Notes from Readers: The Dangers of Disparity
These recent stories sparked feedback from our readers.
January 20, 2016
The Dangers of Disparity
I was glad to see that REALTOR® Magazine is willing to join the discussion of wealth disparity and how it affects the entire chain of real estate transactions (“A Dream Too Far,”). I often get the feeling that when this topic is introduced, it has political overtones and people just retrench into their respective corners. This was an insightful and informative article on how we are all affected, regardless of affiliation.—Lawrence B. Ross, GRI, SRES, Weichert, REALTORS®, Four Corners Real Estate LLC, Storrs, Conn.
“A Dream Too Far” confirms what I have gleaned from anecdotal evidence on the street and studies published by the Fed: The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, and it is becoming a barrier for many middle class people who want to own their own homes. While the wealthiest 5 percent make their money playing the stock market and buying and selling futures, the rest of the country will be left to try to divide what’s left of income coming from the manufacturing and retail sectors, and that pie is shrinking with each passing year. Since the wealthy will not pass any laws that increase their tax burdens, their only option will be to increase taxes on a shrinking middle class. Eventually, they will put one too many straws on the camel’s back.
The American Revolution was fought largely over political autonomy and overtaxation. The French Revolution was fought over the growing gap between rich and poor. In early 21st century America, we are on a collision course with both scenarios.—Mark Forror, Exit Professional Real Estate, Fredericksburg, Va.
5 Things You Didn’t Learn in Real Estate Class
When facing difficult work situations, you may ask yourself, “Why didn’t I learn that in class before I started?” One potentially contentious area involves exclusions in a sales contract. How do you avoid disputes between a seller and buyer over items like a light fixture, which may or may not stay in a home? (Online Exclusive, November 2015)
Using phrases such as “replace with a comparable or nice one” only sets you up for failure. One person’s “nice” can be another’s garbage. Better to counsel your sellers to take down or remove an item before listing a property.—Ray Faragher, Lake Conroe Realty, Montgomery, Texas
Staging Tips for Photos
FROM “STYLED, STAGED & SOLD” If you opt to take staging photos yourself rather than use a professional, here are tips for making the images the best they can be. Arrange the space from the perspective of the camera lens rather than the user. Indirect sunlight is much better than shooting on a sunny day or at night.
Unless you want your house to look like an old warehouse in puke yellow, do not use CFL lightbulbs anywhere in your home for photos. Especially if you have dark walls, they will discolor everything.—Fred Light, Nashua Video Tours, Nashua, N.H.
Teaching Consumers About Your Safety
FROM “SPEAKING OF REAL ESTATE” Real estate professionals know they need to be cautious in the field, but many worry that using strict measures to stay safer will drive clients away. Members can direct consumers to this video from the National Association of REALTORS® so they know what to expect when meeting an agent for the first time.
The biggest thing is educating the public. Then we will all be safer and not have to worry about losing clients. —Julie Gritton, Lewes Realty Inc., Lewes, Del.
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Updated: August 16, 2018