In the Mix

CAP and TRADE Legislation

Broker Support has received a number of inquiries from agents regarding alleged “features” of the Cap and Trade Bill winding its way through Congress. Alarming emails are circulating alleging that homeowners will need a license for their homes, to be posted in a conspicuous place and not be able to sell their homes due to draconian EPA requirements.

Our own Timothy McFadden, a member of the Broker Support staff, has just returned from NAR’s mid-year conference in Washington, D. C. Timothy is a NAR delegate on behalf of Metro Brokers Inc. (since we are such a large company). The rumors and hysteria concerning the Cap and Trade impact on real estate were an important topic. Here’s the latest information, hot off the press, from Ron Phipps, 2010 NAR President-Elect, regarding the bill approved by the House:

  • The process is NOT ANYWHERE NEAR COMPLETE – the Senate version has not been passed yet. Reconciliation must then happen between the House and Senate. It’s a long way from done.
  • The House bill (the only one passed so far) does NOT create a federal energy audit requirement for real property;
  • It DOES exempt existing homes and buildings from any federal guidelines for new construction energy efficiency information labels;
  • Prohibits the implementation of any labeling during a sales transaction;
  • Leaves the decision to the states as to whether to require energy audits, disclosures, etc.;
  • Provides property owners with significant financial incentives, matching grants and tools to make property improvements and reduce energy bills;
  • Prohibits the EPA from regulating residential and commercial buildings under the Clean Air Act;
  • Establishes green building incentives for HUD housing; and
  • Eliminated an early proposal to allow citizens to sue over minor climate risks under the Clean Air Act.

You may get questions or comments from buyers and sellers on this. To quote Queen Mary during the blitz of London during WW II, “Stay calm and carry on.” As we learn new facts, we will pass them on.