Peg Ritenour, vice president of legal services/administration for the Ohio Association of REALTORS, explores one of the leading issues resulting in calls to the OAR Legal Hotline — disputes between brokerages over commissions. In this episode of Legal Matters, Peg offers an overview on the issue of procuring cause.
By Marilou Butcher Roth
Today I want to talk about the organization of your projects. First, however, lets make sure we are on the same page with what I consider a project — activity that will have a start and finish — not something ongoing such as finding new business. An example of a work project may be to create a new packet to use on your listing consultations, while a home project might be to organize all of your pictures.
First, make a list of all projects that come to mind — you can separate home and business now if you want to or just wait until the list is done. Or, you may choose to keep them together. Once you feel your list is complete (which it probably isn’t), identify how you want to track these items. There are countless ways, depending on what works for you. Personally, I have experimented with many methods, currently using a book I found at Staples with a page for each project. It is definitely important that you track these but how you do it is up to you.
Now you separate each project, giving ample space to create small steps for each one. Yes, I do mean that small. Let’s go back to the example of the packet for your listing consultation. Steps involved might be to (1) look at what you are currently using and decide if any of the pieces need to be deleted from the bunch or updated, and which ones you want to keep, (2) see what your company has available that isn’t part of your current packet, (3) look on your local, state and national association websites to see if there are relevant articles you might like to include…etc. So, each project will have a breakdown of action steps ready to take, not necessarily on the same day.
Next, create some structure with your project work by slotting it into a day (or two) of the week. It doesn’t need to have a specific time, just a day. So, let’s say you have decided that Thursdays will work best for project work. Next Thursday rolls around and you are overwhelmed by paperwork and have convinced yourself that you do not have time for your project actions. I totally get that, and, that is exactly why I wanted you to break these steps down as small as you can. You may only have about 5-10 minutes that you feel you can devote to this — that’s OK! Look at your list and decide what you can do in that period of time — and do it!
What is most important here is the consistency, not the quantity. Creating this consistency will lead to accomplishment and then results! You can always change the day you have this plugged in, what is important is that you keep with it, even if you are only tackling small steps each week.
Another part of this is to make sure when you have one of your brilliant ideas of something to do that you get that idea out of your head and onto the project list. The tendency is to have the thought, and then another, and another. Before you know it, your head is filled with mental clutter which works against us, so write it down!
This is an easy and fun way to make sure you get those tasks done that sometimes get moved to the bottom of the pile under the pretense of “not enough time.” As always…enjoy!
Marilou Butcher Roth is the owner of The MBR Group, a coaching and training company working primarily with REALTORS who have a desire to work and live from a more inspired place. She is also the Broker/Owner of Group REALTORS in Cincinnati. Marilou is a member of the OAR Executive Committee and immediate past chairman of the organization’s Communications Committee. Feel free to contact Marilou to see if coaching is right for you: Marilou@mbr-group.com
By Carl Horst, OAR Director of Publications/Media Relations
A REALTOR-backed legislative initiative, establishing common-sense reforms to streamline the process for obtaining a mortgage and provide lenders with greater clarity about priority of liens, unanimously passed the Ohio House last week. The legislation moves to the Senate, where final passage is expected prior to the General Assembly’s summer recession.
In addition to the Ohio Association of REALTORS, HB 201 is supported by the Ohio State Bar Association and the Ohio Land Title Association. In a joint letter to lawmakers, the groups noted:
The bill outlines and clarifies mortgage subrogration in Ohio and updates the fees to be charged when paid off mortgages are not timely released by lenders. The bill is the product of the OSBA Real Property Section and addresses long standing concerns of real property lawyers, title agents and REALTORS in Ohio. Many people are harmed when paid off mortgages are not properly and timely released.
Throughout the seven-month hearing process, proponents addressed the rationale for legislation sponsored by Rep. Jim Butler (R-Oakwood). The key point stressed was that consumers who sell or refinance their property might discover that a previous mortgage has been paid, but the payoffs are not filed with the county recorder. Obtaining a release is often a protracted and expensive endeavor.
The bill’s provisions will apply to equity lines and second mortgages, but not land contracts. The Bar has estimated that one in five titles are defective due to the unreleased mortgages.
Rep. Butler applauded passage:
“Ensuring that lenders, mortgagees, mortgagors, title agencies, attorneys, and everyone involved with transactions involving real property understand how the processes are supposed to work, and that there are potential penalties if the processes are not followed correctly is critically important. Increasing efficiency and expediting real estate transactions will have a positive economic impact in communities throughout Ohio.”
Specifically, HB 201:
- Codifies Ohio’s common law approach to determining the priority of liens between lenders. This gives lenders predictability and assurances as to how Ohio’s real property priority system works, which will facilitate more lending and reduce unnecessary litigation.
- Promotes secured lending by increasing the penalty for failure of timely recording of a mortgage. Tardy recording means that future real estate transactions may be delayed as information contained in the chain of title to property throughout Ohio is not consistently accurate.
- Requires a mortgage to record a release of a mortgage evidencing its satisfaction within 90 days from the date of its satisfaction, regardless of whether it is a residential or commercial mortgage.
- Expands to a current owner of real property to which a mortgage pertains the provision permitting a mortgagor to bring a cause of action for damages of $250 for a mortgagee’s failure to record a satisfied mortgage.
- Requires a current owner of property to provide a notice to a mortgagee if the mortgagee fails to record a satisfied mortgage within the required time period.
- Creates a cause of action for the current owner to collect damages when a mortgagee fails to record the satisfied mortgage after the current owner provides notice.
- Provides requirements and damages for noncompliance with the requirements for a mortgagee, mortgagor, and property owner who are parties to an unreleased mortgage that has been satisfied, but not recorded, prior to the effective date of the bill.
Keep an eye out for the current issue of the Ohio REALTOR magazine, which will be arriving in your mailbox soon!
Our Winter/Spring edition features a timely look at a rising trend throughout the Buckeye State — “Coming Soon” signage and pocket listings. OAR Legal Counsel Peg Ritenour explores the legal and ethical questions that are emerging from these relatively new marketing techniques.
- A closer look at Ohio’s home buyers and sellers in 2013 — who they were, what they bought/sold and their overall experience;
- OAR Daily Buzz Coach Marilou Butcher Roth asks if you’re ready for the always exciting real estate roller coaster;
- Ohio’s own, Steve Brown, checks in with OAR President Chris Hall to provide a timely update on his ongoing efforts leading the 1 million-plus National Association of REALTORS;
- Ohio officials are moving forward with new septic rules — what’s fact, what’s rumor;
- And much, much more!
By Carl Horst, OAR Director of Publications/Media Relations
Ohio made a number of changes to its Homestead Exemption program with passage of the state’s two-year budget last year, notably making eligibility for new participants subject to means testing. However, residents currently qualifying for the credit are able to retain the benefit without meeting the new, tighter standards even if they move to a new residence.
“It’s worth noting that we were originally advised that the Homestead Exemption was tied to the property, however there has been clarification that it actually applies to the individual,” said Scott Williams, director of government affairs for the Ohio Association of REALTORS. “Therefore if an eligible resident moves, the benefit will carry to the new property without meeting the new income testing standards provided they complete the appropriate addendum application.”
Ohio’s Homestead Exemption program allows qualifying residents to shield some of the market value of their home from taxation. Previously the exemption was available to any Ohio landowner who currently lived in their primary residence, provided they were (1) at least 65 years old or will reach age 65 during the current tax year; or (2) certified totally and permanently disabled, regardless of age; or (3) the surviving spouse of a qualified homeowner, and who was at least 59 years old on the date of the spouse’s death.
The Exemption, which takes the form of a credit on property tax bills, allows qualifying homeowners to exempt $25,000 of the market value of their home from all local property taxes. For example, through the Homestead Exemption, a home with a market value of $100,000 would be billed as if it is worth $75,000. The tax savings vary by location, but is typically $300-$400 annually.
Larry Gearhardt, taxation field specialist at The Ohio State University, highlights the notable adjustments to the Homestead Exemption:
Beginning with the tax year 2014, new participants in the homestead exemption program will be subject to a means test. The exemption will only be available to those otherwise eligible taxpayers with household incomes that do not exceed $30,000, as measured by Ohio adjusted gross income for the preceding year. That amount will be indexed to inflation each fall and is expected to be around $30,400 for tax year 2014. Existing homestead exemption recipients will continue to receive the credit without being subject to the income test.
It is important to note that in order to be exempt from the means test, the homeowner must actually receive a homestead exemption credit for tax year 2013. This means that a homeowner who is not receiving the homestead exemption credit for tax year 2012 must file an application by June 2, 2014 to secure the exemption for tax year 2013. Otherwise, the homeowner will be subject to the income test for all future years.
Homeowners who received a homestead exemption credit for tax year 2013 will never be subject to the income requirement even if they move to another Ohio residence. In other words, the grandfather status is “portable” and is associated with the individual alone, rather than with a particular residence.
Click here to access a directory of Ohio’s county auditors, which offers links to websites where the Homestead Exemption form and addendum are accessible.