Watchdog Report – February 5, 2024


Your SC REALTORS® Association is unparalleled in their advocacy of Realtor issues at the SC State House and in state government.  The SC Advocacy Team is chaired by Hilton Head Island Realtor Brian Kinard and led by Chief Advocacy Officer Lindsay Hutto.  The SCR Legislative Committee has 17 members from around the state, including three from the Western Upstate:

  • Reah Smith, Lake Keowee Real Estate and 2024 SCR President
  • Lorrain Harding, Lorraine Harding Real Estate and Federal Political Coordinator for US Senator Lindsay Graham
  • Michael Dey, WUAR Director of Government Affairs

What’s on the SC Realtors Advocacy Agenda?

In 2024, your SC REALTORS® Association is focusing on four key issues:

  1. Short-Term Rentals: Provide business certainty and protection of private property rights for short-term rental operators and ensure that short-term rentals are properly licensed, regulated, and taxed.
  2. Unfair Service Agreements: Limit long-term marketing and listing agreements to protect property owners from unconscionable contracts.
  3. Realtor Practice Act Update: Update and modernize the license law for licensed real estate agents.
  4. Prohibit the use of eminent domain by Petroleum Pipeline Companies: The use of eminent domain by these companies has been under a moratorium since 2016.  SCR seeks to extend that moratorium and enact legislation that permanently prohibits pipeline companies from using eminent domain.

Of course, there are often dozens of other bills and regulations that your association government affairs team monitors, sometimes supports, and sometimes opposes.  Last week, Lindsay Hutto told 300 Realtors at the annual Capitol Conference in Columbia that sometimes the biggest wins are the wins you don’t hear about: bad legislations that doesn’t pass.

Lindsay’s team is well-rounded and includes:

  • Austin Smallwood, SCR Attorney, and regulatory and legislative affairs director
  • Nick Kremydas, SCR CEO and Attorney, and former SCR government affairs leader
  • Byron King, SCR Chief Legal Officer
  • Louis Dettorre, SCR Political Director
  • Tarra Pitts, SCR Attorney, and director of Fair Housing policy

What’s the latest?

The unfair service agreement bill, S.881, was approved by a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee last week.  The bill prohibits the recording of unfair service agreements.  If enacted, these types of listing agreements will be prohibited:

  • Last more than one year.
  • Run with the land.
  • Bind future owners.
  • Allow assignment of the right to provide services to another party without notice and agreement of the owner of residential real estate.
  • Create a lien, encumbrance, or other real property security interest.

The real estate license law modernization bill, H.4754, was introduced January 9. 

Not on the advocacy agenda, but supported by SCR, is the real estate appraisers bill, H.3278.  Last year, the SC Appraisal Board claimed that a Realtor providing pricing advice was engaged in the unauthorized practice of appraisal services.  The bill will clarify that performing property evaluations (broker price opinions or comparative market analysis) is not an appraisal.  The bill was approved last week by the full House Labor Commerce and Industry Committee.

You can check out Lindsay Hutto’s weekly legislative report at SCR’s YouTube channel.

Support RPAC

RPAC is an important element of your Realtors Association’s advocacy program.  I encourage you to support RPAC and we make it easy to do so—we include a voluntary RPAC contribution on your annual dues renewal.  Simply pay it and you have support RPAC.  If you want to do more, it’s easy

Michael Dey, Director of Government Affairs