Subject: GMAR June Report Online
Date: Thu, Jun 01, 2006

Volume 3, Issue 6
Thursday June 1, 2006

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Detroit Tigers

Monday, June 19th
4:30 PM Tailgate, 7:05 PM Game

Invite your friends, clients, co-workers to join you at this fun event. Tickets are limited and are going fast--so don't wait to order.

For $35.00, you not only receive your game ticket, but live entertainment by Scott Bush's band, "The Steelheads", and a catered dinner by Ellen's.

Thank you to our sponsors:
  • HomeSale Realty
  • Professional Insurance Programs, Inc.
  • Second Look Home Inspections
  • USB Mortgage


Brewers Bash 2006 Flyer.pdf


Hi Everyone,

Summer 2006 is finally here and the MLS production results for this spring were quite impressive. Through April, listing inventory was as strong as ever and closed transactions are mirroring the activity we posted in 2004 (a record breaking year at that point). Despite doom and gloom reports from other parts of the country, the Midwest market is proving to be strong.

Last week I returned from Washington D.C. and the National Association of REALTORS® Mid-Year Legislative Meetings. I met with and personally asked for the support of Senator Russ Feingold and Congressman James Sensenbrenner on the Small Business Health Care Bill. This legislation would allow association member companies and independent contractors to access more affordable health care options. Although the bill did pass the House of Representatives, it narrowly failed in the Senate. NAR plans to continue to fight for passage of this bill through the summer.

Other important actions taken at these meetings were to extend and enhance the REALTOR® Public Awareness Campaign that has proven to be very effective. NAR will increase dues by $10 for 2007 to continue the campaign.

I would like to invite you to attend the “NARdi Gras” REALTOR® Conference & Expo this fall in New Orleans. Your physical presence at this event will send a huge message of hope and caring to all the REALTORS® in the area. If you like, you can also participate in the rebuilding effort by working on one of 54 homes NAR will build along the Gulf Coast. Please check your calendars and make the commitment to join us this fall. Click here for more information and to register for the conference.

Until next time, best wishes.

Scott Heyerdahl
Chairman of the Board

P.S. If you have not contributed to the Direct Giver Fund, please write out a personal check for $100.00 and send it to the GMAR, 12300 W. Center Street, Wauwatosa, WI 53012. Your check will create a “political savings account” for you to use to make contributions to elected officials of your choice. For more information contact Marne Stück at the GMAR at or 414-778-4929.


Ironwood Golf Course in Sussex, WI is the site of GMAR's Annual Golf Outing on Tuesday, July 18th.

A fun-filled day is planned starting at 10:00 a.m. with registration, raffle selections and a putting contest. The putting green and driving range will be open.

Lunch is at 10:30 a.m. followed by a shotgun start at 11:30 a.m. Contests will be held on various holes to keep it interesting the entire time.

End the day with more networking and a wonderful grilled filet and shrimp buffet catered by Bunzel's. Awards and prizes will be distributed and you will be on your way home by 6:30 p.m.

The entire package of lunch, golf and dinner is only $125.00. If you can't stay for dinner, the cost is $95.00. Dinner only is $35.00.

Raffle - Consider donating an item for our raffle -- be creative! All donors will be recognized and proceeds of the raffle will benefit the GMAR Youth Foundation. If you have something you'd like to donate, email Judy Huschka at

To register for the golf outing, click on the link below and download the form. You may fax it in with a MasterCard or Visa or mail it with your check.

Sponsorships - Consider being a sponsor. A great way to get your name in front of nearly 200 golfers, plus the exposure on the GMAR website. Click here for more information.

Hope to see you July 18th!

Golf Flyer.pdf


Sign Ordinance Issue

Early in May, in an effort to keep you informed of the sign ordinances in the areas you conduct business, the GMAR compiled a database of sign ordinances for the top 25 local municipalities. (The top 25 was based on MLS data of average sale price and number of homes sold.)

If you haven’t done so already, please visit GMAR’s website in the Public Policy section to view the Sign Ordinance Information. We will also be adding information on municipalities and their code compliance requirements soon.

Reminder to please contribute to the Direct Giver Program today!

With the Fall Elections quickly approaching, please remember to send in your Direct Giver contribution soon. For more information on the Direct Giver Program, please visit GMAR’s website under the Public Policy section.


Case Interpretation Relating to Article 15 (Knowingly or Recklessly Making False Statements About Competitors)

REALTOR® A operated a residential brokerage firm in a highly competitive market area. He frequently used information from the MLS as the basis for comparative ads and to keep close track of his listing and sales activity as well as his competition.

One day, while reviewing MLS data and comparing it to a competitor’s ad, REALTOR® A noticed that REALTOR® Z had used a diagram to demonstrate his market share, contrasting it with those of several other firms. The ad showed that REALTOR® A had listed 10% of the properties in the MLS over the past three months.

REALTOR® A thought this was low. His analysis of MLS data showed his market share was 11%. REALTOR® A filed an ethics complaint against REALTOR® Z citing Article 15 of the Code of Ethics in that REALTOR® Z’s “obviously understated market share claim” was a “misleading statement about competitors.” REALTOR® A’s complaint was considered by the Grievance Committee which determined that an ethics hearing should be held.

At the hearing, REALTOR® Z testified he had always been truthful in his advertising and that all claims were based in fact. He produced an affidavit from the Board’s MLS administrator which indicated that a programming error had resulted in miscalculations and, after careful recomputation, REALTOR® A’s market share over the past three months had been 10.9%. The administrator’s statement noted that this was the first time that information related to REALTOR® A’s listings or sales had been misstated on the system. “I relied on information from the MLS. It’s always been accurate and I had no reason to even suspect it was wrong last month,” said REALTOR® Z in his defense.

The Hearing Panel agreed with REALTOR® Z’s logic, noting that a REALTOR® should be able to rely on generally accurate information from reliable sources. They reasoned that if, on the other hand, the MLS had shown REALTOR® A having, for example, 1% of the market, then REALTOR® Z’s reliance on the information would have been “reckless” because REALTOR® A had generally had a 10–15% market share and a reasonable conclusion would have been that the information from the MLS was seriously flawed.

The Hearing Panel concluded that REALTOR® Z’s comparison with his competitors, while slightly inaccurate, was based on usually accurate and reliable information and had been made in good faith and while technically “misleading,” had not been “knowing” or “reckless”. REALTOR® Z was found not to have violated Article 15.


Be sure to check out the Service Directory on the GMAR website. We have added many new listings in the last few weeks.

Visit this site when looking for any of the following services--we encourage you to use these fellow GMAR members, if possible.
  • Appraisers
  • Business Brokers
  • Communications
  • Financial
  • Home Inspections
  • Home Warranties
  • Insurance
  • Legal Services
  • Mortgage Companies
  • Movers
  • Property Management
  • Publications
  • Real Estate Management
  • Repair Services/Remodeling
  • Signage
  • Technology
  • Title Companies



The License Law Modernization Act, signed into law by Governor Doyle last December, revises the information that real estate brokers must disclose to consumers about agency relationships. Starting July 1, 2006, new forms must be used when entering a new agency relationship.

The WRA has created 3 different forms so that every party receives the most effective agency disclosure possible.

Broker Disclosure to Clients (WRABDCL - this form contains the mandatory language for clients. This language will eventually appear in the revised listing contracts and buyer agency agreements developed by the Department of Regulation and Licensing (expected in 2007).

Broker Disclosure to Customers (WRABDCU - this form is for consumers not entering into a client relationship. The customer does not need to determine the type of agency relationship desired and sign an agreement or disclosure form until he or she is ready to negotiate.

Broker Disclosure to Non-Residential Customers (WRABDNC
- This form is similar to the Broker Disclosure to Customers form but it does not have a section for the party to acknowledge receipt of the form in writing. Written acknowledgement of the party's receipt need not be requested if the transaction does not involve property used, or intended to be used (e.g., a vacant lot in a subdivision) for one-to four-family residential purposes.

All 3 forms are available as of June 1, 2006 at Wisconsin Real Estate Supply. Stop in at 12300 W. Center Street or order online

Prices are as follows:
  • 25 = $6.50
  • 50 = $12.50
  • 100 = $24.00


Stop in at Wisconsin Real Estate Supply, 12300 W. Center Street, to take advantage of our grand reopening special during the month of June.

The store has been spruced up with a new counter, paint and carpeting and we'd like you to see it! For every $10 you spend in the store, we'll give you a free rider (limit 10).

We're open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Offer ends June 30, 2006.


Mark your Calendars for the Downtown Milwaukee Housing Expo & Open House

The Greater Milwaukee Association of REALTORS® and Milwaukee Downtown Business Improvement District #21 will host the sixth annual Downtown Milwaukee Housing Expo & Open House on Saturday, September 16, 2006 at Pere Marquette Park in downtown Milwaukee.

Showcasing the explosion of housing options available to prospective urban dwellers, this free event is held in conjunction with the Milwaukee River Challenge, a high-speed rowing competition that brings together teams from across the nation to race in a 2.2-mile bi-directional course along the Milwaukee River.

It all begins in Pere Marquette Park at the housing expo with booths showcasing projects in and around downtown, including those proposed, under construction or recently completed. In addition, there will be booths featuring information on home lending and the many amenities of downtown living including representatives from area arts and culture groups who can provide visitors with inside information on the downtown lifestyle.

Numerous downtown area apartments and condominiums will also be holding open houses so visitors can tour a variety of the residences. Free transportation will be provided from the housing expo to the various open house events with Public Service Ambassadors narrating downtown amenities and points of interest along the way.

Watch your mail for additional information on how to showcase your downtown projects by including your properties on the tour or by signing up for a booth at Pere Marquette Park. Contact Joanna Tusing at 414-778-4929 or via email at


The order form for the 2nd Quarter Comparable Sold Books is now available. THERE IS NO PRICE INCREASE FROM 2005.

Please return your completed order form with payment, INCLUDING SALES TAX, to GMAR by June 30th.

Click on the link to print the order form.

Comp Book Order Form4.doc


Helpful information is available for your clients on disposing of hazardous waste including leftover paint, pesticides, etc. and safe ways to dispose of it. We have information for both Milwaukee and Waukesha counties.

The flyers are available on our website or you can stop in at the GMAR office to pick up a supply.


Rebuilding America coordinates volunteers to rehabilitate the homes of elderly and disabled homeowners. On May 20th, members of the GMAR participated in Rebuilding America and worked together to repair, beautify, and make the home of Darlene Harris in Milwaukee a safer place to live.

Special thanks to the following sponsoring companies for contributing financially and supplying workers:

  • Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
  • First Realty, GMAC
  • Ogden, the Real Estate Company
  • First Weber Group, Realtors
  • Realty Executives Integrity
  • RE/MAX Realty 100
  • Shorewest REALTORS
  • Stefaniak Group LLC
  • HomeSale Realty


Listed below are a few of the upcoming programs being offered in the Milwaukee area for continuing education.

  • June 14 - CE3:New Developments (2005-2006) - Country Springs - 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • June 14 - CE4B:2006 Agency Law Revisions-Bringing the Law to the Practice - Country Springs - 1:30-5:00 p.m.
  • June 15 - CE1:Issue Relating to Use of App Form-Agency Agts (2005-2006) - WICPA - 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • June 15 - CE2:Issues Re Use of App Forms-Conveyance Documents (2005-2006) - WICPA - 1:30-5:00 p.m.
  • July 13 - CE3:New Developments (2005-2006) - WICPA - 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • July 13 - CE4B:2006 Agency Law Revisions-Bringing the Law to the Practice - WICPA - 1:30-5:00 p.m.
For more information on these and other courses as well as certification courses, visit the WRA website


The Greater Milwaukee Association of REALTORS® Youth Foundation awarded nine $500 college scholarships. Children and grandchildren of GMAR members are eligible.

Congratulations to the following 2006 Recipients:

Student.................................. GMAR Member Parent

Melinda Clark/Mathew Clark... Robert Clark, Realty Executives
Lara Berland........................... William Berland, Homestead Realty
Lindsay Lee Burich.................. Ray Burich, Homesale Realty
Ben Mullikin/Martin Mullikin...... Pat Mullikin, Homesale Realty
Joslyn Rosen........................... Ronald Rosen, Ronald Rosen Real Estate Inc
Katelyn Matthews................... John Matthews, Mortgage Consultants, Inc
Shelby Wallis.......................... Patricia Wallis, Mollgaard Company

Youth Foundation Scholarships will again be available January 2007.


NAR Counsel Lays Down Laws for Real Estate Brokers

Most lawsuits against brokers involve allegations of misrepresentation

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

By Glenn Roberts Jr.
Inman News

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Misrepresentation claims continue to be the largest source of legal troubles for real estate brokers, accounting for about two-thirds of all litigation, said Laurie Janik, general counsel for the National Association of REALTORS® trade group. Real estate agency laws, antitrust laws, and the federal Fair Housing Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act are also a potential source for lawsuits.

Janik, speaking today during a risk management and license law session at an annual REALTOR® conference in Washington, D.C., also noted that most lawsuits against brokers are brought by buyers. Real estate brokers prevail in about two-thirds of the cases brought against them that go to trial, Janik said, according to association statistics for the past decade. And successful lawsuits against brokers relating to Fair Housing Act violations, breach of fiduciary duties and antitrust violations typically rack up the largest damage amounts.

There are three types of misrepresentations: fraudulent, negligent and innocent. While state laws can vary, brokers generally have less liability when they unknowingly misrepresent something about a property they are working to sell for their client. In Wisconsin and Washington, D.C., though, brokers can be held for innocent misrepresentation, Janik said.

A misrepresentation must involve a material fact, not just an opinion, Janik said. And failure to disclose facts about the condition of a property is a close cousin to misrepresentation, she said. "When in doubt, disclose." Seller disclosure forms should be filled out completely by home sellers, she said, and should not be a guessing game.

It's not always enough for listing agents and brokers to simply rely on information they receive from sellers, though. In California, for example, listing agents must perform a visual inspection of their clients' properties themselves to help ensure their clients do not omit or misrepresent the condition.

Agents and brokers should not make any statements about future market conditions, Janik also said. "Don't say anything like, 'This well will never run dry.' It's a sure recipe for disaster," she said.

Listing brokers can sometimes be dismissed from lawsuits brought by buyers in a transaction because they do not owe fiduciary duties to buyers, and brokers representing buyers should take note of their potential liability as it relates to the duties they owe their clients, she said. "This is the start of a trend ... the buyer's agent may see some increased liability."

While real estate agents are supposed to describe real estate agency laws and explain the nature of their representation to clients, Janik said that the association's own study shows that a high percentage of consumers don't recall receiving any form of agency disclosure from their agents. "I'm not saying they weren't made. Clearly they weren't memorable. It's very important that buyers know who is representing them in a transaction, especially if dealing with a listing agent or listing agent's office."

The volume of Fair Housing Act-related claims against real estate brokers increased 8 percent in 2005 compared to the prior year, Janik said, and 38 percent of cases involved charges of racial discrimination while 40 percent were related to disabilities. Janik cited a case involving language in rules at a multi-family complex that was found to discriminate against families with children.

The REALTOR® group amended one of the standards of practice in its ethics code this year to state that, "when involved in the sale or lease of a residence, REALTORS® shall not volunteer information regarding the racial, religious or ethnic composition of any neighborhood nor shall they engage in any activity which may result in panic selling, however, REALTORS® may provide other demographic information."

If a client asks a REALTOR® to find a home in a racially diverse neighborhood, for example, REALTORS® are not required by law to identify a racially diverse neighborhood for their clients, Janik said.

On the topic of antitrust law, Janik said that any agreements between competitors that produce unreasonable restraints of trade is an antitrust violation, and any price-fixing agreement is also illegal. "You must act independently. I would hope that the independent business decisions that you're making are consistent with your own best business interests," she said. An agreement among competitors not to do business with a new company in town based on its pricing, business model or other factors is also an antitrust violation.

With RESPA (the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act), a federal law that restricts real estate brokers from giving or receiving any form of gift or special compensation for referrals from settlement services companies, brokers must be careful not to accept or give anything of value that could be viewed as payment for received or expected referral business, Janik said. Likewise, payment for service that exceeds the fair market value of the service "is going to be viewed as a kickback," she said.

When a real estate brokerage is affiliated with other real estate-related companies, brokers must disclose that relationship to consumers and make it clear to consumers that they are not required to use these affiliated services.

Also during the conference session, Bob Myroniuk, president of the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials, discussed common types of complaints that real estate regulators receive.

Complaints about a broker's failure to disclose the correct square footage, lot size or age of improvements at a property are not uncommon, he said. Some consumers also complain that they weren't aware of pending zoning changes or street widening projects, for example, when they bought their homes.

Disputes have also arisen over the delivery of a verbal price offer by an agent rather than delivering the offer by hand or by fax, he said.

And he agreed that consumers don't always realize the role of their agents in a transaction. "It's just a matter of taking the extra time to make sure that clients understand your role in the transaction. Communication is probably the way to resolve many of these issues, Myroniuk said.


Do You Have Clients Who Are Not Receiving Your FlexMLS Email?

The vast majority of these problems are spam filters on the client side of the email. Because MLS regularly sends out a great number of FlexMLS emails, both manually and automatically, they are most often seen as spam; thus various ISP's and email programs block the emails, because they are seen as spam.

If you have a client that is experiencing this, have them add the address to either their address book and/or their Allow/Safe list (the options depend upon what service or email program they are using). This normally earmarks MLS as 'safe' and the emails are allowed through.

Also, ask them if they have a Junk Mail folder. If so, tell them to check in there for MLS 'lost' emails. Some services will route these 'questionable' emails into that folder instead of blocking or deleting them, so you have a choice on what can stay and what goes.

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12300 W. Center Street, Milwaukee, WI 53222
Phone: 414-778-4929 Fax: 414-778-4920

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