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Time For Tax Breaks/Users/adamp/Desktop/Oct_Mag_pics/mailbox

Amendment 1 didn’t address one of the real issues facing our real estate market: fair taxes for second-home owners. A fair tax cap is needed too.

The second-home owner feeds our economy, and we’re doing nothing to make it attractive to own a second home or winter residence [in Florida]. High taxes and high tax caps only serve to make second-home owners evaluate their costs and say, “Enough is enough—sell it!”

Peggie Francis
Coldwell Banker
Residential Real Estate
Fort Myers


Short-Sale Reality Check
There are a large number of listings in our MLS system that fall into the so-called short-sale category. What concerns me is that the prices and terms being marketed are not realistic. Sellers came up with a figure they think the bank will take. Usually, it’s not until offers start pouring in that the seller goes to his or her lender and tries to negotiate the terms, including price and commissions to be paid. I don’t think a sentence in the remarks section stating, “Offer subject to third-party approval” is enough disclosure.

I, as well as my sales associates, have had numerous offers placed on short-sale listings, and sellers and their sales associates have been unable to even come up with a counteroffer that is approved by a bank. At the end of the day, our current MLS inventory is displaying properties [offered by] sales associates who don’t necessarily have a ready, willing and able seller since it’s up to a third party to decide. And that third party in most cases is an institutional seller that could take a long time to decide the properties’ acceptable price (and other terms).

This leads to a situation where potential buyers become frustrated and disinterested in purchasing in South Florida, which will eventually lead to even more unsold properties in our region.

Daniel Ickowicz
Elite International Realty
North Miami


Editor’s Note:  For more information on short sales, check out of Florida Realtor magazine’s April 2008 story, “Successful Short Sale Seminars,” on page 24 of that issue.

One-Stop Shop?
Banks and lenders own a large portion of properties, and they are getting used to disposing of them efficiently without paying much for marketing services. At what point will banking determine that it can be a “one-stopshop”? Deposit your paycheck, place your home on the bank’s Web site of properties, check on the activity of a home you’ve been considering, obtain the value of that home, and find out what your approved loan would be if you decided to buy that house. Close in five business days and, in that time, perhaps talk to one human.

Timothy K. Goessman
Florida Appraiser
Deltona


Submit letters to “Editor” via e-mail to FLRealtor@far.org, mail to P.O. Box 725025, Orlando FL 32872-5025, or fax to (407) 438-1411.

Letters are edited for space and clarity. Publication of a letter does not constitute an endorsement of the writer’s views by the Florida Association of Realtors®.