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Realtors Claim Stories Unfair to Profession

December 28, 1986

As a Real Estate Professional, I must protest your publication (Dec. 7) of two articles by David W. Myers.

The first, "Good Agent Vital To Sale of Home" contained a paragraph near the end which stated, in part, "you've got one more chance to reduce the agent's commission" and quoted one Lawrence Krause, a financial planner from San Francisco: "That's a fair request in some circumstances, like if you need the extra money to get into your next house."

The absurdity of that statement must have struck everyone who read it--who would not need more money for their move? By the same token, would one also attempt to reduce an attorney's fees in, for instance, a divorce case because one needed more money to adjust to single householding? Real estate commissions are paid by contractual agreement, freely negotiated by both parties in advance of the sale.

The second article, "Couple Saves By Selling Home Without An Agent" is, in my opinion, the more serious relapse of your obligation to present a realistic picture of today's market conditions to your readers.

In my capacity as manager of a large and active real estate office, I could match Mr. Myers' "Pollyanna" story about a couple selling their home without a broker, with a large number of truly frightening accounts of people who attempted to do the same, only to end up in court, hopelessly embroiled in a nightmare of legal red tape that in some cases takes years to unravel.

I am not suggesting that the use of a broker automatically guarantees a trouble-free transaction; however, the lengthly educational courses and tough examinations imposed by the California Department of Real Estate on all licensees in order to obtain and renew their licenses are required for a reason: Buying and selling real estate has become increasingly complicated and is not a pastime for amateurs.

WILMA SULLIVAN

Beverly Hills

Sullivan also is president of the Beverly Hills Board of Realtors and a director of the California Assn. of Realtors.

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