NORMAN — Oklahoma Realtors attending an educational conference in Norman this week are gearing up for the Nov. 1 changes in brokerage relationships mandated by state law.
The changes will simplify an agent’s role in a transaction and clarify who that agent represents, said Joe Pryor, state president and a sales associate at an Oklahoma City brokerage.
“We’re working for the transaction,” Pryor said. “In a perfect world, there are no losers in a real estate transaction.”
Attorney Bruce Aydt presented two sessions on the law changes to the Realtors meeting at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center, which started Wednesday and ends today. Oklahoma Association of Realtors officials said about 350 Realtors had registered for the conference.
Pryor, of Oklahoma City, said the educational conference and trade show provides a good opportunity for Realtors to network and learn industry trends. Sessions were planned on working in the digital age, property management 101, listing photography and improving performance. Additionally, a class on yoga was planned.
“Real estate can be a stressful business with long hours, so people need to learn how to relax, too,” Pryor said. “We just wanted to try some things that are different.”
He said the real estate industry has lost hundreds of Oklahoma agents since the 2008 recession began. From 2007 to 2013, there are about 2,500 fewer members of the Oklahoma Association of Realtors, which now counts about 8,350 members.
The Sooner state, which learned its lesson on lending and market volatility in the oil boom and bust of the 1980s, hasn’t been as hard hit as other parts of the country. Lenders were more circumspect, he said.
“We’ve been a pretty steady market. What we didn’t have here that they had in other areas is speculation,” he said.
“It looks to me like, in most places, it has stabilized. We are having a marvelous recovery in Oklahoma,” he said, noting that southeast Oklahoma seems to be slower than most areas.
Mortgage loan rates, which have been at historic lows, are beginning to rise.
“When the economy is strong, you have inflation and rates will go up,” Pryor said.
Nationally, home prices rose 12.4 percent this July over July 2012. The increase was the highest since February 2006.
An Associated Press report said home prices have increased nationally about 21 percent since bottoming out in 2012. They remain about 22 percent below the peak reached in July 2006.
The OAR president, a 24-year veteran of real estate, said between 2007 and 2013, there were 750,000 fewer households that were owner-occupied and 2.1 million more rental units.
Nationally, Pryor said legislation is still pending that would eliminate the mortgage tax deduction, 1031 real estate exchanges that allow sellers to defer gains, and a capital gains exclusion of $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for married couples.
“Nobody knows exactly how they’re going to deal with budget issues,” he said.