Weekly Notices
Friday, October 21, 2016

Guidance on Supreme Court Ruling

Temple of Justice / Olympia

REALTORS®: You and your clients should be aware of a recent Washington State Supreme Court decision (Whatcom County v. Hirst) that will have a significant impact on the ability of landowners to use new private wells for residential development. 

Under this new decision, single private wells for new homes may be denied by local governments for causing impacts to instream flow levels adopted by the Department of Ecology. 

Whether or not a property has legal water supply is a legal determination - REALTORS® should not give legal advice regarding whether an undeveloped parcel has adequate water supply. 

The decision may be subject to different interpretations by different counties, so it is too soon to tell exactly how the decision will impact building permit applications relying on new private wells for water supply. 

The decision is likely to have the greatest impact on counties in Western Washington due the type of rules adopted by Department of Ecology in many Western Washington counties.

Read the Washington REALTORS ® Broker Alert on this issue, online here.

What should you do? 

Don't give legal advice regarding whether an undeveloped parcel has adequate water supply.  The question of whether a proposed water source meets the legal availability requirement in RCW 19.27.097 is a legal question. 

REALTORS® should ensure that their clients receive qualified advice on these issues.  Advise your client, in writing, to seek the advice of a water specialist (lawyer, hydrogeologist, etc.) 

Second, appropriate vacant land forms should be used to explicitly allocate the duty to investigate legal adequacy of water supply for the property.  The statewide purchase agreement advises buyers to insure adequate water supply to the property and Form 22L&A includes contingency language related to confirming water supply.

Washington REALTORS ® offers an excellent bulletin on the Hirst Decision you can share with your clients (pictured above), online here

From Spokane County: An October 6, 2016 Washington State Supreme Court decision ( Whatcom County v. Hirst) has resulted in significant changes in the County's requirements for water availability determinations before granting of building permits.  This includes those that rely on permit-exempt wells which, in the past, did not require formal water right permitting through the Washington Department of Ecology.  This public notice is intended to clarify these new requirements.

Read the Spokane County Public Notice on this case (pictured above), online here.

Supreme Court Ruling Pushes New Approach for Permit-exempt Wells - b
y Brook Beeler, Ecology communications.
Chances are you've heard rumblings about a recent Washington Supreme court ruling that affects how water is managed. The  Whatcom County vs. Hirst, Futurewise, et al. decision at 70-plus pages is big and potentially has bigger implications for rural development.
The ruling affects counties' responsibilities under the Growth Management Act (GMA) to protect water resources. Specifically, counties must determine legal and physical availability of water when reviewing permit-exempt (e.g. household) wells for building permits.
Our initial interpretation is that the ruling directly applies to Whatcom County in our Nooksack instream flow rule area. We believe the ruling also sets clear legal precedent that could be reasonably applied in other counties. We know there is high demand for information about this case and how it may apply locally. We are evaluating the ruling quickly and thoroughly and will continue to share information.
With population growth and increased competition for limited water, the relationship between land-use planning and water resource management is increasingly important. We're committed to working with counties, departments of commerce and other stakeholders to ensure stream flows are protected and the needs of existing and future water users are met in Washington.
Keep tabs on how the ruling affects you: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/WR/nwro/hirst.html
Find where there are instream flow rules near you:

Molly Quinn/The Spokesman-Review

The Spokesman-Review, in its Wednesday edition, shares the best article, to date, on the Hirst Decision, featuring reactions from both sides of the ruling, and its consequences to rural property owners.

Reporter Chad Sokol writes: 

Washington counties are grappling with a state Supreme Court decision that could make it more difficult for property owners to obtain junior water rights.  Officials say it's especially problematic in Spokane County, which encompasses six watersheds, each with its own rules.  Only the Little Spokane watershed, in the northern part of the county, has a rule requiring minimum water flows in rivers and streams. 

Read the full article online here.

Legal Hotline Q&A - Hirst Decision

QUESTION:  With respect to the Broker Alert sent by Washington REALTORS® on Friday, 10/14, regarding the recent Supreme Court ruling affecting water rights and the availability of new wells, will we be getting updated forms for this change in law? Are the current forms still good for what is happening now?

ANSWER: Click here.


Washington REALTORS® Tech Symposium


October 28, 2016  |   8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

SeaTac Convention Center

Covering these topics and more: 

    SAR member and NAR director Tom Hormel (photo at left) will be one of the presenters!



2017 SAR Leadership Candidates

Your SAR Nominating Committee is pleased to announce its slate of candidates for 2017 SAR leadership:  
Tom Hormel, RE/MAX Inland Empire
Ken Sax, Keller Williams Spokane - Main
Tom Clark, Kestell Company
Mike Crowley, Spokane Home Buyers
Kristy Hamby, Windermere Cornerstone
Sara Houk, John L. Scott, Spokane, Inc.
To m LaLone, John L. Scott, Spokane, Inc.
Karene Loman, Keller Williams Realty 
Ron McIntire, Choice Realty
Pamela Novell, Windermere Manito
Rick Richard, John L. Scott, Spokane, Inc.
Samantha Russell, Live Real Estate, LLC
Taylor Ward, Synergy Properties
In accordance with Article XV, Section 15.2 of the Association Bylaws, additional candidates may be nominated by the REALTOR® members. 
For those wishing to nominate a REALTOR® member for an Association Officer or Director position, Nominating Petitions will be available from the Association office Monday, October 10th through Monday, October 24thDeadline to return petition is Monday, October 24th!


You will receive Notice on Friday, October 28th of the "Final Slate of Candidates". 

Voting begins on Monday, October 31st.

You will receive an email invitation to vote.  When you click on the link for the ballot, it will take you to the Member Portal.  You will need to sign in with your user name and password and then it will take you to the ballot. 
Deadline to fill out ballots will be Wednesday, November 16th, 4:30 p.m.
Our new leaders will be announced at our Annual Membership Meeting on Thursday, November 17th at CenterPlace Regional Event Center.

Bylaws Vote


The Board of Directors of the Association is submitting to the membership at the November 17, 2016 Annual Membership meeting a proposed Bylaw change.   The proposed Bylaw amendment is revising the make-up of the Budget and Finance Committee.
Budget and Finance Committee

Section 13.4 Procedure. The Treasurer shall serve as Chairperson of the Budget and Finance Committee. The regular and special meetings of the Budget and Finance Committee shall be held at such time and place as the Committee Chairperson or the Board of Directors may from time to time designate. The Committee shall fix its own procedural rules governing its affairs and the conduct thereof. The President, President-Elect,
immediate past Treasurer and the Executive Vice President of the association shall be ex-officio members of the Budget and Finance Committee.



Annie is Coming to Town!               

SAR photo

Annie is coming to town!

Mark your calendar now and plan to join us on Thursday, November 17th, when your Washington REALTORS® attorney Annie Fitzsimmons makes a return appearance in Spokane with her new class: Put a S.O.C. in it = Standard of Care.

This Education Excellence series class comes with 7.5 clock hours, and meets your Purchase & Sale Agreement requirement. 

It will be paired with our last Quarterly Membership meeting of the year at Centerplace Regional Event Center in Spokane Valley.

See the event flyer (pictured above) online here.

REALTORS® Property Resource


Join us for an RPR Basics class at your SAR, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., on Friday, November 11th!

RPR's dynamic data and client friendly reports help REALTORS® achieve professional success. In
this free workshop you will learn:
  • Search hundreds of datasets on more than 160 million on-and-off market properties
  • Easy Access to Powerful Data Tools including distressed properties and schools
  • Create the ultimate listing package with RPR's Comp Analysis tool
  • Send customized and branded reports... anywhere, anytime
  • And Mobile too!


Lunch & Learn: Home Warranty


Welcome to Lunch & Learn at your SAR:  What is a Home Warranty and How can it Help my Business?

Monday, November 7th, at your SAR.

See the event flyer with more information (pictured above), online here.

Lunch & Learn: Common Mistakes


Welcome to Lunch & Learn at your SAR:  Common Mistakes and Blunders on the Purchase and Sale Agreement.

Monday, November 14th, at your SAR.

See the event flyer with more information (pictured above), online here.

2016 REALTOR® Education

Quality of Education 
through SAR/WR Education Instructors

Here is the latest class listing of your SAR - offering the best live and local continuing real estate education classes for 2016.

Click on each class title,  underlined in blue, to bring up a flyer for that class - suitable for posting in your office. 

Register for these classes online here: 


Please be in touch with Debbie at the SAR if you have any questions about these classes or your license education requirements, by phone at 326-9222 or by email.


REALTORS® are required to complete ethics training of not less than 2 hours, 30 minutes of instructional time within four-year cycles. The training must meet specific learning objectives and criteria established by the National Association of REALTORS®.
The current four-year cycle will end Dec. 31, 2016.
Check your COE status - log in to your member portal page to verify your member profile or call us at the SAR: 326-9222.


Code of Ethics - Standards for Success 
Code of Ethics - Standards for Success

Thursday, November 3 - Code of Ethics - Standards for Success - with Linda Miller Sheets.

Registration: 8:15 a.m.
Class: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 a.m.
at the SAR

7.5 clock hours 

Code of Ethics
Code of Ethics


Tuesday, November 8th
  - Code of Ethics for Real Estate Professionals - with Linda Miller Sheets.

Check-in: 8:15 a.m.
Class: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
at the SAR

4.0 clock hours

Core Curriculum
Core Curriculum

Tuesday, November 8th - Core Curriculum - with Sabrina Jones Schroeder.

Check-in: 1:15 p.m.
Class: 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
at the SAR

3.0 clock hours


Purchase & Sale Agreement
Purchase & Sale Agreement

Thursday, November 10th - Purchase & Sale Agreement - with Sabrina Jones Schroeder.

Check-in: 8:15 a.m.
Class: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
at the SAR

7.5 clock hours

In This Issue
Guidance on Supreme Court Ruling - NEW!
Legal Hotline Q&A - Hirst Decision - NEW!
Washington REALTORS® Tech Symposium
2017 SAR Leadership Candidates
Bylaws Vote
Annie is Coming to Town!
REALTORS® Property Resource
Lunch & Learn: Home Warranty
Lunch & Learn: Common Mistakes
2016 REALTOR® Education
Working for You - NEW!
2016 General Election
Meeting with our U.S. Representative - NEW!
Strongest in Years - NEW!
WCR Wellness Celebration
The Voice for Real Estate - NEW!
Real Estate Trends - NEW!
Member 2 Member - NEW!
2016-2017 Winter Driving Guide - NEW!
ListHub Report for September
Market Activity Report - September
Member Roster Update
Suggestion Box



Click on the image below to see the current SAR calendar

showing dates and times of classes, committees and events. 




Working for You

The events of this past week, around the Hirst Decision, make a good example of why membership in your REALTOR ® organizations makes a difference.

More than a year ago, your Washington REALTORS ® was engaged on this case with the state Supreme Court as a "friend of the court," and made sure our collective opinion as REALTORS ® was included in the testimony delivered to the court around this case.

When the decision was announced, unfavorable to REALTORS®, we got many phone calls and emails: "What just happened?  What does this mean?  What should I do?"  WR and SAR staff moved quickly to translate a nearly 80 page Decision into language and guidance that was relevant to REALTORS® - shared last week and this week here in the Weekly Notices and a special edition of Brokers Need to Know.   

SAR photo

To help members understand the Decision and its implications to their businesses, your SAR Governmental Affairs Committee convened a meeting and brought in speakers from Spokane County and the Washington State Department of Ecology (see photo above) to brief leadership on the Decision and its impacts on REALTORS®.

The SAR classroom held a standing-room-only crowd, Wednesday,  as members held a charged but respectful conversation with the people who are on the ground, locally, to enforce the Decision. Much of the content that was presented at that meeting is shared in this newsletter.

Tom Hormel photo

The County/DOE presentation at the SAR served as a rehearsal for the first local public hearing on the Hirst Decision, in the Spokane County Commissioners Hearing Room, Wednesday night.  SAR leadership and staff joined a standing-room-only crowd again to hear from local elected officials that a legislative remedy to this issue will be a top priority for them next year.  We'll be taking REALTOR ® concerns to Olympia during our Hill Days event in January.

When we say your SAR leadership and staff is working for you, now you know what that can mean when something important to your livelihood comes along.  Membership makes a difference

2016 General Election                 

Ballots for the 2016 General Election were mailed this week.  Now, you need to fill yours out and return it on or by close-of-business November 8th!

There are three ways to return your ballot:
  • Mail: Ballots must be postmarked by Election Day, November 8th.  One First Class Stamp is required.
  • Drop Box: Drop Boxes open 20 days prior to Election Day and will close at 8:00 PM on Election Day, November 8th.  No postage required.  View Drop Box Locations.
  • Voter Service Center: Voter Service Centers are open 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM on Election Day, November 8th, only. View Voter Service Center Locations.

Your SAR Governmental Affairs Committee has interviewed many of the candidates whose names you will see on your ballot, selecting those who have, or are expected to have, favorable positions on REALTOR ® issues.  Members encourage you to consider first these SAR-endorsed candidates as you mark your ballot:

U.S. Representative (District 5):
Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Legislative District 3
State Senator: Andy Billig
State Representative (Position 1): Marcus Riccelli
State Representative (Position 2): Timm Ormsby 

Legislative District 4
State Senator: Mike Padden
State Representative (Position 1): Matt Shea 
State Representative (Position 2): Bob McCaslin

Legislative District 6  
State Representative (Position 1): Mike Volz 
State Representative (Position 2): Jeff Holy

Legislative District 7
State Representative (Position 1): Shelly Short
State Representative (Position 2): Joel Kretz

Legislative District 9
State Senator: Mark Schoesler
State Representative (Position 1): Mary Dye
State Representative (Position 2): Joe Schmick

Spokane County
Commissioner (District 1): Josh Kerns
Commissioner (District 2): Shelly O'Quinn  

Visit the The Spokesman-Review's Washington State Election Center online here:


Meeting with our U.S. Representative
SAR photo

SAR leadership meets with SAR-endorsed U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (photo above) at the Davenport Hotel, this week, to discuss current issues and deliver campaign support.

Left to right: Tom Hormel, NAR Director; Tom Lalone, SAR Governmental Affairs committee member; Jennifer Valerien, 2016 SAR President-elect; Terry Sullivan, Federal Political Coordinator to the Member of Congress; Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05); Susie Luby, 2016 SAR President; Jack Kestell, SAR Past-president; Marianne Bornhoft, NAR Director.  

Strongest in Years

The news continues to be encouraging around the Spokane real estate market these days.

Over the weekend, one local news report began with this lead:  The Spokane housing market is the strongest it's been in years.

In fact, the market performance last month (September) was the strongest we've seen since record-keeping began 30 years ago.


See the KXLY-TV news report online here.

It's interesting to follow where news reports go.  The KXLY story above was picked up by the Associated Press, then published in the Tacoma News Tribune.

You can read that article - Spokane Housing Market is Strong - online here


The City of Spokane hopes to have most of the construction completed in downtown as the winter season approaches.

Local businesses have felt the effects of the construction and some are still pushing to keep the area vibrant.

The R Downtown challenge was a collaboration effort by both the Spokane Association of Realtors and the Downtown Spokane Partnership to help businesses that were struggling during the construction.

As part of the challenge, local companies and associations are challenged each week to visit businesses along Lincoln Street and Monroe Street.
Officials from the Downtown Spokane Partnership said the challenge has proven successful.


See the complete report on KREM news, online here: 

WCR Wellness Celebration                 

The Spokane-Eastern Washington chapter of Women's Council of REALTORS® invites you to its sixth-annual 2016 Wellness Celebration and Rally - October 27th at the Spokane Convention Center.

See the event flyer (pictured above), online here

The Voice for Real Estate

REALTORS® won big when a federal appeals court slammed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for a RESPA referral fine it levied on a mortgage company that was following HUD rules.

The Voice for Real Estate video for the week of October 17, 2016, also looks at the drop in delays one year after new closing rules took effect.

It also looks at why it will take a few years before the Rural Housing Service can use delegated underwriting like FHA.

And NAR scores a win when an FHA handbook is changed to remove a provision that would have required appraisers to act more like home inspectors when it comes to appliances.

See the nine-minute video online here:

The Voice for Real Estate 56
The Voice for Real Estate 56

Real Estate Trends

If you took a time machine back to 1981, the housing and buyer preference landscape would look much different. Mortgage rates were four times higher than they are today, the typical home averaged 1,700-square-feet and cost $70,000 ($201,376 in inflation-adjusted dollars), the Internet didn't exist, and there was a much larger share of first-time buyers.

To celebrate the 35th year of NAR's Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey, the longest-running series of national housing data evaluating the demographics, preferences, and experiences of recent home buyers and sellers, here's a look at five important trends that have shaped the real estate industry.
Read more online here.  

Member 2 Member                         

Exit Real Estate invites members to support its blanket drive on November 4th and 5th at your local Fred Meyer store.

You can drop off your new and gently used blankets at the Exit Real Estate tables in either store, for distribution through Transitions this winter.   

Download the event flyer with more information, online here.


2016-2017 Winter Driving Guide 

The Washington State Department of Transportation is just out with its perennially popular Winter Driving Guide, updated for the 2016-2017 winter driving season.


ListHub Report for September                        

See the September ListHub report, online here.

Market Activity Report - September


The SAR Market Activity Report for September is now online.

See the latest full report - and archived full reports - online here.




See the September 2016 Snapshot Report (pictured above) online here.








See the 2016 Year-to-date Snapshot report (pictured above) online here.



Member Roster Update  - NEW! 
Click here to view the latest Member Roster Update - listing new and resigned members and companies.

Click here to view the latest list of MLS Subscription Waivers - approved by the Board of Directors.  

Send a message to Angie at the SAR with any changes.  

Suggestion Box




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  1924 North Ash Street 
Spokane, Washington 99205
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