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St. Louis

The Voice for Real Estate in St. Louis

Volume 11 - Number 3

LEADERSHIP & STAFF DIRECTORY 2015 Board of Directors Executive Committee

REALTOR® Directors:

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 John R. Gormley, 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)

Marc Levinson

Sandy Hancock (Board President-Elect) Bob Bax (Director)

Glenn Vatterott (Large Firm Representative) Bruce Aydt (Distinguished Service Award)

Sharon Hutson

Katherine Berry

Affiliate Director Kathleen Crowley

St. Louis Association of REALTORS® Staff Executive Department

Commercial Division

Susan Wagner, Vice President, Professional Specialties & Standards | Direct Line 314.590.2305

John R. Gormley, RCE, CAE, Chief Excecutive Officer | 314.576.0033

Legislative Department

Membership and Finance

Rick Capelli, Chief Financial Officer | Direct Line: 314.590.2313

Martina Johnson, Government Affairs Director | 314.576.0033 ext. 309 Molly White, Political Fundraising & Community Relations Coordinator | 314.576.0033 ext. 310

Professional Development

Karen Dunn, Director of Professional Development | Direct Line: 314.590.2312 Monica Wilson, Professional Development Coordinator | Direct Line: 314.275.7888 Jamie Radford, Membership Specialist | 314.576.0033 Jessica Prater | 314.576.0033

Judy Partsch, Membership Specialist/REALTOR® Shoppe | 314.576.0033 ext. 320 Emily Whitlock, Lead Member Specialist | 314.576.0033 ext. 339 Jessica Perez, Finance & Member Services Assistant | 314.576.0033 ext. 314

Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations

Becca Grober, Interim Director of Marketing & Communications | 314.590.2304

For advertising information, please contact Becca Grober at 314.590.2304 or To submit articles for consideration in the REALTOR® Report, email Becca Grober at

Mid-America Regional Information Systems (MARIS) 1714 Deer Tracks Trail, Suite 200 | St. Louis, MO 63131 | 314.984.9111| Paul Prince, President Denise Bielicke, Vice President of Operations Brad Whitrock, Support Specialist 2 | Summer 2015 — REALTOR® Report

David Price, Senior Vice President & Systems Manager

Katie Otto, Vice President of Member Services

Jason A. Darrough, Support Manager

Hannah Lang, Marketing & Communications Specialist

Carroll Morrow, Accounting Coordinator

MARIS Support, MLS Issues

Closing Day Dilemma


Smooth Closings Preparation and communication are the most effective ways you can help your clients have a positive experience when financing a home purchase.

13 - 14 Stats

The Grievance and Professional Standards Department has seen an increase of complaints by the general public against Buyer’s Agents who have given the home owners keys to the Buyers before the transaction has closed.

12 Mount Rushmore Among the many things that irritate me in talk radio land is tired, worn-out radio talk show “technique” known as “Mount Rushmore”.

16 - 19 3 | Summer 2015 — REALTOR® Report

In keeping with the closing theme, I wanted to provide you with some closing table tips. Your buyers have finally found a property to purchase and their offer was accepted by the seller. Even with complicated building inspection negotiations, the parties were able to come to an agreement. You have completed the walkthrough with the buyers and thank goodness, all of the repairs were done properly, with receipts and lien waivers provided. You have given the buyers and the lender the location of the title company and what time to be there. The buyers know they need a cashier’s check, payable to the title company, if they haven’t already wired the money to the title company. It’s important for them to know this final step. I have had buyers surprised that they couldn’t use a debit card, credit card or even cash at settlement. Do not wait until the last minute to review this with your buyer’s, especially if their bank is out of state. I also suggest that you make sure the buyer knows to bring a government-issued photo identification. Do your best to get your clients copies of their closing documents as early as you possibly can and Dodd-Frank is going to make that much easier for you to accomplish. Before walking out the door, be sure your buyers receive copies of each document they sign or initial. Remind them to keep the documents in a safe place for future reference because they will need them when they complete their annual income tax returns.


When scheduling the closing, try to avoid closing on a Monday. Your loan interest charges usually begin on the business day before closing. If

the loan documents are printed on a Friday in anticipation of a Monday settlement, the buyer has to pay for three-days of interest instead of one. Also, avoid closing the last day of the month. If something goes wrong and closing is delayed, the buyer will have to pay additional interest charges because you are now closing in the next month. Most people will choose a closing date near the end of the month because of the prorated interest. You can avoid this by giving your clients examples of what can happen. Share some of your personal experiences with them so that they choose a closing date near the beginning or middle of the month. Another plus to this is that closing agents will be less busy and have more time to focus on your clients documents...making corrections possible. If closing is delayed for more than a day, be sure the mortgage rate lock-in won’t expire. That can create an even different form of havoc... and a flurry of amendments to extend the closing date and loan rate.

Power of Attorney

There are very specific requirements for a power of attorney for a real estate transaction, and oftentimes, the one the buyer or seller has may not be acceptable to the title company or the lender. It’s important to give them time to accommodate the review process and possibly complete a new power of attorney. Anyone listed on the loan or on the title must be at the closing. Sometimes we run into problems when two buyers want to be on the title, but only one is on the loan. Some lenders won’t even allow that at all, but even when they do, everyone needs to know that before the closing.

Homeowner’s Insurance

You will most likely have to remind the buyers that they have to prepay their homeowner’s insurance for one year at the closing and then the lender starts collecting 1/12th of the bill with each mortgage payment for the following year’s insurance premium. Tell them that if they decide to change insurance companies, they should do it a minimum of several months before their anniversary closing date otherwise it can be very complicated if payment has already been paid by their lender.

Document Review

When reviewing the closing documents, be sure the names and addresses are all correct. Make sure the lender’s name is correct. Have the client double check the Social Security numbers on any document that has them on it. Remind both buyers

and sellers to sign the documents exactly how their name is typed. Otherwise, they might have to come in and re-sign the documents. And, you and I both know, that no one wants to do that.


Tell your buyers that payments received after the 16th are considered LATE. If they don’t have a prepayment penalty, encourage them to pre-pay their loan by writing a separate check for an additional amount over their monthly payment. I personally like to specify on the memo line of the check FOR PRINCIPAL ONLY. If you don’t, the lender could put it into an escrow account. When they do this, they hold on to the money and you have to deal with it later on.

Inspections and Permits

Make sure your clients have complied with getting their occupancy permits and inspections, if applicable. You can easily check this on the municipality or city website, SLAR’s website, and the SLAR mobile app on the go. You might consider writing on the contract for the seller to provide a clear municipal or unincorporated certification to the buyer prior to walkthrough to make the process cleaner and smoother. Be prepared to provide those documents to the lender since they are on the contract. If my buyer requests the refrigerator, washer or dryer, or anything else to remain, I usually state the item has no monetary value to the lender, but this can depend on the lender.


Make sure the buyer’s loan is funded before you allow them to go over to their new home. Don’t allow them to have the furniture delivered while the closing is going on. Otherwise they will be paying for the delivery trucks to idle until the seller has their proceeds. That has actually happened to me once. The buyer’s lender was slow on wiring the money, even though the closing had happened first thing that morning. The seller did not receive their funding until 4:45 that afternoon. They had th keys but were not able to get in until my seller was funded. The buyer’s head was about to explode, and to this day their agent feels lucky to have survived their wrath. A well-prepared buyer or seller, who understands what will happen at closing should feel confidence over trepidation. Anticipate and prepare for any of these issues and your closing should go smoother. Take care, and may the closing goddess be with.




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FROM AROUND THE INDUSTRY At our last meeting of the St. Louis Industry Forum we had several good discussions among leaders of the St. Louis real estate market on topics important to our industry. Generally, the news and reports were about a robust and much improved housing market!

Building inspections up 30% from year ago. Gerry Loesch, of BPG and a past president of ASHI, said his firm is reporting an increase in home inspections, from a year ago, of 50 percent in most markets. While St. Louis is not quite at that pace, Gerry did say that inspections in our area are up 30 percent from one year ago.

Flood zones still an issue: What to do. Shelly Clark, President of Cardinal Surveying & Mapping, reminded our forum that on February 4, 2015 FEMA revised the flood zone maps for St. Louis County resulting in many home owners having their properties identified as a flood risk that previously were not. When asked what listing agents can do to help ascertain where a property is in a flood plain that needs to be disclosed or not, Shelly said she would not trust Realist, as its information may not reflect recent changes, but instead to either work with a lender to obtain a flood letter (they will typically obtain them from a third-party company such as Corelogic for a cost of around $20) or for $25, Cardinal Surveying & Mapping can provide one.

What an owner can do to possibly be removed from the flood plain. Shelly said that if a property has been identified as a flood risk and the owner has reason to believe that it may not be, they can obtain an elevation certificate from a survey company which will determine if their home is in a flood plain or not. Shelly said the typical cost of an elevation certificate is $600 to $800. If the certificate shows the property is not in the flood plain that still won’t necessarily be enough to satisfy the lender, as many lenders today are requiring a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) from FEMA. Obtaining a LOMA can be a lengthy process if an owner tries it on their own, taking as long as 90 days. However, a surveyor can usually get it done within a week or so. Shelly said her firm charges $250 to obtain a LOMA. While it is fairly costly to have a property removed from a flood plain, the average cost for flood insurance on a $100,000 home can range from $1,200 to $1,500 per year. That being said, it’s probably well worth it.

Flood plain facts. As of May 31, 2015 there were: »» 23,821 flood insurance policies in effect in Missouri »» 4,197 in St. Louis County »» 1,801 in St. Charles County (43% of St. Charles County is in a flood plain)

»» 1,089 in Jefferson County »» 464 in Franklin County

New home construction on the rise, but so is the cost of building. Celeste Rueter, Staff Vice President for Public Policy at the HBA said that new home construction is improving in most areas yearover-year, but permits are still approximately 50 percent off the highs of 2004-2005. Jefferson County numbers are still a little flat. Celeste said the HBA has been working locally on the new residential code for new construction. Approximately 25 percent of the cost of constructing a new home is due to regulatory requirements found in construction codes, in rules on storm water management and energy efficiency passed by the Environmental Protection Agency, and in land disturbance and zoning codes. A new national model code is generated every three years and serves as the basis for construction codes adopted by all of our local jurisdictions. The HBA evaluates each of the thousands of updates during every code cycle and proposes amendments which help to ensure that the code adopted makes sense for our region. This code review and amendment process protects the consumer from unnecessary costs generated by codes that were written for other parts of the country, such as areas that are predominantly without basements, areas that suffer from hurricanes, etc., and helps to keep new homes affordable.

Funding still an issue for transportation related problems. Anthony Lancia, Vice President of Industry Relations at AGC of Missouri, said the state is still working to address funding issues for transportation needs around the state. Anthony pointed out that Missouri has one of the largest road systems in the country (7th in the United States) and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) is going to have to focus their attention on major roads, leaving the rest to just “band-aid” fixes, like pot hole repair and the shutting down, rather than repair, of some bridges. Anthony said Missouri appears to be at risk for losing Federal matching funds if the state does not find a source for the funds and the funds from the gas tax just won’t be enough.

LEGISLATIVE REPORT NAR Sends Out Call for Action: Stop Patent Trolls In July, the National Association of REALTORS® sent out a nation-wide Call for Action to stop patent trolls who prey on broker and multiple listing service websites. Across the country patent trolls have been sending REALTORS® vague and deceptive letters alleging patent infringement to demand unjustified payments for using basic technology like drop down menus and website search functions. Missouri REALTORS® has already reached over 21 percent response rates statewide, topping the national goal of 20 percent per state, but the Call for Action will remain open until Congress returns from their August recess. To complete the Call for Action and send an email to your elected representative, visit:

License Collector Bill Pulled from St. Louis City Board of Alderman.

Rental Licensing Reintroduced in St. Louis County.

This summer in the St. Louis City Board of Alderman, a bill was introduced to amend the powers of the License Collectors Office. If passed, the language in Board Bill 61 would require REALTORS® who operate a business located in the city to endure an onerous and possibly abusive process in order to receive or retain a business license. St. Louis Association of REALTORS® protested this bill and worked with other likeminded interest groups to get the bill pulled from the Ways and Means Committee before it even hit the general assembly of Board of Alderman. Thank you to SLAR Board of Directors member Katie Berry, who volunteered to testify at the Ways and Means Committee hearing before the bill was pulled.

Councilman Omara is preparing to introduce another rental licensing bill in St. Louis County. The Government Affairs team at SLAR was able to successfully withdraw a similar bill from the agenda in Spring 2014 due to the burdens for property owners and vacancies it would have created in unincorporated St. Louis County. The St. Louis Association of REALTORS® Government Affairs team will continue to monitor this bill and work with like minded interest groups to minimize its impact on REALTORS®. Martina Johnson is the Government Affairs Director for the St. Louis Association of REALTORS®. Contact her at

Realtor Party ®

REALTORS® to get involved in their association and their community.

REALTORS® on issues that impact their community and their bottom line.

* REALTORS® with ways to VOTE, ACT & INVEST on behalf of their business. * Consumers-current and prospective property owners-by educating and mobilizing them on the relevant issues that impact their real estate investments.

relationships with our real estate firms and brokers to help their agents understand the importance of their involvement in protecting our industry and the needs of their clients.

services, programs, resources and money to state and local associations to help serve their REALTORS®, the real estate firms that employ REALTORS®, and the communities and local markets in their jurisdictions.

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.

Closing Day: Heading in New Directions


hen asked to submit an article regarding the topic of title insurance and closings, the first thing that came to mind was, “Ugh... do we really want to hear more about Dodd-Frank and how it could possibly delay closings? It’s already hard enough to cross the finish line, right?” This is one common concern amongst REALTORS®. This act really goes far beyond a few changes though. It’s all about attitude, really. Setting our clients’ expectations, while choosing to work with the right professionals, is key to our closings offering the professionalism and celebration, care and timeliness that should always be expected. Now, why was I asked to contribute this article you may ask? I happen to be one of those “Title Guys” who formerly sat on the opposite side of the closing table for years, until I crossed over into real estate sales. Being prepared, or unprepared for closing day is something my title staff and I spent over a decade observing of REALTORS®. A few of the new Dodd-Frank changes will actually help many of us, if we choose to embrace them. The three-day rule will prevent things like getting that last minute note for a 5 p.m. Friday closing, saying borrowers need $5,000 more before we can hand over the keys to their little slice of the American Dream. On the other hand, if something does come up that needs to be changed, it could trigger a new three-day wait before the closing can go through. Lenders won’t be able to change things on the closing disclosure without restarting the clock on getting documents to the borrowers three business days before the closing. Even if a glitch technically only impacts one closing, if that closing is required before the sellers can close on their next home it could create a domino effect delaying several moves. YIKES! While this all sounds scary, what exactly is so different? Shouldn’t we as REALTORS® already be doing our best to be prepared for our clients? Aligning ourselves with mortgage and title professionals that do the same, is a great way to start. It’s interesting how many REALTORS® simply close with whomever or wherever they are “expected” to. Is that always the best case scenario for each one of your clients? Prior to moving my career from title

8 |REALTOR® Report

Spencer Talbott

insurance to real estate sales, I experienced countless occasions where a little planning and some research could have changed an otherwise frustrated and deflated client’s closing into a celebration worthy of the purchasing/sale of a home. The atmosphere projected at closing goes a long way too. Title and mortgage professionals, as well as REALTORS®, have everything to do with how buyers and sellers perceive closing day. Crossing the finish line, can sometimes be likened to a trip to the dentist’s office. (No offense to Dentists, but I don’t know one person that enjoys a root-canal. Closing the sale of your home, should NEVER feel like one.) What can we do, collectively, to ensure a more positive and joyous experience? »» Take the time to treat closings seriously, but with care and a little bit of fun. Find alliances that convey the same feeling and respect that you show your clients. »» Don’t rush, or allow clients to be rushed, through the transaction. All too often we see their eyes glaze over when being explained the APR or the details of their survey. Stop. Allow them to breathe. And, ask them if they understand. If they seem as though they have questions, make sure the title and/or mortgage professional truly addresses their potential concerns. »» When working with immigrants, how is translation handled at closing? Has the Title Service Provider offered a translator? Can we as agents be better prepared to accommodate any language barriers to ensure our clients do fully understand the documents they are about to sign? »» Lastly, don’t forget... this is a CELEBRATION! We’ve spent countless hours and dollars house hunting or staging, marketing, preparing to get to this very day. What a shame to let the final moment of the process be lack-luster. Worse yet, we’ve done everything to prevent it from being lack-luster. However, the professionals we choose to work with fall a little short. Aligning ourselves with title providers and other professionals that simply “get it” is key to having happy clients that will remember this day in the best possible way.

Closing Day Dillemma: There’s a Form For That! The Grievance and Professional Standards Department has seen an increase of complaints by the general public against Buyer’s Agents who have given the home owners key to the Buyers. They have stated the keys are passed to the Buyers after the paperwork has been signed at the Title Company offices, but before the final money transfers and the transaction has been closed. You may be thinking, “Well, the transaction did close, so what’s the problem?”, or “I know my Buyer’s and they would never create a problem for the Seller”, or even, “The Buyer just wants to move some things into the garage while they wait for the transaction to close.” All of these statements are situationally reasonable, and yet providing the key to the Buyer prior to the transaction closing creates legal issues and a potential violation of the NAR Code of Ethics. The St. Louis Association of REALTORS® does have several forms which will allow Buyers and Sellers to get and/or grant permission for the other parties to have access to the home. You, as the REALTOR®, need to make sure that you are protecting yourself and your Buyers and Sellers by using the correct SLAR forms for each situation. The St. Louis Association of REALTORS® has more than 7,000 members, the majority of whom have not attended a SLAR Contracts and Forms class. Effective September 1, 2015, SLAR released (9) forms that have incorporated changes to comply with the new regulatory reforms under the Dodd-Frank Act. Now is the time for you to get all of the information you need to remain compliant with the new regulations and to assist your Buyers and Sellers in keeping the transaction on target to close. As you prepare for the Fall buying and selling season, take an hour or two to review the Contracts and Forms available to you as a member of the St. Louis Association of REALTORS® and the NAR Code of Ethics at our website (, or register for an upcoming course offered by the Professional Development Department. SLAR will continue to host CE courses and Contracts and Forms Workshops throughout the coming months. Have your best year yet by being prepared and taking advantage of all of SLAR’s Contracts and Forms!

9 | Summer 2015 — REALTOR® Report

Five long-time SLAR members have been awarded REALTOR® Emeritus status by the National Association of REALTORS®: Elisha Brown, Rosalie Ingrim, Garey Keathley, David Pope and L.K. “Chip” Wood, Jr., all garnered the honor at the spring NAR Mid-Year meetings in Washington D.C. It’s most certainly a distinguished group, representative of SLAR’s rich history and diverse membership. All have served SLAR as volunteers during their careers as well as carving out prominent niches in the St. Louis real estate community. As REALTOR® Emeritus, they are recognized for their long-time careers as REALTORS® (40 years). In addition, they receive a lifetime exemption from NAR dues and are no longer required to attend Quadrennial Ethics. Each will also receive a special certification of recognition from NAR as well as a decorative Emeritus pin.

Elisha Brown, of Brown-Kortkamp Realty, joined SLAR in 1968. However, Brown’s real estate career began in earnest 10 years earlier, when he first obtained his license from the Missouri Real Estate Commission. Brown, an African-American, was denied the privileges of becoming a REALTOR® for a decade because of discriminatory policies in place at the time. Despite adversities, Brown persevered, contributing to a more diverse St. Louis. He sold properties to African-American families in communities where they were not particularly welcomed in the 1960s and 1970s. He believed that blacks had the right to live anywhere in St. Louis, moving some of the first African-Americans into University City and Bel-Nor. In 1960, he established Brown and Brown Realty Company, with the vision of providing not only real estate services, but financial and insurance services as well. With the acquisition of Kortkamp Moving Company in 1967, Brown changed the name of his company to Brown-Kortkamp Realty. 10 | Summer 2015 — REALTOR® Report

The company flourished and has received many awards through the years, as well as being a key local player with the department of Housing and Urban Development. Today, Brown-Kortkamp Realty is managed by his daughter, Gail Brown, who took over as president in 1995. Despite the early difficulties, REALTOR® membership and serving on various committees has been important to the firm Brown built. “Our company’s involvement with SLAR through (volunteer) participation has always been a part of our business plan,” said Brown. “It keeps us current with changes and trends within our industry at the local, state and national level. We believe our affiliation with the association has allowed us the opportunity to provide the highest level of service to our clients.”

Rosalie Ingrim, was also a pioneer of sorts, becoming an office manager when female office managers were not nearly as common as they

are today. First licensed in 1973, she started out at the old Century 21 Anderson and worked there for five years as an agent. She later moved to Kelly REALTORS® and eventually became manager of its Spanish Lake office. Eventually, Kelly REALTORS® was bought by IRA Berry and then Coldwell Banker. Both retained Ingrim and the Spanish Lake office as part of their firms. In 1996 she founded her current company, Star Performers, Inc. Ingrim has had her husband, Robert, as an agent, during the entire time she has been a manager/broker, dating back to the early days in Spanish Lake. Robert, a computer specialist for the federal government, retired from that job while Ingrim was still with Coldwell Banker. They have been a business team for years. This partnership was particularly important when she started Star Performers. “He handles all the bookkeeping and administration and I handle (managing) the agents, sales and the legal side of things,” said Ingrim. As far as what being a REALTOR® and part of SLAR all these years has meant to her, “I always felt SLAR elevated the work of REALTORS® in the St. Louis area, particularly in the area of contracts and forms and compliance,” she said. “SLAR does a great job of keeping us abreast of things and educated.”

Garey Keathley, took a bit of a circuitous route

to becoming a full-time REALTOR®. Early in his working career he found himself laboring at two jobs (as a hospital power plant manager and in refrigeration). Despite the dual income it was difficult to support his young family. He had always been interested in real estate and made the decision in 1975 to obtain his license and make a fulltime commitment to the profession. After a year at a Century 21 franchise as an agent, he obtained his broker’s license and started Cheryl Scott Realty (named after his two young children at the time). The firm thrived and at its peak had two offices with over 40 agents. Eventually Keathley moved away from traditional residential real estate, scaled back his business and specialized in the buying and selling of multi-family units, mostly in the City of St. Louis ad the University City area. In 1997, after over 20 years in the business, he began to think about what part of real estate he enjoyed the most.

“It was representing sellers,” Keathley recalled. He thus founded The Seller’s Agent, a company exclusively devoted to representing sellers. It has turned out to be a wise choice and a great vehicle for Keathley’s passion for the profession as it is still the firm he runs today. “I still get up every day loving real estate,” he says. “I believe in my heart it’s the best job in the world.”

subdivision development. The firm, currently doing business as Pope, Inc. REALTORS®, is located in the Ferguson area, which is its original location from when it was founded by Blackburn. Being associated with the Ferguson area for so long, Pope has a good perspective on the tumultuous events in his community over the past year. He says Ferguson has come a long way to getting back to normal and also points out, “Even with all the things you saw in the media, our company and many other businesses in the area were still functioning at a very high level.” Pope proudly carries the REALTOR® trademark in his company’s name. He puts a premium on his association with SLAR and the Code of Ethics. “SLAR has been a valuable and worthy association throughout my career,” he reflected. “The Code of Ethics is so important, both when working with other agents and members of the public.”

L.K. “Chip” Wood, Jr. is a second generation REALTOR®. His father, L.K. Wood, Sr. started the company in 1949. Chip began working in the business as a bookkeeper when he was just 14 years old. “I knew early on it was what I always wanted to do,” he said. He eventually succeeded his father and became president of the company in 1980. His two sons, Lowell K. “Buddy” Wood and Patrick Wood took over the business from Chip, rebranding it as Wood Brothers in 2011. However, Chip continued on his own, starting L.K. Wood Realty Services, Inc. A third son, Andrew, is now working at his father’s company. “It’s somewhat rare to have a third generation one, especially a third generation family with three sons in the business,” he said. Not surprisingly, Chip has some sage advice for young REALTORS® just getting into the profession. “The best real estate education I ever had was my volunteer service with SLAR - Professional Standards, Board of Directors, RPAC - the whole gambit,” he said. “I tell every young agent I meet - get involved in SLAR - you will be amazed not only at how much you learn but the valuable relationships you will build. Real estate is a team sport and even though we Rick Capelli is the Chief Financial Officer for the St. Louis Association of REALTORS®. Contact him at

Licensed in 1968, David Pope has had a long and varied career as a St. Louis area REALTOR®. He began as an agent at the old North County Realty under George Blackburn. He worked his way up to office manager and eventually president and owner of the company. His career has included both residential and commercial sales, rental properties and

11 | Summer 2015 — REALTOR® Report

Earlier this summer, the SLAR Board of Directors approved changes to ten (10) contracts and forms and the withdrawal of one (1) form. The contracts and forms changes were made to comply with new regulatory reforms under the Dodd-Frank Act. Those forms effected are listed below. »» Form 2043 - Special Sale Contract »» Form 2046 - Appraisal Rider »» Form 2047 - Listing Contract (Limited Contract) »» Form 2090 - Residential Sale Contract »» Form 2092a - Contingency For Closing of Buyer’s Property »» Form 2125 - Buyer’s Exclusive Agency Contract (New Name) »» Form 2135 FHA - FHA Loan Provision Rider »» Form 2135 VA - VA Loan Provision Rider »» Form 2142 - Authorization to Show »» Form 2142TB - Authorization to Show (Transaction Broker) »» Form 2097 - Seller Take Back Note & Deed of Trust - WITHDRAWN - Effective August 31, 2016 These forms went into effect on September 1, 2015. Please note: If you still have paper forms in your office, the use of these has been extended through December 31, 2015.

To aid in the transition, SLAR is holding training classes on both the new Contracts and Forms and the new legislation, entitled: Reform Happens! The New Loan Disclosures and more. Visit for more information.

The FAQ for all of these changes as well as additional resources can be found at


s you know, preparation and communication are the most effective ways you can help your clients have a positive experience when financing a home purchase. Here are five areas you may want to focus your attention, to facilitate the best experience for your clients.


Encourage your clients to think through mortgage choices first. Engaged homebuyers are more likely to select a mortgage loan that meets their needs and presents few surprises during underwriting. The pre-application timeframe is critical and gives clients a change to decide on a loan type and down payment amount before they are focused on a closing date. »» Make sure your clients feel comfortable they can afford the home and feel confident in their ability to receive a mortgage loan approval for the required amount. »» Encourage prospective homebuyers to review their credit reports early in the process. Through early review, they can find and correct errors to potentially raise their credit score and reduce their cost of borrowing.


Once a property has been identified, encourage your clients to apply for Loan Estimates from multiple lenders. Loan Estimates no longer require written documentation, so encourage your clients to compare offers from several lenders. This will avoid second guessing whether they got the best deal. Learn more about how the newly designed disclosures simplify the process. »» Loan Estimates show rates and loan terms in an easy-to-compare format, customized based on your clients’ credit and the details of their request. »» Clients who understand market rates are more likely to feel confident about their choices and work proactively and collaboratively with their lender. »» Loan Estimates are most useful when your clients define the requested mortgage type and compare “apples-to-apples” Loan Estimates.


complete the steps required by the lender to express their intent to proceed, their applications could be closed as incomplete. If this happens, your clients will likely need to start over with a new application.


Be the source of accurate and timely information about the property and transaction. Open lines of communication help prevent needless confusion and delays. »» Make sure your clients have detailed information they can share with their lender about property taxes, homeowner’s association fees, condominium association fees, and the estimated cost for homeowners insurance. Although the lender likely needs to verify these costs later, accurate numbers now can prevent revised Loan Estimates later. »» If anything about the transaction changes, communicate those changes promptly to everyone involved and confirm the information has been received. The lender determines whether the change requires a revised Loan Estimate. Your best strategy is to communicate any changes to your client and to confirm that the lender has received the information as well. »» Confirm the lender and the closing company have the buyer’s and the seller’s real estate broker information. Because this information appears on the Closing Disclosure, they both need correct and complete information.

Make sure your clients indicate their intent to proceed. Lenders have different policies about what your clients need to do to successfully move an application forward from the Loan Estimate stage into active processing, when the appraisal and other verifications typically begin. Talk to lenders serving your area to learn about those policies and discuss lender requirements with your clients to be confident that your clients have an active mortgage application underway.


Your clients might request a Loan Estimate and then feel like they’re done - but Loan Estimates expire after ten business days. If your clients do not

Previously HUD-1 Settlement Statements were most often provided by a settlement agent, attorney, or closing company. This may not be the case for the Closing Disclosure. Lenders may choose to prepare and deliver the Closing Disclosure to your client directly. They may deliver it through the mail, in-person, or electronically (if your clients have given permission for electronic delivery).

Find out who provides the Closing Disclosure. Find out who will be preparing and providing the Closing Disclosure, when and how your client can expect to receive it, and how any lastminute changes are handled. Business practices can vary from lender to lender and state to state.

Find out if the lender or the closing company has a required time frame for any change requests. Keep in mind that no matter who prepares or provides the Closing Disclosure, the lender is accountable for its accuracy and approves the final version. *Article and content courtesy of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

13 | Summer 2015 — REALTOR® Report

1904 photo of Mount Rushmore before actual sculpting had begun as part of the shtick. A blank canvas if you will. But Stinton presented a Mount Rushmore for REALTORS® from the 20th century and then looked ahead with a second Mount Rushmore for this century. It was fascinating. On top of that he didn’t use people. He used concepts and institutions on his “REALTOR® Rushmore”. First Stinton looked back at REALTOR® history (20th century) and came up with his “Presidents”.

1 2

NAR Code of Ethics - Obviously the formation of NAR in 1908 and the establishment of the Code of Ethics (five years later) are the cornerstones of the entire REALTOR® movement. Certainly the code is our “George Washington”.

Those of you that know me are aware I fancy myself a bit of an amateur media critic. Well let’s be honest -- a professional media critic (at least in my own mind). I’m one of those people who doesn’t just listen or watch media personalities. I often allow the media personalities antics to really bother me. So among the many things media that irritate me in talk radio land, tired, worn-out radio talk show “technique” known as “Mount Rushmore” may take the cake. It’s usually confined to sports, but not always. A talk show host might start out a show saying “call in or text your Mount Rushmore of Cardinals baseball”. So instead of George Washington, Teddy Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson, the host might throw out the names of Albert Pujols, Ozzie Smith, Stan Musial and Dizzy Dean and then invite discussion. It’s always been a lazy talk show technique that struck me as the host just kind of taking the day off. Recently, however, I attended the Leadership Summit at the National Association of REALTORS® in Chicago. At that conference, NAR Chief Executive Officer Dale Stinton presented an interesting twist on my talk show pet peeve. His presentation? Yes, it was a “Mount Rushmore” to be sure. And the PowerPoint even featured a 14 | Summer 2015 — REALTOR® Report

MLS and the Three-Way Agreement - It may seem a bit odd he put these two together, but Stinton felt the local MLSs are what has bound many REALTOR® associations in a regional sense. The Three-Way Agreement, a unique concept for REALTORS®, is what unites REALTORS® nationally. It creates a synergy and national lobbying powerhouse that is the envy of nearly every other professional or trade association . Just as Thomas Jefferson built on what Washington started, the MLSs that developed during the 20th century and the development of the Three-Way Agreement continued the growth of the REALTOR® organization.


RPAC - The importance of RPAC in a political environment that is increasingly complex and regulatory cannot be overstated. It might be a stretch to say RPAC is our “Abraham Lincoln”. But Lincoln was a great and brilliant politician who navigated some of the country’s most difficult challenges. A well-funded RPAC is certainly the best ally to protecting REALTOR® interests in an uncertain and ever-changing political climate.

4 - This one, like the inclusion of Teddy Roosevelt in the original Mount Rushmore, is controversial (and Stinton admitted as much). But, whether it’s in the middle, bottom or top, when it comes to consumer site rankings, it was ground breaking nonetheless and will continue to push to improve its brand and relevancy in the coming years.

Then it was on to the 21st century “Foursome”:


RPR - REALTORS® Property Resource - Launched in 2010, RPR provides a comprehensive parcel-based database of 166 million properties and data tools to all NAR

members free of change. It operates as a subsidiary of NAR. The original business model incorrectly assumed the venture would become self-sustaining by 2013 through the sale of analytics and data to third parties. Nonetheless, RPR will be an important part in the broker-backed initiative Upstream (see 4 below).


The REALTOR® Party - In 2012, NAR increased dues by $40 to fund the REALTOR® Party initiative. With the formation of the REALTOR® Party, NAR linked advocacy efforts of REALTORS® at the local, state and national levels. Both state and local associations across the country have benefited from putting these additional resources of the REALTOR® Party to work - whether it involves lobbying key issues or helping to elect our candidates. There have been many success stories since the REALTOR® Party was formed.

It’s been a definite plus in giving direction to NAR’s political agenda at all levels. Money, like knowledge, is power, especially in politics.


Core Standards - The idea of Core Standards for the local and state associations was probably long overdue. 2015 was its first year. The goal was to increase the level of service to the members and the level of accountability and uniformity across the board. NAR itself submitted to the standards. Nationally there was a 96 percent compliance rate to the Core Standards at the local and state levels. The Standards have improved the level of service to all of our members and will continue to do so for years to come.


Project Upstream/AMP - In broad terms, Project Upstream is the strategy by NAR for gaining control of broker listing data. Since the May NAR meetings, Project Upstream has

started to gain clarity. At those meetings, the NAR Board of Directors approved $12 million over the next three years to fund a joint project between RPR and Upstream. These two entities will create and implement a data entry collection platform that will function as a middleman between real estate firms and recipients of their data, including MLSs and vendors. Upstream will leverage another RPR project called Advanced Multilist Platform (AMP). AMP is the system that NAR is funding (being built by RPR) which is projected to be a listing data input system, property database and distribution mechanism. This is the technical platform that is needed to accomplish the main goal of Project Upstream - the aforementioned gaining control of broker data. Confusing? Yes, but the goal of the system is to give brokerages a single place to input their listings, then having those listings distributed to consumer websites, MLSs and broker websites as they choose.

Will these 21st century “Presidents” be as important as the venerable foursome from the 20th century? Time will tell, and not unlike those lazy talk radio Mount Rushmores, there’s plenty of room for debate. My Mount Rushmore? I’d include Bob Gibson instead of Pujols, but that’s just me.

15 | Summer 2015 — REALTOR® Report


July 2015

16 | Summer 2015 — REALTOR® Report


August 2015

17 | Summer 2015 — REALTOR® Report


July 2015

St. Louis City

Active Inventory as of Jul 31, 2015 = 1,243

August 2015

Comparative Metrics by Status

Jul 2014


Year to Date +/-



12 Months: Jul - Jul +/-




Closed Sales










Pending Sales










Available Listings










Expired Listings










New Listings










Available Listings vs. Closed Sales










Available Listings vs. Expired Listings










Active Inventory as of Aug 31, 2015 = 1,260 Comparative Metrics by Status Closed Sales

Aug 2014 269

2015 287

Year to Date +/-






12 Months: Aug - Aug +/-


Previous 3,098





Pending Sales










Available Listings










Expired Listings










New Listings










Available Listings vs. Closed Sales










Available Listings vs. Expired Listings










18 | Summer 2015 — REALTOR® Report

Data is inclusive of residential properties and condo/coop/villa.


St. Louis County

Active Inventory as of Jul 31, 2015 = 4,036 Comparative Metrics by Status

Jul 2014


Year to Date +/-



12 Months: Jul - Jul +/-




Closed Sales










Pending Sales










Available Listings










Expired Listings










New Listings










Available Listings vs. Closed Sales










Available Listings vs. Expired Listings










Active Inventory as of Aug 31, 2015 = 4,080 Comparative Metrics by Status Closed Sales

Aug 2014 1,321

Year to Date







2015 9,926

12 Months: Aug - Aug +/-


Previous 13,131





Pending Sales










Available Listings










Expired Listings










New Listings










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.

19 | Summer 2015 — REALTOR® Report

Get your home sold fast and for top dollar with INhance IT! WHAT IS HOME STAGING? The objective of home staging is to present your home in the best possible light and to make it stand out from other homes currently on the market. Home staging creates a setting that inspires visitors to visualize residing in the home. Home staging is the preparation of a vacant or occupied home to sell by a professional who specializes in this form of merchandising. INhance IT’s professional home staging team can objectively view your home as a product and highlight its assets while down playing its flaws. Home staging is an integral part of effectively packaging and marketing a home to sell FAST and FOR TOP DOLLAR!

WHY STAGE MY HOME? THE key reason to stage your home is to get it sold quickly and for top dollar. Staged homes typically sell 73% faster than unstaged homes. Staging depersonalizes your home to appeal to the widest range of buyers. Staging enhances key areas of your home and can minimize problem areas. Staging sets your home apart from the competition, making it memorable.

Call INhance IT! today at 314-486-5354 for complete details and ask about our new interior decorating services!

DESIGNATED REALTOR® Susan Bastin Realty Professionals of STL, LLC. Robert Brinkmann R.G. Brinkmann Company Bernadette Brown Royal Realty Group, LLC. Patrick Devereux DEVSCO, LLC. Donald Gidionsen Donald Gidionsen, Broker Doug Gilberg Gilberg International Realty Inc. Vernita Mullins Vernita Mullins, Broker Darryl Piggee Sankofa Real Estate Company, LLC. Pierre Snodgrass Today’s Best Homes

Cort Dietz RE/MAX Realty Café

Narinder Makkar Lending Loft

Phil Howard Pillar to Post

Bart Freer Bartlett Pear, LLC.

Janice Nolan United Select Properties

Terry Jinkerson Arenz Pest Management

Robert Goltermann DCM Management Company

Dino Serraiocco John Graham Inc.

Todd Kleinheider BPG/ABA Inspections & Consulting

Patrick Haug Avenue Realty Company, LLC.


Meghan Higgs Picket Fence Realty, LLC. Robin Howard Robin’s Nest Realty Susanne Klamen Harold M. Klamen & Associates Donald Land Land Realty Group, LLC. Julie Lane Julie Lane Real Estate Mark Severinsen Provident Property Management

Previously REALTOR -Associate ®

Eric Barthel RE/MAX Results Michelle Gordon Grassmuck Realty Christopher Matoushek Realty Executives of St. Louis Mabel Price Platinum Realty of St. Louis, LLC. Leslie Williams Wm. French Buyers Real Estate

Cody Knight ACE Home Inspections Robert Kodner Crack Wizard Jason Lusk Missouri Home Tours, LLC. Grant Mabie Sauerwein, Simon & Hein, P.C. Dale McDermott PNC Mortgage Jerry Nevins Mister Fix-It, LLC.


James Norton Midwest Regional Bank

Janelle Stowers Stowers Realty Group

Brian Agers Agers Heating & Air Conditioning

Clayton Picker The Sewer Pros

Robert Wahl Wahl Real Estate

Michelle Anderson Dazzle Home Staging

Chelsea Putnam USA Mortgage

Tamra Cape Baker Street Appraisal Company


Angela Armbruster St. Louis Radon

Krista Salvatore The Bank of Edwardsville

Robert Voyles Greater St. Louis Appraisal

Kimberly Benda Epic Realty, LLC.

Peggy Ayres Title Partners Agency, LLC.

John Schupp The Sewer Pros


Susan Bowman Executive Real Estate Commercial Division

Kurt Bethel Pillar to Post

Thomas Simmons

David Boston Beseda Flooring

Ron Van Hee, Jr. Engineered Inspections & Consulting Ser.

Michael Temporiti Temporiti Group, LLC.



Previously REALTOR


Nancy Jackson Cottage & Castle

Jeremy Farlow Farlow Real Estate Experts

Carol Koch RE/MAX Gold

David Gans Ryan David Homes


Previously REALTOR®-Associate

William Holman W.R. Holman Real Estate

Corey Adams Advanced Realty Group

Norris Hopkinson Cibola Homes & Properties

Christopher Dabin Realty Matters

Timothy Kuchta 3D Realty Inc.

Anthony Dohrman American Eagle Credit Union Ernie Ferrario R. Heyl & Associates, LLC. Thomas Flanigan BPG/ABA Inspection & Consulting

Rapid Response Roofing & Contracting

William Wason The Sewer Pros Tod Williams R. Heyl & Associates, LLC.

Daulton Hillermann Stifel Bank and Trust 21 | Summer 2015 — REALTOR® Report

Association Roundup St. Louis REALTORS® Prove Campaign Prowess in Winning Alderman Seat for One of Their Own It wasn’t a hard decision for the 20-member Political Action Committee of the St. Louis Association of REALTORS® (SLAR) to back Mark Stallmann’s candidacy for the Board of Alderman in Ballwin, Missouri, last April. In fact, according to the association’s Government Affairs Director, it was pretty much a no-brainer. “Mark’s not only a member,” explains Martina Johnson, “he’s also a past-President of the St. Louis Association, a past-president of the state association, and is currently the AE of the St. Charles Association. He’s about as deeply entrenched in REALTOR® issues as it’s possible to be.” So when Stallmann was required to run to retain the seat he’d been appointed to fill on the Ballwin Board of Aldermen, SLAR was right behind him. Ballwin is a municipality of about 30,000 people within St. Louis County, about 40 minutes from downtown St. Louis. The open seat on its Board had, in fact, been vacated by a fellow REALTOR®, who was running for County Council. The 7,000-member St. Louis Association had worked with the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® to conduct Independent Expenditure campaigns in the past, so Johnson knew just what to do; she notes that the application process is absolutely user-friendly, and the Campaign Services staff, extremely responsive. With a grant from the REALTOR® Party and an additional contribution of its own PAC funds, SLAR mounted a campaign on Stallmann’s behalf. Election laws in Missouri differ from those in most states, in that they allow for Independent Expenditure campaigns to coordinate with the candidate. “It makes it much easier,” said Johnson, “at least when your candidate’s someone like Mark. He was wonderful, and, of course, very grateful for the support.” Stallmann’s opponent had not sought the seat when it first became vacant, as Stallmann and several others had. The member who had left the Ballwin Board had won a seat on the County Council in the meantime, and supported Stallmann’s candidacy to retain his former seat on the Board of Aldermen. Because the campaign was a modest one, targeting only about 1,000 votes, and no strong opposition was expected, organizing it was a local task that fell to SLAR. NAR’s Campaign Services division produced the mailers and online advertisements, and set up get-out-the-vote phone calls. Stallmann, the incumbent, did his own door-knocking. He won with a landslide victory of 71 percent.

“Mark is the epitome of a REALTOR® Champion, having served at several levels of member governance, as well as being CEO of a local association,” states Johnson. “He understands REALTOR® issues as a REALTOR®, as a leader in the association, and as a staff person. The membership of SLAR was behind his candidacy all the way.” As property rights issues emerge for the board to address, Stallmann will provide his fellow Aldermen with a wealth of expertise; in the meantime, his is a strong voice for quality of life, health and safety issues in Ballwin. To learn more about how the St. Louis Association of REALTORS® is supporting REALTOR® Champions in local government, contact our Government Affairs Director, Martina Johnson, at or 314.576.0033.

Sibert Accepts Appointment to 2015-2016 Missouri REALTORS® Leadership Academy SLAR is pleased to announce that Tina Siebert of Circa Properties will be attending the 2015-2016 Missouri REALTORS® Leadership Academy. The statewide leadership academy is open to all REALTORS® living in the state of Missouri. The Academy accepts between 12 and 16 individuals each year. Participants are selected based on their application, geographic location, gender and other considerations. It is a year-long commitment, which begins with a retreat in Excelsior Springs in October of 2015 and ends during the Fall Missouri REALTORS® Business Conference at the Lake of the Ozarks in September of 2016. In between are a variety of workshops and education sessions designed to groom these individuals to become future REALTOR® leaders. A number of SLAR’s past-Presidents and Board of Directors members have graduated from the Leadership Academy. We congratulate Tina on this honor and look forward to her future contributions to SLAR.

For more information about the Missouri REALTORS® Leadership Academy visit:

SLAR Reaches Record-Breaking Numbers at RPAC Annual Dinner Auction The 2015 RPAC Annual Dinner Auction set fundraising records at Orlando Gardens in Maryland Heights on June 19, 2015. The event raised over $40,000 of which all proceeds were invested into the REALTOR® Political Action Committee. RPAC protects the real estate industry from detrimental regulations and defends private property laws. This year’s auction brought back several popular traditions and made some new ones. Caroline Mantia, of Clarity Street Realty, won the 2nd Annual Gift Basket competition with her incredible Smores-themed basket. Friendly competition from the gift basket competition helped raise $1,823 towards RPAC with only 21 baskets entered! Thank you to all who donated. A new promotion introduced at this year’s Auction was the “RPAC is American as Apple Pie” centerpiece. At the center of each table was a pie, available for a $20 RPAC investment. Needless to say, all pies sold out halfway through the evening, creating yet another, albeit tasty tradition for SLAR.

With nearly 300 guests, the night was enjoyed by all with great fun, food, and fellowship. Thank you to all who attended and invested in RPAC! We especially thank our Auction Chair, Sue Middendorf, for her tireless commitment to making this auction a successful one. Another big thanks to Pillar to Post, Continental Title of Missouri, MARIS, USA Mortgage, Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard P.C., the St. Louis Association of REALTORS® Commercial Division, and SLARPAC Trustees for sponsoring the great success of the 2015 Annual Dinner Auction.

October October 1-2

CRS Designation Course - SLAR

October 14

Real Estate Code of Ethics (CE) - SLAR

October 14

Executive Committee Meeting - SLAR

October 15

Candidate Training Academy — SLAR

October 17

The MREC and You: 20 Easy Ways to Lose Your License (CE) - SLAR

October 18

Fundamental Disciplines to Manage and Reduce Risk (CE) - SLAR

October 21

Board of Directors Meeting — SLAR

October 22

RPACtoberfest! — Schlafly Bottleworks

October 23

MRP Certification Course - SLAR

October 28

Board of Directors Meeting - SLAR

Veterans Day - SLAR Office Closed

November Nov. 4

Executive Committee Meeting - SLAR

Nov. 11

Nov. 4

Real Estate Code of Ethics (CE) - SLAR

Nov. 6

2016 Installation - Chase Park Plaza

Nov. 13 - 16 2015 REALTORS® Conferene & Expo - San Diego

Nov. 7 Representation Options in Missouri (CE) - SLAR

Nov. 18

Board of Directors Meeting - SLAR

Nov. 26 - 27

Thanksgiving - SLAR Office Closed

December December 2

Past President’s Luncheon - Bonefish Grill

December 24 Christmas Eve - SLAR Closed Half Day

December 3

Urban Affairs

December 25 Christmas - SLAR Closed

December 10 Holiday Open House

December 31 New Years Eve - SLAR Closed Half Day

December 14 Broker to Broker Forum

23 | Summer 2015 — REALTOR® Report

St. Louis Association of


12777 Olive Blvd. | St. Louis, MO 63141 314.576.0033 |

2016 Installation of SLAR President

Sandy Hancock New Board of Directors, and the celebration of the 2015 REALTOR速 Award Winners.

at the Khorassan Ballroom 232 N. Kingshighway Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63108

To purchase your tickets, visit If you are a member of the Executive Committee, Board of Directors, a Past President, or if you are interested in purchasing a table for 10, please register by contacting Becca Grober at 314.590.2304 or

SLAR Realtor Report | Summer 2015  
SLAR Realtor Report | Summer 2015