We Need Rules for All
I am concerned with the power we
REALTORS® have given to third-party
real estate portals. How it is possible
that we real estate agents have a Code
of Ethics we must follow and are highly
regulated by our local authorities,
boards, and associations, yet these
companies are able to do whatever they
want with very little, if any, oversight?
How is it possible that we are subjected
to disciplinary actions, including fines,
if we do not keep our listings up to date,
yet these websites are plagued with
inaccurate data? How is it possible
that written authorization from both
the listing agent and broker is required
before advertising a listing, yet these
companies publicize those properties
just by placing them under “undisclosed
address”? Or, even worse, addresses
that do not even exist!
I believe the responsibility is ours. For
years, we have been feeding steroids
to these companies via our advertising
monies, so we appear as the “featured
agent” or as part of the rotation to get
leads (that are sold to hundreds of other
agents). We have the power to change
this. Let’s start a dialogue with all parties
involved to agree on rules for all.
Daniel Katz. Beachfront Realty Inc.,
Recently I’ve seen enhanced photos in
the MLS, which cause a lot of extra work
for buyer’s agents. When buyers see
such a home online, they send us over to
preview it. If the photos were more real,
I might have skipped a couple of those
properties. I feel enhancing photos could
be bordering on misrepresentation by
the listing agent. It appears these photos
are taken in landscape mode and then
enhanced so you don’t see the defects.
Kathy Luebcke, Luxury Homes
Wine Country, Yountville, Calif.
Editor’s note: Potential violations of
Article 12 of the Code of Ethics are
considered on a case-by-case basis.
Improving the aesthetic value of a photo
may be considered acceptable; deliberately changing features likely would not.
Under All Is the Land;
What If It’s Under Water?
FROM “SPEAKING OF REAL ESTATE” How
do you tell a 90-year-old client that her
biggest asset has been ruled a habitat
for a protected species? How do you run
a stable, profitable business when your
area is experiencing mega-wildfires,
severe storms, or long-term drought?
How do you balance your desire to be
environmentally responsible with your
staunch belief in property rights? Those
were the conversations taking place
at NAR’s Environmental Summit, July
29–30, in Washington, D.C. The summit
was an opportunity to consider what real
estate may look like in 10 to 20 years and
engage members in thinking about what
the organization might do to get ahead
of these issues. By Stacey Moncrieff
ARLEN CROTCHETT RESPONDS: NAR has
plenty of real issues to address. It is not
our responsibility as REALTORS® to
enter the arena of water conservation,
sea levels, and global warming/cooling.
NELSON PAUL RESPONDS: In North Carolina we began losing our private property
rights when the state and the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers confiscated “high
marsh” back in the early ’70s without
compensating the rightful owners. NAR
should stand for private property rights
and demand compensation to owners.
RON DONOFRIO RESPONDS: As a broker
and a LEED Green Associate, there are
things we can do in our business that
are simple and make sense. Small steps
and changes by individuals [can lead to]
cultural shifts as a community. Property
values increase in a healthy, clean, environmentally conscious community.
DANNY BEEN RESPONDS: The highest and
best use of some of this nation’s land
is to leave it alone! If we blindly develop
every inch of dirt, where will our children
and their children play, fish, hunt, walk
on the seashore, and breathe clean air?
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