Iowa REALTORS Achieve Bipartisan Policy Successes in 2024

It was a busy and successful 2024 legislative session for Iowa REALTORS®. With this year’s shortened session timeline, the legislature worked quickly to move legislation through both chambers and to the Governor’s desk. 

REALTORS® passed two pieces of priority legislation, The Real Estate Transparency Act and the Real Estate Wholesaling Consumer Protection Act, with unanimous bipartisan support in both chambers. Both pieces of legislation were signed by Governor Kim Reynolds prior to the end of session. The IAR Government Affairs team diligently tracked policy and were able to stop two harmful bills that limited property rights from coming to the floor for debate. As a leader in coalition building and bipartisanship at the statehouse, IAR worked closely with several coalition partners to promote affordable housing and incentivize increasing inventory across the state.  

SF2291: The Real Estate Transparency Act

As Iowa navigated the impacts of the class action lawsuits brought by homesellers, IAR proactively introduced and passed the Real Estate Transparency Act to ensure licensees in the state were prepared for the future of real estate. SF2291 will go into effect on July 1, 2024. This legislation:

  • Requires that a buyer agreement be signed prior to showing a property or prior to an offer being made if no property is shown. This requirement does not apply to open houses.

  • Requires that brokerage agreements conspicuously display a statement that the broker's commission, fees, and compensation are negotiable and not set by law.

  • Authorizes sellers to use a portion of the proceeds of the sale of real property or another source to pay a buyer's licensee compensation.

  • Maintains agency disclosure requirements to ensure the role of a licensee and their value in a transaction is clearly communicated to clients.

  • Provides transparency in the allocation of compensation of brokers in a real estate transaction.

HF2394: Real Estate Wholesaling Consumer Protection Act

To protect consumers and ensure transparency in transactions involving a wholesaler, IAR introduced and passed HF2394 which will go into effect on July 1, 2024. This legislation:

  • Establishes a clear legal definition of real estate wholesaling to distinguish it from other real estate activities.

  • Requires a real estate licensee’s involvement in the transactions ensuring professionalism. The wholesaler themselves must be a real estate licensee or they must be represented by a real estate licensee.

  • Enacts requirements for wholesalers to provide mandatory comprehensive and transparent disclosures to both sellers and buyers involved in a transaction.

  • Creates penalties of $10,000 or 10 percent of the sales price for individuals or entities engaging in fraudulent wholesaling activities.

SF455: Stormwater and Topsoil Regulation

In recent years, increasing development costs have been spurred by growing regulations. IAR worked closely with the Iowa Home Builders Association to pass legislation that will lower development costs leading to more affordable housing for consumers. SF455

  • Prohibits a city or country from mandating stormwater and topsoil regulation beyond what is required by the EPA, DNR, and General Permit No. 2

  • If a city or county desires to go beyond the required standard, they will be responsible for paying the cost increases associated with the heightened regulation.

HF2326: Property Management Code Update

In coordination with the Iowa Apartment Association, IAR advocated for changes to 543B to align Iowa Code with current property management practices. HF2326 was signed by the Governor and is now in effect:

  • Updates Iowa code to allow a person who is a non licensed employee of a real estate broker to engage in advertising, showing, listing, collection of rents and deposits, procuring of prospects, completing form agreements, and executing form agreements as it relates to the rental of real estate.

HF2388: Materials for Residential Exteriors

Consumer choice is essential in all real estate transactions, that includes the materials a consumer wishes to use to build their home. HF2388 ensures consumer choice by:

  • Prohibiting a county from banning the use of a specific style of exterior cladding or finish materials for residential buildings in a manner that is more restrictive than the state building code.

Along with the legislative wins listed above, the IAR Government Affairs team stopped two harmful proposals this session which would have greatly infringed on private property rights including:

HF2221: This legislation would have eliminated a current law which prohibits a county or city from adopting or enforcing an ordinance imposing any limitation on the amount of rent that can be charged for leasing private residential or commercial property. 

SF2123: This legislation would have allowed Iowa cities and counties with a population of less than 75,000 people to implement short term rental restrictions and regulations.

IAR’s legislative success would not be possible without the advocacy of our 8,000 members across the state! We are thankful and proud of the power and impact of the REALTOR voice!

Please reach out to the IAR Government Affairs team with any questions on the legislation mentioned above.

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