Watchdog Report – May 13th


The SC General Assembly wrapped up the main part of their work last week and adjourned.  They’ll come back in a couple of weeks to deal with vetoes by the Governor and adopt the final version of the budget, among other things.  They’ll elect a new SC Supreme Court Justice in a couple of weeks as well.

These are our 2024 agenda items with their status.  The short version is most of the SC REALTOR® Advocacy Agenda passed!

  • License Law Update—PASSED: modernizes and addresses new issues like AI, teams, and wholesaling.  Next step: Governor. 
  • Prohibiting Unfair Real Estate Service Agreements—PASSED: prohibits listing agreements that last more than a year, among other things.  Next step: Governor. 
  • Prohibiting the use of Eminent Domain by Petroleum Pipeline Companies: extends the ban in place since 2016 until June 30, 2025.  The Senate added the bill to the budget as a one-year proviso.  Next step: a conference committee of the House and Senate will debate their differences on the budget.  The General Assembly will reconvene in a couple of weeks to take up the final version of the budget.
  • Extend SC Abandoned Buildings Revitalization Act—PASSED: extends the tax credit until 2035 and increases it to $700,000. Next step: Governor.
  • Appraisal Law Update—PASSED: addresses the issue of whether Realtors are engaged in the practice of appraisals when they offer advice on the pricing of real estate for sale.  Exempts Realtors from appraisal licensing with certain restrictions.  Next step: Governor.
  • Statewide Framework for Short-Term Rentals: the only unfinished legislation on our agenda.  SCR will work on short-term rentals during the summer and fall and get ready for the next legislative session.

A lot of work went into getting the SC REALTOR® Advocacy Agenda to this point.  The SCR Advocacy Team, led by Lindsay Jackson Hutto and Austin Smallwood, worked hard for you this legislative session to get these results, but they still have work to do as they discuss each of these bills with the Governor and support our legislative priority in the budget.

Realtors Go to Washington

Last week, thousands of Realtors, including many from the Western Upstate, were in Washington, DC, supporting the National REALTOR® Advocacy Agenda.  Your REALTORS® Association focused on these issues:

Updating the tax law to increase access to homeownership:

  • Decrease the equity penalty, which can help more long-term owners sell without a tax penalty.
  • Attract private investment in revitalizing older homes and neighborhoods.
  • Create a tax credit for building and preserving affordable housing.
  • Support small businesses, like Realtors, by preserving the 199A qualified business income deduction.
  • Support commercial real estate investment by preserving the 1031 like-kind exchange.

Ensure equal access to professional representation and support fair housing:

  • Ensure that veterans have access to representation by allowing VA buyers to compensate their broker directly.
  • Maintain the independent contractor status for Realtors under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes under the Fair Housing Act.
  • Reauthorize and increase funding for HUD fair housing enforcement programs.

Let’s thank your fellow Realtors who took time away from their families and businesses to support the National REALTOR® Advocacy Agenda.  Their work helps all 1.5 million Realtors—including you!

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 that modest amount, that’s easy too