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   MAR E-News

 

Local Associations Recognized for their RPAC Efforts at Annual Luncheon

The Michigan Association of REALTORS® would like to thank all of the local associations who made the final push for RPAC investors at the end of 2013. With a state RPAC goal of $500,000, REALTOR® members met and exceeded it with a final total of $631,385! In addition, 29 local associations met and/or exceeded their local RPAC goal! In the end, state RPAC contributions were at 126% of state goal! Local Associations were honored on January 23rd at the Annual RPAC Appreciation Luncheon during the Achieve Conference at The Henry in Dearborn.

Read more 

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College Scholarships Available Through MARST

The MAR Scholarship Trust (MARST) fund provides scholarships to full-time undergraduate and graduate students who are taking classes that will lead them to a real estate career. Do you know a student entering their junior year of college or above? See the following details and qualifications below: 

  • Awards range from $500 to $2,000 and are distributed over two semesters.
  • Must have at least an average grade point of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale or equivalent of a “C” average.
  • Must exemplify character including demonstrated evidence of good citizenship.
  • Must be taking courses which are related to the real estate field, such as real estate, business, marketing, finance or law.
  • Must be a full-time student, entering junior, senior year or post-graduate work at a university or college.
  • Must provide a copy of college transcript to date.
  • Must complete and submit application by July 1, 2014 for the following academic year. 

Apply Today

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Deadline Approaching for New Personal Property Tax Exemption

The February 10th, 2014 deadline for a new and potentially money-saving exemption from the Michigan Personal Property Tax is fast approaching.

As you may recall, in 2012 the MAR strongly supported the passage of a new small business exemption that likely benefits many Michigan REALTORS® in their day-to-day business. 

Specifically, the law now provides for businesses that own, lease or possess commercial and industrial personal property with a market value of less than $80,000 to eliminate their 2014 Personal Property Tax bill. This is a significant jump from the previous threshold of $40,000, and the inclusion of commercial and industrial property may increase applicability among REALTORS®.

Eligible businesses must file the MI Treasury Form 5076 (Affidavit of Owner of Eligible Personal Property Claiming Exemption from Collection of Taxes) by February 10th of this year. Businesses that qualify for the exemption by filing the affidavit on time are not required to file a Personal Property Statement. However, they are required to maintain adequate books and records on the equipment to substantiate the claim.

Click here for affidavit form and information sheet.

Click here for affidavit form

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FHA Goes Full Throttle with Modernization Effort

Agency green lights acceptance of more e-signatures on mortgage docs

By Kerri Ann Panchuk

As part of its modernization effort, the Federal Housing Administration is accepting more electronic signatures on mortgage-related documents. The policy allows e-Signatures on origination, servicing and loss mitigation documents. FHA insurance claims, REO sales and other contracts can also be administered by e-Signature. Under current policy, lenders dealing with FHA are used to electronic signatures being limited to only third-party documents, including sales contracts not controlled by the lender.

"By extending our acceptance of electronic signatures on the majority of single family documents, we are bringing our requirements into alignment with common industry practices," said FHA Commissioner Carol Galante. "This extension will not only make it easier for lenders to work with FHA, it also allows for greater efficiency in the home-buying and loss mitigation process." This new policy begins immediately for lenders who want to use e-signatures on single-family forward mortgages and FHA reverse mortgage products. Lenders still have to follow the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.

Click here to read more.

 

Placemaking Catches Fire in Michigan

By Dan Gilmartin

A new set of survey results from the University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy details a big increase in the use of placemaking as a core economic development strategy in Michigan communities. This is great news for the state, the communities and the people of Michigan.

Tom Ivacko, administrator and program manager for the Ford School’s Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy stated in a recent press release, ”In placemaking, communities use what they have whether it’s arts, cultural amenities, parks, architectural design, lakes or walkable streets to create a strong bond between people and the places they live.”

Read more 

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REALTOR® Focus: Michigan REALTORS® Building International Connections

MAR Past President and GMAR member, Furhad Waquad, was recently featured in the TRC Newsletter. Furhad was recognized as a new TRC instructor. TRC stands for Transnational Referral Certification. This designation is for brokers and agents interested in making and receiving referrals for foreign buyers and sellers.

Learn more about the TRC.

MAR Past President and CBOR member, Bill Milliken, alongside Ontario Real Estate Association President, Phil Dorner, were featured in the first edition of International Real Estate Connections. The video recaps the recent connections with Michigan and Ontario REALTORS®.

Watch Video

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Legal Lines – Earnest Money Deposits
 
With the help of McClelland & Anderson, we are taking the most recently asked questions from our legal hotline and putting them in E-news. We will be featuring a different question each issue.

QUESTION: My business model is such that my brokerage firm never holds buyers’ earnest money deposits. Am I nonetheless required to maintain a trust account?

ANSWER: NO. You are only required to maintain a trust account if you are holding money belonging to others.

View more frequently asked hotline questions here.

Watch the new MAR Legal Update Video Series. Video #4 Earnest Money Deposits

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MAR Edge: Waymark Insurance Discount Prescription Card

Free to all MAR members is a discount prescription card. Wouldn’t you like to keep more money in your pocket the next time you visit the pharmacy? You can experience significant savings, especially when it comes to filling prescriptions that often times are not covered under an insurance plan’s formulary. Click on “Discount Benefits,” then “Prescription Discount Card” for more details. Increased peace of mind is just one click away; visit www.insuremirealtors.com today!

Pharmacy discounts are Not Insurance, and are Not Intended as a Substitute for Insurance 

The discount is only available at participating pharmacies.

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In this issue:

FEATURED VIDEO

MAR BOD video

January Board Meeting Review

Watch this update from the first MAR Board Meeting of the year.

Watch Review 

Upcoming MAR Events

Professional Standards Training

February 5-7, 2014
Kalamazoo, Marquette, Freeland, Novi
Register onsite

Broker Summit
April 23, 2014
Ford Field
Detroit
Registration opens February 10th
Sponsor Event
 
2014 MAR Convention & Expo
October 1-3, 2014
Amway Grand Plaza Hotel & DeVos Place
Grand Rapids
Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsor Event

To receive updates on future MAR events, text "mar events" to 25827 to subscribe.*
*Message & data rates may apply.

For more Upcoming Statewide Events, visit the MAR Calendar
 
Follow MAR Events on Facebook

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Waymark

MARST

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App of The Week: Cartavi

(Android, IOS)

Cartavi is a simple and secure way for real estate professionals to manage and share documents while on the go. From listing agreements to tax assessments, inspection reports to offer letters, Cartavi gives you one easy-to-use, cloud-based solution to view, manage and share documents from wherever you are.

Get App

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Real Estate Radio Today: Elisabeth Leamy, Author

You’ve seen Elisabeth Leamy on Good Morning, America, World News and Nightline on ABC and now the DOCTOR OZ show… and she’s also the author of several books about personal finance.

Listen Now

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Michigan Association of REALTORS
http://www.mirealtors.com/
720 N. Washington Ave
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