The Voice for Real Estate in St. Louis
Volume 11 - Number 2
Set Boundaries and Develop Healthy Client Relationships
t’s 8:30 on a Friday night and you’re just now sitting down for dinner with your family, husband, wife, friends, kids, etc. And then your cell phone rings. Everyone freezes and looks at you. You sigh, glance over at the phone and think about not even answering it. What do you do? Your phone continues to ring incessantly and you know it’s that client who thinks you are at their beck and call at all times. They ask for last minute showings, text for information about a house after 9 p.m., and don’t understand boundaries. BUT do you know why they don’t know? Because you didn’t tell them! You didn’t define the boundaries on your availability, your time or your energy. What? Can I actually do that? I’m a REALTOR® for heaven’s sake - I’m supposed to drop everything when a client calls, emails or sends me a text, right? Well no... not really. From the moment the client relationship begins, it’s important to establish a standard for how you want to be treated. Think of it as acceptable client behaviors. This takes practice, patience (yours) and reinforcement over time. But boundaries will help keep you sane. Let me repeat that, boundaries will keep you sane! However, the client will never know how you want to be treated unless you tell them. REALTORS® are programmed to assist, to help, and to respond. This can still be accomplished within the boundaries that are your standard. Doing so will help create and solidify a client relationship based on mutual respect, and here’s the kicker... clients will value you, your time and your effort even more! If you demonstrate a dedication to your real estate career that includes boundaries - you will be thought of and more appreciated as a professional. Professionals place value on their time and the service they provide. If you don’t, who will? Start by making a list of what “is” and what “is not” ok. This involves making your own “professional policy” in regards to setting and keeping appointments, taking calls, best ways to communicate, etc. You don’t want to take calls during the family dinner hour between 6-7 p.m.? Then don’t. Let them go to voicemail. You don’t want to show vacant property at 8 p.m. on a Friday night in February? That’s definitely on the “not ok” list. This is a very unique process; it must be tailored, like a fine Italian suit, to fit your lifestyle, your business philosophy and your professional goals. As important as it is to map out what isn’t acceptable, it is equally important to map out what does fall within your boundaries and comfort level, as it pertains to providing your professional services. It’s best to set
Section 8: Don’t Fear the Voucher
clear boundaries during the honeymoon phase of the client relationship; when they are in love with your listing presentation, your marketing strategy or your unique approach to helping the client find their dream home. However, reinforcement may be necessary throughout the client relationship. It’s also important to lead by example - if you have defined a policy of no business calls after 8 p.m., make sure you don’t make any business calls after 8 p.m. This is the proactive approach, rather than being reactive and finding it necessary to disappoint the client because you couldn’t deliver on a request they find perfectly reasonable. Yes, some clients actually do think showing them a vacant property at 8 p.m. on a Friday night in February is a reasonable request. It’s all about perspective, yours vs. theirs. To control the chaos and keep your sanity, it’s simply a matter of setting clear boundaries so that expectations can be met and occasionally exceeded, because you controlled the process which led to a very successful outcome for your client. I have done this and it works! It’s the reason that I have been able to do this successfully for 30 years. I tell them when I won’t be available and why. Even if it is getting my hair done. I don’t cancel SLAR meetings or hair appointments for anyone! They understand. I give my clients alternate times. I tell them sellers need lead time on appointments and deserve that same consideration. If a client calls at 9:30 in the evening and we aren’t in contract negotiations... it goes to voicemail. If they text... maybe I might answer and tell them I will address it in the morning. They learn! And are fine with it. This last holiday weekend - clients knew I wasn’t available on Monday and it was awesome. May you take the time and learn to give that gift to yourself. P.S. Part of this is treating other agents well. Don’t call them for feedback late in the evening. I don’t call agents too early in the morning either. Be considerate and it comes back to you in other ways.
TABLE OF CONTENTS From Around the Industry
It’s a Big, Big World
Urban Affairs 8 Legislative Update 9
The ABCs of DFA
Don’t Get Thrown by Doc Overhaul 10
LEADERSHIP & STAFF DIRECTORY 2015 Board of Directors Executive Committee
Janet Judd, President Sandy Hancock, President-Elect Barry Upchurch, Vice President/Treasurer Jan Thomas, Secretary Glenn Vatterott, Member-at-Large Beth Braznell, Immediate Past President William Stenger, Commercial Division President Rick Capelli, Interim Chief Executive Officer
Term Ends 2015
Term Ends 2016
Term Ends 2017
Gail Brown Kimberly Cameron Adam Kruse Jan Thomas
Edwina Conley Tom Kennedy David Townsend Glenn Vatterott
Jeff Bosch Jill Butler Angie Ignatowski Suzi Mattus
National Association of REALTORS® Directors
REALTOR® Associate Directors:
Janet Judd (Board President)
Sandy Hancock (Board President-Elect) Bob Bax (Director)
Glenn Vatterott (Large Firm Representative) Bruce Aydt (Distinguished Service Award)
Affiliate Director Kathleen Crowley
St. Louis Association of REALTORS® Staff Executive Department
Membership and Finance
Rick Capelli, Interim CEO email@example.com | 314.590.2313
Rick Capelli, Senior Vice President of Membership & Finance firstname.lastname@example.org | Direct Line: 314.590.2313
Judy Partsch, Membership Specialist/REALTOR® Shoppe email@example.com | 314.576.0033 ext. 320
Maureen McDonnell, Director of Governmental and Public Affairs firstname.lastname@example.org | Direct Line: 314.590.2307 Martina Johnson, Assistant Government Affairs Director email@example.com | 314.576.0033 ext. 309 Molly White, Political Fundraising & Community Relations Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org | 314.576.0033 ext. 310
Emily Whitlock, Supra Administrator email@example.com | 314.576.0033 ext. 339 Tammy Williams, Membership Specialist firstname.lastname@example.org | 314.576.0033 ext. 315 Jessica Perez, Finance & Member Services Assistant email@example.com | 314.576.0033 ext. 314
Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations
Karen Dunn, Director of Professional Development firstname.lastname@example.org | Direct Line: 314.590.2312 Monica Wilson, Professional Development Coordinator email@example.com | Direct Line: 314.275.7888 Jamie Radford, Administrative Member Services Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org | 314.576.0033
Susan Wagner, Vice President, Professional Specialties & Standards email@example.com | Direct Line 314.590.2305
Becca Grober, Interim Director of Marketing & Communications firstname.lastname@example.org | 314.590.2304 Ellen Engle, Marketing Specialist email@example.com | 314.576.0033 ext. 301
For advertising information, please contact Becca Grober at 314.590.2304 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To submit articles for consideration in the REALTOR® Report, email Becca Grober at email@example.com.
Mid-America Regional Information Systems (MARIS) 1714 Deer Tracks Trail, Suite 200 | St. Louis, MO 63131 | 314.984.9111| www.marisnet.com Paul Prince, President firstname.lastname@example.org Denise Bielicke, Vice President of Operations email@example.com Tracey Yost, Membership Manager firstname.lastname@example.org Brad Whitrock, Support Specialist email@example.com
David Price, Senior Vice President & Systems Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Katie Otto, Vice President of Member Services email@example.com
Jason A. Darrough, Support Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Hannah Lang, Marketing & Communications Specialist email@example.com
Carroll Morrow, Accounting Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
MARIS Support, MLS Issues email@example.com
FROM AROUND THE INDUSTRY Radon Testing is Not a “One Time Thing”.
Gerry Loesch, BPG and a Past President of ASHI, shared that Radon levels in a home continue to vary, and are not constant. Therefore, Radon levels should be tested on a regular basis, and not just at the time of home sale. Loesch said that the EPA recommends testing every two years and also pointed out that, if the homeowner is a smoker, radon is about ten times worse for them versus a non-smoker.
FEMA “Floods” Homes with Bad News in February & Bill Exempts Certain Easements from Surveyor Requirements.
Shelly Clark, President of Cardinal Surveying & Mapping, said that FEMA released changes to its flood maps on February 4th, resulting in bad news for many St. Louis homeowners that now found their homes in a flood zone they were not previously in. Clark also updated the forum on a bill proposed by Senator Tom Dempsey which would ease some requirements in earlier legislation which required that all legal descriptions for property be written by a land surveyor. Dempsey’s bill would permit others, besides surveyors, to create certain easements, including temporary easements.
Goodbye HUD1, Hello TRID and Delayed Closings.
Wendy Cromer, of Security Title and a Past-President of the Missouri Land Title Association, informed forum members that the new TRID (Tila Respa Integrated Disclosure) would be rolling out on applications received starting August 1st and will replace the current HUD1 closing statement. Cromer explained that the change that is coming, along with the introduction of TRID, which is expected to affect REALTORS® the most, is the requirement that the borrower must receive the TRID form three days in advance of closing. Considering the trends of today, it is typical for lenders to not provide figures to the title company until the day before closing. This new rule may very well result in some delayed closings, or, at a minimum, the need to allow for more time from contract to close.
TRID Makes Consumer Complaints Against All Professionals Involved Easier. Brad Eimer, US Bank Home Mortgage and President of the Mortgage Bankers Association of St. Louis, added that along with the other issues Cromer pointed out,
all parties (real estate agents, brokers, loan officers, etc.) will be captured on the TRID, making it easier for the consumer to know who to file a complaint against if they are not happy with the transaction. Eimer also pointed out that there are things that can trigger a new three-day period, such as a change in the APR.
Pot Holes Should Get Your Attention.
Anthony Lancia, Vice President of Industry Relations at AGC of Missouri, said that since Amendment 7 (Missouri Temporary Sales Tax Increase for Transportation) didn’t pass, and because there was no backup plan, the State is basically letting the roads continue to deteriorate.
All Quiet on the Homefront.
Maureen McDonnell, Director of Government and Public Affairs at the St. Louis Association of REALTORS®, said that locally it’s been quiet in terms of legislative and regulatory issues and that SLAR was not actively fighting any issues.
Well, It’s Quiet As Long As You’re Not a Landlord.
House Bill 864, introduced by Representative Sheila Solon from District 03, if passed, would allow any city, town village, or county in Missouri “to enact an ordinance requiring that any limited liability company that owns and rents or leases real property, or owns unoccupied real property located within the city, town, village, or county to file with the city, town village, or county clerk an affidavit listing the name and street address of at least one natural person who has management control and responsibility for the real property owned by the limited liability company and leased or rented to another entity or owned by the limited liability company and unoccupied.” This bill would effectively negate part of the protection provided LLC members under the Missouri Limited Liability Company Act. Subsequent to the industry forum meeting, Representative Solon has agreed to modify her bill to only apply to the Kansas City and Jackson County area.
n February of 2015, St. Louis City passed Board Bill 260, which amended the Revised Code of the City of St. Louis. That amendment clarified Code Section 3.44.080 with respect to discriminatory practices. “Source of Income” was fined as “the point or form of the origination of legal gains of income accruing to a person in a stated period of time; from any occupation, profession, or activity, from any contract, agreement or settlement, from federal, state or local payments, including Section 8 or any other rent subsidy or rent assistance program, from court ordered payments or from payments received as gifts, bequests, annuities or life insurance policies.” Importantly for the readers of this article, this definition of source of income directly affects Code Section 3.44.080(C) which prohibits certain actions that constitute a discriminatory housing practice, specifically: (a) For any person, including, without limitation any real estate broker, salesman or agent, or any employee thereof, to discriminate against any individual because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, familial status, legal source of income, disability, national origin or ancestry, with respect to the use, enjoyment or transfer, or prospective use, of any interest whatsoever in realty, or with respect to the terms, conditions, privileges or services granted or rendered in connection therewith, or with respect to the making or purchasing of loans for the purchase of maintenance of residential real estate or loans in the secondary market, or the provision of other financial assistance, or with respect to the terms, conditions, privileges or services granted or rendered in connection with any interest whatsoever in realty, or with respect to the making of loans secured by residential real estate; (d) For any person to refuse to sell or rent after the making of a bona fide offer, or to refuse to negotiate the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny a dwelling to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, legal source of income, disability, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry;
Thus, landlords, real estate brokers, and other individuals or entities can no longer refuse to rent a unit solely because the potential tenant holds Section 8 vouchers.
Is that legal!?
To date, the best guidance is an ordinance out of Austin, Texas. That ordinance defined “source of income” as “lawful, regular, and verifiable income including, but not limited to housing vouchers and other subsidies provided by government or non-governmental entities, child support, or spousal maintenance, but does not include future gifts.” Like the St. Louis City ordinance, it creates a class that is protected from discrimination in housing. A challenge to this ordinance reached the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which declined to grant an injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the ordinance and upheld the decision by the District Court. From the cases cited by the District Court in Texas, it appears that the current trend in the law is to allow ordinances such as these, which prohibit landlords from discriminating based on the fact that a tenant would be using a voucher. Chicago, Montgomery County, Maryland, and New York City have all passed similar ordinances that have withstood scrutiny. Thus any challenge to the ordinance would likely be an uphill battle.
But isn’t participation in Section 8 voluntary?
While it is true that the HUD program is voluntary on its face, Courts have found that that is not an essential portion of the program. Indeed, the fact that HUD has stated that the federal statutes are not intended “to pre-empt operation of State and local laws that prohibit discrimination against a Section 8 voucher5 | Spring 2015 — REALTOR® Report
holder because of status as a Section 8 voucher-holder” (24 C.F.R. § 982.53(d)) strongly suggests that states or cities may be able to make participation mandatory through ordinances like this one. Thus, it appears that landlords will likely have to accept the inconveniences that come with participation in the program, including inspections and the fact that the local PHA has discretion to stop making payment under certain circumstances.
So what now?
First and foremost, while discrimination based on source of income alone is prohibited, landlords are still allowed to screen for other issues such as respecting neighbors, criminal activity, and history of caring for rental housing. Thus, landlords remain free to reject voucher holders on other legitimate, nondiscriminatory grounds. As creditworthiness might be tied to the vouchers, a decision not to rent based on creditworthiness is arguably a violation of the Code. However, landlords are not required to reduce the rent they charge even if that means that their units are too expensive for voucher holders to rent, assuming that that rental amount is reasonable for the area and type of unit. So long as no additional conditions are placed upon voucher holder rents, it should pass muster. It’s not just the failure to rent that could cause issues. Landlords should also be very wary of responding negatively or not responding to any person that asks questions about Section 8 vouchers. An email or other message as simple as “Do you take Section 8 vouchers” may come from an unidentified source but the failure to respond to such an email might be viewed as adverse treatment and could result in a fair housing discrimination complaint. A potential response to such an email could be: “Thank you for your interest in our property. We are pleased you are interested in becoming a resident and invite you to visit us, tour available units and apply to live here. Our property complies with all applicable fair housing law and does not discriminate on the basis of someone’s source of income and accepts housing vouchers provided prospective residents meet our other rental criteria. We are happy to provide you with a copy of our rental criteria upon request.” Finally, it is important to become educated on what complying with what the Section 8 voucher program entails. For example, each unit rented to an individual or family with Section 8 funding must have all of the following: »» An alternative exit in case of fire »» A cooking stove or range »» A kitchen sink with hot and cold running water 6 | Spring 2015 — REALTOR® Report
»» A refrigerator that is of appropriate size for the unit »» Space for storage, food preparation and serving »» Facilities and services for food waste disposal »» At least one window in living and sleeping rooms »» A working light fixture in the bathroom and kitchen »» At minimum of two electric outlets in the kitchen, living room and each bedroom »» Adequate air circulation »» Free from dangerous levels of sewer gas, carbon monoxide, dust, fuel gas and other harmful air pollutants »» A flush toilet »» A fixed tub or shower with hot and cold running water »» A fixed basin with hot and cold running water »» A kitchen, living room, bathroom and at least one bedroom or living-sleeping room »» Screens on all exterior doors and windows that are accessible from the outside »» No serious defects, such as large holes, bulging or loose surface materials, on floors, ceilings and walls »» A firm and weather tight room In order to determine compliance with the program, after a landlord enters into a rental agreement with a voucher holder, the Landlord will complete a Request for Tenancy Approval form. This form gives basic information to the Housing Authority. The unit will be inspected for all of these items as well as general safety by the Housing Authority. After passing inspection, the landlord is required to sign a contract with the Housing Authority and each year, the landlord will be required to go through a recertification process. It is important to know that the lease will not be binding until the inspection has been completed and a contract has been signed with the Housing Authority!
Is the sky falling?
No. While this change will require landlords in St. Louis City to accept applicants that receive funding from public or private assistance sources, it will not force landlords to change their rental price or accept tenants that do not meet their other requirements. While the bureaucracy involved with accepting Section 8 vouchers might be slightly unwieldy, it is also a confirmed source of funds. As the change does not force landlords to lower prices or to control rent in some other way, the reality is that this will not change much for landlords. It is merely an added step and very well might result in higher occupancy once everyone gets on board with the program. Benjamin A. Haltenhof Sandberg Phoenix & Von Gontard P.C.
IT’S A BIG, BIG WORLD The Inclusion Advisory Group promotes Fair Housing practices and educates members on diversity issues of race, religion, disability, and sexual orientation through programs that promote membership awareness and inclusion.
An Original Voice
n a time when everything is rapidly changing in the gay community, even for the better, learning to fully embrace those changes can be more difficult than one would think. This community’s fight for acceptance and equality has been and continues to be a long hard fight. Icons in the community have been in the forefront of this fight for decades. Sometimes however, the job has been so well done we fail to realize the progress that we have made. Our hard work has surpassed the obstacles and become a reality.
her vast experience from nursing and her service to the community, she has strengthened a thriving business in her almost 20 year partnership with Coldwell Banker Gundaker. Still a large contributer to the Human Rights Campaign today, Schneider’s definition of progress is a lesson for all of us. What is the gay community to believe when old established gay bars and gathering places close? What are we to think? Is this progress? How are we evolving? Pam’s view: it’s a good sign. It means we are closer to our end goal, the goal of equality.
One woman, Pam Schneider, has done these things. The former owner of The Vital VOICE, she lives life out of the limelight now; yet her name and her impact are undeniably profound in our gay community’s everyday happenings.
“Simply put, this is evolution, this is what we do. If you fight for the cause to have equality, you don’t have to be separated anymore. That is what equality means. It’s evolution and we have to be willing to walk into our future. I see what we have done as immense progress,” said Schneider.
Pam began her career as an Emergency Room nurse in 1978. After 16 years in nursing she was looking for a new adventure. In 1996 she left healthcare and entered the world of business. It was while making this transition that she purchased The Pride Pages, a resource publication that highlighted gay owned, operated and gay supportive businesses. Through the 90’s she successfully managed building a successful career in real estate and publishing. Raising the bar for herself again, she took on her next project. Following the closing of the more than 20 year old community paper, The Gay News Telegraph, she founded and published The Vital VOICE. “When it came to naming it (the paper), I thought about some of my favorite papers I loved reading,” Schneider said. “I go to New York three to four times a year and I loved the Village Voice. I believe alternative papers to be vehicles. They give voice to people in marginalized communities. So I wanted “voice” and I love alliterations. Next thought was ‘necessary’, so I opened up Word and used the thesaurus and found ‘vital’. Vital VOICE, that’s it! That’s what it’s going to be called. I believe I named it appropriately.” Today, Schneider’s focus is primarily on her real estate business. Collecting skills and connections, like treasures throughout
Pam created a foundation on this platform of progress. It is a stage from which we stand from as a community today and look forward. We see where we have been, but more importantly, we are able to see where we are going. Like the homes she helps us transition into today, we must continually work for a better future, but also recognize how beautiful our present truly is.
“Say it today, don’t say it from yesterday.” Taken from an article that appeared in the January 2015 issue of The Vital VOICE, the premier LGBT publication, and reaches a diverse readership from thoughtful leaders and young thinkers, to trendsetters in culture, entertainment and beyond. The full article can be found at www.thevitalvoice.com and was written by Karla Templeton.
Navigating Historic Rehabs in the City of St. Louis
s REALTORS®, it is important to inform clients of the benefits and restrictions of buying a home in one of 17 local, local certified, or national historic districts in the City of St. Louis. Historic districts offer many benefits to the homeowner, such as higher property values and rates of appreciation, less fluctuation in the market, and greater stability in residents. But, they can also provide many headaches. If homeowners don’t follow the rules when making exterior alterations to their home, they could end up having to redo costly renovations or plead their case in Housing Court. What is the best way to navigate 17 different historic districts with 17 different sets of regulations? SLAR’s March Urban Affairs Forum brought forward Cultural Resources Office (CRO) Director Betsey Bradley and Historic Preservation Planner Bob Bettis for some expert advice. For clients who already own a home in a historic district, Bob’s first suggestion is to always call the Cultural Resources Office before scheduling work to the exterior of your home. Using historic district standards, the CRO approves any alterations made to the “public” or street facing portion of the property including windows, doors, roofs, porches, gutters, and solar panels. They also review whether a homeowner can construct an addition or garage on the property. After calling the Cultural Resources Office and getting a general idea if a project will be possible within district standards, applicants will need to provide hard copies of photos, drawings, a site plan or evaluation, and a written explanation of the scope of work in order to receive a permit. Plan to bring copies of everything to the CRO review
desk at 1200 Market Street or the CRO satellite office in Room 421 of City Hall. Buyers looking to move into a historic district are also welcome to call the Cultural Resources Office to ask about individual district requirements before purchasing a property. The CRO oversees property demolition and construction on new in-fill housing in historic districts, so buyers who wish to construct a contemporary designed home or are looking to make big changes to a “fixer-upper” should be careful and confirm they can carry out their plans after closing. New buyers are not responsible for previously unapproved work done on the property, but the previous work could impact a future application to use state historic tax credits to help with renovation costs. Every new property owner in a local historic district will receive a letter from the CRO explaining that their property is located in a historic district. But this is often the only notification homeowners will receive, and many do not understand the implications until they get a citation on unapproved work. Be one step ahead for your client by ensuring they know the responsibilities of moving into a historic district by calling the Cultural Resources Office at 314-622-4123. Martina Johnson is the Assistant Government Affairs Director for the St. Louis Association of REALTORS®. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local Historic Districts in the City of St. Louis
State Historic Tax Credits Available:
4100 - 4300 Lindell
Central West End
Visit www.stlouis.mo.gov/government/departments/planning/cultural-resources/ for maps of district boundaries and more information.
LEGISLATIVE REPORT Flood Insurance Increases an Average of 10% on April 1
Enforcement has now activated online inspection requests.
The rate changes for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) have been released and took effect on April 1. On average, rates increased 10 percent, which is consistent with increases prior to the Biggert-Waters Act of 2015. The Biggert-Waters Act was amended last year to protect flood insurance policy holders who were faced with a sudden, and often impossible, rate increase as their payments jumped from subsidized to full cost. In order to make this increase more feasible for policy holders, the rates were rolled back to the pre-Biggert-Waters level and increases were capped at 18-25 percent a year moving forward. For a summary of the changes, please go to:
Permit holders are the only party that can schedule an inspection and it will require a login. If you require any help with creating a login please contact Richard Edwards - (314) 615-7146 or Kim Blancett - (314) 615-7866 at St. Louis County. Once you have a login, you will be able to learn the basics of navigating through Accela Citizen Access (ACA) and scheduling inspections.
http://bit.ly/1Jm8pq3 If you have questions regarding your property, please contact an insurance agent.
St. Louis City Amends Occupancy Permits In February, the St. Louis City Board of Alderman passed Board Bill 235 which eliminated a redundant occupancy inspection previously required for Section 8 housing. The removal of this requirement streamlines the process and makes it easier for a rental property owner or manager to begin to collect rent from a tenant who receives housing subsidies. In addition, the Board passed Board Bill 260 which amended the definition of “source of income” in the St. Louis City revised code. This change makes it illegal for rental property owners or managers to deny occupancy to applicants based upon his or her source of income. SLAR has discussed both bills with sponsor, Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia, about the consequences of the changes and will continue to work to streamline the process.
St. Louis County Bill 27 Currently, a bill sits before the St. Louis County Council regarding zoning with provisions promoting energy efficient and sustainable development as well as form based code. Other provisions relate to landscaping, off-street parking and loading requirements, accessory dwelling units, and lighting requirements. The bulk of the suggested changes are voluntary and the bill is being thoroughly vetted before the St. Louis County Council Committee of the Whole. SLAR will continue to track the bill and will communicate any relevant developments.
The City of St. Louis Passes Complete Streets Bill Earlier this year, the St. Louis City Board of Alderman passed a bill that amends the city complete streets policy. SLAR worked with the bill sponsor, Alderman Scott Ogilvie, from the beginning to ensure that the complete streets requirements pertained only to public projects. This change will not cause any significant burden on private development. In addition, the bill will provide for ADA compliance, safer pedestrian crossings, and more walkable and bikeable communities. Thank you to Alderman Ogilvie for his work.
St. Louis County Launches Online Inspections The St. Louis Association of REALTORS®, in its efforts with the St. Louis Regional Permitting Collaborative, has made progress working with St. Louis County on improving their permitting systems. We are pleased to announce that St. Louis County Code
Maureen McDonnell is the Director of Governmental and Public Affairs for the St. Louis Association of REALTORS®. Contact her at email@example.com.
9 | Spring 2015 — REALTOR® Report
August 1 will be a big day for real estate professionals because that’s when two new closing forms-a Loan Estimate and a Closing Disclosure-will replace the three forms you’re used to working with: the HUD-1 Settlement Statement, the Good Faith Estimate, and the Truth-in-Lending disclosure form.
rate once the closing disclosure has been given to the buyer, that could trigger a new three-day waiting period. Other changes requiring lender approval could add even more time to the waiting period. The additional holding period can be waived in certain emergency situations, such as an impending bankruptcy.
The purpose of the new forms, which were created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with input from consumers and industry groups, including the National Association of REALTORS®, is to consolidate information and make it simpler for consumers to compare how close their costs are to what was originally estimated by the lender. The first page of the new Loan Estimate and the new Closing Disclosure are formatted in exactly the same way, so you and your clients can easily compare costs and note any changes. Expect refinements to the forms after they are released as the CFPB sees how well they work in the real world.
These timing issues make it important to complete your paperwork and have it fully reviewed by all parties well before you get to the closing table. NAR recommends you give yourself a seven-day cushion before closing to get everything done. To that end, make sure the buyers have seen the paperwork at least a week before a scheduled closing and that sellers do nothing at the last minute that could derail a transaction, like removing a light fixture that they agreed in the sales contract to leave in the house. You’ll also want to schedule the buyer’s walk-through well before the closing date so if anything is amiss, issues can be worked out well before the closing.
Although the information required isn’t much different, some of the compliance requirements are new. NAR analysts say the new procedures could prove challenging for two reasons. First, the CFPB is requiring the closing disclosure to be given to the buyer three days before closing. That’s to allow consumers time to look carefully at any deviations from the original estimates rather than make them consider the changes while the closing is underway. That’s a positive change for consumers, but it means if you’re used to getting everything done at the last minute, you’ll have to do a better job of planning ahead to accommodate the new rules. If there are any changes to the loan product or the interest 10 | Spring 2015 — REALTOR®
Given the possibility of changes triggering another waiting period or a last-minute change requiring lender approval, you should assume it will take an additional 15 days to complete a closing, NAR analysts say. That means if closings in your state typically take 30 days, allow 45 days. Over time, as the industry adjusts to the changes, those additional days might no longer be necessary. But for now, plan for a longer process.
Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online, May 2015, with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.
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SLAR SOLD STATS
12 | Spring 2015 — REALTOR® Report
SLAR SOLD STATS
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MARKET TRENDS REPORT
St. Louis City
Active Inventory as of Apr 30, 2015 = 1,195
Comparative Metrics by Status
Year to Date +/-
12 Months: Apr - Mar +/-
Available Listings vs. Closed Sales
Available Listings vs. Expired Listings
Active Inventory as of May 31, 2015 = 1,205 Comparative Metrics by Status Closed Sales
May 2014 384
Year to Date
12 Months: May - May
Available Listings vs. Closed Sales
Available Listings vs. Expired Listings
14 | Spring 2015 â€” REALTORÂŽ Report
Data is inclusive of residential properties and condo/coop/villa.
MARKET TRENDS REPORT
St. Louis County
Active Inventory as of Apr 30, 2015 = 3,653 Comparative Metrics by Status
Year to Date +/-
12 Months: Apr - Mar +/-
Available Listings vs. Closed Sales
Available Listings vs. Expired Listings
Active Inventory as of May 31, 2015 = 3,911 Comparative Metrics by Status Closed Sales
May 2014 1,363
Year to Date
12 Months: May - May +/-
Available Listings vs. Closed Sales
Available Listings vs. Expired Listings
All data provided from Mid America Regional Information Systems. Powered by 10K Research and Marketing.
15 | Spring 2015 — REALTOR® Report
Friends, I want to thank the St. Louis Association of REALTORS® for your outstanding help and support in my campaign for Ward 2 Alderman in the City of Ballwin. The REALTOR® Party coordinated campaign efforts and the financial support of SLARPAC were vital to my success! A special thank you to Government Affairs Director, Maureen McDonnell for her help and advice. As a long-time RPAC Investor, I have always believed in the importance of all REALTORS® investing in RPAC! I have now seen firsthand the strength of the REALTOR® Party and RPAC! It is awesome! Your RPAC investments do make a difference here in St. Louis County and across the nation! Every REALTOR® needs to invest in their business by investing in RPAC! Thanks again,
FOR SALE & FOR LEASE Signs and Sign Riders
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What’s On Sale?
COUPON CODE: JUNE15 Expires 06/30/2015
urrently there is a lot of pressure being placed on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to extend the Know Before You Owe initiative, but if Rich Cordray, the Director of the CFPB, has his way it will go forth and into effect August 1st, 2015. When it goes into effect, the way a real estate transaction is conducted will change. Many have heard of TRID (TILA RESPA Integrated Disclosure), but what is it? TRID is the consolidation of disclosures that are provided to the consumer borrower. The new Loan Estimate will replace the Good Faith Estimate (GFE), and the new Closing Disclosure will replace the HUD-1 Settlement Statement. The creditor will be required to provide borrowers the Loan Estimate no later than three business days from loan application and the Closing Disclosure no later than three business days prior to closing. Mortgages are complex transactions; these new forms will simplify and improve
DFA - Dodd-Frank Act. Also known as the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, is a law that places major regulations on the financial industry and is geared towards protecting consumers. CFPB - Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB was created by the DoddFrank Act as an independent agency of the United States government. Its role is to offer consumer protections in matters relating to the financial sector.
the current, and often overlapping, federal disclosure forms currently in place. The combining of these forms will reduce paperwork. The clear language and design of the forms will help consumers understand complicated mortgage loan information and compare the terms and costs of obtaining a home loan. This is a good thing! Gone are the days of making last minute changes to loan documents and the closing statement. What can we as real estate professionals do to make August a smooth transition? Educate yourself on the changes, notify the creditor and title agent immediately when a change to a contract occurs, respond immediately to any requests from the creditor or title agent, expect closings to be at least 45 days and be kind. Yes, during this transition phase it may be a rough and tumble for all parties to the real estate transaction, buyers, sellers, title agents, creditors and brokers until the new processes have been smoothed out. Be kind, be patient and keep calm. We are REALTORS®, we are resilient, and it’s going to be OK!
Michele Sloan is the owner of 1st Choice Real Estate School. She is an approved licensing and continuing education instructor, and the Dodd-Frank instructor.
ATR - Ability to Repay Act. This act went into effect in 2014. In order for a creditor to receive certain safe-harbor protections, it must determine the consumer/borrower can qualify for the home loan. QM - Qualified Mortgage. A Qualified Mortgage is one in which the creditor has made a good faith determination that the consumer has the ability to repay the loan being offered. QM loans cannot contain risky features such as negative amortization, interest-only periods and loan terms longer than 30 years. HPML - High Priced Mortgage Loan. An HPML is a loan with an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) that exceeds the Average Prime Offer Rate (APOR). HPML loans will require additional disclosures and consumer protections such as two appraisals and the requirement of credit counseling. HUD - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department. HUD was established in the 1960’s to develop policies and programs to address housing needs of Americans and offer consumer protections. RESPA – Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. Also known as Regulation X and originally under HUD, RESPA is now regulated by the CFPB. The purpose of RESPA is two-fold, to provide consumers with better disclosure of settlement costs and to eliminate kickbacks or referral fees that unnecessarily increase settlement costs. TILA – Truth-in-Lending Act. Also known as Regulation Z, TILA requires standard disclosures in regards to consumer credit.
TRID - TILA RESPA Integrated Disclosure. TRID, referred to as Know Before You Owe, integrates the disclosures required under Regulation X and Z and becomes effective on all loan applications taken after August 1st, 2015.
HMDA – Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. HMDA also known as Regulation C requires creditors to report public loan data. This data is used to identify discrimination practices, is used by public officials to market and attract businesses and also determines counties where consumers and creditors have difficulty adhering to QM standards. LE – Loan Estimate. The LE replaces the Good Faith Estimate (GFE) August 2015 and is required to be in the consumer’s hands within three business days of the loan application. CD – Closing Disclosure. The Closing disclosure replaces the HUD-1 also called the Closing Statement on federally related mortgages effective August, 2015. The goal of the LE and CD is to improve consumer understanding of the costs and terms of the mortgage loan.
ECOA – The Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Also known as regulation B, ECOA requires that the consumer receive all copies of property valuations as soon as they become available to the consumer but no later than three business days prior to closing. USPAP – Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. These are the quality controls in place in regards to the estimate of value of real property. SAFE Act – The Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act. The SAFE Act transferred to the CFPB from HUD is designed to protect consumers from fraud by establishing minimum standards for the licensing and registration of MLO’s (Mortgage Loan Originators). 17 | Spring 2015 — REALTOR® Report
y now, most of you have heard at least something regarding the industry changes that go into effect on August 1 of this year, brought about by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. These changes predominately impact how loan and closing information is communicated and disclosed to borrowers. These new Federal regulations create two new forms, the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure, that replace the Good Faith Estimate, Truth in Lending Disclosures and the HUD-1. So, as you might imagine, these changes are a big deal, mainly to Banks and Mortgage Companies, but also to Title Companies and REALTORS速. The forms that have been in use for decades to disclose loan fees, loan terms, and funds disbursed at closing have been completely rewritten causing widespread panic and distress. Software systems and work flow are being radically altered to accommodate the new regulations that accompany these new forms. This new, highly regulated environment, while unwelcome to most, is realty and we all must do what is necessary to be prepared to service our respective clients.
St. Louis Association of
The key is education. Take advantage of the opportunities available to learn how the new rules affect your business. Cooperate with banks and title companies and inform your buyers and sellers that there are regulatory changes that must be considered and discussed when determining closing dates if the buyer is getting a mortgage. Finally, choose qualified service providers who are knowledgeable and prepared for these changes that make you look good. In the end, if we all prepare properly, I am confident that we can make this transition with very little impact, if any, on service levels for our clients.
Joe Crutchfield is the President and Attorney for Investors Title Company.
DESIGNATED REALTOR® Previously REALTOR® Daniel Dawson The Tenant Factory Thomas J. Henderson Soldiers & Saints Realty, LLC Anthony Jones RBA Realty Jamie Leonard STL Today Realty Dennis Taylor MetroPlex Associates Michelle Tipton Tipton Real Estate Veronica Wilburn Veronica Wilburn Realty Richard Worley The Kairos Partnership, LLC
DESIGNATED REALTOR® Previously REALTOR®-Associate Jonathan Burke Jonathan Burke & Associates Borislav Ivanov Boris Ivanov, Broker John Malik Malik Properties, LLC Matthew Wolff MW Realty
DESIGNATED REALTOR®/STATE CERTIFIED APPRAISER James Feicht Feicht Real Estate & Appraisal, LLC Ross Hackman Ross Hackman, Appraiser David Casper Casper Appraisal Company
REALTOR® Previously REALTOR®-Associate Constance Cooper RE/MAX Edge Lisa Menendez Coldwell Banker Premier Group
COMPANY NAME CHANGE Michael Bronowicz RE/MAX First (Previously Bronowicz Realty, LLC)
Brandon Caldwell R. Heyl & Associates Craig A. Daily American Bank of Missouri Mark Delhougne The Private Bank Christopher Gies CMG Financial Scott Goddard Pillar to Post Megan Frederick Proactive Home Services Cathleen Jones Two Men And a Truck Mark Miller Pillar to Post Jeannine Murphy FCB Bank Louis Pach, Jr. Community Mortgage
Sean-Michael Davis Davis Management Group (Previously Real Estate a la Carte, LLC)
Abraham Rezex Fifth Third Bank
Mark Roach The Sewer Pros
Mark Armstrong BPG/ABA Inspections & Consulting
Alex Seligsohn BPG/ABA Inspections & Consulting
Boyd Benkelman CMG Financial
Debbie Thompson ADT Securities
Jared Buenemann BPG/ABA Inspections & Consulting
Cathy Vogt American Eagle Credit Union 19 | Spring 2015 — REALTOR® Report
St. Louis Association of
12777 Olive Blvd. | St. Louis, MO 63141 314.576.0033 | www.stlrealtors.com
July July 3
Independence Day, SLAR Office Closed
Executive Committee Meeting — SLAR
July 9 Tech Thursday: Basics of Website Design — SLAR July 13
Embrace the New Normal: Dodd-Frank is Coming — SLAR
July 16 Tech Thursday: MARIS Dashboard — SLAR July 22
Board of Directors Meeting — SLAR
Dodd-Frank Act and Its Impact on Homeownership: CE - SLAR
Tech Thursday: RPR - SLAR
Board of Directors Voting Opens
August August 6
Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) Designation Course — SLAR
August 31 Board of Directors Voting Ends - Post Election Happy Hour - Kirkwood Station Brewing Company
August 13 Tech Thursday: MARS MLS Fundamentals - SLAR