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Remember that taxpayers own city property | Letters
The Federal Way City Council recently passed a resolution to allow real estate agents to use property that you and I own (city property is not owned by the city, it is owned by the taxpayers) to help direct business to open houses, homes for sale and vacant apartments.
A senior planner said that when people are in a subdivision, they want to know how to get to the house. Realtors were complaining that they had no legal places to put out signs to help buyers find homes open for sale.
Why should you and I (through the use of our property) allow someone else to make money for free? The last time I checked, Costco, Home Depot, restaurants, retail stores and The Commons couldn’t use public right-of-way to notify shoppers of sales or new items. I’m sure that each of these businesses generate a huge amount of tax revenue too. Why allow realtors this benefit, which is not available to all?
I am not against realtors. That is the greatest thing that America offers — the opportunity to make a buck, capitalism at its finest. But the last time I checked, nobody gets a buck for free. Every business has expenses to go along with revenue. This includes advertising. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of driving down a street that is littered with new home signs, painting services signs, business signs, all stuck in the ground, on our property.
Here’s another way to look at this. Take your average $300,000 house. It sells. Each agent (the seller and buyer agent) split the commission, $18,000. That’s $9,000 each. Of this, they probably split it among a variety of people (probably in half), so they are left with $4,500. Now let’s use an average hourly rate of $100 (which includes their salary plus benefits). That would mean that for every house that an agent sells, they average 45 hours. I highly doubt that it takes an entire work week to sell a house; just because it can take six months to sell a house, doesn’t mean that I am working 9 to 5 every day for that six months. If you want to draw attention to your open house, then send out fliers, post advertisements in the paper, I don’t care how you do it (that’s not my problem). You want to be paid, then work.
The city doesn’t have money. Why don’t they do what they do to every person who wants to operate a business or buy something or live here — they charge them for it. Why don’t they create a permit that the agents have to place a sign on our property? Why give away something for nothing?
Gregory Warner, Federal Way