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Greater Metropolitan Association of REALTORS®


Members receive the weekly Metropolitan Minute news update and the monthly e-magazine, the Metropolitan REALTOR®.

January is National Radon Action Month

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated January as National Radon Action Month. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, responsible for more than 20,000 deaths annually in the United States alone. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas released in rock, soil, and water that can accumulate to dangerous levels inside homes, schools, and other buildings. It cannot be seen, and has no odor; the only way a family can know if their house has a radon problem is if they test for it.

Get a Radon Test Kit »

Radon levels for GMAR membership counties include: Oakland, 29% of results 4 pCi/L and above; Macomb, 11% of results 4 pCi/L and above; Wayne, 17% of results 4 pCi/L and above; Livingston, 40% of results 4 pCi/L and above. See below for what these numbers mean.

Look up Radon Levels for my County »

What is a safe level of radon gas?

A safe level of radon gas is no radon gas. Radon gas is a carcinogen which causes lung cancer. The US EPA has put it plainly, stating, "Any radon exposure has some risk of causing lung cancer. The lower the radon level in your home, the lower your family's risk of lung cancer." The average person receives a higher dose of radiation from the radon levels in their home than from their combined exposure to all other radiation sources, natural or man-made. Radon gas is a naturally-occurring byproduct of the radioactive decay of Uranium in the soil. Depending on your geographic location, the radon levels of the air you breathe outside of your home may be as high as 0.75 pCi/L. The national average of outside radon levels is 0.4 pCi/L and it is estimated by the National Academy of Sciences that outdoor radon levels cause approximately 800 of the 21,000 radon induced lung cancer deaths in the US each year. Your risk of lung cancer increases substantially with exposure to higher radon levels. Lung cancer risk rises 16% per 2.7 pCi/L increase in radon exposure. (World Health Organization, 2009) Studies show that radon is the primary cause of lung cancer among people who have never smoked. However, the absolute numbers of radon-induced lung cancers are much larger in people who smoke, or who have smoked in the past, due to a strong combined effect of smoking and radon.

What is an acceptable level of radon gas?

Radon Act 51 passed by Congress set the natural outdoor level of radon gas (0.4 pCi/L) as the target radon level for indoor radon levels. Unfortunately two-thirds of all homes exceed this level. The US EPA was tasked with setting practical guidelines and recommendations for the nation. To this end, the US EPA has set an action level of 4 pCi/L. At or above this level of radon, the EPA recommends you take corrective measures to reduce your exposure to radon gas. This does not imply that a level below 4.0 pCi/L is considered acceptable, as stated in the BEIR VI study. It is estimated that a reduction of radon levels to below 2 pCi/L nationwide would likely reduce the yearly lung cancer deaths attributed to radon by 50%. However, even with an action level of 2.0 pCi/L, the cancer risk presented by radon gas is still hundreds of times greater than the risks allowed for carcinogens in our food and water. According to

GMAR Donates Medical Service Dog to Veteran

Southfield, MI: Southfield, MI: The Greater Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® (GMAR), the top local association of REALTORS® in the state of Michigan, held its second annual “Gives Thanks” party on November 18 at Punch Bowl Social Detroit. The party celebrated and honored service men and women and veterans, as well as the entire GMAR membership. This was the second fundraiser of the year to raise enough money to train a medical service dog to assist a Michigan military veteran through Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs.

The dog was chosen, Cobalt Realtor® Blue, and the price was set at $22,000. Considering in year’s past GMAR had only raised around $6,000 for their charities, it was a lofty goal. At the annual Golf Outing in September, GMAR raised $6,000. Over 300 members, friends, and family members turned out for the party. Even with all the ticket sales and raffle prizes, it appeared they wouldn’t make it. Then, one real estate broker anteed up $1,000, and challenged his peers to do the same. Another, gave, then another, and another. Before the night was over, the tally was in. GMAR raised exactly $22,000!

GMAR sends special thanks to the following for their substantial contributions: Carol Boji of ReMax Classic, Rick Linnell, John McCardle, Kathy Coon of Real Living Great Lakes, Brenda & Brendan Brosnan, John North of Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel, James Cristbrook of Shain Park Realtors®, Doug Whitehouse of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, John Meesseman of Real Living Kee Realty, Gary Reggish of Remerica United, Keller Williams Lakeside, Christopher Ayers, Bob Struck of Changing Places Moving, and WCR Rochester.

GMAR President Debbie Zalewski said “I couldn’t be more proud to see so many of my peers and friends stepping up to save the life of a Michigan veteran.” Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs Founder and CEO Carol Borden informed attendants that 22 vets suffering from PTSD succeed in taking their life each day, and that 90% of married vets suffering from PTSD divorce. She said that when paired with a Guardian Angels Medical Service Dog, both of those rates drop to ZERO.

The Association is very proud of its compassionate members for both volunteering their time to put on such a wildly successful event and for raising the most money GMAR has ever donated to charity in a year. REALTORS® truly do make a difference in the communities they serve, in more ways than one might imagine.

GMAR Welcomes New Director of Community Affairs

Southfield, MI: Duane Marsh, CEO of the Greater Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® (GMAR) named Travis Greer to serve as the Director of Realtor® and Community Affairs.

"The Board of Directors and I are really excited to add Travis to our great team at GMAR. His vast knowledge of government, at every level, will be invaluable to GMAR members. In this newly created position, Travis will work with REALTORS® to identify community issues and resolve challenges in the industry,"said Marsh.

Greer previously served as a Legislative Director in the Michigan House of Representatives to State Rep. Frank Liberati (D-Allen Park) and former State Rep. David Knezek (D-Dearborn Heights). He holds a Master's Degree in Legislative Affairs from The George Washington University and a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

2016 Election Results
GMAR endorsed 25 candidates for public office in the 2016 election year
    • 23 candidates running for the Michigan House of Representatives
    • 2 candidates running for Oakland County level offices
    • 12 Republicans and 13 Democrats
    • 24 candidates were successful in their bid - 1 candidate was unsuccessful
10th: Leslie Love (D) 32,815 (81%) William Brang (R) 6,028 (14%)
16th: Robert Kosowski (D) 24,144 (63%) Matthew Marrow (R) 13,599 (36%)
19th: Laura Cox (R) 30,372 (61%) Steve King (D) 19,180 (38%)
20th: Jeff Noble (R) 27,438 (53%) Colleen Pobur (D) 23,768 (46%)
21st: Kristy Pagan-D 28,262 (59%) Derek Moss (R) 19,295 (40%)
Clerk: Lisa Brown (D) 331,839 (54%) Bill Bullard (R) 277,730 (45%)
Tres: Andy Meisner (D) 333,725 (54%) John McCulloch (R) 278,902 (45%)
26th: Jim Ellison (D) 26,790 (59%) Randy LeVasseur (R) 18,333 (40%)
27th: Robert Wittenberg (D) 36,393 (76%) Kyle Forest (R) 11,008 (23%)
38th: Kathy Crawford (R) 28,206 (57%) Amy McCusker (D) 20,714 (42%)
39th: Klint Kesto (R) 25,024 (50%) Michael Stack (D) 20,973 (42%)
35th: Jeremy Moss (D) 44,747 (83%) Robert Brim (R) 8,641 (16%)
37th: Christine Greig (D) 29,180 (60%) Mitch Swoboda (R) 17,209 (35%)
18th: Kevin Hertel (D) 29,245 (63%) Renata Polonaise (R) 16,952 (36%)
22nd: John Chirkun (D) 21,482 (60%) Jeff Bonnell (R) 12,337 (34%)
24th: Steve Marino (R) 23,950 (55%) Dana C. Peterson (D) 19,545 (44%)
25th: Henry Yanez (D) 21,881 (54%) Steve Naumovski (R) 18,545 (45%)
28th: Patrick Green (D) 22,673 (66%) Antoine Davison (R) 11,517 (33%)
30th: Diana Farrington (R) 19,846 (53%) Michael Notte (D) 17,010 (46%)
31st: William Sowerby (D) 22,734 (56%) Lisa V. Nowc (R) 15,741 (38%)
32nd: Pam Hornberger (R) 25,629 (63%) Paul Manley (D) 15,630 (36%)
33rd: Jeff Yaroch (R) 30,279 (70%) Yani Warda (D) 12,975 (29%)
36th: Peter Lucido (R) 33,290 (71%) Diane Young (D) 13,045 (28%)
40th: Michael McCready (R) 30,660 (53%) Nicole Bedi (D) 26,670 (46%)
41st: Martin Howrylak (R) 26,708 (56%) Cyndi Peltonen (D) 20,607 (43%)
45th: Michael Webber (R) 29,131 (62%) Ted Golden (D) 17,797 (37%)


Bold Indicates GMAR Endorsed - Italics Indicates Highly Competitive Election

E'toile L. Libbett Named REALTOR® Active in Politics

Southfield, MI: The Greater Metropolitan Association of REALTORS®’ (GMAR) REALTOR® Active in Politics award is presented to a REALTOR® who has encouraged, educated, identified and recruited individuals by their contribution, investment and efforts in all levels of the governmental and political arenas. GMAR’s 2016 REALTOR® Active in Politics is E’toile L. Libbett of Real Estate One in Southfield.

“I am humbled to receive this honor for doing something for which I am passionate. My involvement has given me the opportunity to serve my profession and my community.” said E’toile.

Mrs. Libbett has been a Federal Political Coordinator to Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick for 10 years, Hansen Clark for 2 years, and Brenda Lawrence from 2014 to present.

E’toile is the Delegate for Southfield’s 12th District. As such, she attended the Democratic Convention and was a voting Delegate.

In 1997, E’toile spoke on behalf of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) at the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference. When she first moved to Southeast Michigan, E’toile worked on Brenda Lawrence’s mayoral campaigns: 2001, 2005, 2009, and 2013, and continues to work on her congressional campaigns.

E’toile is a Silver Circle REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC) investor. She has served on the GMAR Government Affairs Committee for one year, the Detroit Association of REALTORS® Government Affairs Committee for 12 years, Michigan REALTORS® Public Policy Committee for 2 years, Michigan REALTORS® Urban Reinvestment Task Force, National Political Affairs Committee, National Public Policy Committee, National Public Policy Coordinating Committee, National Public Policy Forum, National Federal Housing Policy Committee, National Issues Mobilization Committee, the Executive Board of the Oakland County Democratic Party, Southfield Non-Profit Corporation Board of Directors, and Southfield Neighborhood Reinvestment Initiative LLC.

She regularly attends State Achieve Leadership Conferences, Broker Summits, Conventions, and Capitol Hill Visits, as well as National political affairs seminars and RPAC seminars. E’toile has attended the national legislative meetings in Washington for more than 20 years.

GMAR’s CEO Duane Marsh says, “E’toile sets the standard for political and legislative action. She brings the right blend of knowledge and passion to the process and certainly understands and protects the environments in which her colleagues practice.”
Debbie Zalewski Named REALTOR® of the Year

Southfield, MI: The Greater Metropolitan Association of REALTORS®' (GMAR) REALTOR® of the Year award honors a REALTOR® for civic and association activity, business and educational experience and "REALTOR® Spirit" (professional competence and faithfulness to the principles of real estate, as well as to the laws and regulations of the State and National Code of Ethics). GMAR's 2016 REALTOR® of the Year is Debbie Zalewski of Real Living Kee Realty in Troy.

"I get great joy from seeing my collegues grow, succeed, and prosper. This industry has given a tremendouse amount to me and I love being able to give back" said Debbie.

You can hear Debbie on "Money Matters" on CKWW, AM 580. She can also be seen on the premiere episode of "Keeping It Real Estate" on WBRW out of Romeo. Debbie is a member of the Sunrise Network Group (SNG) Circle of Senior Services Networking Group (COSS) and has been a member of the Habitat for Humanity Women's Build Steering Committee for the past three years. Whether she is assisting the senior community, cleaning up REALTORS® Park, or hosting Leader Dogs for the Blind events, Debbie is constantly contributing to our industry. "She brings great passion, enthusiasm, and energy to everything she does" said Brenda Lee Szlachta, Michigan Women's Council of REALTORS® State President.

Debbie has been licensed REALTOR® for 24 years and holds an associate brokers license. Educational designations include the Performance Management Network (PMN), Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource (SFR), and Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES). In 2012 she was recognized nationally with a Diamond Elite Premier Service Award. Debbie is a certified Real Estate Prelicense Instructor and teaches with NCI, LLC.

Debbie Z is the 2016 GMAR President, and served as President Elect and Financial Secretary prior to this position. Other positions include 2016 NAR Director, 2016 RPAC Trustee, 2015 Michigan REALTORS® Big Data PAC, 2015 Realcomp II Board of Governors, 2016 Women's Council of REALTORS® (WCR) National Steering Committee, 2015 WCR Region 2 Vice President, WCR National Nominating Committee, 2014 WCR President of the Michigan State Chapter, 2013 WCR President Elect, 2012 WCR State Governor, 2009-2011 WCR President, Rochester Chapter. Debbie continues to show her commitment to the industry as a REALTORS® Political Aaction Committee (RPAC) Presidents Circle, Sterling R Investor.

GMAR CEO Duane Marsh said, "Debbie has proven her top-level status as a leader in the real estate profession time and again. We are proud to honor her as GMAR's REALTOR® of the Year."

REALTORS® Endorse 24 Candidates for State Representative

Southfield, MI: The Greater Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® (GMAR), the largest local association of REALTORS® in the state, made recommendation to Michigan REALTORS® to endorse 24 candidates for State Representative. The recommendations were made based upon information gathered from a series of interviews GMAR conducted in May. GMAR and Michigan REALTORS® believe that the following candidates will best represent the REALTORS® position in protecting private property owners' rights.

House District 10, Leslie Love
House District 16, Robert Kosowski
House District 19, Laura Cox
House District 20, Chris Roosen
House District 21, Kristy Pagan
House District 22, John Chirkun
House District 24, Steven Marino
House District 25, Henry Yanez
House District 26, Jim Ellison
House District 27, Robert Wittenberg
House District 28, Patrick Green
House District 30, Diana Farrington
House District 31, Bill Sowerby
House District 32, Michael Shmina
House District 33, Mel Koch
House District 35, Jeremy Moss
House District 36, Peter Lucido
House District 37, Christine Greig
House District 38, Kathy Crawford
House District 39, Klint Kesto
House District 40, Michael McCready
House District 41, Martin Howrylak
House District 45, Michael Webber

View Pictures »

REALTORS® Revitalize Park in Royal Oak

Southfield, MI: Over 40 REALTORS®, affiliate and staff members, along with family members, of the Greater Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® (GMAR), the premier board of REALTORS® for Southeast Michigan, joined together to begin the restoration process of REALTORS® Park in Royal Oak, located at Main & Sunnybrook, this past Saturday, May 21. Starting at 8 in the morning, the group removed trash, debris, dead and overgrown vegetation, made minor repairs to equipment, and put a fresh coat of paint on the equipment.

James Cristbrook, Member of the GMAR Member Engagement Committee who planned the event, said that “this is just the first phase of the restoration process. Next we’ll upgrade the playground equipment, and then begin soliciting organizations to ‘adopt’ the park - meaning they’ll take over maintenance of the park.” The event was made possible by grants from the National Association of REALTORS®, Michigan REALTORS®, and GMAR. First American Title provided breakfast, and Shain Park REALTORS® provided lunch for the volunteers.

GMAR President Debbie Z said “we love the communities we serve, and you can expect to see more of our REALTORS® going above and beyond through this sort of activity.”

See the pictures of our happy, hard-working volunteers at

Volunteers  Painting

REALTOR® Community Awards Scholarships to Local Students

Southfield, MI: The Greater Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® (GMAR), the premier board of REALTORS® in Southeast Michigan, assisted the REALTOR® Scholarship Fund in awarding 39 Scholarships to local high school graduates. Nearly 100 students and guests attended the awards ceremony held on Tuesday, May 10, where students received certificates and warm handshakes from the REALTOR® Scholarship Fund Trustees as their supporters applauded.

Founded in 1973, the REALTOR® Scholarship Fund provides scholarships to Michigan students based on scholastic record, character, community service, work record, and financial need. Awards are made from the annual contributions of the REALTOR® community. Since 1983, the volunteer-based Board of Trustees has interviewed and awarded over 1,000 scholarships to students entering college.

For further information and to make a donation to the fund, contact one of the Fund's co-chairs, Jan Britton, 248-548-9100,, or Kathie Whitehouse, 248-646-6200,

2016 Award Recipients

Name High School College/University
Ali Arsha Athens High School Oakland University
Arthur Alexia Detroit Country Day School Western Michigan University
Barbret Morgan Roseville High School Central Michigan University
Buhay Sarah Bishop Foley University of Detroit Mercy
Cholagh Anthony Adlai Stevenson High School Oakland University
Crowe Zoe Rochester Adams Michigan State University
Davidson Maya Warren Mott High School Western Michigan University
Dowling Mari International Academy East Michigan State University
Ellis Angelica Wylie Groves High School Grand Valley Sate University
Emerson Emily Lincoln High School Grand Valley Sate University
Evans Diana Warren Woods Tower Ferris State University
Fahrney Maxwell Richmond High School Central Michigan University
Glaza Samantha Royal Oak High School Adrian College
Hampton Michaela Royal Oak High School Michigan State University
Hicks Darrius Southfield High School University of Michigan-Drb.
Irons Andrew Stoney Creek High School Michigan State University
Jabaoro Samantha Regina High School Oakland University
Jaeger Andrew Shrine Catholic High School University of Michigan
Kalsi Harpreet International Academy East University of Michigan
Kelley Michael Rochester High School Michigan State University
King Carly Dakota High School Michigan State University
Lamb Kara Regina High School Grand Valley Sate University
Marcopoli Nicholas Bishop Foley University of Michigan
McCleary Jessica Marian High School Michigan State University
Minamyer Molly Ferndale High School Wayne State University
Nowicki Alexandra Armada High School College for Creative Studies
Nowicki Kira Armada High School Oakland University
Pauken Justin De La Salle Collegiate University of Michigan
Perry Emma Richmond High School Michigan State University
Reece Ashley Richmond High School Saginaw Valley University
Riesterer Nicholas Dakota High School University of Michigan
Shafique Muhammad Adlai Stevenson High School Michigan State University
Stimpson Evan Rochester High School Western Michigan University
Strand Natalie Berkley High School Northern Michigan University
Thomas Christina Eisenhower High School University of Michigan
Tyle Trevor Bishop Foley Oakland University
VanderVlucht Eryn Roseville High School Olivet College
Webb Bailey Rochester High School Grand Valley Sate University
Wylie Alex Rochester High School Oakland Community College


Important Transfer Tax Changes to Beginning 2016

At the close of 2015, Governor Snyder signed into law legislation providing clarity to Michigan's State Real Estate Transfer Tax. House Bill 4173, sponsored by Realtor®-member and Representative Dave Maturen (R-Brady Twp.) revises the State Real Estate Transfer Tax to clarify two items:

  1. The party that paid the transfer tax may request the refund if a refund is due, and
  2. Clarify that Exemption (u) applies when the SEV at the time of sale of a Principle Residence is less than or equal to the original SEV on the purchase.
The Michigan Supreme Court recently broadened the application of Exemption (u) by removing the requirement that True Cash Value be realized in a transfer. The legislation enshrines this change, offering important clarity and tax relief to distressed sellers.

In addition, this legislation gives buyers the same refund rights as sellers when it is determined that the transfer tax was paid unnecessarily by a buyer. Refund rights under the Sate Transfer Tax are available up to 4 years and 15 days from a transfer.

To better aid members in reaching out to their former and current clients that may qualify, the refund application form is found here. (Please note that the current refund form does not reflect the change in law. The State Treasury will be updating the form in the coming weeks).

The following Q&A's are intended to illustrate exemption (u)'s applicability:
QUESTION: Some clients of mine sold their principal residence in 2013 and the SEV was lower at the time they sold it than when they purchased it. They just found out that they might be entitled to a refund of the state transfer tax they paid. They sold the house at a profit; will they still be entitled to the refund?
ANSWER: YES, to qualify for the state transfer tax refund, the SEV at the time of purchase must be higher than the SEV at the time of sale. The fact that they sold the house at a profit has no effect on their ability to get a refund.
QUESTION: Some clients of mine bought vacant land in 2011 on which they had a house constructed in 2012. They sold the house in late 2014. Will they be entitled to a state transfer tax refund if the SEV of their property at the time the house was completed was more than at the time of sale?
ANSWER: NO, since at the time of purchase, the land was vacant, they cannot claim a refund of the state transfer tax since the property was not their principal residence at the time of purchase.
Please contact Brian Westrin at or 517.372.8890 with any questions.
2015 REALTOR® of the Year: Maureen Francis

Southfield, MI: The Greater Metropolitan Association of REALTORS®’ (GMAR) REALTOR® of the Year award honors a REALTOR® for civic and association activity, business and educational experience and “REALTOR® Spirit” (professional competence and faithfulness to the principles of real estate, as well as to the laws and regulations of the State and National Code of Ethics). GMAR’s 2015 REALTOR® of the Year is Maureen Francis of Signature Sotheby’s International Realty in Birmingham.

Maureen has served GMAR on many committees and task forces over the years as well as on the Board of Directors and Realcomp Board of Governors, and the Realcomp Shareholder’s task force. During Maureen’s presidency, the Association began its Past President's Luncheons, started to offer RealSatisfied to members, successfully launched an affiliate sponsorship program, became a Corporate Platinum R Investor, reviewed and revised bylaws and the policy manual, instituted a plan to increase RPAC participation, increased participation at the Annual Membership Meeting and Brought NAR TechEdge to membership. Maureen has also been active in leadership of the Birmingham Bloomfield Chapter of the WCR, and she was honored as their 2014 Realtor of the Year.

For the last two years, Maureen has sat on the Realcomp Shareholders task force. She's happy that the task force has been able to successfully work toward Realcomp’s membership in the GLR, which will benefit Southeast Michigan REALTORS® enormously through access to one shared database of listing information.

Maureen currently serves on the Boards of Directors of both Michigan REALTORS® and The National Association of REALTORS® and she is a 2015 graduate of NAR’s prestigious Leadership Academy. She has served on various committees at both the state and national levels, and she recently developed and presented a webinar for NAR on Boomerang Buyers.

Maureen is an Associate Broker. Her designations include ePRO, SFR, PMN and she is a former SRES Designee. A strong believer in the importance of RPAC, Maureen maintains President's Circle Sterling R status.

Maureen had this to say about winning, “I am so very honored. GMAR has many exceptional volunteer leaders who serve our industry and are committed to advancing our profession, and I am inspired by many of my peers. I truly love the opportunities that being a REALTOR® has given to me and my family.”

She is a former US Peace Corps Volunteer where she worked in Ukraine in the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers in the Former Soviet Union. She’s served on the Zoning Board of Appeals of Beverly Hills and has volunteered as a PTA and room mother at Beverly Elementary School. She is a member of the Steering Committee with Habitat Oakland Women's Build, and part of the Beverly Hills Community Garden Steering Committee.

GMAR President Frank Tarala said, “Maureen Francis is most deserving of this award based on her unselfish contributions to our real estate world. From a national level to the local level, Maureen brings well thought out perspectives that keep moving our industry forward. Congratulation Maureen!”

2015 REALTOR® Active in Politics: John McArdle

Southfield, MI: The Greater Metropolitan Association of REALTORS®’ (GMAR) REALTOR® Active in Politics award is presented to a REALTOR® who has encouraged, educated, identified and recruited individuals by their contribution, investment and efforts in all levels of the governmental and political arenas. GMAR’s 2015 REALTOR® Active in Politics is John McArdle of Remerica Hometown One in Plymouth.

Over the past 27 years, John has testified in Lansing on home ownership and mortgage issues and met with numerous members of congress and staff at State and Federal levels to discuss topics including: importance of home ownership, mortgage issues, debt forgiveness, mortgage interest deduction and a continued smooth transfer of private property. John has served as a liaison for the I-275 communities to monitor real estate issues for Plymouth, Canton, Northville and Livonia. John fought hard alongside MR in Lansing to defeat tax on services and other affronts to private property rights and REALTORS®. John has served countless years on MR Public Policy Committee with passion and with a "street level" approach to analyzing potential legislation. These years spent dedicated to REALTORS® has helped him form long lasting friendships throughout the State of Michigan. In May of this year, John was inducted into the National Association of Realtors NAR RPAC Hall of Fame for having contributed substantially to RPAC over the years.

GMAR’s CEO Duane Marsh says, “The real estate profession takes its legislative activities very seriously. Leaders have to step up to ensure that our legislative power and influence is maintained. John is one of those leaders who freely gives of his time and expertise to maintain our legislative leadership. GMAR is indeed fortunate to have John as a member of our board.”

At GMAR, John served as President Elect in 1997, President in 1998 and then came back on the Board of Directors from 2013 to present as a Director. Having contributed $5,000 in his first year and $2,000 thereafter to RPAC, he is a rank Golden R contributor. He has served at the local level on the political affairs committee, public policy committee and RPAC for more than 10 years and other government affairs committees for more than 8 years. John has served on the State public policy committee for 14 years and the State RPAC for 2 years; as well as attended the Achieve Leadership Conference for 10+ years, the Annual Convention for 25+ years, MR Broker Summit for 10+ years and over 20 years of Capitol Hill Visits. For the last 21 years, McArdle has regularly attended the NAR legislative meetings in Washington (Midyear/My REALTOR® Party). John served as a Federal Political Coordinator to Representative David Trott for one year.

GMAR President Frank Tarala had this to say, “I don't think a person exists who knows more about the present and past of real estate than John McArdle. I see John as a long time student of our business and his knowledge of the past, combined with his present day perspectives, gives us the right voice to convey our message to those who are running for office and those elected.”
New Legislation that Impacts You!

Effective January 1, 2015, new legislation (Public Act 106 of 2014) takes effect that has a direct impact on you and your real estate license.

Below you will find some of the highlighted changes and requirements.

The overall requirements do not change: Within each 3-year cycle, licensees must still complete at least 18 hours of continuing education courses that involve any subjects that are relevant to the management, operation and practice of real estate or any other subject that contributes to the professional competence of a licensee. Licensees must complete at least 2 hours of the required 18 hours each year, involving law, rules and court cases regarding real estate.

NEW! Licensees must present their pocket card AND driver's license for admittance into any course.

NEW! Any course that you successfully complete to obtain a professional designation is counted toward the total credits required.

NEW! Course providers are no longer required to submit the student information to the LARA for verification of attendance, instead, it is now the responsibility of licensees to retain evidence of their completion for at least 4 years afterwards, and be able to produce this information at the request of LARA.

This also means that schools and course providers cannot track how many hours have been completed. This responsibility will lie solely on the licensees and their records. KEEP YOUR CERTIFICATES SOMEWHERE ACCESSIBLE AND SAFE!

Acceptable documentation, a completion certificate for example, needs to include:

  • Course provider name, contact information & signature for verification
  • Course title, date and location of course, and the length of course (LARA requires their hours to be only 50 minutes)
  • Your name and license number


NEW! If the department finds, as the result of an audit, that sufficient hours have not been completed, they may allow renewal by completing both of the following:

  • Completion of missed hours (those that should have been taken during the 3-year cycle, but were not)
  • If the period determined by the audit to be deficient is at least 60 days, additional hours of continuing education is required:
    • If the deficiency period is at least 60 days, but less than 120, additional 4 hours is required.
    • If the deficiency period is 120 days or more, additional 8 hours is required

And if these additional hours are required, and completed during the following licensing cycle, they do not apply towards that licensing cycle's requirements.


The required hours have not changed, but just as a refresher:

18 hours total is required for all licensees, of which at least 2 per year are completed and involve law, rules and court cases regarding real estate during each 3-year cycle. Our current 3-year cycle runs from November 1, 2012 through October 31, 2015.

Any licensee (broker, associate broker or salesperson) who receives their license in the second year of the 3-year cycle is required to complete only 12 hours (2 per year that involve law, rules and court cases).

Any licensee (broker, associate broker or salesperson) who receives their license in the third year of the 3-year cycle is required to complete only 6 hours (2 of them involving law, rules, court cases).

And as always, any course credit that is used to meet continuing education requirements do not apply toward the real estate broker's license prelicensure education requirements and vice versa.

GMAR Inducted to 2014 REBAC Hall of Fame

Southfield, MI: The Greater Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® (GMAR) has been inducted to the 2014 Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council's (REBAC) “Hall of Fame” presented by REBAC of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR).

GMAR was nominated for the 2014 REBAC Hall of Fame by fellow REBAC members and was selected by an independent panel of real estate industry leaders. The local REALTOR® association has been an outstanding leader in the real estate community and has made a visible difference for buyer's representation needs in the Detroit metropolitan area. GMAR serves a membership base of over 6,000, and provides a multifaceted array of assistance and services. GMAR exhibits itself as an outlet of knowledge for REALTORS® in working with buyers and has shown high principles and furtherance of the principles of good practice among REALTORS®.

The Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council, REBAC, was founded in 1988 to promote superior buyer representation skills and services. An affiliate of THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® since 1996, REBAC's membership now numbers well over 30,000 and is the world's largest organization of real estate professionals concentrating on buyer representation. Members who meet all course and professional experiential requirements are awarded the ABR® (Accredited Buyer's Representative) and/or ABRM (Accredited Buyer's Representative Manager) designation(s). Both are the only designations of their type recognized by NAR.

You may contact REBAC by telephone, (800) 648-6224, by e-mail, [], or by visiting the REBAC Web site,

GMAR Education Director Vickey Livernois stated, “We've been teaching REBAC courses for many years, but when the market in our area started to slow down, our association created the MemberMaxâ„¢ program that would enable our members to attend our courses and increase their education and professionalism.” MemberMaxâ„¢ is a type of membership that allows members to pay their GMAR, Michigan Realtors® and NAR dues on a monthly basis while affording them 2 designation courses and a slew of other continuing education courses at no additional cost. Since its 2010 inception, GMAR had just under 3,000 REALTORS® who completed a REBAC course through MemberMaxâ„¢. GMAR CEO Duane Marsh said, “GMAR agent training focuses on elevated service level and designs offerings that prepare today's real estate professional for the new, emerging buyer client.”

2014 REALTOR® Active in Politics: Teri Spiro

Southfield, MI: The REALTOR® Active in Politics award is presented to a REALTOR® who has encouraged, educated, identified and recruited individuals by their contribution, investment and efforts in all levels of the governmental and political arenas. Members of the Greater Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® (GMAR) have placed their votes for this esteemed honor and elected Teri Spiro to receive the 2014 GMAR REALTOR® Active in Politics award.

Teri served on the former Western Wayne Oakland County Association of REALTORS® from 1998 to 2002 and as President in 2001. She has made considerable contributions to the REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC). RPAC aids in advocacy for the real estate profession by supporting legislators who fight for real estate related issues. Teri is ranked within the President’s Circle of Golden R major investors and is in the RPAC Hall of Fame, meaning she has invested more than $25,000 to RPAC in her lifetime. She has served 20 years on the local RPAC committee, 10 years on the State RPAC Committee, Chair 2008, and 10 years on the State Public Policy Committee, Chair 2006. She was a Michigan REALTORS® Director in 2005 and 2006. For 4 years Teri has been a Federal Political Coordinator to Congressman Sander Levin.

After being asked how she felt about receiving this award, Teri stated, “I am happy and honored; there are several politically active Realtors® in our Association!” For over 25 years, Teri has been actively working on political campaigns. Teri said that, “As long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by the political arena. Supporting candidates and policies that are good for home ownership and mortgage polices is crucial to our industry, and the economy.” She has organized fundraisers, coordinated door-to-door visits and hosted numerous meet and greets. Teri has co-hosted events with national figures such as Elaine Chao, John McCain and Rudy Guiliani. GMAR congratulates Teri on winning the 2014 REALTOR® Active in Politics award.

2014 REALTOR® of the Year: Bart Patterson

Southfield, MI: The REALTOR® of the Year award honors a REALTOR® for civic and association activity, business and educational experience and “REALTOR® Spirit” (professional competence and faithfulness to the principles of real estate, as well as to the laws and regulations of the State and National Code of Ethics). Members of the Greater Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® (GMAR) placed their votes and elected Bart Patterson to receive the esteemed honor of 2014 GMAR REALTOR® of the Year.

Mr. Patterson has been in the real estate business since 1996 and obtained his Associate Broker license in 1999. He is the Immediate Past President of GMAR and has been a GMAR Director for the past 6 years. In that time, Bart has served on numerous committees and councils and has been instrumental in developing association policy and advocating for education. He not only advocates for real estate education but is a lifelong student who has earned 11 designations that he considers vital to providing outstanding client satisfaction. He has been Vice President and General Manager of RE/MAX Classic for 8 years, where he has developed and implemented a new agent training program. Bart’s knowledge and abilities have a wide-reaching effect as he is involved with the operation of 4 different offices in the Detroit area that encompass 140 agents.

Bart had this to say about winning, “It was a shock. It is truly a great thing to have been nominated and then to have won along with all the people who have been before me and all the people who will be after me. It’s a great honor, really.”

He has been involved with the Canton Chamber of Commerce for his entire 18 years as a REALTOR® and served on the Board of Directors from 2003 to 2010 and as Chair in 2005 and 2006. When asked about his great commitment to his community, he explained, “I live in the community, I want to be a part of the community, and I did have something that was of use to them. So, I became very active, very quickly.” Bart is also a member of the Canton Downtown Development Authority and a Board Member of the Partnership for the Arts and Humanities where his real estate expertise proved helpful in the securing of a historic 14 acre parcel that was formerly a Ford plant. GMAR congratulates Bart on winning the 2014 REALTOR® of the Year award.

2014 GMAR Supported Political Candidates

An interview panel, devised of members of the Government Affairs Committee, have met with and screened candidates seeking election to the Michigan Legislature.

The candidates listed below have been recommended for election and have been endorsed and supported through the Michigan REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC).

We urge you to consider supporting these candidates in the primary, August 5th. They have been found to identify strongly with those issues important to our industry.

Candidates Recommended and Funded

State Senate:
District #5 - Thomas Stallworth (D)
District #7 - Senator Patrick Colbeck (R)
District #8 - Senator Jack Brandenburg (R)
District #9 - Senator Steve Bieda (D)
District #10 - Senator Tory Rocca (R)
District #11 - Senator Vincent Gregory (D)
District #15 - Senator Mike Kowall (R)

State House:
District #10 - Jay Johnson (D)
District #16 - Rep. Robert Kosowski (D)
District #18 - Rep. Sarah Roberts (D)
District #19 - Laura Cox (R)
District #20 - Rep. Kurt Heise (R)
District #21 - Carol Ann Fausone (R)
District #22 - John Chirkun (D)
District #24 - Rep. Anthony Forlini (R)
District #25 - Rep. Henry Yanez (D)
District #26 - Rep. Jim Townsend (D)
District #27 - Robert Wittenberg (D)
District #28 - Derek Miller (D)
District #30 - Rep. Jeff Farrington (R)
District #31 - Rep. Marilyn Lane (D)
District #32 - Rep. Andrea LaFontaine (R)
District #33 - Rep. Ken Goike (R)
District #35 - Jeremy Moss (D)
District #36 - Peter Lucido (R)
District #37 - Barry Brickner (D)
District #38 - Kathy Crawford (R)
District #39 - Rep. Klint Kesto (R)
District #40 - Rep. Mike McCready (R)
District #41 - Rep. Martin Howrylak (R)

District 21 State Rep. Candidate Carol Ann Fausone, GMAR CEO Duane Marsh

District 10 State Rep. Candidate Jay Johnson, GMAR CEO Duane Marsh

District 20 State Rep. Kurt Heise, GMAR CEO Duane Marsh

District 19 State Rep. Candidate Laura Cox, GMAR CEO Duane Marsh

GMAR Government Affairs Committee Member Anthony Jablonski, GMAR Executive Kathy Coon, District 41 State Rep. Martin Howrylak, GMAR CEO Duane Marsh, GMAR Government Affairs Committee Member Norman Finkelstein

GMAR CEO Duane Marsh, District 36 State Rep. Candidate Peter Lucido, GMAR District 1 Director Shelley Schoenherr

GMAR CEO Duane Marsh, District 22 State Rep. Candidate John Chirkun, GMAR District 1 Director Shelley Schoenherr, GMAR Treasurer Debbie Zalewski

GMAR CEO Duane Marsh, District 8 Senator Jack Brandenburg, GMAR District 1 Director Shelley Schoenherr, GMAR Treasurer Debbie Zalewski

GMAR CEO Duane Marsh, District 18 State Rep. Sarah Roberts, GMAR District 1 Director Shelley Schoenherr, GMAR Treasurer Debbie Zalewski

GMAR CEO Duane Marsh, District 28 State Rep. Candidate Derek Miller, GMAR District 1 Director Shelley Schoenherr, GMAR Treasurer Debbie Zalewski

GMAR CEO Duane Marsh, District 33 State Rep. Ken Goike, GMAR District 1 Director Shelley Schoenherr, GMAR Treasurer Debbie Zalewski

GMAR CEO Duane Marsh, District 9 Senator Steve Bieda, GMAR District 1 Director Shelley Schoenherr, GMAR Treasurer Debbie Zalewski

GMAR CEO Duane Marsh, District 31 State Rep. Marilyn Lane, GMAR District 1 Director Shelley Schoenherr, GMAR Treasurer Debbie Zalewski

GMAR CEO Duane Marsh, District 24 State Rep. Anthony Forlini, GMAR District 1 Director Shelley Schoenherr, GMAR Treasurer Debbie Zalewski

GMAR CEO Duane Marsh , GMAR Government Affairs Committee Member Anthony Jablonski, District 37 State Rep. Candidate Barry Brickner, District 15 Senator Mike Kowall, District 39 State Rep. Candidate Klint Kesto, GMAR Government Affairs Committee Member Gordan McCann, GMAR Executive Kathy Coon, District 35 State Rep. Candidate Jeremy Moss, District 27 State Rep. Candidate Robert Wittenberg, GMAR Government Affairs Committee Member Norman Finkelstein, GMAR President Maureen Francis, District 26 State Rep. Jim Townsend, District 11 Senator Vincent Gregory


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