Housing Priority Press Conference

Near a thousand bills have been introduced this legislative session, hundreds of which address our State’s housing crisis. Legislators from across Washington are banding together to make housing the priority this session. On Tuesday, January 31st, 20 legislators from both sides of the aisle across both chambers held a press conference on housing supply calling for a bipartisan approach to addressing the housing crunch in all of our communities. The 12 bills mentioned throughout the press conference are almost all REALTOR® bills, which bodes well for our legislative agenda.

Additionally, the leaseback bill (HB 1070) continues to move and will receive a hearing in the Senate Housing Committee. This bill will be the second House bill to have a hearing in the Senate this session.

Another priority bill for the REALTORS® this session addresses Agency Law. Washington State’s real estate agency law, Chapter 18.86 RCW, has not been updated since its adoption in the 1990s.  Existing law does not require certain basic consumer protections and does not reflect modern industry best practices. This legislation will both protect consumers and avoid litigation seen in other states. For example, the bill would improve disclosures of real estate broker duties, require a written buyer agency agreement for a broker to be compensated, require terms of compensation in writing, and ensure that the legal duties of brokers protect all parties in a transaction – not just the broker’s own client. On February 1, 2023 at 4 PM, the Lt. Governor, Denny Heck, pulled the Real Estate Agency bill (SB 5191) from rules and it will become eligible for a floor vote in the Senate.

Overall, we remain optimistic about the session ahead and look forward to the legislature continuing to make housing the priority this session. Keep an eye on your email for Calls for Action throughout the legislative session. As a trade association, our greatest strength is our numbers and when called upon to participate in the legislative process, we hope you will.

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