2023 REALTORS Legislative Meetings Update
At its May 11, 2023, meeting in Washington, D.C., the National Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors took the following actions:
Fair Housing and D.E.I.
- Approved two Diversity Committee recommendations that will make it a requirement for future Board of Directors members to complete the At Home with Diversity, Bias Override: Overcoming Barriers to Fair Housing, and Fairhaven training. 2024 directors must complete the courses as a performance expectation by May 1, 2024. Beginning with the 2025 Board of Directors, completion of the three training programs will be a qualification requirement.
- New-applicants for membership will be required to complete two hours of fair housing training and existing members will be required to complete two hours every three years as a condition of membership. At Home with Diversity and Bias Override satisfy the course requirements, and Fairhaven will be updated to meet the two-hour requirement and serve as a no-cost option.
Approved amendments to the Campaign and Election Rules Manual:
- Prohibiting Regional Vice Presidents from applying and campaigning for another term as Regional Vice President while still in office.
- Prohibiting the REALTORS® Relief Foundation vice president and state presidents from filing an application and campaigning for certain NAR elected offices, effective Jan. 1, 2024.
- Allowing endorsed REALTORS® and potential candidates to attend and speak at their home state association and region-sponsored events, regardless of location, provided that the intended audience for such meetings is limited to individuals from the home state or region.
Approved a recommendation to add a new financial wellness competency to the REALTORS® Commitment to Excellence program.
Approved a policy that NAR opposes the sale, exchange and use of trigger leads for marketing of a mortgage loan. Trigger leads are a marketing tool where competing lenders and mortgage brokers buy leads from the credit reporting agencies after a consumer has applied for a mortgage loan and a hard credit pull is executed. Consumers may receive dozens of calls, texts, and emails from competing lenders, some of which may be inaccurate or fraudulent. Consumers often don’t know how to opt out and may believe their current lender, mortgage broker, or real estate agent has sold their information. Trigger leads may violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act, consumer privacy laws, Federal Trade Commission Act Sec. 5: Unfair or Deceptive Acts and Practices and the National Do Not Call Registry.
Approved grants involving the following legal challenges:
- The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® will receive grants to support the filing of amicus briefs in two cases, one on appeal that would put an undue burden on property owners to learn of criminal acts that occurred at the property prior to ownership. The other is in connection with the association’s successful advocacy against the court’s adoption of a rule that could have adversely affected members. The court’s rule could have prevented real estate brokers from recovering damages in the event that a client breaches an exclusive broker agreement unless the contract explicitly states that the broker is entitled to a commission regardless of whether the broker was the procuring cause.
- The Hudson Valley Property Owners Association will receive a grant in a challenge to the imposition of rent control guidelines by the city of Kingston, N.Y., on select multifamily buildings.
Federal Financing and Housing
Approved a recommendation that NAR support policies, regulations and programs that enhance assumable mortgage products for federally insured loan programs (FHA, VA, USDA) and the government-sponsored enterprises.
Approved a policy that NAR encourage federal efforts and collaboration within the real estate industry to support programs that will expand the workforce in the construction industry to relieve labor and housing shortages.
Approved a recommendation to support tax policy that provides a reduced capital gains tax rate to existing owners (as of the date of enactment) of qualified one- to four-unit rental properties who sell to an owner-occupant. The incentive would have the effect of reducing prices, since investors wouldn’t have to charge as much to yield the same return, and increasing the inventory of available homes for first-time buyers.
During the meeting, the directors also approved the association’s 2024 operating, advocacy, and consumer ad campaign budgets, setting 2024 dues at $156; elected the 2024 NAR officers; and heard the announcement of the 2023 Distinguished Service Award winners, Greg Herb of Gilbertsville, Pa., and Mike McGrew of Lawrence, Kan. The Board of Directors meeting capped off the 2023 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings in Washington, D.C. Nearly 9,000 REALTORS® were in town to advocate on behalf of the real estate industry and property ownership.