Note: These additional FAQs supplement the full Core Standards FAQs available on nar.realtor and are incorporated into that document.
1.9. Will the NAR Board of Directors vote on whether associations' charter will be revoked?
The charter revocation process will begin automatically after an association's compliance with the Core Standards isn't confirmed by the state association, and that determination is shared with NAR via the Compliance Tool. If an association appeals the state association's conclusion that the local association had not met the Core Standards the local association will have an opportunity to appear before a three (3) member panel of the NAR Association Executives Committee to show cause why the association's charter shouldn't be revoked. The panel's recommendation will be reported to the NAR Board of Directors for final action. If the Directors determine the charter should be revoked, the revocation will be effective immediately. Revocation of the charters of associations that don’t challenge the state association’s determination of non-compliance will also be acted on by the Board of Directors during the NAR Convention in November 2015. (Revised 4.29.15)
1.9.1. If our association is not certified by the state association as compliant with the Core Standards, and if we don't elect to appeal the state association's determination, when would our charter as a Member Board be officially revoked?
Hopefully all associations will be able to achieve compliance with the Core Standards, either on their own or by working jointly with another association (see FAQ 2.6 for alternative methods of achieving compliance). That said, if your association is not certified by the state association, and if you don't elect to appeal the state association's determination, your charter would be revoked by the NAR Board of Directors during the NAR Convention in November, 2015. (Added 4.29.15)
1.11. A member of one of our local associations is concerned that if she pays her dues to her association and it is subsequently determined that association did not satisfy the Core Standards and its charter is revoked, she will have to join a different local association and pay dues again this year. I think she is hoping for a credit in the event this occurs.
First, it's anticipated that the vast majority of associations will meet the Core Standards.
Second, no association will lose a charter until the NAR Board of Directors acts in November, 2015.
Third, if an association were to lose its charter in November, its territory reverts to unassigned status. At that point members of the former association could choose to remain members of the state association and NAR (assuming the state association accepts direct members).
Last, given the spirit of collegiality and cooperation that's a hallmark of REALTOR® associations, it's hoped the other area associations would welcome those members, and make their transition as easy and economical as possible. It might also be noted that at that point, there would be only a month left in the year so it's likely the dues charged by the new association would be pro-rated. And, it can't be overlooked that the state and national allocations have already been paid, and only the local allocation would be in play at that point. (Added 4.29.15)
2.3.4. We have quite a few financial policies and I'm not able to attach the consolidated document to the Compliance Tool. What can I do?
A small number of associations have experienced difficulty attaching documents to the Compliance Tool. The issue in each case was the size of the file. Files cannot be larger than 10 megabytes. If your document is larger than that, simply reformat it as two (or more) documents, and attach them separately. If you are uploading an image or a pdf, you can also resize it to make it smaller. (Added 4.29.15)
5.5.8. What does it mean to include RPAC "above the line" or "below the line" in my dues billing statement?
Including RPAC "above the line" means the suggested RPAC investment amount is included in the total amount due, even though the RPAC investment is voluntary and non-payment does not affect the member's membership status. The statement should also indicate that the member may deduct the amount of the contribution from the "Total" due if he or she elects not to contribute. "Below the line" means the suggested RPAC investment amount is NOT included in total amount due to satisfy the member's dues requirements. Sometimes, a second "total" line may be added so the member can see the amount with and without the voluntary RPAC investment.
Be sure you include the required RPAC disclaimer on your dues billing. Below are two templates for you to use as a starting point. The first template should be used if the state is splitting monies received via dues billing with NAR as it must meet the requirements of the Federal Election Commission (FEC). It is important to note that some modifications may be necessary if your state’s RPAC policies or practices are different. Also be sure to check with your state association to obtain and include any additional disclaimer language that may be required by state law. The second template should be used if all monies received via dues billing will be provided to the state PAC and not split with National RPAC.
If the proceeds of the fundraising activity will be split with National RPAC and the solicitation contains a suggested contribution amount (such as in the case of dues billing):
Contributions are not deductible for federal income tax purposes. Contributions to RPAC are voluntary and are used for political purposes. The amounts indicated are merely guidelines and you may contribute more or less than the suggested amounts. The National Association of REALTORS® and its state and local associations will not favor or disadvantage any member because of the amount contributed or a decision not to contribute. You may refuse to contribute without reprisal. ____% of each contribution is used by your state PAC to support state and local political candidates; ___% is sent to National RPAC to support federal candidates and is charged against your limits under 52 U.S.C. 30116. [Add the state contribution solicitation notice, if any]
If the proceeds of the fundraising activity will be not split with National RPAC, and the state will retain 100% of the contributions:
Contributions are not deductible for federal income tax purposes. [Add the state contribution solicitation notice, if any]
Sample RPAC dues billing statements below:
(Added 10.29.14) (Answer and RPAC Disclaimer revised 4.29.15)
6.2.2. Can an association have its own Professional Standards Committee while also participating in a multi-association or regional cooperative enforcement agreement?
Yes. Associations structure cooperative enforcement agreements in a variety of ways. (Added 4.29.15)
6.11. Must our association's website include information available to members and the public about professional standards policies and procedures?
Detailed information about the information and resources that must be available on association websites can be found in FAQ 9.2. Additionally, NAR's Member Experience staff has created a comprehensive compendium of information that includes the Code of Ethics, explanatory whitepapers (e.g. Before You File an Ethics Complaint, the Sanctioning Guidelines, and others), standard forms for filing and processing ethics complaints and arbitration requests, the Statements of Professional Standards Policy adopted by the NAR Board of Directors, as well as resources for professional standards administrators. These materials can be found on nar.realtor. (Added 4.29.15)
8.10. Section IV - Unification Efforts and Support for the REALTOR® Organization requires that every association's bylaws and MLS bylaws (if the MLS is incorporated) and MLS rules be reviewed and approved by NAR at least every two (2) years. Our question is within two years of what, the effective date of the Organizational Alignment/Core Standards initiative, the end of the first compliance cycle, some other date or event?
The two year requirement is measured back from the date the association completes and submits its Core Standards compliance certification using the Compliance Tool. For example, if an association submits its compliance certification on April 1, 2015, then the date of governing document(s) compliance cannot be prior to April 1, 2013. (Added 4.29.15)
10.2.7. We maintain our financial records on a cash basis which is not in accord with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Do the Core Standards require us to follow the GAAP?
If your financial reports are not prepared according to the GAAP, the preparer should clearly disclose the basis used to the client. (Added 4.29.15)