ARIZONA REALTOR® (AAR) OFFICER ELECTION NOTICE

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The Five Ws of RAPAC

“RAPAC” may be a term you’re already familiar with and understand its value to our industry. It may be a term you’ve heard mentioned at various REALTOR®-related events, but aren’t too familiar with. Or, it may be that the word RAPAC incites complete and utter bewilderment for you. If you fall into the latter category, read on. This is the: who, what, where, when and why of RAPAC.

Let’s first begin with a brief introduction. RAPAC stands for the REALTORS® of Arizona Political Action Committee. Today, virtually every special interest group in America has a PAC, and the REALTORS® of Arizona are no different. RAPAC is a nonprofit, unincorporated group that allows REALTOR® members to collectively and effectively participate in political affairs. RAPAC is not affiliated with a political party and is non-partisan in its support of candidates. Simply put, RAPAC is the best way to protect your business. Now let’s dive in.

Who supports RAPAC?

RAPAC is made up of voluntary investments from REALTOR® members all across the state.

What does investing in RAPAC do for me?

Your investment in RAPAC safeguards your business and our industry as a whole. Arizona real estate faces many issues that need support from pro-business/pro-real estate lawmakers. These issues range from HOA reform, water rights, property taxes and preserving the rights of property owners to name a few. Here are some recent legislative wins that could not have happened without AAR members’ investment in RAPAC.

Where does my investment in RAPAC go?

Your investment in RAPAC goes towards educating Arizona lawmakers on the issues that keep you up at night. Through your RAPAC dollars, AAR can support pro-real estate lawmakers and guarantee that no decision is made that will affect our industry, good or bad, until our voice is heard.

Investments can be made to your local association, directly to the Arizona Association of REALTORS®, and to the National Association of REALTORS®. The only acceptable way to contribute to RAPAC is by money drawn from personal funds.

When should I invest?

RAPAC investments are accepted at any time throughout the year. We do understand that for some contributing money to any sort of cause may not always be in your budget. One time to consider contributing is right after you’ve had a successful close. Or have one less Starbucks a week and at the end of the month you’ll have enough money set aside to contribute. Even a minimum donation of $30 per member, per year can do so much. When all things are considered, $30 is a small investment for such a large return – protecting your business!

Most importantly, why should you invest in RAPAC?

The Arizona Association of REALTORS® and RAPAC want to help you make more money, keep more of what you make, reduce your liability and protect you from any undue burdens that will affect your business. Investing in RAPAC means protecting your professional rights.

In order to affect legislation, we must be proactive and support the best. With your minimum contribution of $30, we can raise thousands of dollars to be stronger than ever!

https://www.realtor.org/rpaconln.nsf/StartRPACContrib?OpenForm&Login

Contributions to RAPAC are voluntary and are used for political purposes. You may refuse to contribute without reprisal or otherwise affecting your membership rights. Seventy percent of each contribution will be sent to Arizona PAC for state and local activities. Contributions to National RPAC are charged against your limits under 2 U.S.C 441a. Contributions are not deductible for Federal income tax purposes.

Seller Bears Risk of Loss During Escrow

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Member Discount – Taxbot Software

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The Dodd-Frank Act Does Not Prohibit A Balloon Payment In A One-Time Seller Financing Transaction

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Brokerage Should Have No Liability For Agent’s FSBO

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Show Us Your Smile

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SureClose Broker FAQ

 Updated 10/20/2014

Q:           As a SureClose® broker, how are my costs and technical support going to change in 2015?

A:            Beginning January 1, 2015, you will be billed by SureClose® $4 per file created.  That is a one-time charge (per file) that provides access to the file for seven years.  SureClose® will provide all ongoing support and training.

Q:           Is there anything special about the new pricing offered by AAR?

A:            Yes.  Depending on volume, typical SureClose® brokers outside Arizona are paying $10 or more per transaction file; AAR has negotiated a special price of $4 per file for Arizona member brokers who wish to continue using SureClose.

Q:           What can I expect for training and support?

A:            Beginning in January 2015, SureClose® will provide support through its toll-free phone line (888.526.3282) or via email at support@sureclose.com.  Training refreshers will be available through SureClose® webinars.

Q:           I’ve heard that SureClose® is going out of business; is that correct?

A:            SureClose® is part of Stewart Information Services Corp, a large, publically-traded company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE-STC).  In August 2013, we were informed by SureClose® executives that the parent company had decided to refocus SureClose® operations on their title insurance and is no longer signing up brokerages for SureClose®.  We were informed that brokers (and associations like AAR) under existing contracts would continue with uninterrupted service.

Our contract with SureClose® anticipates continuing operations through 2016 with automatically-renewing one-year agreements after that.  Our agreement with SureClose® requires the company to provide users with a one-year notice if they decide to discontinue offering services to brokers.  In any event, our contract provides for maintaining access to existing SureClose® files for seven years from date of creation.

Q:           How do these changes in SureClose® affect other AAR benefits like zipForm® and eSign?

A:            AAR plans to continue both zipForm® and eSign and these benefits will not be affected by the SureClose® changes.

Q:           Who do I call if I have problems with SureClose®?

A:            SureClose® will provide direct support through its toll-free phone line (888.526.3282) or via email at support@sureclose.com.

Q:           What will happen next?

A:            You are under no obligation to continue using SureClose®.  If you decide to go back to keeping paper records for a while, simply stop creating new files in SureClose®—you won’t get billed for anything if you don’t create files.  You may resume creating files at any time and be billed at the negotiated rate.

Q:           How can I compare SureClose® with other systems now available?

A:            AAR Business Services has created a matrix to assist brokers in evaluating alternative transaction management systems.  The matrix is available on our Arizona REALTOR® web site at https://www.aaronline.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/TM-Matrix.pdf.

Q:           If I change to another transaction management (TM) system, how do I access my old files in SureClose®?

A:            All of the files you created in SureClose® will be accessible for seven years from the date created.  When you need a file from an old transaction, simply log into SureClose® and pull it up.  If you’ve been using SureClose® for a few years, we recommend you start archiving your closed SureClose® files onto mass storage media like an external hard drive.  That way, even after seven years, you can look up old files.

Q:           If I change to another transaction management (TM) system, how do I move my old files out of SureClose® and into the new system?

A:            There is no utility or simple method to move SureClose® files to another system.  We recommend that you begin by using SureClose® tools to copy all closed transaction files from SureClose® onto a storage device (a large hard drive is the best and cheapest option).  If you’re not sure how to do this, AAR Business Services can show you how.  Be sure to store the hard drive in a secure place.  Remember, all files created in SureClose® will remain accessible for seven years from the date created.

For files stored in SureClose® that are currently in process, we recommend you create new files in your new system and  manually move document out of SureClose® into the new system.  Since TM systems are quite different internally, there is no utility for converting one system to another.  Although we can’t do it for you, AAR Business Services can help you work through the process and advise you on moving files.

Q:           Should I stay with SureClose® or look elsewhere?

A:            We encourage our brokers to look at all their options.  SureClose® file fees are currently low compared to other systems.  However, we expect to see increased competition for TM systems in Arizona.  For updated information on TM systems we have looked at, please see the Transaction Management Comparison Matrix at https://www.aaronline.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/TM-Matrix.pdf.

Q:           Can you provide me with some examples of “billable” files?

A:            Yes.  “Billable” SureClose® files will continue to be counted as they have in the past.  Basically, a new listing or closing files are counted as billable, unless they are deleted before the end of the calendar month. (Note: files created and deleted in the same month are not counted.)  Also, if a listing file is converted to a closing file, no charge is made for the listing file.  Here are some specific examples:

A listing file is created, but the sale is canceled three times; does that count as one file or three?

We teach listing brokers to “convert” the listing files to closing files.  Then it counts as one billable listing file—the listing file can be converted any number of times.  If a listing broker prefers to set up separate closing files for the same address, a new file is billed for each closing file.  This is uncommon, but it happens.

If a broker creates a closing file and the buyer’s deal is cancelled, is it a file?

Yes.  From the buyer’s broker side, that would be one billable file.  The listing broker would not have a billable file.

If there are 15 rejected contracts on a listing, is it one file or 15?

For 15 rejected offers on a listing, there would be one billable listing file.  Please note, there is a difference between a rejected offer and a cancelled offer.  Any rejected contracts would go into a catch-all rejection file on the buyer-broker’s side.

If a listing expires and is relisted two months later, should a new file be created?

Probably yes.  If ADRE expects there to be a separate file, then the listing broker would need to create a second billable file.  If not, the broker could choose to use the “old” file and add to it.  Note that files are kept by SureClose® for seven years from the date of creation.  If enough time has lapsed, the broker ought to create a new file anyway.

If the listing agent switches companies and both are on SureClose®, how would the file be handled?

Assuming the original broker created a listing file; they would be billed for it.  If that original broker allows the agent to take the business with them, the new broker would create a new billable listing file.

If you have other questions, please don’t hesitate to call AAR Business Services. We are available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday at (480) 304-8930 or (866) 833-7357.

Broker Letter Regarding SureClose

In 2008, AAR began offering transaction management (TM) through SureClose®. At the time, few choices existed in the marketplace and it was expected that SureClose® would become a statewide platform. Since 2008, numerous other TM systems have been developed. Some existing SureClose® brokers have even moved to other systems and, as a result, monthly SureClose® file counts have been in decline since 2011. AAR has also been informed that the parent company of SureClose® has discontinued selling SureClose® to brokerage firms outside of its existing contracts to focus future SureClose® support and development on title and escrow business.

After a great deal of discussion and consideration, AAR is now phasing out the SureClose® product as a member benefit. Beginning January 1, 2014, AAR will continue to financially subsidize the majority of the TM cost; however SureClose® will charge and invoice SureClose® brokers a fee of $1 per transaction file created. Each file will be accessible for seven years, just as in the past.

AAR Business Services will continue to train and support our SureClose® brokers through 2014, when training and support will be assumed by SureClose®. AAR will continue to evaluate new and current TM systems and will assist brokers in selecting TM systems.

On January 1, 2015, AAR will discontinue financial and technical SureClose® support and has negotiated a $4 per transaction fee through 2016. Automatically-renewing, one-year agreements will continue under the same terms after 2016.

For more information, please see our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) list below. Updates to this FAQ list will be posted here .

Arizona Real Estate Terms & Conditions

Shipping

Local Orders:

  • Most internet orders will be processed and confirmed the same day.
  • Orders placed each week before 9:00am Thursday will be shipped on Friday.
  • Orders placed after 9:00am Thursday will be shipped the following Friday.
  • Single orders are shipped via USPS. Volume and bulk orders will be shipped via UPS. A physical address is required for shipment. We cannot ship to P.O. boxes.
  • We verify all credit cards before shipping. In some cases, this may delay stated delivery dates.

Expected Delivery Dates:

  • All dates are estimates and may vary.
  • Standard Ground: 3-7 business days after order processing
  • UPS shipping: 2-5 business days after order processing

Returns, Exchanges, and Backorders

Returns and Exchanges:

  • The book(s) may be returned for exchange or refund within 30 days after shipping.
  • Items must be new, unused and in the original package.
  • Items must include original receipt, invoice or packing slip.
  • Please contact Christina Smalls at (602) 248-7787 if you have any questions about our return policies.
  • Defective items are subject to our inspection before a refund or exchange is approved.

Return/Exchange Authorization:

Before you return an item to us, please send an email to christinasmalls@aaronline.com stating your reason for the return/exchange. We will reimburse you for your shipping costs when the returned item is received.

Back Orders:

A notice will be posted on our website order page if the book is on backorder. Orders will be suspended until the books are received from the printer.

Order Status and Returns

To check on the status of an order or return, please contact Christina Smalls at christinasmalls@aaronline.com  or call 602-248-7787 x463 Monday – Friday 8:00am – 4:30pm.