RED HOT ISSUES
Here is Natalie’s brief on what is happening!. I did research into all the bills, documents, and links. Breeze through these topics to get up to date on the issues! You can also take a 3 hour class with this name…. just click and Voila… there it is in pdf! Red Hot Issues Class
Renewing your License
You are NO longer required to list your clockhours to renew your license. But, there is a more aggressive auditing policy in place. If you do not have your clockhours when you are audited, you could be taking an unplanned vacation! When you renew online it still asks you to list the classes, but… some of the numbers are too big… they are redoing the online renewal… but it takes time. So here is the form to renew! You just fill it out, attest that you have taken the hours, and mail it in. The counter at the Dept of Licensing in Olympia will no longer be open to the public… I suggest that you scan certificates and keep a file on your computer with your scanned certificates. You do not have to keep a paper copy.
renewal form in pdf. Renewal Form from DOL Dec 15
A total of 7803 people took the real estate exam in 2014. This is a 26% increase over last year. Of those 3938 were issued licenses which is a 32% more than 2013. Because so many taking the exam sneak in with a cell phone, the implementation of metal detectors will most likely happen soon. Helps avoid cheating. People are flooding into this profession. You have more competition than you have had in probably a decade!
In 2013, 17% of fingerprints were rejected. This number was cut in half in 2014 as the Dept of Licensing sent out two fingerprint cards. The extra card was kept on file in case there was a problem with the first card. It eliminated over 750 people from having fingerprints retaken. It has been discussed, but no action taken to eliminate the requirement that brokers get fingerprinted every 6 years. There will be a vendor that will provide fingerprinting starting probably this summer so all agents will go there instead of the police etc. they are to have locations withing 50 miles of any agent. It will be electronic and say they will have less than 3% rejection rate.
Get the money into the bank
There were less office audits this past year mostly due to staffing issues, but the number of violations has gone up. Earnest money deposit issues (late deposits) went up 17% over last year. Property Management trust account violations were up 31%. Get that money documented and in the bank!
An Apple for the Teacher
There are almost 1300 course approvals and 105 schools this past year and over 500 approved instructors in the state. Of course there isn’t available documentation as to how many live or online classes and many of the schools are national. Thanks for choosing clockhours.com and Natalie as an instructor for your continuing ed!
I feel the earth move under my feet
About 13% of Washington has hazardous slide areas.That could be your next listing or sale. Make sure you refer clients to an expert in this area if selling a property that might be in this category. Dept of Nat Resources link
There are many questions and few answers. From taking a listing that was a grow house to a commercial business unable to get financing to finalize lease. Make sure you make good decisions about disclosure, know that financing from federal bank is not often an option, let client research code and neighborhood issues if they plan to grow or sell weed.
There are a variety of types of houseboats, floating homes and barges in Washington State. They used to be listed on the MLS until an attorney at the MLS decided some were actually “vessels” and needed a vessel license. But, Linda and Kevin Bagley championed a bill (click to link) to amend the definitions in real estate license law to add floating homes and Floating on Water Residences to real estate brokerage services. This bill soon to become law so that floating home will be back on the MLS!
Let them know
The property information disclosure form may be amended to add 4 specific issues relating to accessibility including stairway lifts, wheelchair lifts, elevators, and inclines.
If I had a Hammer
Since 2007 it has been law that a homeowner is required to register as a contractor if that person fixes up a house without occupying or using the structure for a year after the date of construction. This law also included a homeowner fixing up a house in excess of $500. But, HB 1749 (click to link) is got all Yea’s in Olympia will change definitions so that a homeowner who improves and offers to sell property without occupying it for more than a year is not required to register as a contractor if the owner contracts with a general contractor. Its hard to believe but there is a story that n L&I official followed a homeowner out of Home Depot to levy a fine? So a person flipping a house doesn’t need a contractors license if he/she hires a contractor.
Right to the Core
The Core Curriculum class required every two years is being rewritten/revised for 2016-2017. Natalie has worked with the Dept of Licensing to give input for every core that we have had to take! As a broker you never have to be concerned about what core to take. Just take whatever is available during the two years you have to renew!
The CD that doesn’t make music
The CFPD regulations come into effect in October 2015. Basically the HUD1 stmt will be called the CD or Closing Disclosure and the and good faith estimate will be LE or Loan Estimates. There will be delays if there are last minute changes, lenders have to be more accurate, and lenders have to provide disclosure three days before closing. Not everyone is singing the praises of the coming changes but time will tell. Just keep making music….
Really, are you hiding who you work for?
Real estate brokers have to hang their license with a designated broker. Licensing law says that a broker must disclose the firm in a clear and conspicuous manner on all advertising. The guidelines from the Dept of Licensing state that this disclosure must be within “one click” on any webpage. Brokers are making it difficult for a consumer and the dept of Licensing to find what firm they are licensed with. One proposal that may be discussed is whether brokers should have to display their license number on all advertising as loan officers do.
Zillow is an advertising medium
Last month the Changing Business practices meeting met with an attorney and public relations executive. The discussion was open to questions from the attendees and committee members even on the conference call. It was interesting to me because there was such a heated discussion it seemed about Zillow at a previous meeting yet there really was nothing to say when they were clear they are an advertising medium like an online classified newspaper ad and have no intention of selling real estate. The two hottest issues seem to be the “Coming Soon” listings on Zillow that are violations of our NWMLS and that Real Estate agents are letting lenders pay for their advertising on Zillow.
Are you standing in water?
Flood insurance is a hot issue in that the rates are going up 18% to 25% which could affect home ownership. Real estate agents according to FEMA are required to let buyers know about the availability of flood insurance. Our Dept of Licensing does not regulate that.