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Your Realtor-Your Advocate

June 23, 2011

             The National Association of Realtors is Your Advocate for Home Ownership

We need to take a step back and ask ourselves how best each of us can contribute to our industry and how the Real Estate Industry can help each of us.  As usual, we are in a crisis of one form or another, whether it is low or high inventory, short sales or bank owned, new legislation, etc.  The one thing we can be sure of is that we are always moving, always changing.   So, the National Association of Realtors has decided to take a more definitive stand for the homeowner.  Previously, NAR represented Realtors first as their trade organization. While that focus is still in play, NAR, is as far as I know, is the only trade organization that promotes the welfare of the Homeowner and mortgage interest deduction.  (We will get into tax reform and mortgage interest deduction at a later date or not at all!)

For those of you who don’t know, the designation, capitalized Realtor ®, means that the person is licensed by a respective State and belongs to an Association of Realtors.  In our area that is the Delta Association of Realtors or DAR.  As such, we become members of and pay dues to the California Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors, known as CAR and NAR.  NAR just raised dues $40 to become more of an advocate regarding home ownership. The 2011 Campaign is titled “Housing First” which explains the impact of home ownership on the nation’s economy (per NAR):

  • For every two homes sold, one job is created.
  • Each home purchased pumps up to $60,000 into the economy.
  • Home ownership accounts for over $2 trillion of the U.S. GDP.

So, it is important for all of us that homes are bought and sold.  Sellers need to move for job changes, health changes, family size as well as to avoid foreclosure, reduce housing costs and for other more normal reasons. Realtors earn their living by helping this process take place. The problem is always local and our market is flat despite low inventory and low interest rates. I have heard that buyers are not buying because of uncertainty in their own job situation, still waiting for lower prices and also because the lending rules are changing every day, becoming more strict in reaction to the fall-out we have had in the past.  Then there is the GSE, Government Sponsored Entity, challenge.  What to do with Fannie, Freddie and subsequently FHA which comprise the current secondary mortgage market?  There is much local and national dialogue regarding whether GSE are needed or not.  Some say, yes and some say no. The private sector may or may not be able to provide enough funds to meet demand for home loans.  I am not so sure as over 30% of the loans nationally are FHA. So I say, we need them or something like them.  NAR says, “A comprehensive and effective mortgage reform strategy is critical to help keep a level of certainty in the marketplace and not further disrupting the still fragile housing market recovery.”

NAR is asking us to take a look at H.R. 1859, the “Housing Finance Reform Act of 2011, introduced last month by Reps. John Campbell (R-Calif.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.).  Although there are some concerns, overall, according to NAR, see http://www.realtor.org, “the bill will help stabilize the secondary mortgage market and ensure capital is available for home mortgage loans.” I just checked, and Google did not have much information about the bill, so stay tuned.  The point is your local Realtor is involved via their local, state and national trade organization to help you facilitate the sale of a home to a ready, willing and able buyer.

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