As you can read from the “Who represents you now?” headline on the cover of this publication, the district maps for the U.S. Congress and Texas House and Senate have all changed. For many people, this means that you will likely see different names on your election ballot when you go to the polls.  You may read more about these new districts and see the maps here.

Now that you know who might represent you after the next elections, you need to make sure that you are registered to vote so that we may elect the most REALTOR®-, homeowner- and small business-friendly candidates in each race. You will find a voter registration card on page 11.  Please pull it out, fill it out and mail it in—if you aren’t already registered to vote. If you are, then please pass it along to someone who isn’t. Only with strength in numbers at the polls will we continue to be successful in our political endeavors.

We are also pleased to have a column from Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan as clarification about an issue that continues to plague many HAR members—“bandit signs.”As County Attorney Ryan states, violators of the law could face fines as great as $1,000 per day per sign. That alone means you need to take it seriously, and we have heard anecdotal reports from members who have been fined. You may read the column from County Attorney Ryan here.

There has also been some misinformation going around about the platforms on which our MLS operates. HAR’s board voted to introduce Fusion as an option in addition to Tempo. Fusion has been received as a good solution for many Mac users who had expressed frustration using the Citrix plug-in on Tempo. HAR’s current plans are to continue offering both options for the foreseeable future, and we have no plans to switch entirely over to Fusion at any point. We will continue to evaluate the systems and make sure that you have the best system to allow you to be as efficient in your business as possible. You may read more about Tempo and Fusion here. I also encourage you to continue taking the professional development courses for whichever platform you think best serves your needs.

Again on the topic of misinformation, there continue to be emails floating around that incorrectly state that there will be a 3.8 percent tax on the sale of every home beginning next year. This is NOT correct. We have tried to boil down the details so that you may share them with your sellers so that they are fully and accurately informed. You may read more about the FACTS here.

As we enter the peak selling season, I am heartened to see that our monthly MLS statistics reports continue to show that our market is on an upswing. These are numbers that you will want to share with your clients to help educate them about how the market is performing and what they can expect whether they are looking to buy, sell or lease. You may read last month’s MLS report here.

Until next month,

Wayne A. Stroman
HAR Chairman of the Board