Code of Ethics effort here.
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®