Notes from Readers: Finding A Nice Balance
Our readers share their thoughts on environmental issues on the job, the upcoming TRID changes, and why seller real talk is not necessarily a bad thing.
September 16, 2015
"As a Real Estate Practitioner, Aren’t You Also an Environmentalist?" (Speaking of Real Estate, July 2015) examined the tension over how to balance the importance of upholding property rights with increasing concerns about the well-being of the planet.
We have unrealistic expectations. Consumers want farmers to treat hens like family pets but bellyache at paying $2 a dozen for eggs. Recently there was a protest against oil drilling in Seattle where one environmentalist flew in from Washington. How much fuel did that consume? SUVs are selling like hotcakes now that gasoline prices have fallen. Those prices fell because of a technology change—one that is everyone’s favorite boogie man: fracking.
—Terrel Shields, certified general appraiser, Siloam Springs, Ark.
Protecting the environment is one thing, but it can go to extremes. In Colorado Springs, Colo., we have thousands of acres dedicated to the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse. Although you never actually see the mouse, almost every north end developer has to dedicate land to it. The mouse has become the largest land holder in El Paso County, and commercial land prices have gone through the roof. I love mice, but sometimes a little common sense is needed.
—Ron Mast, Real Help Real Estate, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2014 was the warmest year our planet has ever endured, climatologists tell us. As a result, the polar ice cap is melting, as are many glaciers. The sea level is rising and threatening the survival of the noble polar bear. Where are our major cities? They are at the mouths of the rivers as they flow into the sea. We can anticipate that the rising sea levels will begin assaulting New York and San Francisco. The California drought is affecting the food supply. In our quest to be ethical practitioners of real estate, we must undertake a study of our relationship to the Earth. The time has come, it seems to me, to add an Article 18 to the -REALTORS® Code of Ethics that addresses the duty real estate professionals have toward the Earth because, as the preamble says, "Under all is the land."
—Israel Nelson, Double Eagle Real Estate and Investments Ltd., Wasilla, Alaska
Ready for TRID
Thank you for the information sent to members regarding TRID. In my opinion, if REALTORS® aren’t prepared for the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule, it's not because we haven’t received support and timely information. I believe the implementation of TRID [on Oct. 3] should make closing a much better process once we get through the initial bumps in the road. I wasn’t crazy about it initially due to comments before being informed on the entire process. I'm still learning and so grateful there is information at my fingertips when it’s needed.
—Sharon Hudgins, e-PRO, GRI, Keller Williams Realty, Burnet County, Georgetown, Texas
Regarding "Sticks & Stones Won’t Hurt Worst" (July/August 2015, page 13), why would we want to chastise the minority of sellers who are honest and candid about their property and neighborhood? Frank and realistic sellers are more likely to disclose relevant property information and to price the property properly. I would welcome them any day of the week.
—Eduardo Brandt, Realty Associates Florida, Weston, Fla.
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Updated: August 16, 2018