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Dream Big!

Clarifying Mutual Recognition

Map of mutual recognition As a recent licensee, I enjoy reading the magazine and find the articles crucially important to my newfound career.

However, I wanted to bring your attention to page 14 of the March 2006 Legal Hotline. One of the questions related to Florida’s mutual recognition, and the answer said Connecticut is among the states with which Florida has mutual recognition. But I was told that there are only 10 states that have this agreement, and Connecticut isn’t one of them. I checked the FREC [Florida Real Estate Commission] and DBPR [Department of Business and Professional Regulation] Web site, but didn’t see Connecticut listed.

Susan Gaieski
Coldwell Banker
Jupiter/Hobe Sound

Editor’s Note: Even though the Florida Real Estate Commission’s (FREC) previous minutes indicate otherwise, at a recent meeting FREC said “not yet” to the state of Connecticut’s request for mutual recognition.

Recognition doesn’t mean licenses are good in both states. The terms of these agreements vary from one state to another, but usually, they waive certain licensing requirements. For example, Florida may agree to accept another state’s license as a replacement for prelicense coursework and allow the applicant to go ahead and take the Florida exam.

For more information visit FREC’s mutual recognition Web site:

Bad Press Won't Dampen Sales

Any [sales associate] who believes negative press about real estate has an influence on buyers isn’t thinking clearly. Americans spend even when they don’t have the money, hence the reason for so much bad credit and so many bankruptcies.

The reason the media says housing is overpriced in Naples—and elsewhere—is because houses aren’t affordable based on the incomes of renters, who would doubtless love to own their home in Naples. It takes $60,000 a year in income to qualify for a $180,000 loan. How many “service workers” earn $60,000 a year and have $40,000 in savings for the down payment and closing costs? How many 3/2/2 homes in Naples are listed at $216,000?

A [sales associate] whose gas bill has tripled from two years ago wouldn’t criticize the media simply because they printed a story saying that gasoline is currently overpriced. Prices of any necessary commodity should be relative to the ability of the user/consumer to pay. Homebuyers are the consumers of the product we sell.

Margaret White
Century 21 Aztec & Associates
Port Charlotte

Appraisers Aren't the Enemy

In the May edition of Florida Realtor® magazine [Mailbox, page 4] a [sales associate] wrote that contracts fall apart because of the difference in appraised value and what the property is worth, and that this hurts buyers and sellers. Lenders don’t care what the seller, buyer, sales associate and broker think the property is worth; they care what the appraiser thinks it’s worth.

If an appraisal doesn’t meet your expectations, ask the lender for a copy of the report. If requirements are met, politely call the appraiser and discuss the report—not just the value opinion. A competent appraiser should stand behind his or her opinions and work product and be willing to discuss it.

Appraisers are neither your enemies nor your friends. Bias is strictly prohibited—we’re required to be independent, impartial and objective.

Robert D. Mims IV
30-A Appraisal Group Inc.
Santa Rosa Beach

The July/August issue’s “Going, Going, Gone!” article, which addressed real estate auctions, included on page 47 the statement “Only a licensed auctioneer may conduct an auction.” However, Florida’s real estate license law authorizes real estate licensees to auction real property.

Submit letters to “Editor” via e-mail to, mail to P.O. Box 725025, Orlando FL 32872-5025, or fax to (407) 438-1411. Letters are edited for space and clarity. Publication of a letter does not constitute an endorsement of the writer’s views by the Florida Association of Realtors®.