Letters to the editor
Realtor rejects writer's
'poison pen' accusations
On June 23, Business Monday published a poison-pen letter written by a
bitter person who wishes to blame all of America's current real-estate
discomforts on collusion between mortgage brokers, appraisers, and
especially Realtors, who apparently convinced millions of buyers to pay
too much for their homes.
His letter must not go unanswered. For about 15 years, I've served on both
the grievance and professional standards committees for the South Broward
Board of Realtors, and in all that time, I never saw one complaint from
buyers stating that their Realtor caused them to overpay.
And, as an expert witness in disputes and lawsuits involving Realtor
ethics and malpractice, I received only one inquiry over the years on this
issue, and I referred the attorney to a forensic appraiser for help.
Despite the writer's dark claims, nearly all Realtors are very concerned
about maintaining ethical and honest standards in our conduct. After all,
we have reputations to protect.
As for those few Realtors who put their personal interests above duty,
Florida statutes, and the Code of Ethics that we are all sworn to uphold,
well, there are established procedures to confront and discipline them.
It's not pretty when the Board of Realtors, the Real Estate Commission,
and a jury all find against a Realtor....
Realtor at C21
Rose Realty West,
REALTOR Magazine / January 2014
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Commentary > Letters
“Off-MLS is Off-Base” by
Robert Bailey is seriously flawed because the writer bases his argument
on a false premise. He writes, “Here’s why this matters. Real estate
professionals owe a fiduciary duty to the seller.”
That’s a blanket
statement that is true in some parts of the country but untrue in
others, such as Florida and Colorado, where transaction brokerage is the
default and under which there is no fiduciary duty to either the seller
or buyer. Mr. Bailey needs to start over if he wants to prove his case.
21– Rose Realty West, Cooper City, Fla.
WLRN.org, Public Radio & Television in South Florida
What Florida Homeowners Should Know About Sinkholes
By Tricia Woolfenden
(Excerpted from a longer story)
South-Florida-based forensic realtor, Larry Lowenthal has in the past
been retained as an expert witness on sinkhole-related lawsuits in the
Tampa area. He likens the ground in that part of the state to "Swiss
cheese" but doesn't foresee sinkholes as an immediate threat on "this
"I don't see it as having an impact on this half of the state," said
Lowenthal, who has been active in the Florida real estate business since
1990. "They do occur here, but they are pretty rare."
CBS12 News, West Palm Beach
from a longer story
by Lauren Hills
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- In recent months, Florida has felt the damage
and devastation of sinkholes. Most remember scene from the Tampa area
in February when Jeffrey Bush, 37, disappeared after the ground opened
up underneath his home, and a sinkhole swallowed him in his bedroom
while he slept. His body has never been found.
There was another massive sinkhole that formed right behind a family's
house in central Florida in 2012. That family was okay, but they were
forced out of their home.
Larry Lowenthal, realtor and sinkhole expert, said more than a thousand
sinkholes form every year in Florida. They occur when underground water
eats away at limestone, leaving crevices and holes in the rock.
Eventually, the ground above collapses and tumbles into the void. But by
and large, they don't have the impact of the major ones that make the
Lowenthal said in south Florida, they're not all too common.
"The subsoil is totally different, the geology is different, it's not
the same throughout the state," he said.
map of from the state's Geological Sinkhole Database shows where
sinkholes occur most frequently. They're most common in counties like
Pasco, Hernando, and Pinellas.
"It's a swiss cheese effect," said Lowenthal. He said they're naturally
occurring in that part of the state and many have been filled with
"With the increasing acidity of water which gets underground, it eats
the limestone faster," said Lowenthal. ...