Welcome to the official blog of the Ann Arbor Area Board of REALTORS®. The AAABoR is an association of over 800 REALTOR® and Affiliate members who live and work in the cities, towns, villages and communities of Washtenaw County. The Board's goal is to advocate excellence in the real estate industry by delivering services, programs, and information to REALTORS® that enhance their ability to professionally serve the community. _______________________________________________________________

Post courtesy of PJ Moffett, Real Estate One, City of Ypsilanti City Wide Open House Coordinator.

Based upon counts turned in from the real estate agents hosting open houses; we had an average attendance of 5.8 buyers through each open house last Saturday.  This did not include the 30 people on the WHEP class bus tour. Our guesstimate for individuals touring homes is 100 people plus the 30 people  in the WHEP class. 

The WHEP homebuyers class was held at Spark East in conjunction with the open house event.  the 30 class participants were taken on a bus tour , stopping at 6 homes for a quick tour.  These WHEP buyers are at the beginning of the process and should be qualified buyers in the next 6 to 12 months.  Here is the link to the WHEP program  Sam Brown of Community Housing Alternatives joined us for the WHEP bus tour to explain the financing side of the program

Our host agents turned in a survey.  Here are a few of the comments: 

·         Very well organized.  ·         Appreciated meeting and talking with a city police officer about community policing in Ypsilanti.  ·         Good turnout despite the weather ·         One buyer gave me their agent’s card and told me to expect an offer.  ·         Order better weather!

Thank you to our sponsors:

  •  Ann Arbor Area Board of REALTORS
  • Ypsilanti Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Eastern Michigan University
  • PNC Bank
  • Key Bank
  • Standard Printing
  • Campbell Title
  • Parish House Inn
  • HDL
  • City of Ypsilanti
  • Ypsilanti Public Schools
  • 10pm Development

And thanks to the City Wide Open House committee:

  • Teresa Gillotti, City of Ypsilanti
  • Stephanie Oliver, KeyBank
  • Bill Smith, Chase Bank
  • Meghan Taraszkiewicz, Eastern Michigan University
  • Janeise Townsend, Keller Williams
  • Tyler Weston, Edward Surovell
  • Mary Zucchero, Ypsilanti Area Convention and Visitors Bureau


Congratulations to the newly elected 2013 Board Officers, Nick Lacy, President-elect (Surovell) and Elizabeth Raines, Treasurer-elect (Keller Williams). They will join 2013 President Jason Boggs (Reinhart) and Treasurer Vance Shutes (Real Estate One) to complete the Executive Committee for the Board of Directors. 2013 is going to be a great year!

2013 Directors

Jason Boggs, President (Charles Reinhart Company)

Nick Lacy, President-elect (Edward Surovell Realtors)

Vance Shutes, Treasurer (Real Estate One)

Elizabeth Raines, Treasurer-elect (Keller Williams)

Nancy Bowerbank, (Charles Reinhart Company)

Jim Carey (Charles Reinhart Company)

Kathy Jackson (Edward Surovell Realtors)

Matthew Miller (Charles Reinhart Company)

Alex Milshteyn (Edward Surovell Realtors)

Ed Ridha (Charles Reinhart Company)

Tracey Roy (Charles Reinhart Company)

Doug Selby (Bob White Realty)

Gary Selesko (Cislo Title)


RPR is a national property database from NAR designed to provide REALTORS® with advanced tools and features you can utilize to provide your clients and customers with dynamic reports and analytics, helping them to make better informed decisions when buying or selling property.   With access to detailed information on over 147 million properties nationwide, RPR provides you with valuable tools and features all in one source, made especially for NAR REALTOR® members.

As a reminder, RPR is:

  • Exclusive technology only for REALTORS®
  • One site, hundreds of datasets on 147 million properties
  • Allows no public or consumer access
  • NAR member dues funded, carrying no additional fees to members, MLSs or Associations

On November 1, 2012, RPR will become available to all REALTORS® across the country.  What REALTORS® will see displayed inside the application varies based upon whether or not their MLS data is integrated with the application. Ann Arbor Area Board of REALTORS® has made sure that all possible data-sets are available to your entire Association membership. In fact, your fully integrated site is available to you now!  

Not sure what is included in RPR?  Here are some of the features that you already have at your fingertips today:

  • Your listings
  • Tax assessment / public records on 147 million parcels of property in the U.S.
  • Mortgage and lien information
  • Largest national database of foreclosure, pre-foreclosure, REO and default
  • MLS active, sold, pending, expired, withdrawn and canceled statuses
  • Historic listing comparison tool
  • Realtor Valuation Model® (RVM®)
  • Refine property facts, comparables and RVM® for custom valuation report
  • Charts and Graphs will include trends calculated from MLS data
  • Nationwide school data, test scores and parent reviews
  • Dynamic mapping: School Zones, Neighborhoods, Zip Codes, Cities, FEMA etc.
  • Geo-spatial data including aerial photography, street level and bird’s eye view
  • Heat map & FEMA flood overlays
  • Plat maps
  • Investment tools and analysis
  • Census, demographic and lifestyle data
  • Neighborhood information
  • Full Menu of RPR Reporting

With more features to be added in the future, RPR will enable to you access complete property information in one location! With the national launch quickly approaching, now is the time to take advantage of this amazing REALTOR® technology benefit.

To register for an account, visit  For more information on RPR value and Training classes visit You can reach the RPR Customer Care Center 24/7 at 877.977.7576.

Source: RPR Industry Relations Team


The AAABoR September 13, 2012 General Membership Meeting was a great success with 170 members attending. The meeting was held at the Sheraton Ann Arbor where response to the venue, time, and agenda where all positive.

The meeting included an informative presentation by Brian Young of Rapattoni about our new MLS scheduled to go live this December.  Members were noticeably excited about the improvements over our current MLS. 

Two members were elected to the Board of Directors during the meeting. Congratulations go out to Ed Ridha of the Charles Reinhart Company and Doug Selby of Bob White Realty. 

Congratulations also to the AAABoR 2012 REALTOR of the Year, Alex Milshteyn of Edward Surovell Realtors, and 2012 Affiliate of the Year Kitty Rose of Liberty Title. 

Thanks to our giveaway and table sponsors: Chase Bank, Commission Express of Michigan, DFCU Financial, Don Randazzo Inspection Services, Fletcher Inspections, WIN Home InspectionAnn Arborand Katherine Larson. We are grateful for their support.

View the September 2012 GMM YouTube video.


Would you like to impress clients, maintain and organize data, and increase sales? RE Technology is offering a free iPad webinar September 4th, 1:00 p.m. EST.  

RE Technology offered this webinar last month with guest speakers Marilyn Wilson of the WAV Group and Stephen Pacinelli of

Marilyn shared basic tips and tricks for being successful with the iPad. She also demonstrated some shortcut commands to help you become more efficient and look like a pro:

  • Screen capture – press the home button and the sleep button at the same time; your iPad will capture an image of what appears on your screen and will save it in your photos
  • Close app – four finger pinch
  • View running apps – double-tap home or four finger swipe up
  • Quick change between apps – four finger swipe left or right

Stephen shared some tips from his app.

  1. Customize the app for your client. Enter your contact information in the app so that they can email listings they’re interested in directly to you.
  2. Advise your clients to use the Area Scout feature. While they are driving around in an area of interest, the Area Scout feature of the app will use GPS to track their location and display available listings in the area.
  3. Advise them to draw a circle around the area they’re interested in. (My husband loves this feature of the app.) With a finger, your client can draw a circle around any area on the map in the app. Available listings in this area will appear. Being able to draw their own target area gives your clients the freedom to be very specific about where they’re interested in looking.

Try it yourself! Download the app at

Register for RE Technology September 4th iPad webinar at


Local appraisers were recently asked what factors are holding back higher appraised values. The predominant response was regulations - USPAP, FNMA, Freddie Mac, UAD and other Federal laws, i.e. FIRREA, Dodd-Frank, etc.

USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice) can be considered the quality control standards applicable for real estate property appraisal analysis. USPAP requires that appraisers be familiar with and correctly utilize those methods which would be acceptable to other appraisers familiar with the assignment at hand and acceptable to the intended users of the appraisal. Any violation of USPAP is a violation of state law for which an appraisers’ license can be revoked.

The multitude of requirements from mortgage underwriters was cited as another issue. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA and RD guidelines (as well as investor overlays) pose another hurdle as underwriters request data or clarification on appraisal issues and values. The high incidence of investors requiring buybacks of loans have made the underwriting process tougher not only on appraised values but have made the entire underwriting process more cumbersome (as we are all well aware).

When completing an appraisal, several different market valuations are used. There is the general market (i.e. the entire area including several miles out (most times) and all properties encompassed in that area), there is neighborhood specific (located within the immediate marketing neighborhood that can range from several miles down to a few blocks and encompasses all properties within that defined area) and finally, property specific neighborhood trends (these are located within the immediate marketing area but are only determined to be “comparable” to the subject). In many instances these trends are conflicting. There may be an overall increase in the general market but a decrease in values for the specific comparable market trend.

Appraised values generally tend to be derived from historic data and appraisers are only able to arrive at market value based upon a set of rules and not “market driven criteria”. The definition of market value has changed from “highest most probable value” to the current “most probable”.

As a REALTOR®, you can be proactive and assist the appraiser by following a few of the simple steps bellow.

  • Meet the appraiser at the house.  If you cannot make it, ask the selling agent to be there.  Maybe even take the lockbox off the door after you get a contract so an appointment will have to be made.
  • Give the appraiser as many Comparable Sales as you have for the subject property.  Go further out if necessary and even go back as far as a year if it’s a special type property (waterfront, for example).  Be aware that the appraiser may deduct value if the sale is further than three months out.  Verify square footages when in doubt.
  • Provide a “Complete Plus” listing report and 25 photos of Active, Pending, CTS and Sold comparables.
  • Call the Listing agent for his/her Comps. They may have a comp you may not have considered.
  • If you’ve visited a competing property being used as a comparable, share both the positives and negatives of it. The house down the street that needed a new roof – they need to know that, but it’s probably not in the MLS info.
  • Make sure all the utilities, including hot water heaters, are on and in good working order and that the appraiser has full access to the entire property. You want to avoid a second trip by the appraiser.
  • Give a complete list of every upgrade and improvement (and the dates they were done) that have been made during the seller’s ownership, including maintenance items as well as cosmetic upgrades.  There is a category for “condition” on appraisals and although it won’t be matched dollar for dollar, it will be mentioned.
  • Be sure to note when flooring is “hardwood” instead of “wood” or “laminate”.  Be specific about other surfaces (granite vs. Corian) and raised panel cabinets vs. stock cabinets.  Note high-end built-ins – Sub Zero vs. GE Profile, for example.
  • Give the appraiser a copy of your marketing materials, including virtual tour floor plan, photos of the exterior, interior and grounds.
  • Note anything special about the lot, i.e. the preserve is not only on the side but across the street, for instance.  If it’s to your advantage, note the size of your lot vs. any comparable sales.
  • If there are communities nearby that are not good comps, a map with some notes about the lack of amenities, production starter homes vs. your custom home community on estate lots, etc. may be very helpful for the out of area appraiser.
  • Be gracious and offer to help the appraiser with anything they may need to get the best appraisal.

By taking these actions, you can improve the appraisal process and help move the sale forward to close!

Thanks to Bill Holmes of Ann Arbor Mortgage and Laurie Buys of The Charles Reinhart Company for contributing their time and insight for this article. 


On August 21st the Board e-mailed a completed application and DTE responded via e-mail on August 23rd indicating the requested grant to assist the Board in replacing it’s ‘low efficiency’ lighting has been assigned a project ID and further informed that DTE will be sending out a team to conduct a site inspection as part of their review of the ‘facility’s eligibility’.

I recommend you check the following for more information about how these cost savings could be used to benefit your office.

But hurry, DTE is only accepting applications for this funding through August 31st.

Please feel free to share this information with others.

Douglas R. Swartz, CPA
Director of Finance and Administration

Ann Arbor Area Board of REALTORS®

The busy spring market has continued through the summer, with July sales of all property types up 14 percent, compared to last year. Sales of residential properties are up 6.6 percent over last year with 353 units sold. 98 condos were sold in July, an increase of 46 percent over July 2011. Year-to-date sales of all property types are up almost 7 percent compared to last year, posting 2,535 sales, compared to 2,374 last year.

The average residential sales price is $237,769 for July, an increase of 12 percent over the average sales price of $212,663 in July 2011. The average year-to-date residential sales price is $208,785, an increase of 9.1 percent over last year at this time.

Inventory for all property types declined by 10 percent; from 664 in July 2011 to 596 in July 2012. Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist, noted that inventory nationwide continues to shrink and that is limiting buying opportunities. This, in turn, is pushing up home prices in many markets,” he said. “The price improvement also results from fewer distressed homes in the sales mix.”

View July Housing Stats