T H E P E N N S Y LVA N I A
P A R E A LT O R . O R G J U LY 2 0 0 9 I V O L . 6 9 , N O . 7 I U S P S 9 9 8 – 0 6 0
Commission GPAR, Philly REALTORS® Attack City Blight
Delays Deadline BY KIM SHINDLE
for New Consumer
lighted properties could bring Selling City-Owned Property learned about the program through NAR
unexpected income to the Efficiently (SCOPE) joins REALTORS‰ and thought it had great potential for
Notice City of Philadelphia, thanks to with city agencies to sell vacant proper- Philadelphia. The City of Baltimore joined
a joint venture between the ties and ultimately put the properties forces with the Greater Baltimore Board
Redevelopment Authority (RDA) and back on the tax rolls. of REALTORS‰ and successfully launched
the Greater Philadelphia Association of REALTOR‰ Al Perry of Century 21 this program, selling more than 250
REALTORS‰ (GPAR). Advantage Gold in Philadelphia said he properties and generating approximately
$6 million in revenue for the city.
In Philadelphia, it took a couple
of years and a change in leadership to
get the city to agree to test the program
on a pilot basis. Earlier this year,
Philadelphia’s Redevelopment Authority
New line agreed to try the program in cooperation
Dead with GPAR.
William Festa of William Festa Realty
in Philadelphia chairs GPAR’s SCOPE
Committee. He explains there are five
agencies within Philadelphia that own
real estate. The estimate is that the City
The PA Real Estate Commission has
of Philadelphia and its agencies own
announced an extension for using the
more than 35,000 properties, many of
new Consumer Notice.
which are blighted.
REALTORS‰ were told to begin
using the new Consumer Notice last
Authority (RDA) agreed to let three GPAR
month, however, the commission
REALTORS‰ market nine properties to
extended the implementation time
test the program. Festa, Perry and Jin
until September 15, 2009.
Gao of ERA Aarch Realty are authorized
The revised form has been sold
to sell through SCOPE. The city agreed
since January this year and all
to pay a minimum commission on these
electronic forms vendors have a new
form in place.
“We had offers on four properties
REALTORS‰ already using the
within 30 days,” Festa says. “These were
new form are in compliance. Those REALTORS‰ (l-r) Jin Gao, Al Perry and Bill Festa in front of a blighted, city-owned property in Philadelphia. CONTINUED ON PAGE 7
who have not started to use the
required new form must do so by the
new September 15 deadline.
For more information on the
changes go to tinyurl.com/parealtorcn.
Court Says ‘ABC Fees’ Violate RESPA Regs
eal estate brokerages may cation of the commission charges and services provided for this ABC fee that
have to change the way therefore an unearned fee in violation of wouldn’t have already been provided
IN THIS ISSUE they’re charging fees to their RESPA. under the percentage fee.
clients based on a decision in “While this case is binding in the “To avoid this issue, PAR forms
federal district court in Alabama. Northern District of Alabama and will were revised in 2006 with language that
President’s Letter The decision handed down on Busby probably be appealed, it has raised allows charging a ‘blended fee’ or the
Homebuyer Help Can Power
v. JRHBW Realty Inc. d/b/a/RealtySouth questions from PAR members as to how percentage commission and a flat dollar
Housing Recovery 2
found that a $149 “Administrative it affects real estate in Pennsylvania,” amount, in such a way that identified
Association News Brokerage Commission,” also referred to says Hank Lerner, Esq., PAR’s member both elements as part of a single
PAR Board of Directors Meeting 3 as an “ABC fee,” was not related to any and legal services director. ‘Broker’s Fee’ rather than calling them
Industry News specific settlement service and was “We’ve consulted with our legal separate fees,” Lerner explains.
IRAs Offer First-Time Buyers therefore in violation of the Real Estate counsel and we believe our current forms He says the best advice for brokers
$10,000 For Down Payment 4 Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). do not have the specific flaws cited in is to be sure that any blended fee be
Education Calendar 4 The district court ruled that because the Busby case,” Lerner says. charged simply as “Broker’s Fee” and make
the ABC fee was separately itemized Lerner says the primary issue in this sure both elements are part of a single
Legal Update 5 from the percentage brokerage commis- case appears to be that on both the fee structure on the settlement forms.
RPAC Auction 10 sion on the settlement statement and employment contract and the HUD-1, Additional information regarding
RPAC Investors 11 not specifically justified as compensation the ABC fee was listed separately from the Busby v. JRHBW Realty decision
for other “real estate settlement services” the regular brokerage fee, even though is available at parealtor.org/content/
provided, the court viewed it as a dupli- the broker stated that there were no brokerfees.htm.
Homebuyer Help Can Power Recovery T H E P E N N S Y LVA N I A
BY GREGORY S. HERB
he recent federal Pennsylvanians achieve the American dream of
and state initiatives homeownership. PRESIDENT
designed to help In addition, the PA Department of Community and GREGORY S. HERB, CRB, CRS, GRI
spark the housing Economic Development (DCED) announced it will assist PRESIDENT ELECT
market have made me more families throughout the commonwealth with its Neighborhood DONALD D. ROTH, ABR, e–PRO, SRES
optimistic that we will be Stabilization program. This initiative will provide $57 FIRST VICE PRESIDENT
seeing a faster recovery in million to local governments across the state to acquire, GUY A. MATTEO, GRI
Pennsylvania. rehabilitate and resell blighted and foreclosed properties. TREASURER
Last month Gov. Ed In many of our regions we’ve already begun to see FRANK JACOVINI
Rendell announced a plan to first-time homebuyers taking advantage of the $8,000 tax EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT
award a portion of the $380 credit offered through the federal stimulus package. We’re PATRICE MERZANIS, CAE, RCE
million in federal economic seeing starter homes move, which has a trickle-up effect CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
recovery funds to assist that allows homeowners to purchase higher-priced properties. JAMES ANTONIO, CPA
Pennsylvania homebuyers. In May, FHA-approved lenders were given the approval DIRECTOR, EDUCATION
The governor reported nearly 1,000 families will receive to allow first-time buyers to use the federal tax credit to ADRIENNE L. NICHOLS, M. Ed., e–PRO, RCE
thousands of dollars to help make down payments on new help cover their closing costs. FHA-approved lenders can DIRECTOR, GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS
homes, more than 5,000 families across Pennsylvania will develop bridge loans that homebuyers can use to help cover
find affordable housing and jobs will be created for some their closing costs, buy down their interest rate or put down DIRECTOR, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
MARTIN MANION, CAE, e–PRO, RCE
3,000 workers. more than the minimum 3.5 percent.
By initiating this program, the governor and the PA PHFA is offering a Tax Credit Advance Loan Program DIRECTOR, LEADERSHIP SERVICES
Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) are making significant which allows PHFA borrowers to apply a portion of their
strides in helping reinvigorate the real estate market and the 2009 first-time homebuyer tax credit toward the purchase DIRECTOR, MARKETING
economy in Pennsylvania. of their home. Homebuyers are eligible for the lesser of 10 THEA HOCKER
I applaud the governor’s decision to use the federal percent of the purchase price or $6,000 for new construction
DIRECTOR, MEMBER & LEGAL SERVICES
economic recovery funds for housing. I think this plan and $5,000 for existing homes. HENRY LERNER, ESQ.
will greatly assist first-time homebuyers and help more
ELIZABETH H. FEATHER, ESQ.
JAMES L. GOLDSMITH, ESQ.
Nominate a BUCK WARGO
FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION
PAR Award Winner The PENNSYLVANIA REALTOR‰
is a monthly publication of the
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Nominate a REALTOR‰ for: 800.555.3390
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Recipients are honored during PAR’s Lemoyne, PA 17043–1213
September Business Meetings. The contents of The PA REALTOR‰ are the
opinions and products of the authors and not
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For more information on the RAP Award,
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contact Jennifer Shockley at accurate and authoritative information
regarding the subjects covered. It is offered
firstname.lastname@example.org. with the understanding that the publisher is
not engaged in or rendering professional
For more information on the ROTY and advice. If legal advice is required the services
of a professional should be sought.
DSA, contact Kim Smith at
p a r e a l t o r. o r g
2 I P E N N S Y LVA N I A A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ‰ J U LY 2 0 0 9
A S S O C I AT I O N N E W S
Data Mining Group Official
he PAR Board of Directors NAR Housing Grant Task Force
approved the creation of a Frank Jacovini who said the task
Data Mining Services force has met to review workforce
Committee to oversee the housing and foreclosure-prevention
association’s data mining during the June programs to determine a plan of
Business Meeting in Harrisburg. Data action to be presented to the
mining is the process of analyzing data board in September.
from different perspectives and • The PA REALTOR® Institute (PRI)
summarizing it into useful business Presidential Advisory Group Chair
information. Voter files, demographic and James Helsel Jr. who provided an
consumer data, along with survey update to the group’s review of PRI
research and technology help organiza- and educational programs.
tions gain a deeper understanding of a • Business Services for Real Estate
given situation. (BSRE) Chair John Cognetti who
In other business, the board: reported that BSRE continues to
• Approved $5,000 in additional review health care provider options
funding for the Equal Opportunity and that the partnership with
and Cultural Diversity Committee Realserv to create transaction
to begin implementing its management software is faltering.
Multicultural Strategic Plan. As
part of the first objective, the • Hay, chair of PAR’s Climate
committee will engage the Change Presidential Advisory
Gonzales Group, a consulting firm Group, who said the group has
that specializes in multi-cultural met and will be reviewing the
business development, to conduct impact Gov. Edward Rendell’s
two focus groups to gather Climate Change Act will have on
member input on diversity issues. the real estate industry. The group
Online and telephone surveys may is expected to provide policy
also be conducted. PAR was recommendations in September.
awarded a $5,000 NAR Diversity • The Screening Committee, who
Grant toward the implementation announced candidates for elections
of this plan. to be held at the September
• Approved discontinuing the PAR Business Meetings: Guy Matteo,
Excellence Club Award in 2010. president elect; Frank Jacovini, first
vice-president; Bette McTamney,
The board heard reports from: treasurer; Patricia Moyer and
• Bob Hay and Dominic Cardone, James Ryal who are running for
co-chairs of the Building Design District 2 vice-president; Jeffrey
Task Force, who said renovations Crosby, District 4; LouAnn Kenney,
to the new headquarters are District 6 and Victoria Lowery,
complete and are under budget by District 8.
$30,000. The staff moved into the
new building in April and the REALTOR® Emeritus status was
association hosted an open house given to: Charles K. Vandenburgh,
in the Lemoyne facility on June 2. Greater Harrisburg; Anne Friday and
Harvey Salwen, Montgomery County;
• Bette McTamney, chair of the Denis Fick and Robert Powers, Reading-
Educational Requirements Task Berks; Richard Creo, Robert Freeman,
Force, who said the task force Leslie Hosack, Susan Kelso and Dennis
continues to meet and review McClelland, REALTORS® Association of
educational requirements for Metropolitan Pittsburgh; Andre Collins,
obtaining and maintaining real Robert Estill and David Schad,
estate licenses in Pennsylvania. REALTORS® Association of York and
• Commercial, Industrial and Adams Counties; Robert Hess and
Investment Committee Chair John Edward Paul, TriState REALTORS®
Derham who said the committee Commercial Alliance; George Girio,
continues to negotiate to provide a West Branch Valley; Robert Besecker,
Commercial Information Exchange. George Bell, Joan Evans, Michael
A CIE is an Internet-based com- Johnson, Nancy Judd, Joseph Moore,
mercial property listing service. Alvin Rothstein and Samuel Wolfe,
• PAR Treasurer and Chair of the Greater Wilkes-Barre.
J U LY 2 0 0 9 P E N N S Y LVA N I A A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ‰ I 3
IRAs Offer First-Time Buyers $10,000 for Down Payment
BY BUCK WARGO
he downturn in the stock market combined appealing because they need more money for the in using their IRAs as a vehicle to invest in real estate.
with the growing affordability of purchasing a down payment,” he says. Most people don’t know they can buy real estate in
home has prompted increased interest in using With so many people losing money in the stock their IRA instead of stocks and it’s up to REALTORS® to
IRAs to help fund the purchase of a home. market, it appeals to them to use the money for some- educate them about that, says Charlie Bross, a principal
Qualified retirement plans, in particular traditional thing that will give them satisfaction, Chamberlin says. with the Real Estate Training Center. That could spur a
or Roth IRAs, may be used to provide a down payment They have to wait until they are 59 1/2 to withdraw lot of sales that would otherwise not take place, he says.
without penalty for early withdrawal, according to money from IRAs without a penalty. With the stock market in decline as it is and home
George Chamberlin, vice president of Financeware, a “Equities are not doing well and people are not sure prices a better value with some upside, it makes IRA
Virginia-based financial advisory firm. This allows for a when or if they will rebound,” Chamberlin says. “This holders more receptive to the concept, Bross says.
withdrawal of up to $10,000 for a first-time buyer to gives people a chance to use the money in a positive Homeowners already understand the value of investing
acquire a home, he says. way and grow it over time if they are looking at a long- in a home and that makes it easier to pitch, he says.
Add in the $8,000 federal tax credit for first-time term investment.” “Investing in real estate through an IRA is poised to
buyers in 2009 and that provides the down payment Although there is no penalty, Chamberlin says be one of the hottest new areas of investment,” Bross
assistance that they may need, Chamberlin says. income taxes must be paid on the amount taken out of says in citing the decline of the stock market. “Even with
Couples with their own IRAs could have $20,000 to the IRA. That could reduce the amount available for the the recent rallies, it will be a long time before investors
draw from, he says. home purchase if the taxes aren’t paid from another regain their confidence completely.”
“I’m betting that using the IRA in combination source, Chamberlin says. While people are wary of the stock market, they
with this new homebuyer credit is going to be very Putting down a larger down payment can help lower don’t want to leave their money in the bank either and
appealing,” Chamberlin says. “It hasn’t been heavily the interest rate to finance the mortgage and possibly earn minimal interest, Bross says.
used in the past but I know people who have done this. avoid the need for mortgage insurance, Chamberlin says. By purchasing real estate in their IRAs, people aren’t
“With the new strict lending rules, it may be more There are other opportunities for people interested changing what their retirement plan funds do but simply
changing the type of investment in their retirement
account from stocks, bonds and mutual funds to real
estate, Bross says.
Even if it takes five years for real estate values to get
back to where they were two years ago, there are many
prognosticators who believe a bet on real estate will be
higher than the stock market, Bross says. That spread will
improve by renting the properties, he adds.
Buck Wargo, a former reporter at the Los Angeles Times,
is a Las Vegas-based freelance writer who covers real estate
R E G I S T E R AT: parealtor.org or 800.745.5527
AUGUST 10-11 — Green Designation OCTOBER 14 — Professionalism in
26 — GRI 504 Lehigh Valley, Bethlehem 5-6 — CRS 200 / GRI 400 Real Estate (AM)
Suburban West, Malvern (14 elect CE, 1 broker credit) Four Points by Sheraton, Mars Holiday Inn, Indiana
(GRI, 7 elect CE) $299 (Melanie McLane) (GRI, CRS, 14 elect CE, 1 broker credit) (3.5 elect CE, NAR Quad Ethics)
$140 (Melanie McLane) 17-18 — SRES $299 (Leroy Houser) $50 (Melanie McLane)
Lancaster County, Lancaster 6-7 — GRI 403 14 — Advertising and the
SEPTEMBER (14 elect CE, 1 broker credit, Greater Harrisburg, Enola Agent (PM)
8-9 — ABR Core 1 elect GRI) (GRI, 14 elect CE, 6 appraisal CE, Holiday Inn, Indiana
Bucks County, Warminster $399 (Melanie McLane) 1 broker credit) (3.5 elect CE)
(ABR, 1 elect GRI, 14 elect CE, 23-24 — CRS 202 / GRI 402 $199 (James Goldsmith) $50 (Melanie McLane)
1 broker credit) RAYAC, York 8 — GRI 502 15-16 — CRS 201 / GRI 401
$219 (Bruce Witt) (GRI, CRS, 14 elect CE, 1 broker credit) Bucks County, Warminster Radisson, Scranton
9 — Intro to Short Sales (AM) $299 (Ed Hatch) (GRI, 7 elect CE, 3 appraisal CE) (GRI, CRS, 14 elect CE, 1 broker credit)
Pocono Mountains, Stroudsburg 24 — Effective Negotiating $125 (Mike Perry) $299 (Richard Sands)
(3.5 elect CE) Lantern Lodge, Myerstown 13 — “Who’s Your Client (AM)” 27-28 — Green Designation
$50 (Melanie McLane) (7 elect CE, ABR, PMN) Holiday Inn, Indiana RAYAC, York
9-10 — GRI 403 $140 (Melanie McLane) (3.5 elect CE) (14 elect CE, 1 broker credit)
Suburban West, Malvern $50 (Melanie McLane) $319 (Melanie McLane)
(GRI, 14 elect CE, 1 broker credit, 13 — “Getting to Yes (PM)”
6 appraisal CE) Holiday Inn, Indiana
$219 (Courtney Franklin) (3.5 elect CE)
$50 (Melanie McLane)
REALTORS‰ initially licensed on or after December 1, 2007 are required to take a specific mandatory course. These sessions will not fulfill this continuing education requirement.
A COMPLETE LIST OF COURSES IS ONLINE AT PAREALTOR.ORG
4 I P E N N S Y LVA N I A A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ‰ J U LY 2 0 0 9
L E G A L U P D AT E
Compensating the Out-of-Town Agent: A Wise Strategy
BY JAMES L. GOLDSMITH, ESQ.
listing broker’s offer to able buyer. Assuming a reasonable located, that he had continuing ties to refuses to pay a cooperating commission,
compensate a selling broker for response is given, the amount should be that community as well as a history of the offer ultimately submitted by that
procuring a ready, willing and memorialized in a Cooperating Broker recent transactions, the listing agent buyer agent may demand that the seller
able buyer is generally Compensation Agreement, one of PAR’s accepted the offer and compensated the pay the buyer agent’s fee. When the seller
established in the MLS. That offer of standard forms. selling agent. asks you, the listing agent, why are you
compensation applies to all members of Is there ever a time when a listing Listing agents have an obligation to refusing to compensate a non-MLS
the MLS unless the listing broker has broker should refuse to both cooperate promote the interests of their sellers. member, will you have a good answer?
notified a specific broker that a different and compensate an out-of-town selling Having a hard and fast rule that the
compensation applies to him. Some MLS agent? That depends. Hopefully a buyer listing agent will not accept offers from
systems provide for reciprocity and agent observes the limitations out-of-town agents may run counter to Mr. Goldsmith is an attorney with Caldwell
thereby extend offers of compensation established by Article 11 of the Code of that duty. Cooperation is the default; & Kearns and serves as general counsel to
from listing brokers of one MLS to selling Ethics. This article requires REALTORS® refusing to cooperate with any broker or PAR. A substantial portion of his practice is
brokers affiliated with another MLS. to conform to the standards of practice agent should be supported for good dedicated to providing advice and counsel to
What duty does a listing broker have and competence reasonably expected in reason. real estate licensees and representing and
to compensate a selling broker who is not the specific real estate discipline in which Compensating the out-of-town defending real estate salespersons and
a member of the MLS or a reciprocal they engage. Article 11 provides examples broker is another matter. Will the out-of- brokers in civil lawsuits and licensing claims
MLS? The National Association of of various disciplines, including property town buyer agent be available to open across the Commonwealth. He is one of the
REALTORS® Code of Ethics imposes a management, commercial and industrial doors and supervise inspectors and voices of the PAR Legal Hotline and may be
duty of cooperation with other brokers brokerage, appraisal, etc. The obligation perform all of the services customarily reached at realcompliance.com.
but does not require a listing broker to to conform to standard of practice and performed by buyer agents? There is no
share commissions, fees or to otherwise competence may also be limited correct answer to this difficult question.
compensate another broker (Article 3). geographically. That is, REALTORS® When the listing agent listed the
Unless an offer of compensation is should not be involved in the marketing property he promised to cooperate and
posted in the MLS in which the selling and sale of real estate in locations with compensate other members of the MLS
broker is a participant, no contract to pay which they are unfamiliar and where their but did not offer to compensate out-of-
co-op compensation exists and the knowledge of the market is severely town brokers or licensees who do not
selling agent should not expect to be limited. It may indeed be in the seller’s participate in the MLS. Sellers, however,
compensated. best interest to limit cooperation and are likely to remember that the listing
An out-of-town agent who does not compensation to buyer agents who have agent promised to lure selling agents by
benefit from MLS membership or familiarity with the marketplace. offering compensation.
reciprocity must therefore negotiate I recently received Hotline calls from Ultimately licensees are rarely hurt
terms of compensation “before beginning both an out-of-town buyer agent and when providing services that advance the
efforts to accept the offer of cooperation” the listing agent who was, initially, interest of their clients. If the out-of-town
(Standard of Practice 3-1). The selling refusing to cooperate and compensate agent is going to perform the majority of
agent could simply call the listing broker that buyer agent. When it was explained customary services to be provided, why
to ask what compensation would be paid that the buyer agent was born and raised wouldn’t you compensate them fairly? PREF Awards
if he/she produced a ready, willing and in the area where the property was Keep in mind that if the listing agent
PA REALTORS® Education
Foundation (PREF) awarded
two $1,000 Grants-in-Aid to
Best of the Legal Hotline: children of Pennsylvania
Tax Credit May Be Used David J. Curci, a graduate
of Neshaminy High School, is a
as Down Payment senior at Temple University.
Curci will use the grant to
supplement his college funding
BY ELIZABETH H. FEATHER, ESQ. for a Bachelor of Business
Administration in real estate and
finance. He is the son of
REALTORS® John and Sheri
Q: Can qualifying first-time homebuyers immediately apply their anticipated tax credit to their purchase?
Curci of Langhorne.
Michael Dunn, a graduate of
North Catholic High School,
insured home. FHA-approved lenders closing costs. This additional down plans to attend La Roche
A: In an effort to stabilize the
economy and promote home sales,
are permitted to convert the credit
into available funds for the first-time
homebuyers. The amount of the
payment or payment of closing costs
may lower the homebuyers’ interest
rate. With the immediate application
College. Dunn will use the grant
to supplement his college
funding for a Bachelor of Science
the Obama Administration announced mortgage will dictate how much of the of the anticipated tax credit, first-time in real estate. He is the son of
on May 29, 2009 that the $8,000 tax credit can be liquidated for present homebuyers are now in the driver’s REALTOR® James M. Dunn of
first-time homebuyer tax credit use. The funds can then be used seat, shopping around for the best Pittsburgh.
authorized by the American Recovery toward the homebuyers’ down home price and the best services PREF’s Grant-in-Aid
and Reinvestment Act of 2009 can be payment or closing costs. A minimum instead of relying on seller assistance. program is designed to
immediately utilized by first-time 3.5 percent down payment is required encourage students to pursue a
homebuyers rather making homebuyers when homebuyers apply for a FHA- Ms. Feather is an attorney with Caldwell career in the real estate
wait to receive the benefits of the insured mortgage. Accordingly, the tax & Kearns, which serves as general brokerage business through an
credit with their 2009 federal income credit can only be applied to the counsel to PAR. She is one of the voices associate or bachelor’s degree
taxes. To qualify for immediate use of homebuyers’ down payment in excess of the PAR Legal Hotline. program at a Pennsylvania
the tax credit, however, the first-time of 3.5 percent of the appraised value college or university.
homebuyers must purchase a FHA- of the property or the homebuyers’
J U LY 2 0 0 9 P E N N S Y LVA N I A A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ‰ I 5
Set Priorities, Generate Leads to Build a Strong Business
BY KIM SHINDLE
Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing series that features real estate experts offering advice to adapting to the changing real estate market.
he most important action biggest reasons customers don’t go back ‘’Selling” is dead but no one has told up after they’ve heard ‘no’ four times.
REALTORS® can take in today’s to a business they previously did salespeople However, 80 percent of sales are made
market is to prioritize what business with (68 percent) is because Cross says REALTORS® used to after the fifth call. It’s really
they do and then act according they felt ignored,” Cross says. “It’s so be taught to attempt to close the trans- important to be tenacious in this market.
to those priorities, says Carla Cross, simple a concept but not practiced well in action and then handle the objections You’ll position yourself for great success
nationally known real estate expert. the real estate industry. A recent survey that invariably popped up. That old- because so many have given up.”
In addition to acting on priorities, showed fewer than a third of agents who style manipulative selling just doesn’t
Cross says developing sales communica- sold a consumer a home ever went back work today. “You may counter Create a personal brand
tion skills to do business in a more to them. Make a plan for post-closing, so objections with a client but you aren’t “Explain what the benefit in choosing
challenging market is a key to continued that you communicate with your ‘former’ creating a good relationship,” she says. you is to the client,” she explains. “You
success. She offers these tips to help client regularly. You’ll be surprised with Instead, use a written, planned interview have to show that you understand what
REALTORS® improve their businesses: the number of referrals you’ll receive! process with each buyer or seller to find it means to perform and create a
“We’re trained to think about the out their concerns. This forms the right relationship with that person. Spend a
Embrace people who already think next consumer. We need to establish kind of trusting relationship for long- few minutes making a list of at least 10
you’re wonderful relationships with our previous term business. ways you provide value-added service.”
When times are challenging, it’s customers – if we do this, we’d beat out Show those services in a professional
difficult to keep motivated. Yet, Cross a huge percentage of other agents and it Don’t give up portfolio. That forms the basis for other
says when people get discouraged, they shows our customers that we care about “When conditions are good, the branding.
often hide. “When you get back to the them more than the check,” she adds. market sells the house for you by creating
people who think you’re wonderful, you’re urgency through ‘sold’ signs and multiple
working to re-establish relationships and Lead generation isn’t an option, it’s offers,” Cross says. “When the market is Carla Cross is president of Carla Cross
trust,” she says. “Don’t ask for leads a necessity at a fast pace, you can list the property at Seminars, Inc. and Carla Cross Coaching,
every time you talk to a client. If you start “If you run your business as if it’s a higher price and the market will come specializing in real estate sales and
with your trusting relationships, it makes always challenging, you’ll always make to meet it. Now, the market isn’t providing management. Cross, an international speaker
you feel better and you’re able to see that money,” Cross says. “The key is to block the fear or greed motivators. Agents and coach, is the author of six books and a
things look better.” two to three hours into your schedule must polish their communication skills winner of the National Association of
Value present and previous clients every day to work on lead generation. It’s and extend their timeframes for success REALTORS®’ National Educator of the Year
much more highly than most agents do. part of the business and always has been. to conquer this market. award. Contact her at carlacross.com or
Surveys show that it costs six to nine When business is good, agents can get a “Those who found it easy before are 425-392-6914.
times more to get a new customer than few consumers. Today lead generation is giving up too quickly,” she adds. “Statistics
to keep a previous one. “One of the not an option.” show that 90 percent of salespeople give
6 I P E N N S Y LVA N I A A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ‰ J U LY 2 0 0 9
A S S O C I AT I O N N E W S
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Philly REALTORS® Attack City Blight, Sell City-Owned Properties
properties that the city evaluated for less and we ended
up getting more, however, two were pulled from the rolls
by the city’s Licenses and Inspections Department for
demolition. We’re placing the properties on the market
and they’re going out to the public for sale. We’re getting
the highest and best price for them and someone can
use these properties for homes or businesses.
“We believe this could be a great source of revenue
for the city,” he adds.
John M. Carpenter, Jr., deputy executive director of
the Redevelopment Authority of Philadelphia, is cautiously
optimistic about the pilot program. “We’re intrigued by
Baltimore’s SCOPE program and we’re interested in testing
it to see how it would work and whether it would be
effective,” Carpenter says.
“REALTORS‰ approached us and we decided to give
it a try,” he says. “It’s going to take a while to see the
true fruits of our labors but early indications are that it’s
a great idea. We have good people working on both
sides of the process and a lot of good will and people
who want to see the program work.”
Carpenter says the city authority has learned a lot you’d be saddled with those blighted properties around he adds.
from the real estate brokers in learning how to engage you. This isn’t fair to the others on that street. The RDA As the program gets up and running, GPAR’s
the private market. He says they’ll be meeting about the basically has a noose around the neck of those other SCOPE Committee will set criteria for more REALTORS‰
program in the next couple of months to review progress property owners on that street and it’s insulting to those to work in the program.
and discuss expanding the program in the fall. tax payers. Festa believes the benefits of this program could
“The SCOPE program is long overdue in Philadelphia,” “Many of the properties are prime sites for help many municipalities throughout the commonwealth.
Perry says. “When I looked at some of the properties, I REALTORS‰ to sell to people who are willing to work on “I can see REALTORS‰ selling blighted properties and
found seven properties boarded up on one street, six of them. These properties should be put on the market helping to replace money in the coffers of municipalities
which were owned by the Redevelopment Authority. so new owners can fix up those places and become and helping to revitalize communities. It would be great
There were 60 other homes on the street but if you’re a part of the community. It’s in everyone’s best interest to if this program caught on nationwide,” Festa says.
homeowner of a nice property in that neighborhood, sell those properties and get them back on the tax rolls,”
J U LY 2 0 0 9 P E N N S Y LVA N I A A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ‰ I 7
A S S O C I AT I O N N E W S
REALTOR‰ Named One of PA’s ‘Best 50 Women in Business’
BY KIM SHINDLE
EALTORS® play an important knowing the area. A year later, she began executive vice president of sales and is a
role in people’s lives, according managing a second office. member of the company’s board of direc-
to a Pennsylvania REALTOR® Docktor appreciates being able to tors and the executive committee.
recently named to help women. “It’s given me a lot of satis- “Helping people find the home of
Pennsylvania’s Best 50 Women in faction helping women grow their busi- their dreams has always been very fulfill-
Business 2009. nesses and realize their dreams. I strug- ing for me,” she adds. “I’ve touched a lot
Joan G. Docktor of Devon began her gled when I was a single mother of two of lives and have really enjoyed working
career an elementary school teacher. Her and a teacher. Real estate has offered me in real estate.
sister had a career in real estate and a lot of opportunities and I enjoy helping “Because of our company and our
Docktor says she always thought it was other women succeed in business,” she agents, I can walk proudly. I receive
something she’d like to do. says. support from our sales associates,
When Docktor remarried and bought In 2003, Docktor was named the managers and the company,” she says.
a home, she was inspired to follow her general sales manager for the company “I’m humbled by the award and meeting
dreams. She earned her real estate which has 60 offices and 4,000 agents in the other amazing women who received
license in 1986 and interviewed many of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. this award. Women have so many more
the brokers in her area before choosing to “It’s been quite an undertaking, learning opportunities today. I hope I’ve paved
work for the former Roach Brothers. “My the other areas, managers and agents,” the way a little more.”
broker Patty Potts was an inspiration to she adds. Recently, she was named the
me. She assured me that she could help
me make the transition from being a
teacher to a REALTOR®,” Docktor says.
Docktor, now the executive vice
president of sales for Prudential Fox and JOAN G. DOCKTOR
Roach in Devon, did in fact make the
transition and was named Rookie of the tant for us to be knowledgeable and com-
Year. mitted to the business so we earn their
“REALTORS® play an important role trust,” Docktor says.
in people’s lives. They’re trusted advisors Docktor earned her broker’s license
who help people buy their homes, and was promoted to office manager in
achieve their dreams and move on with 1993. Managing an office located in unfa-
their lives. For many people, it’s the most miliar territory, Docktor found that good
money they’ll ever spend and it’s impor- management skills are as important as
8 I P E N N S Y LVA N I A A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ‰ J U LY 2 0 0 9
L E G A L U P D AT E
Preferred PARtner Offers ‘Green’ Resource
A new PAR Preferred PARtner offers REALTORS‰ resources to market them-
selves to consumers interested in green homes and environmental issues.
GREENandSAVE.com offers PAR members a discounted membership
and allows them to access green marketing materials and to promote them-
selves in a green directory.
According to Brian Rice, executive vice president of marketing,
GREENandSAVE has partnered with Philly.com to build its green section,
which links consumers back to the GREENandSAVE web site. PAR
The company also offers a Ecofamily Guide that gives tips to reduce
carbon footprints and make homes more energy efficient. DATEBOOK
Visit greenandsave.com/registered_agents/pa to receive a 10 percent
discount on a one-year membership (use code PAREALTOR).
9 Appraiser Board Meeting
14-15 State Real Estate Commission Meeting
11-12 State Real Estate Commission Meeting
12-14 PA AE & Staff Specialists Retreat,
Join the Conversation! Nittany Lion Inn, State College
13 Appraiser Board Meeting
24-25 NAR Leadership Summit, Chicago
10 Appraiser Board Meeting
22-23 State Real Estate Commission Meeting
J U LY 2 0 0 9 P E N N S Y LVA N I A A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ‰ I 9
R PA C
Annual Auction Raises $26,334 for RPAC in June
idding heated up at the annual
REALTORS‰ Political Action
Committee (RPAC) Auction
which raised $26,334 on June 1
during PAR’s Business Meetings in
Harrisburg. The auction featured 82
items donated by members and local
associations and boards.
A. REALTORS‰ (l-r) Curt Gasper, Eileen
Chaladoff and Libbie David debate which
item to bid on.
B. PAR President Greg Herb (left) and
Bette McTamney congratulate Angelo
Guerra for his winning bid. B
C. RPAC Fundraising Chair George Raad
emcees the auction.
D. PAR Past President Dominic Cardone
(left) and Rob Schrack find exciting items
to bid on during the RPAC Silent Auction.
E. PAR officers (l-r) Guy Matteo, Frank
Jacovini, Don Roth and Greg Herb
show bobbleheads of themselves which
were part of the live RPAC auction. A
Thanks to these individuals and organizations who donated items to the RPAC Auction:
Adrienne Nichols George Raad * Montgomery County Top Ten Fundraising Items:
* Al Perry Gina Barbine Pat Long
The top 10 fundraising items donated to the
Allegheny Highland Greater Allegheny Kiski Pen-Mar Regional
RPAC auction and those who successfully bid on
Allegheny Valley * Greater Erie Pike Wayne
Angelo Guerra Greater Harrisburg Pocono Mountains
Beaver County Greater Hazleton Reading-Berks Line Officer Bobbleheads — Angelo Guerra
Bette McTamney Greater Meadville REALTORS‰ Assn. of Metro 32" RCA Flat-Screen High-Definition TV
Bob Fleck Greater Mercer County Pittsburgh — Greg Herb
Bob Williams Greater Philadelphia Rob Schrack Three-Night Stay in Cavs Condo in New Jersey
Bradford Sullivan Greater Scranton Schuylkill County — Anne Matyjasik
* Bucks County Greater Wilkes-Barre * Suburban REALTORS‰ Alliance
Butler County Greg Herb and Kathy Kolarz Suzette Colvin Flip Video — Janice Smarto
Cambria-Somerset Helen Miernicki * Todd Polinchock Garmin GPS Navigator — Stan Lesniak
Carbon County Huntington County Board * Tristate REALTORS‰ Commercial Flip Video — Kathy Opperman
Central Susquehanna Valley Jackie Dorian Alliance
Centre County Janice Smarto Victoria Lowry World Series Collection — Deb Phillips
Dee Johnson Jim and Melanie McLane Warren County Pittsburgh Steelers Hines Ward Autographed
Doug Freeman John Capers Washington Greene Helmet — Janice Smarto
Eileen Campbell Lancaster County Westmoreland Day with Rep. Patrick J. Murphy — Guy Matteo
* Ellen Renish Lawrence County REALTORS‰ Association of York
Kindle 2 — Al Perry
* Fayette County Lehigh Valley and Adams Counties
Frank Jacovini Melissa Sieg * Contributed one of the Top Ten items
1 0 I P E N N S Y LVA N I A A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ‰ J U LY 2 0 0 9
R PA C
Hall of Fame Kim E Moyer Robert S Hamilton Glenda S DeLillo
Thomas R Murray Jr. Dale L Hart John P Derham
Jonathan M Orens Amanda M Helwig Kay M DiCecco
* Albert Perry Kay Hock Andrew J Donohue
* James L Helsel Jr
Donald D Roth Erin K Hoobler James A Egan
parealtorpac.org Henry P Jacquelin
Rosemary Scardina Denise Johnson Elisabeth Endrizzi
Stanley J Lesniak
Debora Weidman-Phillips Charles Kahn Jr. Kerry Engle
2009 Investors * Ellen B Renish
Therese M Kelley
Ruth A Killian
John H Evans
Bruce A Faust Jr.
List last updated: June 4, 2009 Governor’s Club
Angelo D Guerra Dennis R Lawrence Becky Freeman
* denotes RPAC Trustee $500–999
Sally G Heimbrook Amy Y Ling F Marcia S Freeman
Eileen T Campbell Patricia J Long Janet Gallagher
$10,000 – $19,000 * John F Capers Deborah B Lowry Kenneth J Harper
Kit Anstey Eileen M Chaladoff Joseph E Mancuso John E Isselmann
Harry C Caparo Jr Gail A Christman Nicholas A Marziani Deborah James
* Ronald F Croushore Libbie A David Anne Marie Matteo Nancy H Jones
Diane S DeBaise Robert B Epps Anne M Matyjasik LouAnn Kenney
Lawrence F Flick IV Douglas S Fero Joseph M McGavin Michael F Klonis
Gregory S Herb Timothy C Graham Randy L Myer Wendy E Knorr
* Victoria M Lowry Robert J Hoobler George A Naylor Jr Darren R Kostival
William H Lublin Michael R McCann Joseph S O'Connor Theresa V Laskowski
Guy A Matteo William McFalls Jr. Carol C Palomera Virginia M Leaf
Mary Beth McDermott Patrick A McGee Jeanette M Perruso David M Mattes
* George E Raad Robert J Minnis Linda A Peters Larena E Mazurek
Robert T Ramagli Kathryn A Opperman Frank J Renaldi Jr. Salvatore Mazzocchi Jr
Charles G Roach Jr Christopher G Raad James P Ryal Shirley Boyd McNamara
* Kimberly G Skumanick Daniel J Seltzer Michael A Sabo Robert A Miller
Janice C Smarto Claire Shockey Susan E Seidel Mark Mohn
Joseph Tarantino Jr Natalie M Sitsis * Kimberly G Skumanick Norman J Moran Jr
Conrad Vanino Jr Jerry Y Speer James M Spagnolo Catherine M Morris
Viola E Thompson Todd H Umbenhauer Joyce Moser
Golden “R” Nicholas Vandekar David J Murphy Sr.
$5,000 Capitol Club Conrad Vanino Jr. Joyce E Murphy
($2,000 to Sustain) $250–499 Thomas G Weik Chris Nein
Allan Domb Steven L Westbrook Jean F Pedersen
Robert E Aldinger
Angelo D Guerra Conway S Williams Jr Linda J Pelkofer
Judith E Alignan
James L Helsel Jr. * Robert O Williams Laurel Lynn T Petolicchio
Raul A Azpiazu
Gregory S Herb Robert T Wood Karma Power
Ben S Beiler
Stanley J Lesniak Christopher J Zajacek Althea Ramsay
David I Brant
* George E Raad Cheryl F Rawlings
Frederick L Briggs
* Ellen B Renish $99 Club Jack L Rawlings
Marilou S Buffum
Gerald E Romanik
Sean Burke Members
Barbara G Samet
Crystal “R” Lisa Y Calhoun *$99 Club Members’ names are
Myra J Savich
Bernard J Campanella listed in The REALTOR® the month
$2,500 following their investment. Mary J Scherer
Shelby P Charles
($1,500 to Sustain) * Melissa A Sieg
Andre B Collins John R Adair
James E Bindschadler Eric G Angstadt Stephen Snell
Patricia L Copeland
* Victoria M Lowry William S Battles Allen C Sowers
Paul F Culley
Robert T Ramagli Ruthanne Belus Maureen T States
Janice C Smarto Leslie D Berger Kate Steffy
James A Dietrich
Thomas N Blefko Amy Trulik
Lawrence P DiFranco
Sterling “R” James E Bowersox Beverly Waring
Brandy L Fabry
Allan R Breitenbach Linda J Watt
$1,000 E. Leonard Ferber Jr.
Cindy Castner Hugo C Weber
Veronica Brockelman Margaret E Fink
Michael C Chaknos Mary White
Barbara A Capozzi Esq Douglas A Freeman
Peter J Champagne Shanna Wiest
* Suzette Colvin Sarah J Gallagher
Delphine T Clemens John P Wiga
* Paul G Garvey Robert F Garvin Jr
James R Clements Cathryn G Winghart
Sally G Heimbrook Edward M Goldston
Denise J Commings Kelli S Winwood
Frank J Jacovini Joseph L Goldston
Brenda Crosby Nancy R Wright
Henry P Jacquelin Pamela M Gothard
Della D Csehoski Linda Yaley
Guy A Matteo James E Grandon Jr.
John A Gross Tara Cutler
Joseph J McGettigan
William C Hall Gregory J Damis
Bette R McTamney
J U LY 2 0 0 9 P E N N S Y LVA N I A A S S O C I AT I O N O F R E A LT O R S ‰ I 1 1
Member Benefits Program
Preferred PARtners offer PAR members and their clients participate
for free in an online shopping web site.
Instant discounts from over 600 merchants.
savings on products and
Pearl’s insurance plan offers competitive
services members need. rates to meet REALTORS‰’ professional
liability needs. Pearl’s underwriter, XL
America, is rated A by A.M. Best.
Preferred PARtners is a benefit of PAR membership.
REALTORS‰ can save hundreds to thousands of dollars UPS offers PAR members up to a 28-percent
discount on shipping. REALTORS‰ save 10
depending on their choice of programs. percent on copying and office services at
The UPS Store.
The most up-to-date Preferred PARtners are listed
OfficeMax gives PAR members deep
at parealtor.org. Remember — services must be discounts on established core office
purchased through PAR’s web site to get any products purchased online or at its retail
stores. REALTORS‰ can also save on
member discount. printing services.
PAR members receive Hertz’s corporate
Advanced Access specializes in creating rate for car rentals and free enrollment in
comprehensive real estate web sites. the #1 Club Gold Service (a $50 value).
Members can save $200 on the Classic
Package web site solution.
AnnounceMyMove is a web-based tool REALTORS‰ can save 33 percent on Inman
allowing REALTORS‰ to create personalized, News, one of the real estate industry’s
online announcements for their clients. most-read publications.
Members save 22 percent on Platinum
PAR members receive discounts on
conference call services, e-mail blasts and
other technology-based communication
Avoid large fines by subscribing to
PossibleNow’s DNCQuickcheck, an easy-
to-use Internet-based service that helps
keep businesses compliant with state and
federal Do-Not-Call laws.
800.555. 3390 parealtor.org