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1 November 2011 Forgiveness of DEBT 2011 RPAC Golf Tournament

2 Helping realtors help their buyers and sellers. From pre-qualification and pre-approval to your PayDay at closing, you can be sure the Capital City Bank team of mortgage professionals are committed to meeting your needs. Local processing and approvals Local closing and appraisers Conventional up to 95% FHA/VA * First Time Homebuyer Portfolio and Lot Loans Adjustable & Fixed Rate USDA Rural Housing * Affordable Housing Construction/Perm up to 90% Scan this code with your smartphone to view current rates and calculate monthly payments. Requires mobile scanner app. lisa canup chris carter michelle clark megan ehler adrienne Granger dennis nielsen Kristen phillips Sheila rogers Apply online at member Fdic All products are subject to credit and property approval. Program terms and conditions subject to change without notice. Not all products are available in all markets or for all amounts. Other restrictions and limitations may apply. *Loans are not made or originated by the FHA, VA, HUD or any other governmental entity.

3 November 2011 Volume 23, Issue 11 H I G H L I G H T S 6 legal update Forgiveness of Debt 8 RPAC Golf RPAC Golf Tournament Affiliate Angle Persevering in a Challenging Market 8 IN THIS ISSUE 4 Sponsor Spotlight 5 President s Message Thoughts from the Closing Table 7 Lender Points Uniform Appraisal Dataset 11 IMAPP Tech Tips 14 TBR RESOURCE GUIDE Educational Opportunities, Calendar, More! 12 All editions close the 5th of the month prior to publication for ad reservations and ad copy, and the 1st of the month for editorial copy. Tallahassee REALTOR, the official monthly magazine of the Tallahassee Board of REALTORS, Inc. is published by Babski Creative Studios, 1238 Ellis Rd., Tallahassee, FL 32317, and is distributed to all Tallahassee Board of REALTORS Members and Affiliate Members. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited without written authorization from the Tallahassee Board of REALTORS and Babski Creative Studios. Every effort has been made to assure accuracy; however, neither the advertiser, the publisher, nor the Tallahassee Board of REALTORS shall be responsible for errors and/or omissions contained herein. Copyright 2011, Tallahassee Board of REALTORS. November 2011 TALLAHASSEE REALTOR 3

4 We ve always been here when you needed a mortgage, and we re here for you now. At SunTrust Mortgage, Inc., we ve made it our business to put your best interests first. We re confident we can help qualified home buyers with the financing to meet their individual needs. Connie Stevenson NMLSR # Ken Szortyka NMLSR # Leigh Graham NMLSR # Mike Forslund NMLSR # Tyler Oden NMLSR # Top five reasons to choose SunTrust Mortgage: Exceptional client satisfaction Straightforward advice from experienced loan officers Traditional and specialty financing for every stage of homeownership Easy online application process Personal approach to service and communication Equal Housing Lender. SunTrust Mortgage, Inc., 901 Semmes Avenue, Richmond, VA is licensed by the Department of Corporations under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act; is an Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee; is a Lender in Massachusetts having Mortgage Lender license #s ML1216, ML0133, ML1432, ML1914, ML1913, ML1815, ML2411, ML1214, ML2442, ML2491, and ML2538; is licensed by the New Hampshire Banking Department; is licensed by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, toll free ; is a licensed lender in Rhode Island; and is doing business in Arizona as Crestar Mortgage, 7250 N. 16th Street, Ste. 100, Phoenix, AZ SunTrust Banks, Inc. SunTrust, SunTrust Mortgage, and Live Solid. Bank Solid. are federally registered service marks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. Sponsor Spotlight A special thanks to our Affiliates for supporting our functions. Your support keeps us going! For a list of all Affiliate members/services, visit and click on Affiliate Services Directory. Marketing Meeting August 30 Hancock Bank Contract I (REP) September 1 Smith, Thompson, Shaw, Minacci & Cólón, P.A. (breakfast & lunch) REALTOR Safety & Security September 9 Sunshine Savings Bank Marketing Meeting September 13 Envision Credit Union/Putney Insurance SRES September 15 Advantage Title Group (breakfast & lunch) SRES September 16 Florida Commerce Credit Union (lunch) Marketing Meeting September 20 Tallahassee Title Group Ethics September 22 Advantage Title Group MLS & Your Liability (REP) September 22 Pillar to Post 4 TALLAHASSEE REALTOR November 2011

5 PRESIDENT S MESSAGE By Steve Lastowski Thoughts from the Closing Table e have the best staff and AE of any Board in the country. REALTORS that have made it through the downturn will be stronger. TBR has a great reputation at state and national events. The REALTORS that came before us laid a great foundation. The REALTORS and Affiliates that volunteer at TBR are incredible. It is amazing to see how many charities that members are involved in. I am proud to be a REALTOR and a member of TBR. This year s journey has been incredible. It has been a humbling experience to serve you. What a great marriage it has been: REALTORS supporting Habitat for Humanity. The economy is getting better. We don t thank the Affiliates enough. Four hundred jobs in Gadsden County is music to my ears. The Choose Tallahassee group will have a huge impact on the future of our community. The new officers for 2012 are going to do a wonderful job! It is amazing that your competitors can also be some of your best friends. This year has flown by. Here s to getting to the closing table more often next year. It is not too early to start planning and setting goals for next year. We live in the best community in the country. Thanks from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has made this year so special. Steve Lastowski Lastowski Realty & Property Services The purpose of the Tallahassee Board of REALTORS is to preserve and extend the right to own, use and transfer real property and to serve its members by providing and promoting programs and services which will enhance members skills and ability to operate their business profitably and ethically. Tallahassee Board of REALTORS, Inc Thomasville Road Tallahassee, Florida, / / (FAX) Board of Directors Steve Lastowski President Debbie Kirkland, CLG, CRS, e-pro, SFR President-Elect Frank McClean, CLG, CRS, GRI Secretary Jeff Doxsee, CLG, GRI Treasurer Lucretia Thomas, CLG, CRS, e-pro, GRI, SFR Past President Lillian Jack, CLG, CRS, E-PRO, GRI Director Caryl Pierce, CCIM Commercial Council Director Judith Booth Riera, CLG, SFR Director Mariela Santurri, AHWD, CLG, CRS, SFR Director Joan Smith Wakulla Chapter Director Kenley Stringer, AHWD, CLG, CDPE, ILHM Director Shannon Summerlin Affiliate Director Mark Trafton, CLG, CRS, GRI, SFR Director Ken Whittle Gadsden Chapter Director Joseph Boyd Legal Counsel Steven Louchheim, CAE, RCE Executive Director Susan Ray Deputy Executive Director, Editor John Laney, CDPE, e-pro Communications Committee Chair Babski Creative Studios Publisher The MLS and other services provided by Capital Area Technology & REALTOR Services, Inc. (CATRS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of TBR. November 2011 TALLAHASSEE REALTOR 5

6 LEGAL UPDATE Forgiveness of Debt By Joe Boyd EALTORS are called upon frequently for tax advice. Don t give it! It is not what you are paid to do, nor are you licensed for that purpose. Even if you were, the rules are changing all the time. We have been telling REALTORS for 30 years to always send their clients to tax attorneys or CPAs for good advice on taxes. Most REALTORS do that. Many lenders will release the property for the short sale to occur but without releasing the borrower from liability. The latest issue deals with the tax effects when a bank writes down a loan, typically in a short-sale. A home seller should always get good, professional advice from a CPA or tax attorney. That person should be current in the law and what the IRS rulings hold about relief of indebtedness. And that advice needs to be between the seller and the professional, not just a REALTOR getting information as a favor to the seller. If the information is wrong, the tax advisor needs to be liable to his or her client. A lot may matter in a short sale if the home is the primary residence of the seller or qualifies for some other exemption. Many lenders will release the property for the short sale to occur but without releasing the borrower from liability. That may avoid a taxable event from occurring but it also means that the lender will be after the seller for the rest of the money. An excellent analysis of the tax implications of forgiveness of debt appears in the Florida Law Review. It is titled A Field Guide to Cancellation of Debt Income. From a REALTOR s perspective, it is important to know that this law is very complicated and even the best tax experts are struggling with it. If a seller gets a 1099C from the lender, a copy will go to the IRS, who will treat the forgiven debt as income, and tax the seller on it. There may be ways to minimize that impact with proper tax planning. Daily we learn of new trends in the recovery of the real estate market. Some sales are improving, some foreclosures are being renegotiated, some short sales are a little more predictable. But every day is a challenge for REALTORS to be on top of the trends in the market. As lenders start working with struggling homeowners more than in the past, big decisions will have to be made about what forgiveness in debt will occur. Property owners faced with tax implications will want to get good advice. The best service you as a REALTOR can do for them is point them to their own tax advisor, and not try to assume that role. Joe R. Boyd TBR Legal Counsel Board Certified Real Estate Attorney Boyd, DuRant & Sliger, P.L. 6 TALLAHASSEE REALTOR November 2011

7 Lender Points Uniform Appraisal Dataset By Brett Bosarge ere s a fun idea! The next time you visit with a home owner during a listing appointment and they ask you, So, now that you have seen my house, what do you think about it? Try giving them this answer, Well, I would call it a C4, Q3. I am sure the home owner will wrinkle their eyebrows, stare at you with a confused look, and ask you some version of, What the heck are you talking about? You can then explain to them, especially if you are going to recommend a pre-listing appraisal, how appraisal reports have changed and you are now using a Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD). So, what exactly is the Uniform Appraisal Dataset? As of Your home has an address, Give it a Web address too! Sell your home, FAST Get a custom Single Property Website like for your home Hassle-free, automated set up with no data entry SEO and social media friendly Only $45 for 1 full year Find out how: Call Robin HomeFinder.com, LLC. All rights reserved. Equal Housing Opportunity September 1, 2011, the UAD is now the standardized report format by which all appraisals for conventional loads are required to be written. The UAD has specific allowances for each answer written into the appraisal report. It standardizes the allowed answers so that it will be easier to compare appraisal reports written by different appraisers. For example, the field in the report for HOA Dues must be answered with a whole dollar amount (allowed answer: $50) and no cents (not allowed: $49.50). And, if the community does not have any HOA dues, the required answer is $0 while an answer of none is not allowed. The changes get more complicated when it comes to describing the Condition and the Quality of the subject property and the comparable sales. For both of these items, Condition and Quality, the UAD requires a standardized answer based on a scale of 1 through 6, with 1 being the best and 6 being the worst. So, the available responses for Condition are C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, or C6; similarly, the available responses for Quality are Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5, or Q6. Each of these ratings has a specific definition that describes the subject property. For example, the definition for a Condition rating of C4 is [t]he improvements feature some minor deferred maintenance and physical deterioration due to normal wear and tear. The dwelling has been adequately maintained and requires only minimal repairs to building components/mechanical systems and cosmetic repairs. All major building components have been adequately maintained and are functionally adequate. Other changes include the addition of standardized definitions for Remodeled, Updated, Not Updated. This will be applicable for houses that are older and have had recent improvements. It is important to note that these changes should not limit the appraiser s ability to completely describe the property and to add addendums to the report if needed. So, until we all get adjusted and comfortable with the new appraisal report format, it will be a good idea to keep a copy of all the new UAD definitions handy. A copy of the Uniform Appraisal Dataset can be found at look at the Consumer Info tab, then click Important Links, then click the Uniform Appraisal Dataset link at the bottom of the list. You may be asking yourself, Why is all of this change needed? There are many answers to this question. These changes will allow appraisal reports to be better analyzed, which will allow for lenders and regulators to make better decisions. These changes will allow for better identification of fraud and abuse, which means there will be less room in the industry for crooked players to operate. But, most importantly, these changes should mean that your clients receive appraisal reports that are more specific and accurate. Brett Bosarge BB&T Home Mortgage November 2011 TALLAHASSEE REALTOR 7

8 RPAC Golf RPAC Golf Tournament 2011 Thursday, October 6, 2011 SouthWood Golf Club Drink Cart Sponsors Lunch Sponsor Beverage Station Sponsor Breakfast Sponsor Longest Putt Sponsor Green & Tee Sponsors Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Cureton, Johnson & Associates Premier Construction & Development, Inc. Owen Title Company, Inc. Florida Commerce Credit Union Mang Law Firm, PA Smith, Thompson, Shaw, Minacci & Cólón, P.A. Women s Council of REALTORS Driving Range Sponsor: Allstate Sally Musgrove Bucket Sponsor: Advantage Title Group Coffee Sponsor: Debbie Kirkland 8 TALLAHASSEE REALTOR November 2011

9 First Place Low Gross: Josh Kasper Bill Mattice Lori Mattice Jason Naumann First Place Low Net: John Grant Robby Hartsfield Steve Lastowski Tyler Oden Thank you to all the Affiliates who donated items for the Golfer Goodie Buckets and Raffle prizes! November 2011 TALLAHASSEE REALTOR 9

10 RPAC Golf, continued Total Amount Raised and Donated to RPAC: $5, Southern Home Consultants, Inc. Providing Professional Home & Commercial Inspections Over 50 Years Combined Experience Lead-Based Paint Inspections Regular Home Inspections EIFS Synthetic Stucco Inspections Moisture Intrusion Detection Radon Testing & Mitigation Thermal Imaging Insurance Inspections Immediate Onsite Reports Available Our State Certified Contractors: Raney Oven, Lic # CRC Will Oven, Lic # CGC Bill Allaman, Lic # CRC Weems Road Tallahassee, Florida Call or go online to schedule your appointment today! SouthernHomeConsultant.com 10 TALLAHASSEE REALTOR November 2011

11 IMAPP Tech Tips IMAPP Tech Tips IMAPP s REO Property Search Real estate owned or REO is a class of property owned by a lender, typically a bank, after an unsuccessful sale at a foreclosure auction. This is common because most of the properties up for sale at these auctions are worth less than the total amount owed to the bank. The minimum bid in most foreclosure auctions equals the outstanding loan amount, the accrued interest, and any costs associated with the foreclosure sale, including attorneys fees. After an unsuccessful auction, the bank will go through the process of trying to sell the property on its own. It will remove some of the liens and other expenses on the home and try to resell it to the public, either through future auctions or direct marketing through a REALTOR. Generally speaking, bank REO properties are in poor shape in terms of repairs and maintenance; however, real estate investors will often go after these properties as banks are not in the business of owning homes and so, in some cases, the low price can more than compensate for the condition of the property. Considering the current market and the newfound desire for REO properties, the following SEARCH parameters can be set and saved in the IMAPP System: &/or Search Field Search Type Search Value Owner Name contains Bank -or- Owner Name contains Loan -or- Owner Name contains Finance -or- Owner Name contains Union -or- Owner Name contains Mortgage -and- (enter other criteria; i.e., subdivision, market value, sq. ft., etc.) See Figure 1. Please keep in mind that there is a lot of truncation that goes on with Owner Name updates that come from each individual the county. For example, the line Owner Name contains Bank will not take into account those records where the county data shows the names as bnk such as First Bnk. If you do a search where: Owner Name contains Bnk you will get additional results. Likewise with the word Financial (there are some records where the name displays as Fin ), etc. HINT: Remember to SAVE your favorite searches: From the Browse Search Results page, choose Save this Search. Figure 1. Adjusting Mail Label Skewing Issues Many label alignment issues can be resolved by checking the following: 1. Make sure your free Adobe Reader program is current. It should be at least version 8.0 or higher. To check your version from within the Adobe label preview pane go to Help > About Adobe Reader. If you need to download an upgrade you can go to 2. Check your settings in the print dialogue box. Page Scaling should be set to none. The Auto-Rotate and Center, as well as Choose Paper Source by PDF page size boxes should both be unchecked. See Figure Check the box labeled Fine Tune Page Positioning on the labels page itself which causes horizontal and vertical drop-down boxes to appear with choices for fractional movement of the labels. SUGGESTION: Prior to running your entire print job on labels, print one page of your label print job on plain copy paper and hold it up to a sheet of labels to ensure they line up. Figure 2. November 2011 TALLAHASSEE REALTOR 11

12 Affiliate Angle By Lori Elliott Persevering in a Challenging Market What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. Ralph Waldo Emerson isplayed on a conference marquee, Emerson s poignant words served to motivate attendees at the recent Southeast Building Conference in Orlando. It s easy to blame the economy for all of our real estate woes, or to sit on the sidelines waiting for improvement, but both options give control of your business future to outside sources. Neither focuses on channeling the abilities within you to orchestrate change. There are always obstacles to achieving success, and in a difficult market, the breadth and scope of the obstacles are greater, requiring more creative solutions. Persevere by turning your obstacles into opportunities. How to Persevere: 1. Reduce expenses (and red tape within your operations). 2. Identify obstacles or challenges confronting your business. 3. Identify your business strengths and weaknesses how can each contribute to or prevent achieving success? How can your strengths give you a competitive advantage? 4. Think creatively for solutions. 5. Identify the resources necessary to implement the solutions do you have them within or are strategic alliances or partnerships necessary? 6. Set priorities based on activities that will yield the greatest return. 7. Develop a plan of action. 8. Implement the plan. 9. Evaluate often and make adjustments accordingly! (Reducing overhead and red tape should make your business more nimble.) When the national homebuilders exited the Tallahassee market, it left a void at SouthWood. Our strength was a desirable master-planned community with developed lots at good prices, yet we lacked stable, production home builders. Additionally, short sales and foreclosures were hurting comps. We identified attributes that potential builder candidates should possess. Attributes that would complement our efforts yet challenge us, offering new perspectives and fresh ideas. Attributes that would help grow the community and provide a competitive advantage. 12 TALLAHASSEE REALTOR November 2011

13 A key to selecting your strategic alliances is that the relationships need to be symbiotic, meaning each provides something the other needs. Relationships thrive when the sum is greater than the parts. We found our answers by partnering with two local builders. New home sales have helped comp sales within SouthWood because the new homes help sustain the price per square foot. New and better construction techniques and green building technology ensure that new homes built today are more energy efficient than years ago. Average sales prices are in the $300,000 range, and therefore maintain the neighborhood values. Turning two obstacles into opportunities at our SummerCamp Beach community required establishing a strategic relationship and better utilizing resources from within. Traffic by potential homebuyers to SummerCamp Beach was a challenge and so was financing from banks. To increase traffic, we engaged The Wharf Express, a wellknown restaurateur in the area who offers quality local seafood at the right price, to open a restaurant adjacent to the sales center. The Wharf Express is doing well and the traffic and awareness it is bringing to SummerCamp Beach is outstanding. To overcome the obstacle of financing, SummerCamp Beach is experimenting with seller financing. Rather than to let lack of financing prevent sales, we realized that we could eliminate this obstacle and turn it into an opportunity that would give SummerCamp Beach a competitive advantage. At the time of this writing, we have received reservations for home sites with seller financing. Again, some obstacles can be overcome by taking advantage of your company s abilities and others require strategic alliances. Home sales are happening they haven t stopped. Evaluate your business to determine what is necessary to capture sales. Take an objective look within, assess your strengths and weaknesses, think creatively for solutions, and take action! Don t be afraid to do something different. One of the benefits of a challenging market is it forces us to think creatively and maximize our resources. Take Emerson s words to heart look within and affect change; your success lies within. Lori Elliott The St. Joe Company November 2011 TALLAHASSEE REALTOR 13

14 TBR RESOURCE GUIDE November 2011 Calendar of Events Events listed are subject to change. Additions, deletions, or revisions are reflected in the weekly eboard Briefs newsletter, which can be found at November 1 9 a.m. Marketing Meeting 11:45 a.m. Commercial Council November 2 1 p.m. MLS: Intro. to Paragon November 3 8:30 a.m. Wakulla Chapter (Wakulla Senior Center, Crawfordville) 9 a.m. Ethics 1 p.m. MLS & Your Liability (REP) November 6 Daylight Saving Time Ends November 7 Noon WCR Governing Board November 8 8 a.m. 4:15 p.m. LPS Paragon 5 Training November 9 14 NAR Annual Convention (Anaheim, CA) November 9 8 a.m. 4:15 p.m. LPS Paragon 5 Training November 10 8 a.m. 4:15 p.m. LPS Paragon 5 Training 9 a.m. Contract I (RE)) November 11 Veterans Day TBR Office Closed November 2011 Education November a.m. Professional Development Committee November 15 9 a.m. Marketing Meeting 10 a.m. Finance Committee 2 p.m. MLS Committee November 16 8:30 a.m. Green Designation Course 1 p.m. Form Simplicity (REP) November 17 8:30 a.m. Green Designation Course November 18 8:30 a.m. Green Designation Course November 22 9 a.m. Business Meeting 10 a.m. TBR Board of Directors November 24 Thanksgiving Day TBR Office Closed November 25 TBR Office Closed November 29 9 a.m. Marketing Meeting November 30 1 p.m. MLS: Listings To reserve a seat for any of these classes, register online at or call Pricing shown is the rate for Tallahassee Board of REALTORS members. MLS: Introduction to Paragon* No cost to members. November 2, 1 3 p.m. Ethics 3 hours CE No cost to members. November 3, 9 a.m. noon MLS and Your Liability 3 hours CE Free with REP; $20 advance/$25 day of class November 3, 1 4 p.m. LPS Paragon 5 Training Sessions No cost to members, no advance registration required November 8, 9, and 10 9 a.m. Searches, , and Printing 10:15 a.m. Creating and Editing CMA Presentations 11:15 a.m. Listing Input and Maintenance 1:30 p.m. Working with P5 Preferences 2:30 p.m. Contact Manager, Client Connect, Auto- 3:30 p.m. LP5 Tools: Paragon Mobile, ipad Contract I: Learn Our Sales Contract 6 hours CE Free with REP; $25 advance/$30 day of class November 10, 9 a.m. 4 p.m. Form Simplicity Free with REP; $20 advance/$25 day of class November 16, 1 3 p.m. NAR s Green Designation Course 8 hours CE pending approval $425 November 16 18, 8:30 a.m. 5 p.m. MLS: Listings* No cost to members. November 30, 1 3 p.m. * TBR has a limited number of laptop computers available to registrants on a first-come, first-served basis. If you bring your own laptop, please arrive at least 15 minutes before class to allow for set-up. City Commission City of Tallahassee Mayor s Office John Marks, Mayor Andrew Gillum Nancy Miller Mark Mustian Gil Ziffer Regular City Commission meetings are held in City Commission Chambers, 2nd floor, City Hall. For specific dates and agendas: index.cfm County Commission County Commission Office District 1: Bill Proctor District 2: Jane Sauls District 3: John E. Dailey District 4: Bryan Desloge District 5: Kristin Dozier At-Large: Akin Akinyemi At-Large: Nick Maddox Regular County Commission meetings are held in County Commission Chambers, 5th floor, Leon County Courthouse. For specific dates and agendas: http: //www.leoncountyfl.gov/admin/agenda/ schedule.asp Florida Association of REALTORS Orlando Office Tallahassee Office Technology Helpline Legal Hotline Website Florida Real Estate Commission Orlando Office Tallahassee Call Center Website dbpr/re MLS/Paragon Local Helpdesk LPS Supra Support Hot Line TALLAHASSEE REALTOR November 2011

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16 PRSRT. STD. U.S. Postage PA I D Tallahassee, FL Permit #801 Tallahassee Board of REALTORS 1029 Thomasville Road Tallahassee, Florida Telephone: (850)

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