Every year as the venue for the Maine REALTOR Association State Annual Meeting moves around Vacationland to set up shop, my favorite presentation segment is from MAR's Linda Gifford.
Linda has been in MAR for 35 years handling legal hot line calls to give wise advise in the many situations in real estate that come up that are prone for misunderstanding if not handled professionally.
With a full time legal hot line, and the continuing education credits you can receive toward fulfillment of every Maine real estate agent, broker, REALTOR's licensing renewal clock hours, that sold me on membership alone. Those two reasons are worth beyond the price of admission to being an MAR member.
Yesterday attended two sessions starting with "Deeds, Descriptions And Due Diligence" lead by Art Geary. And an afternoon session on "Turning Red Flags To Green" with lots of home inspection situations that come up. And how to properly deal with them for a happy conclusion, a real estate sale that does not have issues springing, popping up down the road after the closing.
Linda Gifford in this morning's session outlined the many new laws and amended legislation bills that worked their way through the legislative process in Augusta. It seems every years some of the topics covered in this fast paced presentation don't apply to my area of the state as much. Like vernal pools.
A fellow Lewiston Maine REALTOR Ann Parker, a class mate from high school commented that vernal pools don't interest her as much as rental property law changes, new radon documentation legislation and whether it passed or not out of committee. Or that you can now have two "appliances" in one lined chimney again in Maine if satisfying certain other requirements in the new and improved law.
The annual further clarifications, adjustment to the laws on the books, the fine print regulations get hashed out year after year about vernal pools.
But not something I run in to in my listing, marketing, selling Northern Maine real estate.
Overall the sentiment Linda left the large rooom full of Maine REALTORS, is that small business triumphed in this latest 125th session of the ME legislature. But that on the federal level, "they did not get the memo" in her words. Small business, and Maine real estate operations in a rural state like Vacationland have plenty of them, are the economic engine for the local economy. The process in Maine to remove needless, strangling red tape, or created from pressure of out of state lobbyist has been a success according to Linda.
Some of the bills that missed passage in the senate by one vote because one senator had a broken tooth and was off in a dentist chair, return to have a similiar narrow loss by the same margin in the house.But the next year, after clearing both the house and senate, got vetoed by then Governor Baldacci. Success though with the legislative process continued, explained Linda when a fiery short high heeled Maine senator's reintroduction leading to passage. It all adds up to helping give a Maine real estate agent, broker, REALTOR in the field a sense of the work behind the scenes needed for bill enactment.
At legislative hearings, Linda explained she quickly develops a gut feeling as she enters a subcommittee room. Looks around to hopefully hot see an army of knitters. If not that is a very good sign, omen. Somehow when the knitters show up in full force at a legislative hearing, you better hope they are pearl one, knit two'ing on the side of the legislation persuasion you happen to favor.
Law changes on landlord tenant areas, subdivision court cases, shoreland zoning ruling on wharves, docks. And even how the state views "skin divers" as if they are like a boat. Deciding rules on what they can do in tidal areas in front of your property or not all discussed, hammered in to new or modified laws.
Covered, followed, guided by the Maine Association of REALTORS Linda Gifford our legal beagle. One sharp cookie you want on your team, wearing the blue and gold "R".
The classrooms are educational but the real learning happens during lunch, coffee breaks, after a day of classes in the hospitality suites hosted by banks, lending institutions where the guys and gals sporting the "R" continue to talk shop. Compare notes and learn new ways to deliver the information on the local communities we serve, the property listings we take, market, sell. Short break to blog and off to lunch with National Association of REALTOR'S President Moe Veissi. Maine, start dreaming in blue and green. Wake up and start your dream in Vacationland.