- Never throw water on an electrical fire! Water conducts electricity. Electricity from the fire can shoot through the water and expose you to electrocution.
- Replace worn out electrical cords, switches and outlets.
- Minimize the use of extension cords. Don’t overload extension cords or plug them into one another. Use cords according to indoor/outdoor ratings.
- Install ground fault protection for outlets in the kitchen, bathrooms, garage, crawl spaces and unfinished basements, laundry and utility rooms, and outdoors.
- Don’t overload outlets with too many appliances.
- Charge mobile devices on a desk or countertop – never on a bed or chair that could overheat and catch on fire.
- Don’t overload electrical circuits. Surge protectors protect equipment, but they do not provide protection from the potential hazards of an overloaded circuit.
Electrical safety at home and at work is everyone’s responsibility is the life-saving message today offered jointly by the State Bureau of Construction Codes (BCC) and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOHSA) within the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). Don’t run the risk of an electrical fire, injury or electrocution. May is electrical safety month. Here are some electrical safety tips for home, school and workplace:
Have you ever wondered who policies licensed real estate agents and brokers? Sure there is an entire department for licensing and regulations, but is there a specific governing body dedicated only to real estate agents and brokers? The answer is YES, the Michigan Board of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons.
The Michigan Board of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons was created under Article 25 of Public Act 299 of 1980, as amended, to license and regulate the practice of real estate brokers and salespersons in Michigan. Article 25 defines a real estate broker as an individual or an entity, who with intent to collect or receive a fee, compensation, or valuable consideration, sells or offers for sale, buys or offers to buy, provides or offers to provide market analyses, lists or offers or attempts to list, or negotiates the purchase or sale or exchange or mortgage of real estate, or negotiates for the construction of a building on real estate; who leases or offers or rents or offers for rent real estate or the improvements on the real estate for others, as a whole or partial vocation; who engages in property management as a whole or partial vocation; who sells or offers for sale, buys or offers to buy, leases or offers to lease, or negotiates the purchase or sale or exchange of a business, business opportunity, or the goodwill of an existing business for others; or who, as owner or otherwise, engages in the sale of real estate as a principal vocation. The Board works with the Department to oversee the practice of real estate salespersons, associate real estate brokers, real estate brokers, and branch offices.
The Board consists of 9 members: 6 professional members, and 3 public members. Each member serves 4 year terms.
For more information, check out:
TRID, also known as the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule, is set to be effective on October 1, 2015, and will apply to loan applications received after October 1. But what is it and why is it important? This is a simple, overview of this new rule, which will undoubtedly impact home buyers, agents, and loan originators.
Federal law has historically required lenders to provide two different disclosure forms to consumers applying for a mortgage. Two different Federal agencies developed these forms separately, under two Federal statutes: the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 (RESPA). The information contained in these two forms was found to overlap and often be inconsistent. As a result, the forms were confusing, and consequently burdensome and difficult for lenders and settlement agents to explain. With that, TRID was ultimately born. The TRID rule is designed to provide a detailed explanation of how the forms should be filled out and used. Here are the highlights:
1) The Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and the initial Truth-in-Lending Disclosure (initial TIL) have been combined into a new form, called the Loan Estimate. Similar to those forms, the new Loan Estimate form is designed to provide disclosures that will be helpful to consumers in understanding the key features, costs, and risks of the mortgage loan for which they are applying. It must be provided to consumers no later than the third business day after they submit a loan application.
2) The HUD-1 and final Truth-in-Lending disclosure (final TIL and together with the initial TIL, the Truth-in-Lending forms) have been combined into another new form, the Closing Disclosure, which is designed to provide disclosures that will be helpful to consumers in understanding all of the costs of the transaction. This form must be provided to consumers at least three business days before consummation of the loan (stated another way, three days before closing).
Both the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure employ clear language. They are specifically designed to make it easier for consumers to locate key information, such as interest rate, monthly payments, and costs to close the loan. These forms also provide more information to help consumers decide whether they can afford the loan and to facilitate comparison of the cost of different loan offers, including the cost of the loans over time.
This new rule applies to most closed-end consumer mortgages. It does not apply to home equity lines of credit, reverse mortgages, or mortgages secured by a mobile home or by a dwelling that is not attached to real property. The final rule also does not apply to loans made by persons who are not considered “creditors.”
There will be a steep learning curve surrounding TRID. Many details will become apparent as loan applications are processed and closings take place. Home buyers, agents, and loan originators will need to be aware of the changes and deadlines so that closings are not delayed.
For additional information and resources, check out:
Currently, under Michigan law, salespersons may prepare a market analysis for the sole purpose of aiding buyers and sellers in determining a potential sale or list price, or tenants and landlords to determine a potential rental rate. The salesperson may not charge a fee or other consideration for the analysis. A broker or associate broker may charge a fee for a written market analysis, which must include the following, special verbiage in bold face print. Failure to do so may result in penalties as set for in the Occupational Code:
“This is a market analysis, not an appraisal, and was prepared by a licensed real estate broker/associate broker, not a licensed appraiser.”
Maybe. It all depends on the terms of the agreement you had with your old broker. However, according to Michigan’s Administrative Rules that govern real estate salespersons and brokers, the answer is yes. If an individual earned commissions or other income while licensed to a broker, it shall not be grounds for disciplinary action as a violation for the broker to pay such earned commissions or income to that individual, regardless of whether that individual is now licensed to another broker. In fact, you can be paid even if you are no longer licensed.
Always, always, always put agreements between you and your broker in writing. There is no substitute for a clearly defined agreement that is in writing, especially when it comes to referrals and commission issues. It’s the safest way to be sure that you will be paid for living up to your end of any agreement.
For more information, check out:
Have you ever thought about becoming a Michigan licensed real estate salesperson? It’s not as hard as you might think. Here are 5 STEPS to become a licensed real estate agent in Michigan:
1) COMPLETE YOUR REAL ESTATE FUNDAMENTALS (PRELICENSURE) COURSE
Be sure to take the 40 hour prelicensing course from a school that has been approved by the State of Michigan. Here is a list of approved prelicensure course providers: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/lara/lts651_472943_7.pdf. Once you complete that course, your school will submit your certificate of completion to the State of Michigan. Always keep a copy of completion certificates for your records. You must apply for your license within 36 months (three years) of completing your prelicensure course.
2) APPLY FOR YOUR LICENSE
Log onto www.michigan.gov/icola to apply for a license. Upon accessing iCOLA you will be asked to create an account, pay your license fee and submit your license application electronically.
3) OBTAIN AUTHORIZATION TO TAKE THE EXAM
Once your application has been approved, you will receive an email from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) notifying you of your authorization to register for the exam.
4) REGISTER AND TAKE THE EXAM
The real estate salesperson exam is administered through Psychological Services, Inc. (PSI). To schedule your exam, visit the PSI website at: https://candidate.psiexams.com/.
PSI specifically requires LARA’s pre-approval before you can sit for the exam. Salesperson candidates must first apply for licensure through the Michigan iCOLA website. (See Step 2 above.)
5) SECURE AN EMPLOYING BROKER
In order to practice as a real estate salesperson, you must be sponsored by a licensed Michigan Employing Broker. If you list your employing broker's 10-digit number when applying, please inform your employer that you have submitted your license application. Your employing broker should then access his or her iCOLA account and confirm sponsorship. You do not need to have a broker at the time you submit the license application; broker information may be supplied to the State of Michigan at a later time using the Employing Broker Notification form. Your license application will remain in a "pending" status until a broker’s sponsorship is confirmed, or for one year from the date of your application.
123 Mich Holding LLC is a Michigan broker that holds Michigan real estate salesperson licenses until you are ready to be an active agent. That is, if you need a broker to hold (or sponsor) your new salesperson license, but you are not ready to actively engage in the practice of real estate, you can “park” your license with 123 Mich Holding LLC (www.123MichHolding.com). With 123 Mich Holding LLC, your license will remain active with the State of Michigan, and you can transfer it to an active broker when you are ready. In the meantime, you can also refer folks to active brokers (of your choice) and receive referral fee. Checkout www.123MichHolding.com for details.
You used to be a Michigan licensed real estate agent, but you got out of the business for a while and let your license lapse. You no longer have an active license, but you want to get back into the game. Now what do you do?
If your license has been lapsed less than 3 years (expired October 31, 2012), you can apply for relicensure if you have 6 hours of con ed for each year you had a license, plus 6 hours for each year you missed in the current 3-year cycle. This is the ONLY option available to you if your license lapsed less than 3 years ago.
If your license lapsed more than 3 years ago, you have some options:
1) Successfully complete 6 hours of con ed for each year you held a license, plus 6 hours for each year missed in the current 3-year license cycle (which is the option above) OR
2) Successfully complete an approved 40-hour prelicensure course for salesperson relicensure or a 90 total hour prelicensure course for broker relicensure. Please note that those courses cannot be completed more than 12 months before your relicensure application OR
3) Successfully complete/pass the State real estate exam
Until recently, the continuing education provider reported your course completions and those completions were registered with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). However, since January 1, 2015, individuals are required to save their own certificates of completion, and as a result, relicensure applications now require you to provide proof of course completion. For that reason, you should select a continuing education provider that saves your course completions for you – or will provide proof of course completion should you request it from them. Some providers who provide this service free are www.1StopConEd.com and www.123ConEd.com.
When you are ready to apply for relicensure, be sure to use the following forms. They have recently changed:
Salesperson Relicensure form: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/lara/lre008_471794_7.pdf
Broker Relicensure form: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/lara/lre010_471789_7.pdf
Sometimes life is so busy that many months pass before realizing that you need to complete your real estate continuing education! And perhaps you're starting to notice the chatter about how 2015 is a renewal year and all of the con ed is required to renew your license with the State of Michigan this coming October. But how many hours do you need? Well, you need a total of 18 clock hours of con ed during each 3-year cycle, and the courses you take must involve subjects that are relevant to the management, operation, and practice of real estate or any other subject that contributes to professional competence. But also remember that in each “calendar” year of each 3-year cycle, salespersons and brokers much also complete at least 2 hours of the required 18 hours, and those 2 hours must involve law, rules, and court cases regarding real estate.
But what about those folks who are newly licensed in the second or third year of the 3-year cycle? Do they still need all 18 hours to renew? If not, how many do they need? The good news is that the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs spells out the answer. In sum, a real estate broker, associate broker, or salesperson who receives a license issued in the second year of the 3-year license cycle is required to complete 12 hours of continuing education. And, a real estate broker, associate broker, or salesperson who receives a license issued in the third year of the 3-year license cycle is required to complete only 6 hours of continuing education. The requirements as far as content remain the same regardless of the licensing year.
Even if you did not take any continuing education courses in the first or second years of the current M Cycle (2013 and 2014), still be sure to complete all required 18 hours so you can renew your license with the State of Michigan in October, 2015. And, October will be here before you know it! Do you have your 18 hours of M Cycle continuing education? If not, these two schools make completing your continuing education super simple: 123 ConEd LLC (www.123ConEd.com) and 1 Stop ConEd LLC (www.1StopConEd.com). Both schools are offered by seasoned attorneys and brokers with high quality course content delivered in a format that makes completing your con ed a snap. Don't wait until the last minute!
Calling all Michigan licensed real estate salespersons and brokers! This is a renewal year! That is, all real estate broker and salesperson licenses expire on October 31, 2015, which is the end of the current M-Cycle, which runs from November 1, 2013 through October 31, 2015. That means by October 31 of this year, you must have 18 hours of real estate continuing education completed in order to renew your license for another 3 years (the N-Cycle). Additionally, of those 18 hours of con ed, you must have completed at least 2 hours of a law topic (typically legal update) for each year in the cycle, for a total of 6 hours of "law." Are you ready?
Whether you need one more hour or all 18 hours, there are many, many Michigan con ed providers, institutes and schools available to help you satisfy your continuing education needs. Some are online or home study (referred to as distance learning) and others are traditional live courses. There are also many, many class topics out there to satisfy even the pickiest of agents and brokers. Courses range from the super-informative legal updates to more relaxed topics like how to stay organized. There is certainly something for everyone!
Additionally, the scope of course topics is likely to expand even more given that courses are no longer being formally approved by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). Continuing Education school used to have their courses formally approved by LARA before they could offer them, and likewise, non-approved courses would not satisfy your con ed hours. However, that is no longer the case. Courses are no longer approved and you do not need to take courses from an "approved provider." Despite what some might say, the law is very clear -- LARA will no longer approve courses and courses do not need to be approved to satisfy your con ed. And be careful, don't be pressured into courses that claim to be "approved." There is no LARA approval process, so all courses are fair game.
That said, we strongly recommend that you take courses from a continuing education provider that guarantees that its courses will satisfy LARA's con ed requirements, and furthermore, defend its courses if necessary in any continuing education audit by LARA. Two schools that offer this free are: 123 ConEd LLC (www.123ConEd.com) and 1 Stop ConEd LLC (www.1StopConEd.com).
123 ConEd LLC is a distance provider offering completely online courses. The courses are set up in multiple modules of learning with a short quiz after each module. 1 Stop ConEd LLC is also a distance provider, but the courses are in a home study format where you read the course material and take a 10 question quiz at the end. Both providers guarantee that its courses will satisfy your needed con ed requirements, and both providers will defend its courses in any audit by LARA.
October 31 is coming faster than you think! Are you ready to renew?