Merrill Ottwein




United States



Recognized by friends and colleagues as a “true pioneer and advocate of buyer agency,” Merrill’s extensive background transcends real estate into multiple occupations: veterinarian, agricultural consultant, land developer and Illinois State Senator.

For the past fifteen years, he has owned and operated Home Buyers Relocation Services, an exclusive buyer agency serving O’Fallon, Edwardsville, both Illinois suburbs of St. Louis, and Scott Air Force Base. It was before that, however, while he operated Century 21 and Coldwell Banker franchises, that he became interested in agency laws, especially as they related to buyers.

Through seven years of service on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA), he was instrumental in establishing and maintaining open communications and close relationships with REBAC. A charter and founding member of NAEBA, he served as its first treasurer and later served as its president.

Merrill views his role in buyer representation as “practicalizing a splendid idea”, customizing the concept’s marketing and practice for maximum service to the consumer. His practice has shown steady and sustained growth, reflecting response to innovative practice principals and strong consumer acceptance of the “idea whose time has come.” He says that his association with fellow buyer agents has been invaluable in gathering ideas for service and for marketing the concept of buyer’s agency, and in honing his enthusiasm for it.

Also active in community affairs, Merrill is past president of the Cahokia Mounds Council of the Boy Scouts, the Land of Goshen Chamber of Commerce and the Edwardsville Rotary Club. Elected in 1968, he served four years as Republican Illinois State Senator, representing the heavily Democratic 53rd District.

In an earlier career, this latest inductee practiced veterinarian medicine, after training at the University of Illinois that also included Agriculture and Agricultural Economics.  

Home Buyers Relocation Service