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SEBAR Legal News Update featuring News that's Relevant to YOUR Business!

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Fair Housing Claim Alleges Racial Discrimination by Sellers

Real estate agents need to understand how to respond when a client violates fair housing laws. By acting swiftly to separate yourself from and address the discriminatory behavior, you can not only protect yourself from potential liability, but also help prevent fair housing violations. A pending case in the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts exemplifies these issues, and is a good example of the steps real estate agents should take in these situations. 

You may click HERE to learn more.
Source: National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)
Save the date! The Achieve Leadership Conference goes virtual for 2021. Realtors® will Aim High with this two day event featuring topics such as philanthropy, fair housing, leadership best practices and more.

You may click HERE to register online.

Gathering and Face Covering Order Extended
through January 15, 2021.

The Department of Health and Human Services, in coordination with Governor Whitmer, has extended the “Gathering and Face Covering Order,” starting today and running through January 15, 2021. As a reminder, the two-household limitation remains in effect for residential gatherings (showings, inspections, etc.) and traditional open houses remain prohibited. Face coverings are also still required. The entire order can be found here: www.michigan.gov/
Further, the following practices remain relevant under the extended Order:
Practices for Sellers Permitting Showings
  • Sellers may not be present during showings.
  • Prior to any scheduled showing, Sellers should turn on all lights and leave interior doors, drapes and blinds open. This will ensure that anyone entering the home will not need to touch light switches/doorknobs.
  • Prior to and after any showing, Sellers should clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, handles, light switches and countertops.
Practices for Buyers During Showings
  • Buyers and agents must wear face coverings.
  • Buyers cannot bring anyone to the showing who is not in their household.
  • Buyers attending showings should meet their agents at the property and wait in their car for the agent to arrive.
  • Buyers should not touch any surfaces in the property. Buyers should not turn off lights or close interior doors. They should not share phones, pens, tablets etc. with anyone else attending the showing.
  • Buyers are encouraged to wear gloves while viewing a home. Buyers should use hand sanitizer immediately prior to entering the home and upon exiting prior to getting into their car.
  • Buyers are encouraged to minimize the time physically present at a home.
The rules for commercial showings, office meetings with clients and potential clients and closings have not changed and are governed by the existing MIOSHA Order.
Lastly, many local health departments have issued their own rules, and Realtors® are strongly encouraged to check in their area for additional requirements.

 Source: Michigan REALTORS® (MR)
Support Your Industry & Support Local Small Business
Never miss a “Call for Action” by joining the Realtor® Party Mobile Alert Campaign. Be ready to support your industry in a time of need!
While used sparingly, when a Call for Action does take place, these can significantly help turn up the volume on key industry issues with our elected officials. Know that 8,600 Realtors® successfully contacted Lansing during a 28-hour period back in April to assist lobbying efforts to allow in-person real estate work to resume! Wow!
Members that text REALTOR to 30644 will receive a text message with the link to participate in our NAR and Michigan Calls for Action. Just two clicks and your message will be sent to the appropriate elected officials!
As a special recognition of those members that enroll in the Mobile Alert Campaign, know that you will be entered into a drawing on December 9th, December 16th, and December 23rd. The winning member will receive a $100 gift card to a local small business of your choice that you would like to support!  
As we support our local small businesses in these challenging times, let’s also be ready to take action at a moment’s notice the next time we need to communicate with Congress or the Michigan Legislature on real estate industry issues!

Legal Lines - Question of the Month
QUESTION: My seller received an offer with an escalation clause. The highest offer that the seller received was contingent upon the sale of the buyer’s home. Does that type of offer trigger an escalation clause or must it be disregarded because of the home sale contingency?
ANSWER: An offer with a home sale contingency would not be disregarded unless there is language in the escalation clause that says so. Buyer’s agents should be careful when drafting escalation clauses if they want to exclude certain types of offers (or adjust for seller concessions).

For more legal resources, visit law.mirealtors.com

Source: Michigan REALTORS® (MR)
Window to the Law:
NAR's Fair Housing Action Plan

Common scenarios like providing a buyer with school information or taking a pocket listing can open up real estate professionals to potential discrimination issues. Find out how NAR is addressing these scenarios and more with its ACT! Initiative.

You may click HERE to view the video.

Source: National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)
Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association of REALTORS®
Effective January 1, 2021

You may click HERE to print and/or download a copy

Note: On November 13, 2020, NAR's Board of Directors added Standard of Practice 10-5 to the Code of Ethics, and adopted Professional Standard #29, both of which are effective immediately. For details on all the changes adopted, visit

Source: National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)
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Southeastern Border Association of REALTORS®
Shannon Harner, RCE, e-PRO, CEO/Association Executive
Donna Birkner, e-PRO, Downriver Office Manager
Lisa Horvath, e-PRO, MLS Specialist
Jessica Lapp, e-PRO, Membership & Administrative Manager

Monroe County Office
125 Cole Road
Monroe, MI 48162

Downriver Office
Horizon Business Center West
20600 Eureka Road, Suite 510
Taylor, MI 48180

Both Offices are Open Monday - Friday / 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
by appointment only at this time