Board Briefs 4-08 - the Lebanon County Association of REALTORS

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Board Briefs 4-08 - the Lebanon County Association of REALTORS
Lebanon County Association of REALTORS
Your Voice for Real Estate In Lebanon County
Lebanon County
1300 Florence Street, Lebanon, PA 17042
From the President, Irene Pickett
As we start the Spring real estate
season, helping our seller’s to price
their homes in this market is really
important. I found the following article published on Realtor® Magazine
Online to be helpful.
How to Price Correctly in Today's Market
Look at Pending Contracts.
When analyzing your CMA, give the most weight to pending sales (rather than active properties or those that have
already closed) and pay close attention to the square
footage of the home you are pricing relative to those under contract, advises Fraida Varah, the principal broker of
Fraida Varah Real Estate Group in Albany, N.Y. Pending
sales better reflect the current market than active listings
or those that may have closed three months earlier. In a
falling market, you may have to be priced below the latest
sold or pending comparable.
Don’t Take the Heat for the Market.
Make sure sellers understand that the market will determine the final selling price. Don’t take responsibility for
market conditions. Your job is to help the seller understand and adjust to the market, says Varah.
Creating Value is Key.
Remind sellers that the objective in pricing their home is
ultimately to get their home sold. The home has to be
priced so that it’s considered by buyers to be within the
top two or three values in that price range. If the market is
very slow, they have to be the best home value in their
price range. Tell the sellers you’ll revisit the market situation with them every 30 days, and they may need to adjust their price accordingly, Varah says.
Time for an Adjustment.
Industry standards suggest that if you haven’t received
an offer after eight to 10 showings, a price adjustment is
probably necessary.
Phone (717) 272-6126
w
Forget About “Price Reduced”
Signs.
All such riders do is alert the public
that this home is failing to sell. You
want to avoid having the buying
public think there’s something
wrong with the house.
It’s OK to Fire a Seller!
If a seller is unwilling to recognize
the market’s indication that the price is incorrect, there’s
no reason for you to continue to invest your time and
money in that client. There is no advantage to you to take
or keep an overpriced listing with an unmotivated or stubborn seller. Serious real estate pros pay close attention to
their success ratios (the percentage of listings taken that
close), sale to list price ratios, and average days on market. Serious sellers will take note.
Dates To Remember…
April:
7
22
23
Luncheon Meeting, Quality Inn - Noon
Happy Earth Day!!
Administrative Professionals Day
S EE THE FULL CALENDAR O F EVENTS & EVENT D ETAILS AT:
WWW.LEBANON-REALTORS .COM
April 2008
www.Lebanon-Realtors.com
w
Fax: (717) 270-5668
IN R EAL ESTATE N EWS ...
Breaking Bad: Reporting Other REALTORS®!
tices themselves! For that reason, the competitive practices of a member should rarely become the focus of a
board investigation.
by James L. Goldsmith, Esq.
Caldwell & Kearns, P.C.
If a member of a local association feels that another
member has violated the law, then that member should
be encouraged to determine for himself/herself whether
the perceived problem is significant enough to report to
the licensing body (in Pennsylvania that would the Real
Estate Commission). The local association has the authority to determine whether conduct violates the NAR
Code of Ethics, but does not, as a board, have the authority to impose punishment if a member violates Pennsylvania law.
It’s a problem that is revisited from time to time in
every local association, in every state: A fellow REALTOR® does something that is unpopular and almost certainly a violation of law again, again, and again. What to
do?
It’s easy for a member to pick up the phone and call
the president of the local association. Should the president or the association executive officer gather facts,
convene a meeting, contact the member who is perceived to be the problem? Here are some very basic
rules for your consideration.
When a member complains to an officer of the local
association, that officer should ask whether the member
intends to file an ethics complaint. If it is perceived that
another has violated the NAR Code of Ethics, then a
complaining member should be encouraged to file an
ethics complaint. There are preserved procedures that
assure that the hearing tribunal acts fairly and only after
giving notice of the right of the respondent to appear and
offer evidence. Ethics complaints, when handled pursuant to the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual will not
give rise to antitrust suits filed against the association.
It is not always appropriate for the local association,
its officers or members, as a group, to attempt to resolve
or correct the non-conforming behavior of a member.
Unpopular behavior is not necessarily illegal, and may
merely represent aggressive competition. When two or
more competitors agree, or work in concert, to deter the
competitive and unpopular practices of another, they run
the risk of engaging in anticompetitive and illegal prac-
If the member’s call is a complaint, not about a potential ethics violation, but a perceived violation of Pennsylvania law, then the complainant should be encouraged
to consult with his or her private counsel to determine the
appropriate course of conduct. One avenue is to file a
complaint with the Real Estate Commission. The complaint will be investigated and the complaining party will
have the opportunity to offer evidence for review by the
Commonwealth’s prosecutorial staff as it determines
whether to proceed with a formal complaint. When a
group of REALTORS®, however, sets out to correct the
apparent illegal conduct, should that group be wrong,
each member of the group is subject to the possibility of
becoming a defendant in a very damaging civil suit.
There may be times when the local association will
report aberrant conduct to the Real Estate Commission.
This may occur when a properly conducted ethics hearing results in a finding of unethical conduct so severe that
the recommended punishment is referral to the Real Estate Commission. Again, this may occur after specific
procedures, providing for a due process hearing, are followed. Whenever the board or a group of members are
considering action against one of its own, always consult
legal counsel.
Copyright © James L. Goldsmith, Esquire
CALDWELL & KEARNS, P.C., 2008
All Rights Reserved
2
IRS Announces 2008 Standard Mileage Rates:
Rate for Business Miles Set at 50.5 Cents per Mile
The Internal Revenue Service issued the 2008 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate
the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Beginning
Jan. 1, 2008, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (including vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be: 50.5
cents per mile for business miles driven; 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes; and 14 cents per
miles driven in service of charitable organizations. The new rate for business miles compares to a rate of 48.5 cents
per mile for 2007. The new rate for medical and moving purposes compares to 20 cents in 2007. The rate for miles
driven in service of charitable organizations has remained the same.
The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an
automobile; the standard rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs as determined by the
same study. Runzheimer International, an independent contractor, conducted the study for the IRS. The mileage
rate for charitable miles is set by law.
A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under
the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS), after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle,
for any vehicle used for hire or for more than four vehicles used simultaneously.
MLS Tip: Photo Resizing
Executive Assistant
Joins LCAR
Please welcome Cindy to our team!
Cynthia Rothrock joined LCAR as Executive
Assistant on March 25, 2008. Cindy is a 1991
graduate of Bloomsburg University. She was
most recently employed at Elizabethtown College as Accreditation and External Review Coordinator and department assistant for Physics &
Engineering. Prior to that, Cindy spent 15 years
as a Marketing Assistant for a distributor in Harrisburg.
Cindy lives in Elizabethtown with her 10 year old
son, Joey and cat, Kirby. Cindy volunteers with
Brittany’s Hope in Elizabethtown and serves as
a Sunday School teacher and board member of
Christian Education at her church.
Now that photos are mandatory, our members are struggling a little bit to learn some basic photo editing. Most of
their cameras take photos that are about 1 mb in size, too
large to upload to our MLS, which requires under 200K
and/or about 300 x 200 pixels. There is a website,
www.pixenate.com, that can resize photos fairly easily and
it’s FREE. You simply upload your photo (members will
still have to know where they put it on their hard drive),
then click Resize. Change the width to 300, and since the
Preserve Aspect Ratio box is already checked, the height
will take care of itself. Then click Apply and save it to your
hard drive with a slightly newer name (like Front View
MLS) so that you still have the nice original for print materials and the new smaller one that is perfect for uploading
to a listing in the MLS.
Some of Cindy’s favorite pastimes are cooking,
baking, crocheting, logic puzzles, scrapbooking
and reading.
-Courtesy of John Hicks, e-PRO
Director of MLS Training and Outreach
3
LEBANON COUNTY SOLD STATISTICS
MARCH 1 – 31, 2008
Residential/Farms
Annville-Cleona
Cornwall- Lebanon
Eastern Lebanon
Lebanon City
Northern Lebanon
Palmyra
Multi-Family
Lots
C/I/B Sale
C/I/B Lease
County Total
# Active
858
35
263
99
181
145
135
60
236
52
4
1,210
$ Volume
$188,357,458
$ 14,134,897
$ 60,457,716
$ 25,362,419
$ 16,579,976
$ 34,225,788
$ 37,596,662
$ 11,199,760
$ 35,926,500
$ 33,252,650
$
114,456
$268,850,824
# Sold
107
5
33
21
17
15
16
3
4
3
0
117
Sold Avg
$ 175,086
$ 143,666
$ 211,289
$ 172,347
$ 93,271
$ 167,515
$ 207,855
$ 95,467
$ 120,000
$ 138,300
$
0
$ 170,218
ADOM
81
25
100
65
69
84
90
142
162
31
0
84
These figures are based on data supplied by the Keystone MLS Network, Inc.
Neither the Lebanon County Association of REALTORS® nor the MLS guarantees its accuracy.
Data maintained by the MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market area of Lebanon County.
“THE GOLD STANDARD IN AUCTIONEERING”
Let Fortna Auctioneers show you how to increase your revenue with little or no work for you. Our “Broker
Participation Program” invites Brokers and Realtors throughout Central Pennsylvania to work in cooperation
with our staff to achieve the ultimate goal …. SELLING THE PROPERTY!
Fortna Auctioneers, an award winning full service auctioneering company, in business for over thirty years
specializing in Marketing and Executing the Sale of High-end Residential & Commercial Real Estate, Business Liquidation, Bankruptcy and Estate Auctions. For sellers large or small….no other auction company will
demonstrate the ongoing flexibility, creativity or marketing prowess.
WE ARE NOT THE ENEMY! ……..
CONTACT OUR OFFICE FOR DETAILS........CREATE AN ALLIANCE TODAY!
26 East Main Street, Annville, PA
Annville Office (717) 867-4451 ~ Lebanon (717) 272-1380
Harrisburg Office (717) 236-7888
Email: [email protected]
4
GENERAL N EWS ...
5 Things You Need to Know About
Stopping Junk Mail
1. Get off the lists.
Go to the Mail Preference Service registry of the Direct
Marketing Association (dmachoice.org) and click
“Remove my name from those lists.” Online registration
is free (or $1 through the mail) and is good for three
years. This move alone should cut down on 80% of
unsolicited mail within four months.
2. Don’t fill out registration forms for new products
(unless you want recall alerts), says Tom Watson of
the National Waste Prevention Coalition. “They’re used
for mailing lists,” he says. And never sign up for contests and sweepstakes, Watson adds.
3. Squash preapproved credit offers.
Register at optoutprescreen.com or call the toll-free
number 888-567-8688; both methods cover you for five
years. You also can opt out permanently by phone or
by mail using a form found on the website. “Not only
will you nix the offers, but you’ll be reducing your
chances of identity theft,” says Beth Givens of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.
4. Remain anonymous.
Supermarket loyalty cards can generate unsolicited
mail, so sign up for cards using a pseudonym like Jane
or Joe Shopper; with no address, to preserve anonymity.
5. Stay vigilant.
Buying online is the main culprit for catalog overload,
says Tim Sanchez of the consumer group New American Dream. Opt out at catalogchoice.org.
-Mary Forsell USA Weekend March 7-9, 2008
5
Continuing Education
**You must complete a total of 14 hours of continuing education by 5/31/08 to renew your
license. You may take elective CE courses or a broker course to complete your course
work.**
Greater Harrisburg REALTORS® Institute
Berks Real Estate Institute
424 N. Enola Drive, Suite 1
Enola, PA 17025
(717) 364-3205
16-B Margaret Street
Reading, PA 19605
(610) 926-9747
Fax: (610) 926-9591
www.learnrealestate.com
Members only: Register at www.GHAR.info
Offering MCE Courses at the following locations:
Class Name
Home Staging
Flips, Frauds &
Foreclosures
Valuation of
Commercial and
Investment
Properties
High Performance Green
Buildings and
LEED
Ethics and the
REALTOR®
Pricing in a
Competitive
Market
Getting to Yes:
Negotiating on
Behalf of Your
Client
Purchase
Contract
Date & Time
Tues., April 8
1:00pm –
4:30pm
Wed., April 9
8:30am –
4:30pm
Fri., April 11
8:30am-4:30pm
CE Credit
Cost
3.5 Hours
$45
7 Hours
$75
7 Hours
$75
Keystone Fire Company
Spring & Walnut Streets
Boyertown, PA 19512
Lantern Lodge
411 North College Street
Myerstown, PA 17067
Ramada Inn
(Formerly Quality Inn)
100 South Centre Street
Pottsville, PA 17901
Cross Keys Business Campus
Rt. 61 Just North of 222 Bypass
16-B Margaret Street
Reading, PA 19605
Wed., April 16
8:30am-12:00pm
3.5 Hours
$45
Tues., April 22
1:00pm-4:30pm
or
Thurs., May 22
8:30am-12:00pm
3.5 Hours
*Fulfills 2 ½
HR NAR
Quadrennial
Ethics Requirement
$45
Fri., May 2
8:30am-12:00pm
3.5 Hours
$45
Mon., May 5
1:00pm-4:30pm
3.5 Hours
Cost
7 Hours
$65
7 Hours
$65
7 Hours
*Must attend
both dates
$65
7 Hours
*Must attend
both dates
$65
Tues., May 6
8:30am-4:30pm
7 Hours
Wed., May 7
9:00am – 5:00pm
Pottsville
7 Hours
$65
Thur., May 8
9:00am – 5:00pm
Myerstown
7 Hours
$65
Smart Real
Estate Practices
in PA
Wed., May 14
9:00am-5:00pm
Pottsville
7 Hours
$65
Smart Real
Estate Practices
in PA
Thur., May 15
9:00am-5:00pm
Myerstown
7 Hours
$65
Smart Real
Estate Practices
in PA
Appraisal Basics
Historic Residential Architecture
Prior to 1945
Residential Architecture Since
1945
$45
Here Come the
Feds:
Federal Laws
That Relate to
Real Estate
Here Come the
Feds:
Federal Laws
That Relate to
Real Estate
$75
Registration closes at class start time! You
must be seated at start time to receive continuing education credit.
For other continuing education classes
please visit the Pa Realtors Institute,
www.parealtor.org or The Lancaster Association of Realtors, www.lcaronline.com.
6
Date, Time &
Location
CE Credit
Class Name
Wed., April 9
9:00am-5:00pm
Reading
Wed., April 16
9:00am-5:00pm
Reading
Wed., April 9 &
Wed., April 16
6:15pm-9:45pm
Reading
Wed., April 23 &
Wed., April 30
6:15pm-9:45pm
Reading
PROFESSIONAL HOME INSPECTION
¦ HOME INSPECTIONS ¦ RADON TESTING ¦
¦ TERMITE INSPECTIONS ¦ WATER QUALITY ANALYSIS ¦
¦ W E LL P E R F O R M A N C E I N S P E C T I O N S ¦
YOUR FIRST CHOICE IN HOME INSPECTIONS ~ PROVIDING EXCEPTIONAL CLIENT SATISFACTION
PROFESSIONAL HOME INSPECTION is locally owned and operated
and believes in building business relationships one inspection at a time.
Inspection reports that are TRULY easy to read and understandable.
• Inspections performed using the National Standards of Practice & Code of Ethics
• Follow up Consultations and Re-inspects – No charge
• Fully insured – Errors & Omissions – Liability
• National Society of Home Inspectors
• National Association of Certified Home Inspectors
• Lebanon County Association of Realtors
• Pennsylvania D.E.P. Radon certification #2527
• Pennsylvania Dept. of Agriculture business license #BU1043
www.professionalhomeinspect.com
PHONE: 717-808-4668 • TOLL FREE: 866-504-4668 • FAX: 717-569-3608
E-mail: [email protected]
REALTORS® Vote
REALTORS® are encouraged to vote in the Primary Election on Tuesday, April 22.
Along with casting a vote for president there are several local and state elections across the commonwealth. In
the General Assembly, there are 24 incumbent state lawmakers retiring and 32 legislators who have a primary
election challenger. There are also races for attorney general, auditor general and state treasurer. As REALTORS® it is important to back candidates who support private property rights and the real estate industry. The
Pennsylvania State Department has polling information and a list of candidates at votespa.com.
OUR DEEPEST SYMPATHY…
ÿ to Tammy J. Sites, RE/MAX Cornerstone—Lebanon, and her family after the passing of her mother,
Joan E. Smith on March 14th
Our thoughts & prayers are with you at this difficult time.
7
MEMBER CORNER ...
Happy
Birthday To...
COMINGS & GOINGS…
New REALTOR ® Members:
Tammy Miller, Coldwell Banker HSG
Jennifer Weneck, Integrity 1st
Jessica Kosoff, Penn Reality (reinstated)
April
3
4
5
7
8
9
10
12
12
15
18
22
23
24
26
28
28
29
30
REALTOR ® Member Escrows:
Teresa Zellers, Coldwell Banker HSG
Duane Zehring, Rauch Real Estate
Susan Emrich, Re/Max of Lebanon County
Lauren Groff, Custom Real Estate
Joan Walmer, Re/Max Cornerstone
Bonita Gettle, Century 21 Krall Real Estate
Cynthia Root, Suburban Realty
William O’Donnell, Custom Real Estate
Jean Taylor, Brownstone Real Estate Lebanon
Joan Weaber, Brownstone Real Estate Lebanon
Stephen R. Brinton, Integrity 1st Real Estate
Jane Cool, Prudential Gacono Real Estate
Ricardo A. Ramos, Brownstone Real Estate Lebanon
MaryAnn Gacono, Prudential Gacono Real Estate
Thomas J. Edkin, Thomas H. Edkin REALTOR
Rick Clay, Clay Realty Group
Thomas Gates, Coldwell Banker Homesale Svcs
William Hartman, Ulrich Professionals Realty
Douglas McDonald, Ulrich Professionals Realty
Lori Gonzalez, Century 21 Krall Real Estate
REALTOR ® Member Transfers:
Denise Bollard to RE/MAX Cornerstone
Linda Breit to RE/MAX Cornerstone
Cathy Dieffenbach to RE/MAX Cornerstone
Roxanne Geesey to RE/MAX Cornerstone
Stuart Hanford to RE/MAX Cornerstone
Ted Hummel to RE/MAX Cornerstone
Melody Kiene to RE/MAX Cornerstone
Ginny Lewis-McLaughlin, Realty World Associates
Donna Meade to RE/MAX Cornerstone
Kim Reager to RE/MAX Cornerstone
Joyce Reitz to RE/MAX Cornerstone
Tammy Sites to RE/MAX Cornerstone
Frank Tomecek Jr. to RE/MAX Cornerstone
Keith Volker to RE/MAX Cornerstone
Joan Walmer to RE/MAX Cornerstone
Wendy Wills to RE/MAX Cornerstone
Member Firm Changes:
Coldwell Banker HSG to Prudential Homesale
Services Group
Newsletter Committee
* Debbie Carroll
* Brenda Miller
Craig Gates
Shawn Koppenhaver
Melissa MacBride
Kris Mease
Brenda Wurges
Century 21 Krall Real Estate
Re/Max of Lebanon County
Fulton Mortgage Company
Century 21 Krall Real Estate
Century 21 Krall Real Estate
Edge Abstract of Pennsylvania
Re/Max of Lebanon County
273-1631
270-2680
274-6981
273-1631
273-1631
228-0870
270-8808
If you have any ideas or articles for the “Board Briefs”, please call any committee Member or the Association Office
at 272-6126. You may also fax items to 270-5668, or e-mail them to: [email protected]
8
MARK THE DATE!...
The Golf Outing Committee has announced a date for the 2008 Annual Golf Outing. The Outing will
be held at Fairview Golf Course on Wednesday, June 4, 2008. Mark your calendars now so you don’t
miss the fun!
LEBANON COUNTY AFFORDABLE HOUSING COUNCIL
HOMEBUYER’S EDUCATION CLASS…
Lebanon County Vo-Tech School
(833 Metro Drive, Lebanon)
April 8, 15 & 22 (Wednesday Evenings)
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Attendance is limited, so registration is required by contacting the Lebanon County Redevelopment Authority at: (717) 273-9326.
After completing all sessions, each participant receives a letter of completion. This may entitle you to special opportunities
with reduced fees and rates with most council member financial institutions for certain mortgage products.
Have a Fire Escape Plan (from Mastering Maintenance, Housemaster Home Inspections)
While fires themselves may not always be foreseeable or preventable, in many cases the injuries they cause can be
prevented with a family escape plan.
Of course, one of the important steps in fire prevention is to install smoke detectors and check them monthly. But having these safety devices is not enough. According to fire experts, once a smoke detector sounds, you and other member of your household may have less than three minutes to escape. It’s critical to have an emergency escape plan and
rehearse it regularly:
Chart the Plan: Draw a floor plan of your home, one for each level of the house. Label bedrooms, staircases, hallways, and roofs that could be used as fire escapes.
Survey Your Home: Check each bedroom for two possible escape routes. If you live in an apartment building, do not
plan to use the elevator to escape. Make sure everyone, including children and the elderly, are able to open and fit
through alternate escape routes like windows. Security bars should have a quick-release for emergencies. Consider
keeping fold-away emergency ladders for upper-story windows.
Map Escape Routes: Use markers and arrows to mark the preferred escape routes from each bedroom. Use different
colored markers to show alternate emergency routes. Chart a place outdoors for everyone to meet after they exit. Consider charting individual plans for each bedroom of the house to keep each plan neat and uncluttered.
Remember Guest Rooms: Chart a plan for guest rooms and areas that are used to host sleepovers and other gatherings.
Discuss and Practice the Plan: Hold family meetings to explain the plan. Practice the escape routes at least once a
year, particularly when they involve hazardous exits, such as windows.
Families might never need to implement such a plan, but the one time they do, it will certainly be worth it. Remember,
when in doubt, always consult a professional. More home safety information and maintenance information is available
online at http://www.housemaster.com.
9
April 2008
Monthly Planner
Sunday
Monday
March
S M T W T F
2
9
16
23
30
6
3
10
17
24
31
4
11
18
25
5
6
7
12 13 14
19 20 21
26 27 28
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
1
2
3
4
5
8
9
10
11
12
17
18
19
25
26
S
1
8
15
22
29
7
9:30 AM MLS Board Of
Directors
12:00 PM LCAR
Luncheon Meeting
13
14
15
16
9:00 AM Public Relations
Meeting
20
21
22
23
27
28
29
30
10:00 AM Newsletter
Committee
24
May
S M T W T F
9:15 AM LCAR Board
of Directors
4
11
18
25
5
12
19
26
6
13
20
27
7
14
21
28
S
1
2
3
8
9 10
15 16 17
22 23 24
29 30 31
Lebanon County Association of REALTORS
LCAR MISSION STATEMENT:
The Lebanon County Association of REALTORS® (LCAR) actively serves its’ members needs by providing programs, products,
and services to enhance ethical and successful business conduct; and, through collective action, advocating private property rig hts.

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