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JANUARY 2010

Winning Attitude Erick Shumway, 2010 SAR President, Believes in the Power of Positive Thinking Page 6

Important 2010 Dues Information - See Page 8


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Contents

Sarasota Realtor® Volume 7, Issue 1 JANUARY 2010

Sarasota Association of Realtors®, Inc. 3590 South Tuttle Avenue Sarasota, Florida 34239 Phone: 941/923-2315 FAX: 941/923-0191 www.sarasotarealtors.com

2010 Officers

6

Winning Attitude

Erick Shumway, the 2010 SAR President, brings a positive and encouraging attitude and point of view to the post, and hopes the membership follows suit in 2010.

8

Important Dues Information

SAR is implementing important billing changes to positively impact our members.

Often, actions of the Florida Legislature are mired in legal and political jargon, which is difficult for the average person to understand. We offer a quick lesson in the lingo.

Volume 7 • Issue 1 • JANUARY 2010

12 Benefits for Veterans

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There are some important property tax benefits available to veterans who serve our nation during times of war and peace. The Property Appraiser offers an overview.

CID President Lee DeLieto, Jr. examines the possibility of a second economic shoe falling - the commercial property market.

In every issue

Treasurer Laura Benson Prudential Palms Realty Immediate Past President William Geller RE/MAX Platinum Realty

Mission Statement The mission of the Sarasota Association of Realtors® is to advance members’ professionalism through delivery of education and resources while upholding the Realtors® Code of Ethics. We are committed to be the leading advocate of real estate in the communities we serve by protecting private property rights and expanding relationships with individuals and organizations both locally and worldwide. Sarasota Realtor® is published monthly by the Sarasota Association of Realtors® Inc. Editorial Staff

Director of Member Services Dan Andrews Director of MLS Information Systems Jesse Sunday Director of Professional Development Catherine McCaskill Governmental Affairs Director Marc Mansfield

10- Governmental Affairs

Production Coastal Printing, Inc.

12- Property Appraiser

Sarasota Realtor® Advertising: For information on advertising rates and deadlines, contact Ray Porter at 941/328-1168 or ray@sarasotarealtors.com.

14- Ethics in Action 15- Sales and Listing Statistics

Subscriptions: The annual dues of every member of the Sarasota Association of Realtors®, Inc., includes a one-year subscription to Sarasota Realtor® magazine. A yearly subscription for Sarasota Realtor® magazine is available to non-members for $25, plus Florida sales tax.

18- Commercial Investment Division 20- Education Programs 25- Broker Corner

Editorial ideas and manuscripts are welcomed. Byline articles and columns express the opinions of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the policies or sentiments of the Sarasota Association of Realtors®, Inc. All submitted copy is subject to editing.

28- WCR News 30- Membership News

2010 Copyright© by the Sarasota Association of Realtors®, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited.

32- Calendar of Education/Events

JANUARY 2010

Secretary Roger Piro Town & Country Realty

Director of Communications Ray Porter

18 Another Shoe?

President-Elect Michael Bruno Prudential Palms Realty

Chief Executive Officer Kathy Roberts

10 Legislature Lingo

President Erick Shumway RE/MAX Alliance Group

Sarasota Realtor® Magazine

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Goodbye 2009 - Hello 2010! This year’s SAR Installation & Holiday Luncheon was a huge success, with 145 attendees enjoying a celebration of 2009, and a rousing start to the 2010 SAR year. The event, held on Dec. 16th at Michael’s On East, was a luncheon for the first time in many years, and the feedback received from those in attendance was unanimously positive. The installation for the new 2010 SAR Officers and Board of Directors and CID Officers and Directors was held, and

various awards were handed out to deserving SAR stars. 2009 SAR President Bill Geller welcomed 2010 President Erick Shumway, and offered words of encouragement for tackling the new year. Capturing the event for posterity was Detlev von Kessel, award-winning local photographer, and Jesse Sunday, SAR’s Director of Information Technology. All the photos are viewable on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ SarasotaRealtors.

The annual SAR Holiday Installation & Luncheon was held on Dec. 16th. From top left, Felix Power is named Realtor of the Year (with 2009 recipient Laura Benson); 2009 President Bill Geller; Fred Sieger, Humanitarian of the Year (with 2009 recipient Michael Saunders); Paula Cashi, Meritorious Service winner (with 2009 recipient Andrew Vac); and President’s Award winners Patricia Tan and Carla Rayman (with Bill Geller). Check out more than 100 photos of this annual event on Facebook - www.facebook. com/SarasotaRealtors

www.sarasotarealtors.com

Sarasota Realtor® Magazine

JANUARY 2010

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Cover Story 6

Winning Attitude

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2010 SAR President Erick Shumway stays positive The phrase “attitude is everything” goes a long way in describing 2010 SAR President Erick Shumway and his approach to life. Throughout the local real estate market downturn and the resulting pessimism and declining spirits of many brokers and agents, Erick has maintained his unwavering positive nature, and asks others to focus on the positives instead of the negatives.

“We are the ones, ladies team that marketed Bird Key and gentlemen, who are on and other local developments a playing field that has never in the 1950s. His father left been played on before,” Erick Erick with a passion for real told the crowd attending estate through his in-depth the Dec. 16th SAR Annual knowledge and strong Installation & Holiday legacy. Luncheon. “We can look at “My father used to tell this as a hole with no bottom, me that his best agent was or we can be optimistic. We a ‘well-rounded one’, and can look at our future as an our goal here at SAR is to opportunity to make up our see that you can, with the minds that we are going to available tools and services, survive this with a positive achieve that,” said Erick. attitude.” Newly installed 2010 SAR President Erick “Any and all Board decisions Shumway (left) receives the Realtor® insignia will be made in the best There is no mistaking the pin from 2009 SAR President Bill Geller. choice Erick Shumway has interests of our membership.” made. His shining example Recognizing the challenges has been evident during the that have been faced, and those that remain to be met, past year at the monthly SAR Leadership Meetings, at Erick noted, “We are all part of history. What is said which committee chairs and vice-chairs report on the about us in the future remains to be written, so let’s work they are doing on behalf of SAR. Erick cheerfully leave as our legacy the fact that SAR members always demands a smile and a good word from everyone, work in solidarity, with character, integrity and a desire and frowns on any sense of defeat or discouragement. to help each other.” He always ended each session with the admonition Erick’s comments drew a rousing ovation from those to “find something positive to talk about with your attending the annual event, and left everyone feeling clients and your fellow real estate agents. If we don’t revitalized and renewed as we face the new year. set the example and stay optimistic, who will?” In his professional life, Erick is teamed with Janet Erick repeated this important message as he accepted Trefry at RE/MAX Alliance Group at the 2000 Webber the 2010 SAR presidency. Street office. Erick focuses on the commercial side “I challenge you to be enthusiastic,” he told the of the industry, and has spent the past year chairing crowd at Michael’s On East. “I challenge you to be the Commercial Investment Division’s Commercial the best you can be. I challenge you to get off the Marketplace sessions on Friday mornings here at SAR. sidelines and get on the playing field. Take advantage Erick was also instrumental in arranging one meeting of the many educational courses offered through SAR. of the month at the Manatee Association of Realtors® Become involved with your Association. We welcome office in Lakewood Ranch. you talents, and need them more than ever in this Reaching out to neighboring associations has been economy.” one of Erick’s passions in his goal to improve the local Erick Shumway’s father, Maurice, got him involved real estate industry. During the economic downturn that in real estate as a young man. Maurice was part of the has impacted both the nation and the local real estate

JANUARY 2010

Sarasota Realtor® Magazine

www.sarasotarealtors.com


2010 SAR Strategic Plan Mission

The mission of the Sarasota Association of Realtors® is to advance members’ professionalism through the delivery of education and resources while upholding the Realtors’ Code of Ethics. We are committed to be the leading advocate of real estate in the communities we serve by protecting private property rights and expanding relationships with individuals and organizations both locally and worldwide.

SAR is THE source for accurate real estate information and resources to enhance community involvement, member professionalism, and global reach. • SAR will communicate with 60 percent of its members using social media by December 31, 2010. • SAR will increase members’ participation in professional designations and other educational opportunities by 8 percent in 2010. • SAR will have 30 percent of its members involved in some type of community outreach project in 2010. • SAR will have 15 percent of its members utilizing various tools to reach international markets in 2010.

SAR members embrace technology. • SAR will provide technology education for members at all skill levels by June 2010. • SAR will identify affordable, targeted technology tools for members monthly.

SAR is a proactive source of relevant economic information to keep its members, the media, and general public informed of current economic trends. • Continuously disseminate current economic trends and issues. • Implement an information exchange quarterly between lenders and the Realtor community to identify and overcome obstacles that impede transactions.

SAR is the advocate for private property rights for a balanced and viable Sarasota County. • Increase voter participation among Realtors® from 31 to 35 percent to support election of public officials who support our objectives in the 2010 election cycle. • Identify and analyze issues to formulate and communicate positions to SAR members and the public. • Increase RPAC funding in the 2010 election for candidates who support our objective. • Increase RPAC contributions by 40 percent over 2009.

markets, Erick has seen the opportunities behind the setbacks - the sun shining behind the dark clouds. His discussions with the Manatee commercial market leaders convinced him there was a golden opportunity in the current climate to expand the reach and scope of the CID to the north and south. The discussions proved fruitful, and now 2010 shows promise for even greater cooperation and sharing of resources. “I’m looking forward to a rebounding market in the next year, and so far the statistics for residential real estate in the last half of 2009 are an indication that we may be on the upward curve,” Erick noted. “Sales are up significantly, and

prices have apparently stabilized. We are not in a free-fall by any means, and word-of-mouth reports indicate the buyers are here in force and ready to make offers.” For the commercial side of the industry, there is hope combined with some nervousness as the lending side of the picture begins to emerge from a weak 2009. Commercial lending holds the key, along with the potential for restructuring of existing loans. Erick knows there is some degree of pessimism - even NAR is forecasting more negative absorption, increased Cont. on P. 27, See SHUMWAY


IMPORTANT DUES INFORMATION – PLEASE READ CAREFULLY  2010 Dues Invoices Are Now Available and Due  Changes Affecting 2010 Dues Only 

Realizing that many of our members are struggling in this economy, SAR is implementing billing changes on a one time only basis  which we hope will positively impact our members. Instead of producing one invoice (which in the past has included all charges and  had to be paid in its entirety), we will produce 3 separate invoices which can be paid all together or separately throughout the billing  cycle. The benefits to our members are threefold:  1.  Members will be allowed to pay all invoices in full or  may choose to pay individual invoices during the  period from November to February 15, as long as  payment in full on all invoices is received by 5 p.m.  on February 15. 

Payments may be made individually for the following  amounts:  NAR ($115), FAR ($126), SAR ($230 + $99  optional RPAC + $50 CID if applicable). 

2.  Members will be given an additional 30 days to pay.

Service will remain intact until 5 p.m. on February 15  instead of January 15. 

3.  A late fee will not be assessed on payments received  by February 15. 

Reinstatement or Application fees will be assessed for  payments after 5 p.m. on February 15. 

Due Dates, Termination of Services, and Refund Policy   Due: December 15, 2009; Past Due: February 15, 2010, 5:01 p.m.     Members with open balances a/o 5:01 p.m. on February 15, 2010 will be terminated and lose all Realtor® services,  including  Supra.   Reinstatement before 5 p.m. on February 28, 2010 will require payment in full of all amounts due at date of  termination, as well as a $75 reinstatement fee.   Reinstatement after February 28, 2010 will require licensee to apply as a new member and pay the $150 application  fee plus amounts owed at time of termination plus the FAR interest assessment.   For a member whose license is placed inactive prior to Jan. 1st and who has paid some or all of the invoices, the inactive  member will receive a full refund of the payments made.   For a member whose license is placed inactive on or after Jan. 1st and who has paid some or all of the invoices, all  payments received are non‐refundable. 

Payment Methods:  ELECTRONIC PAYMENTS ONLY!!!   Two payment options:    1. Deduct directly from your checking account via:  A. Debit card (MC,V) – the easiest way to have the payment deducted from your checking account.  B. Electronic check – use same information as on your check.  2. Credit card (MasterCard, Visa, or American Express).   Instructions for all payments   go to www.sarasotarealtors.com   click on MY SAR ACCOUNT at top of page   under My Services, click on “Pay/View Bill Online”   online charges will appear on your bank and credit card statements as “Realtor        Association/MLS”     to print a copy of invoice, click on the invoice number    OR  Come to the SAR offices and use our computer in the library which is programmed to open directly into the log‐in  screen and has easy instructions located at the workstation for your use    Once payments are made online, they are updated to your account within 72 hours.  We encourage you to go online to  check the status of your account.  

8

JANUARY 2010

Sarasota Realtor® Magazine

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The SAR Community Outreach Committee this year raised more than $750 in local donations, and used another $750 from their annual budget to purchase a piano for the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital. The committee also sent a contigent of volunteers to the hospital on Dec. 12th to help prepare and distribute gift baskets for the 400 wounded warriors being treated at the facility. From left to right are: Sandy McCourtney (chair), Charles Gayre, Wendy McCann, Cindy Shoe and Hylda Fenton. The piano was purchased at a special discount price from Pritchard’s Music on Bee Ridge Road.

2009 SAR President Bill Geller took part in the Dec. 12th “Wreaths Across America” event at the Sarasota National Veterans Cemetery. SAR contributed $450 for the purchase of 30 wreaths placed on the graves of fallen veterans at the cemetery. More than 5,000 wreaths were placed at Arlington National Cemetery, and thousands more at the more than 360 veterans cemetery facilities across the nation to offer our thanks to those who have honorably and selflessly served our nation.

www.sarasotarealtors.com

Sarasota Realtor® Magazine

JANUARY 2010

9


Governmental Affairs 10

Understanding the Florida Legislature: What does all that jargon mean to you?

By Marc Mansfield Governmental Affairs Director

The 2010 legislative session is scheduled to convene on March 2nd and end on April 30, 2010.

d

During this 60 day period, proposed legislation will travel between various committees of both the House and the Senate and ultimately to the office of the Governor for approval or veto. The “legislative process” with its many rules and regulations and “jargon” can be confusing to the general public. In an effort to make the process a little more understandable please see below a list of frequent questions and answers about the Florida Legislature courtesy of the Florida House of Representatives: - When does the regular legislative session begin and end? The regular legislative session starts on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March for a period not to exceed 60 days. - How often do the houses elect officers? In November of each even-numbered year the Legislature convenes for the sole purpose of organizing each house. At this organization session, held fourteen days after the general election, Members are sworn in, officers are elected, rules are adopted and the committee appointment process is begun. - What are the different types and versions of bills? Different types and versions of bills include: Appropriation, Claim, Combined, Committee, Enrolled, Engrossed, General, Joint Resolution, Local, Memorial, Reviser, Resolution and Trust Fund. - How can I tell the difference between a House and Senate bill? House and Senate bills are numbered in serial order as they are filed. House bills receive odd numbers (1, 3, 5 ...) and are prefixed by “H” or “HB”; Senate bills receive even numbers (2, 4, 6 ...) and are prefixed by “S” or “SB.” - What does the underlining and overstriking in bill and amendment text mean? Required by the rules of both houses of the Legislature, underlining and overstriking indicate changes being made to the text of existing law or an existing constitutional provision. Underlined text is new language and overstriking indicates text being removed from existing law. - What is the difference between an engrossed bill and an enrolled bill? An engrossed bill is a bill

JANUARY 2010

which has been amended. A bill may be engrossed many times. An enrolled bill, which may or may not have been engrossed, is a bill that has passed both houses of the legislature in identical form and has been converted into an act for presentation to the Governor or Secretary of State. - What is a linked bill? A bill that is contingent upon passage of another bill within that chamber is a linked bill. A trust fund bill, a bill providing a public record exemption or an implementing bill may be a linked bill. - What does the C1, C2, C3, etc. mean on the end of bill number? “C1” denotes a committee substitute, which is a substitute bill proposed by the committee for a bill considered and amended by that committee. Each committee to which a bill is referred may adopt a committee substitute for that bill. If the previous committee of reference adopted a committee substitute for the bill, the next committee may adopt a committee substitute for that committee substitute. Occasionally, there will be a committee substitute for a committee substitute, for a committee substitute for a committee substitute for a bill (C4). A House council or Senate committee substitute may also combine multiple bills from the same house. - What is the deadline for the Governor to sign bills? While the legislature is in session, the Constitution allows a 7 day period following presentation of a bill to the Governor to sign or veto the bill. If the Legislature adjourns (sine die) before an act is presented to the Governor or while an act is in the Governor’s possession, the Governor has 15 days from the date of the presentation in which to take action. - What happens when the Governor vetoes a bill? When the Governor vetoes (objects to a bill), it is sent back to its house origin. It is available for consideration until the end of the current session, or if the Legislature is not in session when the bill is received, until the end of the next regular session. If two-thirds of the members of each house vote to override (set aside) the Governor’s objections, the bill becomes law.

Sarasota Realtor® Magazine

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The state’s “legislative process” with its many rules and regulations and “jargon” can be confusing to the general public, including Realtors® .


Property Appraiser

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For more information, contact the Property Appraiser’s office at 941.861.8200. 12

Serving those who’ve served: Florida Property TaxServing Benefits for Disabled Veterans those who’ve served: Florida Property By BillTax Furst, GRI, CRS, CRB Benefits for Disabled Veterans Sarasota County Property Appraiser

As a retirement haven and the location of many military bases, Florida has a large population of resident veterans. From the Spanish American War, As a retirement and the onembarked their homestead The when Teddyhaven Roosevelt and his Roughtaxes Riders for Cubaproperty. at locationTampa, of many military bases, applicant will need to provide Veterans to the current conflicts in Iran and Afghanistan, service-men and Florida women has a large Administration Letter 27-333, stating havepopulation come to andofthrough Florida. Over the years many of those residentveterans veterans.have From the Spanish that Florida he or she is home. deemed totally and chosen to return and make their

American War, when Teddy Roosevelt permanently disabled. and his According Rough Riders to theembarked Florida Department of Veterans Affairs 1.7surviving million veterans The unremarried spouses were residing to in Florida in 2009! Manyofoftotally those veterans have beendisabled for Cuba at Tampa, the current and permanently a result of their service. The State of Florida has formally conflictsdisabled in Iranas and Afghanistan, veterans or of veterans who died from recognized those sacrifices by creating ad valorem tax benefits for service-men and -women have come service connected causes while on permanent residents whothe areyears honorably discharged disabled veterans. to and through Florida. Over active duty, who are in title to the many of those veterans have chosen to homestead as of§196.24 JanuaryF.S. 1 of the year Service Disability - $5,000 return and makeConnected Florida their home. Exemption in which theveterans veteran with was adeceased, Honorably discharged permanent Florida resident serviceAccording to thedisability Floridarating of 10% to 99%, are eligible for atocontinuation of the connected are entitled this exemption. Department of Veterans exemption if Letter the veteran was a resident The applicant mustAffairs submit Veterans Administration 27-125, stating 1.7 million veterans weredisability residingrating. Based of Florida on millage Januaryrates 1 ofand the year he that the veteran’s on current in Florida in 2009!onMany of thoselocation, or passed away depending the property’s thisshe exemption will result in annual tax ranging from $65 veteranssavings have been disabled as a to $91. If the unremarried surviving spouse result of their service. The State of sells the homestead, an exemption not surviving spouse, a Florida resident and had been Florida An hasunremarried formally recognized those whotoisexceed the amount exempted in the married to the veteran for attax least five years on the date of the veteran’s sacrifices by creating ad valorem most recent tax year may be transferred passing is also eligible for this exemption. benefits for permanent residents who to his or her new homestead. are honorably discharged disabled (Service-Connected) ALL Disabled Veterans’ Property Tax veterans.Total and Permanent Disability Exemption Ad Valorem Taxes Exempted §196.081 F.S. Discount §196.082 F.S. ServiceHonorably Connected Disability discharged permanent Florida resident veterans with a serviceThis is a tax discount (not an connected total and permanent rating are eligible for 100% Exemption - $5,000 §196.24 F.S.disability exemption) available on the homestead exemption from ad valorem taxes on their homestead property. The Honorably discharged permanent property of honorably discharged will need with to provide Administration Letter 27-333, stating Florida applicant resident veterans a Veteransveterans who are at least 65 years that he or she is deemed totally disabled. service-connected disability rating of and permanently old, are deemed to have a partial or 10 percent to 99 percent, are entitled combat related disability The unremarried surviving spouses oftotal totally and permanently disabledto a to this exemption. The applicant must 10 percent or more, veterans or of veterans who died fromdegree serviceofconnected causes whileand on submit active Veterans Administration Letter provideas proof of Florida residency duty, who are in title to the homestead of January 1 of the year in at 27-125,which stating veteran’s timeforofaentering military thethe veteran was disability deceased, are the eligible continuation of theservice. rating. Based on current millage rates exemption if the veteran was a resident of Florida on January 1 of the year The applicant must present a Veterans and depending the property’s he or sheon passed away Administration Letter 27-333, location, this exemption will result in evidence that the disability is combat annual Iftaxthesavings ranging from $65 unremarried surviving spouse sells the homestead, an exemption not related, proof of honorable discharge, to $91. to exceed the amount exempted in theand most recent tax year may be proof of age as of January 1 of transferred to his or herspouse, new homestead. An unremarried surviving the year for which the veteran is who is a Florida resident and had applying. The discount is equal to the Disabled Veterans’ Property Tax Discount §196.082 F.S. been married to the veteran for at percentage of the veteran’s serviceis a tax discount (not an exemption) available on the homestead least fiveThis years on the date of the connected disability. property of honorably discharged veterans who are at least 65 years old, veteran’sare passing is also eligible for this If yourelated or someone deemed to have a partial or total combat disabilityyou to aknow degree of exemption. 10% or more, and provide proof of Florida residency at the time of entering qualifies for any of these exemptions military service. The applicant must present a Veterans Administration bring the appropriate VA benefit letter Total and Permanent Disability Letter(Service-Connected) 27-333, evidence that the disability combat related, proof of and isother supporting documentation Exemption honorable discharge, and proof of agetoaseither of January 1 offices of the year for which of our by March 1. ALL AdtheValorem Taxes Exempted veteran is applying. The discount is the percentage the It equal will beto our honor and of privilege to §196.081 F.S. service-connected disability.assist qualified veterans or surviving veteran’s Honorably discharged permanent spouses in completing the necessary Florida Ifresident veterans you withknow a qualifies paperwork. you or someone for any of these exemptions bring the Remember, the deadline appropriate total VA benefit letter and other supporting documentation to either service-connected and permanent for qualifying for 2010 exemptions of rating our offices by Marchfor 1. 100 It will be our honor and privilege to assist disability are eligible is January 1 and the filing deadline veterans percentqualified exemption from or adsurviving valoremspouses in completing the necessary is March 1, 2010. paperwork. Remember, the deadline for qualifying for 2010 exemptions is

VETERAN’S RESOURCES    Sarasota County Veterans  Services    2200 Ringling Blvd, Sarasota  (941) 861‐2899  M‐F 8:30‐5    4000 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice  (941) 861‐3047  M‐F 8:30‐5    Office hours in North Port are  Wednesdays and Fridays, by  appointment. Call the Venice  office for scheduling.    Florida Department of  Veterans Affairs  www.floridavets.org    This resource offers  information on Florida  veteran’s benefits, housing,  training, employment, and  education. Also links to state  legislative issues affecting  veterans.    United States Department of  Veterans Affairs  www.va.gov  www.va.gov/VSO for  information on veterans  service organizations.    This site has information on  all Federal veteran services,  including the nearby VA  hospitals in Hillsborough and  Pinellas counties and the new  Sarasota National Cemetery.    This is also the site on which  to find directions for getting  the 27‐333 and 27‐125 letters  mentioned in this article.  

January 1 and the filing deadline is March 1, 2010. JANUARY 2010

Sarasota Realtor® Magazine

www.sarasotarealtors.com


Realtors® help on short sales

Not all buyers are suited for a short sale. This was one of the messages delivered at “Short Sales from the Buyer’s Perspective” during the 2009 Realtors® Conference & Expo. According to the latest Realtors® Confidence Index, one out of 10 recent buyers purchased a home through a short sale. The survey also showed that Realtors® are concerned about the hurdles buyers face in short sales. “As short sales become more commonplace, both buyers and sellers need the help of seasoned, experienced professionals to help them navigate the complexities of a short sale transaction,” says National Association of Realtors® President Charles McMillan. “As the first, best source for real estate information, Realtors provide valuable insights and experience that can help buyers realize their homeownership goals, whether through a short sale or

other means.” During the session, Realtor® Lynn Madison, who co-authored NAR’s new Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR) Certification Program, detailed the primary reasons that short sales fail. Those include an incomplete short sale package, an offer that is too low and inaccurate appraisals. According to Madison, good short-sale buyer candidates are very patient – it can take some lenders four months or longer to approve a short sale – have their financing in order, and don’t have any contingencies in their purchase offer. To help Realtors address the evolving short sales market, NAR launched the SFR Certification Program (www. realtorsfr.org) earlier this year. SAR has held two certification sessions, and plans more sessions in early 2010. Keep an eye on the Education page of our web site. - FAR

Leaping Into A Short Sale Negotiation Can Be A Dangerous Move. With short sale negotiations, there are many problems and issues that may arise; many you may never see coming. So before you leap into a short sale negotiation, consult with attorney Steven R. Greenberg.

Steven and his team offer: • Comprehensive short sale services by a Board Certified Real Estate Attorney • Fixed fee short sale negotiations for Sellers • Experienced, full-time short sale coordinator working with loss mitigation negotiators and Realtors • Pre-foreclosure counseling available for Sellers with CPA/Attorney

STEVEN R. GREENBERG Board Certified Real Estate Attorney

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Sarasota Realtor® Magazine

JANUARY 2010

13


Ethics in Action

Commission awarded in failed short sale A lender has to pay a broker’s commission after waiting too long to nix a short-sale transaction

a

By Robert Freedman Realtor® Magazine Online

A broker is entitled to his commission in a failed short sale of a warehouse because the lender acted in bad faith by waiting until closing to demand a larger share of the proceeds, according to an Iowa appellate court ruling. In May 2006, the broker received an offer to buy the warehouse. The lender, which had taken steps to wind down the business activities of the financially troubled owner, authorized the broker to submit a counteroffer, which was accepted. The broker drafted a document detailing the likely distribution of closing proceeds, which included a share of $110,000 to the lender. At this time the warehouse tenant, whose lease agreement gave it the right of first refusal to buy the property, sought to exercise that right. The tenant gave the broker its earnest money, and the broker informed the lender and the owner of the offer, as well as the fact that the parties were ready to close.

The lender responded that it would not accept less than $130,000 and the transaction collapsed. The broker filed a lawsuit, claiming that he had satisfied the terms of the listing agreement and was entitled to a commission. The trial court ruled in his favor and the lender appealed. The Court of Appeals of Iowa affirmed the lower court’s decision, saying the lender had improperly interfered with the contract by allowing the broker to forward a counteroffer without disclosing that the lender would allow the transaction to close only if it received a certain amount from the sale. While the lender had the right to demand a specific figure from the sale, it knew that the tenant’s offer was unlikely to reach that threshold. Nevertheless, the lender authorized the transaction to proceed without alerting the parties that it would seek to obtain a higher sum, through various concessions, than the sale price alone could generate.

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Sarasota Realtor® Magazine

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t


Sarasota real estate market remains hot even as temperatures cool; recovery continues

t

The Sarasota real estate market remained hot in November 2009 with overall sales nearly 86 percent higher than November 2008. Total sales stood at 578 in November, mirroring last month’s total of 574 and much higher than the 311 sales reported in November 2008. The breakdown was 417 single family homes and 161 condos sold last month. The fall has proven to be a busy one for many local Realtors®, and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Pending sales stood at 793 in November, just below last month’s total of 839, and far higher than last November, when only 504 pendings were reported. The statistic is a strong indicator for the next two or three months of sales, as pending sales are an indicator of current buyer activity. Some experts had predicted pending sales might slow because of the uncertainty over the extension of the first-time homebuyer’s tax credit. But that fear has proven unfounded in the Sarasota market. The tax credit was extended and expanded to include many other homebuyers on Nov. 6, so the home buying sales rush could easily continue through the season and the first quarter of 2010. The recent statistics continue to point to a local market in a prolonged recovery period. The median sale prices for single family homes and condominiums have apparently stabilized after the extended drop experienced in 2008. The median sale price for single family homes actually jumped by approximately 6 percent to $162,500 from October’s level of $151,000. The median was only 4.4 percent below the November 2008 median sale price of $170,000. The condominium median prices continue to see-saw, dropping to $178,750 in November after rising to $220,000 in October. In September 2009, the median was only $162,500. In November 2008, the median sale price was www.sarasotarealtors.com

$195,000, which is very near the median condominium sale price for the 11 months of 2009 ($198,500). Bank-owned property sales and short sales are still accounting for almost half of the single-family home sales and a third of the condo sales in November, and still represent the biggest factor in the overall lower sale prices. For normal arm’s length sales the median sale prices are almost double the figures for the distressed properties. “We are experiencing a very active real estate market during the early seasonal months, when our northern visitors and winter residents return,” said Bill Geller, 2009 SAR President. “Even during these times of higher unemployment and slower national economic activity, it’s very encouraging to see that the Sarasota area remains an attractive place to purchase a home. The statistical trends indicate the market is returning to health. Higher sales and pending sales, stabilizing prices, lower inventories - all of these numbers point to a return to a vibrant real estate market.” While the inventory level rose slightly in November, from 6,226 to 6,261 properties on the market, it is still at the lowest level since late summer of 2005 and the years prior to the boom period from 2003 - 2005. The “months of inventory” – the number of months it would take to sell all the available properties at the current sales rate – dropped to 14.6 months for condos. That’s the lowest figure in the past three years, and far lower than the 40.5 months reported in November 2008. The months of inventory is now 9.4 months for single family homes, slightly higher than October’s 9.3 months, but far lower than last year’s figure of 27.6 months. A figure of 6 months is considered to be a market in equilibrium between buyers and sellers.

Sarasota Realtor® Magazine

JANUARY 2010

15


Sarasota MLSSM Statistics November 2009 Single Family Condo

Unit Sales 500 450 400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 Nov‐08

Dec‐08

Jan‐09

Feb‐09

Mar‐09

Apr‐09 May‐09

Jun‐09

Jul‐09

Aug‐09

Sep‐09

Oct‐09

Nov‐09

Single Family Condo

Median Sale Price $300,000 $250,000 $200,000 $150,000 $100,000 $50,000 $0 Nov‐08 Dec‐08

Jan‐09

Feb‐09

Mar‐09 Apr‐09 May‐09 Jun‐09

Jul‐09

Aug‐09

Sep‐09

Oct.09 Nov. 09

Single Family   

#Active

#Sold

%Sold

Average DOM 

Median Sale Prices 

Median Last  12 Months 

Months Inventory 

Pending Reported 

%Pending

# New  Listings 

# Off  Market 

This Month 

3906

417

10.7

179

$162,500

$160,000

9.4

561

14.4

731

191

This Month  Last Year 

6747

244

3.6

149

$170,000

$235,500

27.6

426

6.3

803

391

3895

419

10.8

186

$151,000

$160,000

9.3

601

15.4

805

212

4678

179

$160,000

7621

8797

Oct 93.1  94.4 

Nov 92.0  94.1 

Dec 93.0  ‐ 

Last Month  YTD 

Single Family – Sale Price Vs. List Price % Rates

  2008  2009 

Jan 92.0  93.0 

Feb 92.0  93.1 

Mar 93.2  92.5 

Apr 93.3  92.4 

May 92.0  93.2 

Jun 93.0  93.8 

Jul 93.0  93.2 

Aug 92.0  93.6 

Sept 93.1  94.2 

Statistics were compiled on properties listed in the MLS by members of the Sarasota Association of Realtors® as of December 10th, including some listings in Manatee, Englewood, Venice, and other areas. Single-family statistics are tabulated using property styles of single-family and villa. Condo statistics include condo, co-op, and townhouse. Source: Sarasota Association of Realtors® 16

JANUARY 2010

Sarasota Realtor® Magazine

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Sarasota MLSSM Statistics November 2009 Single Family Condo

Inventory 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0 Nov‐08 Dec‐08

Jan‐09

Feb‐09 Mar‐09 Apr‐09 May‐09 Jun‐09

Jul‐09

Aug‐09 Sep‐09

Oct‐09 Nov‐09

Single Family Condo

Pending Sales 900 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 Nov‐08

Dec‐08

Jan‐09

Feb‐09

Mar‐09

Apr‐09 May‐09

Jun‐09

Jul‐09

Aug‐09

Sep‐09

Oct‐09

Nov‐09

Condo  

#Active

#Sold

%Sold

Average DOM 

Median Sale  Prices 

Median Last  12 Months 

Months of Inventory 

Pending Reported 

%Pending

# New  Listings 

# Off  Market 

2355

161

6.8

236

$178,750

$198,500

14.6

232

9.8

306

255

2714

67

2.5

193

$195,000

$310,000

40.5

78

2.9

326

412

2331

155

6.6

250

$220,000

$199,450

15.0

238

10.2

331

235

‐  

1399

212

$210,000

2068

3356

Nov 91.0  92.3 

Dec 91.0  ‐ 

This Month  This  Month  Last Year  Last  Month  YTD 

Condo – Sale Price Vs. List Price % Rates   2008  2009 

Jan 91.0  91.0 

Feb 91.1  90.2 

Mar 91.0  90.4 

Apr 91.0  92.2 

May 92.0  90.1 

Jun 92.0  91.4 

Jul 93.0  92.1 

Aug 90.0  92.4 

Sept 90.0  91.5 

Oct 91.0  92.4 

Median sales price is the middle value, where half of the homes sold for more, and half sold for less. Listings sold were closed transactions during the month. Pending sales are sales where an offer has been accepted during the month, but the sale has not yet closed. Even though some pending sales never close, pending sales are an indicator of current buyer activity. DOM indicates the average number of days that sold properties were on the market before a contract was executed. Sarasota Association of Realtors® MLS www.sarasotarealtors.com

Sarasota Realtor® Magazine

JANUARY 2010

17


CID (Commercial Investment Division) 18

Will commercial be the second shoe to drop? By Lee DeLieto, Jr. 2010 CID President

As your 2010 President for the Commercial Investment Division for the Sarasota Association of Realtors ®, it will be my intention to take advantage of this page for future commercial market reports. But first, a very brief review of the past. The commercial market, began its spiraling nose dive in March 2007. There was an interesting sine curve resemblance to our fellow residential counterparts who saw their market slide into its slippery slope in 2005. Fortunately, as recently as last month, local single family sales have reached an incredible absorption level of 9.3 months left of inventory. They appear to have reached the “bottom” and are now seeing noticeable increases in sales activity. From a related perspective, the commercial market has recently started to see a slight stabilization of negative absorption of inventory in many sectors. However, almost every day I am asked if we have in fact seen the bottom. In an article in GlobeSt.com back in July 2009, columnist Cody Lyon wrote; “Experts agree that the sea of maturing commercial real estate mortgages is the next shoe to drop in the nation’s recession. But the size of that shoe remains to be seen, and just how far it falls is anyone’s guess.” Interesting description. With property values already dropping as much as 45 percent of their value in 2007, don’t you think enough is enough? Will we see yet another drop in the commercial market? If the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has anything to say about it, hopefully not. In a recent report out of Washington, the FDIC, along with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of Thrift Supervision, issued a policy statement advising banks to either extend and/ or restructure commercial loans backed by incomeproducing real estate properties. The report goes on to state that nationwide, according to ING Clarion Partners, banks face approximately $257 billion in maturing commercial real estate loans in 2010, followed by $283 billion in 2011 and $312 billion in 2012. There are approximately “$163 billion worth of loans (eligible for these workouts) that will mature between 2009 and 2010,” noted an ING spokesperson. With over 100 Florida banks now closed, the question arises: How does it affect us here in Sarasota and Manatee Counties? From a community bank

JANUARY 2010

perspective, I asked Charlie Brown of Insignia Bank. In addition to being Chairman and CEO of Insignia, he is also an appointee to a newly formed Advisory Board, and will be reporting directly to Chairwoman Sheila Bair of the FDIC to represent Community Banks. His thoughts; “This new guidance should provide some degree of welcome relief to the potential credit crunch the commercial real estate market could have been facing.” According to these guidelines as mentioned, banks are instructed to conduct workouts with borrowers that are able to make their debt service payments. The modifications can take the form of extensions, issuance of additional credit or restructuring loans entirely. In many cases, the banks are choosing to extend loan terms by two or three years, in exchange for an interest rate increase and a partial pay-down. Some say this is too little, too late. NAR is even forecasting more negative absorption, increased vacancy and lower values for commercial property. According to Dennis Dahm, Managing Commercial Broker for Michael Saunders & Company, “The changes that allow banks to restructure and extend current mortgages backed by commercial incomeproducing properties will help local and regional banks and borrowers in our area in the short term. The fact that property values have dropped, affecting loan-tovalue ratio requirements, shouldn’t create the breaking point between a borrower and lender in this economic climate.” The extension may be seen as a means to delaying the inevitable. However, in a market already brimming with inventory, even the slightest reprieve is seen as a step to recovery. If you have questions, comments or topics for discussion, please feel free to write me at LeeDeLietoJr@MichaelSaunders.com

Sarasota Realtor® Magazine

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Invest in your career for a dollar a week by joining the Commercial Investment Division By Brad Lindberg CID Director

Did you ever hear the saying “All ships rise on a rising tide”? Well guess what? All ships get beached if the tide goes out and you haven’t made plans to move to deeper water. The decision to move to deeper water doesn’t come from instinct. Instinct may tell you that moving to deeper water could cause you to drown. It’s the education and experience that tells you that if you don’t move to deeper water, you will be mired in the sand. Mired in the sand! Isn’t that where the Commercial Real Estate market is now? If you listen to the “Media” or the “Nay Sayers”, you might just batten down the hatches and wait for the tide to roll in ... or you could do something about it. So let me introduce to you some tools that will help you navigate your way to success. Now that our economy has dodged the second great depression, we all can appreciate the few dollars we have left in our pockets. But what exactly does a dollar buy today? For one dollar, you can get a 1/3 of a Tall Latte at Starbucks, a 1/3 of a gallon of gas, a cheeseburger at McDonalds, a bottle of water, or some air for your tires. Pretty sad when you think about the value of those things and what little satisfaction you get out of them. Now let’s talk about what you can get for a dollar when you become a member of CID. • Education on Commercial Business Development • Weekly Networking Meetings to promote your listings

CID plans initial programs for 2010 The first CID program for 2010 will be the annual “2010 Economic Forecast,” with local speakers (TBD) focusing on the outlook for commercial real estate in the coming year. The event will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 19th at 8:30 a.m. at the Sarasota Association of Realtors®, Main Auditorium. The meeting will be chaired by incoming CID President Lee DeLieto, Jr. Sponsors for the event are NCS/ Southern Cross Contracting. Stay tuned for future program announcements!

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• Seminars • Contact with leaders of the community • Social Networking events • Leads for opportunities to sell your properties This is just a sample of what less than a dollar week buys you with a membership in the CID. Just think, 96 cents a week to promote your properties, educate yourself, and the opportunity to make more money. Less than a dollar a week! I bet you put that much change in the console of your car. So the next time you have a dollar in your pocket, take it out and invest it in yourself. You will appreciate the knowledge and experience to navigate your career into safer waters.

2010 CID Officers & Directors

Officers:

President: Lee DeLieto, Jr., Michael Saunders & Company President-Elect: Anthony Homer, Lakewood Ranch Commercial Past President: Jag Grewal, IanBlack Vice President: Rachel Neves, Neves Properties Secretary: Tim Mapp, Mapp Realty Treasurer: Linda Emery, Michael Saunders & Company

Sarasota Realtor® Magazine

Directors:

Dave Altwies: Exit Gulf Coast Realty (1 year term - 2010) Lori Conable: Osprey Real Estate (1 year term-2010) Eric Massey: Michael Saunders (2 year term - 2011) Mike Sporer: Interstate Commercial Brokers (2 year term - 2011) Brad Lindberg: Hembree & Associates (3 year term - 2012) Diane Lee: Wagner Realty (3 year term - 2012)

JANUARY 2010

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Education Programs

What are tax implications of short sales? Title: Tax Implications of Short Sales & Foreclosures Date: Wednesday, Jan. 20, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Location: SAR Auditorium Instructor: Ira H. Zlatkin, CPA, MST Cost: SAR Members: $20; Non-Members: $30 In these turbulent times, homeowners and investors alike are increasingly faced with short sales, foreclosures, and even abandonments. In these cases, property owners are surprisingly faced with the potential of cancellation of indebtedness income and even a gain or loss on the property’s disposition. Recent economic stimulus legislation allows a limited exclusion of income from the forgiveness of debt on a personal residence. Learn how the amount of taxable

income reported by the bank due to debt forgiveness on a personal residence could be totally eliminated. Also, learn how sellers of investment property and real estate used in a trade or business may also avoid taxation of debt forgiveness income. Learn how to protect, for future use, the most valuable tax benefits which may have been accumulated by the seller, such as unused tax credits and suspended losses, from being taken away by Uncle Sam to offset the allowed reduction of debt forgiveness income. Students will complete case studies to help reinforce their understanding. SAR members should register online. Click on “education registration” at www. sarasotarealtors.com.

Learn the ABCs of HVCC from local appraiser

Title: Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) and Out-of-Area Appraisers Date: Wednesday, Jan. 27, 9 to 11 a.m. Location: SAR Auditorium Instructor: Donald L. Saba, SRA, AICP Cost: SAR Members: $10; Others, $20

The Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) now establishes standards for solicitation, selection, compensation, conflicts of interest and appraiser independence. Effective May 1, 2009, this was applied to any mortgage sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) mortgages are not covered in the agreement. Appraiser Donald L. Saba, SRA, AICP will cover the important points that all Realtors® need to know, for example: • A brief history of the Appraisal Profession since FIRREA and the Savings and Loan Bailout • The Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) and how it came into being • Definition of Market Value

• Definition of Liquidation Value • The difference between Market Value and Liquidation Value • A discussion about the sub-markets where Liquidation Value becomes Market Value • Understanding the difference between a market value comparable and a liquidation comparable • Understanding the difference between a market value listing and a liquidation listing • Questions to ask appraisers to determine whether they know the market area • How to deal with appraisers that are out of the area and don’t know the market area • How to deal with lenders that are using appraisers from outside the area that don’t know the market • Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) that deals with geographic competency • How to help the appraiser with specifics about comparable sales that the appraiser may not be aware of • How to arm yourself with the right knowledge and tools so that pending sales will close

Mark Your Calendars: 2010 Designation Courses GRI 1 ABR GRI 2

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JANUARY 2010

Feb. 22-24, March 1-3, 2010 March 23-24, 2010 May 24-26, June 1-2, 2010

GREEN June 7-9, 2010 CIPS Inst. June 21-25, 2010 GRI 3 July 26-28, Aug. 3-4, 2010

Sarasota Realtor® Magazine

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Get motivated! Richard Flint visits SAR Title: How to Stand Tall When Others Are Falling Down Date: Wednesday, Feb. 3, 9:30 a.m. to Noon Title: Becoming a Creator of Business Date: Monday, Feb. 3, 1 to 3:30 p.m. Location (both): SAR Auditorium Cost: SAR members, $10 each class National speaker Richard Flint will present two programs for Sarasota Realtors® on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010. As America’s TOP Personal Development Speaker, Richard travels the country delivering his powerful self-improvement messages to audiences of all sizes. His programs are practical, personal and powerful all at the same time. One sentence from Richard Flint can change the whole direction of your life. To Richard, helping people get back on the right track for personal success is his purpose in life—it is his mission and ministry. Read more about Richard Flint and his programs at http://www.richardflint.com/. The registration fee is $10 for each program. Check out the complete details of each program (briefly described below) at www.sarasotarealtors.com, We expect these session to fill up well ahead of time, so register now. Richard takes the approach that the market is never the enemy. Rather, it is the lack of understanding and acceptance of the shift that a market is going through which creates the reaction that makes people less productive. As Richard puts it, “A shift in the market only knocks those down who have been doing business, not continuing to develop their business.” FACT: The world of doing “business as usual” no longer exists! Richard says, however, there is business to be done; to find it will take a heightened sense of creativity. In other words, if you are still using the business model you were using five years ago, you need to hear Richard’s 10 Business Creation Principles.

Get 14 hours of Continuing Education

Title: 14-Hours Continuing Education for License Renewal Dates: Tuesday & Wednesday, Feb. 9-10, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Instructor: IFREC Real Estate School Cost: SAR Members $79; Non-members, $99 The Institute of Florida Real Estate Careers, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, will be the provider this year of the 14-hour license renewal course for SAR. Founded in 1983, the Institute of Florida Real Estate Careers, Inc. (IFREC) is recognized as the leader in Florida real estate education. www.sarasotarealtors.com

This session provides the full 14-hours of continuing education needed for license renewal. The 14-hours CE includes 3 hours of Core Law. Or, you may opt to take Core Law only which consists of the first three hours of the 14 hours. SAR members, please go to www.sarasotarealtors.com to register for the live course. Non-members, go to the education tab at the top of the home page (www.sarasotarealtors.com) to download a registration form that can be completed and faxed to SAR.

Sarasota Realtor® Magazine

JANUARY 2010

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Lunch and Learn Series: Foreclosure Conciliation Title: 12th Circuit Homestead Foreclosure Conciliation Program Date: Wednesday, Jan. 27, Noon to 1:15 p.m. Location: SAR Auditorium Cost: Free to SAR & SCBA members (no lunch included) $10 SAR & SCBA members (box lunch included) Others: $10 (no lunch included); $20 (box lunch included) Guest Speakers: - Hon. Lee E. Haworth, Chief Judge, 12th Judicial Circuit - Anne Weintraub, Esq.,Syprett, Meshad Law Firm This is the first in a series of “lunch while you learn” legal seminars on current real estate market issues to be presented by the Realtor®-Attorney Committee, a joint committee of the Sarasota Association of Realtors® and the Sarasota County Bar Association. Bring a brown bag lunch and munch while you learn!

Hungry? If you wish, a box lunch can be ordered for you. However, payment must be received online at www. sarasotarealtors.com prior to Tuesday, Jan. 26 at noon. Check out the latest education offering!

GRI Course 1 coming to Sarasota this year! Title: GRI Course 1 Dates: Feb. 22-24, March 1-3, 2010 Times: 8a.m. to 5 p.m. (varies) Credits: 45 hours salesmen’s post-license credit, or 14 hours continuing education credit NAR Code of Ethics Requirement for 2012 Cost: SAR Members by 2/9/10: $325 Non Members by 2/9/10: $350 After 2/9/10: Add $25 Set yourself apart. Earn the designation that makes a difference and increases your income. • According to the data in the 2003 National Association of Realtors® Profile, 19 percent of all Realtors® have earned the GRI designation. • According to the member survey conducted in 2003 by the National Association of Realtors®, Realtors®with a designation earned over $33,200 more annually than nondesignees. • Expand your network of real estate professionals through course contacts to generate more leads and referrals In today’s competitive business environment you need more than just motivation and initiative to succeed, you need the advantage of the education you receive in the GRI program. This GRI series is offered by FAR through its Florida Realtor® Institute. All the instructors have been carefully screened for their knowledge of the subjects as well as for their teaching techniques—they’re the best real estate teachers in the state. Instructors for the Sarasota course are: Grant Simon (Finance); Steve David (Contacts to Contracts); Dick

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JANUARY 2010

Fryer (Professional Standards & Law); Ira Zlatkin (Tax I); Chuck Bonamer (Business Planning and Fair Housing). But don’t wait too long to sign up for GRI Course 1! SAR is the only Realtor® Association in the vicinity that’s offering any of the courses in 2010 and we expect the course to fill up quickly. Mark your calendar for GRI 2 (May 24-26 and June 1-2, 2010) and GRI 3 (July 26-28 and August 3-4, 2010). GRI Is Online: Don’t wait in line, go online! GRI Courses I is now available online through a special Florida Association of Realtors® website: www.fargri.com. Online convenience places the course at your fingertips, whenever you want it, and offers the same license renewal menu of credits that the live version does. GRI 2 is available at a special discount (but offers no CE credits at this time).

Sarasota Realtor® Magazine

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Start the new year with MLXchange boost! Pre-registration is required for all MLXchange classes at www.mfrmls.com. All classes are hands-on in the SAR Technology Center (except for Entering and Updating). Registration is limited to 18. Please be sure that you will attend if you reserve a spot! MLXchange Basic Jan. 4, 25, 9 a.m. to Noon Learn the basic tools of MLXchange. It does the work for you, emailing the listings that match your client’s criteria automatically through auto notification. Learn the quick way to find a listing or view your inventory with one click right from the home page or create a professional CMA in less time than it takes to drive to work. Mandatory session for all new users. - Review the home page features - Add a new client from the search module, saving a search and setting prospecting notification features - Searching and viewing listings, using the map, showing road, aerial, hybrid, and locator features - Adding additional search criteria - Viewing/printing/emailing reports, images, virtual tours, tax, map, driving directions and MLS listing history - Customizing hotsheet configurations - Search Tax - Creating a professional CMA - Personalize user contact information Entering and Updating Listings in MLXchange Jan. 4, 25, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. This class is mandatory if you will be entering and updating your own listings. You will be taught how to input and modify listings, enter photos, and add attachments along with valuable tips and techniques. - Listing maintenance authorization forms - Explain the importance of accurate data - Rules and Regulations - Review the profile sheet www.sarasotarealtors.com

- Entering a new listing, using tax auto pop, reviewing the fields that have specific entries in the Rules and Regulations - Adding images, attachments, open house information, Supra Key and ShowingTime - Inventory watch - easiest way to modify the listings Creating a Professional CMA Jan. 19, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. One of the most crucial components in today’s real estate professional’s day-today business is capturing and handling leads along with time management. This course will teach you how to set up your personal agent and client web pages, contact management and scheduling features that go hand-in-hand with a successful real estate business. MLXchange Advanced Jan. 19, 9 p.m. to Noon Take MLXchange to the next level! In this session you will learn how to customize a search & display screens, personal website links and setup & save advanced searches. - Creating a custom template, adding fields, changing the display order - Foreclosure, fixer upper, and vacant listings with lockbox access - Customizing columns, adding/ removing fields, changing the column headers and changing the field sort order - Edit favorite reports, personalize home page resource link and setting defaults Design Web Pages, Capture Leads Jan. 20, 9 a.m. to Noon One of the most crucial components in today’s real estate professional’s dayto-day business is capturing and handling leads along with time management. This course will teach you how to set up

Sarasota Realtor® Magazine

your personal agent and client web pages, contact management and scheduling features that go hand-in-hand with a successful real estate business. iMapp - Interactive Tax and Mailing Labels Jan. 20, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. In this class you will learn how to use the tax search features of MLXchange, access iMapp’s interactive maps, tax data, comparables, auto-valuations, and easily create mailing labels for your favorite area. - MLXchange tax search, using map and field searches, printing mailing labels - iMapp tax search, viewing parcel, GIS, MLS listings, zoom levels, street, aerial and flood zones - Measuring tool, pan and save map - Creating, viewing and downloading mailing labels - Illustrate the link to the tax appraiser website - Viewing and modifying the criteria for comparable properties - MLS and foreclosure searches

Using MLXchange to Effectively Manage Time & Contacts Jan. 26, 9 a.m, to Noon Learn how to use MLXchange with Outlook. Toolbox—Maximizing Your MFR Productivity Using Toolbox Jan. 26, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. This class introduces the user to the often overlooked plug-ins and features that are designed to save you time and money, as well as adding an extra level of service to your customer. - MongoFax - Fax any document directly to any email address in the world - RatePlug - Include mortgage options from your three favorite lenders for each listing - ShowingTime - Automate and document showing appointments - MLX Wireless - Access MLXchange from your mobile phone JANUARY 2010

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Two seminars focus on real estate investments Title: Foreign Investment in Real Estate for Immigration Purposes Date: Wednesday, Feb. 17, 9 a.m. to Noon Location: SAR Auditorium Instructor: Don Gonzalez, Esq. SAR Members: $10; Others, $20 3 Hours CE This seminar is sponsored by the International Council and will be of particular interest to Realtors® working with foreign buyers or sellers. - Learn to understand the two keys of value to the foreign investor: Immigration Status and U.S. Tax considerations. - Learn the importance to Realtors® of the different Business Visas: E-1, -2, EB-5, L1A and how they influence property and business purchasing. - Learn the best types of business entities to recommend for foreign investment in Real Estate of Business Opportunities. - Learn the importance of building an international real estate team of professionals. SAR members should register online. Click on “education registration” at www.sarasotarealtors.com. Others: complete the form online and fax it to 941-923-0191.

Title: Purchasing Real Estate Through Retirement Accounts Date: Wednesday, Feb. 17, 1 to 4 p.m. Location: SAR Auditorium Instructor: Don Gonzalez, Esq SAR Members, $10; Others, $20 3 Hours CE - Learn the tax and investment difference between Roth, Traditional and Self-Directed IRA accounts. - Learn to market to the Baby Boomer who has rescued his IRA investment assets from the falling stock market. - Learn how land, foreclosure and short sale properties are the best alternative for IRAs. - Learn the benefits, tax pitfalls and risks of the SelfDirected IRA for both domestic and foreign investors from an attorney. SAR members should register online. Click on “education registration” at www.sarasotarealtors.com. Others: complete the form below and fax it to 941-923-0191. Don Gonzalez is a practicing attorney in Weston and Orlando, Florida. He works daily with foreign nationals, local investors or in the courtroom. In addition to his law degree, Don holds a Masters in Taxation and is an affiliate of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

CONGRATULATIONS! Dedication and hard work pay off!! We congratulate our members who recently completed the requirements for these National Association of Realtors® certificate programs: Resort & Second Home Property Specialist (RSPS)

Resort and Second Property Specialist (RSPS) Brandy Coffey Jo Elle Rutstein

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Coffey & Company Signature Sotheby’s International

Sarasota Realtor® Magazine

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By Dirk Zeller Realtor® Magazine Online

Is your workforce soaring to new heights or running your business into the ground? Find out if you’ve got the right mix of associates to perform optimally. Being a real estate broker or owner is especially challenging in today’s marketplace. The competition level has increased, the units sold have dropped, and the average sales price and commission have gone down as well. All these negative factors cause an opportunity marketplace for a smart broker, manager, or owner. The new year of real estate is fast approaching, and it’s a fine time to focus on increasing market share for next year. There is a series of key numbers you must know to increase performance and market share for your company and its associates. The first is your cost per salesperson, or desk costs. I know this seems pretty basic, but I’m always surprised by how few brokers and owners actually know this crucial figure. To calculate your desk costs, take the total expenses for your business. The rent, phone, desks, computers, staff, benefits, and compensation — all the legitimate expenses for your office or business — and divide it by the number of associates in your office. This is the contribution each person must make in company dollars for you to break even. In most real estate offices, generally speaking, there are too few who bring in the required company dollar on a per-person basis. Another important financial metric is your net profit goal per

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person. To figure this out, just consider the net profit you desire annually from the business or office you run. Then take that number and divide by the number of associates in your office or company. What is the net profit goal per person? With these numbers, you can start assessing the performance of your personnel. First, segment your salespeople into categories based on performance and revenue to the company. The first category would be new associates who have been in the business less than a year. How many do you have? How are they doing? Are they close to hitting company desk cost? Then categorize the people who’ve been in the business more than one year who have contributed less in company dollars than your desk costs per person. How many of these did you have this year? Who has been there consistently for a few years? Why are you keeping them since they are contributing little to the bottom line? How much time do they take of yours? These are people who are endangering your business.

Sarasota Realtor® Magazine

Broker Corner

Evaluate your staff - it could mean the difference between profit and loss

Then we want to group the people that fall above the desk costs but below that plus the profit goal per person. These people at least are covering their costs, but you’re not making the profit you really want for your energy, effort, and the risk of business ownership. Finally, how many people are above the profit goal? These are the ones who are really performing for you and the company. Unfortunately, too few associates in most companies occupy this territory. Your strategy and plan for success will come out of where you currently are in your personnel mix. If you have one-third or more of your staff in the new-associate or below-desk-costs categories, it’s a big danger sign for your business. If you have more than 75 percent of your salespeople in the bottom three categories you need to make some changes, but you have some time. If you have 40 percent exceeding profit expectations and another 30 percent above desk costs but below profit, then congratulations — you’re on track to achieve success, profits, and market-share growth.

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Legal Q&A

Distressed property sales raise questions Editor’s Note: This Q&A column was provided by Ryan W. Owen of Norton, Hammersley, Lopez & Skokos, P.A., a member of the SAR Realtor®-Attorney Joint Committee.

By Ryan W. Owen SAR Realtor®-Attorney Joint Committee Q: What reasons can I give my Sellers to go through with a Short Sale rather than just letting the bank take back the property through foreclosure? A: Most attorneys know that the flood of foreclosure litigation will eventually give way to a new flood of deficiency litigation where the lender seeks the difference in the amount owed pursuant to mortgage and proceeds realized at the foreclosure sale or, if the bank is the successful bidder, the value of the property at the time the foreclosure is completed. Florida law allows the banks to pursue the deficiency through a separate court action. The investors and other naïve property owners who are not pursuing short sales and defending the foreclosure actions should expect the bank (or its debt collection agency assignee) to seek deficiencies. Because the underlying lawsuit is based upon breach of the promissory note, a written contract, the lender can wait up to five years to file the second lawsuit. When a Short Sale closes, the lender often forgives most, if not all, of the deficiency. Q: My Seller has a Short Sale Contract which has been approved by the bank, but the bank’s “investor” is requiring a New Promissory Note from the Seller. How should I advise my Seller? A: When the bank refers to the “investor” requiring a new promissory note, they are generally talking about Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or the PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) company. It is important to ask your Sellers whether they have PMI on their loan so that you can prepare them for the request that they sign a new note at closing. The requirement that the Seller sign a new note is negotiable. You should encourage your Seller to contact the Short Sale Negotiator directly and ask if it is possible to reduce the total amount which must be paid if it is paid immediately or if the amount can be reduced if it is paid more quickly. I have seen instances where the “investor” initially requested a $20,000 note payable over 10 years, but agreed to accept $3,000 cash at closing. By asking the right questions, your Sellers can save significantly. Be careful not to give legal advice to your Seller during this process.

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Q: My “friend” had an investment house with a second mortgage. The bank with the first mortgage foreclosed last year. Now, my “friend” is getting calls from a debt collection agency seeking payments on the second mortgage. My “friend” thought that the mortgage foreclosure took care of everything. Why is the debt collection agency calling? A: At closing, your “friend” signed both a second mortgage and a promissory note (which is really an IOU). Just because the second mortgage has been foreclosed does not mean that the requirement to repay the promissory note has disappeared. This is the beginning of the deficiency litigation discussed above. Most litigators expect the banks to sell the rights to pursue the deficiency judgment at a significant discount and further expect the debt collection agencies to negotiate settlements for much less than the full amount of the deficiency. Collection agencies make money by buying debt for pennies on the dollar and collecting nickels and dimes on the dollar from the debtor. Your “friend” should attempt to negotiate a final settlement rather than agreeing to make payments over time. Request a written final payoff amount from the debt collector before sending any payments. Q: I represent a Commercial Seller who is in default on the mortgage. Rather than suing to foreclose, the Bank filed a lawsuit on the Seller’s personal guaranty. Will the mortgage disappear from the property if the bank gets a judgment on the guaranty? A: Most Commercial Sellers hold title to their investment properties in a corporation or limited liability company and sign personal guaranties in order to obtain financing. Many personal guaranties provide that the lender need not exhaust its remedies against the mortgage property or property owner prior to pursuing the guarantor personally. Some banks have even chosen to sue upon the personal guaranty prior to seeking foreclosure of the property. Under Florida law, when the bank obtains a judgment, it does not eliminate the mortgage. However, each dollar the lender collects pursuant to the judgment reduces the amount owed on the mortgage. By executing upon the Seller’s other assets, the mortgage is paid down. If the lender is unable to collect the full amount it is owed, it may initiate a mortgage foreclosure at a later date. The mortgage only disappears if the bank collects everything that it is owed from the Seller’s other assets. - Ryan W. Owen, author, is with Norton, Hammersley, Lopez & Skokos, P.A. in Sarasota.

Sarasota Realtor® Magazine

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What’s up today with short sales? By Sylvia Golden Norris, Esq.

MLS rule or take the risk of being fined. My Florida Regional’s website tells you this too. A LISTING MUST BE REPORTED AS “PENDING” WHEN THE BUYER’S SHORT SALE OFFER HAS BEEN SUBMITTED TO THE LENDER FOR APPROVAL (Article 4.15) Recently, there have been numerous attempts by some listing brokers to avoid changing a listing to “pending” when the buyer’s Short Sale offer has been presented to a lender for approval. MFRMLS’s Rule is very

Editor’s Note: This update is brought to you by the members of the Realtor®-Attorney Joint Committee. We realize that in the world of Short Sales the rules and guidelines change often. It is our hope that these “updates” and “reminders” on what’s new or what you need to remember with respect to Short Sales will be helpful to you in this every changing real estate market. As a member of My Florida Regional MLS, local Realtors are bound by the MLS rules promulgated. As to Short Sales, remember you must put the contract in as ‘PENDING” in the MLS after the buyer and seller sign the offer. The lender’s contingency does not allow you to keep the listing in the MLS as active. This is true even if the seller and buyer agree or stipulate otherwise. Buyers and Sellers are not members of the MLS, but you are. The best practice is to tell the buyer and seller this upfront, but even if you do not, you still should follow the

clear: Article 4.15 of the Rules: All listings with an executed contract must be changed to “pending” status within two business days, with the exception of Right of First Refusal. Properties with any other contingencies are not allowed to remain in active status. Pending status must be chosen and additional items may be selected under the Contract Status field. For example, if the sellers wish to solicit back up offers, this option is available under the Contract Status field. Know the current MLS Rule for Short Sales. Remember: The purchase contract cannot modify or change the MLS status or rules on status. It’s all right there on the website. http://www.mfrmls. com/index.cfm.

ASROTA 2010 SCAALR ENDA

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vacancy and lower values for commercial property. Some are saying that changes that allow local and regional banks to restructure and extend current mortgages backed by commercial income-producing properties will help our area in the short term. (See CID article, Page 18 for details). Whatever the next year holds for residential and commercial real estate, Erick Shumway is ready to meet the challenges and lead the Sarasota Association of Realtors® with optimism and a positive attitude that will not be defeated. What he brings to the leadership role is the encouragement of our members to follow his example. Find the positive in any market, any situation, any of your business or life challenges, and make the conscious decision to remain upbeat and energized. This is what a “winning attitude” is all about. And, as philosopher Thomas Carlyle noted, “The block of granite which was an obstacle in the pathway of the weak, became a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong.”

12/11/09 2:39:12 PM

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WCR celebrates 2009 with Chapter awards By Karen Grant 2010 WCR President High energy and enthusiasm radiated at the Women’s Council of Realtors® Awards and Installation Banquet, held on Dec. 11 at the Bird Key Yacht Club in Sarasota. Major chapter awards were presented by our 2009 President Janice Litke. The winners were: Member of the Year: Gail Grimley Business Woman of the Year: Michelle Crabtree Affiliate of the Year: Melia Favorite Humanitarian of the Year: Gail Shane Mentor of the Year: Cari Faanes Rising Star: Deb Bowis Extra Effort Award: Debbie Dietz Founders Award: Denise Leider Honor Circle: Leslie Lauritano Other award winners included: Outstanding Commitment: Linda Witt Outstanding Support: Dave Marvel Super Star Awards: Alfreda Odato-Smith, Renate Rodgers, Maria Mascucci, Andrea Rogers, Cari-Star Rummery, Linda McConell, Cathleen Acosta and Tina Johns. Honorary Members: Norm Mallard, Meta Brooks The new WCR board and officers are now in place for 2010. They include: President Karen Grant: Karen is a dedicated and high performer at RE/MAX Tropical Sands. She has been a Realtor® and member of NAR for 20 years, and a member of WCR since 2006. Karen’s designations include: Accredited Buyer Representative; Graduate Realtor® Institute; Transnational Referral Certification; and just recently Short Sale and Foreclosure Certification. She has held leadership positions on the governing board and served on state and local committees. She received the 2007 Outstanding Member of the Year Award. President-Elect Cindi Jackson: A licensed real estate professional with EXIT Realty Signature Properties, Cindi’s real estate career spans over 25 years. She holds the TRC and AHWD designations, and is a graduate of the SAR 2008-2009 Leadership Academy. She is an active WCR member and has served in various leadership roles and committees

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at the state and local levels. She was recipient of the 2005 Honor Circle Award, and was 2006 Affiliate of the Year. She is also an active member of the WCR Toastmasters. Vice-President, Membership, Marianne LeBar: A member of the prestigious “Ambassador’s Circle” at Michael Saunders & Company, Marianne has been a Broker, Broker-Associate, and a top-producing SAR member since 1995. She received the 2007 5-Star Client Service Award from MS&C. Prior to becoming an SAR member, she was a Broker in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Treasurer Sharyl Smith: Sharyl has been in the banking industry for over 25 years. She is the vicepresident, manager of residential lending for the Bank of Commerce, and has been a WCR member for three years. She served as the 2008 co-chair of the Fashion Show committee and was chair of the 2009 Ways and Means Committee. She has received the WCR Honor Circle Award and the Rising Star Award. Recording Secretary Leslie Lauritano: Leslie moved to Sarasota from Long Island, N.Y. in 2001, and has been a residential loan officer with Regions Mortgage since 2003. She has been an active WCR member since 2004, and received the 2007 Extra Effort Award, 2008 Humanitarian of the Year Award, and 2009 Honor Circle Award. Corresponding Secretary Melia Favorite: Melia was born in Jacksonville, FL and moved to the Sarasota-Bradenton area in 1974. She is a former banker with 23 years experience and recently worked as a Licensed Mortgage Lender with American Family Financial.

WCR 2010 Programs Jan. 8, 8:30 a.m., Laurel Oak Country Club: “A Toddler’s Guide to Effective Communication” - Candace McElyea, Public Relations & Promotions Manager, SchroederManatee Ranch Feb. 12, 3:30 p.m., Bird Key Yacht Club: “Ringling College of Art and Design: WorldClass Community Leadershop, Industry Preeminence” - Lance Burchett March 12, 11 a.m., Michael’s On East: “How to Overcome Adversity” - Beth Barnett, Real Estate Professional, Coldwell Banker April 9, 8:30 a.m., Bent Tree Country Club: “Young Producers Panel” - Christina Pitchford, Coordinator

Sarasota Realtor® Magazine

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“….Canadian buyers predominated among all foreign clients, accounting for 18% of international real estate purchases in 2009.” --2009 NAR Profile of International Home Buying Activity Interested in reaching the Canadian market? SAR is reserving several booths to create a Sarasota “pavilion” at Realtor® Quest, the Toronto Board of Realtors® annual Expo. The Expo will be held May 5 & 6, 2010 in Toronto. Attendance at the Expo, which targets real estate agents, averages about 250 exhibitors and 8,000 Realtor ® attendees. The event will occupy over 250,000 square feet of space at the beautiful and newly expanded Toronto Congress Centre. Here’s an amazing opportunity to:

- Establish relationships with Canadian Realtors ® and get referrals - Gain exposure for your listings through onsite presentations - Gain exposure for your development - Rent your own booth in the Sarasota Pavilion Be among the first to make your reservation for this tremendous networking event! Even if you don’t anticipate traveling to Toronto yourself, there will be opportunities for individuals, real estate firms and developers to participate. Final details and costs are still being hammered out and will be available in the middle of January. Please email Catherine@sarasotarealtors.com if you would like to be sent further information.

Last year’s Realtor® Quest event drew about 8,000 real estate agents and more than 250 exhibitors to Toronto, Canada, and this year promises to be even bigger and include Sarasota representatives.

International Real Estate

Interested in reaching the Canadian market?


Membership News

The Association is pleased to welcome new members! Designated Realtors®

Hanigan, Julie: Valencia Realty LLC Reese, A David: Commerical Choice Realty Inc. Vereen, L Glenn: United Real Estate

New Members

Boynton, Brenda: Good Life Realty LLC Brusco, DuRynda: Michael Saunders & Company Deckard, Nancy: Keller Williams On The Water Del Viscio, Judith: Key Realty DiNapoli, Carol: Prudential Palms Realty Durbin, Bruce: Prudential Palms Realty Evans, Mark: Hunt Real Estate ERA Furneaux, Jean: Prudential Palms Realty Gagliardo, Luke: Prudential Palms Realty Jolly, Michael: Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT Jordan, Greg: Keller Williams Lakewood Ranch Karlin, Beth: Prudential Palms Realty Knowles, Alicia: RE/MAX Platinum Realty Marquard, Janice: Zupa & Associates Nutter, Terence: ELITE Properties LLC Ott, Glenn: Century 21 Advantage Paterson, Maryellen: Paterson Properties LLC Pattison, Stephen: RE/MAX Alliance Group Piper, David: Zupa & Associates Porterfield, Jeffrey: Michael Saunders & Company Primous, Marlon: Prudential Palms Realty Ralph, Cari: RE/MAX Excellence Straka, Donald: Coldwell Banker Res R E Strout Koken, Lauren: Prudential Palms Realty Tauber, Benjamin: Signature Sothebys Internat’l Turrentine, Judith: Coldwell Banker Res R E Walsh, Amy: Peens Property Group Inc. Wiegand, Jeaneen: Wiegand Properties LLC Wu, Xia: Coldwell Banker Res R E

Now With ...

Abraham, Philip: Valencia Realty LLC Adair, Elaine: Prudential Palms Realty Arreola, Judy: Michael Saunders & Company Bright, Barry: Sandals Realty Brown, Steven: Signature Sothebys Internat’l Cooper, Debra: Keller Williams On The Water Cosgrove-Lee, Susanne: Michael Saunders & Company Crofut, Rashelle: Signature Sothebys Internat’l Daruszka, Helen: McKenna & Associates Inc. Emery, Linda: Michael Saunders & Company Escobar, Gonzalo: Century 21 Advantage Esses, Ellen Laura: Xena Vallone Realty Inc. Faanes, Cari: Wagner Realty Grisalez, Rocio: Century 21 Advantage Gruber, Tonna: Cityscapes Int’l Realty Group Johnston, Steve: RE/MAX Alliance Group Key, Dale: Keller Williams Realty Kijner, Daniel: RE/MAX Platinum Realty Lawson, Diane: Lakewood Ranch Comm Realty LLC Madden, Cherub: Michael Saunders & Company Martinez, Edward: Valencia Realty LLC McEleavy, June: Dawn Cohen and Associates Odehnal, Jerry: RealtyOne Florida Pippin, Micah: Prudential Palms Realty

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Reid, Erin: RealtyOne Florida Rex, William: Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT Robinson, Janet: Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT Sadwin, Howard: Signature Sothebys Internat’l Sandland, Dorathea: Peens Property Group Inc. Sas, John: Action Realty of Sarasota LLC Sharp, Leslie: RoseBay Real Estate Inc. Snyder, Robert: Sandals Realty Talkie, Kristina: Michael Saunders & Company Tessier PA, Louise: Wagner Realty Tirey, Curtis: Valencia Realty LLC Watkins, Cynthia: Sandals Realty Willman, Robert: Wagner Realty Wilson, Douglas: Atera Real Estate Services LLC Yarnall, Dr. Garth: Sandals Realty Yarnall, Susan: Sandals Realty

New Affiliates

American Decorating Outlet & Granite Pros 3607 Clark Road Sarasota, FL 34233 Phone Number: 941-922-0070 Representative: Stephen Sanford Specialty: Complete Home Remodel and Decorating, from floor to ceiling. One Stop Shop!

Ameri-Pride

8330 Littleton Road Fort Myers, FL 33903 Phone Number: 239-222-5900 Representative: Jody Nelson Specialty: For nearly 20 years, Ameri-Pride Pest Control and Landscaping, Inc. has been a leader in the Tampa Bay area. With a single, simple call to the Ameri-Pride professionals, we’ll dispatch one of our dedicated and experienced experts to analyze your lawn care or pest control needs. We maintan a fleet of state of the art vehicles, fully equipped and are ready to help you. Reasonable Rates, Superior Service and Proven Performance. We are a family owned and operated business, headquartered right here in Florida. We are fully licensed and insured, and carry worker’s compensation as well. Dwellgreen. LLC 3512-C South Osprey Ave Sarasota, FL 34239 Phone Number: 941-928-7991 Representative: Steve Ellis Specialty: DwellGreen is building a nationwide network of trusted advisors to work directly with homeowners to identify, prioritize, green home performance evaluations and complete green retrofit project management. These improvements are designed to make American homes more efficient, affordable, valuable, and ultimately less impactful on our planet.

Sarasota Realtor® Magazine

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St. Pete Beach abandons experiment in Amendment 4 By Ryan Houck Executive Director, Floridians for Smarter Growth

Since beginning a 3-year experiment in Amendment 4-style rule, St. Pete Beach residents have seen endless lawsuits, higher taxes and widespread economic turmoil. In recent elections, the citizens of St. Pete Beach voted to scale back their local version of Amendment 4 so that only certain land use changes require a referendum. With Florida voters set to soon decide the fate of Amendment 4 – a statewide Vote on Everything initiative – it is telling that St. Pete Beach voters chose to rein in their own local experiment by a decisive 60-40 margin. More telling still are the words of Ward Friszolowski, former St. Pete Beach Mayor who retired in 2008. “St. Pete Beach residents are tired of voting on everything, especially issues that don’t even relate to development,” said Friszolowski. “This amendment doesn’t work. It has resulted in chaotic, confusing and expensive elections driven by sound bites rather than sound planning.” No other state in the union has adopted an amendment as heavy-handed and extreme as the one now being sold to Florida voters as Amendment 4. Even the type of planning by sound bite that takes place in California would pale in comparison to what is being proposed in our state. However,

we can draw lessons from the story of St. Pete Beach, the first community in Florida to adopt a local version of Amendment 4. St. Pete Beach is proof positive that Amendment 4 is not designed to give the people a say on growth. It is designed to give anti-growth lawyers another legal avenue to stop commonsense progress, even when voters approve it. In St. Pete Beach, the taxpayers’ legal bills continue to mount. Unfortunately, there is no end in sight. Floridians for Smarter Growth leads opposition to Amendment 4. To date, more than 170 organizations throughout Florida have opposed Amendment 4. SAR encourages our members to join the fight. For more information, please visit www.florida2010.org.

Tina Darling is SAR Affiliate of the Month for January Tina Darling, President of Innovative Agent Services of Sarasota and the 2010chair of the SARAffiliate Committee, is the January 2010 Affiliate of the Month. A “near-native” to Florida, moving from Chicago to Sarasota at four years old, Tina started her marketing company in November 2002. Tina has been a very active SAR affiliate, participating in virtually every meeting of the Affiliate Committee, and at various events throughout the year.

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PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID MANASOTA, FL PERMIT NO. 451

JANUARY 2010 S ARASOTA A SSOCIATION OF R EALTORS ® E DUCATION /E VENTS C ALENDAR Monday Dec. 28

Tuesday 29

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Thursday 31

Friday 1

New Year’s Holiday — SAR Closed

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7:30 a.m. Toastmasters 9 a.m. Tax Implications of Short Sales Seminar 9 a.m. Design Web Pages 1:30 p.m. iMAPP

8 a.m. Power Marketing (SAR)

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9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. Dasher Virtual Drive Training

9 a.m.– 4 p.m. New Member Orientation & Code of Ethics

9 a.m. MLXchange -Basic 1:30 p.m. Entering & Updating Listings

7:30 a.m. Toastmasters

9 a.m. MLXchange Advanced 9 a.m. CID Commercial Outlook 1:30 p.m. Creating a CMA

9 a.m. Manage Time & Contacts on MLXchange 1:00 p.m. Run a Successful Website 1:30 p.m. MLXchange-Toolbox

9 a.m. HVCC-Appraiser Seminar

8 a.m. Power Marketing (University Park CC)

8 a.m. Power Marketing (SAR) 2 p.m. HUD-1 Seminar

8 a.m. Power Marketing (SAR)

9 a.m. CID Commercial Marketplace

9 a.m. CID Commercial Marketplace (Manatee Association of Realtors®)

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9 a.m. CID Commercial Marketplace

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9 a.m. CID Commercial Marketplace

Note: All events/classes are at SAR, except where noted

My Florida Regional MLS Training

The classes E & U (Entering & Updating), Tools, Design Web Pages, MLX Intro, MLX Advanced, iMAPP, Custom Reports and CMA are all My Florida Regional MLS training classes offered at no cost to MLS participants. All classes (except E & U) are HANDS-ON in the SAR Tech Center. Please register for all MLS classes at the MFRMLS website: http://mfrmls.com. Click on “Training,” then “Quick Class Registration” and follow prompts.

Sarasota Association of Realtors®, Inc. 3590 S. Tuttle Ave. Sarasota, FL 34239

9 a.m. MLXchange-Basic 1:30 p.m. Entering & Updating Listings

Profile for Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee

Sarasota Realtor Magazine - January 2010  

Winning Attitude: SAR 2010 President Erick Shumway takes office

Sarasota Realtor Magazine - January 2010  

Winning Attitude: SAR 2010 President Erick Shumway takes office