NAR Forms Strong Cooperative Relationship with CFPB on ‘Know Before You Owe …

With the long-anticipated overhaul of mortgage disclosures and closing procedures recently in effect, consumers are looking to real estate professionals to help shepherd them through the transition. Recognizing this, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) asked the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) to help educate consumers about key steps in shopping for a mortgage and becoming successful homeowners.

The CFPB realizes that real estate agents (and REALTORS®, in particular) are trusted, consumer-friendly advisors. Therefore, NAR has established a strong cooperative relationship with the CFPB to help communicate the resources available to its members and to engage consumers and guide them through the new process. To support these efforts, the CFPB has developed an extensive collection of materials specifically designed for members of your brokerage office and the clients you serve.

Assisting Consumers
The “Know Before You Owe” mortgage initiative (which includes implementation of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule, often called TRID), is designed to empower consumers to make more informed mortgage choices, primarily by simplifying and consolidating some of the required loan disclosures and making it easier to conduct side-by-side lender comparisons.

There are several ways your agents can assist clients through the process:

• Encourage clients to think through their mortgage choices first.
• Once the property has been identified, encourage clients to apply for Loan Estimates from multiple lenders at the same time.
• Make sure clients indicate to the lender their intent to proceed.
• Be the source of accurate and timely information about the property and the transaction.
• Find out who provides the Closing Disclosure form and when/how clients will receive it.

New Home-Loan Toolkit
One significant CFPB resource is a new step-by-step guide that helps consumers define what affordable means to them, understand their credit, and pick the mortgage type and down payment that works for them. Encourage your agents to share this guide, which features interactive worksheets and conversation-starters for a deeper understanding of the mortgage market, with their clients.

Guidance on Disclosure Forms
Most real estate professionals will probably find the new Loan Estimate (replacing the Good Faith Estimate and the initial Truth in Lending statement) and the new Closing Disclosure (replacing the HUD-1 Settlement Statement and final Truth in Lending statement) fairly straightforward. However, to simplify the process of explaining the new forms to clients, the CFPB offers two interactive guides: Owning a Home: Loan Estimate and Owning a Home: Closing Disclosure.

Change is rarely easy, but once the new mortgage process is fully adopted, consumers should find it much easier to make informed and cost-saving mortgage decisions while retaining protections from lender abuse. Working together, NAR and its members—along with the CFPB—can support the success of future homeowners and improve their home-buying experience.

NEW! Your Home-Loan Toolkit: A Step-by-Step Guide
This comprehensive consumer-focused guide can be shared with your clients to assist them in shopping for and selecting a mortgage, offered as:

• Interactive Web tool
• Downloadable PDF files
• Customizable printed copies
• English and Spanish versions

Access the guide and other important CFPB resources here.

More information from NAR about TRID can be found here.

And the CFPB materials can be viewed here.

Joyner Fine Properties’ owner elected president of state Realtor group – Richmond Times



Bill White has been President/Owner of Joyner Fine Properties.

Posted: Wednesday, October 7, 2015 10:52 am

Joyner Fine Properties’ owner elected president of state Realtor group

Richmond Times-Dispatch

Richmond Times-Dispatch

William “Bill” A. White Jr., president and owner of Joyner Fine Properties, was elected Wednesday as the 2016 president of the Virginia Association of Realtors at the organization’s annual convention in Williamsburg.

White, a former president of the Richmond Association of Realtors, is the first member of the local association to become president of the statewide group since Jack Torza, associate broker at Long Foster, held the post in 2000.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015 10:52 am.

SVAR Realtors, affiliates mix, mingle and compete for a cause

Posted Oct. 7, 2015 at 2:01 AM

Century 21 Town & Country President Recognized with National Association of …

Century 21 Real Estate LLC recently announced John Kersten, president of Century 21 Town Country in Utica, Mich., was presented with the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Good Neighbor Award for his dedication and commitment to serving his community through his work with Easter Seals, the philanthropic partner of CENTURY 21®. In the past two decades alone, Kersten and his brokerage firm have raised more than $14.6 million that has been donated to Easter Seals.

“I accept this award on behalf of the work Easter Seals does on behalf of families and children living with disabilities to live, work and play in their communities,” says Kersten, after hearing the news. “To be mentioned in such great company with these other Good Neighbor finalists is a tremendous honor as their work, too, is helping to build better communities around the country.”

“The selflessness demonstrated by John speaks volumes about his leadership skills and his ability to mobilize people for a common cause,” says Rick Davidson, president and chief executive officer of Century 21 Real Estate LLC. “John has always been a ‘Good Neighbor’ to the CENTURY 21® System, and we are proud to have him represent our brand.”

Two decades ago, Kersten began hosting rubber ducky races to raise money for Easter Seals. Today, John and his team hold at least five fundraisers a year, including annual drawings that feature Chevrolet Corvette and Cadillac CTS as prizes.

“John Kersten embodies philanthropy through his engagement of other like-minded donors and volunteers, the contributions generated by his entire team’s efforts, and the impact they’ve had on families living with disabilities in the community. On behalf of all those who’ve benefited from his generosity at Easter Seals, we’d like to congratulate John for winning this well-deserved award,” Randy Rutta, President CEO, Easter Seals Inc.

Led by the National Association of REALTORS® and REALTOR® Magazine, this year marks the 16th anniversary of the Good Neighbor Awards program, which aims to honor REALTORS® for donating their time, money and passion to enrich the lives of the people in the communities in which they live and work.

Kersten is among the five winners who were named from a list of ten finalists and will receive a $10,000 grant for their community charity as well as a feature in the November/December issue of REALTOR Magazine. The winners will also receive travel expenses to the 2015 REALTORS® Conference Expo in San Diego, where they will accept their awards in front of thousands of their peers. In addition, five honorable mentions will receive a $2,500 grant.

For more information, visit

NAR CEO speaks to local Realtors

KENT NARROWS — As the sun began to set behind the Chesapeake on Wednesday, Sept. 23, members of the Bay Area Association of Realtors gathered at Bridges Restaurant for the group’s 2015 legislative reception.

Members of the local organization listened to the chief executive officer of the National Association of Realtors and elected and appointed state representatives speak about real estate and home ownership issues while eating, drinking and mingling.

For the first time ever, Bill Stinton, CEO of NAR and the event’s guest of honor, traveled from the organization’s headquarters in Chicago, Ill., to the Eastern Shore to meet and speak with the local chapter.

“The fact that he has taken time to visit with us today is certainly one of the highlights of BAAR’s 40 year history,” BAAR President Michelle Abplanalp said.

The national organization, which consists of about 1.2 million members and has about 1,400 associations throughout the United States, is the voice of real estate and consists of residential and commercial Realtors, brokers, property managers and anyone involved in the industry.

“I come to these things because you’re the lifeblood of the organization,” Stinton said. “You are what the National Association of Realtors is meant to be, and it’s the reason that we come to work every day to try and do as much as we can to help you out.”

Md. 36th-District Del. Jeff Ghrist told the local organization they have a voice in Annapolis because both he and fellow 36th-District Del. Steve Arentz are Realtors and members of BAAR.

“You have a trained eye in Annapolis to look out after our needs, but again, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done” he said. “Affordable housing: the governor still has a lot of work to be done on some of the best available technologies … these things that make homeownership more expensive. Those are the things that are on our agenda.”

Arentz said he is proud to represent the Realtors and to be doing work that affects the profession. He said he supports the Realtors’ agenda and because he sits on the economic matters committee he sees bills relating to realty industry often and said if anyone wants to help address realty issues or work to put legislation in place to contact him. “Let’s get proactive with this,” he said.

The toll reductions throughout the state that occurred when Gov. Larry Hogan took office have helped the Eastern Shore in multiple ways, state Sen. Steve Hershey said, especially in being able to attract people over to the Shore and then selling them homes once they’ve visited.

In order to draw people to this region to purchase properties and homes, 36th District Del. Jay Jacobs stressed the importance of economic development and its role with the real estate industry.

“We’re in a position right now where things are looking much more positive in Annapolis for us to be able to help you,” Jacobs said. “We have a governor who really cares about economic development and real estate and attracting people here. We need economic development in order to fuel that.”

Jacobs, who sits on the environment and transportation committee, said it deals with a lot of the foreclosure legislation and homeowner association issues and “quite frankly, we’ve had a belly full of it,” he said. “… We’re looking at a lot of different aspects in the upcoming session that would really be helpful in getting business over here, getting people looking at our real estate … and making their home here in God’s country.”

Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, director of the office of intergovernmental affairs, said Hogan has a “special heart for Realtors” because of the business he comes from. Before getting into legislation and becoming an elected official, the governor founded Hogan Companies, a commercial real estate company.

Stinton said the National Association of Realtors is constantly monitoring major federal issues, 38 of them to be exact, that have to deal with patten controls, fee regulations, environmental issues and commercial issues.

About five years ago, Stinton said, the national organization created the Realtor Party to help educate voters about issues that affect property owners, to support policies and regulations that aid and advance home ownership and to invest and contribute to candidates that support real estate issues.

“We have a pretty strong voice when it comes to our communities and the issues that affect them,” Stinton said.

Out of the 1,400 local realty organizations nationwide, Stinton only visits about two a year.

“It was exciting to have him visit with us,” said Robert Friday, executive vice president of BAAR. “As one of the smallest boards in Maryland, to have someone of his caliber know who and where we are, and know that he could call on us any time, really helps put Bay Area and the Eastern Shore on the national radar for Realtors.”

For more information about BAAR, visit

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New boss at Minneapolis Realtors’ group beings an outside perspective

For the first time in 16 years, the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors (MAAR) has a new CEO. Bill Wald took the helm at the association, the state’s largest professional association for real estate agents, on Sept. 1. After a nearly yearlong national search, Wald was recruited from the American Association of Diabetes Educators, where he was vice president of corporate relations and development. Previously, he was CEO of the Chicago-based Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO), which works with domestic and international compliance officials who regulate the real estate industry. Wald was also senior director for business, professional development and standards for the Chicago Association of Realtors, where he helped establish the Center for Realtors Professional Development and the Business Development Department, which focused on increasing non-dues revenue and developing corporate partnerships. Here’s what Wald had to say about the Twin Cities and his new role after a month on the job:

Q: You’ve been involved with association management and nonprofits for more than 23 years. What do you know about the real estate business?

A: I’ve been a broker since 2009, when I started at the Chicago Area Association of Realtors. I had to become a managing broker; it was part of my job.

Q: Were you active in the market?

A: I didn’t do it full-time. I worked mainly with buyers. I worked for a boutique brokerage, so my clients were either people we knew, or firemen and policemen and a lot of veterans.

Q: What’s your connection to the military?

Bill Wald

Hometown: Lisle, Ill. “I grew up there when it was just cornfields, so I’m a small-town person at heart.”

Education: Bachelor’s degree, Western Illinois University; master’s degree, Roosevelt University; MBA, Benedictine University. Finishing master’s in public policy at Northwestern.

Pets: Dog Sparky, rescued from a family that lost a home to foreclosure and could not keep him.

Hobbies: Golf, watch rugby (he used to play) and keep up with politics.

A: I come from a military family, so I submitted a proposal to the National Association of Realtors for the “Heroes Welcome Home” program. It educates Realtors on the physical and mental disabilities that the men and women are incurring in Iraq and Afghanistan. I wanted to put curriculum together to educate Realtors so they could know what they had gone through or if they have any special needs. The survival rate with this war is the highest it’s ever been, so you have a lot more people coming back with higher rates of injury. It still exists.

Q: What was appealing about the MAAR job?

A: MAAR has an excellent reputation on a national level. After the recruiter called, I did my homework and I was impressed. And I’m still impressed. Frankly, the other thing that sold me on this is what the MAAR foundation does and the way they give back to the community. I’m a cause person, and to see the causes they support, I believe in that. And you got to believe in where you work.

Q: Based on first impressions, anything unique about the housing market in the Twin Cities compared with downtown Chicago?

A: The low unemployment rate, and that has everything to do with housing — it’s phenomenal. The inventory here is so low and is dropping, leading to multiple offers. That competitiveness is not as visual or as common [in Chicago] as it is here.

Q: Is that why you’re now a renter?

A: The Twin Cities is so much more competitive than the Chicago market. In Chicago, I could have found a home within 30 days and closed on it. Here, it’s so competitive you really have to take time to buy a home.

Q: Anything else that was unique about it?

A: The metro area is so spread out. The properties here are not so dense, so you don’t have houses on top of houses the way you do in suburban Chicago, so you’re getting more house for the dollar. It was also interesting to see that property taxes here are about even with suburban Chicago. Nothing can compare to the taxes in downtown Chicago.

Q: Will property taxes become a legislative issue for you?

A: I don’t know. I haven’t had the time to dive into that issue as much as I want to. It’s basically an observation.

Q: There’s been occasional speculation that there could be a consolidation between MAAR and the St. Paul Area Association of Realtors (SPAAR), is that something you’d endorse?

A: No. I don’t have enough info to endorse something like that and if it’s not broken, why try to fix it? I don’t think St. Paul is interested in that and I’d leave that kind of decision up to the boards. In my short time here, and knowing what SPAAR does and what MAAR does, I don’t think it’s necessary at this time.

Q: What are your short-term priorities for MAAR?

A: To watch and listen. There’s already a budget in place for 2016. I’ll do some new public relations for the association. I think some of the most important things are education resources, maintaining our public policy stances and giving support to the staff. They’ve been without a leader for a long time. You can’t be a bull in a china shop and want to change the world.


Jim Buchta 612-673-7376


Realtors group spends $56K on DM council race

A national real estate organization spent $56,332.05 in August to support Linda Westergaard‘s campaign for Des Moines City Council.

Money from the National Association of Realtors was spent on mailers, phone calls, and online and radio advertisements, according to an independent expenditure report filed Friday with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board.

Westergaard, a local Realtor, is one of two candidates running for the Ward 2 seat, which covers the northeast side of Des Moines.

When reached by phone Friday, Westergaard said she was unaware the association had spent the money on her behalf. She said she is a member of the National Association of Realtors, as well as the second vice president of the Des Moines Area Association of Realtors, but that she did not solicit the expenditure.

Westergaard said she soon plans to send out direct mailers that she paid for with money she has raised.

“I need to call them up and tell them ‘thank you,’” she said. “This is the first I’m hearing of it.”

In a statement e-mailed later in the day, Westergaard said the outside expenditure will not influence her campaign and she will “continue to be an independent voice” for the residents of Ward 2.

Gerald Allen, managing director of campaign services for the National Association of Realtors, did not return a message seeking comment.

Westergaard’s challenger, small business owner Marty Mauk, said such a large amount of outside money spent on a local election is “concerning.” He said the amount is likely more than he will spend during his entire campaign.

Mauk declined to disclose how much he has raised prior to the first reporting deadline on Oct. 15.

“Everything I’m doing is very local, very feet-on-the-ground kind of thing,” he said. “I’ve never sought that kind of money. I don’t think it belongs in local politics.”

This is not the first time the National Association of Realtors, which is based in Chicago, has spent thousands on a Des Moines City Council candidate. In 2013, Chris Diebel received $57,200 from the organization. Westergaard was co-chair of his campaign. He lost that at-large seat to Skip Moore.

The Des Moines city election is Nov. 3.

NAR President Chris Polychron on Know Before You Owe: "The Hard Work Continues"

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ – The following is a statement by National Association of Realtors® President Chris Polychron in advance of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Know Before You Owe TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure, or TRID, going into effect tomorrow, October 3:

“Realtors® across the country have worked hard to prepare for the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure, which goes into effect tomorrow.

Chris Polychron, a Realtor(r) from Hot Springs, Ark., is the 2015 President of the National Association of Realtors(r). NAR, The Voice for Real Estate(r), is America's largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. A Realtor(r) for 27 years, Chris is an executive broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, specializing in residential and commercial brokerage.

Chris Polychron, a Realtor(r) from Hot Springs, Ark., is the 2015 President of the National Association of Realtors(r). NAR, The Voice for Real…

“NAR has been in close contact with the CFPB throughout this process to advocate changes that would address Realtor® concerns, like moving implementation from August 1 to October 3 to accommodate the busy buying and selling season. NAR also applauds CFPB Director Richard Cordray for committing this week in writing and in congressional testimony to a safe-harbor period for good-faith actors in the early stages of implementation.

“For all the good work that has been done, we know there will be challenges ahead, especially in the first few months.

“That means that as these new rules take effect, the hard work to deliver timely and efficient closings continues; extra time for closings and open lines of communication will be critical. NAR will continue to communicate Realtors®’ and their clients’ concerns to the CFPB and help ensure the new rules are carried out with as little disruption as possible to consumers and the industry.

“At the same time, Realtors® will continue providing expert service to their clients and playing a critical role in helping consumers everywhere achieve their buying, selling and investing objectives.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Information about NAR is available at This and other news releases are posted in the “News, Blogs and Videos” tab on the website. 

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SOURCE National Association of Realtors

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Greater Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton realtors associations merge – Wilkes Barre Times

Adonizio III


PLAINS TWP. — Two realtor associations will soon join forces to create a larger, county-wide group called the Luzerne County Association of Realtors.

The combining of the Greater Wilkes-Barre and Greater Hazelton realtors’ associations comes as the Wilkes-Barre group celebrates 100 years in existence.

Charles Adonizio III, insurance broker and founder of Atlas Realty, Inc. in Pittston and president of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Realtors Association, said the merger has been underway since the beginning of the year.

The Greater Wilkes-Barre Association of Realtors was formed in 1915 and serves all of Luzerne County.

The decision to merge was voted on and approved by Greater Wilkes-Barre Association of Realtors committee members. Adonizio signed the paperwork to officially change the name on Oct. 1, exactly 100 years after the association was formed.

“We were formed Oct. 1, 1915 and the same day, we’re starting the new association,” he said. “It’s the last day of our 100 years as the Greater Wilkes-Barre Association of Realtors, and the first day of our next however many years as the Luzerne County Association of Realtors.”

Adonizio stated the Greater Hazleton group was unable to meet certain criteria required by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which, according to its website, represents over 1.1 million residential and commercial real estate agencies.

“(The NAR) requires the associations to meet certain criteria to keep up with their franchise like the number of agents, the level of service, the education — all of these are requirements to keep the franchise going,” said Adonizio. “Well, Hazleton was having trouble because they were on the smaller side, only having about 125 members, and were having trouble keeping up with all the requirements of the National Association of Realtors. It was suggested that they not renew their association status and that they look for a merger partner.”

Adonizio said Greater Hazleton searched for other merging partners in places like Scranton and Schuylkill County, but elected to go with Greater Wilkes-Barre to remain in Luzerne County.

Adonizio stressed the Greater Wilkes-Barre Realtors Association is not buying out the Greater Hazleton location.

“What we’re doing is just taking over their territory in what is called a ‘jurisdictional merger,’” he said. “It’s happening right now and most, if not all, of the Hazleton members have joined our association. Basically, they wound down their operations and joined ours. In a sense, we haven’t absorbed them, just taken over their territory.”

While the merger is not complete, Adonizio expects everything will be finalized by the end of October. Greater Hazleton Realtor Association employees will continuing working out of the Hazleton offices.

By Jimmy Fisher

[email protected]

Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher


Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher

Housing numbers are down from July

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Statistics reported to the REALTORS Association of New Mexico (RANM) indicate that while August sales numbers are down from July 2015, the 1,705 total sales during August 2015 represents a 5.3% increase from sales reported in August 2014. Median prices continue their upward trend.  August 2015 median was $185,000. This number is nearly 2% higher than the July 2015 median of $181,500 and 4.5% higher than the August 2014 median of $177,000. Median price indicates half the properties sold for more, half for less.

“While rising median prices are great news for sellers, according to research from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, affordability is falling,” says RANM President Baro Shalizi. “Housing markets with low inventory levels may continue to experience rising home prices, however, improvement in job creation and steady income gains are necessary to offset major price growth and keep homes affordable. Mortgage applications are currently down for new and existing homes. This trend is partly seasonal; partly a sign that rising rates and rising home prices are having an impact on affordability.”

“The residential real estate market continues to play an important role in New Mexico’s economy,” according to M. Steven Anaya, RANM CEO. “The August volume of $393,286,742 is only a part of the economic activity created by home sales, as every sale also results in activity in the  home improvement, furniture, insurance, title service, and moving sectors.

The trends and numbers reported are only a snapshot of market activity. If you are interested in buying or selling, consult a REALTOR familiar with your market area; he/she can provide information on specific trends in your neighborhood.

Current reporting participants are: Greater Albuquerque Association of REALTORS, Las Cruces Association of REALTORS MLIS, New Mexico Multi-Board MLS (Artesia, Carlsbad, Clovis/Portales, Deming, Gallup, Grants, Hobbs, Las Vegas, Sierra County areas), Otero County Board of REALTORS, Roswell Association of REALTORS, Ruidoso/Lincoln County Association of REALTORS, Santa Fe Association of REALTORS, San Juan County Board of REALTORS, Silver City Regional Association of REALTORS, and the Taos County Association of REALTORS. Reports represent single family residential data only.  Information does not necessarily represent all activity in any market/county.  Figures based on reports run 9/16/15.  Visit (housing trends) for county statistics.

The REALTORS Association of New Mexico is one of the state’s largest trade associations, representing over 5,500 members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate market.