The 4th and final Commission meeting of 2017 was held in SeaTac last week.

We saw some familiar faces (Gina from Rockwell and Bob from Washington REALTORS) and heard some interesting info.

The new commissioner, Shari Song, was introduced. While her comments were few they were succinct and showed her knowledge of the marketplace. She will be a great addition to the Commission.
I have been attending Commission meetings since 1989 and have seen good commissioners and not so good commissioners. In my opinion the board we have had the last 4 or so years has been the best ever. There are 3 Designated Broker/owners and 3 active agents. These folks are out there every day working with the public and solving problems for their clients. These folks also keep in mind what their task is as outlined in their Mission Statement:

To uphold, protect, and promote the public interest, which embraces both the interests of regulated licensees and entities and the interests of consumers, by the fair and impartial development and administration of the licensing laws and regulations.

The Commission set the dates for meetings for 2018: Mar 28 (Olympia), June 21 (Vancouver), Sept 12 (Yakima) and Dec 5 (SeaTac) Everyone is welcome to come to the meetings.

The DOL also shared a map of Washington State showing where licensees are. There are a total of 38,305 active licensees (8221 Managing Brokers and 30084 Brokers). 25107 licensees are in the tri-county area of Snohomish, King and Pierce Counties. That is 66%! Garfield county has zero licensees; Columbia county has 8 and Adams and Ferry each have 10. There is no doubt the vast majourity of licensees are concentrated on the I-5 corridor. These numbers are as of Nov 22, 2017 and include residential, commercial and property managers – everyone with an active real estate license.

Kyoko Wright has been voted in as chair of the Changing Business Practices Committee for 2018 and Shari Song has been appointed to the Education Committee. Jess Salazar remains as chair of Education and Vice Chair of the Commission.

Washington Center for Real Estate Research did a brief presentation. One of the most interesting facts was that there are areas in eastern Washington that have still not seen home values return to pre-recession prices let alone see the crazy market we have on the west side of the state. For those who love statistics check out all the details in the WCRER presentation in the Commission packet available at the DOL’s website under Commission Meetings/Minutes.

Wire Fraud is rampant across the country. DOL has addressed this with a flyer that should be available on their website in another week or so and it is in Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Spanish and English. They may add more languages if they see a need for it. Licensees will be able to download the flyer to give to their clients.

They are also working on a table of disciplinary issues which will make it easier for licensees to understand how the process works. The first draft is in the packet and will be posted to the website when finalized.

They had a presentation by folks from the Notary Department. It seems notaries are moving into the digital age as some states have docu-sign type signings. While Washington doesn’t yet have it DOL is keeping a sharp eye on what is happening as there is no doubt we will get there.

Mark your calendars for the March 28 meeting and check DOL’s website for the location. All are welcome.