DeWitt awarded GRI

db-C- Beverly DeWitt.jpg

db-C- Beverly DeWitt.jpg




Posted: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 11:36 am


DeWitt awarded GRI

Staff Report
news@harrisondaily.com

Harrison Daily Times – Harrison, Arkansas

|
0 comments

Graduate Realtor Institute

Subscription Required


An online service is needed to view this article in its entirety.


You need an online service to view this article in its entirety.

Have an online subscription?


Subscribe

Choose an online service.


    Subscribe

    Choose an online service.

      on

      Wednesday, May 17, 2017 11:36 am.

      National Association of Realtor’s REach Accelerator Program …

      VIENNA, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

      The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) announced on Thursday that Virginia-based Pearl Certification will be participating in the prestigious REach® technology accelerator program. The 2017 REach® selection process was particularly competitive, as Pearl was one of only seven firms to be chosen from hundreds of innovative companies that applied.

      Pearl offers a high-performing home certification that enables homeowners to recoup the value of investments in energy efficient features when they sell their home. The company also works with builders to certify new home construction.

      “The REach® program will provide a tremendous boost to Pearl, enhancing our ability to bring our home certification benefits to homeowners and helping us to engage real estate agents from across the U.S.,” said Pearl CEO and co-founder Cynthia Adams.

      2016 home sales were 5.5 million strong, with consumer demand for energy-efficient, high-performing homes continuing to grow. Pearl hopes to capture 20 percent of those transactions through certification of the homes’ high-performing features.

      Each year, the National Association of Realtors® strategic investment arm, Second Century Ventures (SCV), selects a small number of applicants to participate in its REach® program. REach® companies receive extensive mentorship and support as well as access to new channels to engage NAR’s million-plus members.

      “SCV is unique in its ability to leverage NAR’s industry connections and insights, which position REach® companies for ultimate success. This year’s class has tremendous potential to benefit Realtors® and the clients they serve, well into the future,” said Dale Stinton, president of SCV and NAR CEO.

      Local home sellers are already experiencing the benefits of Pearl certification. One Herndon, Virginia property received a Pearl Silver Certification and sold for $36,000 more than the listing price with six offers. “Having the home Pearl Certified made a big difference for this home,” said the listing agent Julie Hawkins of KellerWilliams Realty-Dulles. “Buyers saw the Pearl report and wanted to know more. It was also very helpful in making sure we got the appraisal we needed.”

      “I certify all of the high-performing homes I list – new and existing. Pearl verifies their high-performing features, provides great marketing materials and helps attract and educate buyers,” said Greg Slater, Nest Realty agent and former president of the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors.

      “The REach® program opens doors to the most influential and experienced real estate professionals in the U.S.,” said Robin LeBaron, co-founder and president/COO of Pearl. “REach® will help Pearl position itself as a leading national certification standard for high-performing homes.”

      View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170426005104/en/

      25 Million Americans Could Find Mortgage Tax Break Useless Under Trump’s Plan

      U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has taken pains to stress that the Trump administration isn’t out to kill Americans’ beloved mortgage-interest tax deduction — but a side effect of the plan could turn it into a perk for only the wealthy.

      President Donald Trump has proposed rewriting the tax code to raise the standard federal deduction to a level where about 25 million homeowners would no longer take advantage of the century-old break. A married couple would need a home-loan balance of about $608,000 — almost triple the mortgage on a median-priced U.S. home — before using it would make sense, according to a new analysis by property-data provider Trulia. That would be up from about $322,000 today.

      Without the incentives, along with a proposed end to local property-tax deductions, home sales may be hurt in cities where prices are rising quickly and buyers are stretching to afford their purchases, from Denver and Portland, Oregon, to Boston and Washington. Reduced demand would weigh on values, causing price declines nationwide, according to the National Association of Realtors, which opposes the change.

      The proposal “is a backdoor way of rendering the mortgage interest deduction close to worthless,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics Inc.

      Americans filing their taxes can either subtract a fixed amount from their incomes, called the standard deduction, or itemize write-offs, including mortgage interest as well as state and local taxes. The administration wants to raise the standard allowance — to $24,000 from $12,700 for a married couple filing jointly — and allow deductions for only home loans and charitable donations, greatly reducing the chances that itemizing would pay off for average taxpayers.

      ‘Apple Pie’

      A White House spokeswoman, Natalie Strom, said average families would be better off under the proposal. Low- and middle-income households would effectively get a tax cut, “putting more disposable income in their pockets for them to invest in a home, purchase a car, save for their children’s college — any other expense,” she said in an email.

      Trump’s plan, outlined last month in a one-page proposal with few details and no provisions for how it might be paid for, amounts to a wish list. House Republicans came up with their own plan last June, which includes several controversial measures that have gotten a cool reception from the Senate as well as the White House.

      Mnuchin called the mortgage break, which will cost the government an estimated $63.6 billion this year, “kind of like apple pie” and reiterated that Trump’s tax reforms wouldn’t touch it.

      “Owning a home is something that’s been part of the American dream, and we want to keep it that way,” he said on May 1 at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California.

      Fewer Itemizers

      While Trump may not technically change the deduction, he would probably eliminate its usefulness for all but the most wealthy homeowners, said Joseph Rosenberg, a senior research associate for the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

      The share of households that itemize would plunge to about 5 percent from about 30 percent now, according to a National Association of Realtors estimate. About 8 million families would itemize under Trump’s plan, a reduction of about 25 million.

      The administration is “selling it as a sort of simplification,” said Rosenberg, noting that Americans who switch to the standard write-off wouldn’t pay more in taxes. “In some respects, they are embracing the fact that there would be fewer people who itemize and take these deductions.”

      Taxpayers, however, would lose an incentive to take on mortgage debt, and buyers in expensive markets who are stretching to afford fast-rising home prices may start to re-evaluate how much they’re willing to spend. In Denver and Portland, Oregon, for example, potential buyers for about half the listings would no longer be able to justify itemizing because of mortgage interest alone, according to a Trulia analysis. The share is about double the national average of 22 percent in areas including Dallas, Seattle, Boston, Washington and Sacramento, California.

      The impact of the switch would be greatest for middle-income renters who are thinking about making the jump to homeownership, according to Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia’s chief economist.

      Price Declines

      Prices may fall 10 percent on average nationwide, taking into account the lack of deduction for state and local property taxes, according to a preliminary estimate prepared by a consultant for the National Association of Realtors. Zandi of Moody’s said the proposed deduction changes would reduce prices by about 4 percent nationally, including the property-tax impact, with bigger decreases in pricier parts of the country.

      If the government’s tax policy no longer favors homeownership, some renters may decide buying isn’t worth the hassle or expense. While buying a house for $517,000 is now cheaper than renting in all 100 markets measured by Trulia, that calculation would change under the Trump plan in 12 areas, including New York City; Portland, Oregon; and Madison, Wisconsin.

      Reducing incentives to buy could benefit large publicly traded landlords, including Equity Residential and Avalon Bay Communities Inc., and single-family rental companies such as Blackstone Group LP’s Invitation Homes Inc. and Colony Starwood Homes, whose co-chairman, Tom Barrack, was a key Trump supporter.

      Economists’ View

      Economists have long been critical of the mortgage-interest deduction because it disproportionately benefits people with more-expensive properties, including many who would have purchased even without the break. It also inflates home prices because buyers often overestimate their tax savings when they’re budgeting for a purchase, said Dennis Ventry, a professor at University of California, Davis, School of Law who has studied the program’s history.

      Trump’s plan might end up boosting homeownership rates over time because a drop in prices would improve affordability and the standard deduction would give buyers more money to spend on a house, Ventry said.

      The real estate industry is lining up against the proposal, including the powerful National Association of Realtors, which spent $10.2 million lobbying Congress in the first quarter, more than any other organization except the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. William E. Brown, the association’s president, said his group isn’t just fighting for its members.

      “If values fall, it’s not just going to impact people who just bought houses, but all current homeowners,” Brown said.

      Fighting Back

      Trump’s plan also targets tax deductions for state and local taxes paid — a provision that would especially hurt homeowners in states where property taxes are high. Coldwell Banker Realtor Kevin Cascone, who’s based in Westfield, New Jersey, took to Facebook on May 3 to persuade his followers to fight back by contacting their legislators: “NEW JERSEY HOMEOWNERS! This should concern you deeply,” Cascone wrote. “Regardless of your politics, the terms of this policy could SIGNIFICANTLY affect your wallets come tax season next year.”

      “One of the big reasons for homeownership is the ability to deduct property taxes,” Cascone said. “If that’s eliminated, what’s the difference between renting and buying?”

      Marc Shenkman, president of Priority Financial Network, a lender in Calabasas, California, said the vast majority of his customers itemize on their tax returns and would no longer take advantage of the mortgage-interest deduction if Trump’s proposal goes through.

      “I can’t tell you how many people say ‘I’ve got to buy that house because I have to get the deduction,’” said Shenkman, whose firm makes about $1 billion a year in home loans. “It’s really a psychological thing more than anything.”

      NAR Power Broker Roundtable: Reading Today’s Economic Climate

      The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Power Broker Roundtable this month discusses adapting business strategy to today’s economic climate.

      Moderator:
      Robert Bailey
      , Broker/Owner, Bailey Properties, Santa Cruz, Calif.; Liaison for Large Residential Firm Relations, NAR

      Panelists:
      Nelson Zide
      , Executive Vice President, ERA Key Realty Services, Framingham, Mass.
      Chris Kutzkey, Broker/Owner, John L. Scott Real Estate, Yreka, Calif.
      Linda Formella, Broker/Branch Manager, Michael Saunders Co., Holmes Beach, Fla.
      J.D. Rinehart, Broker/Owner, Rinehart Realty, Rock Hill, S.C.

      <!–/*
      * The backup image section of this tag has been generated for use on a
      * non-SSL page. If this tag is to be placed on an SSL page, change the
      * 'http://openx.rismedia.com/www/delivery/…'
      * to
      * 'https://openx.rismedia.com/www/delivery/…'
      *
      * This noscript section of this tag only shows image banners. There
      * is no width or height in these banners, so if you want these tags to
      * allocate space for the ad before it shows, you will need to add this
      * information to the tag.
      *
      * If you do not want to deal with the intricities of the noscript
      * section, delete the tag (from … to ). On
      * average, the noscript tag is called from less than 1% of internet
      * users.
      */–>

      Robert Bailey: According to a recent survey by “Business Roundtable,” rising optimism about the nation’s economy is putting smiles on the faces of conservative corporate leaders in a wide variety of businesses. What does it signify for the real estate market, where, for the most part, we have been dealing with low inventory, tough access to credit, and a generation of hesitant and demanding first-time buyers? We thought this might be a good time to survey some of our own industry leaders to get their take on the state of the market—and find out whether their business strategies are changing in response. Nelson, what’s it look like in the great Northeast?

      Nelson Zide: Well, you put your finger on the crux of it, Robert, especially in terms of low inventory. Changing economics aside, our focus is still on listings. We want our agents out there showing people that they can afford to move—that they have more equity than they think they do in their present homes—and that the longer they wait, the more it will cost as prices and interest rates tick up.

      Chris Kutzkey: What’s decided in D.C. has a definite impact, and there are a lot of Congressional unknowns at the moment that could affect rates and loans. For the most part, though, our strategy is not yet changing. We have a rather indecisive market in our mostly rural area, and it’s vital that we train our agents to know the differences between far-flung communities and go after the elusive listings we know are out there. Today’s buyers and sellers think they know everything because so much information is available to them online, so it’s more necessary than ever to know your market, to get out there and knock on doors, and to be immediately responsive when calls come in.

      J.D. Rinehart: There’s no question interest rates will go up, but life events still keep people moving—and the simple fact is that in 90 percent of the United States, it’s cheaper to buy than to rent. We want our agents spending 99 percent of their time reaching out to their sphere of influence. In a sense, the new “knocking on doors” is social media, but great marketing, no matter how you do it, is more important than ever.

      Linda Formella: On the West Coast of Florida, I’m pleased to say, we’re looking at an uptick in available properties, but with summer coming, our busiest season is over and sellers are a bit more anxious. We are making certain our agents do careful price analyses to be sure the pricing is right. As for loans, we are not really a first-time buyer-friendly area. Our appeal is to retirees and second or vacation homebuyers, so loans are generally not a problem. Also, we put a lot of time and effort into targeted marketing, so as long as rates don’t rise dramatically, we see no reason to change strategy.

      RB: What about underwriting?

      CK: It’s calmed down a little, I’m glad to report, and as Nelson mentioned, many owners now have more equity than they realize. We’re pushing our agents to get out in the community, talk to people, educate both buyers and sellers.

      JDR: That equity means a lot of people can afford more “move-up house” than they thought—and part of the process of educating consumers is helping buyers understand how to set themselves up for the loan process.

      LF: The real estate market is always cycling, but overall, lenders are more approachable than they were even a year ago. So long as rates rise slowly and the home interest deduction is preserved, I think we’re looking at a very encouraging real estate climate.

      RB: As you know, both of those are issues at the very top of NAR’s Congressional watch list. It’s good to know they’ve got our backs in protecting American homeowners.

      NZ: The good news is, millennials these days are out there looking in greater numbers. They’re picky, and they know what they want, but we’re seeing as many as 40 or 50 people at some of our open houses and we’re fielding multiple offers. In most cases, these first-time buyers do have the resources, and they’re coming in fully preapproved—so again, the emphasis for us is getting sellers off the fence and finding more inventory for people to choose from.

      For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.

      For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

      Cumberland, Maryland is 2nd-cheapest housing market in U.S.

      WASHINGTON — D.C. is one of the most expensive housing markets in the country, but just a two-hour drive away is one of the least expensive.

      Related Gallery




      Most expensive DC-area homes sold in April 2017

      The suburbs outpaced the city for last month’s share of the most-expensive sales, with five of the top 10 in McLean, one in Bethesda and four in the District.


      The National Association of Realtors says the median price of a home that sold in Cumberland, Maryland, in the first quarter was just $81,800, making Cumberland the second-most affordable market for homebuyers in the nation, ahead of only Youngstown, Ohio, with a first quarter median price of $79,200.

      Cumberland also saw one of the largest year-over-year gains in median selling prices in the first quarter, up 21.4 percent from the first quarter of 2016.

      In addition to Youngstown and Cumberland, the rest of the five least-expensive housing markets in the country in the first quarter were Decatur, Illinois, Elmira, New York, and Binghamton, New York.

      San Jose, California, has now eclipsed San Francisco as the most expensive housing market in the nation, with a median price in the first quarter of nearly $1.1 million, up 10.3 percent from a year ago.

      The rest of the five most expensive housing markets in the first quarter were San Francisco, Anaheim-Santa Ana, California; Honolulu and San Diego.

      The median price of what sold in the D.C. metro in the first quarter was $383,500, according to the National Association of Realtors, up 4.1 percent from the first quarter of 2016.

      Nationwide, first quarter median prices were up an average 6.9 percent from the same quarter last year, driven higher by what it calls the strongest quarterly sales pace in a decade.




      Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

      © 2017 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.

      US home resales hit 10-year high in Q1

      Home resale numbers and prices across the country jumped in the first three months of the year, according to the National Association of Realtors.

      Sales of existing homes jumped 1.4 percent from the previous quarter to hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.6 million, the highest rate since the first quarter of 2007, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing NAR figures.

      The national median home price hit $232,100, a 7 percent jump from the same period last year and the biggest increase in two years, according to the newspaper. Out of the 178 markets covered in the NAR survey, 85 percent saw increases in single-family homes. Thirty metropolitan areas saw double-digit annual price gains in the first quarter.

      With prices and interest rates rising, affordability will continue to be a problem, economists said. The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage rate has risen to just over 4 percent from around 3.5 percent in November, according to the newspaper.

      “There will be some choke point where people can no longer afford to buy,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, told the Journal.  [WSJ]Miriam Hall

      Realtors head to Washington in support of homeownership

      People generally know of Realtors as the local real estate professionals who put their expertise to work helping clients buy and sell homes.

      But the core of what Realtors do is serve their communities, helping people achieve the dream of homeownership and supporting the institutions that make the Greater Fort Worth area a great place to live.

      That mission is front and center this week as dozens of Realtors from our community head to Washington, D.C. for the National Association of Realtors’ Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo.

      Members of the Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors will use the week to sharpen their skills and stay current on the legislative and regulatory issues facing their clients. But most importantly, they will meet with members of Congress and leaders inside the administration to show their support for the policies that make homeownership possible for millions of Americans.

      Whether it’s reminding legislators to make flood insurance a priority or defending important tax policies like the mortgage interest deduction, Realtors are protecting the interests of homeowners everywhere.

      That includes Realtors right here in our community. Homeownership matters, and Realtors are doing their part to keep the dream alive.

      The Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors is one of more than 1,200 local boards and associations of the Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. As the nation’s largest trade association, NAR is “The Voice for Real Estate,” representing over one million members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry. The Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors serves approximately 3,200 members by providing MLS services, education, governmental affairs, etc. For more information, visit www.gfwar.org.

      Realtor PACs top contributors in alderman races

      The National Association of Realtors Fund, of Michigan Avenue in Chicago, reported spending $14,349.33 during the most recent campaign finance reporting period (April 1 through May 6). The entire amount was spent in support of Darrell Duncan’s re-election bid for one of three four-year alderman seats on the May 16 ballot, according to the PAC’s report on file with the election commission. That report lists $13,572.99 spent by the PAC for direct mail and phone calls in support of Duncan’s candidacy, and another $776.34 spent by the PAC for consulting and polling in support of Duncan’s candidacy.

      Duncan’s campaign itself has reported spending $4,413.95 since the first of the year. Combined with the PAC’s $14,349.33 spent in support of his candidacy, that would bring the total spent on the Duncan campaign to $18,763.28.

      Duncan told the Times-News on Tuesday he’d just learned about the national PAC’s spending the more than $14,000 on his campaign — and he had not even seen the glossy mailer sent to potential voters.

      “It was unexpected,” Duncan said of the PAC’s action. “I’m very surprised by it. I did get money from TAR (Tennessee Association of Realtors PAC), which I was very grateful for.”

      ‘);
      }else{
      document.write(”);
      }

      Duncan’s campaign finance disclosure lists a contribution of $3,000 from that state PAC.

      Jewell A. McKinney, a broker with Town and Country Realty who has served on local, state and national association of Realtors committees, contacted the Times-News later Tuesday to offer an explanation of how such campaign contributions come about.

      McKinney said candidates never know that anyone has requested funds on their behalf, they are never notified, candidates never receive NAR funds directly, but candidates can receive funds from the state in which they are serving.

      McKinney said the National Association of Realtors Fund PAC decides how it will spend the money (print advertising, flyers, mailers, radio, television, etc.) and anyone can request funds for a candidate who is supportive of Realtor issues and local government. McKinney said the national PAC monitors candidates they have supported in the past to help decide on whether to support the candidate in the future.

      Kingsport’s election — which includes a majority of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen as well as seats on the Board of Education — is May 16. Bristol, Tennessee, and Bluff City also have municipal elections that day.

      Early voting for the city’s election ended Thursday. During the entire early voting period, 2,093 city voters cast early ballots, according to figures released at end of business Thursday by Sullivan County Administrator of Elections Jason Booher.

      On Monday, Booher said turnout among Kingsport voters is on track to match that of 2013, the last similar election in which there was no contest for mayor. Mayor John Clark is unopposed for a second term. Booher said someone has been posting campaign signs seeking write-in votes, but no one qualified to run as a write-in candidate. That means write-in votes won’t be counted.

      There are 29,359 registered city voters in Kingsport, Booher said.

      Booher projected total turnout will reach between 13 percent and 14 percent of eligible voters.

      On the whole, the ballot in Kingsport will include mayor for a two-year term, three aldermen for four-year terms, one alderman for a two-year term to fill the remainder of the term of Michele Mitchell, who resigned, and two members of the Board of Education.

      According to public records posted online by the Sullivan County Election Commission (www.scelect.org):

      • Clark’s campaign has reported receiving no contributions and spending on money.

      • Eight people filed to run for the three alderman seats on the Kingsport ballot: Jennifer Adler, Betsy Moore Cooper, F.D. “Rack” Cross II, Alderman Darrell Duncan, Robert Ellis, Alderman Colette George, Mark Vicars Jr. and Robert H. Williams. The three seats currently are held by Duncan, George and Tom Parham.

      • Two people filed to run for the two-year term to fill the vacancy created by Mitchell’s departure: Joe Begley and Parham. The seat currently is held by Tom Segelhorst, who was appointed to the post by the BMA pending the May election.

      • Adler’s campaign has reported $8,975.56 in contributions (including a $150 loan from the candidate) and $7,088.68 in spending.

      • Begley’s campaign has reported $4,125 in contributions (including $950 from the Tennessee Realtors Action Committee NETAR, and $500 from the Tennessee Realtors PAC) and $1,861.01 in spending (including $720 for food from a Johnson City restaurant for a meet and greet).

      • Cooper’s campaign has reported $7,366 in contributions (including a $3,500 loan from the candidate, and $1,000 from the Tennessee Realtors PAC) and $5,351.77 in spending.

      • Cross’ campaign has reported 4,775 in contributions (including $4,000 in loans from the candidate), $1,500 in in-kind contributions, and $3,757.15 in spending.

      • Duncan’s campaign has reported $10,700.29 in contributions (including a $7,000 loan from the candidate, and the aforementioned $3,000 from the Tennessee Realtors PAC) and the $4,413.95 in spending.

      • The Chicago-based National Association of Realtors Fund PAC has reported spending $14,349.33 in support of Duncan’s candidacy.

      • Ellis’ campaign has reported receiving no contributions and spending no money.

      • George’s campaign has reported $4,780 in contributions (including $3,000 from the Tennessee Realtors PAC) and $1,851.39 in spending.

      • Parham’s campaign has reported $4,155 in contributions and $785 in spending.

      • Williams’ campaign has reported receiving no contributions and spending no money.

      • Vicars’ campaign has reported $2,720 in contributions (including a $1,100 loan from the candidate) and $2,382.78 in spending.

      • Eric Hyche and Carrie C. Upshaw are each seeking re-election to the two Kingsport Board of Education seats on the ballot. Like Clark, they face no opposition.

      Staff Writer Matthew Lane contributed to this report.

       

      Illini Valley REALTORS hand out awards

      What is Marketplace?

      Our “Find-A-Local” marketplace directory features business, restaurant and healthcare listings from Ottawa, Streator and the surrounding areas. If you would like to list yours, just click here to request it. It’s free!

      Your business can be featured!

      If you’d like, we offer the bells-and-whistles for one low monthly fee. Please contact The Times for more information!

      6 Reasons I’m Attending NAR’s Midyear Legislative Meetings

      Editor’s note: Tracy Freeman is YPN Chair for the North Central Jersey Association of Realtors. 

      The National Association of Realtors (NAR) Midyear Legislative Meetings take place in Washington, D.C., next week.

      I will be there and so should every Realtor in the United States. Midyear is unique because it takes place in our nation’s capital and highlights the impact that the real estate industry has on the financial health of our country.

      As we all know, residential real estate provides housing for families.

      It’s often the greatest source of wealth and savings for many of us. For this reason, the real estate industry, from the national to the local level, plays an integral role in the U.S. economy.

      1. The National Association of Realtors is not only the largest real estate lobbying force on Capitol Hill, but one of the largest lobbying groups period.

      Why should this matter to you?

      Because this very large and vocal group is fighting on your behalf to ensure that issues like real estate tax deductions remain intact.

      2. NAR is a trade association of more than 1 million members and functions in part as a regulator of the brokerage industry, setting the rules — for example — for how brokers use multiple listing services.

      Why should this matter to you?

      Before the creation of NAR, real estate was a highly unregulated industry with customers being taken advantage of by unethical sales agents. Now all Realtors must abide by our Code of Ethics.

      If they are found to be in violation of these ethics, their licenses will be suspended or revoked.

      3. According to an analysis from the Center for Responsive Politics, NAR spent more than $64 million in 2016 on lobbying activities on behalf of our clients and our industry’s interests. This is the second highest amount spent by any group in any industry.

      Why should this matter to you?

      When local issues arise — like proposed changes to requirements for construction permits or CCU documentation — we have one of the largest voices advocating on our behalf.

      4. Real estate plays a critical role in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of our country in two ways: through money spent on residential investment and on housing services.

      Construction, including that of manufactured housing, remodeling and the fees charged by real estate brokers, are all components of residential investment.

      Money spent on rent and utilities are what make up the portion known as housing services. In 2016, real estate contributed $1.2 trillion to the country’s economic output, which is 6 percent of the US GDP.

      Why should this matter to you?

      Homeownership is the American dream. Homeownership and real estate impact every aspect of our national economy.

      5. NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun will be speaking at Midyear and will provide Realtors with the latest information on economic activity, employment and monetary policy, with an eye on the outlook for the remainder of 2017.

      Why should this matter to you?

      I plan to be there, front and center, so that I am educated and up to date on what is next on the horizon for our local market. At the conference, you’ll learn about the latest statistics, laws and policies impacting us today.

      6. As part of their week in D.C., Realtors are given the opportunity to meet with their state senators and representatives on Capitol Hill.

      This year we will be discussing tax reform, national flood insurance and protecting sustainable housing.

      Why should this matter to you?

      These are all key issues for New Jersey homeowners, and I plan to take full advantage of this unfettered access to our local representatives to make sure that issues affecting our local market are addressed.

      I fully realize that each real estate transaction is a very personal and emotional process for each of my clients, and these big picture issues may not seem relevant to a client’s homebuying or selling process.

      However, as a professional Realtor, I understand that the larger issues of our industry have an impact on our local market.

      Taking the time to attend this conference in person is a no-brainer to me; I want to have this knowledge so that I can be the best, most educated representative for my clients.

      Tracy Freeman is the Young Professionals Network Chair for North Central Jersey Association of Realtors and a broker/sales associate with Coldwell Banker in Maplewood, New Jersey.

      Email Tracy Freeman.