Illinois home sales climbed 13.6 percent in March compared to a year ago and the statewide median price increased 3.6 percent to $135,000, according to the latest IAR housing report  released Monday. The Chicago PMSA and the city of Chicago also saw home sales and prices increase in March. Said IAR President Michael D. Oldenettel: "The decreasing time it takes to sell a home, coupled with shrinking inventories shows there is keen interest on the part of homebuyers who are rushing to lock in favorable interest rates and take advantage of low, but increasing prices." Nationally, March existing-home sales fell slightly compared to last month because of limited inventory,NAR reports . Find detailed information in IAR Members Only Market Stats  (login required).
In a one-hour webinar on April 24, Greg Herder will tell you how to take control and direct the outcome of your listing presentations. Click here  for information about joining the webinar that begins at noon.
The housing market improved in most regions tracked by the Federal Reserve including Chicago, according to the latest Beige Book report .
NAR recently submitted comments  to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on the impact growing student loan debt has on homebuyers, particularly first-time buyers. A recent Bloomberg News article, "American Dream Eludes with Student Debt Burden: Mortgages ," takes a closer look at the issue.
Professionalism is key to establishing yourself as a trusted expert in the industry. What tips and rules for professional courtesy do you follow when dealing with clients and colleagues? Tell us your tips  and you could be featured in an upcoming IAR publication.
The U.S. Senate has voted to bring the online sales tax legislation to the floor for debate. A recent Washington Post article, "Everything you need to know about the Senate's online sales-tax bill ," provides an overview of the bill. IAR and NAR support passage of the legislation that does not impose a new tax, however it levels the playing field.
Managing brokers, time is running out to get the 12 hours of broker management continuing education  credit you may need by the April 30 deadline. (Broker Management CE is only required if you transitioned your license by Proficiency Exam). Register now for the final IAR class on April 26-27 (Friday/Saturday), with Instructor Norm Willoughby. IAR offers an interactive webinar format  or you can attend the classroom session  at IAR's Springfield office. Learn more .
Mark your calendar for the April 25 IAR Legal Webinar . IAR Chief Legal Counsel Steve Bochenek and Legal Hotline Attorney Betsy Urbance will discuss the scope of the brokerage license and potential consequences for crossing the line. Find registration information. 
More than $25,000 was raised for the REALTORS® Political Action Committee at last week's RPAC Stick Horse Derby. Thanks to all who volunteered and contributed to RPAC and the fun including Derby Race Champion Amanda Wycoff riding "Bananas for RPAC" sponsored by the Bloomington-Normal Association of REALTORS®. The Derby Hat Contest winner was Dana Hybl. See photos on Flickr .
Read "What Is, What Isn't Law " with help from RPAC funding. Top on the most recent list — stopping hits to the mortgage interest deduction and the five-year extension of the National Flood Insurance Program. (Disclaimer: The Illinois REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) solicits contributions from IAR members only.)
It was a busy legislative week at the Illinois State Capitol. Read the latest State Capitol Report  for updates on bills important to your business including SB 2266, an initiative of IAR that makes two clarifying changes to the license law.
Register by midnight Wednesday  and pay just $119 (includes six hours CE) for the Spring Conference & Expo, May 8-9 in Collinsville. Speakers and instructors include: Dr. Tom Hill, Doug Devitre, Mark Barker, Lynn Madison, Steve Bochenek and Jill Johnson. Find a schedule, list of expo exhibitors and details  on this two-day event that can give you the knowledge, skills and motivation to make this year a winner.
You can still attend the IAR Multicultural Summit: Opportunities in the Caribbean and South Africa  on April 26 in Oak Brook.
Commercial Legislative Program : A Summary of 2013 State Legislation Affecting Commercial Real Estate in Illinois and Local Lobbying Efforts in Illinois. Event will be held in Naperville.
IAR Multicultural Summit : Opportunities in the Caribbean and South Africa will be held in Oak Brook. Walk-in registration still available.
IAR Spring Conference & Expo  at the Gateway Center in Collinsville. Get motivated with sessions on technology, tips for boosting your business success, industry and legal updates and up to six hours of CE.
Deadline to submit entries for NAR's 14th Annual Good Neighbor Awards .
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