Government Relations

Why Advocacy?

Decisions made at every level of government impact you and your business. GMAR is working to ensure that our officials in Southeast Michigan understand Realtor® issues and support policies that promote homeownership and private property rights.

We advocate for issues, invest in initiatives, build relationships to protect and advance Realtors® ability to operate, property owners' ability to transfer property, and support communities to be desirable and viable places to live and do business.

Top Local Issues

Certificates of Occupancy 

During the real estate crash of 2009, local governments rushed to implement new certificate of occupancy ordinances, requiring the buyers and sellers of real property to receive a municipally mandated inspection of the property. Also referred to as point-of-sale inspections, Certificates of Occupancy on existing real estate increase the cost of purchasing a home, ultimately jeopardizing homeownership. These programs are also too often abused and delay the home-purchasing process due to unnecessary bureaucracy.  

GMAR is working with many local governments in Southeast Michigan to improve existing processes or eliminate programs, as they are duplicative. 

Short-Term Rental Restrictions  

In the past decade, the popularity of short-term rentals has grown at a rate that has far outpaced governmental regulation. This surge in growth is largely attributable to the new sharing economy and the popularity of online hosting platforms, such as Airbnb, VRBO, and others. Some state and local governments have started adopting regulations designed to “rein in” short-term rentals and address their perceived impacts on residential neighborhoods. This regulation has a significant impact on property owners’ right to rent out their properties on a short-term basis.  

GMAR takes this issue seriously and has worked with countless local governments throughout Southeast Michigan to strike a careful balance respecting all parties involved and protecting private property rights. 

Sign Ordinances 

Signage is critical to the real estate industry. The display of “For Sale,” “For Rent,” and “Open House” signs is subject to the requirements of local government sign codes, which typically limit the size of signs, where they can be displayed, and the length of time that a temporary sign may be displayed. However, across the region, local government rules for displaying real estate signs are changing—and GMAR is working to protect you from undue burdens.  

Top State Issues

At our state capital, Michigan Realtors® works on your behalf on issues like practice and professionalism, taxes, and housing. Visit Michigan Realtors to learn more about policy initiatives in which they are actively engaged. 

Top National Issues

In our nation's capital, the National Association of Realtors® works on issues like fair housing, flood insurance, tax reform, and infrastructure.

Political Endorsements

GMAR’s Board of Directors established the Candidate Endorsement Task Force (CETF) to review, interview, and recommend political endorsements of candidates for local public office in GMAR’s jurisdiction. For elections to state or federal office, the GMAR Board of Directors can make endorsement recommendations to Michigan Realtors® or the National Association of Realtors®.

To be considered for an endorsement, candidates must support Realtor® positions on policy issues and complete the appropriate questionnaire, have adequate funds, and a strong organization to wage a successful campaign.

If you are interested in volunteering on the CETF, contact GMAR by emailing Grant@gmaronline.com.

Execute GMAR's Municipal Candidate Questionnaire

  • Growth

    We support market-oriented, balanced, smart growth policies that recognize the need to accommodate increased population while protecting the quality of life that makes the region so attractive to potential residents.

    We support development in targeted growth areas where substantial public investment in infrastructure has occurred.

    We support broad-based commercial development, inappropriate locations within a locality to help alleviate local dependence on homeowner property taxes as the principal source of revenue.

    We support regional cooperation on growth issues to help communities share the benefits and impact of growth.

  • Transportation

    We support providing safe, convenient, and efficient transportation infrastructure to enhance communities' quality and support property values as Michigan grows and redevelops.

    We support improving mobility in communities so that all citizens can access the transportation that best suits their needs.

    Transportation planning and implementation should be fully integrated into a comprehensive community planning effort, coordinated with state and local planning processes, using substantial citizen involvement and civic leadership to achieve a consensus vision. 

  • Education

    We support the rights of all citizens of our state to receive a world-class education at all of Michigan’s elementary, middle, and high schools.

    We also support all citizens' rights access to affordable higher education opportunities at Michigan’s community colleges and universities.

    We support technical and trade schools as viable educational alternatives.

  • Property Taxation

    We support fair and equitable property taxation.

  • Placemaking

    We actively support Placemaking, a concept that has the ability to capitalize on a community’s attributes, local appeal, and potential while creating and giving access to desirable public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness, and well-being.

  • Housing Rehabilitation

    We support local housing rehabilitation efforts as a means to preserve and enhance existing housing stock in Michigan.

    We recognize the importance of attaining minimum standards established by state building codes to protect consumers and preserve communities and support policies that contribute to housing rehabilitation on reasonable and affordable terms.

    We oppose unreasonable standards and inspection schedules which unfairly penalize owners of rental properties.

    We also oppose inspection fees greater than the actual cost of conducting the inspection.

  • Market-Driven, Incentive-Based Solutions

    We are resolved to respect supply and demand laws when adopting policies to encourage efficient land use.

  • Urban Reinvestment

    Administrative and regulatory impediments to urban reinvestment should be removed or reduced to the minimum required to protect the public and nearby private owners.

    We support brownfield cleanup, review building codes, and efforts to clear titles and return abandoned and government-owned parcels to productive use, tax reversion statutes, and urban homesteading.

    A property owner’s rights should not allow him or her to create blight upon the community and thereby damage adjoining property owners' rights.

  • Neighborhood Planning Standards

    Expedited processes or other incentives should allow and encourage the development of model neighborhood designs that adhere to clear, specific, and consistent standards and regulations. These maximize market appeals, elicit more efficient land use, encourage environmental assets protection, and maximize efficient infrastructure investment.

    Zoning should target area-wide densities, not minimum individual lot sizes.

  • Impact Fees

    Current systems of impact fees do not help ameliorate the negative impact associated with rapid growth. Inflicting artificial controls on real estate development to fund infrastructure hinders growth. Growth will continue, only moving further away from existing infrastructure investments and requiring increasing capital investments to provide adequate services to all residents.

    Punitive impact fees, decreasing zoning density, and other measures aimed at negatively restricting real estate growth will, in fact, exacerbate the negative impact of growth.

  • Government Mandated Inspections upon Sale

    We oppose government-mandated inspections and testing at the time of sale. Such measures add increased costs and unnecessary delays to the home buying process. Disclosure of known health hazards is part of Michigan’s mandatory seller disclosure form and is currently handled through private inspections, which have become nearly universal.

  • Land Use Regulation

    We support the right of property owners to utilize their land as zoned.

    We oppose government-imposed moratoriums, prohibitions against development, down-zoning, and other forms of growth-limiting policies.