State Roundup: New Hampshire, Ohio, Maryland, and Nevada

April 1, 2003

Ohio: Disclosure lite

REALTORS® are hoping to replace the legalistic agency disclosure forms used in the state with a brochure-style document that includes a coupon consumers can tear off to acknowledge receipt. Almost 40 percent of complaints against real estate salespeople concern agency disclosure, says Brad Knapp, a REALTOR® who chairs a task force looking into the issue for the Ohio Association of REALTORS®. The problem, Knapp says, stems in part from the legal nature of the state’s two disclosure forms. The association hopes the state legislature this year will agree with its proposal to simplify the disclosure process.

Maryland: Reciprocity considered

Commercial real estate practitioners operating outside of Maryland could obtain a temporary license to do business in the state under legislation state lawmakers are considering. Out-of-state practitioners would pay a $45 fee per transaction. The bill could be considered this year, says William Castelli, MAR government affairs director.

Nevada: Tax fight

The Nevada Association of REALTORS® has drawn a line in the sand to stop a proposed increase in the state’s real estate transfer tax, says Jeff Bachert, the association’s government affairs director. The proposal would raise the tax by 1 percent of the final sales cost statewide. To fight the proposal, the state association and several local boards have amassed a $140,000 war chest.

New Hampshire: Under coverage

Fearing the loss of coverage for those who file up to three insurance claims during the term of their homeowners policy, the New Hampshire Association of REALTORS® is backing legislation that would prevent insurers from pulling the plug when the homeowners’ policy comes up for renewal. Current law provides this protection for homeowners who’ve filed a single claim, says Kipp Cooper, NHAR government affairs director.

Jane Adler is a Chicago-based freelancer writer.

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