News Brief

Top comments of the week Feb. 6-10

Perspectives on NAR's CEO pick, solar panels, taxes, the part-time agent and more

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This week, readers voiced their opinions and thoughts on the transparency surrounding NAR’s next CEO pick, agent safety and the Beverly Carter Foundation, President Trump’s tax plan, practices that polarize the industry and more.

Here are our top comments.


‘We are Moms first’

Valisa Schmidley · Commented on Beverly Carter Foundation will keep agent safety top-of-mind

We are Moms first and Beverly’s family will always be in my thoughts and prayers. We owe this to her.


‘I have to trust the process’

Andrea Geller · Commented on ‘NAR Girl Boss 2017’ Facebook group urges CEO selection transparency

I am sure that this will come as a surprise to most people who know me but truly i do believe this:

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The association is following the process that they should be in bringing the best candidates to the table. I have to trust that the committee and the executive recruiting firm that NAR has retained will accomplish that.

Although there are many women and men that are considered industry leaders whose names are bantered about in many conversations, the failure in these conversations is are they qualified to be CEO of a not for profit professional association. The requisites for that position are very different than being CEO or in some sort of executive position of a real estate company or a vendor.

These conversations that take place on the social platforms do have the benefit of making the search committee sensitive to ensure that the candidate will be able to move the association forward in a direction that NAR needs to go as the dynamics of the industry and what is going on around it changes.

I am familiar with many of the names of the people and know several on the committee. For the most part, I hold them highly respect them as leaders in our industry with few exceptions. I have seen several publicly post they will take our calls and emails with our thoughts about the NAR and the new CEO. Unless they prove themselves otherwise I have to trust the process.


Part-time does not equal poor quality

Jerry Kline · 6 polarizing real estate practices: Where do you stand?

Being a “part-time” agent — in and of itself — does not directly correlate to professionalism or providing quality services. I personally know agents who’ve been in the business 30 years and who do lots of transactions — and they are terrible at what they do!


‘The glass ceiling needs to be broken’

Sarah Mercer Chatel · Commented on ‘NAR Girl Boss 2017’ Facebook group urges CEO selection transparency

Here here! It’s not about political correctness. Choosing a woman as the next CEO to replace Mr. Stinson is the right thing to do to represent our constituency. May I offer up a few more names of highly, if not overqualified women? Mary Tenant, former President of Keller Williams International, Kay Evans, co- owner of the southeast region of Keller Williams or Jenny Pruitt of Sotheby’s Atlanta Fine Homes. Highly qualified women leaders in our industry.
The glass ceiling needs to be broken. NAR should lead the charge. #NAR #womenleaders #DistinctiveAtlantaHomes #HendrickandStruggles


The perfect analogy

Lizzy Walker Conroy · Commented on Buying or selling a home in spring? Be ready to drive in rush hour

There is nothing like being able to explain to your clients how supply and demand affects them in the marketplace in a way as simple as experiencing “rush hour traffic”. We hate getting stuck on the highway and not being able to reach our destination on time. With too much competition, a seller can be stuck and waiting to get to their destination too – sold and moved to the next location in their life!


Tax tales

Wendy Wolf · Commented on How Trump’s tax plan could affect your bottom line as a real estate agent

Simplification: Good.
Trump Tax Plan: Bad.
A comparison to current tax rates/brackets would have clearly shown that the Trump tax plan would, like all things Trump, benefit the rich (over $415k) by capping taxes at 33% as opposed to 39.6%. And on the other end of the spectrum, the poorest Americans (married, earning less than $18,550) would see their taxes increase by 2% (i.e. $2,220 vs $1,850, or $370). No big deal? It is to others, whether they can qualify to buy a home or not. And if you (and your spouse) make say, $230,000? Guess what, your rate just went from 28% to 33%.

John Irion · Commented on How Trump’s tax plan could affect your bottom line as a real estate agent

Wendy, to your last comment, you are only taxed at 33% for the portion that exceeds $225,000 (married couple). So, in your example, $5K would be taxed at 33%.. Your first $75k in income will be taxed at 12%, and from $75,001-$225,000 at 25% and so on. I’m ok with a little extra money in my pocket. I’m likley to go out and stimulate the economy with it or even put it back into my business via marketing? Option A is good for our economy and option B will likley increase my income the following year. That’s the idea! Reducing taxes, maybe not such a crazy bad thought afterall.


Under-the-table exchanges?

Ray Ares · Commented on CFPB orders real estate brokers, lenders to pay $4M in fines

I am glad to see this story. I am sure that there are a few brokers who genuinely do not enjoy any sort of exchange of benefit whatsoever for the referral (bear in mind it doesn’t have to be a cash benefit, it can be anything). But, I’ve always believed that the majority of the cases involve some exchange of benefit, from outright under the table cash payments, to gifts or services or goods of some sort, or simply even good will/cross-referrals.

However it’s always been my opinion that the much more substantial issue is the impression I received that many sellers had no clue their broker was placing this requirement in the listing. Even if they do, does the broker give the seller an adequate explanation that placing this restriction in the listing will have some deterrent effect of buyers or their agents from making offers on the property to begin with? People don’t want to hassle with having to cross-qualify. All other things being equal, they will deal with the seller (agent) who isn’t demanding a cross-qual.

Though I am a broker, I have used other brokers when selling out of state rental property that I own. Without my permission, a broker put such a clause in my listing. It was there for months, deterring would be buyers. When I discovered it through a third-party, I got rid of the broker and I had an offer within less than two weeks with a new broker.


Shining a light on solar

Michael F Freeland · Commented on 4 solar panel pitfalls I’ve faced with clients

Yes, leasing isn’t the best choice for marketing your property. As a Realtor here in the New Orleans Metro Area and a former Solar Representative for Joule Solar Energy. Typically the leased systems were low in Kw production in comparison with the monthly lease charge versus the savings. Most homeowners aren’t aware of the Kw production size and warranties that come with the variety of panels available in our market. We purchased our own system for our home and have seen the advantages in lower energy costs which increased our ROI. As for property value, we had a boom of solar installs here in the New Orleans Metro area of both ownership and lease. There also is a big disparity of quality, system KW size and warranties. Fortunately we installed SunPower panels on our own home, which are considered the best in the market. I would caution any homeowner prior to installing leased systems. If you plan on staying in your home for more than 5-7 years, than buying them would be a better choice. Aesthetics are also an important factor in this early stage of the solar boom.

Top comments are compiled by the editorial staff in no particular order.

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