NAR Call For Action: FHA Condo Financing

Industry News No Comments »


The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is issuing a Call For Action to all REALTORS® asking all 100 United States Senators to pass H.R. 3700, the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016. H.R. 3700 contains provisions to ease FHA restrictions on condo sale and purchase; provides permanent authority for direct endorsement for approved lenders to approve Rural Housing Service loans; and makes reforms to federally assisted rental housing programs to streamline the program.

Condominiums continue to be the most affordable homeownership option for many. NAR believes that loosening FHA’s condominium rules will ensure that more homeowners will be able to sell their units, and homebuyers will have more opportunities to buy affordable properties.

This bill passed unanimously in the House (427-0 vote) yet it languishes in the United States Senate. NAR sent a letter to all U.S. Senators, and you can contact Hawaii’s Senate delegation via the below:

Sen. Mazie Hirono
330 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-6361

Sen. Brian Schatz
722 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3934

Visit the NAR Call For Action page after Monday, June 13, 2016 for more information. You can also sign up to receive REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts.

Below are additional details on HR 3700 from NAR’s Federal Financing and Housing Policy Committee:

What is the fundamental issue?

While the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has loosened its condominium approval requirements in recent years, many properties continue to struggle to meet overly stringent criteria and the majority of
properties are being denied.

I am a real estate professional. What does this mean for my business?

Buyers and sellers of condominiums may find the property is ineligible for FHA financing, restricting the pool of buyers for that property.

NAR Policy:

Condominiums continue to be the most affordable homeownership option for many first time buyers, small families, single people, and older Americans. NAR believes that loosening FHA’s condominium rules will ensure that more homeowners will be able to sell their units, and homebuyers will have more opportunities to buy affordable properties. Furthermore, FHA promotes high density, urban living in many of their Smart Growth initiatives; easing condo restrictions should be part of this effort.

Opposition Arguments:

Opponents of NAR policy believe that condominium properties are more inherently risky than other residential real estate, and that the federal government should not be involved in that market. They also
believe that condo properties that include rental units are even more risky because the renters don’t have the investment and may not treat the property as well as owners. Therefore, they think FHA’s restriction on the number of rental units reduces the risk.

Legislative/Regulatory Status/Outlook:

In February, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3700, the “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2015”, introduced by Reps. Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and Cleaver (D-MO), by a unanimous vote of 427-0! This legislation will provide 4 changes to FHA’s current condo policy. H.R. 3700 will: 1) reduce owner-occupancy ratio to 35% unless HUD acts within 90 days of enactment of this law to otherwise lower the ratio; 2) allow lenders to approve condos with commercial space over 25%; 3) require HUD Secretary to “substantially reduce” burdens on condo recertification; and 4) require FHA to mirror the FHFA rules related to private transfer fees. NAR is now working with the Senate to move legislation there.

Congratulations to the ‘Top 100 Realtors’!

Industry News No Comments »


top100-sideimageHawaii Information Service offers its heartiest congratulations to its many members that were recognized by Hawaii Business magazine in its tenth annual “Top 100 Realtors.” This year’s featured Realtors were recognized last week at a special celebration at The Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki.

Once again, Hawaii Information Service was the evening’s entertainment sponsor. Award winning and Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Henry Kapono Ka’aihue got the crowd up and dancing to cap off another wonderful evening.

Top 100 Realtors by Total Sales

Hawaii Information Service and its participating boards (the Kauai Board of Realtors, Hawaii Island Realtors and West Hawaii Association of Realtors) are proud to play a part in helpingHawaii Business build its lists each year, although it is an independent program of the magazine. Below is the list of Top 100 Realtors by Total Sales (residential, alphabetical order, as provided by Hawaii Business), with special congratulations to our members in bold!

  • Adrienne W Lally (Keller Williams Honolulu)
  • Amy F Frazier (Reside Kauai, LLC)
  • Anne Hogan Perry (Coldwell Banker Pacific Prop.)
  • Anne Oliver (Coldwell Banker Pacific Prop.)
  • Beth Chang (Coldwell Banker Pacific Prop.)
  • Bob Hansen (Maui Luxury Real Estate LLC)
  • Bradley S MacArthur (Wailea Realty Corp)
  • Bryn W Kaufman (
  • Carl W Smigielski (Sandwich Isles Realty, Inc.)
  • Carrie Nicholson (Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers)
  • Charlene Tongg (Keller Williams Honolulu)
  • Clint Hansen (Maui Luxury Real Estate LLC)
  • Corinda S Wong (Locations LLC)
  • Courtney J Takai (Vesta Hawaii Real Estate)
  • Cynthia L Nash (Choi International)
  • Damien J Zanolini (Coldwell Banker Island Prop(S))
  • Dan Madden (East Oahu Realty, Inc.)
  • Danette K Andrews (Elite Pacific Properties)
  • Daniel K Ihara (Keller Williams Honolulu)
  • Dano Sayles (RE/MAX Lifestyle)
  • Dave Wagner (Wailea Point Realty, Inc.)
  • David W Richardson (Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers)
  • Derek Kamm (Keller Williams Honolulu)
  • Diane O Ito (Keller Williams Honolulu)
  • Dolores P Bediones (Locations LLC)
  • Donna A Duryea (Elite Pacific Properties LLC)
  • Eileen F Lacerte (Hawaii Beach and Golf Properties)
  • Elle Phillips (Kohanaiki Realty LLC)
  • Erik E Hinshaw (Hawaii Life Real Est. Brokers)
  • Erin B Evans (CENTURY 21 All Islands)
  • Glen H Fujihara (Locations LLC)
  • H. Scott Rotheiser (REALHome Services & Solutions)
  • Hannah Sirois (Kauai Heritage Properties, LLC)
  • Harold Clarke (Luxury Big Island By Harold Clarke)
  • Holly Turl (Coldwell Banker Pacific Prop.)
  • Ivy N Kumai (Ivy K Realty, LLC)
  • James A Schneider (Kukio Properties)
  • Jeff Simon (Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers)
  • Jeffrey N Samuels (Jeffrey Samuels Real Estate)
  • Jo-Ann M Aki (Emerald Club Realty, Inc.)
  • Joannie Hsieh (Central Pacific Properties,Inc)
  • Joel L Cavasso (Kailua Beach Realty)
  • John Peterson (Coldwell Banker Pacific Prop.)
  • Joni J. Metzler (Kohanaiki Realty LLC)
  • Josh Jerman (Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers)
  • Julianna Garris (Choi International)
  • Kathy J Christiansen (MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty, Kona)
  • Kay M Mukaigawa (Primary Properties Inc.)
  • Kelly Allen (Carvill Sotheby’s Intl. Realty)
  • Kelly Lee (Drake Properties, Inc.)
  • Kim Balisacan (BHGRE Advantage Realty)
  • Leian Harosky (Coldwell Banker Pacific Prop.)
  • Margaret Murchie (Coldwell Banker Pacific Prop.)
  • Mark A Marchello (Mark A Marchello Inc)
  • Marshall C Mower (Locations LLC)
  • Mary LaVoie-Olson (Elite Pacific Properties, LLC)
  • Mathew Huy Ngo (CENTURY 21 All Islands)
  • Melanie Long (Pacific International Realty)
  • Michael K. Sheehan (Hanalei Land Company, LLC.)
  • Michael R. Schmidt, R(B) (Coldwell Banker Bali Hai Realty, Inc.)
  • Mikiko Terahira (Coldwell Banker Pacific Prop.)
  • Myron N Kiriu (BHGRE Advantage Realty)
  • Nancy J Callahan (The Wailea Group LLC)
  • Nathalie C Mullinix (Nathalie Mullinix Realty Universal, Inc.)
  • Nathan W. Smith (Century 21 All Islands – Princeville)
  • Neal A. Norman (Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers)
  • Nicole Inja Choi (Locations LLC)
  • Patricia Choi (Choi International)
  • Regina M Stuard (Hawaii Resort Homes, LLC)
  • Richard S Cricchio (Help-U-Sell Honolulu Prop.)
  • Robert Chancer (Mauna Kea Realty)
  • Robert H Dein (Maui Real Estate Advisors LLC)
  • Robert H Merriman (The Wailea Group LLC)
  • Robert Kildow (Hualalai Realty)
  • Robert R Myers (Elite Pacific Properties, LLC)
  • Sachiyo S Braden (Sachi HI Pacific Century Prop.)
  • Scott Adams (BHGRE Advantage Realty)
  • Scott R Carvill (Carvill Sotheby’s Intl. Realty)
  • Shannon D Severance (RE/MAX Honolulu)
  • Stephanie L Chan (Locations LLC)
  • Stephen A Cipres (Elite Pacific Properties, LLC)
  • Stephen T. L. Hurwitz (Mauna Kea Realty)
  • Sue Brown (Livingston Realty)
  • Susan N Borochov (Coldwell Banker Pacific Prop.)
  • Susan Onishi Andrade (Locations LLC)
  • Suzanne M Harding (Kukui’ula Realty Group LLC)
  • Thomas Loratta (Hualalai Realty)
  • Timothy J Rizzo-Murray (Green Realty Group)
  • Tom Tezak (Wailea Realty Corp)
  • Tomoko Matsumoto (Hawaii Beach and Golf Properties)
  • Tony Kawaguchi (Hawaii Homes International)
  • Tony L. Pinkert (Hualalai Realty)
  • Tracey Anne Stott Kelley (Stott Real Estate, Inc.)
  • Tracy Allen (Coldwell Banker Pacific Prop.)
  • Trevor W Benn (Benn Pacific Group, Inc.)
  • Vincent Lao (Five Star Realty, Inc.)
  • Wana’ao W Eldridge (Choi International)
  • Wendy R Peterson (Island Sotheby’s Int’l Rlty(M))
  • Yvonne J. Khouri-Morgan (Mauna Lani Realty, Inc.)
  • Yvonne Summerfield (RE/MAX Kauai Living)

Find More in the June 2016 Issue of Hawaii Business

top100-coverThe ranked list can be found in the June 2016 issue, as well as other lists (including Most Transactions, Top 10 for Vacant Land, Top Companies by Sales & Transactions, and Honorable Mention). For information on the criteria used to compile this and other lists, see Hawaii Business’ write up of its methodology from 2015.

The DMCA for Real Estate

Industry News No Comments »

copyright-cMost real estate professionals understand the importance of copyright and proper licensing for photos, and we send out regular reminders to help bring new agents and marketing team members up to speed. But even with safeguards in place, it’s possible to get entangled in a copyright claim.

At the most recent annual meeting of the National Association of REALTORS®, industry leaders emphasized the importance of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA, which is the most commonly cited law in disputes over copyrighted images and other content.

Once you’ve taken steps to ensure you use only your own or licensed photos in listings and marketing materials, there are a few more things you can do to stay on the right side of the law.

What is the DMCA?

The DMCA became law in 1998 and specifically amended Title 17 of the United States Code to address a number of copyright concerns raised by the advent of the Internet.

While the DMCA extended the reach of copyright law and established both civil and criminal penalties for violations, it also carved out “safe harbor” provisions that are important protections for publishers and platforms, from giants like Facebook to small website operators.

The DMCA is most commonly invoked in the music industry: the DMCA was a key tool used to shut down music sharing services like Napster, and YouTube implemented DMCA rules and technology that prevents you from uploading your homemade Rihanna music video.

How does it apply to real estate?

hir-officeOnline marketing is a critical part of real estate, whether it’s via eye-catching property photos, flyers and brochures, agent or broker websites, or Instagram shots and Facebook ads. And since listing photos are often distributed and displayed on a huge network of real estate sites, nearly every MLS member is posting information online.

If you take your own property photos, or hire a professional photographer (with the appropriate licensing terms), you’re in good shape. Expanding to “community photos” or “lifestyle photos” often complicates things… it might be hard for new agents to resist using a photo found online of a beautiful waterfall, or a whale breaching out of the ocean.

However, despite your best efforts, it’s possible to inadvertently get ensnared in a copyright dispute. A third-party designer may have used a photo from a “free stock photo” website that wasn’t actually free, for example. Or, another agent’s waterfall photo could appear on your website without your knowledge through an IDX. Copyright claims are initially targeted at the owner of the website where the infringing image appears, not the person who uploaded it to the MLS.

What can I do to be prepared?

Whether infringement occurs through an IDX, “borrowed” listing photos, or an inexperienced designer, you can take steps to secure “safe harbor” from copyright infringement claims. The DMCA established standard procedures for copyright owners to file claims, and for publishers to respond.

Along with NAR, we recommend three basic steps for real estate professionals, especially those with an online presence:

  1. copyright-designation-form-arrow-2Designate an agent with the U.S. Copyright Office – The U.S. Copyright Office provides a very simple form [PDF] to specify a person to receive notices of copyright claims. You can designate yourself or a colleague, providing contact information and a $105 filing fee.
  2. Adopt a basic DMCA policy and set up a procedure to respond to claims – It’s important to educate your team on copyright and the DMCA, and how to respond to copyright claims (including prompt takedown of the content and notification). This can be included in your office manual or employee handbook. See below for links to examples.
  3. Post the policy and agent contact information on your website – To make sure that parties who wish to file a copyright claim with you know that you are prepared to respond to them, include your copyright and DMCA policy on your website, either as part of a Terms of Service or a specific page. It should include the name and contact information of your designated agent.

Success is 90 percent preparation, and demonstrating that you are prepared goes a long way in the rare case that a copyright claim comes your way.

Where can I find more information?

This is only an overview of the DMCA for real estate, but fortunately there is a lot of good information available online. Here are some resources that you might find helpful, including examples of DMCA notices:

Hawaii Information Service will also be delivering in-person presentations on the DMCA. You can view the slides from a recent presentation here.

Call for Action: Protect Realtors from Patent Trolls

Industry News No Comments »


From the National Association of Realtors:

Next week the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on H.R. 9 – The Innovation Act of 2015 which will take vital steps to protect the real estate industry from frivolous lawsuits brought by patent trolls.  It is critical that you urge your Member of Congress to support this important legislation.

Contact your Member of Congress to Stop Patent Trolls

The National Association of Realtors is supporting H.R. 9 – The Innovation Act to close loopholes in our legal system that allows patent trolls to thrive.  REALTORS® are targeted by patent trolls at alarming rates for simply using common business technologies like dropdown menus and search functions on websites or scan-to-email technologies found in every office scanner.  Patent trolls exist solely to purchase old patents and to use the threat of expensive lawsuits to extort money from legitimate businesses.  Congress must pass common-sense comprehensive patent litigation reform to protect Main Street businesses and REALTORS® from patent troll abuse.

Contact your U.S. Representative and urge them to support H.R. 9, the Innovation Act

Here is a video primer on this issue:

Thank you for your support on this important legislative issue.

Congratulations to the ‘Top 100 Realtors’ for 2015!

Industry News 1 Comment »

Congratulations to our many members recognized this year!


The Hawaii Information Service ‘ohana offers its heartiest congratulations to its many members that were recognized by Hawaii Business magazine in its ninth annual “Top 100 Realtors.” This year’s featured Realtors were recognized yesterday at a special celebration at The Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki.

Big Island agents in attendance (above), and agents from Kauai (below).

We also paid tribute to this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner Rochelle Lee Gregson, who retired last month after a decade at the helm of the Honolulu Board of Realtors.


And this year, Hawaii Information Service was the evening’s entertainment sponsor. Powerhouse Hawaiian musician Willie K gave an electrifying performance. Here he showcases his vocal talents with Italian opera standard “O Sole Mio.”


The Hawaii Business Top 100 Realtors for 2015:

  • Adrienne W. Lally - Keller Williams Honolulu
  • Ann T. Kwock - Trinity Properties, LLC
  • Anne Hogan Perry - Coldwell Banker Pacific Prop.
  • Anne Rediske - Anne Rediske REALTOR
  • Atsuko Sato - Keller Williams Honolulu
  • Barbara L. Sloan - Coldwell Banker Bali Hai Realty, Inc.
  • Ben M. Welborn - Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers
  • Beth Chang - Coldwell Banker Pacific Prop.
  • Billy Jalbert - The Maui Real Estate Team, Inc
  • Bob Hansen - Maui Estates International (W); Maui Luxury Real Estate LLC
  • Bob Myers - Kona Resort Properties
  • Brandon C. Lau - Prudential Locations LLC
  • Bryn W. Kaufman -
  • Corinda S. Wong - Prudential Locations LLC
  • Cynthia L. Nash - Choi International
  • Dan Madden - East Oahu Realty, Inc.
  • Daniel K. Ihara - Keller Williams Honolulu
  • Dano Sayles - RE/MAX Lifestyle
  • David J. Kucic - Hawaii Military Realty, Inc.
  • David Johnston - Kukio Properties
  • Dean A. Otto - Sakamoto Properties Limited
  • Debbie Arakaki - Elite Pacific Properties, LLC
  • Derek Kamm - Choi International
  • Dolores P. Bediones - Prudential Locations LLC
  • Don A. Persons - Gold Coast Real Estate Inc.
  • Elizabeth L. Suratt - Sterman Realty
  • Erin B. Evans - CENTURY 21 All Islands
  • Glen H. Fujihara - Prudential Locations LLC
  • Gregory J. Harbottle - Gregory Harbottle, Inc
  • Gregory K. Natori - Hawaii Resource Realty
  • Hannah Sirois - Kauai Heritage Properties, LLC
  • Harold Clarke - Windermere/C and H Properties
  • Iku S. Honda - Coldwell Banker Pacific Prop.
  • James A. Schneider - Kukio Properties
  • Jan Nores - Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers
  • Jeffrey N. Samuels - Jeffrey Samuels Real Estate
  • Jeremy Stice - Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers
  • JoAnn M. Aki - Emerald Club Realty, Inc.
  • Joel L. Cavasso - CENTURY 21 Kailua Beach
  • John L. Tyrrell - Jack Tyrrell & Company
  • John Peterson - Coldwell Banker Pacific Prop.
  • Jon M. Yamasato - Prudential Locations LLC
  • Joni J. Metzler - Kohanaiki Realty LLC
  • Josh Jerman - Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers
  • Julianna Garris - Choi International
  • Kay M. Mukaigawa - Primary Properties Inc.
  • Ken Smith - Coldwell Banker Island Prop(S)
  • Kim Insley-Morrell - Coldwell Banker Island Prop(S)
  • Kimm M. Hirahara - List Sotheby’s Int’l Realty
  • Maggie L. Huang - Choi International
  • Malia Siu - Prudential Locations LLC
  • Margaret Murchie - Coldwell Banker Pacific Prop.
  • Margy Grosswendt - Margy Grosswendt RE Agency LLC
  • Marshall C. Mower - Prudential Locations LLC
  • Mary Anne Fitch - Maui Estates International LLC
  • Mary LaVoie-Olson - Elite Pacific Properties, LLC
  • Mary M. Beddow - Coldwell Banker Pacific Prop.
  • Mei Pang - Prudential Advantage Realty
  • Melanie Long - Pacific International Realty
  • Myra Brandt - Kahala Associates, Inc.
  • Myron N. Kiriu - Prudential Advantage Realty
  • Nancy J. Callahan - The Wailea Group LLC
  • Nathalie C. Mullinix - Nathalie Mullinix Realty Universal, Inc.
  • Neal A. Norman - Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers
  • Nelson C. Ferreira - Kaanapali Resort Realty LLC
  • Nicole Inja Choi - Prudential Locations LLC
  • Patricia Case - Case Properties International
  • Patricia Choi - Choi International
  • Raymond S. Chin - Maui Estates International LLC
  • Rebecca J. Keliihoomalu - MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty - Kamuela
  • Rhonda Smith-Sanchez - Coldwell Banker Island Prop(P)
  • Richard S. Cricchio - Help-U-Sell Honolulu Prop.
  • Rob Shelton - Island Sotheby’s Int’l Rlty(L)
  • Robert H. Dein - Maui Real Estate Advisors LLC
  • Robert J. Cartwright - Whalers Realty Inc
  • Robert Kildow - Hualalai Realty
  • Robert R. Myers - Coldwell Banker Island Prop(L)
  • Roger R. Pleski - Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers
  • Ronald N. Lee - Real Estate Incorporated
  • Roxanne M. Baker - Kona Coast Realty Corporation
  • Roy H. Sakamoto - Sakamoto Properties Limited
  • Sachiyo S. Braden - Sachi HI Pacific Century Prop.
  • Sandy T. Ho - Dower Realty, Inc.
  • Scott Adams - Prudential Advantage Realty
  • Shannon D. Severance - RE/MAX Honolulu
  • Shinji Kamimura - Seven Signatures International
  • Stephanie L. Chan - Prudential Locations LLC
  • Susan N. Borochov - Coldwell Banker Pacific Prop.
  • Suzanne M. Harding - Kukui’ula Realty Group LLC
  • Thomas Loratta - Hualalai Realty
  • Tom Tezak - Wailea Realty Corp
  • Tony Kawaguchi - Hawaii Homes International
  • Tony L. Pinkert - Hualalai Realty
  • Tracey Anne Stott Kelley - Stott Real Estate, Inc.
  • Tracy P. Allen - Coldwell Banker Pacific Prop.
  • Trevor W. Benn - Benn Pacific Group, Inc.
  • Walt Kubiak - Maui Westside Properties
  • William B. Moffett - Moffett Properties
  • Yvonne J. Khouri-Morgan - Mauna Lani Realty, Inc.
  • Yvonne Summerfield - RE/MAX Kauai Living

HIS, in partnership with the Kauai Board of Realtors and Hawaii Island Realtors, is proud to have played a part in helping Hawaii Business build its list each year, although it is an independent program of the magazine. The full ranked list and all the details can be found in the June 2015 issue. For information on the criteria used to compile this and other lists, seeHawaii Business‘ write up of its methodology here.

WordPress Theme & Icons by N.Design Studio.
Entries RSS Comments RSS Log in