Ways to Help CAARE
Whether you are interested in an ongoing donation or a one time donation, every litter bit helps us continue our mission to “Empower real estate consumers”.
CAARE is a non-profit (501(c)3) charity dedicated to consumerism in residential real estate . All donations to CAARE are tax deductible. Thank you for your support!
Why you should consider a membership to CAARE
CAARE is a public charity dedicated to consumerism in residential real estate (click here to visit the IRS website to see our tax exempt status). There is no other organization that focuses on the much needed preventative measures that home buyers and sellers can use to avoid costly mistakes. Instead of addressing problems after they arise, like foreclosure, we hope to help people avoid those problems by giving them the tools they need to make wise investment decisions.
We explore the worst practices that exist in residential real estate and show consumers how to avoid them using smart negotiating tools. It is our goal to put consumers on a level playing field with the professionals who may not be representing their best interests. It is our mission to raise the level of financial literacy as it pertains to residential real estate.
An Individual Membership with CAARE provides CAARE support with a sustaining donation in the amount of your choosing. CAARE will continue to provide you with the most up to date home buyer/seller information, fight the battle for real estate consumers and provide you, as a member with:
a. A quarterly newsletter
b. Emails announcing and new and exciting website changes or updates
c. An annual CAARE gift based on donation.
How Can You Help?
CAARE is currently in need of volunteers (and donations). Currently all our work is done by volunteers. We survive solely on donations. It is our mission to ensure that home buyers are able to realize the dream of home ownership in an environment that puts their best interest first and provides easy access to information to assist them in making informed decisions.
Help us all achieve those goals by volunteering your time and expertise. For more information about volunteering email:
Volunteers are needed to help with the following types of work:
- Finding real estate agents who discount and listing them on our website.
- Taking found information and entering it on our website.
- Drafting of web content, news feeds and in writing, proofing and finalizing industry topic response documents.
- Research and data analysis to assist in completing industry white papers. Providing consumers with a reliable source of information will allow them to educate themselves and to more easily understand fair and ethical practices within the industry.
- Statistical and analysis skills to allow CAARE to effectively poll industry and consumers. Having quantifiable information about current practices within the industry will help us highlight the urgency and need for change.
- CAARE has a special need for legal research and expertise by state to assist in the compilation and evaluation of current law, standard forms and practices by state.
The strength of any nonprofit organization is in its volunteers.
We need your help with funding and we need volunteers to make these projects a reality.
Follows are just a few of the projects for which we need some help:
1. Consumer Data Collection. We want to collect data from real estate consumers about their residential transaction. We believe that studies in this regard will shed light on the type of representation consumers receive and how to improve their investment decisions.
2. Train the Trainers. We want to create a training program for non-profits that work directly with first time home buyers. We have never before used tools that will help first time buyers make wiser investment decisions.
3. Attorney Surveys. Unconflicted real estate attorneys are the best safeguard to ensure healthy and competitive consumer transactions. These same attorneys are also keenly aware of some of the problems afflicting consumers. Our first survey
4. Compiling Laws. We want consumers to have easy access to residential real estate laws that affect their transactions. In addition, we want to analyze these laws from a consumer perspective to determine if these laws provide the protections for which they were designed.
5.. Controlled Business Arrangements. We want to publicize the names and affiliations of controlled business. One of the worst atrocities to consumer interests occured when these arrangements were legalized. The industry got the name changed to Affiliated Business Arrangements (to avoid the accurate negative connotations conveyed by the term we use).
6. Who Are The Regulators. This project would involve investigating key real estate regulators around the nation for close ties to the real estate industry.
7. LIST of Buyer Agents Who Discount. Consumers are marketed by buyer agents and often told that the buyer agent works for free or not to worry because the seller is paying for it. That is far from the truth and thousands of agents nationwide will rebate part of their fee back to the buyer. We need help developing this list past the approximately 30 states already on our list.
8. LIST of Exclusive Buyer Agents. These brokerage firms only work for buyers. We want to further develop our list.
9. LIST of Independent Title Agents. Title companies investigate and examine title and make important investigative, examination and closing decisions that severely impact consumers. Title companies that are affiliated wtih builders, lenders, attorneys and real estate brokerages often have a substantial financial motivation to look the other way when title defects arise. Truly independent title companies avoid these conflicts by choosing to remain free of ties to real estate professionals who refer them business. We have already started our list of independent title agents – we need help to finish it.
10. Create Consumer Friendly Forms and Clauses. Industry forms tend to favor the real estate practitioner and are often harmful to consumers. We have already drafted a form to help consumers avoid the problems of open houses. We also have drafted clauses for buyer representation agreements and listing agreements. There is a lot more work to be done in this area.
11. Amicus Briefs. We are aware of a multitude of complex consumer lawsuits for which the consumers’ voice needs to be heard.
12. Comment Letters. When new real estate laws are proposed, it is important that legislators are made aware of the ramifications of those laws. Although we are prohibited from lobbying, we play an important role in providing information about new proposed laws.
13. Improve CAARE’s Reach. We have an important message for real estate consumers and we need to fully exploit our visibility on social media and SEO results.
Sign Our Petitions
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Stop MLSs from claiming copyrights on seller data!
This could be one of the biggest residential consumer issues ever. MLSs are intentionally limiting access to client data in order to collect more double commissions. This limits the market exposure of seller’s homes and makes it more difficult for buyers to find those homes.
Stop states that have legalized the price fixing of buyer agent fees.
10 states have made it illegal for buyer brokers to rebate part of their fee to their own clients. Since buyer agents receive their compensation from sellers, this law’s effect is to eliminate the negotiation of these fees.
Give anti-kickback and mortgage fraud laws some teeth.
RESPA is the federal law that prohibits kickbacks to Realtors and other real estate practitioners. It also regulates the mortgage lending process. However, the law only has a 1 year lookback period (statute of limitations) and as a result has become very profitable to violate this law.