Page 1

ABoR’s heats up with annual TREPAC Chili Cook-off in February The time has come to pull out your famous chili recipe, heat

are a limited number of spots available. Don’t miss out on your chance

place on Wednesday, Feb. 17 from

the flavors of all of the delicious entries by purchasing an individual

up your pots and pans, and start cooking. Registration is now

open for the annual TREPAC Chili Cook-off, which will take

to participate in the competition by registering your team today.

Not up to cooking? Not a problem. Allow your taste buds to savor

5:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the ABoR

ticket for $25. Tickets are available in advance or at the door. To pur-

Entries will be judged in both vegetar-

Sponsorships are also available for the event and provide a

Auditorium. All chili must arrive at

the competition ready to serve.

ian and meat categories by cook-off judges. Additionally, a

grand champion will be selected by “people’s choice.”

Team registration is only $99 and includes two event tickets and a

display table. The deadline to register is February 10. However, there

chase your ticket online, visit or to purchase by phone, call 454-7636, ext. 1501.

great opportunity for businesses to shine the spotlight on themselves. Fore more information regarding the event, registration,

tickets and sponsorships, contact Christina Ortiz at govern- or by phone at 454-7636, ext. 1501.

Upcoming Events: JANUARY 21 WCAoR First Quarterly Luncheon Georgetown Community Ctr. - 11:30 a.m. 445 E. Morrow in San Gabriel Park

FEBRUARY 3 AMBA Monthly Meeting Austin Country Club - 11:30 a.m.

FEBRUARY 10 Mortgage IQ EXPO 2010 The Commons Conference Center - 8:30 a.m. FEBRUARY 17 CRS Meeting Westwood Country Club - 11:30 a.m. FEBRUARY 17 ABoR’s TREPAC Chili Cook-off ABoR Auditorium - 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

MARCH 11 8th Annual HBA Crawfish Boil Early bird discount tickets to be sold through Jan. 31 Teravista - 6 to 10 p.m.

—Associates In— PROGRESS

JANUARY 2010 • VOL. 14 • ISSUE 9

Enjoyable. Entertaining. It’s all About You.

Attract More Buyers by Taking Eye-pleasing Listing Photos By Shannon Petrie Reprinted from Home sellers used to count on curb appeal to make a

good first impression on potential buyers. Now, with 80

percent of homebuyers starting their house hunt online, a home's "pix appeal," or how good it looks in photos

posted on the Internet, is taking over as the top way to impress buyers off the bat.

In a survey by the National Association of

REALTORS, homebuyers rated photos as the feature they use most when searching for a home on the web.

Online listings with bad pictures—or worse, no pic-

tures at all—can cause buyers to overlook your home from the get-go.

So how do you make a good impression with your

real estate photos? If you're selling through an agent, find out if they will be photographing your home. Some

agents, especially those representing pricier properties, opt to hire professional photographers to get the best

shots possible, while others choose to take photos them-

selves. Look at the agency's Web site for an idea of the quality of photos you can expect from them.

P.O. Box 81366 Austin, Texas 78708-1366

Before You Photograph

Invest in a decent camera. A cell-phone camera won't

cut it if you want quality shots, but top-of-the-line equipment isn't a necessity either. Any point-and-shoot



and compositions. The best way to show off a room is to

shoot from a corner or doorway to include as much of

the room as possible. This provides context and makes

the room look more spacious than a tight shot does. When photographing the home's

with five megapixels or more will

exterior, stand at an angle to the home rather

digital SLR offers more settings and

photographing objects that

produce good photos. If you're

willing to fork over more cash, a

allows you to use a variety of lens-

than straight-on, allowing buyers to see the

home's depth. As much as possible, avoid

obscure your home, like poles and wires.

es. A tripod is also a good invest-

Don't make the home

ment for taking sharp photos.

look like something it's

Stage the home. You want to show off the space,

not. While you want to

not what's in it. Make sure the home is clean, and clear from distracting items like

toys, refrigerator magnets and the like before taking photos. If this

leaves the home looking a little

dull, accents like a vase of fresh flowers can spice it up.

make your house look as

good as possible, don't

mislead buyers. For instance, a photo taken with a wide-angle lens can make a room

look deceptively large. Buyers will be disap-

pointed and irritated when

they view the home and

While You Photograph

see that the seemingly

Use as much natural lighting as possible. Open

huge bedrooms are actual-

the curtains and turn on all the lights to make a

ly quite small.

room look bright and

Presorted Standard U.S. Postage PAID Austin, Texas Paid Permit #715

era's built-in flash as lit-

tle as possible; it creates

unattractive shadows and

reflects off mirrors and win-

dows. You should also avoid taking photos on rainy days

or at night, as this will pro-

Digital cameras give you

the freedom to take as

many photos as you want, so experiment with lots of

angles and camera settings. Review the photos later and choose the ones that best represent the listing. After You Photograph

Touch up the photos. After you've chosen your best

duce gloomy photos. For

photos, you'll probably find that they need a bit of

sun doesn't cast dark shad-

Free online photo editing tools like Picnik and Snipshot

exterior shots, take pictures on an overcast day so the ows on the home.

Don’t forget: You can visit us online 24/7 at

Take lots of photos.

open. Rely on the cam-

Choose the best angles

tweaking. Maybe the living room looks too dark, or the

home's exterior is framed by distracting telephone wires.

are easy to use and allow you to crop your pictures, adjust brightness and contrast, and correct colors. [RL]


Realty Line of Austin

January 2010


Austin Real Pros’ Bill Evans and Carrie York and their guests gather for a Happy New Year holiday party at Green Pastures.

Realty Line of Austin is published monthly by ©Caxton Publications, Inc., as a non-subscription publication for the more than 8,000 members of the Austin Board of REALTORS (ABoR), the more than 1,100 members of the Williamson County Association of REALTORS (WCAoR) and the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Austin. © Caxton Publications, Inc. dba Realty Line of Austin is an active member of the Austin Board of REALTORS, the Williamson County Association of REALTORS and is a honorary member of the Women’s Council of REALTORS. Caxton Publications, Inc. dba Realty Line of Austin is not responsible for opinions or facts expressed by non-staff writers or for errors and any by-products in advertising or editorial copy. REALTOR® is a registered trademark. The word REALTOR® sometimes appears in this publication without the registered trademark symbol (®), for the purpose of saving space. Wherever the word REALTOR appears in this publication, the registered trademark should be assumed.

Bill Bradshaw, seated, of Gracy Title and Ann McKinley, standing center, of Network Funding present a course for REALTORS on Understanding the New Settlement Statement.

Doren L. Carver PUBLISHER Tawanna K. Carver MANAGING EDITOR

Linda McNabb CONTRIBUTING EDITOR/WRITER/PHOTOGRAPHER COLUMNISTS John Horton, ABoR Chairman Steve Zbranek, HBA President J. Rene Ward, WCAoR President Susanna Boyer, WCR President Bill Bradshaw, Gracy Title

All photos, press releases or article submissions can be sent to

P. O. Box 81366, Austin, Texas 78708 Office: (512) 821-1900

Take your sales career to new heights with MetLife Home Loans. A move to MetLife Home Loans can be very rrewarding. ewarding. A division division o off M MetLife etLife Bank, Bank, N N.A., .A., MetLife MetLife H Home ome Loans Loans o offers ffers m mortgage ortgage ssales ales professionals p rofessionals a unique unique blend blend o off b benefits enefits a and nd o opportunities, pportunities, iincluding: ncluding: > Aw wide ide range range of of home home loan loan p products roducts > A comprehensive comprehensive b benefits enefits package package > T The he opportunity opportunity to to make make a rreal eal d difference ifference b by yh helping elping yyour our ccustomers ustomers b build uild fi financial nancial freedom freedom through through h home ome o ownership wnership FFor or m more ore d details etails of of career career opportunities opportunities w with ith M MetLife etLife H Home ome LLoans, oans, o orr tto oa apply, pply, ccontact: ontact: Chris Blevins Chris Blevins 901 9 01 S. S. M Mopac opac Expy Expy Bldg Bldg 2 Austin, A ustin, TX TX 78746 78746 Office: O ffice: 5 512-329-3541 12-329-3541 Cell: C ell: 512-632-6124 512-632-6124


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January 2010


Social Media Courses Available to Guide You in the New Year By John Horton • John Horton Realty

2010 Chairman • Austin Board of REALTORS February is a jam-packed with a variety of mandatory continuing education

courses that will help steer your social media efforts down the right path. Take advantage of ABoR’s special package deal on social media policy classes by sign-

ing up for both When Article 12 and Web 2.0 Collide and Internet Policies for Brokerage Companies on Feb. 25. Together these courses will teach you how to

incorporate social media into your business and how improved policies related to social media can aid in protecting your business.

ABoR members will receive a special discounted rate of $100 if these courses

are taken together. Discounts are also available for non-members. Contact ABoR’s Education Department directly at or 454-7636 by Feb. 24 to

take advantage of this offer.

Annual Chili Cook-off Set for February 17

The time has come to put on your apron and start cooking. ABoR’s annual

TREPAC Chili Cook-off will take place on Feb. 17 from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the

ABoR Auditorium. All members are welcome to participate. Team registration is $99 and includes two event tickets and a display table. The deadline to enter the

cook-off is Feb. 10. However, space is limited so don’t delay and reserve your spot today. Participants will be judged in both vegetarian and meat categories, and

your chili must arrive at the competition ready to serve. Individuals interested in

participating should contact Christina Ortiz in ABoR’s Government Affairs Department at 454-7636, ext. 1501 or by e-mail at

If cooking isn’t your forte, purchase an individual ticket for $25 and sample the

many flavors of the competition. Tickets are available in advance and at the door

Realty Line of Austin the



the event.

Visit to purchase

your ticket today. Sponsorship opportunities are also


Learn Something New Over Lunch

Refresh your knowledge and start the year off right

by attending one of ABoR’s monthly Lunch and Learn sessions. These sessions focus on reviewing the ACTRIS

Rules and Regulations and the rationale behind them.

The class also explains the most common rule violations and how members can avoid them in the future. Eligible MLS fines can be waived by attending one of the

Lunch and Learn sessions within 90 days of the invoice date. Keep in mind that

you can only attend one Lunch and Learn session every six months to have a fine waived.

For more information on Lunch and Learn, contact the MLS support team at

454-7636 or To find out when the next session will be

offered and to register online, visit the Education section of Lunch and

Learn sessions are listed under the MLS courses. You must be logged in to your account to view these classes.

The Time Has Come to Contribute to TREPAC

Have you been on the fence about whether or not you should contribute to the

Texas Real Estate Political Action Committee (TREPAC)? There has never been a

better time to act. TREPAC helps protect our interests as real estate professionals by safeguarding private property rights and fighting hard for the issues most rel-

evant to our industry. Every year, TREPAC works diligently to provide a strong

voice for REALTORS®. Make your investment in TREPAC today by visiting Looking to the Year Ahead

It is an honor and privilege to serve as your elected 2010 Chairman of the

Board. I look forward to a prosperous year for each of us. Our industry is depend-

ent on the satisfaction of our customers; therefore, our number one goal this year should be to become trusted advisors for homebuyers and sellers. This goal can be

achieved by agents who are knowledgeable about their industry and communicate

the value of REALTORS® to consumers. Excellence takes hard work and high standards. Together, we can work diligently to ensure 2010 is a successful year. [RL]

e n o y r e v e g n i h Wis d n a s u o r e p s o r p a

! 0 1 0 2 l u f s s e succ Please welcome Kelley Murphy Westlake branch to our Westlake 1221 S. Mopac, Suite 150 | Austin, Texas Texas 78746 office cell 512.658.0068 | of fice 512.328.3794 | fax 512.328.1909


“Kelley has ear earned ned our trust...” Ask Kelley Murphy’s Murphy’s customers what separates her from from the competition, and they’ll tell you it’s it’s her honesty, honesty, enthusiasm, knowledge, and reliability. reliability. Kelley considers her customers to be business partners and takes a personal interest inter est in their success. She listens to each customer’s customer’s needs and finds solutions to the pr problems. oblems. Kelley keeps her promises, promises, and “she goes the extra mile –with a constant smile” www


Realty Line of Austin

January 2010

Singing Christmas carols at the Keller Williams Southwest Market Center’s Holiday Party are Caren Upshaw, Gwendolyn Watkin, Eric Copper, Jeff Hayenga, Knolly Williams and United Lending’s Shawn Haywood.

WCAoR executive director Marge Phillips tells Santa (Harry Gibbs) what the association needs for Christmas. She was among those in attendance at the o r g a n i z a t i o n ’s Christmas Tree Gala, which was held at the Buffington Signature Homes model. United Lending’s Tommy Nelms, standing, and David McMillan make Christmas come early by handing out profit-sharing checks to employees at the company’s Christmas luncheon.

January 2010

Realty Line of Austin



Realty Line of Austin

January 2010

Ralph Bell, second from right, of ZIP Realty learns firsthand information about the new KB Home model in Legends Village in Round Rock from company associates Scott Fallowfield, Colette Fitzgerald and Scott Taylor.

Bette Cook, right, of North American Title thanks Linda Komm of SWBC Mortgage for sponsoring an educational seminar at Cover 3 about the new RESPA Regulations.

Brad Brown of RE/MAX Austin Skyline shares some holiday cheer with First American Title representatives Kristy Miller, Kelley Murphy and Julie Pierro at the RE/MAX Austin Skyline office on Bee Caves Road.

Celebrating the end of the year and the holidays at the Steiner Ranch Steakhouse are Doris Stout of Drees Custom Homes and Dusty Rhodes of Coldwell Banker United REALTORS.

January 2010

Realty Line of Austin



You’re Invited to the 8th annual Crawfish Boil Builder/REALTOR Mixer By Steve Zbranek • Zbranek Custom Homes

2009-2010 President • Home Builders Association of Greater Austin Purchase Tickets by January 31 to receive Discount

Spring is coming, and we’re hoping it’s going to be a busy season for both builders and

REALTORS®. But before the spring fever begins, we’d like to invite REALTORS out to kick

back, enjoy the good weather and some good conversation at our old-fashioned crawfish boil. The Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Austin will host the annual Crawfish Boil

Builder/REALTOR mixer on Mar. 11 from 6 to 10 p.m., and we’d love to see you there.

Tickets are $20 through the end of January (buy 10 or more for an additional 10% dis-

Dan Campbell of Texas Open Door Realty, Lorrie Westberry of Coldwell Banker United REALTORS and Glyn Kennedy of TLC Carpet Care share holiday sentiments at the Ranch at Brushy Creek model during the 2009 Christmas Tree Gala.

count) and include crawfish with “all the fixins” and live entertainment (tickets go up to

$25 each in Feb. and $30 in Mar.). A cash bar will be available. It’s the perfect opportunity

to mingle with builders, build relationships, and take a fun, personal approach to growing

your business.

We’re hosting this year’s event at Teravista in Round Rock, so in addition to spending

time with your friends in the HBA, you can get a firsthand look at this beautiful communi-

ty being built by Newland Communities. Homes at Teravista start at $169,000 and include homes built by Meritage Homes Corporation, Spicewood Communities, Buffington

Signature Homes, Centex Homes, Lennar, DR Horton, CastleRock, Ryland Homes and

Wilshire Homes.

Come to the Crawfish Boil Builder/REALTOR Mixer on Mar. 11 and show your support

for the beautiful friendship that HBA of Greater Austin members and REALTORS have

built together. We’ll do a prize drawing just for REALTORS—and we promise great net-

working opportunities, lots of fun, and some darn good food.

To learn more about how to choose a builder or buy a new home, visit the Home

Builder’s Association of Greater Austin’s Web site at; then click on consumer resources. [RL]

Sheri Mitchell of Southern Exposure REALTORS gets her palm read at the 15th annual holiday party hosted by RE/MAX Austin Skyline.

 5 (  0 $ ;  R I  7H [




Best-selling author Andy Andrews (The Traveler’s Gift, The Noticer) Dr. Ted Jones, Senior Vice PresidentChief Economist, Stewart Title Guaranty Company RFC (Residential Finance Consultant) and MCE designation courses Timely, relevant breakouts on technology, social media, short sales, & more Texas Sentinels Foundation Fun Night Fundraiser at Billy Bob’s Grand Awards Celebration and Casino Party Charity Fundraiser Networking with 700 of Texas’ top real estate sales professionals

Each office independently owned and operated.


Realty Line of Austin

January 2010

Rudy Hopkins and Becky Hopkins, both of Austin Title, enjoy attending the ABoR Installation and Awards Gala together.

Ricky Cain of Keller Williams Realty tries his best to get into the picture with his fiance, Kodi McCrary, and J a y m e s Willoughby during the Keller Williams Realty Southwest Market Center’s Holiday Party. Ricky and Jaymes are both with Keller Williams Realty. RE/MAX Austin Skyline’s Linda Schneider, far right, joins Louis Canales, and Sandi Gillis of Austin Title for a fun shot in the photo booth at the 15th annual holiday party hosted by RE/MAX Austin Skyline.

January 2010

Realty Line of Austin






Realty Line of Austin

January 2010

Christina Bull, Yvette Boatwright and Lisa Hill, all of Realty Austin, chat about what they want for Christmas at the Realty Austin agent appreciation party held before Christmas.

Bob O’Reilly, far left, and Chris Blevins, far right, both of MetLife Home Loans, enjoy the good company of Joe Roach and Robin Lyons at the AMBA Holiday Party and Installation held at the UT Club.

Broker/owner Doug Land, right, of Capital Sotheby’s International Realty w e l c o m e s Jonathan Creath and Lauren Powell as they arrived to the company’s holiday celebration.

Wayne Richardson of Buffington Signature Homes and Lyn Blankholm of Highland Homes tell Santa (Harry Gibbs) what they want for Christmas at the 2009 WCAoR Christmas Tree Gala held at the Buffington Signature Homes model in the Ranch at Brushy Creek.

January 2010

Realty Line of Austin

7KH(FKHORQRI¿FHLVPRYLQJWR1RUWK Opening in February 2010! Gracy Title 183 North

12515-8 Research Blvd, Suite # 120 Austin, Texas 78759

Our phone and fax numbers will remain the same. 2I¿FH   )D[  

Kristy Smallwood

Paula Gonzales

Amy Turcotte







Partnerships Built On Trust.

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Realty Line of Austin

January 2010

Norm Adams and Donna Bergstrom, both of Keller Williams Realty, start the holidays off with U.C. Ukaoma of Drees Custom Homes at the Steiner Ranch Steakhouse.

United Lending’s Diane Rendon and Sandra Martinez get ready to exchange presents at the United Lending Christmas luncheon.

Mark Hairston of Mortgage IQ surrounds himself with his wife Shara Parker, left, of Austin REPS and Donna Yoste of RE/MAX Austin Associates at the end of the ABoR Installation and Awards Gala.

What Is What Is Your Your Competitive C ompetitive Advantage? A dvantage? Our SSystems Our ystems Empo Empower wer TTop op AAgents gents ttoo SSell ell More More H Homes, omes, FFaster, aster er,, ffor or Mor Moree Money Money







98 DAYS 46 D AYS













F or a cconfidential onfidential cconversation, onversation, For contact Ryan Ryan Matthews Matthews at at 512-420-0300. contact w







Realty Line of Austin

January 2010


2010— A New Year, A New Start! By J. Rene Ward • Best Agents in Texas

2010 President • Williamson County Association of REALTORS

Isn’t it great to turn the page on 2009 and start fresh with a whole new decade?

A lot of us would agree that we or someone we know hit a few bumps in the road last

year. How many of us would say we were responsible for at least some of it?

The choices we made, the words we said, and the actions we took not only impacted our


sure that our volunteers feel appreciated for the work they do

for our association and in our community. I want us to give

back, to our community and to fellow REALTORS, some of which are hurting right now.

So you ask how are we going to achieve this. It’s a fair ques-

tion. No one can do everything, but everyone can do some-

thing. Before we can “empty the tank” we have to fill it with fuel that will sustain us in 2010. Hopefully it is premium fuel

for optimum performance. The kind that takes you further

than you imagined and to places you didn’t even think you

could go to. That kind of fuel becomes contagious. It infects everyone around you. It

encourages you to do better, be better, have more, give more and make a difference.

We hope that every one of you will be fully engaged, giving your talents, participating

with your passion and contributing your time and resources where necessary.

Here’s our promise to you: We will put your interest above our interest. That we will

lead the way we would want to be lead; and that we will serve with a servant’s heart.

The future of Williamson County Association of REALTORS is shining bright. We know

lives, but also the lives of those around us. Whether as an individual, family, organization,

the challenges, but the opportunities are as endless as the stars in the sky. Join us…I hope

The good news is... it’s not too late!

Upcoming Events

or societal level, it is clear that we could have done some things better.

Last month, one of the Kennedy Center Honors went to singer and songwriter Bruce

Springsteen. His award was presented by political satirist, television host, and stand-up

comedian, Jon Stewart.

In Jon’s delivery, he said “Bruce ‘empties the tank’ every performance.”

I like the phrase “empties the tank.” It means he gave all he had, did the best he could

and provided the best performance he was capable of.

That’s my wish for you and the Williamson County Association of REALTORS in 2010—

that we “empty the tank.” When we look back at this year we have no regrets. That we have given all we had and done the best we could.

I have some big and lofty goals; they still need some work, commitment and the kind of

passion which will come from our leadership team. I want us to have an association that is

relevant to its current and future members. I want to see us grow our membership in 2010 by 20%. I want us to raise $100,000 above our dues revenue. I want us to have a strategic

plan that prepares us for the next generation of REALTORS. I want to see more of us par-

ticipate in TREPAC. I want us to provide educational opportunities to our members that are world class. I want to see our events draw on the communities we serve. I want to make

together we will end 2010 with empty tanks.

Based on your feedback, we are trying some new ideas. We will offer Graduate

REALTOR Institute (GRI) classes two days at a time in two separate weeks. You will

still have to take all four days to complete a GRI class, but the classes will be spread out so you can sell more houses in between!

Our February GRI-3 class will be held Feb. 3-4 and Feb. 11-12. Our GRI-2 class will

be held Jun. 10-11 and Jun. 17-18 and finally, our GRI-1 class will be held Oct. 7-8 and Oct. 14-15.

Additional classes coming in February include: • Feb. 10 - DocuSign (Electronic Signature)

• Feb. 8 - TREC Ethics and Legal at our Cedar Park location • Feb. 18 - Bottom Line Business Basics (BBB)

Learn what is required at tax time and learn how to put together a business plan.

• Feb. 19 - Fundamentals of Foreclosure Auctions

Learn how to bid on foreclosures as investments or for clients.

Mark your calendars for an exciting 2010. See you at our next luncheon! [RL]


Realty Line of Austin

January 2010

Matt Ditlow, right, of Capital City S o t h e b y ’ s International Realty brought his client, Bill LaRosa, to the company’s holiday celebration held at the available listing at 1157 The High Road.

Incoming AMBA President Doug Scott of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage presents a plaque to Eddie Rinehart of Treaty Oak Mortgage in recognition of his service as the 2009 AMBA President. Also looking on was Kenton Brown of Sente Mortgage.

Ann McKinley, second from left, of Network Funding helps (from left) Shelly Grissom, Vicki Garritano and Heather Brennan, all of Gracy Title, set up for a program on the new HUD forms.

Renovation Financing

Help your remodel customers maximize their renovation dollars Recognized as the nation's #1 originator of renovation financing, our renovation loan options may provide your customers financing power to remodel, repair, improve and bring out the most in their home. • Fixer-uppers, rehabs, and properties in any condition are eligible • Provide your customers a loan amount that is based on the completed value of the home after improvements with our Purchase & RenovateSM program • Qualified customers can transform a “before” with a loan based on the upgraded “after” • We can lend up to 110% of the after-improved value To learn how your buyers may benefit from renovation financing, call today!

Annie Fojtik Renovation Specialist 3601 Far West Blvd. Austin, TX 78731 Phone: (512) 344-7887 Cell: (512) 633-2883 Information is for real estate professionals only and is not intended for distribution to consumers. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. © 2009 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A .All rights reserved. #67954 12/09-3/10.

Faith Staires, center, of RE/MAX Austin Skyline enjoys the holiday party with granddaughter Caydence and daughter Rebekah at the RE/MAX Austin Skyline office on Bee Caves Road.

January 2010

Realty Line of Austin



Realty Line of Austin

January 2010

Austin Mortgage Bankers Association members David Reed and Steve Builta of Hometrust Mortgage sit back and relax at the annual holiday party and installation.

Having a splendid time partaking in holiday cheer at the Keller Williams Realty Southwest Market Center party are Judy Green and guest, and Carmen Nichols. Judy and Carmen are both agents with Keller Williams Realty.

Stephanie Powell of Champions School of Real Estate, with guest Jay Tankersley, arrives at the ABoR Installation and Awards Gala at the Renaissance Austin Hotel.

January 2010


2010 and WCR— A Fabulous Year Ahead By Susanna Boyer • Sellstate Classic Realty

2010 President • Women’s Council of REALTORS Welcome to 2010! We have a fabulous year planned for the Austin Chapter of the Women’s

Council of REALTORS®. I challenge you to make joining WCR one of your New Year’s reso-

lutions. Join us at our membership meetings each month, sit in on our Governing Board meetings, or join one of our many committees and get involved.

My passion and my calling has always been to serve. In the years that I have been in the

real estate profession, I have had the opportunity to serve along side some very strong lead-

ers in numerous organizations. Now, I have been chosen to be one of those leaders. I have

been elected to serve as this year’s president. Our members have put their faith in me to lead this chapter and I take this very seriously. I look at it as a privilege and honor.

In 2010, we are budgeting for scholarships to help more of our members attend state,

regional and national meetings. We are also forming a Strategic Planning committee that will consist of the executive board, past presidents and general members that have positive ideas for the direction that the Austin Chapter should take over the next three to five years to con-

tinue to be an “ongoing, viable and vibrant organization.” One that REALTORS and affiliates

from the Central Texas area will know is the professional organization that they should be

Realty Line of Austin



OPENING At Paradiso Villas!

11400 W. Parmer Lane, Cedar Park, TX 78613

Wed., February 17th • 11am-3pm Great Food! • Door Prizes! • Giveaways! Grand Opening Specials!

RSVP to 512-215-3424.

members of and be involved in. We want WCR to be “top of mind” and one of the steps in their business plan that will help them achieve their goals of success.

I see WCR as a vehicle that can help and guide our members through leadership roles at

productive, successful and fun year in WCR. Come and join us!

Our first luncheon of the year was held on January 12, with incoming ABoR chairman John

spoke about what was happening at their respective board/association and what their goals for the year are. If you missed it you missed an exciting and informative luncheon.

Our next luncheon will be on Thursday, Feb. 18, in the auditorium at ABoR. We will be fea-

turing a Rookie Panel, moderated by WCR’s state president Deborah Spangler. We’ve invit-

ed the 2009 Rookie’s of the Year from WCAoR and ABoR, as well as from a few of the com-

L North 183A TOLL

• New Homes from the $150’s


• Private Community Pool • Included Yard Maintenance • Close to Shopping & Major Highways

Cedar Par k

• 90-acre Brushy Creek Lake Park next door


35 Brushy

Round Rock

Creek Lane

Horton and J. Rene Ward, 2010 president of WCAoR, as our special guest speakers. They

Paradiso Villas

er Parm

local, state and national levels—in the real estate industry and beyond. I look forward to a





Call 512-215-3424 for details.


panies in our area. We’ll learn how, even in a down market, and being new in the business,

how they still closed millions of dollars in transactions. Bring your notepad and pen to take notes and rev up your business in 2010. Come see what WCR is all about.

I’m looking forward to seeing you all again and meeting lots of new people. I would love

to receive suggestions for different types of real estate related/business building programs that you would like to see us present. And, if you have heard speakers that you thought were

phenomenal and think that we could possibly use them, please, send us their contact information. We are very open to suggestions. [RL]

Meet MileStone Community Builders – Austin’s dynamic new homebuilder. For special incentives look for us online at

Paradiso Villas – From the $150’s Discover the only new home community priced from the $150’s along west Parmer Lane.

Great homes in great locations. L

Cypress Creek Townhomes


• New Homes from the $130’s

• Included Dwelling Insurance • ACC and Milburn Park within minutes • Close to Lakeline Mall & Major Highways

Call 512-215-5220 for details.

Reba Saxon of Keller Williams Realty keeps the bidding active at the 2009 Christmas Tree Gala that WCAoR hosted at the Buffington Signature Homes model in the Ranch at Brushy Creek.


e re

d kR

pr Cy

• Included Yard & Exterior Maintenance, Water and Trash


• Private Community Pool

Juliette Blvd Lakeline Blvd



Travel 183A North to Cypress Creek Blvd. Take a Left on Cypress Creek Blvd. Travel 1 mile and take a Left on Juliette Blvd.

For The MileStones In Your Life...

Offer cannot be combined with any other available offers. Realtor commission of 4% is applicable, but only if realtor accompanies buyer on Buyer’s initial trip to the Community. Commission program may be cancelled at any time without notice. Actual terms of sale may vary. Additional restrictions may apply. Offer valid for new contracts only. Buyers must contract no later than January 31, 2010 to qualify. Actual terms of sale may vary. Additional restrictions may apply and incentives are subject to change without notice. Please contact a community sales representative for additional information and/or requirements.


Realty Line of Austin

January 2010

Gwen Johansen of North American Title and David Starry of Real Vision Properties catch up before a class on new RESPA Regulations held at Cover 3.

Leonard Guerrero of JB Goodwin REALTORS gives his time during the holidays to help out worthy causes. Leonard is an annual participant in Coats for Kids.

RE/MAX Capital City agents help collect food to distribute to families in need during the holidays. Joel Nugent, Nora Wall, Gladys Ramos, Caroline Tontini and Steve Heagerty.

January 2010

Realty Line of Austin



Realty Line of Austin

January 2010

Antonia Warren, center, of Keller Williams Realty is part of a local show called "Austin Real Estate Experts." It features a group of industry professionals who discuss Real Estate topics in Central Texas, and fields calls from viewers live on the air. The show airs at 9 p.m. every Monday on Channel Austin 10.

Anney Rehm and Capital City S o t h e b y ’ s International Realty agents Lynn Robin and Adele Waring tour the home listing were Capital City S o t h e b y ’ s International Realty hosted its annual holiday party.

The 2010 Austin Mortgage Bankers Association officers are GayLynn Cuming (Secretary) and Doug Scott (President), both of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Kenton Brown (Treasurer) of Sente Mortgage and Mike Carroll (Vice President) of MGIC.

RE/MAX Austin Skyline’s broker/owner Ron Binkley enjoys talking with Jeanine O’Neall and guests at the company’s 15th annual holiday party.

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Realty Line of Austin

January 2010

Dear Friends, I’m pleased to announce that Integrity Home Mortgage is merging with Land Mortgage effective January 1, 2010. Land Mortgage, the retail division of Ameripro Funding, is an Austin-based residential mortgage lender. Founded in 2003, the company has continued to grow inside of a turbulent market by continually providing value to its customers, referral partners and employees. Integrity Home Mortgage will begin to operate under the Land Mortgage title effective January 1st. Integrity Home Mortgage finished 2009 with one of the best years ever in production. This merger will help us move thrive mo ve fforward orward and ccontinue ontinue tto o thr ive in a vvery ery challenging market. Ameripro ipr Funding unding offers an incredible mortgage mor tgage bank banking ing platform platform with the capital, capital, technology, technology, and operational operational capacity capacity to to deliver deliver the best best quality quality to to clients our clien ts and rreferral efer ef erral partners. partners. Overall, Overall, this merger merger will give give us an incredible incredible boost boost of strength strength while maintaining great culture thatt In Integrity main taining the gr eat cultur e tha tegrity has always always represented. represented. great thatt has always served TThe he same gr eat tteam eam tha always ser ved your your needs remains remains unchanged at at the same Loop Loop 360 location. location. Our passion is still tto o give give our clients clients the best best experience experience and terms terms available. available. Please Please continue continue to to remember remember us ffor or mortgage journey. Come yyour our mor tgage needs and referrals. ref efer errals. Come Come by by and see us as we we embark embark on this new stage in our jour ney. C ome sayy hello tto Mortgage! sa o Land M ortgage! We W e wish yyou ou man manyy blessings in 2010! SSincerely, incerely ely,, SSonny onny A llen Allen Land M ortgage fformerly ormerly Int egrit ityy H ome Mor tgage Mortgage Integrity Home Mortgage

We are pleased to announce our new south Austin location: 1705 S. Capital of Texas Hwy. ,Suite 100 Austin, TX 78746 • 512.458.6979

The Right R Lending Partner P Every business is unique and tto Every o ha have ve yyour our business gr grow ow yyou ou need a str strategic ategic par partner tner who ccan an handle an anyy situation. Mortgage grown way great people, situa tion. SSince ince 2003 the aaward ward winning team team at at Land M ortgage has gr own the rright ight w ay - gr eat p eople, sound principles. We execute fundamentals exceed expectations Byy simply doing wha whatt w we best pr inciples. W ee xecute the fundamen tals and e xceed e xpectations everyday. everyday. B e do b est experienced ensures learn close & fund loans - our e xperienced tteam eam ensur es your your business can can succeed. succeed. To To lear n more more call call today. today.

AN New ew EEra ra In M Mortgage ortgage B Banking anking An A nA AmeriPro meriPro FFunding unding C Company ompany www

8300 N. MOPAC MOPA MOP AC • Suit Suite e 225 • Austin, Austin, TX TX • 78759 • 512.335.5300 • M Mor Mortgage tgage B Banker anker N No. o. 43954



Realty Line of Austin

January 2010

Realty Austin’s broker/owner Yvette Boatright and her h u s b a n d , Jonathan, host their annual Christmas party to spread good cheer with friends and associates. Joining them were agent Dori Garner and her husband, Bryan.

Jim Erdeljac of RE/MAX River City, Sheila Hilts, REALTOR, and Craig McMenamy enjoy food and friendship at Steiner Ranch Steakhouse at the Drees Custom Homes Christmas party.

J. Rene Ward, left, of Best Agents in Texas finds Susanna Boyer of Sellstate Realty in the crowd of 400 industry professionals during the Austin Board of REALTORS Installation and Awards Gala. J. Rene is the 2010 president of WCAoR and Susanna is the 2010 president of the Women’s Council of REALTORS.

January 2010


Champions School of Real Estate By Linda McNabb

CONTRIBUTING WRITER "The more you learn, the more you earn." Champions School of Real Estate has built a rep-

utation on that simple principle and opened an Austin/Round Rock campus just last year to help area real estate professionals excel through high-quality education and instruction.

Conveniently located in a shopping center off Interstate 35 and the new 45 Toll Road,

Champions makes it easy to suit even the busiest schedule with classes seven days a week

including daytime, evening, and weekend options. And with courses offered online and via correspondence, there's a learning style for everyone.

"Our focus has always been on giving our students the 'total learning experience' by

Realty Line of Austin


Or if you are interested in becoming an

Accredited Buyer’s Representative, a

Certified Home Marketing Specialist or an Accredited




Champions School of Real Estate also

offers these designations to further your career and to better serve your clients.”

Champions School of Real Estate also

reaches out to the wide range of profes-

sionals in the real estate industry through loan origination, home inspection, real

estate appraisal education.

“Available in a variety of convenient

study formats, our comprehensive edu-

cation is created to ensure you receive the

most accurate and up-to-date informa-

tion to help you become a Champion!”

Stephanie Powell

Powell says.

Austin Regional Manager

The winter course catalog has just been

released and includes a new offering called “The Three T’s to Success in Today's

Marketplace: Tools, Trends and Technology.” That course and many others are sure to

offering the most current and relevant information, taught by the most qualified instructors

attract the attention of area professionals who come from as far away as Killeen, Waco,

career, continuing education to keep you informed on the latest trends, or designations to

“Just because education is mandatory does not mean it can’t be rewarding,” Powell says.

and delivered in the format that suits each individual student’s needs," says Stephanie

Powell, Austin regional manager. "Whether you need pre-license education to start your

build your career, Champions School of Real Estate offers the best educational experience

to help you in your real estate career. Our motto over the past 26 years has been 'You Can

Elgin and Buda. Powell says many students find the atmosphere and instructors so enjoyable they become loyal Champion followers.

“One of the benefits of taking courses here is our warm environment and talented instruc-

tors make classes fun and present valuable information in an interactive format which

Do It, We Can Help!'"

allows students to retain the information better. As a result, students look forward to the

has since spread to two locations in Dallas and one location in San Antonio. Course offerings

quite visible in the local real estate community by sponsoring various events and becoming

Champions School of Real Estate has been providing quality real estate training since 1983

to all of Texas. The company started in Houston, where there are now three campuses, and

are broad, including real estate salesperson and broker education, plus plenty of opportunities to earn a variety of special designations.

“The road to real estate success doesn't stop with becoming a licensed real estate salesper-

son,” Powell says. “Continue your education with one of the many advanced designations

that we offer. For many agents who have two years experience in the real estate industry, it generally only takes two more 30-hour courses to obtain your broker associate designation.

next class and are happy to refer others.”

To help spread the word about Champions’ great offerings, the school has also been

involved in a variety of real estate organizations.

“We believe very strongly in contributing to the success of the real estate community,”

Powell says. "They're the reason we've been in business so long!" For









visit or contact Stephanie Powell at 244-3545 or [RL]


Realty Line of Austin

January 2010

Sharing in the spirit of the holidays at the Realty Austin Agent Appreciation Party are Lacey Warren of Gracy Title, Todd Grossman of Realty Austin and his wife, Nina, and Ashby McDonald.

Jason Klam, president of First American Title, leads a Lunch and Learn session about the new HUD forms at Goldwasser Real Estate.

Barbara Ditlow, left, and Gretchen Janzow, right, mingle with Stephanie Nick and Janet Burgess at City S o t h e b y ’ s International Realty’s holiday celebration which was held at their listing. All are agents with Capital City S o t h e b y ’ s International Realty.

Cody Julian of Keller Williams Realty and guest Lindsey Miyatake mingle with members of AYREP and Realm Real Estate at the 3rd annual holiday gala, which helped raise funds for disabled veterans.

January 2010

Realty Line of Austin



Realty Line of Austin

January 2010

Colette Fitzgerald of KB Home shows J o h n n y Washington and M o n i c a Washington, both of Washington H o u s i n g Consultants, around the new model at Legends Village in Round Rock.

Enjoying the Realty Austin Appreciation Party during Christmas are Carolyn Watts and Courtney Lepore, both of Realty Austin.

Helen Thomas and Norma Sizemore, both agents with RE/MAX Austin Skyline, and office manager Sylvia Pack get in the Christmas spirit at the company’s 15th annual holiday party.

January 2010

Realty Line of Austin


The RE/MAX Capital City committee members collect items for donation and present them to families in need. Darnel Casper, Beth Cummins, Debbie Kelsey, Patrick Dickson, and Caroline Tontini.

JB Goodwin REALTORS’ Leisa Ormsbee, kneeling, and Kim Perez, Stacy Amezquita, Louise Peach, Gail McClanahan, Karen McGrath, Kaira Kelleher and Lee Bauermeister, are proud of the tree they donated to the WCAoR Christmas Tree Gala. Proceeds from the auction go toward scholarships for area high school seniors. Les Sherman of RE/MAX Austin Associates and his guest Ann Dugal check each piece of paper that fell during the balloon drop at the ABoR Installation and Awards Gala to see if they were winners of cash.

4.5% FFixed ixed Rate Interest

$8,000 Tax Tax Credit $30,000 in FFree ree Upgr Upgrades ades A limited opportunity with great incenti incentives, ves, y you ou simply can’tt afford to pass up. can’

Your Y our clients simply simply can’t can’t afford wait! to wait!


Homes from the $280’s $280’s to $600’s $600’s www *4.50% 30-year fixed conventional financing (4.637% APR based upon a 80% LLTV TV and a minimum credit score of 740) offered through First Equity Mortgage, Inc., Equal Housing Lender. Lender. Licensed by the TTexas exas Department of Savings & Mortgage Lending, License #44405. Maximum loan amount $417,000 with a 5% down payment. Requires 1.0% origination fee paid by borrower. borrower. Offer available on firm non-contingent Pur Purchase chase Agreements written and accepted for select market homes only in Austin, TX; must close by Februar Februaryy 28, 2010. Subject to underwriting underwriting approval. Prices, programs, and rates are subject to change or withdrawl without notice. Other restrictions may apply. apply. First Equity Mortgage, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiar subsidiaryy of The Drees Company. Company.


Realty Line of Austin

January 2010


JB Goodwin REALTOR named “Citizen of the Year”

For her long-standing membership and participation in the Oak Hill Business and

Professional Association (OHBPA) and service to her community, Juanita Jackson of JB

Goodwin REALTORS was selected to receive the 2009 Oak Hill Business and Professional Association’s “Citizen of the Year” award.


Steering Toward Success, RE/MAX Convention Returns to Forth Worth

The RE/MAX of Texas Statewide Convention returns to Fort Worth for its 33rd annual celebra-

tion of RE/MAX accomplishment. Taking place at the Fort Worth Omni Hotel this coming Feb. 8 and

9, the convention, entitled “Steering Toward Success” in honor of its host city features educational breakouts sessions, networking, awards & recognition and fabulous keynote speakers, including

best-selling author Andy Andrews and Texas marketing guru Ted Jones. For more information, visit

Why Are You A Champion?

YouTube contest offers Texas real estate professionals time in the spotlight

Champions School of Real Estate will sponsor a YouTube video contest "Why are you a Champion?"

open to anyone in or entering the real estate profession. The contest kicked off on Jan. 4 and will run

through Feb. 26 and will culminate in a viewing party and awards ceremony. Full details, rules, regu-











School for all your real estate education needs.









Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS Announces Million Dollar a Month Club Members

The Westlake office of Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS is proud to announce their Million

Dollar a Month Club for November 2009: They are Sue Barrilleaux, Jana Birdwell, Barbara Gremillion, Tosca Gruber, Roselind Hejl, Eve Kush and Tonya Nieto.

Amy Keilor, center, of Goldwasser Real Estate, joins Kyle Nunnallee and Laurie Nunnallee of First American Title at AYREP’s 3rd annual gala at the Elk Lodge.

January 2010

Realty Line of Austin



Realty Line of Austin

January 2010

Jason Stubbs guest, Alisa LeBlanc of North American Title, Chance Henderson of Andrews International, guest Jessica Mouravieff and Kory Moye of Realm Real Estate gather for fun and friendship at the Elk Lodge where AYREP held its holiday party.

Amber Klam of Avalar Austin, guest Angela Phares and Paula Greenfield of Coldwell Banker United REALTORS enjoy holiday spirit at Steiner Ranch Steakhouse at an event organized by Drees Custom Homes.

Ending the year at the annual AMBA Holiday Party and Installation and looking forward to the new year are SueAnn Roller of Land Mortgage, Angela Bujnoch, Juliana Brock of Power Training, Beverly Kerbow and Michael Neiman.

Anna Maria Garcia of Aralyn and Associates, The Art of Real Estate, has a new award to show what a great first year she had in real estate. She was named “Rookie of the Year” at the ABoR Installation and Awards gala.

Ellen’s Staging Tip: No-See-’M Paint Touch Ups • Clean dirt and smudges before getting out the paint can. ~ Clorox cleaning cloths will remove an amazing amount of grime. • Mr. Clean ERASER is magic on doors and woodwork. • A little spackling compound goes a long way! ~ Place a bit of Spackle then wipe away excess with a damp sponge to avoid covering the texture of the wall. • Don’t use a paintbrush for touch ups! ~ Use a Q-tip dipped in a bit of diluted paint. Precision is the key.

Do your sellers need professional staging? Call me today for a “MAKE A DIFFERENCE” consultation. Ellen is ready to help you set the stage for professional results. Ellen Boettcher, president 512.751.1756

January 2010


Short Sales Part 1 By Bill Bradshaw Vice President Legal Gracy Title Company We hear a lot about short sales and we will hear a lot more in 2010 and beyond. A

cottage industry for REALTORS and CPA’s, non profits and private companies has grown up in the last year to deal with and to represent people wishing to sell proper-

ties in which they owe more than the property is worth. The road to a successful short sale is long and made more difficult by misconceptions, miscommunication and mis-


Short sales occur in a situation where the lender decides the loan loss occasioned by

the short sale is less than the prospective loss represented by acquisition of the prop-

erty by collection and foreclosure, the costs of making the property ready for sale, and all marketing expenses.

While mortgage fraud clearly played a part in the decline of values, the larger cul-

prit was mostly the lender’s side of the desk. Practices such as sub-prime loans, stated income loans, and allowing borrowers to buy homes in some areas that cost, on

average, 10 or even 12 times their annual income added more to the decline.

So now we want some of the same lenders, and their investors, who aided and abet-

ted in their own demise, to help us out? Why would they want to do this? Two words:

Loss Mitigation. According to a report compiled by the Joint Economic Committee of

Congress, the average foreclosure costs $77,935. However, not all of this loss goes to

the lender. After excluding the losses to the borrower, community and local govern-

ment (for lost tax revenue), we are left with about $50,000 for the lender which

Realty Line of Austin


financial situation, and (3) the property in question.

With respect to the borrowers, the lender will have to understand what has hap-

pened that caused the borrowers to fall into default. Certainly, we all know that bad

things do happen to good people. So, has there been an illness, death, divorce, job loss? Explain in detail the circumstances documenting as much as you can.

Given the hardships that have befallen the borrowers, explain the borrower’s cur-

rent financial situation. This hardship letter should include as much detail and docu-

mentation as possible. Send bank statements, pay stubs, tax returns, etc. Anything to demonstrate that the borrower is unable to make the payments as originally agreed.

Next, provide details about the value of the property and the current state of the

market. Explain why the value of the property decreased. Further, you will be required

to provide information as to the current value of the property. Ask for the lender’s

requirements in this regard. Will a new appraisal be required or will a market analysis

by a broker suffice? Know that this answer will change from lender to lender. You should also include with this section of the submittal, information, with pictures if pos-

sible, concerning the condition of the property. The purpose is to demonstrate what the

lender, if they became the owner, would have to do to the property to make it ready for

resale. If substantial remedial work is required, include bids or estimates of these expenses.

Lastly, you will have to show the lender a real estimate of what they will realize out

of the short sale proposed. For this you will need a contract (few lenders will work with

you unless there is a contract signed and escrowed) and a net sheet or a suggested set-

tlement statement from your title company. Lenders may also require agents reduce their commission.

Lenders are swamped with hundreds of requests for short sales. Short sale propos-

als that are incomplete or missing information go to the bottom of the stack. Therefore,

the best approach is to send your short sale proposal only once, with no omissions.

Also, if an agent, lawyer or other representative is going to negotiate on behalf of a bor-

rower, authorization to the lender to discuss the file with that third party will be required from the borrowers.

This is a complicated topic and this short article is by no means exhaustive of all the

issues presented by short sales. But as the numbers of short sales increase, and it seems

includes such items as loan loss, costs of maintenance, appraisal, collection and, of

likely that they will, those of us in residential real estate will be exposed to more and

a story about three things: (1) the borrower’s personal situation, (2) the borrower’s

the tax ramifications for the seller. [RL]

course, insurance premiums and marketing.

That’s the case for short sales. So, what is the process? The process involves telling

more information about this type of transaction.

In next month’s RealtyLine I will cover other issues regarding short sales including


Realty Line of Austin

January 2010

The Austin Board of REALTORS速

2010 Installation & Awards Gala honoring

John Horton Socar Chatmon-Thomas, right, accepting 2009 Chairman Award

Corrine Costabile, Michael Neuman, Joy Herring, Marie Dang-Schwartz

John Horton of John Horton Realty being sworn in as Chairman during 2010 Installation & Awards Gala.

Robert Wright, Earl Hairston, David Pavliska

Lisa Payne, Tom Ellis, Toni Malott, Carrie York, Marshall Davis

2010 Officers and Directors taking the oath.

Susan Horton, John Horton, Frank Perdichizzi

Charles Porter - REALTOR of the Year award winner

Mini Leah, Rita Barousse, Hessie Brawley, Sally Yaryan

Debbie Novelli Farrell - Community Service award winner

Sandy Battise and Sumina Bhatti

Jay Gohil hands over the gavel to incoming Chairman John Horton

The Warren C. Marshall Endowment Scholarship was dedicated to Warren Marshall in honor of his lifelong commitment and service to others.

Bill Stanberry, Martha Stanberry, JB Goodwin

Realty Line January 2010 Issue  

Putting a Face on Real Estate

Realty Line January 2010 Issue  

Putting a Face on Real Estate