Law & Policy Archive

Under All Is the Land, But What If It’s Under Water?

If REALTORS® have struggled with the concept of environmentalism, it’s not because they don’t love the environment. Quite the contrary. I spoke to NAR President Steve Brown about it back in September 2013, as he was preparing to begin...
August 6, 2014

3 Surprising Revelations at the REALTOR® Party Convention

I’m a bit floored. There are all kinds of obscure laws — or would-be laws — pertaining to real estate that can throw practitioners for a loop. But three points of discussion came up during Wednesday’s sessions at the...
May 14, 2014

Lawsuits Challenge Independent Contractor Status

Real estate sales associates operating as independent contractors would seem to be a settled area of law, but three lawsuits were filed last year in which associates claimed they were employees and wanted to be compensated as such. They...
March 27, 2014

Marijuana is Starting to Intersect with Real Estate

You don’t think of the changing status of marijuana in many states as having a real estate impact but it does. In the states where medical marijuana is decriminalized (and in Washington and Colorado, where it’s decriminalized even for...
January 6, 2014

Busting a Health Care Reform Myth: Penalties Can’t Be Recouped With a Lien on Your House

A false Facebook post is making the rounds claiming that if you don’t pay the penalty for not buying health insurance, the IRS can file a lien against your home. The health care reform law requires individuals who don’t...
October 23, 2013

NAR: Enough is Enough with Patent Trolls

Patent trolls have been a growing problem for all types of businesses, and real estate companies haven’t been spared. Recently, a patent troll sent thousands of letters through several affiliated legal entities to brokerages and other companies threatening lawsuits...
July 17, 2013

MLSs See Gains in Efforts to Protect Data

Recent court cases are giving REALTORS® reason to be optimistic in their efforts to curb the unauthorized use of their MLS data. Two weeks ago the Key West Association of REALTORS® scored a major victory when a U.S. district...
June 19, 2013

Beware of Patent Troll

By Katie Johnson You’ve got options if a licensing agent demands a fee for scanning and e-mailing document. [JULY 1, 2013, UPDATE: The patent owner described in this article, MPHJ, is taking a break from its patent licensing campaign....
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June 4, 2013

MLS Exec: Pocket Listings Undermine Industry

At the Joint Meeting of the Multiple Listing Service Forum and Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee Thursday, all things MLS were on the table. In fact, even items that weren’t on the MLS were up for discussion–specifically, so-called...
May 16, 2013

Donovan: Making Housing Fairer for All

HUD Secretary Donovan HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan made an appearance at the National Association of REALTORS® Midyear Legislative Meetings on Wednesday to laud the work of his agency in promoting housing policies and programs that acknowledge the equal rights...
May 15, 2013