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MAR’s Annual Publication

Laurie Darrow – Seeley Lake Cover Contest Winner Photo of Holland Lake

Table of Contents Published By: DEL Communications Inc. Suite 300, 6 Roslyn Road Winnipeg, Manitoba R3L 0G5 TF: 1.866.831.4744 TFF: 1.866.711.5282 President David Langstaff Publisher Jason Stefanik Managing Editor Shayna Wiwierski Advertising Sales Manager Dayna Oulion Advertising Sales Gary Barrington Ross James Michelle Raike Anthony Romeo Production services provided by: S.G. Bennett Marketing Services Art Director Kathy Cable Layout / Design Julie Weaver Advertising Art Caitlyn Hawrysh Haier Dana Jensen

Byline articles and columns express the opinions of the writers and do not necessarily reflect MAR policies or sentiments. ©Copyright 2012. DEL Communication Inc. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of the publisher. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein and the reliability of the source, the publisher in no way guarantees nor warrants the information and is not responsible for errors, omissions or statements made by advertisers. Opinions and recommendations made by contributors or advertisers are not necessarily those of the publisher, its directors, officers or employees. PRINTED IN USA 12 / 2012


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4 The Year in Review – 2012 Leadership Team Annual Report 5 Message from the CEO – Peggy Trenk 6 Legal Lines – “As-Is” Clauses and Disclosure Obligations 8 New 2012 Forms Changes 10 Political Affairs Update – Previewing the 2013 Montana Legislature 12  Education Update: Montana Board of Realty Regulation – A Little Bit of This, and a Little Bit of That

13 2012 REALTOR® of the Year 14 Market Snapshots from Across the State 18  Capturing Montana’s Beauty – MAR Cover Contest Winner Laurie Darrow 20 Cover Contest Entries 22 Journey To Success – Message from 2013 President Pam Wood 23 Realtor Property Resource® Now Available to all REALTORS® 24 MAR Members Rally in Washington D.C. – Movement Continues in Treasure State

25 What are my MAR Membership Benefits? L.E.A.R.N. About Them! 26 MAR Earns Prestigious President’s Cup 27 2013 Calendar of Events 29 2012 GRI Recap 30 REALTORS®: Lower Costs and Increase Closings with a Simple Solution 31 2012 Leadership Seminar Recap Montana Association of REALTORS® One South Montana Avenue, Suite M 1 Helena, Montana 59601 406-443-4032 800-477-1864 Fax 406-443-4220 2013 Officers Pam Wood - 2013 President Dennis Cook - 2013 President Elect Ryan Swinney - 2013 First Vice-President Howard Sumner – 2013 Treasurer Judy Gudgel - Immediate Past President MAR Staff CEO - Peggy Trenk PTrenk@ Association Management Coordinator Jeri Moon - JMoon@ Member Services Director - Travis Brower TBrower@

Government Affairs Director - Amy Jo Fisher Education & Program Director Jennie Graham - JGraham@ Communications Director - Bryan Haines BHaines@ MAR Committees Association Management Dianne Click - Communications - Cathy Locatelli Political Affairs Jim Dea - Professional Development Janel Morgan - Risk Management Rich Mayo - Helpful Numbers Board of Realty Regulation: 406-841-2325 National Association of REALTORS®: 800-874-6500 Transaction Desk: 800-668-8768 zipForm: 800-383-9805

MAR Legal Hotline ONLY Designated REALTORS®: 406-543-6646 Local Associations/Boards: Billings: 406-248-7145 Bitterroot: 406-363-2000 Butte: 406-723-3356 Eastern MT: 406-234-0280 Gallatin: 406-585-0033 Gateway: 406-482-4480 Great Falls: 406-453-2752 Havre: 406-265-2253 Helena: 406-449-3835 Lewistown: 406-535-4440 Lincoln: 406-295-1314 Madison: 406-682-5352 Missoula: 406-728-0560 NMAR: 406-752-4313 Park: 406-222-8700 Byline articles and columns express the opinions of the writers and do not necessarily reflect MAR policies or sentiments. © 2012 Montana Association of REALTORS®. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of the Montana Association of REALTORS®. Please recycle where facilities exist.

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2012 Leadership Team

Annual Report 2012 MAR President Judy Gudgel, Missoula 2012 MAR President-Elect Pam Wood, Hamilton 2012 MAR First Vice-President Dennis Cook, Billings 2012 Immediate Past President Ronda Tompers, Great Falls 2012 Treasurer Rick Robinson, Missoula

Under the leadership of President Judy Gudgel, the association took up the homeownership cause with renewed vigor, and built on progress made earlier in several areas:

a. M  anaging the Montana Association of REALTORS­® (MAR) resources effectively: In 2011, MAR was able to reduce the 2012 member dues by paying off the mortgage on the MAR headquarters building. Our tenant space remains fully leased – we even rented space previously used for storage. Part of the roof was leased for a Verizon cell tower. Coupled with identifying additional cost savings in other areas, dues for 2013 were reduced even further.

b. Rallying for home ownership:  012 National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) President 2 Moe Veissi engaged REALTORS® from all over the country in rallying to protect home ownership. Nearly 15,000 members showed up in Washington, D.C. on May 17, 2012. With the Washington Monument as a backdrop, nearly 50 Montanans took part in the rally and cheered as speakers highlighted the importance of owning a home. It was a day attendees will never forget. MAR President Judy Gudgel’s own theme for 2012, “Home is Where the Heart is” meshed closely with the national efforts to promote home ownership.

c. Legislative successes:  uilding on the momentum of the REALTORS® Rally, memB bers met with their U.S. senators and representatives to talk about key issues affecting real estate. Chief among those was the need to re-authorize the National Flood Insurance Program. Senator Jon Tester of Montana took up the challenge and helped spearhead an effort that resulted in a fiveyear extension of the critical program. Many of our MAR members contacted the Montana congressional delegation – all of whom voted to support the extension.


| Montana’s REALTOR® Digest

Back at home, we focused a lot of effort during this legislative interim on protecting the ability to use exempt water wells for development of new homes. An interim committee looked at several proposals and held hearings around the state on this issue. Thanks to many of our volunteers and other coalition partners, the committee members heard “loud and clear” that we need to maintain this important exemption. The interim committee did not forward the more restrictive proposals to the upcoming session, though they may be introduced by individual legislators. In sum, REALTORS® do make a difference by working together on behalf of their clients, and of property owners in general.

d. RPAC continues to grow:  012 was a banner year for Montana RPAC. We broke all 2 records and exceeded the goals set by NAR. We were fortunate to have one of our MAR members, Immediate Past President Ronda Tompers, serve as one of four national RPAC fundraising liaisons. This helped us learn more about programs and resources available to grow our RPAC effort here in Montana.  hen the dust settled, Montana was at 277 percent of the W Trustees Goal ($15 per member); 173 percent of the Challenger’s Goal ($25 per member); and 113 percent of the Major Investor Goal ($1,000 or more).  e had a participation rate of 38 percent (goal was 37 perW cent) and had three President’s Circle members.  ontana also earned the prestigious President’s Cup award M by meeting not only the RPAC goals, but goals for Broker Involvement and other requirements.  he 2012 MAR Leadership Team would like to thank the T many volunteers, local leaders, and staff who worked together to make this a successful year. You did a great job. v


Say Hello to the MAR Staff tive, and accounting support, as well as providing assistance to the CEO on a variety of duties. Jeri handles local board certification with NAR, as well as staffing the Association Management Committee.

Amy Jo Fisher - Government Affairs Director Email: Direct Line: 406-441-4861

By Peggy Trenk Montana Association of REALTORS® With the New Year quickly approaching and the calendar flipping from 2012 to 2013, it is a reminder that change is happening basically everywhere to every one of our members. That change can be a small one, such as a New Year’s resolution to eat better and get more exercise. Or they can be large, such as a merging of offices. Over the past 18 months there have been some staff changes at the state association office, including reassignment of staff responsibilities. While change can be hard, the staff changes at MAR have been great, as everyone is settling into their roles. The staff in Helena have their own unique set of skills, and the group has blended well together with the goal to provide the best service to our membership. I know that many of our members have already had the chance to meet and work with the staff. The responsibilities are great, so here is a rundown of MAR’s staff, their contact information, and what duties they handle.

Peggy Trenk - Chief Executive Officer Email: Direct Line: 406-441-4860 Peggy has been with MAR for 12 years, including the last eight as the CEO. Before she became the CEO, she was MAR’s Government Affairs Director, and she is still very much involved with MAR’s legislative work. Peggy oversees the general association management, including MAR policies and procedure. Peggy staffs the Board of Directors and Executive Committee, as well as the Finance & Audit Committee. She also plays an active role in NAR meetings, conventions, and committees, as well as Region 12 activities.

Jeri Moon – Association Management Coordinator Email: Direct Line: 406-441-4864 Jeri Moon joined MAR in September 2011 as the Association Management Coordinator. Jeri handles all board correspondence, MAR officer applications, MAR elections, administra-

Amy Jo Fisher is the latest addition to the staff, coming over from Missoula to join our team in July of 2012. Amy Jo will handle lobbying and regulatory issues, while also staffing the Political Affairs Committee and working with the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) and Issues Mobilization Fund (IMF). Amy Jo also coordinates the Legislative Key Contact Program.

Travis Brower – Member Services Director Email: Direct Line: 406-441-4862 Travis Brower handles the majority of membership record questions, and handles our NRDS and membership database. Travis is also the main liaison with Instanet, and he helps handle login and technical issues with our online forms provider. Travis staffs the Risk Management Committee and the Forms and Property Managers Subcommittee, and also oversees the legal hotline. Travis has been at MAR for two years.

Bryan Haines - Communications Director Email: Direct Line: 406-441-4871 Bryan Haines handles the communication efforts of MAR, including putting together reMARks (the electronic newsletter to membership) and the annual publication. Bryan, who has been at MAR for more than 2 years, handles MAR’s website ( and social media content, while also providing political communications. Bryan also staffs the Communications Committee and lends support to RPAC and IMF.

Jennie Dean - Education & Program Director Email: Direct Line: 406-441-4863 Jennie Dean is one of the most experienced members of the staff, having been at MAR for more than seven years. Jennie handles all state meeting and event planning, including state conventions, GRI, and the MAR Leadership Seminar. Jennie­ also coordinates education, including NAR Designations and Specialty Areas, and is the Professional Standards Administrator for the state. Jennie staffs the Professional Development Committee and the GRI Subcommittee. v Montana’s REALTOR® Digest |



“As-Is” Clauses and Disclosure Obligations By JAMES A. BOWDITCH Montana Association of REALTORS® Legal Counsel Perhaps not surprisingly, property condition disclosures continue to be an ongoing source of disputes in the real estate industry. Every two years, the Legal Affairs Department of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) conducts a survey of the current legal environment faced by real estate professionals. This “legal scan,” which is based on surveys of key people in the real estate industry and data obtained from case law and statutory research, analyzes current legal liability issues and identifies emerging legal and risk issues. In NAR’s 2011 legal scan, 67 percent of the respondents reported that disclosure issues are the source of a moderate or higher number of current disputes, and 68 percent ranked disclosure issues among their top-three current issues.

According to NAR, the most significant development concerning disclosures is the emergence of disputes arising from the foreclosure crisis; specifically, those involving short sales and bank-owned properties obtained via foreclosure (REOs). While the survey responses were extensive, the primary concern focused on the claim by short-sale and REO sellers that the property is being sold as-is and, therefore, that no disclosure is necessary or required. In Montana, there is no statutory requirement for a seller to provide a written disclosure statement. Conversely, a seller agent is obligated to disclose to a buyer or a buyer agent any “adverse material facts that concern the property and that are known to the seller agent”. MCA § 37-51-313(3)(a). An adverse material

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fact is defined as one that is important enough that it may affect a buyer’s decision to enter into a contract to purchase real property, and includes facts that materially affect the value of the property, affect the structural integrity of the property, or present a documented health risk to occupants of the property. MCA § 37-51-102(2)(a). Importantly, the fact that a seller will only sell the property asis, thereby requiring the buyer to repair or replace any defects with the property, does not mean that the seller agent need not disclose any of those known defects. Simply stated, the existence of an “as-is” clause does not absolve a seller agent of the obligation to disclose known adverse facts. In 2001, the Arizona Court of Appeals issued a decision holding that an “as-is” clause does not necessarily protect a seller from liability for property defects known to the seller and not disclosed to a buyer. In S Development Company v. Pima Capital Management Co., the seller failed to disclose certain alleged defects associated with the plumbing systems of two apartment buildings the seller listed for sale. When the buyers sued, the seller claimed that it was not responsible since the buyers had agreed to an “asis” clause in the transaction documents. The jury awarded a substantial verdict in favor of the buyers and the seller appealed. On appeal, the Arizona court noted that the existence of an “as-is” provision in a buy-sell agreement generally operates only as a waiver of breach of warranty claims, not tort claims. Therefore, the court held that a seller must disclose latent defects in property

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that are known to the seller regardless of the existence of an “as-is” clause. Short sales and REO sales will continue to be a significant percentage of the sales in certain areas of Montana leading to a possible increase in disputes involving the meaning and scope of “as-is” clauses. Property that is sold “as-is” generally means that the seller will not cure defects. The use of an “as-is” clause, however, does not necessarily mean that the seller may still not need to make disclosures about the property. The seller and/or the listing agent may be liable for misrepresentation if known material defects are concealed, or if the buyer is prevented from investigating the property and discovering the defect. In short, if there are known material defects, an “as-is” clause will not shield a seller or a listing agent from liability for failing to disclose these defects. This article is intended to provide a general overview of the law. It is neither intended as an exhaustive report on the law or as legal advice on any particular situation and should not be used as a substitute for legal counsel. Information contained in this article is not legal representation. As in all cases presenting issues of legal significance, separate representation by competent legal counsel is recommended. v

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NEW 2012

Form Changes The Montana Association of REALTORS® Forms Subcommittee met twice in 2012 and approved the following form changes, including creating new forms and modifying others. Most of the changes set forth are fairly self-explanatory once you review the forms in their entirety.

I. New forms a. Bill of Sale – A bill of sale form is now available in the forms database. This bill of sale is designed to transfer personal property in non-commercial transactions only. The bill of sale is therefore limited to transactions where both the buyer and the seller intend to use the property as a residence. The bill of sale should not be used in transactions where the personal property being transferred has been used in the production of income including, without limitation, personal property included in the sale of residential rental property. b. Cooperating Broker Compensation Agreement – This is a form that specifies the compensation that is to be payable to a cooperating agent by the listing agent. It is to be used primarily when the property is not listed for sale in a multiple listing service or where the agent assisting the potential buyer is not a participant or subscriber in the multiple listing service in which the property is listed for sale.

II. Modifications to existing forms a. MAR Listing Contracts – All of the MAR listing contracts were amended to add language clarifying that the listing agent is not responsible, and that the seller agrees to indemnify and hold the agent harmless, for (i) any loss or damage to the listed property or the contents of the property; (ii) any injury to anyone visiting the property; and (iii) any claims asserted against the listing agent that relate to the agent’s use of any advertising material provided by the seller. This change was made due to concerns about sellers providing agents with marketing materials that were protected by intellectual property laws and situations where non-resident sellers were claiming that an agent was responsible to damage to the property that occurred during the listing period even if said damages was not the agent’s fault. b. MAR Buy-Sell Agreements – All of the MAR buy-sell agreements were modified to allow the seller to acknowledge receipt of a buy-sell from the buyer without having to sign the buy-sell. This change is at the very end of all buy-sell agreements and allows the seller to acknowledge receipt of the document without having to sign in cases where the seller desires to provide a counter-offer to the buy-sell proposed by the buyer.


| Montana’s REALTOR® Digest

c. Amendment to Inspection Contingency – The inspection contingency of the MAR Residential Buy-Sell Agreement were changes to clarify that a buyer may provide more than one inspection notice provided the buyer does so prior to the expiration of the home inspection contingency. d. Amendment to Agreement Between Client and Broker – A signature line has been added to the bottom of this form for the supervising broker. This is because a supervising broker is required to sign a listing contract and, therefore, should sign any amendment to that listing contract. It also allows a supervising broker to approve and sign amendments to any other agreements between a salesperson and a client if desired by the supervising broker or is pursuant to an office policy. e. Buy-Sell Agreement, Residential Listing Contract, (Farm & Ranch) Buy-Sell Agreement, and Farm & Ranch Listing Contract – Storage sheds have been added items that are to be included with the sale of the property to the buyer, unless otherwise excepted. This addition is now found on line 20 of the [Residential] Buy-Sell Agreement, line 33 of the Residential Listing Contract, line 25 of the (Farm & Ranch) Buy-Sell Agreement, and line 38 of the Farm & Ranch Listing Contract. f. Property Disclosure Statements – The term “Seller” was changed to “Owner” throughout both the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement and the (Land) Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement. This change was made based on use of this disclosure statement by owners who are not necessarily selling the property (i.e., in a rental transaction). g. Multiple Counter Offer – The language on lines 47-48 was modified to clarify that a seller who receives more than one accepted multiple counter offer may either choose which one to accept or may choose not to accept any. The modified language is as follows: In the event that Seller receives more than one accepted Multiple Counter Offer, Seller reserves the right to determine which accepted Multiple Counter Offer to confirm, if any. Prior to the addition of this language, it was unclear whether a seller who received multiple accepted counter offers was obligated to accept at least one of them. Anyone who has any questions regarding use of the new forms or the modifications that were made to existing forms may have their office’s designated realtor contact the MAR Legal Hotline at or 406-543-6646. v

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March 19-22, 2013 Best Western GranTree Inn | Bozeman Earning the GRI Designation can make a difference in your business and potentially boost your income. REALTORS® with the designation: • Earn more! Based on the 2011 survey data, the median income of REALTORS® without a designation was $26,900 and the median income of those with at least one designation was $49,300. A difference of $22,400. • Reported an increase in referrals in the first year after they obtained their designation.

Contact MAR today to become a sponsor and help members “Reach For The Stars” with GRI. Download a sponsor guide at Contact Jennie Dean at MAR for more details! or (406) 441-4863

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to all of our 2012 event and meeting sponsors! We look forward to working with you again in 2013!


June 6-7, 2013 Professional Standards Education & Administrator Training Great Falls, MT

Day 1 - June 6: Professional Standards workshop for committee members, board of directors & association staff. This course will help you to describe ethical duties to clients/ customers, the public and other REALTORS®. You will review the role of the Grievance committee, case studies, due process, findings of fact, the role of the Board of Directors, procuring cause/scenarios, mediation, pathways to professionalism, professional standards “what if’s”, and changes to the code of ethics and CEAM. Day 2 - June 7: Continuation of training to complete professional standards administrator requirements. Pending: Approximately 4 Mandatory/7 Elective CE credits Instructor: Diane Disbrow, GRI, CRS, CRB, ABR, New Jersey

For further details check the online calendar at or contact Jennie Dean at MAR for further details. Montana’s REALTOR® Digest |



Previewing the

2013 Montana Legislature The 2013 Montana Legislature will convene on January 7, 2013 in Helena, and it will be the 63rd regular meeting of the state legislature. Legislators will then have 90 days to not only create and pass a budget for the next biennium, but also focus on issues such as improving the state’s economy, creating jobs, and solving the state pensions’ unfunded liability. Following the November 2012 elections, Steve Bullock (D) was elected governor, and he will be working with a Republicancontrolled legislature, with Republicans holding a 29-21 majority in the senate and a 61-39 majority in the house. Along with a first-term governor, there will be 38 freshman legislators in the 2013 session. REALTOR® Party candidates were very successful on Election Day, as 52 of 61 were elected to office, a success rate of nearly 86 percent. MAR members’ investment in RPAC helped elect candidates who support REALTOR® issues. The Montana Association of REALTORS® will once again bring an ambitious agenda to Capitol Hill, with several proposals geared toward addressing water, land use, license/business and tax issues affecting REALTORS®. The following is an overview highlighting several key issues that MAR will be working on during the upcoming session. Note: MAR’s position on issues is subject to change.

Water Issues Preserving the small ground water well exemption The Montana Water Use Act allows homeowners, new businesses, and stock growers to utilize small groundwater wells to obtain water without going through the water rights permitting process. These small wells, often referred to as “exempt wells,” cannot use more than 35 gallons per minute (gpm) and 10 acre feet per year (ac/y). Exempt wells are utilized by smaller developments that either cannot connect to municipal services or find it economically infeasible to utilize public water systems. Over the past several legislative sessions and interims there have been various proposals to limit or eliminate the exemption to the water right permitting process. Proposals to accomplish this goal have included: requiring a permit for exempt well use by subdivisions; lowering the statutory thresholds, i.e. 35 gpm, 10 af/y; restricting use of exempt wells in high growth areas; and requiring mitigation for exempt wells in closed basins. By and large, proponents of these proposals believe that groundwater use by exempt wells may have an effect on senior water


| Montana’s REALTOR® Digest

rights holders and should either be limited or subject to the water rights permitting process. The exempt well issue is again a central focus for MAR, which supports the exemption as is. REALTORS® maintain this position for three primary reasons: Scientific research demonstrates that exempt wells aren’t causing water shortages, the water right permitting process is difficult, and exempt wells are the only economical choice for a vast majority of subdivisions.

Land Use Issues Subdivision for lease or rent At root, this is an issue of the rights of private property owners. The specter of confusion over subdivision for lease or rent has led to consequences that the Legislature did not intend. Because landowners face regulatory uncertainty, they don’t know what they can do with their land when it comes to constructing additional buildings on their parcel that could be leased or rented. This situation serves as a disincentive for the highest and best use of the land and thereby devalues the land. It’s also a job killer. REALTORS® urge that any legislation in the 2013 Legislature include a baseline threshold of five buildings or structures, provide guidelines for an expedited local review of subdivisions for lease or rent that exceed the baseline threshold, and grandfather all existing subdivisions for lease or rent from any new review process. Clarify review of impact to agriculture in subdivision regulations The basis of the Subdivision and Platting Act (SPA) is to review and mitigate impacts from subdivision development. The SPA is designed, first, to enable landowners to actualize their development rights while, second, minimizing the negative effects of doing so. The phrase “impact on agriculture” as it exists in the current statute has been misinterpreted and abused by local government and various anti-development groups desiring to utilize this criterion as a method to deny subdivision applications. In order to protect the rights of private property owners and foster a fair subdivision review process, REALTORS® believe that it’s critical to clarify what local governments are to review when it comes to a subdivision’s impact on agriculture. Legislation addressing this issue must take into account the fact that

property owners have a right to change the primary use of their land and that ambiguous statutory language is preventing agriculture landowners from developing. Also, it should clarify the “impact to agriculture” review criterion and provide protection for agriculture property rights and agriculture operations. Reform county interim zoning The county interim zoning statute in MCA 76-2-206 provides counties the authority to adopt interim zoning regulations for a temporary period of up to two years. Ostensibly, county interim zoning must be predicated on the existence of an emergency, but the current statute provides wide latitude for counties to adopt interim zoning to not only address “emergencies”, but to also buy time to update their growth policy or zoning regulations. This is commonly referred to as growth moratoria. The key problem with the statute is a lack of clarity as to what basic authority is conferred to counties. Those familiar with the statute would state that it provides authority to counties to address emergencies that pose a threat to public health, safety, and general welfare. A close reading of the language in MCA 76-2-206 actually gives counties broad authority to enact an “emergency measure” to “promote” public health, safety, and general welfare. Addressing an “emergency” and adopting “emergency measures” are not one in the same and confusion over the statute has led to harm to landowners and several contentious court cases. The Legislature should reform the county interim zoning statute to clarify that county interim zoning authority is for addressing emergencies that pose a threat to the public, create an evidentiary requirement and balance county interim zoning authority with due process protections for directly affected landowners.

managed on their own, the Montana Legislature decided to merge all boards under a single department and appropriate funds to the department to be distributed to all of the boards. Since the BRR was moved under the same department as every other board in the state, it has experienced a lack of funding, as well as being understaffed. This has adversely affected the BRR and real estate and property manager licensees. Each year the licensee fees go to the department, but the BRR has never received the full appropriation based on the number of real estate and property manager licensees. Because of this, the BRR is requesting semi-autonomy to ensure that it receives the entire amount of licensee fees collected, while also protecting the recovery account from being used to fund non-licensee obligations. It would also ensure that board staff is dedicated to the BRR, allow the BRR to find and rent its own space, as well as establish a standalone website in an effort to improve customer service to the public and licensees. REALTORS® support the BRR’s request for semi-autonomy because the Board of Realty Regulation should have statutory appropriation, staff would be dedicated to the Board of Realty Regulation and the BRR would be able to act more independently as a board in order to better protect the consumer. v

Business/License Issues Semi-autonomy for the board of realty regulation The Montana Board of Realty Regulation (BRR) was a standalone body prior to the merging of all licensing boards in Montana. The BRR was funded by license fees that were effectively and prudently managed. Because smaller boards were not well

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A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That By Grace Berger, Executive Officer Montana Board of Realty Regulation As of July 1st, the Department of Labor & Industry and Business Standards Division underwent a major staff reorganization, and as a result, the Board of Realty Regulation, did so as well. The reorganization is intended to offer consistent customer service to the boards and licensees served by the division. One of the problems with the old structure was that some smaller boards only had one person, or part of a person, working for them. When that person was gone or busy with other duties, the board’s work didn’t get done. As a result of the reorganization, the structure of the staff that services the Board of Realty Regulation looks different. Instead of being dedicated to the board only, the staff has been shifted to units who concentrate on the various duties and responsibilities for all licensing boards, rather than each board having someone do it all. As an example, deposits, address changes, supervision changes, and renewals are handled by a unit, and that’s all they do for all licensing boards. Licensing is done by another unit, and education is in yet another unit. If you have called the board office recently, you have perhaps noticed some different voices at our end of the line. On the board management side, there is a staff member who is assigned to several boards for board management duties. These people represent boards and are the “face of the board” when the board is not in session. I have remained the executive officer for the Board of Realty Regulation and also been assigned the same position with the Board of Public Accountants. There is a pool of people who provide limited administrative support to the board staff. Because of the new structure, when you want to contact the board office, please call the division receptionist at 406-841-2300, or send an email to the board email box at You can, of course, always contact me and I will get you an answer. We have come through the first renewal period with the core course as part of the CE requirement. As a whole, the new core course was well received. Some confusion continues about how the core course is reported. It does not show up on your online reporting record as an hourly report, but rather as the core requirement being “unmet” or “met” for the licensing period. The 2013 Core Course has been developed, the train-thetrainer session has been held, and providers are already offering the course. You can find scheduled courses on the board website at under the “Educ” tab, under the “Approved Continuing Education” sidebar. The legislature will be in Helena beginning on January 7,


| Montana’s REALTOR® Digest

2013. The board, as part of the executive branch, has several pieces of legislation that will be introduced this session. The board is seeking to clarify the definition of property management. The current definition is insufficient to add guidance to the public. They are also seeking a mechanism to assist in staggering board member terms. Several years ago, when the board went from five members to seven members, the two new members were appointed for full terms that coincided with the terms of two other members. That means we could have four of the seven board members going off the board at one time. That is a difficult transition for any board, and not one they want to experience. Finally, the board is one of three boards that will be looking for authority over unlicensed practice. As you may know, the board does not have jurisdiction over unlicensed practice and must resort to either referring matters to the local county attorney or going into district court as a party and seek injunctive relief. Neither of these avenues has been very successful for licensing boards in the past. They are an expense and these injunctions are not easy to enforce. The board would be seeking jurisdiction over those practitioners who don’t get licensed in Montana. The board is also seeking the ability to pass the cost of pursuing unlicensed practice cases to those who are found to be practicing without a license, rather than continuing with the licensees bearing the cost of such action. The board welcomes comments and suggestions from licen­ sees. Feel free to contact our office directly or offer your comments and suggestions through the Montana Association of REALTORS®. All board meetings are open to the public. The schedule of upcoming meetings is on the board website under the “Board Info” tab. Come see us in action! Good luck in 2013! v

2012 Realtor® of the Year 2012 ROTY Nominees

The following members were selected as REALTOR® of the Year (ROTY) from their local boards. Their names were then submitted as nominees for the State 2012 REALTOR® of the Year award. The nominees were voted on by past ROTY’s and the winner was announced at the MAR Awards Dinner held on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at the Holiday Inn Downtown Missoula during the MAR Annual Meeting & Convention.

• Gary Shea, Butte • Rich Mayo, Bozeman • Andy Polumsky, Bitterroot • Ryan Swinney, Helena • Mindy Palmer, Missoula • Pat Goodover, Great Falls • Dennis Cook, Billings • Brian Nicodemus, Northwest

Congratulations Andy Polumsky, 2012 REALTOR® of the Year

Mindy Palmer, Missoula

Pat Goodover, Great Falls Andy Polumsky, Bitterroot

Ryan Swinney, Helena

Andy Polumsky, Bitterroot

Brian Nicodemus, Northwest

Dennis Cook, Billings

Gary Shea, Butte

Rich Mayo, Bozeman

Montana’s REALTOR® Digest |


Market Snapshots from Around Here are market statistics from the eight largest associations in Montana: Billings, Bitterroot, Butte, Gallatin, Great Falls, Helena, Missoula, and the Northwest. Statistics are from January 1, 2012, through October 31, 2012 and how they compare to the same period of time from 2011. Also included is a brief synopsis on each market. Data was provided to the Montana Association of REALTORS® from the local associations.

Lots Sales: Average sales price: Median sales price: Avg. days on market:

2012 2011 (Jan. 1- Oct. 31) 247 153 $71,492 $86,068 $49,000 $53,061 342 204



The 2012 Billings housing market has shown solid gains since 2011 in price movement, closed sales, pending sales, and reduction in inventory. The number of closed sales is up 14 percent, pending sales are up, the average sales price is up seven percent to $211,391, and the median sales price is at $192,950 compared to $175,413 in 2011. Average days on the market is currently 73 days, which is a little better than 2011. The 27 percent reduction of inventory since 2011 clearly shows the movement in the market. Billings currently has 4.42 months of inventory, down from 7.86 last year. Single family Sales: Average sales price: Median sales price: Avg. days on market:

2012 2011 (Jan. 1-Oct. 31) 1,678 1,428 $211,391 $195,989 $192,950 $175,413 73 76

Townhouse/Condo Sales: Average sales price: Median sales price: Avg. days on market:

2012 2011 (Jan. 1-Oct. 31) 251 181 $164,644 $168,517 $157,500 $162,000 77 96


| Montana’s REALTOR® Digest

The volume of residential sales has increased by 17 percent and the volume of REO sales has also declined by nearly one percent when compared to the same time last year. The median sales price for residential homes on 40 acres or less is currently the same as it was at the end of last year ($175,000). With a continuation of current trends into the spring of 2013, the Bitterroot Valley Market is poised to move towards a steady real estate market recovery. Single Family Sales: Average sales price: Median sales price: Days on market:

2012 356 $199,198 $175,000 368

2011 (Jan. 1 – Oct. 31) 316 $224,419 $175,450 278

Townhouse/Condo Sales: Average sales price: Median sales price: Days on market:

2012 7 $108,214 $110,000 635

2011 (Jan. 1 – Oct. 31) 5 $153,980 $150,000 269

Lots Sales: Average sales price: Median sales price: Days on market:

2012 52 $84,148 $56,000 529

2011 (Jan. 1 – Oct. 31) 49 $121,801 $116,250 255

the State



Butte has seen an increase in the sale of single-family homes in 2012, improving by more than 18 percent. An additional 61 homes have been sold in 2012, compared to the same time period in 2011. The average sales price for single-family homes increased by nearly $2,000 in 2012 to $120,451, although average days on the market rose to 160. The townhouse/condo market stayed essentially the same in 2012 when compared to 2011, while more lots were sold in 2012 compared to 2011. Single Family Sales: Average sales price: Median sales price: Days on market:

2012 384 $120,451 $103,000 160

2011 (Jan. 1 – Oct. 31) 323 $118,662 $98,000 143

Townhouse/Condo Sales: Average sales price: Median sales price: Days on market:

2012 6 $149,833 $137,500 221

2011 (Jan. 1 – Oct. 31) 6 $152,833 $156,500 173

Lots Sales: Average sales price: Median sales price: Days on market:

2012 54 $66,731 $38,000 520

2011 (Jan. 1 – Oct. 31) 31 $103,038 $53,041 366

The Gallatin Valley has experienced positive momentum this past year. Single-family homes and townhouse/condos have seen improvement in the days on market, and as well as the median sales price. Closed sales in single-family homes are up 11 percent over the prior year. Townhouse/condos have seen gains of nine percent over the prior year. Another good indicator of health returning to our market is new single family housing permits being pulled. In October of 2011, the city of Bozeman had 10 permits issued. In October of 2012, 32 permits were issued for new single-family homes. Single Family Sales: Avg. sales price: Median sales price: Avg. days on market: Townhouse/Condo Sales: Avg. sales price: Median sales price: Avg. days on market:

2012 2011 (Jan. 1 – Oct. 31) 1,230 1,097 $289,858 $290,040 $228,325 $221,000 114 132

Lots Sales: Avg. sales price: Median sales price: Avg. days on market:

2012 2011 (Jan. 1 – Oct. 31) 461 265 $136,314 $163,053 $60,000 $60,000 356 264

2012 2011 (Jan. 1 – Oct. 31) 462 422 $183,642 $194,057 $145,450 $137,750 126 161

Montana’s REALTOR® Digest |


Great falls


Great Falls sold 75, or 10 percent, more single-family residences in 2012 than 2011. There was relatively no change in the number of townhouses/condos and lots/land sold over the prior year. The average price of a single-family residence increased in 2012 by $12,688 or seven percent, the townhouse/ condo price increased by $17,711 or 10 percent, and the lots/ land increased by $10,595 or 17 percent. The median price of a single-family residence increased by $9,500, townhouse/ condo median price increased by $1,775, but lots/land saw a median price decrease by $4,200. Comparing 2012 to 2011, sales prices increased while the days on the market increased. Overall, Great Falls has experienced a stable housing market compared to others in Montana. Single Family Sales: Average sales price: Median sales price: Days on market:

2012 747 $178,594 $158,000 151

2011 (Jan. 1 – Oct. 31) 672 $165,906 $148,500 144

Townhouse/Condo Sales: Average sales price: Median sales price: Days on market:

2012 64 $174,720 $155,675 157

2011 (Jan. 1 – Oct. 31) 63 $157,009 $153,900 168

Lots Sales: Average sales price: Median sales price: Days on market:

2012 20 $63,875 $34,500 260

2011 (Jan. 1 – Oct. 31) 21 $53,280 $38,700 218


| Montana’s REALTOR® Digest

The Helena market continues to improve and showed great gains in 2012 when compared to the previous year. The number of single-family home sales improved by 140 units, an increase of more than 28 percent when compared to the same timeframe of 2011. Average sales price increased by more than $10,000 to $213,761, while average days on the market stayed essentially the same. The townhouse/condo market showed the same improvement in the number of sales, increasing by 12 units in 2012. HAR does not track the sales of lots. Single Family Sales: Average sales price: Median sales price: Average DOM:

2012 2011 (Jan. 1 – Oct. 31) 639 499 $213,761 $203,126 $199,000 $190,500 141 139

Townhouse/Condo Sales: Average sales price: Median sales price: Days on market:

2012 2011 (Jan. 1 – Oct. 31) 56 44 $174,905 $183,480 $156,450 $177,562 201 167



The Missoula housing market has seen significant improvements in 2012, as the number of sales has increased by 24 percent, while the median sales price is holding steady. Unlike the jump in sales caused by the tax credit, buyers are qualified for more, and homes are selling in the $150,000-$300,000 range. The increased interest in that segment of the market has caused a dramatic drop in inventory, meaning qualified sellers are waiting on the fence for another house to be listed. The condominium market seems to be holding its own as well, although no new builds are joining the existing inventory. Overall, Missoula is seeing positive signs of recovery with regards to homes sold and values. Single Family Sales: Average sales price: Median sales price: Days on market:

2012 895 $247,656 $216,000 133

2011 (Jan. 1 – Oct. 31) 684 $244,404 $219,450 135

Townhouse/Condo Sales: Average sales price: Median sales price: Days on market:

2012 100 $168,450 $144,750 166

2011 (Jan. 1 – Oct. 31) 106 $153,432 $144,250 149

Lots Sales: Average sales price: Median sales price: Days on market:

2012 58 $42,601 $45,000 408

2011 (Jan. 1 – Oct. 31) 43 $73,525 $60,000 229

The Northwest is starting to emerge and show signs of a recovery, with market numbers improving in all major areas, especially in the single-family sector. The area saw an additional 267 single family homes sold in 2012 when compared to the same time period in 2011, an increase of nearly 16 percent. The average sales price improved to $270,490, a gain of more than $9,000, and average days on the market increased slightly. In the townhouse/condo market there was an increase of sales by 32 units, the average sales price decreased to $218,905, and the average days on the market remained the same. Single Family Sales: Average sales price: Median sales price: Days on market:

2012 2011 (Jan. 1 – Oct. 31) 1,330 1,063 $270,490 $261,460 $188,750 $180,000 214 197

Townhouse/Condo Sales: Average sales price: Median sales price: Days on market:

2012 2011 (Jan. 1 – Oct. 31) 183 151 $218,905 $236,931 $157,000 $173,000 242 241

Lots Sales: Average Sales Price: Median Sales Price: Days On Market:

2012 429 $149,438 $70,000 410

2011 (Jan. 1 – Oct. 31) 286 $164,702 $87,000 327

Montana’s REALTOR® Digest |


Capturing Montana’s Beauty MAR Cover Contest Winner – Laurie Darrow

Taking the perfect picture that best represents a house about to hit the market is a challenge that every REALTOR® can relate to. There are those who struggle behind the camera, and then there are those who just seem to have a keen eye that brings out the best in a listing. They can take a photo that sells a home to a buyer before they even see the kitchen or ask about square footage. Laurie Darrow of Prudential Montana Real Estate in Seeley Lake has that keen eye.


| Montana’s REALTOR® Digest

Darrow and her wonderful photo of Holland Lake took top honors in the Montana Association of REALTORS® Cover Contest. MAR members from around the state submitted photos that they felt best portrayed real estate in Montana, with the winning photo being featured as the cover of the 2013 edition of Montana’s REALTOR® Digest. There were a total of 17 entries submitted from across Montana, and each photo captured a different view of real estate in the Treasure State. However, following a series of

Additional photos of the Seeley Lake area from Laurie Darrow.

votes, the MAR Communications Committee made the choice of awarding the cover and $150 to Darrow. “I have never won a contest before in my life,” Darrow said. “I love taking photos and I try to be sure to get the best shot possible to be able to sell the property. A great picture is definitely worth 1,000 words.” Darrow is a self-proclaimed Montana girl, born and raised in Great Falls. And while there have been stints where she has left the state, she said she always seemed to find her way back. For the past 31 years, she and her husband Mark have lived in Seeley Lake, and in 1994 she earned her real estate license. Six years later she became a broker and opened up Montana Lakes Real Estate, which she would align with Prudential Montana in November 2012.

“People are drawn to Montana,” Darrow says. “They drive to the valley and many times, people will come in and ask ‘what do you have for sale here?’ The area really sells itself, because there is only one Seeley Lake.” The natural beauty has also lent itself to plenty of opportunities to capture the stunning landscape and seasons with a camera. That leads us to the stunning Holland Lake photograph that graces the cover of the 2012 edition of Montana’s REALTOR® Digest. In March 2011, Darrow was headed to a listing at Holland Lake to meet up with the sellers. While crossing a bridge, the spring scene caught her eye and wouldn’t let go. Darrow framed the photo and hung it in her office, and fortunately technology allows her to easily reprint it as many of her friends and clients have asked for it. In fact, she usually just takes the framed photo off her wall whenever someone asks for a copy. “Every time someone comes into my office they look at the photo and ask for it,” Darrow says. “The view at that location at any time is always amazing. It is a special place for a lot of people.” v

NEW Code of Ethics Quadrennial Cycle NAR has mandated all REALTORS® complete a mandatory ethics training program on a quadrennial basis. A new quadrennial cycle (4th) begins January 1, 2013 and ends December 31, 2016. REALTORS® are required to complete ethics training of not less than two hours, 30 minutes of instructional time, within a four-year cycle. The training must meet specific learning objectives and criteria established by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Training may be completed through local REALTOR® associations, or through another method, such as home study, correspondence, classroom courses, or online courses. Most local boards offer an approved quadrennial COE training course multiple times throughout the year. Online approved quadrennial COE training: (1) THE CE SHOP Course approval number: 12RR0006 (2) McKissock Course approval number: 12RR0197 (3) Online at NAR (FREE; no CE credits) For more information, please visit our website or contact the Montana Association of REALTORS® at (406) 443-4032. Montana’s REALTOR® Digest |


2012 Cover Contest The Montana Association of REALTORS® held a photo contest this summer, asking members across the state to submit a picture that they felt best captured what real estate in the Treasure State meant to them. The response was great and the pictures were wonderful, making it very difficult for the Communications Committee to decide on a winning entry.

Roy Grillo, Keller Williams Realty Kalispell, MT

Judy Glendenning, Helena Homes & Investments Helena, MT

Montana is such a unique state – with its four colorful seasons, contrasting landscape, and diverse wildlife. The uniqueness is clearly captured in all of the photos that were submitted, and while Laurie Darrow (Montana Lakes Real Estate, Seeley Lake) took home top honors, the award could have easily been given to anyone who took these wonderful photographs! v

Tracy Johnson, Dahlquist Realtors Great Falls, MT

Charity Waldo Coldwell Banker Mason & Company Eureka, MT

Heather Quinn, Prudential Red Lodge Real Estate Red Lodge, MT

Julie Troy, Royal Real Estate Cut Bank, MT

Jack Rhodes, Select Realty Helena, MT


| Montana’s REALTOR® Digest

Michael Morgner Prudential Montana Real Estate Bozeman, MT

Cathy Locatelli, Montana Land Company Hamilton, MT

CC Egeland, Prudential Floberg REALTORS® Billings, MT

Hunter Homes, Hunter Homes Realty Whitefish, MT

Sharon Guilbault, Professional Brokers of Great Falls Great Falls, MT

Kim Martin, Dahlquist Realtors Great Falls, MT

Erin Mandeville, Prudential Montana Real Estate Bozeman, MT

Jacque Lorang, Heavenly Homes Billings, MT

Montana’s REALTOR® Digest |


Journey to Success By Pam Wood, 2013 President Journey and success are easily defined in the dictionary, two words that are cut and dry in their basic meaning. Those two words, though, almost always carry different definitions for everyone when applied in their daily life. We all strive for success, yet success for one is often defined differently than success for another. And the path one journeys down to reach desired success is as different as the many roads that criss cross our great state. I’ve chosen Journey to Success as the theme for 2013 since it represents what I feel is the basic fundamental goal of our membership and association while capturing our diversity. Each one of us will choose our own path along their journey, in what ultimately will lead to their success, whether that means selling 10 more houses in 2013 or carving out more time to spend with family, friends, and loved ones. Speaking of time, the new year is at our doorstep with new challenges and opportunities presenting themselves in 2013 as we move forward as an association on our Journey to Success. We are fortunate to have a multitude of communication tools at our fingertips that provides and enables us new and better ways of serving our buyers, sellers, and ourselves. One of the most exciting new tools is the Realtors Property Resource (RPR), which was made available to all one million members of NAR for free. We are able to access extensive data on roughly 150-million properties across the country. Please take the time to visit for more information. A major component of our success this year will hinge on communicating with one another. Listening is critical, and you may be sure that your leadership team (see below) and our outstanding MAR staff are ready, willing, and able to listen to ideas,

answer questions, or at the very least, get you headed in the right direction to find the answer. Please don’t hesitate to call or email any one of us. The past two years have been record-breaking for RPAC in Montana thanks to some serious fundraising and awareness. We look to build the future by putting RPAC dollars in places that will help advance the interests of real estate professionals. RPAC is the only political group in the country organized for REALTORS®, run by REALTORS®, and exists solely to further issues important to REALTORS®. Think of your RPAC contribution as an investment. Please consider an investment of $25, your fair share to RPAC to better your profession, your business, and yourself. The 63rd regular session of the Montana Legislature will commence January 7, 2013 in Helena and the Montana Association of REALTORS® will be active in ensuring a healthy business environment for REALTORS®. MAR will focus on many issues, including exempt wells, resolution of the subdivision for lease or rent issue, as well as other subdivision concerns, plus due process protections for property owners. I ask each and every member to take an active role in being an advocate on REALTOR­® issues by responding to all calls for action and talking with your local legislator. Being the delegator that I am, I’m well aware I can’t accomplish everything on my own and our Journey to Success will be more fulfilling when we work together step by step. Be it the leadership team, staff, or the entire MAR membership, 2013 is going to be a great year and everyone will have a role in our success. I am thanking you in advance. I am beyond honored and humbled to represent Montana as your president and grateful for the opportunity to serve you this year. “Wishing everything’s well in your world.” v

2013 Leadership Team

Pam Wood 2013 President


Dennis Cook 2013 President Elect denniscook@

| Montana’s REALTOR® Digest

Ryan Swinney 2013 First Vice-President

Howard Sumner 2013 Treasurer howard@

Judy Gudgel Immediate Past President

Realtor Property Resource® Now Available to All REALTORS® By: Michelle Wardlaw / 202-383-1042 National Association of REALTORS®

In November 2012, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) launched its Realtors Property Resource® (RPR) application nationwide. All REALTORS® will have access to RPR, regardless of multiple listing service (MLS) status with the site. Members whose MLS’s and associations have partnered with RPR will have the benefit of additional functionality with the RPR tools and features, as the addition of local market data provided by their MLS will enhance some reports, trends and analytics, as well as display their own listings and those from their company. “The Realtors Property Resource® is yet another remarkable way REALTORS® bring value to their clients. The site is home to hundreds of data sets on millions of properties, exclusively for REALTORS®,” said NAR president Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates, Inc., in Miami. “RPR will save REALTORS® time and money while in-

creasing efficiency. This cutting-edge technology works on any web-enabled device and will provide robust data sets that can be searched, refined, and printed for use with clients.” RPR is a dues-funded, REALTORS®only national database of property information and is free of charge for NAR’s REALTORS® members. The system is comprised of robust parcel-centric data sets covering more than 147 million parcels, including: •P  ublic records and tax assessment data •L  iens, stand-alone mortgages, and refinancing loans •L  argest nationwide database of real estate-owned (REO) properties • Advanced  geospatial imagery, dynamic heat maps, and historical property photos •S  chool district data, reviews, and test scores • Neighborhood  boundaries and

demographic information, including points of interest • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood maps RPR has contracted with 425 MLS’s across the U.S. representing more than 65 percent of REALTORS®. MLS and associations may still partner with RPR to include MLS data in the system. The implementation process takes about eight to 12 weeks, and there is no cost to implement the data. For more information contact Jeff Young at or Reggie Nicolay at, or visit The National Association of REALTORS®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing one million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. v

Montana’s REALTOR® Digest |


MAR Members Rally in Washington D.C. – Movement Continues in Treasure State

Nearly 50 members from the Montana Association of REALTORS® were among a sea of blue, as nearly 15,000 REALTORS­® from across the country took part in the Rally to Protect the American Dream on May 17, 2012 in front of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. They were there to make their voices heard on behalf of homeowners, real estate investors, and for everyone who dreams of homeownership.


| Montana’s REALTOR® Digest

“This was absolutely fabulous, touching, and inspiring,” said Judy Gudgel, MAR President. “Home is where the heart is and this certainly showed that. It was an unbelievable wave of people and it exceeded even my expectations.” Throughout the hour-and-a-half rally, several different guests spoke about the benefits of homeownership and the importance of making sure that it remains the American Dream. The rally was the feature event of NAR’s Midyear Legislative Meetings, and there were several members of Congress who attended the rally, including two that spoke – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and U.S. representative Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). Corinne Welborn of Dillon, who was one of the lucky winners of the airfare lottery, was thrilled to be part of such an historic event. “I had wanted to come out here before, and this really cemented it for me,” Welborn said. “The rally has been great and a very neat experience – especially

being with so many people from Montana.” The next step following the rally was taking that message of the importance of home ownership back to Montana and spreading it to the MAR membership. And while those who attended have shared their experiences of attending the rally, there are several ways that every member can spread this important message to their family, friends, colleagues, and clients. • Be sure to continually talk about the importance of home ownership; • Closely follow the 2013 legislative session­; • Respond to NAR and MAR calls for action­; • Volunteer in your local community; • Talk to your local legislators, county commissioners, and other elected officials about issues that affect REALTORS®; and, •C  onsider making an investment in RPAC. v


The Legal Hotline is a service for members of the Montana Association of REALTORS® (MAR). It offers answers to real estate questions that have broad applicability. Just remember, the hotline provides legal information, NOT legal representation. The Legal Action Fund and Issues Mobilization Fund are for legal matters or issues that have statewide significance. Application is through local boards/associations in accordance with the program requirements. MAR also publishes legal and risk management articles throughout the year to keep members updated on current issues affecting the real estate industry.


MAR members can earn designations that have a direct impact on your income! Designations and certifications acknowledging experience and expertise in various real estate sectors are awarded and include CRS, SRES, and ABR. MAR provides the Montana GRI (Graduate REALTOR® Institute) Program with classes held in the spring at different locations around the state. The 2013 GRI will be held in Bozeman on March 19-22, 2013. MAR’s interactive online calendar features classes held through local associations and links to online education programs to assist members in completing their continuing education requirements.


The Montana Association of REALTORS® advocates in front of the Montana Legislature and state agencies on behalf of its members, maintaining a healthy business environment and ensuring that the dream of home ownership remains accessible for all Montanans. MAR members also carry out grassroots political activities, including being part of the Key Contact Program and responding to calls for action. Investing in Montana RPAC is the most effective way to ensure a healthy business environment in the state. MAR RPAC is non-partisan in its choice of pro-REALTOR® candidates at all levels.


There are several resources available to MAR members. The most important and widely used resource is access to the MAR Forms Library, which is available only to members. Forms are continually updated with changes to help members conduct their business in compliance with legal requirements. MAR also offers many communication resources, including reMARks, the weekly e-newsletter, MAR’s website,, and Montana’s REALTOR® Digest, a yearly publication. Members also serve on key committees that work throughout the year to provide programs to its members and to improve business understanding and community relations.


Thanks to new technology, never has there been a time when MAR members can interact with each other and feel more connected, despite the size of the Treasure State. MARConnect is a member-only feature on MAR’s website that allows members to form groups and post to join discussion on a variety of subjects. MAR also offers two smartphone apps loaded with up-to-date news from around the state. In-person networking happens at the meetings and education events held throughout the state. The Young Professionals Network (YPN) is a great forum for meeting new members and share ideas.

Working For You! L.E.A.R.N. is the acronym for the services the Montana Association of REALTORS® provides its members. The value lies in the benefits you receive through your membership to MAR. It is value that will help you and your business grow through expanded education, networking and resources while reducing your risk and liability through legal and advocacy help.

MAR Earns Prestigious

President’s Cup 2012 MAR president Judy Gudgel with the President’s Cup.

2012 MAR President Judy Gudgel and 2012 RPAC Fundraising Liaison Ronda Tompers walk across the stage as Montana is recognized for winning the NAR President’s Cup.

Following a superb effort last year, the Montana Association of REALTORS® (MAR) members were given the challenge of increasing involvement in advocacy and fundraising, and members responded in record-breaking fashion in 2012. MAR members rose to the occasion in a big way, with Montana earning the NAR President’s Cup, one of 14 states to earn the distinction. The President’s Cup was presented to 2012 MAR President Judy Gudgel at

the REALTOR® Convention and Expo in Orlando, Florida. The award capped an incredible year that saw many goals reached, all of which would not have been possible without the hard work of many MAR members. “I am so proud of the dedication and hard work of everyone who helped Montana earn this honor,” Gudgel said. “It took a lot of effort and participation by everyone to make this happen. Montana rocks!” The NAR President’s Cup is awarded to states that achieve all of their NAR advocacy and RPAC fundraising goals. The advocacy goals for 2012 included a recruitment goal of 15 percent of MAR’s membership in the Broker Involvement Program and holding a state meeting of brokers regarding the program. On the fundraising side, MAR had to reach the following RPAC goals: reach the NAR state RPAC participation goal of 37 per-


cent, achieve/exceed the state’s Fair Share fundraising goal, and attain/exceed Major Donor and President’s Circle Goals. On the advocacy side, MAR reached its BIP goal by more than 140 percent, recruiting more than 150 new agents to the program. MAR also hosted a broker lunch at the Spring Business Meetings that had great attendance by brokers from all across the state in attendance. MAR enjoyed another record-breaking year in RPAC fundraising, including raising more than $100,000 for the first time in state history. Included in that were 34 major investors, an increase of nine from the year before, as well as three President’s Circle members, and a total of 1,326 contributors from every corner of the state, A huge thank you goes out to everyone who played a part in Montana earning the NAR President’s Cup in 2012. v

Season’s Greetings Town & Country Properties

Robert Terrazas, P.C

Frosty Erben GRI/CRS EPRO 1923 S. HIGGINS AVENUE P.O. BOX 9077 • MISSOULA, MONTANA 59807 (406) 541-2550 • FAX (406) 541-2553


| Montana’s REALTOR® Digest


1311 - 11th Street W., Billings, MT 59102



2013 Calendar of Events For the most up-to-date MAR information refer to the MAR website at July 2013 July 4-5 • MAR Office Closed (Observance of Independence Day) August 2013 August 12-13 • MAR Leadership Seminar, Seeley Lake August 14 • MAR Joint Budget Meeting, Helena August 26-27 • NAR Leadership Summit, Chicago

January 2013 January 1 • New Year’s Day, MAR Office Closed January 16 • Leadership Orientation, Best Western Great Northern, Helena January 17-18 • MAR Winter Business Meetings, Best Western Great Northern, Helena January 18 • MAR Strategic Plan Review, Helena January 21 • Martin Luther King Day, MAR office closed February 2013 February 18 • President’s Day, MAR Office Closed Feb 27-Mar 1 • Region 12 Spring Meeting, Portland, OR March 2013 March 15-19 • AE Institute, San Diego, CA March 19-22 • GRI, Best Western GranTree, Bozeman March 31 • Easter Sunday

September 2013 September 2 • Labor Day, MAR Office Closed September 5-6 • MAR Strategic Plan Session, Helena September 18-20 • MAR Annual Meeting & Celebration, Grouse Mountain Lodge, Whitefish, Montana October 2013 October 9 • MAR Committee Leadership Training, Helena October 14 • Columbus Day, MAR Office Closed November 2013 November 8-11 • NAR Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA November 11 • Veteran’s Day Observed, MAR Office Closed November 28-29 • Thanksgiving, MAR Office Closed December 2013 December 24 • Christmas Eve Holiday, MAR Office Closed ½ Day December 25 • Christmas Holiday, MAR Office Closed December 31 • New Year’s Eve, MAR Office Closed ½ Day

April 2013 May 2013 May 13-18 • NAR Mid Year Meetings, D.C. May 22-24 • MAR Spring Business Meetings, Best Western Great Northern, Helena May 27 • Memorial Day, MAR Office Closed June 2013 June 6-7 • Professional Standards Training, Great Falls

Happy Holidays Ph: (406) 453-2752 401-13th Avenue South, Great Falls, MT 59405 Email:

G r eat F a l l s

Association of

REALTORS® Montana’s REALTOR® Digest |


Thank You! The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and RPAC Leadership, along with MAR RPAC, would like to thank our 2012 major investors from Montana for their generous support of the REALTOR® Party.

Golden R

Montana Association of REALTORS®

Vicky Hammond

Crystal R

Ronda Tompers*

Sterling R Julie Abney James Anderson* Leif Anderson Cory Berkram Thomas Brown James Dea Candis Dorsch Judy Gudgel Sally Hickey Daniel Klein Donna Kostelecky

*NAR President’s Circle member RPAC Major Investors as of 10/31/12


| Montana’s REALTOR® Digest

Cynthia Lanier Alana LaRock Timothy Lund Mark Macek Joyce Miller Scott Molzahn Linda Parker Gary Shea Jacqueline Smart Ellie Stimpson

Howard Sumner Ryan Swinney Peggy Trenk* Daniel Wagner Rob Wink Pam Wood American Title & Escrow First American Title First Montana Title Stewart Title

MAR Members “Capitolize” with GRI

2012 GRI Graduates Name City Tammy Beard Great Falls Maria Evanson


Christy Fenno


Rod Freeman


Yvonne Hanson Deer Lodge Karen Hayes


Lori Helmey


Colette Holstine


Hollie Koehler


Randy Koutnik


Regan Langel


Kim Meyer


A. L. Mueller


Kelly Mytty Donoghue


Cal Northam


JoAnna Nuckols


Tracey Olsen


Kelly Resley


Vince Scofield


Anita Sherley


Vana Taylor


Emily Turnquist


Mary Wheeler

Big Sky

Kari Whittle

Great Falls

Ronald Williams


L. Marie Willson

Great Falls

The 2012 Graduate REALTOR® Institute (GRI) was held from March 1316, 2012 in Helena and it was a huge success. More than 150 members attended the four-day event that featured great speakers, fun events, and of course, the graduation ceremony on Friday, March 16, 2012. An all-star cast of instructors included Jaymie Bowditch, Brian Copeland, Joeann Fossland, Terry Watson, and Mark Given. The popular CRS course, Ninja Selling, was also offered and was a hit according to everyone who attended. Why should you come to the Montana Graduate REALTOR® Institute? Earning a GRI can make a difference in your business and potentially boost your income. REALTORS® with the designation: •B  ased on the 2011 survey data, the median income of REALTORS® without a designation was $26,900, and the median income of those with at

least one designation was $49,300. That is a difference of $22,400. • Reported an increase in referrals in the first year after they obtained their designation. • Are better able to serve and protect their increasingly sophisticated clients because of their understanding of new technology, laws, and procedures. • GRI is the only designation without any additional membership fees once you become a GRI! GRI is hands down the best value for your educational dollar. Why pay to go out of state when you can get the best right here in Montana! Receive 12+ credits for each level of GRI! A big congratulation goes out to all of the 2012 graduates. Also, thank you to all of the volunteers who worked very hard to make sure that everything ran smoothly. v

Montana’s REALTOR® Digest |



Lower Costs and Increase Closings with a Simple Solution By Chris Duncan- President, Replica Business Solutions

From the first listing to final closing, real estate agents know that color sells. Now, as an offering from Replica Business Solutions – a Xerox authorized dealer in Billings, MT, you can get the competitive advantage of Xerox color products for free. Create high-quality marketing mate-

rials with printers that use our award-winning solid-ink technology. Each stick prints thousands of pages of brilliant, uniform color. And, it won’t run if it gets wet. So every postcard, flyer, and sales package has more curb appeal. Get more listings and boost referrals with exceptional color technology and work-saving solutions from Xerox.

“Tell me more about the printer” The latest innovative solid ink printer from Xerox is now available through Rep-

lica’s Free Color Printer program! At 40 pages per minute, this solid ink printer is the fastest printer in its class, has improved color controls, and is ENERGYSTAR® qualified. It also integrates nicely into your network and is compatible with current and older versions of Windows and Mac OSX. With solid ink, you get better image quality than laser printers at a fraction of the cost per page of inkjets. The ColorQube 8570 uses safe, nontoxic inks in the form of solid blocks, which requires fewer consumables than laser printers. As a result, less waste goes into landfills.

“Free you say?” Yes, the printer is free. They even ship it to your office, provide remote assistance for set up, and include a four-year remote/ local on-site service plan for free. The only cost to you is the cost of the supplies for the printer which cost less than most comparable laser and inkjet cartridges. You do have to buy the ink from Replica for four years but after those years are over, the printer is yours to do what you want with it.

“How does this lower my printing costs?” The Free ColorQube 8570 opens two avenues of savings. • First, you can print more of your flyers and other documents yourself. This drastically reduces your printing costs. You can also print as many or as few as you need, when you need them. • Second, the ColorQube prints faster, more efficiently, and with better quality than standard laser and ink jet printers. Save money on ink and save time too!

“How does it work?” The free-color printer program has been highly successful for several years now. With many satisfied customers, this is an easy way to get a top-of-the-


| Montana’s REALTOR® Digest

line printer with premier support and efficiency. With three easy steps, get your printer shipped to you: 1.  Call Replica Business Solutions at 406-839-9228 to speak to one of our print specialists. 2. Complete the application to make sure the program is right for you. 3. Choose the plan option that best fits your needs. Typically, if you are spending over $125/ month on printer supplies and/or at print shops, the free-color printer program is perfect for you.

There are three different program options available depending on your printing volume. a. Low Volume: 500 to 700 color pages per month b. Medium Volume: 701 to 1,500 color pages per month c. High Volume: 1,501+ color pages per month For more information on how to cut your outsourced printing expenses and improve the quality of your in-house printed materials, call Replica Business Solutions at 406-839-9228 for more information. v

Index to Advertisers 11 7 11 27 6 3 32 7 30 26 26 29

AMC PC Services First Community Bank Garlington Lohn & Robinson Great Falls Assoc. of Realtors Montana Board of Housing Montana Exchange Services Pierce Companies Prudential Montana Real Estate Replica Business Solutions Terrazas Law Offices Town and Country Properties Trina White Montana Real Estate Brokers

2012 Leadership Seminar Recap The Montana Association of REALTORS® would like to congratulate the 2012 MAR Leadership Seminar graduates who attended the two-day session at Seeley Lake. The goal was to provide a well-rounded approach to “leadership” in terms of making it work

for your business, your volunteer life, your family, and your own well being. It was a great two-day session! The seminar is open to all MAR members, so start planning to attend in 2013! Contact your local Board CEO with your interest in attending.

“We all have leadership qualities within us. This seminar helped me to define those qualities and showed me how to incorporate leadership skills in my daily work environment. The best part was that these skill sets are simple, effective, and can quickly turn tough situations around.” 

– Dianne Click

2012 graduates: Lauren Bond - Century 21 Hometown Brokers - Billings



Dianne Click - Bozeman Broker Group - Bozeman Mark Dobrenski - Prudential Montana Real Estate - Bozeman Darwin George - Prudential Floberg - Billings


Pat Goodover - Professional Brokers - Great Falls William Higgason - Keller Williams Realty NW MT - Kalispell Timothy Hudson - Montana Real Estate Brokers - Billings Mike Larum - The Landmark Company - Helena Rich Mayo - Coldwell Banker RCI Realty - Bozeman Joyce Miller - Joyce Miller MT Realty - Bozeman 1. Pam Wood, 2013 MAR president, attended the seminar. 2. The 2012 Leadership Seminar was held at the Double Arrow Lodge in Seeley Lake, Mont. 3. Ronda Tompers, 2012 NAR RPAC fundraising liaison, spoke to the group about the importance of RPAC.

Brian Nicodemus - RE/MAX of Whitefish - Whitefish Jim Sage - Montana Legacy Real Estate - Helena Jackie Smart - Wright Real Estate - Ronan Ryan Swinney - Bruce Swinney & Associates - Helena Tara Tronson - Montana’s Premier Real Estate - Great Falls Montana’s REALTOR® Digest |


Mailing indicia information


IN AMERICA Billings 2950 King Ave W 406-652-4666

BozemAn 1921 W main 406-587-5428

missoulA 1603 Brooks 406-543-8224 Billings 2032 grand Ave 406-656-2824

BozemAn 8334 Huffine ln 406-586-8234

BuTTe 800 Dewey Blvd 406-494-3313

greAT FAlls 1204 7th st s 406-727-3832

Montana’s REALTOR® Digest  

The Montana Association of REALTORS® annual publication.

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