Coaching Corner: Is THIS the right time?

By “Coach” Marilou Butcher Roth

In January, at the Winter Conference, 12 REALTORS will be graduating as the first class of the Ohio Association of REALTORS Leadership Academy! They will have gone through five modules packed with  information regarding increased self-awareness, communication skills, knowledge of Associations and so much more!

This Leadership Academy opens avenues of learning that perhaps have not, as of yet, been on your radar. You may not be thinking of yourself as a leader — I would invite you to reconsider that perception. We are in an industry where buyers and sellers are looking to us to lead the way for them to achieve one of the largest investments they will ever make. They count on us to communicate clearly, not to go ballistic when something is not going perfectly and to take them to the finish line — their finish line. This requires leadership skills!!

If this is something you have considered, click here and you’ll discover an array of Leadership Academy information. Take some time and read through it and see if this offering resonates with how you want to live your life and run your business. If it does, the application is available at the site. I’d encourage you to start the process soon, as the deadline to apply of Jan. 25 is right around the corner! Only 12 candidates will be accepted for the 2017 class!

One of our graduating members, Heather Dunn, made this comment regarding the Academy:

It has honestly been the most impactful professional experience I have ever had…not to mention the friendships I’ve developed and memories I’ve made. If you have any questions about the process, sessions or experience please let me know!

This is a decision only you can make for yourself.  Are you open to learning how to expand yourself both professionally and personally? If you find yourself nodding “yes,” then indeed, this may be the right time!


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 Board of Directors and past chairman of the organization’s Communications Committee. Feel free to contact Marilou to see if coaching is right for you:


Tags: Association news, Coaching Corner

Ohio Senate Committee passes HB 532; final passage expected soon

ohio statehouse horizontal

By Scott Williams, OAR Vice President of Public Policy

The Ohio Association of REALTORS top legislative initiative — House Bill 532 — had its second hearing in the Senate Transportation, Commerce and Labor Committee yesterday. It was unanimously passed, with one abstention due to a conflict of interest, and expected to be considered by the full Senate within the week.

OAR President-elect Tiffany Meyer and Peg Ritenour, OAR vice president of Legal Services/Administration, testified in support of the measure. In addition, Tom Walsh, vice president of the Ohio Association of Community Colleges, provided supportive testimony.

HB 532 is designed to update Ohio’s licensing structure and modernize the delivery of pre-licensing education. Specifically, it amends the license law in three ways:

  1. It implements the recommendations of the License Structure Review Task Force appointed by the Ohio Real Estate Commission
  2. It provides statutory direction for licensees representing more than one buyer making an offer to purchase the same property at the same time (referred to as contemporaneous offers)
  3. It allows those applying for a real estate sales exam with the option to take their pre-licensing courses on-line.

At this time the bill has not been amended, so no concurrence vote will be needed in the House. However, since we’re currently in a lame duck session, the bill could pick up a “friendly amendment” on the floor. It’s an unlikely scenario, but certainly a possibility.

Speaking of lame duck…bills that have been around for two years suddenly have new life as amendments and are seeing action, including:

SB 257 Right to Cure – this is legislation OAR supported, along with the Ohio Bar Association. It reduces to four years (from 21 years) the period of time a real property instrument, for which the record shows there is a defect, is cured of defects by operation of law, and becomes effective as if it had been legally made, executed, acknowledged, and recorded.

SB 235 – OAR supported legislation that would prevent the automatic increase in property values when a property is purchased for development or abandoned commercial property is purchased for redevelopment until the project begins – or a time frame within, that is being worked on maybe 10 years.

Good Funds law – would require the use of the electronic transfer of funds to title companies due to the ever increasing amount of fraudulent instruments title companies are now facing. This will be amended into HB 463.

Fair Housing – This bill would reduce penalties for violations of Ohio’s fair housing laws to bring them to current federal requirements, as Ohio currently has a more stringent standard. The initial draft of this bill would have jeopardized Ohio’s substantial equivalency status which would have eliminated Ohio’s ability to draw down federal funds. Language is not done, but from what we’ve been told, the bill is substantially watered down and will maintain our equivalency status and Ohio’s Civil Rights Commission is “neutral” now on the bill. If in fact this is true, I do expect the language to be added to House Bill 463 otherwise known as the dedicated “Christmas Tree” of lame duck.

Tags: politics

Ohio marketplace attains record rate of pending home sales in October

sale pending sign

By Carl Horst, OAR Director of Publications/Media Relations

The Ohio Association of REALTORS reports the number of single-family homes and condominiums put under agreement in October 2016 reached a best-ever level for the month, increasing 4.7 percent from the mark set during the month a year ago.

Ohio’s October Pending Home Sales Index of 171.1, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, increased 4.7 percent from October 2015 (163.3). Activity in October fell a slight 1.7 percent from the level of agreements reached in September 2016 (174.1).

“The Ohio housing marketplace is continuing to show remarkable resilience, as the number of homes put under contract in October reached an all-time high for the month and marks our 30th consecutive month of year-over-year gains,” said OAR President Sara Calo. “The real estate profession remains hopeful the positive momentum that’s been established across the Ohio market will continue moving forward.”

Compared to 2008, a historically healthy market that marked the end of five consecutive record years for existing home sales and the onset of the recession, October’s Index score of 171.1 marks a 71.1 percent increase.

A pending sale or a sale “under agreement” is when the buyer and seller agree on terms of the sale of a home and have a signed purchase and sale agreement, but have yet to close and be recorded as such.

OAR, the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 30,000 members, is the only organization that compiles this state wide information from selected Multiple Listing Services each month. The tracking of “pending sales” provides reliable information about where the market is heading in coming months.

Tags: pending home sales, research

Good news…deadline to apply for the OAR Leadership Academy has been extended!

Whether you’re interested in leading people or affecting organizational change, the Ohio Association of REALTORS Leadership Academy offers you an opportunity to grow both personally and professionally. Graduates will be equipped with the knowledge, skills and confidence to excel as a leader. And we want you to be a part of the program in 2017!

In this video, Fred Troyer, of Wooster, reflects on his experience as a member of the inaugural Leadership Academy class and encourages fellow Ohio REALTORS to participate!

OAR Leadership Academy participants work through a comprehensive training program that combines individual study, group retreats and unique initiatives to enhance leadership skills. The select members of OAR’s Leadership Academy class will embark on a groundbreaking, six-month program focused on goal-setting, communication, business relationships and more. Nationally recognized speakers will help you tap into skills that will position you as a leader within the organization, the industry and your community.

Good news…the deadline to apply for inclusion in the upcoming Leadership Academy class has been extended until Jan. 25! Click here for more details on the program…as well as access the application.

Tags: Association news, Your Association

Text messages can form contract

lady justice

Two courts from Massachusetts have determined that parties can enter into a valid real estate purchase contract via text message. However, both courts ruled that no contract was formed via text, as the real estate professional lacked the authority to bind the principal in the first case and the purported agreement failed to satisfy the Statute of Frauds in the second instance.

In St. John’s Holdings, LLC v. Two Electronics, LLC, a company was seeking space for its medical marijuana facility. After locating a suitable space, the parties began their discussions and the principals for each company met twice to establish a contractual framework for the transaction. Following the second meeting, the owner told the buyer to work through the listing broker for the remainder of the discussions.

After a series of offers were made, the buyer then sent a third offer containing all of the changes requested by the seller. The listing broker then sent the following text:

Steve. It [Seller] wants you [Buyer] to sign first, with a check, and then he will sign. Normally, the seller signs last or second. Not trying to be stupid or contrary, but that is the way it normally works. Can Rick [McDonald] sign today and get it to me today? Tim.

The buyer delivered a signed offer along with the deposit check. The seller never deposited the check nor signed the agreement but instead entered into an agreement to sell the property to another party. The buyer brought a lawsuit claiming that the listing broker’s text created an offer that they accepted by delivering a signed offer and the deposit check to the listing broker.

The Massachusetts Land Court, Essex County, ruled that the text failed to establish a contractual relationship between the parties. The court found that while the parties could form a contract via text message, the parties would need to have a written agreement that contains all of the material terms and is signed in order to satisfy the Statute of Frauds.

The court ruled that the earlier negotiations between the parties had created a contractual framework that satisfied the Statute of Frauds but the listing broker did not have the authority to bind the seller. The principals had negotiated the framework of the agreement that contained all of the material terms and the listing broker had signed his text message, but the listing broker’s text did not constitute an offer to the buyer. While the seller had told the buyer to work through the listing broker, the court concluded that it was clear to all the parties that the listing broker was merely an intermediary and did not have authority to sell the property. Therefore, the seller was not bound by the listing broker’s text and there was no contract between the parties.

Donius v. Milligan involved a residential property on Cape Cod. After the buyers visited the property, the real estate professionals began negotiating the terms of a possible purchase through email and texts. Here are the texts sent back and forth:

May 12

[Buyer’s Rep]: Good afternoon. I emailed an offer over to you [f]or 93[C]ommercial.

[Listing broker]: Hi Mike. Won’t hear back til morning. Talk to you then.

May 13

[BR]: Hi, he said he would split the difference at $962,500.

[LB]: OK. I’ll convey.

May 14

[LB]: Hi Mike. The sellers accept the price.

Following receipt of the last message, the buyer’s representative emailed the listing broker a signed purchase agreement plus a copy of an earnest money check. The check was never sent to the listing broker and the seller never signed the agreement, and the seller then sold the property to another buyer. The buyer brought a lawsuit seeking to enforce the contract.

The Massachusetts Land Court, Barnstable County, ruled that there was no agreement between the parties. While the court found that the parties could create a real estate contract through text messages, the negotiations here did not create a contract. Unlike the first case, the buyer and seller had never discussed the contractual terms, such as a financing clause and inspection clause. Further, the text message failed to satisfy the Statute of Frauds, as the messages did not contain any of the material terms of the transaction except for the price and the messages were not signed by the parties. Thus, there was no contract formed via text message.

St. John’s Holdings, LLC v. Two Electronics, LLC, No. 16 MISC 000090, 2016 WL 6191911 (Mass. Land Court (Essex Cty.) Oct. 24, 2016). [This is a citation to a Westlaw document. Westlaw is a subscription, online legal research service. If an official reporter citation should become available for this case, the citation will be updated to reflect this information].

Donius v. Milligan, No. 16 MISC 000277, 2016 WL 3926577 (Mass. Land Court (Barnstable Cty.) July 25, 2016). [This is a citation to a Westlaw document. Westlaw is a subscription, online legal research service. If an official reporter citation should become available for this case, the citation will be updated to reflect this information].


Source: National Association of REALTORS

Tags: legal

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