Have another holiday gift idea for clients?

Peggy Brown

Another tasty holiday gift idea for clients was submitted to IARbuzz by REALTOR® Peggy Brown, Managing Broker and Owner of Sevenoaks Realty in Batavia.

Brown says, “I send clients who had a transaction in the current year a Christmas card with a box of Godiva chocolates wrapped by Von Maur. It is . . . just a nice way to remember them at the holidays. All my past clients receive a card with a note saying that a donation has been made in their honor to a local charity.”

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For more ideas, see: “These 18 holiday gift ideas will help REALTORS® stand out with clients.”

If you have a holiday gift idea for a client that hasn’t been mentioned in this blog, please share it with other IAR members via bkozar@iar.org.

Morning Minute: Mortgage rates fall to yearly low

Good news for consumers looking to buy a home or refinance, Freddie Mac reports today that mortgage rates fell again this week to the lowest levels in 2014. A 30-year, fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.80 percent this week while the 15-year, fixed rate averaged 3.09 percent. Read more from Freddie Mac.

In other headlines:

Housing Outlook 2015: 11 Predictions From The Experts – Forbes

Shifting Patterns of Growth: Americans Return to Urban Life – On Common Ground

REALTOR® victory: Senate passes mortgage debt cancellation relief

According to a report by the National Association of REALTORS®, President Barack Obama is expected to sign into law a “tax-extender” bill that will provide mortgage debt cancellation relief.

According to NAR:

That step is possible because earlier this week, the Senate passed a provision of the bill just before adjourning for the year, giving REALTORS® a hard-fought victory. The provision prohibits the Internal Revenue Service from taxing debt that lenders forgive in a short sale, foreclosure or loan modification for the 2014 tax year, reported the NAR. The House passed the provision last week.

According to an email from NAR to members: “The legislation also includes one-year extensions of the 15-year depreciation schedule for leasehold improvements and the deduction for improvements to energy efficient commercial buildings.”

“We are grateful to Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Reps. Tom Reed, R-NY, and Charlie Rangel, D-NY, for championing the provision,” NAR President Chris Polychron said.

NAR also pressed lawmakers to extend terrorism risk insurance, which is critical to commercial mortgage finance, but that provision will have to be taken up in 2015 under the new Congress.

For more information, go to The Voice for Real Estate.



Early-bird rate for January Pro Standards Workshops ends today

Today’s the final day to register and pay only $60 for the Professional Standards Workshops on Jan. 13 and 14, in Springfield and Oakbrook Terrace, respectively.

Register now!

Fill out the form and return it by fax (217-529-0758) or email Register@iar.org. Your registration includes continental breakfast and lunch.

Those who return the form Dec. 18-24 will pay a $5 late fee. No refunds, transfers or cancellations will be accepted after today. If you have questions, contact Becky Carraher at RCarraher@iar.org or 217-529-2600.

The Springfield workshop will be held at the Crowne Plaza, while the Oakbrook Terrace workshop will be at Drury Lane. Bruce Aydt and Lynn Madison will serve as lead instructors. The agenda will include:

  • Updates to Code of Ethics;
  • Changes to administration of complaints and arbitration requests;
  • Information for Ombudsman and Ethics Citation Programs;
  • Mock Grievance Committee, Ethics and Arbitration hearings;
  • Role of Board of Directors; and
  • Live polling of participants via smartphones and tablets.