Illinois Home Sales and Median Price Jump in February 

Illinois home sales rose 16.2 percent over previous year levels and the statewide median price was up 5.1 percent, marking six straight months of year-over-year gains, according to IAR's latest housing report. Said IAR President Michael D. Oldenettel, "The February home sales numbers show that we have a good rolling start into a portion of the year where traditionally we see more people list homes." Find county-by-county stats, the latest forecast and market talking points in Members Only Market Stats (login required). Nationally, February existing-home sales and prices rose as well, NAR reports. Below is some of the media coverage of IAR's housing report:

Industry News & Trends

$99 Early Bird Rate Ends Wednesday for IAR Spring Conference

Register by midnight tomorrow and pay just $99 for the IAR Spring Conference & Expo, May 8-9 at the Gateway Center in Collinsville. Give yourself a business edge with sessions on technology, motivation, business and legal issues along with six hours of CE.

Ten New Cities Added to IHDA Building Blocks Program 

The Illinois Building Blocks Program has been expanded to include: Belleville, Blue Island, Champaign, Cicero, Crest Hill, Joliet, Lockport, Lynwood, Melrose Park and Peoria. The community revitalization program helps qualifying buyers purchase vacant homes by offering $10,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance. Learn more.

Vote Now for Illinois Finalists in "30 Under 30" Contest

Help an Illinois REALTOR® become the "Web Choice Winner" of REALTOR® Magazine's 30 Under 30 class of 2013. Among the 50 finalists are four from Illinois: Casselyn Feinstein, Leo Solarte, Matt Laricy and Rebecca Thomson.Voting ends Friday.

IAR Closed on Friday

The IAR office and Legal Hotline will be closed on March 29 in observance of Good Friday. 

Time is Running Out! Only Two IAR Broker Management CE Webinars Remaining

Register now for a two-day IAR class designed to get managing brokers the 12 hours of broker management continuing education credit they may need by the April 30 deadline. (Broker Management CE is only required if you transitioned your license by Proficiency Exam). IAR offers the classes in an interactive online format for $159, or you can attend the classroom sessions at IAR's Springfield office for $139. See the list of upcoming sessions:

Find the new Q & A for answers to your license renewal questions. You also can take the proctored exam for the IAR Broker Management CE Webinars at one of 13 convenient kiosk locations

IDFPR Call Center Answers Licensing Questions

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) has a new call center to answer questions about obtaining a new professional license, finding authorized CE providers and license renewal. The phone number is 1-855-4IL-PROF (1-855-445-7763).

REEF Scholarship Deadline April 1

Applications for the Real Estate Educational Foundation's (REEF) Academic scholarships must be submitted by April 1. These scholarships provide financial support to talented college students and real estate professionals. Click here to learn more about these and other REEF scholarships.

Legal Issues

IAR Legal Webinar Thursday on Fair Housing 

April is Fair Housing Month and on Thursday IAR Chief Legal Counsel Steve Bochenek and Legal Hotline Attorney Betsy Urbance will be discussing a new federal fair housing rule and other issues. Register now for the one-hour webinar that begins at 9:30 a.m. You may send questions in advance to webinar@iar.org

Legislative & Advocacy

IAR's Advocacy Effort Yields Results: SB 1155 Held...For Now

When IAR asked members to fight against legislation that could layer hefty costs to doing business, they responded.Learn how calls made a difference, and what's ahead. Click here to learn what you can do to continue the battle. Read the State Capitol Report for updates on what is happening in Springfield.

RPAC Gears Up for April 9 Consolidated Election 

In the coming weeks you might hear about RPAC supporting a campaign or you might receive a postcard in the mail for candidates supported by our REALTOR® Political Action Commitee (RPAC). Learn more about RPAC at work at election time.

Sales & Marketing

First Impressions Count in Online Listings

Ever wonder what first catches the eye of potential homebuyers when they look at your online real estate listings? Researchers have found that 95 percent of people look at the exterior photo of the home for about 20 seconds before moving to other parts of the listing in a "Z" pattern. Read more in the Wall Street Journal

Home Values Boosted by Public Transportation

When homes are located near public transportation with high-frequency service, the property values perform 42 percent better, according to a new study from NAR and the American Public Transportation Association.

Happiest Job: Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents top the list of happiest jobs according to a survey by CareerBliss.com. IAR's Licensing & Training Center offers resources and tools to help you get the most out of your career.

Events

March 27

Early bird deadline for IAR Spring Conference, May 8-9 in Collinsville. Register now and IAR members pay only $99.

April 1

Application deadline for the Real Estate Educational Foundation's (REEF) academic scholarships.  

April 3

Deadline to register for Illinois Housing Leaders Conference,Capitol Conference "REALTOR® Lobby Day" and order dinner tickets for the ROTY Banquet.

April 15-16

The Illinois Housing Leaders Conference and the Capitol Conference "REALTOR®" Lobby Day" will be held in Springfield.  

April 16-18

IAR Business Meetings will be held in Springfield. 

April 17

REALTOR® of the Year Banquet. Join the Illinois Real Estate Educational Foundation and IAR in honoring the 2013 Illinois REALTOR® of the Year and all local Board REALTORS® of the year on April 17 in Springfield. Order your dinner ticket by April 3

April 26

IAR Multicultural Summit: Opportunities in the Caribbean and South Africa will be held in Oak Brook. 

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