Don’t let “serious inspection issues” derail your deal.

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Water damage and mold

Hi Folks. As we all know, nothing can derail a real estate transaction faster than a home inspection that uncovers “serious inspection issues“.

Recently I had a home inspection done on one of my pending listings. It was an older property and I was a little bit nervous and hoping there wasn’t going to be any major issues to deal with.

Anyway, shortly after the inspection was completed I get the e-mail from the selling agent to let me know we have “serious inspection issues.” She also sent me a copy of the inspection report and the WDO (wood destroying organisms) report. Darn it!!! We have termites!,  wood rot and major AC issues.

Well, being the good little Broker that I am, I pick up the phone and call my “peeps”, Wendal my HVAC guy, Dan the Termite Man and Khan my handyman and wood rot specialist. They all return my call within 5-10 minutes and stop what they are doing to go by the house and check it out. Within one hour, I have writen estimates from all three and time set aside on their schedules to get the repairs taken care of.

OK, now I’m prepared to call my Sellers. So I give them a call, explain the situation, go over the estimates and within 10 minutes I have authorization to move forward with the repairs.

Smartly, I had spent time during the listing presentation discussing inspections and repair issues and my Sellers were prepared. They understood that these were serious issues and would not just go away. So, they agreed to “let’s solve the problem and close the transaction.

Now, a little over an hour after receiving the inspection report and e-mail from the selling agent, I give her a call. Folks, for some reason she seemed to be surprised that I called back so quickly, not to moan and groan about a problem, but to let her know the problem had been solved, repairs had been approved and scheduled and the signed repair addendum was on the way over from the Sellers. I think this REALTOR(R) will be happy to show and sell my listings in the future.

What could have been a deal breaker was not even a bump in the road. It was just a few calls to the right “peeps” and a well informed Seller. We were back on track.

Folks, it’s all about educating your customers/clients and having people that you have worked with for years who are willing to drop everything and help you out when you need them.

So, have you built and nurtured your business relationships(“peeps”)? Are you in a position to solve problems this quickly? Are your Customers/clients educated and well aware of issues that my arise during the contract period? I hope so. There’s a lot more involved with being a listing Broker…… than marketing.

Broker Bryant’s Tips

  1. Educate your Sellers at time of listing
  2. Get estimates for repairs so the seller can make an informed decision. It’s rarely as bad as they will imagine.
  3. Have “peeps” that you can depend on. Make sure they get paid quickly. 
  4. Repairs issues will not just go away. The seller will pay one way or the other. Best to just do them and close the deal.

That’s it. What say you?

Do NOT be foreclosed on! Avoid foreclosure. Short Sales DO close.

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***I am NOT an Attorney nor do I play one on TV. Click the button below for my Bio.

The BIO for Bryant Tutas

Copyright © 2010 http://www.brokerbryant.com/ | All Rights Reserved

 

If it walks like a duck…………………

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Even the name sounds contradictory. Dual Agency. How can this be achieved? How can a Realtor, in all honesty, work for two Clients on opposing sides of a transaction? How can you place your Client’s interest first, when there are two of them, one trying to get the highest price possible and the other trying to get the lowest price possible? The concept of Dual Agency just doesn’t make sense to me, at all.

The State of Florida got smart in 1997 and made Dual Agency illegal. We are now presumed to be Transaction Brokers unless disclosed differently. I discussed this in a previous post, so won’t rehash it here.

An Agency relationship creates a fiduciary between the Agent and Principal. Take away the fiduciary and there is no Agency. In my opinion, when entering into Dual Agency relationship, this fiduciary must be modified, to the point of no longer existing, in order to assist both Clients equally. A fiduciary is NOT equal. Here lies the problem. Dual Agency, by it’s very nature, is not an Agency relationship. Below are some excellent links that delve into the problems with Dual Agency a little further.

http://www.realestatelawyers.com/Dual-agency.cfm

http://www.realestatejournal.com/columnists/housetalk/20031010-barta.html

http://realtytimes.com/rtapages/20050208_dualagency.htm

So what do we do? As Realtors we are obligated to “protect the public.” Our Code of Ethics is built upon this premise.

In my opinion, Florida has started down the right tract. Be an Agent, for one party and one party only. If you must work for both parties, then do it as a Transaction Broker. Personally, I would like to see it taken a step further and have no Agency relationship in Real Estate. Always, be a Transaction Broker. I believe this is a truer representation of what we really do. We are “facilitators.  If it walks like a duck…………..

Clean it up and sell it!

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Took a listing a couple of weeks ago. Seller is an out of area Investor who had bought a new home to flip for a profit. Fortunately he bought right and this can be achieved. Contacted me off an expired listing mailing. He had been on the market for about 9 months with no offers. I pulled up his details in the MLS and it looked like the house was priced right at $205,000. So I told him I would go out and have a look to see why it hadn’t sold.

When I pulled up to the property I was shocked! The lawn was a good 4 feet long and full of weeds, the Real Estate sign was laying on the ground with the post still standing albeit a little crooked. I used the current Realtor's lock box and tried to place the key in the front door after several attempts I was finally able to jiggle it to get it in. Opened the door and I was overwhelmed with dead cock roaches, spiders, crickets and other critters I was not able to identify. And the smell!!! Well let's not go there but we know how Realtors treat toilets sometimes. The vinyl flooring was covered in scruff marks from all the Realtors and Buyers who had obviously been looking at the property. This was evidenced by the stack of 40 to 50 business cards displayed all over the kitchen counter. This new never before lived in home was totally disgusting. Of course the marketing remarks in the MLS said “brand new home in excellent condition ready for new owner”.

Well I gave the Owner a quick call and told him the condition and said I would list the property and that I was going to arrange a professional cleaning crew and lawn service ASAP. I will pay the bill and he can reimburse me at closing. It cost a total of $275.00 to have his property spit shined, carpets cleaned and set up on monthly lawn service. I had his house back on the market within 48 hours looking like a brand new house and “Range Priced” from $195,000 to $215,000 with a 4% Co-broke. Needless to say Realtors and Buyers are now knocking the doors down to see this house and we have already had offers. Unfortunately they were not from “truly” qualified Buyers but that will have to be another post.

Again it’s another case of a Realtor taking a listing and then just abandoning it. The Seller was completely agreeable to whatever needed to be done to get his house sold but was never advised by his Realtor or heard from him for that matter. As professional Realtors we must provide honest straight forward advice to our customers and clients. To do anything less is unethical. So be proactive. Clean it up and sell it! 

Short Sale Knowledge At Your Fingertips.

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Is Your Presentation Keeping You From Being A Champion..

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS
Just because I like it!!Presentation is so important. The way we present information. The way we present ourselves. The way we present our responses to objections. Being a good presenter will make your business easier and will help to build your reputation as a fair person. And this of course will make people want to trust you. Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about.

In my area it is common to see co-broke commissions in the MLS like this 3%-$295. How does that make you feel? It makes me feel slighted. I feel like they have given me something and then taken it away. It’s not the amount of the commission that causes me to feel that way it’s the presentation.

What if the same listing had the co-broke presented as 2.75%? How does that make you feel? No big deal is it? It’s just a co-broke well within the range of normal. I feel it’s fair. The reality is it could actually be less than the 3%-$295 example. But it doesn’t matter because it was presented better. They didn’t give me something and then take part of it back. The presentation mattered.

How do you respond to the potential seller that says “I’m not pricing my house that low. My home is worth a lot more than that.”  I know many agents will try to convince this seller that they are wrong. They may say “Mr Seller the comparable sales are much lower than what you think your house is worth. You’ll never get that much for your property. If you can’t price it here then I can’t take the listing.” Now while the response is accurate the presentation sucks. The Seller will more than likely assume a confrontational position and you will have to battle to prove your position.

What if you said this instead. “Mr Seller I completely agree with you. But..I’m not here to tell you what your house is worth I’m here so we can figure out what it will take to get it sold. And based on current market data your house needs to be priced here in order to compete. I know it sucks but let’s work some numbers and see if we can make it work.” That’s a much better presentation. You are not disagreeing with the seller at all. You are admitting that there’s a problem and together you need to work it out. Now instead of being the bearer of bad news you are a problem solver. You have opened the door to a constructive conversation. The presentation mattered.

How do you present a “low ball” offer? Do you use the term “low ball”? If you do that’s a mistake. What it is is an offer. Just an offer. It means there is a buyer who has shown an interest in purchasing your Seller’s home. This is a real good thing. It shows you have been doing your job. So just present it. No need to poison the Seller right up front by calling it a low ball offer.

In fact, even if you feel it’s a low ball offer this attitude may put you in a frame of mind where you are not able to present the offer in a non judgmental way. Just present it. Give the seller the facts so they can make a decision. If they want your opinion they’ll ask you for it. How about this “Mr Seller we have just received an offer for your property. The price is less than we had discussed but it looks like a good qualified buyer. Let’s go over the numbers and the time frame and then we can discuss the way forward.”
I say presentation matters. What say you?

Do you need a new Broker?

Want to find out more? www.TTRealtyNet.com

 

The BIO for Bryant Tutas

Copyright © 2010 http://www.brokerbryant.com/ | All Rights Reserved

It’s scary out there!

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

I participate in another Real Estate forum and some of the questions that I see make me wonder if some Realtors are in way over their heads. Here are a few examples:

1. If I do a lease/option contract when do I get paid?

2. As a Sales Associate can I represent a Buyer in a business transaction? (if you have to ask the question, you shouldn’t be doing the deal)

3. The transaction didn’t close on time. Can I file an Ethics complaint against the other Realtor? (my personal favorite)

4. I’m going on my fist listing appointment. Besides the “purchase contract” what other forms do I need?

5. My Broker’s not giving me any leads. Is this illegal?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not faulting the Realtors. In fact I am glad they are asking the questions. There are no stupid questions only stupid answers. But this is scary! Where’s the training? What are the Broker’s doing? How can they allow Realtors without the basic knowledge to conduct business, loose on the public? And why do these Realtors have to ask these questions on a forum? Where’s the Broker?

My belief, is that, the general public when contacting a Realtor, should be able to assume, that the Realtor has the knowledge required to conduct business. And that they are able to “protect the public.” After all, that’s what Realtors are supposed to do. It’s scary out there! What say you?

Are you being short changed? Not by me.

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

On a local Realtor forum I participate in I have recently been hearing a lot of Buyer Realtors complaining that the sales commission is not being split 50/50.

Ok let me see if I can explain this commission split thing in simple language. I am a lister of properties. It’s what I do. When I meet with potential Sellers I tell them the minimum amount of money it is going to cost them to use my services and get their home sold. This depends on how realistic they are on pricing, how much money I will spend on marketing, whether I have to pay a referral fee and whether they are repeat customers or if I will be assisting them on another purchase or sale. This could be 1% it could be 5% The figure we arrive at is my compensation and will not change and has nothing to do with the selling Realtor. Then together the Seller and I review market conditions and what their competition is and how much commission we need to offer the selling Realtor in order to be competitive. Once we arrive at a suitable percentage for the other Realtor (which may go up during the course of the listing) we add the two sides together and there you have it! The total commission the Seller will pay when the house is sold. As a listing Realtor my compensation has been decided in advance and is a part of the listing agreement. It may be more than 50% it may be less than 50% of the total commission.

Now as a Buyer’s Realtor the amount of compensation that my Seller is willing to contribute to your services is the amount that is fully disclosed in the MLS. Nothing more and nothing less. Buyers and Realtors are actually at an advantage if they are using a “Buyers Broker Agreement”. You, the Realtor has the advantage of discussing your fee with your potential Buyer prior to showing them any properties and being able to let them know that the Seller is willing to contribute a percentage of the fee the Buyer has to pay to work with you. The Buyer has the advantage of knowing his Realtor is free to show them any and all properties that may meet their needs. Be it FSBO or a listing with a lower Co-broke that you may not normally want to show. Folks you need to be selling your services to your potential customers before you go to work. And you are selling them for a fee. Buyers have no problem guaranteeing you a certain percentage if you are a professional hard working Realtor and are able to sell your services. You are in sales! Sell yourself! Quit relying on listing Realtors to negotiate your compensation. If you are not capable of negotiating your own compensation how in the world can you be expected to negotiate the best deal for your Buyer. Our services are really the only thing we have to sell. Houses sell themselves. If you are not “listing” your Buyers with a “Buyers Broker Agreement” then unfortunately you are at the mercy of what is being offered in the MLS. As a listing Realtor it is not my job to negotiate your compensation. It is my job to sell my Seller’s property. Are you being short changed! Not by me.

Each State may vary on laws realting to Buyer Broker’s Agreements and types of Agency or Non Agency relationships.

So I was wondering how did you get into Real Estate?

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Kind of a lazy hot florida day today. So I'm just sitting around and was thinking how fortunate we are to be in the business of real estate. Set your own hours, take a day off if you want, meet interesting people, solve problems, help people realize their dreams and get paid very well.

So I was wondering how did you get into real estate? Was it a conscious decision or something you just fell into?

My journey began about 15 years ago while driving a taxi cab out at Disney World. I was driving families to the attractions all day and dropping them off to buy tickets at the gate where they had to wait in line. Waiting sometimes for an hour or more. So i had a flash. Why not buy tickets at a discount and sell them to the people in my cab for a profit. So I did this and made some pretty good money doing it. At about this same time my lovely wife interviewed with a vacation management company for a receptionist job. Since she was over qualified for the job she was interviewing for the owner decided to hire her to open up a guest service company selling attraction tickets and transportation to UK vacationers staying in short term rental homes.

To make a long story short this evolved into a company that my wife and I started named Holiday Makers. From there I went to work at the same management co. that had hired my wife to be a property manager and to try and increase their management inventory since Holiday Makers had an exclusive to sell tickets to the guests in these homes. I figured more homes, more money for Holiday Makers. Well needless to say once meeting with the guest they started wanting information on purchasing homes. And from that my wife and I opened Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. That was 9 years ago.

So I was wondering how did you get into real estate?

I hate open houses and I’m sticking to it!

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

I hate open houses! There I said it. It's out in the open and I'm not taking it back. I don't do them and I'm not starting. My Sellers know this. I tell them this at time of listing. "I will sell your house but I will not do an open house, ever."

Well, I had two of my Sellers call me today wanting to do open houses. So being the good little Realtor that I am, I said no. Now don't get me wrong, I like pleasing my Sellers and I like being agreeable when they ask me to do things. But I'm not doing it! I'm going fishing. It's Saturday and the fish are biting. So what do you do?

Being as how both of these Sellers are long time customers, we compromised. They are having open houses. Yup, you heard me right. They are having open houses. One is having a yard sale and the other is home all weekend and wants to do it. So, I stopped by today and dropped off Open House signs, buyer sign in sheets and wished them good luck. I told them if they should happen to find a Buyer for their house, who is not working with another Realtor, I will give them a discount on the commission. They were thrilled! They can use the money and thought this was an excellent idea. They are really getting into it now. I told them I would be available by cell phone if they need me and I have arranged for my Mortgage Broker to be available for pre-qualifications if necessary. I hope they find a Buyer. I hope I can give them a commission rebate. I hope they don't ever ask me again. I hope I catch the big one!

Anyway, I have been thinking about this all day and decided I may offer this to my Sellers. After all, we are a team and who knows the house better than the Seller. Obviously, you do want to make sure you have a strong relationship with your Seller and they have to promise, no negotiating. I like it. I like it a lot. They can work. I can fish. And maybe we will both get paid.

So next time a Seller ask for an open house, just tell them…….. "I hate open houses and I'm sticking to it!

Never talk down your competition!

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Received another call off an “Expired Letter” today. Fourth one this week. Nice Lady whose house is located in a 55 and older Active Adult Community (Solivita) located within my market area Poinciana Fl. Even though I am the top Realtor in Poinciana (listings sold) I have never marketed or taken a listing in Solivita. Sold a couple of homes to Sellers of mine moving in but that’s it.

This community has about 1,500 homes and currently has 255 on the Market. The market is dominated by another Realtor (let’s call her Mary). Well I have decided it needs to be dominated by me since prices are a little higher than my current market. Anyway while talking to this lady she mentioned she had been with 2 different Companies in the last year but no one has sold her house. Well I asked her if she had tried Mary. She said she hasn’t but heard she was very good. I agreed with her and told her Mary was the top Realtor in her community and has been for a few years. She also lives there and is very familiar with the community. I said I had actually sold two of her listings to Sellers of mine who were moving in and she was very professional and knew what she was doing. Well the potential customer was very shocked that I was talking so strongly about Mary’s abilities and asked me why. I was truthful and told her that I was number 1 outside of Solivita but wanted to be number 1 in Solivita as well. She mentioned her house model and I proceeded to tell her everything about her floor plan, the neighborhood, how close she was to the pool and golf course and how many similar homes were on the market. She was amazed!! Folks, I had done my homework way in advance of sending out any letters to this community. She appreciated my honesty and said so. I told her I could never guarantee to her that I could sale her house but I can guarantee that I will be 100% honest with her about pricing and what we can do to get it sold!

Well we are meeting tomorrow at 1:00 and she asked me to be sure and bring the listing agreement with me because she has an appointment at 2:00 and wants me to get her house on the market right away. Never talked price or commission. I guess she will trust me with that!

Moral: Never talk down your competition. Be successful on your own merits. And always be 100% honest.

About us

I am a licensed real estate Broker in the state of Florida. My opinions on real estate have been formed from my experiences and 15 years of working in the business. My opinions are in line with Florida Real Estate laws and the REALTOR(R) Code of Ethics. Your State’s laws may differ. So do your own homework before implementing any of my business practices into your business.