WE WANT YOUR FEEDBACK Send letters to email@example.com or join a conversation at one of our blogs:
Speaking of Real Estate; Styled, Staged & Sold; The Weekly Book Scan; and YPN Lounge.
Breach of Etiquette?
The front cover of your magazine is great at
showing the young R;;;;;;;®, but the table is set
incorrectly (“Feeling Right At Home,” May/June 2013,
cover). The;fork should be to the left of the plate,
with the knife and spoon to its right. Carol Van
Hook, ;;;, ;;;, Mira Vista, R;;;;;;;®, Ft. Worth, Texas
Creative Manager Julie Fournier responds:
In regard to the silverware placement, I initially set the
table according to standard etiquette. During setup, we took
test shot a;er test shot. What I found was that separating
the;utensils;was not as visually pleasing as was placing them
together as a sculptural unit. Separated, they added a cluttered quality that detracted ;om the shot’s focus.
Moving Toward a
Nationwide Data Source
I was thumbing through the May/June 2013 issue
and saw Chuck Leathers’ letter (Readers, page 7)
concerning the Zillow e;ect. Consumers put their
stock in [third-party aggregator] Web sites as being
accurate data sources. Even worse, many agents and
sellers believe they are a vital marketing tool, where
in many cases, it’s the opposite. I often have to
overcome the e;ects of “misinformation” coming
from these sites. There are even sites that scrape
the data from agencies’ public Web sites, and the
accuracy in those cases is much worse. Still, I think
the inevitable result is that we are moving toward
one nationwide source for data display. Adam Burk-himer, ;;;, ;;;, The Dean Agency, Kill Devil Hills, N.C.
Editor’s Note: Read about one MLS’s victory in a
data-scraping case, page 13.
The Poverty Conundrum
Poverty is certainly an issue for millions of people
(“It’s In Our Backyard,”;May/June 2013, page 48). I
felt the article was worthwhile until the sentence:
“In a country as rich as this, no one should be
poor and all people should have a roof over their
head.” It seems Steve Liss feels the problems of
the poor are also someone else’s problem. True in
some ways, considering the cost of unemployment
benefits, food stamps, and other programs that
help keep people from doing something to better
their lives. He didn’t mention solutions that would
include having both a mom and dad at home for the
kids, caring parents that are sure their kids get an
education, parents who refuse to let their kids join
gangs, and other solutions that help kids have a real
chance to lead productive lives. Solving poverty has
to come from men and women taking responsibil-
ity. Carl Fischer, Prudential Alliance, Chesterfield, Mo.
Change the Tax Code
I do not agree with this tired drivel (“Not a High-
Wire Act,” May/June 2013, page 38). It’s time to go to
the fair tax and get rid of the existing system. See
which would actually be better for individuals and
the country. You’d be surprised. Jim Ashenfelter, ;;;,
Realty Associates of Atlanta, Atlanta
Editor’s Note: In late June leaders of the Senate Finance
Committee began a legislative push to simplify the tax code.
NAR President Gary Thomas reiterated that while reform
to di;erent portions of the individual tax code may be warranted, NAR remains committed to preserving the current
incentives for home ownership and real estate investment.
Are Pocket Listings a
Paul Johnson responded: The underlying motiva-
Threat to the MLS?
The number of homes for sale that never make
it to the MLS is growing. During a discussion at
the R;;;;;;;® Midyear Legislative Meetings and
Expo, supporters of “pocket listings” noted that
sellers seeking privacy are more inclined to avoid
the MLS. The rise in such sales correlates with
overall market improvement, but some worry
about the threat to the current MLS model. Posted
on May 16 by Meg White, multimedia Web producer
tion is nothing more than greed. The same agents
that are holding pocket listings are often the same
agents that attempt to shortcut everything.
Kevin Rushton responded: Pocket listings are
not a threat; they go up and down in number as the
market fluctuates. Selling our MLS data to every
company out there willing to write a check is a real
threat to our industry.
Note: Letters and blog posts are
edited for space and clarity. Publication
of a letter doesn’t constitute an
endorsement of the writer’s views by the
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
or REALTOR® Magazine. Submission
of a letter constitutes permission to
publish it in any form or medium.