Note: These additional FAQs supplement the full Core Standards FAQs available on nar.realtor and are incorporated into that document.
3.1.6. We are a small association in what some would call a “remote” area. There are no other associations close enough to make a merger practical or feasible. After careful consideration our leadership has concluded that we may not be able to meet the Core Standards and we may need to dissolve the corporation and relinquish our charter as a Member Board. While this isn’t a merger, per se, there will still be costs related to winding up the affairs of the association (e.g. cancelling our lease, staff severance, etc.). Is a “merger” grant from NAR a possibility under these circumstances?
Your situation was discussed by the NAR Finance Committee at the 2014 Annual Convention (REALTORS® Conference) where it was determined that applications for funds in circumstances such as yours will be considered by the Committee on a case by case basis. In such cases, the merger grant “minimum” of $15,000 would not be applicable, and any grant made would be based on the number of primary REALTOR® members in the “dissolving” association (i.e. $25 times the number of primary REALTOR® members). (Added 11.13.14)
3.1.7. Our small association explored the possibility of merging with a larger nearby association and our elected leaders have decided that relinquishing our charter and dissolving the corporation is preferable to expending the time, effort and money that considering, negotiating and implementing a merger would involve. We polled our membership and most of our current members indicated that, should that happen, they would likely become members of that other association. We realize that the territory currently assigned to us by NAR would revert to “unassigned” status, and that other associations could request that it be added to their existing jurisdiction.
While the costs of dissolving would be less than the costs of merging, there would still be some costs (e.g. terminating our MLS vendor contract, buying out our office lease, severance pay, etc.). Our question, though, is whether an NAR “merger grant” would be available if we dissolve our association rather than merge with the other association?
As noted in the answer to FAQ 3.1.6, situations like you describe were discussed by the NAR Finance Committee and the Committee determined that applications for funds in circumstances such as yours will be considered on a case by case basis. The merger grant “minimum” of $15,000 will not apply, and any grant made would be based on the number of primary REALTOR® members in the “dissolving” association (i.e. $25 times the number of primary REALTOR® members). (Added 11.13.14)
8.3.1. Does attendance at the annual NAR Leadership Summit count toward satisfaction of the Core Standards training requirement? The NAR Professional Standards Administrator training? Other programs conducted by NAR or by our state association?
Programming at events like the Association Executives Institute, the NAR Leadership Summit, the Professional Standards Administrator Seminar, the Advanced Professional Standards Education Seminar, that portion of the NAR Attorney Seminar open to AEs, and other similar programs conducted by NAR or by state associations that can be fairly characterized as “REALTOR® association professional development” will count toward satisfaction of the requirement. (Added 11.13.14)
10.2.4. For the first compliance cycle (ending June 30, 2015) in what tax year should the audit, review or compilation be for?
The audit, review or compilation should be for the most recent fiscal year available. In most cases that will be the association’s 2014 fiscal year. In some cases, though, associations wait until after “tax season” when the costs of preparing such reports may be less. For example, an association might conceivably have its 2014 audit performed in June or July of 2015. In those cases, the tax year for Core Standards reporting purposes would be fiscal 2013. The same will be true for future year reporting as well. (Revised 11.13.14)
10.2.6. Our association hasn’t conducted audits, reviews or compilations in the past. To complicate matters, our 2014 approved budget doesn’t include funds to have the required reports prepared by a CPA for the current fiscal year. Is there a way we can comply with the Core Standards going forward without going into debt?
At the 2014 Annual Convention (REALTORS® Conference) the Finance Committee authorized staff to accept a signed CPA engagement letter committing the association to having the required reports performed in 2015 for the association’s 2014 fiscal year. That means for the second (and future) reporting cycles, the association will need to be able to confirm that their required audit, review, or compilation was conducted. (Added 11.13.14)