Licensed Real Estate Broker in MA, RI, & NV
Written by Paul Hagey
Online brokerage Redfin has sent an open letter to Zillow asking the portal to prominently display links to the brokerage’s website on listing pages for Redfin’s listings, among other requests.
Redfin sends all of its listings in the 23 major markets it serves to Zillow through multiple listing services or through Redfin agents who upload their listings to the site manually, Redfin spokeswoman Jani Strand told Inman News. Redfin has not brought up its issues with the way Zillow displays its listings to the portal before, Strand said.
Strand said the brokerage decided to address its issues in an open letter and advocate for other brokers because of its position as a tech leader in the space.
“Because Redfin is a real estate brokerage and a technology company, we have the technical resources to uncover situations like these, and it’s our obligation to communicate our findings to the industry and our users,” Strand said. “Consumers using any website should be able to access the source listing regardless of whether it’s a Redfin listing or a listing from another broker.”
Redfin says it hopes to hear from Zillow within two weeks about its concerns, but Strand says the firm has no plans now to withdraw its listings if no changes are made. “We think we can work this out,” Strand said.
In response to the letter, Zillow spokeswoman Amanda Woolley told Inman News, “We have great partnerships with brokerages around the country, and regularly solicit their input and ideas. We’d be happy to discuss this with Redfin and Glenn directly. In fact, we’re just a couple blocks down the road, and could even meet him at our local Starbucks.”
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.inman.com/2014/04/03/redfin-challenges-zillow-on-home-listings/?utm_source=20140403&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsflash
The Senate Finance Committee is slated to mark up a billThursday that would extend 45 tax provisions, including the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act that expired on Jan. 1.
The mortgage debt forgiveness provision spares underwater borrowers from being penalized by the Internal Revenue Service when they agree to complete a short sale or when mortgage debt is cancelled as part of a loan modification.
Industry and consumer groups have been calling for a two-year extension of the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act that would be retroactive to Jan. 1.
Senate Finance Committee chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., included such a two-year extension in his tax bill unveiled Tuesday.
"Congress' failure to extend mortgage debt forgiveness last year has created a situation where the federal government is now spending money on programs to prevent foreclosures, while threatening to tax the very homeowners they are trying to help," according to a letter signed by 23 industry and other interest groups.
"This threat of being taxed on 'phantom income' from debt forgiveness is causing many homeowners to think twice before modifying their loan or completing a short sale. Instead, they are choosing to continue on a path toward foreclosure or to simply walk away," the March 31 letter says.
While the Senate Finance Committee is on track to approve the tax extender bill quickly, it is unlikely to reach the president's desk any time soon, according to analysts at Guggenheim Securities.
"We believe Congress is unlikely to complete work on the extenders package until late this year. It could come down to December," analyst Jaret Seiberg wrote in a report on the tax extender bill.
Chairman Wyden's tax bill also would extend the deduction for mortgage insurance premiums for two years.
The two-year extension of the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act is estimated to cost $5.4 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The MI premium deduction is estimated to cost $1.8 billion over 10 years.