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Conducting Business During COVID-19

By Kerri | March 20, 2020 | Comments Off on Conducting Business During COVID-19

The following information is shared as a courtesy to all NWIA members by the team at Century 21 ProLink. Below is the protocol they will be using under current circumstances. This document is being made available to all members to encourage evaluation of current operations and consideration of creating similar standards.  NWIA does not require any of these items be implemented, they are being passed along as suggestions for agents and offices to consider during these unprecedented times.

Wholesale adoption of the document below is allowed, if desired. Our thanks to the Century 21 ProLink team for their generosity in sharing.

Working with Sellers
When meeting with Sellers, use the following dialogue to demonstrate that CENTURY 21 ProLink has embraced the social responsibility inherent in the present circumstances by creating a set of protocols designed to minimize the risk and spread of the CV, and to garner client buy-in as a participant in the effort.

  • Company buy-in: “Our Company has established a protocol to help minimize the risk of exposure to the virus and the risk of spreading the virus.”
  • Agent buy-in: “I’d like to do my small part by being sure I follow the protocol because it’s so important right now.”
  • Client buy-in: “So, if you don’t mind, we’ll just do the things they’ve asked me to do. Is that alright with you?”

At the Listing Appointment

  • Advise the clients that our Company has established a showing protocol that you will follow: see Below
  • Discuss the Open House/Brokers Open protocol should open houses be scheduled in the future. (3/18/2020 none being scheduled indefinitely.)
  • Ask the Sellers to keep you advised during the listing of any change in their circumstances that may lead them to believe that a household member has been exposed to, or may have contracted, the coronavirus.
  • Ask if Seller has been out of the country or state recently.
  • Safety precautions and showing instructions will be posted for Buyer’s Agents and Buyers.
  • Discuss how many people will be allowed at each showing.

Listing in MLS

  • In the Remarks section of the MLS listing, request that Buyer Agent and his/her clients follow the protocol they’ll see upon entering the home.

Also, request that the Agent refrains from showing the home if the Agent/Clients are sick with a cough or sneezing.

Showings: Listings

  • Discuss with your Sellers their concerns and what measures you can take in their home.
  • Confirm how many people are allowed at the showing and convey that to the Buyer’s Agent.
  • Sellers-turn on lights and open closet doors prior rather than have buyers doing so, and/or ask them to wipe off all door knobs and lights switches prior and following showings and the open house.
  • Instructions for buyers agents & buyers will be posted at the door to look-do not touch surfaces, open doors, etc
  • For your own precaution, Buyer Agents should have wipes if you are turning on lights, open doors, handling keys etc
  • Enlist the Seller’s participation by having them agree to keep a Protocol Station adequately stocked with the supplies referenced below. It is suggested that this is supplied by the Listing Agent:
  • Set up the “Protocol Station” at the entrance to the home with:
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Alternative: hand soap, paper towels and a wastebasket readily available at the kitchen sink.
    • Gloves
    • Tissues

Open Houses or Brokers Open–When scheduled again in the future:

  • The Protocol Station (detailed below) will be a permanent fixture at the entrance to the home during the listing.
  • Always enlist the Seller’s participation by having them agree to keep the Protocol Station adequately stocked with the supplies referenced below.
  • Set up the “Protocol Station” at the entrance to the home with hand sanitizer, (alternative: hand soap, paper towels and a wastebasket readily available at the kitchen sink) gloves, tissues.
  • Guest Log requesting/containing:
    • Agent Name
    • Agent Brokerage
    • Question: “Guest protocol followed? Y/N”
    • Shoe covers
  • Instruction for Agent/Guests to, upon entering the home, make use of the items set out at the Protocol Station and complete the Guest Log.
  • For Open Houses and Brokers Open, limit the number of guests in the home at any one time.
  • The number of guests allowed in at one time will be at your discretion, keeping in mind that the idea is to practice Social Distancing and avoid individuals congregating in any one location.
  • Do not leave listing feature sheets at the listing for visiting Buyers and their Agent.
  • At Open Houses and Brokers Opens hand out listing feature sheets to visitors rather than leaving them in a stack at one or more locations.
  • Don’t pass the pen for signing in at the open house-Agent should sign in all you are entering

Working With Buyers

When meeting with Buyers, use the following dialogue to demonstrate that CENTURY 21 Prolink has embraced the social responsibility inherent in the present circumstances by creating a set of protocols designed to minimize the risk and spread of the CV, and to garner client buy-in as a participant in the effort.

  • Company buy-in: “Our Company has established a protocol to help minimize the risk of exposure to the virus and the risk of spreading the virus.”
  • Agent buy-in: “I’d like to do my small part by being sure I follow the protocol because it’s so important right now.”
  • Client buy-in: “So, if you don’t mind, we’ll just do the things they’ve asked me to do. Is that alright with you?”

Meeting Clients in the Office

  • Before meeting with clients, clean the table you will be using with an anti-bacterial/anti-viral wipe.
  • Have your clients use the hand sanitizer upon entering the office.
  • Once in a conference room:
    • Advise the client that the office, including the conference rooms, are being sanitized on an ongoing, periodic basis throughout the day.
    • Have tissues and hand sanitizer on the table and readily available to the client.
    • Point out the location of the wastebasket where tissues and other refuse can be deposited
  • After your meeting:
    • Clean all items from the table and dispose of all trash.
    • Collect all coffee cups and similar items and deposit them in the kitchen dishwasher.
    • Clean the table with a sanitizing wipe.
  • Use hand sanitizer upon exiting the office.
  • Front doors will be locked in both offices. Please schedule a time to meet with your clients and be available for when they arrive.

Showing Homes

  • When making an appointment, advise the Listing Agent that our Company follows a CV protocol to limit the risk of spreading the virus. Explain what steps are taken.
  • Confirm with Listing Agent how many people are allowed in the home at a time and abide by sellers wishes.
  • Before entering the home, have all parties use hand sanitizer.
  • Offer a new pair of disposable gloves to your clients.
  • Have a small plastic bag available in your pocket or purse for disposal of the gloves upon exiting the home.
  • Require that your client look only while inside the house, do not open doors, turn on lights, etc.
  • Use hand sanitizer upon exiting the home.
  • For your own precaution, Buyer Agents should have wipes if you are turning on lights, open doors, handling keys etc. Preferably Sellers should have this done prior to the showing but realistically this will not always happen.
  • You may ask clients or others about their recent travel, particularly to areas identified as having an increased risk of coronavirus. To avoid potential fair housing issues, be sure to ask all clients the same screening questions based on current, factual information from public health authorities.
  • You may refuse to drive clients who show signs of illness or reveal recent travel to areas of increased risk of coronavirus, or you may instead decide to stop driving clients in your car altogether, and simply arrange to meet clients at a property. If you do continue to drive clients in your car, it is a good idea to frequently clean and disinfect surfaces like door handles and seat belt latches, and to ask clients to use hand sanitizer when getting in and out of the car.
NWIA Board logo

Changes To Our March Events

By Kerri | March 13, 2020 | Comments Off on Changes To Our March Events

NWIA has several schedule updates in light of current events.

Our quarterly board lunch that was scheduled for March 19 in Sioux City has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled. Our next lunch is set for May 21 in Sioux City.

The NWIA Board of Directors will meet as scheduled at 10 AM on March 19, but the meeting will be held via Zoom teleconference rather than in person at the board office. Anyone wishing to observe should contact Kelly at the office for the link to join the meeting remotely.

The Real Estate Negotiation Expert (RENE) class that had been scheduled for March 24 & 25 in Sioux City with Adorna Carroll has been postponed to September 9 and 10. See our March 12 email for additional details important to registered members.

Decisions about the status of our April events will be made as time goes on.  Current COVID-19 guidance for REALTORS is available here from NAR.

NWIA counties

NWIA MLS Rule Changes & Reminders

By Kerri | March 2, 2020 | Comments Off on NWIA MLS Rule Changes & Reminders

The NWIA MLS has recently made some rule changes, and we offer a few rule reminders that are important for all members to know and use.

AC/Pending Status
Your MLS Committee and Board of Directors have been hard at work for months on the topic of how to best communicate MLS listings that have accepted offers in which the seller wishes to continue to show the property. After many hours of deliberation, the Board, based on the recommendation of the MLS Committee, has made the decision to eliminate Active Contingent (AC) status. It will be replaced with a new status titled “Pending Continue to Show”.

Why the change?
AC status seemed to be confusing to both the REALTOR members and the public. The terminology “Active Contingent” implies that the property is available or “active” when in fact it is only available for back-up offers. Properties in this status were also showing up on some of the third-party sites as available for purchase which is misleading. The public generally understands the meaning of the word “pending” and we feel the change will add transparency to our industry. “Active Contingent” listings were also skewing days on market which was painting an inaccurate picture of our market. Moving forward both “Active” and “Pending to Continue to Show” listings will be syndicated to the third-party sites.

Effective immediately when a seller accepts an offer, it is mandatory to place the listing in one the following statuses:

  • Pending to Continue To Show: Place the property in this status only if the seller wishes to continue to show the property. If at any time during the escrow process the seller expresses that they no longer wish to show the property, then the status should be changed to “Pending”. Examples of a seller no longer wishing to show the property include, buyers removing inspection and financing contingencies or a seller no longer desiring to do the prep work that a showing often entails.
  • Pending No Showings: The seller has stated that they no longer wish to show their home since they have an accepted offer.

Regardless of the status, the seller is free to accept back up offers any time up until the time of closing. Code of Ethics and license law also require that all offers submitted be presented to the seller unless the seller waives the right to do so in writing.

What about existing AC status listings?
Depending on whether or not your sellers want to continue to show the home or pass on any further showings will dictate which status is best suited for the listing. Again, they wish to continue to show, move the property into “Pending Continue to Show”. If they no longer wish to open their home, then simply change it to “Pending No Showings”. All AC listngs must be changed to a pending status no later than March 13. Board staff is more than happy to help you make these changes if needed.

Subject to the Sale Offers
There continues to be confusion on how sellers who have accepted subject to the sale of the buyer’s property shall be marketed. If the accepted offer has a first right of refusal period, then the property shall remain “Active” with the first right of refusal time frame fully disclosed in the MLS. There is a built in feature within Paragon in which administration must add “Subject to the Sale” with the appropriate first right of refusal period.

Room Descriptions and Room Floors
Please, please, please add your room descriptions (living, dining, kitchen, bedroom, etc…) and the floor in which the room is located when entering your listings. Buyers and agents alike want this information and it also increases the likelihood that listings will be shown to prospective buyers. Room measurements are optional.

NAR Clear Cooperation Rule
As previously announced NAR has implemented the Clear Cooperation Rule in which a listing must be entered into the MLS the next business day following an executed listing agreement.

The rule states: “Within one (1) business day of marketing a property to the public, the listing broker must submit the listing to the MLS for cooperation…

This new NAR rule doesn’t really change the ways in which our board disseminates listings as we have been administering our listings in the following manner for quite some time:

  • Listing Procedure: Listings of real or personal property of the following types, which are listed for sale subject to a real estate broker’s license, located within the service area of the Board of REALTORS®, taken by Participants on Exclusive right to sell listing forms and Exclusive Agency listing forms, shall be delivered to Multiple Listing Service by 10:00 am CST the second board office business day after all necessary signatures of seller(s) have been obtained.
  • Exception: If a listing is advertised on any other *media form, listing must be entered into the MLS by 10:00 am CST the next Board Office Business Day, along with a copy of the signed listing agreement. *Media forms include, but are not limited to all social media, signs in yards, print ads.

To make sure we are compliant with the MLS cooperation time frames, the following penalties will be assessed when a listing is not entered into the MLS within the proper time frame.

  • 1st Offense $500
  • 2nd Offense $1000
  • 3rd and all future Offenses $1500

The fines will be billed to broker who can make the determination on how to handle within their own office. We do understand that there may be the very infrequent occasion in which a violation takes place. In that circumstance, a broker can attend the Board of Directors meeting and explain the situation. It will be up to the members of the Board of Directors to determine if a fine should be waived.

This rule does not apply to Open Listings as they are not allowed in our MLS.

Private Listings
To fully comply with the NAR rule, Private Listings shall not be advertised. This includes all print, digital, and social media advertising as well as yard signs.

Other MLS Violations
The fee structure for other MLS violations and mistakes remains the same. The board office will notify the offending agent of the discrepancy and the agent will have 24 hours to remedy the situation. If the listing is not corrected within 24 hours, a $50 fine to the broker will be assessed.

Questions? Need More Info?
All of our MLS rules exist in Paragon. Look in the upper right corner for “MLS Documents” in white print. All the rules live there for your download and printing needs.

Hello New Members

New Faces In February: Welcome To NWIA!

By Kerri | March 2, 2020 | Comments Off on New Faces In February: Welcome To NWIA!

Say hello to the following new folks who have recently joined our organization! We’re glad you are here.  Contact information is available in the membership directory here on our website.

Darin Miller, MB Radon Solutions (Affiliate)
Michael Manning, Dakota Realty
Diane Plum, Factor Realty
David Soroka, C21 ProLink
Aaron Bircher, Bircher & Associates (ReMax Prime)
Jessica Tadlock, Century 21 ProLink
Geneva Miesner, McGuire Auction
Mark Glienke, Signature Real Estate Group of Iowa
Jamie Friedel, Keller Williams Siouxland
Jennifer Hiller, Century 21 ProLink

Welcome sign held by person

Our Recent New Members

By Kerri | February 3, 2020 | Comments Off on Our Recent New Members

The new year often brings us a few new faces, which is always enjoyable.  Say hello to the following REALTOR members who have recently joined our organization! We’re glad you are here.  Contact information for these folks is available in the member directory here on our website.

Hope Feiner, Keller Williams Siouxland
Dean Fjeld, Northwest Realty
Tara Salmen, Keller Williams Siouxland
Peggy Sitzmann, Lance Sitzmann Real Estate
Aaron Tyler, Keller Williams Siouxland
Colleen (Callie) Wockenfuss, Keller Williams Siouxland
Dixie Gors, United Real Estate Solutions

Kingsley Iowa

Our Town: Kingsley

By Kerri | November 25, 2019 | Comments Off on Our Town: Kingsley

By Bob Davis, Century21 ProLink.  Photos by Todd Beelner, Kingsley City Council Member-Elect.

You’ll have to get up and going mighty early to spend a full day in my favorite town, Kingsley, Iowa (population 1426). Beautiful Kingsley is one of the two cities in Plymouth County that is increasing in population according to the 2010 census. Come spend a fun summer day at our golf course, city park, tennis courts, swimming pool, library and athletic fields with all-weather track, ball diamonds and paved walking trail.

Downtown Kingsley Iowa

Kingsley is a full service town with a grocery store, hardware store, lumber yard, and many construction companies. We have a complete range of healthcare services, including Mercy Medical Center, an optometrist, dentist, chiropractor and a massage therapist. Our town is so convenient, as all of these business and many more are within 1 block of the flag pole at Main Street and Second Street.

Kingsley is special because it was moved one mile from the original town of Quorn in 1883 by horse and wagons and skids to its present site to be near the new railroad. It was one of the first towns of its size in Iowa to have paved streets with curbs & gutters and electric lights on every corner. Today, the community boasts numerous Century Farms with a lot of beautiful acreages and historic older homes mixed with new ongoing building and subdivisions.

Through the year, Kingsley has many community events to keep residents and visitors busy. These include an annual Easter Egg Hunt, Memorial Day Service, Golf Tournaments, Augustfest, Trunk or Treat, and our Hometown Christmas event. We host many visitors during the year for youth baseball, softball, football, and other sports events. Kingsley is a community that supports our youth!

Library and city hall in Kingsley Iowa

With so much to see and do, you will work up an appetite in Kingsley and our community has a number of places to get a bite to eat. Stop by Pronto for breakfast, lunch and supper with pizza, chicken, daily lunch specials & hot grab and go food. They also have gas & propane tanks, and some grocery items. Scootchs’ Bar & Grill has been in business since 1951 w/daily farmers lunch specials, Monday night Mexican food, a delicious Friday night fish fry, Saturday hot dogs from 10:30 to 1:00pm and occasional Saturday Night Prime Rib. Scootch’s is also a good place to catch up on the town news with the good ol’ boys and gals!

If it’s a sweet treat you’re after, JoJo’s Coffee has pie and pastries, soup & great sandwiches. I also like to stop by Dooskeys located east of Brookside Golf Course, as they have a full lunch & dinner menu and a nice lunch buffet on Thursday.

Church in Kingsley Iowa

Kingsley has many service organizations that provide great benefits to our community. We are glad to have the Kingsley Chamber of Commerce, Community Action Club, Federated Garden Club, Masonic Lodge, Kingsley Patriots 4H Club, Kingsley Knowners 4-H Club, American Legion Nash Post #140 , Questors, The Dwelling Teen Center, and Club Scout Pack 183 help make our town a great place to live and work. I invite you to come see us and spend the day in beautiful Kingsley, Iowa!

About The Author
Bob Davis
Robert E (Bob) Davis is a longtime REALTOR, and Broker Associate with Century 21 ProLink. Originally licensed in Colorado in 1971 with a brief retirement (which didn’t work!), Bob loves helping connect buyers and sellers in today’s real estate market.

Bob is an active member of the Kingsley Chamber of Commerce and has served his community in a variety of organizations through the years.


MLS Rule Change

NWIA Adopts MLS Clear Cooperation Policy

By Kerri | November 22, 2019 | Comments Off on NWIA Adopts MLS Clear Cooperation Policy

At the Board of Directors meeting held Thursday November 21, 2019, NWIA’s leadership team voted to implement the recently enacted NAR mandated MLS Clear Cooperation rules on December 1.

The statement added to the NAR mandatory rules for MLS’s and adopted by the NWIA Board of Directors reads as follows:

MLS Statement 8.0, NAR Handbook on Multiple Listing Policy

Within one (1) business day of marketing a property to the public, the listing broker must submit the listing to the MLS for cooperation with other MLS participants. Public marketing includes, but is not limited to, flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public facing websites, brokerage website displays (including IDX and VOW), digital communications marketing (email blasts), multi-brokerage listing sharing networks, and applications available to the general public.

Clear Cooperation Rules: FAQ’s

I have a regular listing that isn’t out of the ordinary. What does this mean for me?
NWIA has long had a policy requiring listings to be entered into the MLS by 10:00 AM the next business day after advertising a listing. The new Clear Cooperation Rule does not change policy or procedure for the majority of our listings.

I have a private listing the seller does not want listed in the MLS. What does this new rule mean?
This rule requires agents make changes to their handling of private listings. Agents currently holding private listings must remove any existing company signs from the yard, and cease all public advertising in accordance with the above stated rule. These changes must occur before December 1. Agents should note that social media is included in public advertising.

My area has “open listings” among agents. How does this rule impact us?
This rule does not apply to “open” listings (non exclusive) since NWIA does not allow those to ever be entered into the MLS.

I have a private listing. When must I make changes?
All signs/advertising on existing private listings of any type must be removed no later than December 1, 2019. Private listings obtained on or after December 1, 2019 will be required to follow the new rules for Clear Cooperation.

What happens if I violate these rules?
Violators will be fined $50 per day.

I have questions about this new rule. Where can I learn more?
NAR held a one-hour webinar about the new policy. It can be found here.

I want to talk to someone. Who can I reach out to?
Questions can be emailed to NWIA CEO Kelly Burge, or contact the the board office, (712) 255-8810. Please keep in mind that because this is a new rule for all MLS’s in the nation, we may have to seek guidance from NAR on specific questions.


New Faces This Fall

By Kerri | November 4, 2019 | Comments Off on New Faces This Fall

Fall is here, and with it come a few new faces to our REALTOR organization.  We are always delighted to welcome new members!  Please join us in making these new folks feel at home as a part of NWIA.  Contact information for these members is available in the membership directory located here on our website.

Victor Becerra, Century 21 ProLink
Theresa Deger, NextHome TriState Realty
Jeanne Glaser,  Keller Williams Greater Des Moines

MLS Rule Change

MLS Rule Change: Disclose Recording Devices

By Kerri | October 22, 2019 | Comments Off on MLS Rule Change: Disclose Recording Devices

Effective November 1, the NWIA MLS will add a new required field to all Residential and Multi-Unit properties.  The field will be called PROPERTY SURVEILLANCE, and will require a simple Yes or No answer to two questions:

  1. Audio (Yes or No), meaning does the property have any type of audio surveillance capability;
  2. Video (Yes or No), meaning does the property have video surveillance cameras of any kind?

Both questions must be answered as a part of the listing entry process.  Unfortunately, these two questions will be added to all listings, meaning a previously entered listing which is being changed or updated by an agent must also have answers to the Audio (Yes or No), and Video (Yes or No) entered before any changes can be saved.

These questions are being added in our ongoing effort to decrease potential liability for REALTOR® members.  Some NWIA brokerages have already added these questions to their listing agreements and/or property disclosures, and we expect more will do so as time and technology evolve.

TAKE NOTE: If a property does utilize either audio or video surveillance devices, it is strongly recommended that a notice be visibly posted for the public to see when an agent is hosting an open house event.

Questions about this change can be directed to the board office at (712) 255-8810.

Iowa Association of Realtors Logo

IAR’s Legal Hotline Services

By Kerri | October 18, 2019 | Comments Off on IAR’s Legal Hotline Services

Gabe Walsh IAR AttorneyMembers of the Iowa Association of REALTORS® have access to a free Legal Hotline service included as a part of their annual dues payment.  Recently, IAR has recently hired Gabe Walsh, a new face in this role.  Gabe spoke about the Legal Hotline service at the IAR convention earlier this fall, and provided us with this presentation for those who couldn’t be in attendance.  The Legal Hotline is intended to provide guidance, but it cannot substitute for an agent’s relationship with a personal attorney.

Questions about the Legal Hotline or its services can be directed to Gabe Walsh at the Iowa Association of REALTORS®, at (888) 636-2622 or by emailing [email protected]create new email.  Please note that responses are often not immediate due to the volume of requests received.

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