IAR Legal Webinar: What’s New with BPOs, the Condo Act and Illinois’ new Division of Real Estate

Illinois REALTORS®, there’s still time to register for Tuesday’s IAR Legal Webinar.

IAR’s Legal Services team will address new legislation and an executive order that came out of the Illinois General Assembly’s spring session and is of interest to the real estate industry.

This one-hour webinar is an IAR members-only benefit. Sign up now (Login required.)

Everyone can learn from our Legal Hotline Top 5

During the first quarter, members contacted the Legal Hotline with a wide variety of questions, and a large number of issues could be grouped in five categories.  Here’s the Top 5 and a sample question from each category so you can test your knowledge too.

1. Scope of Real Estate License

What license do I need for leasing activities?  The answer is a properly sponsored real estate license if you’re performing leasing activities for another and for compensation.

2. Purchase Contract Questions

May I continue to show a listing that is subject to a purchase contract?  The answer is yes, if your seller client permits you to do so even though you don’t have a continuing duty to show once an accepted contract is pending. You have a responsibility to post notice in the MLS (if you are an MLS participant) that a contract is pending on the listing.

3. Business Practices

May I use electronic files to store my transaction records? Generally speaking, the answer is yes, and you can go to the Administrative Rules under the IL Real Estate License Act, Section 1450.755 for more guidance.  Note where a statute requires a consumer to receive written notice or disclosure, providing that form electronically is not permitted unless – and until – you have written consent.

4. Agency Question

Must I make written designated agency disclosure to a commercial brokerage tenant client?  Yes, the IL Real Estate License Act requirements apply in the commercial real estate brokerage practice as well as residential real estate brokerage.

5. Listing Agreements

Isn’t it true that “pocket listings” are illegal?  Not necessarily, but you need to take care that you are serving your seller clients’ best interests.  For this example, the term “pocket listing” is usually a term to describe an exclusive listing that will not be placed in the broker’s MLS. If the listing broker (who belongs to an MLS) explains the function and benefits of the MLS to the seller client, and the seller client still elects to keep the listing “private” or as a “pocket listing,” there is no per se violation in withholding the listing from the MLS.  However, the listing broker should have the seller sign a waiver – or other MLS-required form – if the seller wants to keep the listing out of the MLS. If the pocket listing is withheld from the MLS for some illegal purpose, that will be problematic.

Still time to register for IAR’s Instructor Development Workshop on June 6

If you are an Illinois real estate instructor, you won’t want to miss out on the Instructor Development Workshop being offered on Friday, June 6, through the Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR) Licensing and Training Center. REGISTER NOW!

The one-day course will offer must-have updates for CE and Pre-license instructors. Discussion topics include:

  • Common mistakes and misconceptions Brokers and Managing Brokers have about the real estate business
  • Top enforcement issues and examiner findings from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR)
  • Top ten issues from the IAR Legal Hotline
  • “Heard it in the Classroom” instructor training techniques

The workshop is being offered with three convenient location options: IAR headquarters (a live class), and via video conference at the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® in Downers Grove and North Shore-Barrington Association of REALTORS® in Northbrook.

REGISTER NOW and pay $125 (lunch included).

You Say You’re #1? Prove It

There seems to be an increase in complaint activity as it relates to real estate licensees making claims in their advertising that they are “number one.”

It is important for real estate licensees and the managing brokers charged with oversight of sponsored licensees to remember that the Illinois Real Estate License Act (the Act), the rules under the Act and the REALTOR® Code of Ethics all require advertising to be truthful and not misleading. Along with the sponsoring broker’s company name and any franchise affiliation, real estate licensees’ advertising must also contain enough information to communicate a truthful message that will be meaningful to the consumer.

If a licensee claims that she is number one, she should think in terms of proving the truth of that statement. Where did she retrieve the data to support this claim? What is the source of the data? Was this based on volume as reported in her local multiple listing service (MLS) over a certain period of time? Was it determined by a dollar amount of sales? Was it based on a total number of transactions?

These are some sample questions that the licensee should ask herself before making such a statement in her advertising. Once she has determined that she is number one based on a careful review of a reliable data source, it would be prudent to include a citation to the source of the data supporting the claim somewhere in the body of the ad. This practice could prevent complaints from being filed.