By Sam DeBord
Realtor.com®’s president, Errol Samuelson, has been hired away by Zillow. I’ve met Errol and he’s a nice guy, very smart, and very successful. Business is business. But, naive as it might be, there’s plenty of disappointment from the REALTOR® community. It comes from a belief that we have a common cause greater than just our businesses. Whether we’re aligned with NAR or realtor.com®, we believe in unified goals that are good for the country as a whole, and create significant loyalty to our brand.
Like I said, it sounds silly to an outsider. Why wouldn’t a top executive, who clearly received a more lucrative employment offer for a position he saw as a step up, take that proposal? In the world of publicly-traded real estate ventures, you could be selling soda ads one day, and interviewing the president the next. The landscape changes drastically every year, and when your skills are in business management and strategy, you’re always looking for the next challenge.
And still, there’s a bit of an empty feeling from the REALTOR® masses when an exit like this happens. It’s just another day at the office when your insurance company’s CEO changes companies, or your old business partner switches brokerages. But when someone leaves the REALTOR® fold to work for a direct competitor, it ignites much stronger emotions from the membership. A quick scan of discussions online makes it clear that this isn’t just some job change. Reactions range from frustration to outright anger. This is someone who did a good job and likely had no direct contact with most of the commenters, but many take his departure so personally as to feel betrayed.
As simple-minded as it sounds, I can’t help but feel a bit of the same disappointment. Real estate agents hop between companies like mercenaries until we find the right fit. We don’t feel remorse for changing our workplaces, because it’s simply a business decision. At the same time, those of us who are advocates for the REALTOR® brand would be incredulous if our associates left the membership. Your career is your business, but your commitment to supporting REALTOR® causes is ours. Continue reading »
By Rob Reuter, YPN Manager
YPN has hit another milestone. On Thursday, Aug. 8 2013, the Punta Gorda-Port Charlotte-North Port Association in Florida confirmed the formation of their Young Professionals Network becoming the 300th network of YPN.
In addition to establishing its 300th network, YPN also achieved the following milestones in 2013:
- More than 150 NAR Committee & Advisory Board positions are filled by YPN members, including nine chair and vice chair positions.
- 23 YPN members will be 2014 presidents of their local association.
- 170 YPN members are RPAC Major Investors so far in 2013.
It’s amazing how far YPN has come in such a short amount of time. But we need to keep going! In an association where the average age is 57, and only 11 percent of total membership are under 40 (according to NAR’s 2013 Member Profile), there is a need for the network to introduce future association leadership and involvement opportunities.
By Tara Owen
Mention Home Owner Associations (HOAs) to any Las Vegas home owner and you are sure to get a passionate love them or hate them response. Many home owners I’ve met with are bitter over the fines imposed by HOAs for seemingly trivial violations.
The ongoing controversy of fraudulent practices, excessive assessments, and egregious collection costs of HOA fees on Las Vegas home owners has reached national attention as two local attorneys have filed a federal lawsuit against hundreds of Nevada HOAs and collection agencies.
Attorneys Puoy Premsrirut and James Adams filed the lawsuit under the False Claims Act against 500 Nevada HOAs in a federal court last year. The lawsuit, which can be read in full http://www2.8newsnow.com/docs/hoa_lawsuit.pdf, was unsealed in April to reveal allegations of conspiracy to fraud the United States government by overcharging Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in excess of $15 million dollars in assessments and collection costs on REO properties.
Strategically getting the U.S. government involved in this recent lawsuit is a brilliant move by Premsrirut and Adams, which falls in a series of lawsuits filed over the years fighting the alleged crime of exorbitant in the HOA collection fees being charged to Las Vegas home owners.
The attorneys insist that under Nevada law NRS 16.3116, in foreclosure situations, the assessments and costs that can be levied against delinquent properties “are limited to nine months immediately preceding institution of an action to enforce the lien unless federal regulations adopted by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac require a shorter period of priority for the lien in which case the nine month period is reduced to a six month period.” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have adopted such underwriting guidelines, which limits the HOA “super priority lien” — a lien superior to the first mortgage — to 6 months in the Federal Loan Mortgage Corporation Act 12 U.S.C 1455.
The HOAs listed in the lawsuit allegedly charged Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac every month the HOA dues went unpaid, along with additional late fees and collection costs for past due obligations. Continue reading »
By Jared James
We live in a world where everywhere you look everyone seems to be arguing about something because everyone has their point-of-view. And, of course, they are always right. Sometimes when I flip through the channels while I am at home or on the road in my hotel room, or I read a particular blog, I am left to wonder if the person that I am listening to or reading their words actually even believes what they are saying.
For many years this couldn’t have been more true, as I have read articles and heard people make the argument that you are better off selling your house on your own and not paying a broker… especially in today’s world of the Internet. What in the world do you need a REALTOR® for, anyway? As long as you have access to the Internet, why waste 6 percent, right?
And then I came across a recent Wall Street Journal article written about Colby Sambrotto, the former CEO and founder of many REALTORS®’ most favorite website, www.forsalebyowner.com. Stick with me here because you can’t make this stuff up. Apparently, the Godfather of the “you don’t need a Realtor” movement had tried to sell his house on his own for some time and finally got tired of wasting his time and did what he knew had to be done… HE HIRED A REALTOR®! You can check out the article for yourself here: http://www.roost.com/app/index.php/public/roostbar?bid=41320&k=285bc240dd1b129a347eb05c568cb7bf.
Not only did Mr. Sambrotto hire a broker and pay them 6 percent, but he also ended up getting multiple offers on his home and eventually accepting one for a whopping $150,000 over his asking price. Yes, you did just read that right. Continue reading »