May 22, 2018

Notes From Readers: Pocket Listings Pique Interest

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Notes From Readers: Pocket Listings Pique Interest

Readers chime in about off-MLS listings, immigration, and health care reform myths.

I read with interest the article by Robert J. Bailey (“Off-MLS is Off-Base,” November/December 2013, page 47) on the effect of pocket listings on the MLS data. Why wouldn’t it work for MLSs to offer the benefit of entering pocket listings in the MLS and “hiding” them? They could be made visible to a variety of audiences in the MLS [agents in their own company, for example] or not visible in the MLS at all while they were active. Once the property closes, the information could be available for reporting purposes such as CMAs but not directed to the public’s viewing. —Cheryl E. Olsberg, NP Dodge Real Estate, Omaha, Neb.

Off-MLS is Off-Base” by Robert Bailey is seriously flawed because the writer bases his argument on a false premise. He writes, “Here’s why this matters. Real estate professionals owe a fiduciary duty to the seller.” That’s a blanket statement that is true in some parts of the country but untrue in others, such as Florida and Colorado, where transaction brokerage is the default and under which there is no fiduciary duty to either the seller or buyer. Mr. Bailey needs to start over if he wants to prove his case. —Larry Lowenthal, Century 21– Rose Realty West, Cooper City, Fla.

Immigration Maelstrom

In the article “An Unverified Life” (Last Word, November/December 2013, page 48), Jose Antonio Vargas poses the question, “How do you define an American?” The answer is, you begin by obeying the law. The rule of law is what sets us apart from much of the world where chaos reigns. My disappointment in the magazine for taking the politically correct route with this article is profound. If Vargas wants to quit hiding in our society like a common criminal and actually complete his immigration here, I’d be the first to welcome him. —Dennis Erickson, ABR, RE/MAX Realty Group, Bozeman, Mont.

Thank you for speaking to my colleagues and peers. I am a REALTOR® with a mixed [legal] status family. You spoke to our hearts and liberated us. —Cyndi, REALTOR®, Michigan (Full identifying details were withheld at member’s request.)

Editor’s Note: The publication of Jose Antonio Vargas’ interview in REALTOR® Magazine (“An Unverified Life,” November/December 2013) was intended to offer the perspective of one high-profile immigration reform advocate amid the ongoing Congressional debate over a potential pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented residents. Vargas’ comments do not constitute an endorsement by the magazine or NAR. As the association continues to monitor Congressional proposals, it is worth noting that last year Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said that an influx of legal immigration could boost housing demand long term.

Blog Post: Busting a Health Care Myth

From Speaking of Real Estate: A false Facebook post is making the rounds claiming that if you don’t pay the penalty under the Affordable Care Act for not buying health insurance, the IRS can file a lien against your home. The law requires individuals who don’t meet one of the law’s exemptions to buy an insurance plan that meets minimum requirements or face a penalty of $95 or 1 percent of their income. However, the law explicitly prohibits the IRS from filing liens against homes to collect health-insurance penalties. Instead, the IRS will offset tax refunds to obtain the money owed.  

REALTOR® Monkey responds: With a law that is so complex and convoluted in the way it’s written, there are bound to be rumors and problems in spades. I guess we’ll see how things play out with it.

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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.

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