PAR president reviews recent actions

By Todd Umbenhauer, CRB, CRS, GRI | Oct. 19, 2018 | 3 min. read

As we begin the last quarter of the year, I wanted to reflect on all that has happened in the last several months.

I’m writing this column in the final days of the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s 2017-18 session and it appears that the First-Time Homebuyers Savings Account won’t reach a final vote this session. PAR members sent more than 2,600 messages to their legislators, urging them to push for a vote on Senate Bill 1066 (Mensch, R-Montgomery/Fontana, D-Allegheny) and House Bill 1981 (Bizzarro, D-Erie/Brown, R-Monroe). SB 1066 moved out of the Senate at the end of September, while HB 1981 cleared the House in the final days of session.

Your PAR leadership, fellow members and staff have worked hard to get the message out to legislators to explain how needed the First-Time Homebuyers Savings Account program is in the commonwealth. New homebuyers face a number of obstacles when purchasing a home and this plan would offer them an incentive to save money toward the down payment on a home.

PAR’s Legislative Committee has been discussing draft legislation to regulate teams. Last month, I presented the association’s proposal to the State Real Estate Commission. This legislation would provide much needed guidance on defining a real estate team and outlining who’s ultimately responsible. You can see an outline of these proposed changes to RELRA online.

PAR is also reviewing the legal services offered to members. This continues to be one of the most valuable and frequently used member benefits and we’re looking into ways that we may be able to expand those options.

Throughout this year, I’ve often talked about PAR’s Welcome Home survey. I hope many of you have found the results helpful in adapting your client presentations to address the concerns new homebuyers have expressed in the survey. In the third quarter results, a surprising number of Pennsylvania homebuyers – 30 percent – said selling their previous homes and paper work requirements are the most stressful part of the homebuying process. That’s an increase of 300 percent in just one year! You can learn more about what the experiences new homebuyers had during the transaction process by reading the entire report on WelcomeHomePA.org.

I look forward to serving the association and our members through the fourth quarter of the year.

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